ABELL Point Marina is moving into its golden years - quite literally.
The marina is the first in the world to be awarded five gold anchors, the highest possible standard under the Marine Industry Association's new accreditation scheme.
Marina owner Paul Darrouzet said they had worked hard to make the marina what it was today, saying they had started with one anchor.
"It was a big, fat, old, rusty plow anchor and it was around our neck,” he said at the presentation ceremony.
"And what it had done was drowned this business twice.”
Mr Darrouzet said he had refused to visit the marina after a stay in 2008.
"And a number of my friends had been here in 2013,” he said.
"They said the whole experience was about as much fun as having a colonoscopy during our recent earthquake.”
Today, the marina is highly regarded both domestically and internationally.
"There's 99% leave with a good visitor experience and the other 1%, well, you can't please all of the people all of the time,” Mr Darrouzet said.
Marine Industry Association CEO Colin Bransgrove said the scheme had a rigorous criteria, featuring 101 assessment items.
"We physically speak to people that have brought boats here and had that first hand experience,” he said.
With Abell Point Marina being the first five gold anchor accredited in the world, Mr Bransgrove said it was fitting.
"It's fantastic,” he said.
"It's also very significant regionally in terms of it's contribution to the regional economy.
"It's a destination in it's own right.
"What they've created here really optimises the future of marinas.”
Mr Darrouzet said their staff had played a big part in making the marina so successful.
"We've got a great bunch here,” he said.
"They arrive early and they leave late.
"They undertake work way outside their pay grade.”
Manager Luke McCaul said when he brought up the accreditation program under the previous owners, staff had laughed it off as a joke.
"And that was the problem with the previous owners, they didn't have vision,” he said.
"And I must say, our focus wasn't to achieve the five gold anchor award, it was to develop a profitable and sustainable business.
"What drives our business? It's happy and returning customers.”
With strong forward bookings and the moorings almost at capacity, it seems Abell Point Marina has achieved this in spades.
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