Commercial WA boat builder set for smooth sailing with innovative product, outstanding support

Commercial WA boat builder set for smooth sailing with innovative product, outstanding support

For Geraldton-based boat builder Rohan Warr, the key to any successful business relationship is good communication and support.

“You could possibly have the best product in the world but if the people you’re dealing with are unpleasant or difficult – if it’s got no service or back up – then you’re not going to buy it,” Rohan, who is managing director of Dongara Marine, said.

Dongara Marine first opened its doors in 1975, so there is a complete understanding internally of what it takes to build and operate a successful business.

The company started out providing vessel support, including refurbishments and repairs, to the local fishing fleet. Today, Dongara Marine predominantly builds vessels for the commercial maritime industry including government services, such as port authorities, police and emergency services and fisheries departments, as well as private operators.

Innovative propulsion system a win for Dongara Marine

It was in late 2020 that international towerage operator Svitzer approached Dongara Marine seeking a pilot boat to service Woodside’s LNG export operations in the Port of Dampier.

After reviewing several options provided by Dongara Marine, Svitzer chose to build the Svitzer Marlin – a 16.5 metre aluminium boat fitted with a six-cylinder D11 Volvo Penta diesel engine and Volvo Penta’s revolutionary Inboard Performance System (IPS) and electronic control system.

Using twin counter-rotating propellers that face forward, the IPS unit reduces fuel consumption by up to 30%, and provides enhanced manoeuvrability, including sideways movement and the ability to rotate within its own length.

“The Volvo product is very good,” Rohan said.

“Svitzer have been very happy with it. They love the fuel economy and they love the manoeuvrability.”

Service and support key to good relationships

As part of the Svitzer Marlin build, Dongara Marine engaged CPG to supply and commission the Volvo Penta engine, IPS unit and electronic control system.

While product reliability is essential for Rohan, he said it’s equally important to deal with suppliers that provide outstanding support to his operations.

“The best thing about CPG is they do give you very good service and back up,” Rohan said.

“If there is a problem, you can go to them, you can have a rational conversation and it all gets sorted out. They keep you well-informed about everything that is going on and realistically I think that is the key to any relationship,” he said.

Product expertise paramount in customer service

Over the years, Dongara Marine has engaged CPG to supply and commission a range of products for its boat building operations.

CPG director Mike Cippitelli said the company provided outstanding support by building lasting relationships with customers and suppliers alike.

“We maintain very close ties with the product manufacturers to ensure our internal technical expertise and knowledge of the equipment remains sound,” Mike said.

“This is crucial to providing great outcomes for our customers, as is maintaining clear communication, being open and transparent and being responsive to their needs,” he said.

“This is particularly important when supplying and commissioning innovative equipment, such as the Volvo Penta IPS units, given customers aren’t necessarily familiar with these new-to-market products.”

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