Failure a no-go zone for remote luxury adventure boat

Failure a no-go zone for remote luxury adventure boat

When you’re adventure cruising through some of the most remote places in the world the last thing you want is a breakdown.

That’s why Chad Avenell – director of True North, which offers luxury cruises to remote wilderness areas – doesn’t mince his words.

“The confidence we need in the vessel is absolute,” Chad said.

True North is a 50-metre luxury boat purpose built for small groups to go adventure cruising to hard-to-reach places in northern Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

“It is a high-end product, we have high-end guests that come on and book a long time in advance,” Chad said.

“We can’t have a breakdown, there can’t be a failure.”

True North refurb demands tight timeframe

Each year, around March, True North leaves Fremantle to circumnavigate Australia, which involves cruising up to remote areas in the Kimberley, Indonesia, West Papua and Papua New Guinea. 36 new guests arrive every 7-13 days – flown in on True North’s private helicopter.

All up, the boat completes about 300 charter days a year before it returns to Fremantle for its annual refurbishment, including mechanical repairs and maintenance.

As part of the works, True North engages CPG to service the boat’s gearboxes, which requires a pretty tight timeframe, as Chad explains.

“Our refit period is 5 to 6 weeks, but the period they (CPG) get is about a week-and-a-half to two. We had a pretty big overhaul of our gearboxes this refit, and CPG really came to the party,” Chad said.

“That is exceptionally good service. I would struggle to find other people to do that in that sort of timeframe,” he said.

Speed and quality pertinent for True North

CPG director Mike Cippitelli said in the context of True North’s broader annual refurbishment, the gearboxes were some of the last pieces of equipment that could be taken out, but also the first pieces of equipment that needed to be put back in.

“That means if we don’t run on time, there is a domino effect that will delay the boat’s entire refurbishment,” Mike said. “To avoid that we complete meticulous planning, maintain open communication and work very closely with True North and their other suppliers to ensure the works run efficiently.”

Speed isn’t the only factor though, as the works need to be completed to the highest standard.

“Quality work and parts are critical to avoid any issues when the boat’s cruising through remote wilderness areas – be it the Rowley Shoals in north-west Western Australia, Wayag Island in West Papua or the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea,” Mike said.

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