Waves of discovery - shellharbour marina & Les Binkin
Measuring larger than Darling Harbour, the world-class Shellharbour Marina at The Waterfront, Shell Cove is set to become a major tourist attraction, and now, with 145 of the 270 berths officially open, we meet with the man who now manages the operation of the marina, Les Binkin
Shellharbour Marina is managed and operated by Marine Holdings Australia (MHA). As a professional marina management company, MHA combines their passion for serving the boating community with decades of experience developing and managing world-class marina facilities.
“I’ve been involved in marina ownership and management for more than twenty years, I’m an avid boater and I have been around or involved in boats all my life; I am the fourth generation. I have been involved in this particular project for over eight years.
It began when I first met the Shellharbour City Council team through the Marina Industry Association, where they saw what I’d done in the past and what we were capable of. But likewise, I could see the vision and I understood how hard and expensive it is to build a man-made marina, and to have somebody prepared to invest so much money, I knew it had to be a winner.
I was then invited by the Council and Frasers Property team to consult on the design. So what you see today is pretty much as it was designed in 2015.
When the operation of the Shellharbour Marina went into a tender process by Council, I was no longer able to be involved but our application was successful and we have been building the business ever since.
Right now, Stage One is complete, comprising 145 berths that are filling fast, and Stage Two is due to be completed by the end of 2023. As the marina operator, there are plenty of exciting things to look forward to.
At the end of this year, we will see the completion of the Marina Services Centre.This will offer facilities for marina berth tenants including a member’s lounge, kitchen, showering facilities, locker storage along with the office for the marina operator and public toilets.
The Boatyard, which is forecasted to open in 2025, will have both dry boat storage and boat maintenance facilities that are eagerly awaited by existing clients and will attract new people to the Marina and Shell Cove.
The Marina Services Centre and The Boatyard will give the boaties another reason to visit. While we work on their boats, they can eat, explore and enjoy everything on offer at The Waterfront, Shell Cove. When complete, we will apply to be a five-star Gold Anchor Marina, which will mean we are nationally accredited.
The thing I love most about Shell Cove is the locality. Beach, ocean sailing – it’s a very beautiful area, and the safe entrance sets it aside from other ports on the South Coast.
The Waterfront has really become a destination with its dining precinct, shops, golf and boating facilities. Shellharbour Marina is becoming more well known in Adelaide, Melbourne and all over Australia, as skippers are returning and choosing to come here over Sydney because it’s quick, easy, and enjoyable.
The ease of coming in, fuelling and getting a meal is second to none. I’ve been all over the world, and there’s no place like it – Shell Cove is a marina destination and this is why we are seeing boats returning again and again.