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Boat-building legend gives Gold Coast its own stake in Sydney-Hobart classic


With a history steeped in the Gold Coast, Bill Barry-Cotter is no stranger to achieving industry firsts and casting the city’s name far and wide.

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Throughout his illustrious 60 year career, Barry-Cotter has established three internationally recognised brands, two of which were born on the Gold Coast.

“When I was 22, I started Mariner Cruisers, building a large range of motor craft and some sail craft,” reflects Barry-Cotter.

“I sold Mariner in 1978, and two years later moved to the Gold Coast where I established luxury motor yacht business, Riviera.“ After 22 years, I sold Riviera and went on to start Maritimo – now recognised internationally as Australia’s leading manufacturer of long-range luxury motor yachts.”

Now Barry-Cotter is seeking another maritime ‘first” – entering his his 54-foot yacht Maritimo in the world-renowned Sydney to Hobart race.

Barry-Cotter says he had three reasons for moving to the Gold Coast.

“Firstly there were much lower housing costs, secondly a lot of the people I had trained in the industry in Sydney had moved up here so in effect I was following them up and finally it was and still is a great place to live and raise a family,” he says.

An expert in boatbuilding, design and offshore powerboat racing, Barry-Cotter’s latest challenge has involved transforming the 54-foot yacht from his Gold Coast headquarters to be race-ready for the Boxing Day race start.

“It’s very exciting to be the only entrant representing the Gold Coast in this year’s Sydney to Hobart,” says Barry-Cotter.

“Over the last six months, our in-house team of experts have worked tirelessly to prepare the yacht to be race ready.

“We’ve re-engineered much of the boat, including a new carbon fibre mast and boom, new sails and rigging.”

Maritimo’s team of craftspeople are located between the Hope Island Boatmasters service centre and its manufacturing headquarters at the Gold Coast Marine Precinct in Coomera.

The Gold Coast has the largest concentration of marine trades in Australia.

Spanning 250 hectares, the Gold Coast Marine Precinct is dedicated to the manufacture, service, and re-fit of recreational boats.

The precinct houses over 80 on-site traders and employs over 700 marine-related contractors.

Over the last 20 years, the precinct has maintained, repaired, and built in excess of 50,000 vessels.

“The Gold Coast Marine Precinct is one of the only places in the world that is a dedicated centre designed specifically for boat manufacture and repairs and maintenance,” says Barry-Cotter.

“It is the hub of a significant business sector that sees millions of dollars in export earnings flow back to Australia and supports thousands of employees.”

The Maritimo departed the Gold Coast from Sanctuary Cove on Friday 27 and will then compete in pre-Sydney to Hobart qualifying series races, before setting sail with the Tattersall Cup firmly in its sights in the IRC division on December 26.

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