Marine industry innovations won’t wait

Exciting new technologies are disrupting every facet of the marine industry with a particular focus on safety, efficiency and inclusion.

There’s no attitude of set and forget at D’ALBORA, we’re constantly striving to improve every level of our business by engaging with and implementing the best new technologies and ideas. Which is why it was such an honour to join the innovation panel at the recent Marine 17 conference.

Sitting alongside Mike McKiernan, Trent Bagnall and Jessica Watson OAM provided great insights into expected marine industry trends, the challenges we need to overcome in embracing innovation and how D’ALBORA Marinas can turn these opportunities into a better services and experiences for our members.

The main concept discussed was the generational changes occurring as boat ownership moves from predominantly Baby Boomers and Gen Xers to include Millennials. In other industries, Millennials have shown a pattern of share economy disruption and an appreciation of experiences over things.

Primary amongst these changes is an increase in share boating concepts, a practice that has grown considerably over the last three years. The new breed of boater has also shown a willingness to pay a premium for access to quick and simple boating experiences. There are a number of value-adding concepts catering to this trend, which D’ALBORA is already exploring. I’ll be writing more on this in later blogs!

Another popular idea was an Airbnb type service for boats and marinas. Finding equitable ways to engage in and cater to this new business model will be imperative for all marinas over the coming years.

The most significant day-to-day impact on boating and marinas may be the revolution in battery efficiency leading to a decline in traditional combustion engine use by recreational power boats. Power stations may replace jetty based fuel pumps, requiring new or upgraded infrastructure at marinas, while electric engines have less moving parts and will become more reliable and require less maintenance.

From changes like these, new careers and markets will be born and evolve. Diesel mechanics may have to upskill to electric motor specialists, marina managers may need to learn how to embrace boat sharing and marina CEOs may need to start writing blogs.

It’s not just jobs, but whole of industry relationships and infrastructure will need to update. The change brought to the taxi industry by Uber’s introduction delivered many valuable lessons. Disrupted industry, disruptors and governments need to work together to ensure innovation is encouraged. Equally important, is ensuring those industries and workers learning to embrace these changes are provided the training and services they need to adapt.

Finally, and most importantly, the panel saw women in the industry as having the greatest immediate untapped potential to deliver innovation. In our historically male dominated industry, female leadership and innovation has never been truly realised. Bringing women to the fore in strategy, engagement and decision making will ensure our services and products remain resilient as we head deeper into the 21st Century.

The boating industry will need to innovate and roll with change or be left behind. Innovation waits for no one.

A Life Well Lived

Spending time on the water provides a sense of adventure and freedom. It’s a reward for hard work and a time to spend with family and friends. It’s about a life well lived. Overseeing an amazing team across seven world-class marinas in New South Wales and Victoria, my job to help every D’ALBORA Marina member gets the most from their days at sea. It’s a great job.

D’ALBORA is the largest marina group in Australia and we aim to be considered one of the best in the world. A part of this is making sure we’re kicking goals in our customer service, facility presentation and community engagement.

Another part is undertaking an ongoing leadership role within the marina sector and wider maritime industry, which is why I’ll be writing a regular blog. Over the coming months, this blog will discuss topics like innovation, environment, values, practical advice and maritime news. I’m hoping to kick-start a conversation with our members and the marine industry on a number of important topics that will impact our sector now and into the future.

What better place to start than the upcoming Marine 17 conference in Sydney, which will have a strong D’ALBORA influence. I’ll be joining a panel hosted by including: Mike McKiernan, Founder and CEO of Deckee; Trent Bagnall, Founder of Slingshot; and Jessica Watson OAM, Communications Manager, Deckee. I’m honoured to be joining such great innovators to discuss the future of the maritime industry.

DALBORA has been nominated for four awards at the conference:

– Best Commercial Marina (140 Boats & Over)
– Best Innovation by a Marina
– Best Dry Stack Storage Facility
– Best Restaurant

I’m proud that D’ALBORA Marinas is nominated for such a wide range of awards and particularly proud of the recognition for our innovation program. I’ve been CEO of D’ALBORA for three years and a leader in the marina sector for fifteen, but relying on past experience isn’t enough to be considered the best.

Innovation takes many shapes, this blog is one example, and so too is D’ALBORA’s commitment to embracing the digital revolution. In the past eighteen months, we’ve redeveloped two of our marinas with the cutting-edge technologies (such as composite through-rods), built customer relaxation zones, launched an IOS App, and completed a whole of business rebrand including a rebuild of our website.

I’m looking forward to discussing more about our business and the marina industry in general over the coming months. If you’d like to learn more about membership, please head over to our website or contact our team on 1300 080 841.

See you on the water!

Terms and conditions for D’ALBORA Marinas Nelson Bay $5,000 Gift Card giveaway

‘The $5,000 Gift Card Giveaway


  1. ‘The $5,000 Gift Card Giveaway (the “Giveaway”) is conducted by D’ALBORA Marinas Nelson Bay,
  2. By participating in the Giveaway, individuals accept these conditions (“Conditions”). Information on how to participate and the giveaway form part of these Conditions.
  3. All references to times and dates are to times and dates in Sydney Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT).
  4. The word “including” means “including without limitation” and “includes”, “included” and “in particular” are also to be understood as being without limitation.
  5. All references to dollars or “$” are references to Australian dollars.


  1. Participation in the Giveaway is only open to persons who are an Eligible Person (as defined below) who make an eligible purchase(s) at D’ALBORA Marinas Nelson Bay during the Giveaway Period (as defined below). An “Eligible Person” is an individual who: (i) is a resident of New South Wales, Australia aged 18 years or older; (ii) is not an employee of the Promoter or any of its related corporations or any of their agencies associated with the Giveaway including venues located at D’ALBORA Marinas Nelson Bay; (iii) is not an employee of a D’ALBORA Marinas Nelson Bay retailer; and (iv) is not a spouse, defacto spouse, parent, child or sibling (whether full, half, step or by adoption) of an excluded employee or retailer.

Information on how to participate in the Giveaway

  1. To participate in the Giveaway and to claim a $10 Gift card (as set out below), customers must make a total eligible purchase of $75 or more in one day at participating retailers at D’ALBORA Marinas Nelson Bay during the period from Tuesday 13 June 2017 at noon AET to Friday 30 June at 17:00 AEDT (“Giveaway Period”) or while stocks last.
  2. Marina berthing and Fuel purchases at D’ALBORA Marinas Nelson Bay do not constitute an eligible purchase.
  3. Vouchers can be claimed from the D’ALBORA Marinas office between 08.30am and 5.00pm each day.
  4. Only one voucher will be issued per person per day for purchases of $75.00 or more. Receipts cannot be split.
  5. Promotional Gift Cards cannot be spent on Marina berthing or fuel.


$10 Gift Cards

  1. There will be five hundred (500) Gift cards available for redemption.
  2. Once the allocation of 500 Gift Cards is complete the Giveaway will conclude.
  3. Any vouchers not claimed by the close of the promotion (for sales completed on 30 June 2017) will be removed from the distribution pool and may potentially reduce the total value of vouchers distributed.
  4. No change will be given on purchasers of less than $10.00
  5. Vouchers must be spent in store by 31 December 2017

General Conditions

  1. If for any reason the conduct or operation of the Giveaway is interfered with or disrupted in any way by a cause outside the reasonable control of the Promoter (including by vandalism, power failures, natural disasters, acts of God, civil unrest, strikes, tampering, computer bugs or viruses or technical failures), the Promoter reserves the right, subject to any written directions of the lottery authorities, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend or recommence the Giveaway.
  2. If an entrant tampers with, or subverts, the processes relating to participation in the Giveaway, or may benefit from such tampering or subversion by any other person, the Promoter reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify that entrant from the Giveaway. The Promoter reserves the right to verify the details of the entrant, and request identification to establish their identity.
  3. The Promoter assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communication line failures, theft or destruction or unauthorised access to, or alteration or non-receipt of entrant’s communications (including submissions of email addresses). The Promoter is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunctions (such as problems with telephone networks or lines, computer systems or software or Internet service providers) or any failure of any Internet communication or telephone communication to be received by the Promoter (whether as a result of technical problems or traffic congestion on any carrier network, on the internet or at any website). To the full extent permitted by law, the Promoter is not liable for any injury or damage to any entrant’s (or any other person’s) computer or resulting from or otherwise relating to participation in this Giveaway (including by downloading materials relating to this Giveaway).
  4. Unless otherwise stipulated, rights to receive any Gift Cards are not transferable or exchangeable and cannot be taken as cash.
  5. All of the Promoter’s decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  6. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for any tax liability incurred as a result of an entrant winning a Gift Card. Entrants should obtain independent tax and financial advice.
  7. No responsibility is accepted for late, lost, or misdirected submission of email addresses or claimant notification messages.
  8. The Promoter is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by website users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilised in this Giveaway which may occur in the course of the administration of this Giveaway.
  9. Any costs associated with accessing the Giveaway landing page are the responsibility of the person seeking access and are dependent on the internet service provider used.
  10. To the full extent permitted by law, the Promoter, its related companies and agencies and all those entities’ personnel (the “Relevant Parties”) exclude all liability for any loss (including any damage, claim, injury, cost or expense) which is suffered or incurred by any person in connection with the giveaway or Gift Card, including: (i) any indirect, economic or consequential loss; (ii) any loss arising from the negligence of a Relevant Party; (iii) any liability for personal injury or death. Nothing in these Conditions is intended to exclude, restrict or modify a person’s rights under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
  11. Entrants who claim a Gift Card consent to: (i) the Promoter using their name, likeness, image and/or voice (including any photograph, film and/or recording of the same) in any media, including Facebook, TV, Outdoor or radio for an unlimited period of time without remuneration for the purpose of promoting D’ALBORA Marinas.
  12. The Promoter is not responsible for any failure by the claimant to spend the Gift Card.
  13. All Gift Cards must be taken as offered. The Gift Card, or any unused portion of the Gift Card, is not transferable, exchangeable and cannot be redeemed as cash. The Gift Card is not valid in conjunction with any other offer. If the Gift Card or any part of the Card is not used, no compensation will be awarded to the claimant.
  14. It is a condition of accepting the Gift Card that the claimant(s) must comply with all the conditions of use of the Gift Card and the Gift Card supplier’s requirements (as applicable).
  15. As a condition of claiming the gift card, claimants of Gift Cards will be added to the D’ALBORA Marinas subscriber database. Claimants can choose to opt out of these communications from the receipt of the first email communication.
  16. Entrants’ personal information will be collected by or on behalf of the Promoter to enable it to administer and promote the Giveaway.
  17. The personal information of Entrants may be provided to others assisting in the conduct of the Giveaway, including the Giveaway administrator, suppliers and deliverers, and to authorities that regulate the Giveaway. Visit to view the Promoter’s privacy policy.


D’ALBORA staff competes in World SUP championship

Our very own Deb Stretton from D’ALBORA Marinas Nelson Bay was a bit sheepish when she announced that she had recently competed in the 4th N1SCO World Championships in Narrabeen.

Paddlers from around the world came together for the stand up paddling event, which is raced in multiple classes and lengths.

True to form, Aussies placed in every event, with only one event actually won by a non-Aussie. 

It’s true to say that all of our D’ALBORA staff have an affinity with the water and prove there’s so many ways to get get out on it. From the rest of the D’ALBORA team, well done Deb.

Dining at the ‘Gateway to the West’

Vela Waterfront Dining

If you haven’t enjoyed the relaxed distinctive atmosphere, waterfront views, fine food and personal service that Vela dining and bar has to offer, then you are missing out on one of Sydney’s best kept secrets. Located over the water at D’ALBORA Marinas Cabarita Point, the restaurant has been impressing Sydney’s Inner West for years.

The Vela team recently welcomed the addition of talented European trained Head Chef, Thomas Lhermenier formerly of the well renowned Hyde Park Barracks Café. Thomas has been rapidly cooking up a storm with the likes of a smashing 48 hour slow baked shoulder of Lamb and the signature Strawberry Soufflé with coconut sorbet and strawberry coulis.

We suggest getting down there for the fast approaching Christmas and New Years Eve celebrations. Berth your boat at D’ALBORA Marinas Cabarita Point and take in the spectacular NYE fireworks while dining on Coffin Bay Oysters served with Yellow Fin Tuna Sashimi, Wakame and Wasabi and the old favourite Surf and Turf with a twist. For D’ALBORA Members only, book your NYE 4 course banquet and receive a free bottle of Chandon Brut.

Check out or call 02 8759 7601. 

BYO and barefoot-friendly


They say any day on the water is a good day, adding a sensational seafood platter can only improve it. Chisoco by Ormeggio, at D’ALBORA Marinas The Spit can fix up a fully catered day out on the water. From your first coffee with freshly made bacon and egg rolls as you’re getting on the boat, to fish and chips for lunch and platters of seafood, meats and cheeses for dinner on the water, Chiosco can cater for it all.

Takeaway on the boat is good, but if you’re so inclined to dock, the BYO, barefoot-friendly trattoria’s Gamberoni prawns are worth getting off the boat for.

The coffee is good and the pastries are hard to say no to, so don’t – give in to the temptation, you won’t regret it.

Visit Chiosco for more information and bookings.

Sundays are made for Pilu Akuna Bay


Reserve your Sundays for a long lunch at Pilu Akuna Bay. It’s Sundays only for chef Pilu’s second Sydney offering. But that’s ok, because you want to take a leisurely trip into the tranquil settings of the Ku-Ring-Gai National Park and because who wants to rush lunch?

‘Pranzo della Domenica’ – a Sharing feast was created on the pure ideals of what Sundays are for – sharing long lunches with family and friends. The three course menu takes a nod from Sardinia, if you’ve been to Pilu at Freshwater, don’t expect a carbon copy at Akuna Bay, it really is a stand up on its own food adventure.

If you’re a D’ALBORA member, make use of the reciprocal berthing and head up on the Saturday to get the full experience of Akuna Bay.

Chef Pilu has been kind enough to pass on the recipe for a spectacular dish. Appropriately timed for Snapper season…

Snapper with white wine, green olives and parsley


  • 1 – 2 kilos snapper, cleaned
  • sea salt flakes
  • 185 ml (¾ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 500 ml (2 cups) fish stock
  • cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 30 bosane olives (see note)
  • 500 ml (2 cups) dry white wine
  • 150 g cold unsalted butter, diced
  • parsley leaves to serve


  • Remove snapper from fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Cover and set aside in a cool place to come to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 220˚C.
  • Score snapper on one side, making 5 or 6 diagonal cuts just through to the bone. Sprinkle both sides of the fish generously with salt, rubbing gently into the skin.
  • Heat a large heavy-based roasting tin on the stovetop over medium heat. Pour in the oil and when hot, carefully place the fish in the tin, scored-side down. Cook for about 6 minutes until skin is golden, then turn and cook for a further 4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place the stock in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  • Scatter garlic and olives over fish, add wine and bring to the boil. Add hot fish stock, cover tightly with a double layer of foil. Transfer the tin to the oven and cook for 10–15 minutes, until fish is cooked through, basting once during cooking. When cooked, the flesh of the scored side of the fish, at the thickest part near the bone, should be white.
  • Remove from oven, place the fish on a platter, cover loosely with foil and set aside in a warm place. Pour the cooking juices from the roasting tin into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3–4 minutes until reduced by a third. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the butter a few cubes at a time until combined. Stir in parsley leaves and spoon the sauce over the fish.

*Image by Alan Benson

Ormeggio turns seven


Seven years ago D’ALBORA Marinas The Spit welcomed Ormeggio into the fold. There’s been many changes around the Marina since then, but there one thing that hasn’t wavered is the fine dining experience brought to you by chef Alessandro Pavoni.

Recently reclaiming two hats in the SMH Good Food Guide, Ormeggio has become a destination for both foodie types and diners who are looking for the ultimate experience.

The degustation menus with matching wines are carefully composed with the Chef and Sommelier taking diners on a full-flavoured jaunt through Italy.

We suggest taking the boat out on a Sunday morning, enjoying Middle Harbour, then when you head back in, giving into the indulgence of a completely stressless Sunday dinner. A spectacular Sunday, with a spectacular view and spectacular food. $69 for five courses or $129 with matching wines.

To celebrate their seventh birthday, Ormeggio are putting on a ‘best of’ menu with seven courses featuring diners favourite meals from the past seven years. Wednesday 16th November dinner and Thursday 17th November lunch and dinner.

Visit Ormeggio for more information or to book.

Drop the anchor at Sydney Harbour’s waterfront bars

There’s few things better than being on a boat, however, when you need to drop anchor and step ashore to hydrate, these Sydney local favourites do pretty nicely.

Watson’s Bay Hotel 

Soak up the sun and spectacular harbour at this Sydney local’s favourite at Watson’s Bay. It’s no secret, so get in there early for a table with a view. The menu is Mediterranean inspired – think whitebait fritti, clam spaghetti and pork ragu, or just ‘settle’ for a buckets of prawns with a glass of prosecco or craft beer.

Kids meals are free on Sundays between 5pm and 7pm, if you’re so inclined to let them go with you that is.

Take a short stroll to the fully netted 50 metre ocean pool to get your laps in.


Papi Chulo

Merivale’s Justin Hemmes has really set the standard for Sydney’s food and beverage scene. It’s not just about the menu, its about embracing the local scene and understanding what a venue requires to wow the crowd. Merivale’s Manly offering – Papi Chulo is the perfect example.

Located at Manly Wharf, the menu doesn’t rely on waterfront restaurants ubiquitous seafood (although it’s still definitely there) instead, the menu’s heroes are smoked barbecue meats and grill. Our pick is the smoked lamb ribs, wagyu brisket, pulled pork, farmer sausage, served with coleslaw, soft rolls and BBQ sauce. Maybe share it if your watching your waistline….


The Sheaf

While not exactly on the waterfront, this East Sydney favourite in Double Bay is only a stone’s throw from the waters edge. There’s a space for everyone at The Sheaf, with a massive beer garden out back, neatly named The Garden, The Canopy, The Terrace, Soda (the classic cocktail bar) and the Public Bar for when you want to join the local Rooster fans on game night.

The menu offers pub favourites – pizzas, burgers and steaks off the grill. And our suggestion, if you were going to drink Pimms anywhere, then Double Bay is definitely the place to.


Dry Dock Hotel 

Balmain… So many pubs… It’s really hard to make a clear choice when offered with so many options, however, when one of them just happens to be right on the water, it makes the choice just that little bit easier.

The Dry Dock hotel is like a pair of old slippers. A bit worn around the edges but oh so comfortable. There’s no pretension here. Staff are lovely and attentive, your canine friends are welcome, there’s sport playing everywhere and the beers are cold and reasonably priced.

Our tip? Go on a Tuesday for meat trays and members badge draw.