Outstanding innovation and a tremendous work ethic has seen Bridge Marina Travelift Ltd win the inaugural “Boatyard of the Year” award at this year’s NZ Marina Operators’ Association conference.
Bruce and Lucy Goodchap have owned and operated the business since the marina was first developed 22 years ago and are immensely proud of their team and the accolade they’ve achieved.
“We were absolutely delighted and it was a real team award. Our staff have certainly taken ownership of it and it’s given them a real boost,” Lucy says.
It’s rare for a boatyard to be privately owned as most are operated by marina owners, councils or clubs. But the Goodchaps go out of their way to be different, delivering a full service anti-foul package for boat owners and striving for environmental efficiencies.
“We provide a fixed price to do all the work required to antifoul the vessel - lift out, waterblast, ground-rental, wetsand, re-antifoul and return the vessel to the water,” Bruce explains. “Often we will collect the vessel from its berth and return to the berth once all the work is complete. The owner will be notified with an email invoice stating that all work is complete and the boat is back. Last financial year we did 121 antifoul packages alone.”
The judging panel was impressed by the team’s hands-on approach to doing all the work themselves, as well as the number of lifts performed annually.
“An absolute highlight for us is the number of lifts per annum,” Bruce says. “This number has increased each year of operation and currently sits at 1071 for the 2018 financial year which we see as a great achievement for a yard with a single travelift, no trolley and only 5500m2 of land.”
Another major achievement was securing resource consent to discharge treated storm-water and wash water from their boatyard into Tauranga Harbour. Negotiations with four iwi and the BOP Regional Council took nine years, with the judges noting the exercise “would have seemed impossible” several years ago.
The new treatment system is a testament to Kiwi ingenuity and meets the ANZECC guidelines for Marine Water 2000 by achieving an 80% protection level after 10m of reasonable mixing.
“We are extremely proud to be protecting our playground and getting such great results,” Bruce says. “The system we developed relies on slowing down water flow, allowing the heavy metals and other elements to settle out of the water. This process occurs over a 48 hour time frame. We can collect and hold up to 180,000L at one time after which the water goes through a three stage filter consisting of sand, lime and crushed mussel shell.”
The business has also developed an effective tenting process to contain airborne contaminants and has recently introduced the first vapour blaster to Tauranga. “This is a sandblaster, encapsulated in water which reduces the amount of airborne contaminants by 90% compared to standard sandblasting.
“This is a cost effective and more environmentally-friendly way of removing antifoul and has been well received by our customers.” Bruce says the blaster has had a flow-on effect for the travelift business, attracting vessels from outside the region. “It also increases our labour and painting revenue which is a big part of our annual turnover.”
The judges applauded the boatyard for being in complete control of its environment and thinking outside the square. “Every single inch of the space works. The manager has a great work ethic and an attitude to staff that is second to none,” the judges said.
While the whole team is still basking in the glory of winning this year’s title, other developments are already in the pipeline. Bruce and Lucy plan to replace and upgrade their 35 tonne travelift in the near future and recycle discharge water through their water blaster to reduce their overall water usage.
“We want to look after our harbour and ensure our work has as little impact on the environment as possible. We also want to continue providing first-class advice and service to our customers.”