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Old 12-13-2016, 12:49 AM   #1
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Aussie D`Albora Marinas Sold

The d`Albora Marinas business has been sold by its owners, Ardent Leisure, for $126M, exceeding the book value of $113.5M.
Ardent Leisure put the marinas on the market as an activity which was outside its core business, namely, operating entertainment leisure fun parks.
That predated, and is quite unrelated to, the recent unfortunate event at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast in Qld. 4 people were drowned or crushed to death when a raft they were riding on waves over an underwater conveyor line overturned, leading to the closure of the entire park for weeks and closure of the raft ride amusement forever.
D`Albora Marinas operated at the high end of marinas, offering good facilities and well maintained properties, often attracting larger boats.
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Old 12-13-2016, 01:23 AM   #2
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We were chatting about this last weekend either D`Albora Marinas rates will go up or the prime real estate will be sold off .If they sell off the land for units ever marina in Sydney /Pittwater marina fees will increase . "O well "progress
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Old 12-13-2016, 01:32 AM   #3
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I think D`Albora were "market leaders" on rents. They sure were on fuel prices, until they got some competition.
Depends if they own the real estate. I suspect much of it is leased from Maritime or Government, it may not be able to be developed. Akuna Bay for example, in the middle of a national park, can`t see apartments going in there.
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Old 12-13-2016, 02:22 AM   #4
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Yet another reason to flee Sydney.
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Old 12-13-2016, 02:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
Yet another reason to flee Sydney.


Always thought we would retire in SEQ but its now full of silver head Victorians and sand flys
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Old 12-13-2016, 05:13 AM   #6
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I think Ardent knew there were some substantial costs coming up on there marinas. Akuna Bay was opened I think in the early eighties , when a 28 to 32 boat ( Bertram 35 hey day )was a large run of the mill cruiser and the current marina reflects this design. It is also showing signs of wear and tear. The marina at port Stephens was opened in 1986 ( as the Black Marlin marina) and although was designed for larger boats is now 30 years of age. Some one will be up for a splash of cash to upgrade in the near future.

Does anyone know who purchased it ?

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Old 12-13-2016, 05:24 PM   #7
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According to a news report, the buyer is " a special purpose vehicle jointly owned by Balmain Corporation and Goldman Sachs". Presumably the latter financing the former. Plenty of marine related businesses in the Balmain area, upmarket marinas, dry stack boat storage,a large marine fuel supplier, etc. It was Baileys, a WA based fuel supplier acting as a disrupter, whose price competition forced d`albora marina fuel outlets to lower their outrageous fuel prices.
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Old 12-13-2016, 08:08 PM   #8
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It has also been my experience (of both Port Stephens and Akuna Bay) that D'Albora was (a) expensive compared to other nearby marinas and (b) starting to show wear + tear. I tend to avoid them for those reasons.

Hopefully the new owner will inject some $$ for renovations. Akuna Bay in particular is an awesome location, and has lots of good childhood memories for me, but in my opinion it currently loses out to the more recently renovated Bobbin Head/Empire marina.

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Old 12-14-2016, 11:15 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=BrisHamish;503998]

Hopefully the new owner will inject some $$ for renovations. Akuna Bay in particular is an awesome location, and has lots of good childhood memories for me, but in my opinion it currently loses out to the more recently renovated Bobbin Head/Empire marina.


Have to agree with that.

When Geoff D'albora owned the company it was a tight well run operation under his direct control( I know, having had a few 'run inns' with him over the years), once it was sold to the corporates that owner run feeling was lost,even though he was retained for a number of years on the operational side the new operation.

Akuna Bay is an unusual marina in that the whole of the marina is built of wood over the water on concrete piers.Apparently it was one of the stipulations by the National Parks & Wildlife Service(NPWS)that when the old marina at Illawong Bay was resumed the NPWS with a new grant of lease for a marina at Akuna Bay(1981).The original marina was called 'Clippers Anchorage'. The Clipper 34', as they are known as in Australia, were so called because they were originally sold through Clippers Anchorage, the present broker at Akuna Bay, Mike Gaffikin, was the sales manager for the Clippers.

Because of the stipulation that the marina must be built over the water all the fuel lines are run under the marina above high water line. The distance from the fuel tanks to the bowsers is about 250-300 meters. So far so good. Though in the big fires of 1995/6 the marina was evacuated as the fires were within 250 meters of the marina and there was no hope in stopping them, the authorities new that with the fuel lines full of fuel the marina was more likely to explode than just catch fire. The reason why the marina is still here today was a 180 degree wind change that blew the fire back on itself.

In 1991, mother nature decided to test the structural integrity of the docks by sending a mini tornado straight down through the narrow valley into Akuna Bay.About three of the floating docks broke away with some of the boats ending up beached on the opposite side of Coal & Candle Creek some 300 meters from the marina. The wooden tile shingle roof of the marina was shredded.

I'm not sure mother nature really approves of a marina being there at all, although it is in most beautiful part of the world, I was lucky enough to spend about 7 years there, both with a boat and a business.
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Old 12-15-2016, 01:40 AM   #10
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Interesting post Andy. The Akuna Bay Marina is quite isolated located within a National Park, on (Liberator) General San Martin Drive. He was an Argentinian General (1788-1850). Why was a road in a Sydney national park named after him?
But, my real puzzle is the name of the Illawong Bay marine business before Clippers Anchorage became involved, pending the move to the new facilities at Akuna Bay and the (partial) restoration of Illawong Bay by removal of the marine facilities.
The pre Clipper operator rented boats including Owens 26 cruisers, with Holden petrol(gas)engines. I rented one for a week, in 1975. I found a pic online, said to be from 1973(which I question), showing the Clippers Anchorage sign at the Illawong "Marina". I remember there was a different trading name, but damn it, not the actual name. Any thoughts?
What business did you run at Akuna Bay?
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Old 12-15-2016, 02:22 AM   #11
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Regarding the names Bruce, it is all a bit hazy. As I understand the original marina was called Illawong Bay Marina, somewhere along the way it became Clippers Anchorage & at some point after moving to Akuna Bay it became Akuna Bay Marina, that I know happened in 1981.

When Geoff D'abora bought it it became D'albora Marina Akuna Bay, though I do remember Geoff D'albora telling me that his father had an interest in the marina prior to his involvement and that it was their favourite marina.

The story of why I was there. I came back to Oz for three months, basically to have our last baby and get away from London for a while. We had recently lost a son and life was very difficult, to say the least.My other three boys were struggling with it all, and my wife was at best operating on auto pilot. Anyway, at the end of the three months, no one wanted to go back to London(it was summer in Oz, & the boys plus our new baby girl, hadn't put a pair of shoes on the whole time, just playing on the beach and learning to swim.)

So to cut a long story short, I needed to buy a business I could afford, so i walked into the cafe on the marina three weeks after the big fires, looked around and asked the owner how much he wanted for it.I could see it was very badly run and having experience of the restaurant game in London knew I could turn it around.Things went well & seven years later I sold at a very good price,I then went back to Uni and switched to the property conveyancing business(originally I intended to complete my masters in Psychology). Life is not always kind, but it is interesting.
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:11 PM   #12
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Glad that in the face of tragedy your family found its feet in Oz. The cafe at Akuna is still good, very friendly owner, and helpful staff, at our last visit.
The Illawong Bay marine facilities definitely had a family name operator when I rented the Owens, for my 1975 marriage honeymoon. Wonder what happened to the Owens, there is less mystery about the marriage. If I think of the name I`ll post it.
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