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Big thoughts on big boats

Big thoughts on big boats

by July 27, 2015 0 comments

Ever dreamed about 40-foot boats or bigger? We feature Big Boats of the Gold Coast and valuable insights from several owners on their decision to buy. The experience of these boaties will help you rationalise ownership of a boat of this size as they offer advice and precious tips.

VIKING 61 – C’Mon Aussie: Aussie meets Aussie in Florida

By Di Thompson

C'Mon Aussie at Anchor

When the owner of C’mon Aussie went searching for a vessel to purchase, he discovered there was not near enough big boat stock available in Australia. He soon took on a project to travel to Fort Lauderdale Boat Show in Florida and perhaps find the right one to import to Australia with a future plan to on-sell.

The criteria being:

  • It has to be a large sports fishing boat, suitable for family use.
  • Suitable for a reasonable crew of fishing mates.
  • A one-of-a-kind vessel suited to Australian sea conditions.
  • Cruise speed an easy 25 knots.

After four days at the boat show, he heard about a 61-ft Viking for sale. However, it was tied up to a private jetty behind a house an hour drive away. A vessel inspection was immediately organised by phone and the family were on their way. On arrival at the jetty and seeing the name on the transom, he thought it was freshly painted on for him to help close the sale. As it turns out, the owner was Australian professional golfer Robert Allenby at his home base in Florida.

Accepting the offer of an Aussie beer welcome, this potential new owner was now not only impressed by the ice-cold fridge. The Viking 61 is a monster-size boat with heaps of space for the family as well as his fishing crew. She cruises on 26 knots with a top speed of 34, has a massive engine room allowing easy access to all running equipment.

“This vessel certainly ticks all the boxes. And from what I understand, there is no other Viking 61 in Australian waters,” says the proud owner. “We took her for a test drive out to the Bahamas and with a huge following sea, she handled like a dream. And that is what sealed the deal.”

A few tips on buying a boat from C’mon Aussie owner:
  • Work really hard at it: the more you put into it the more you will get out of it.
  • The history of the boat is very important. Has it had a full time captain? What is its service and maintenance history? Has it done a lot of work or not enough work? Look at the total engine and generator hours and divide it by its age that will give you a feel for annual usage.
  • Engage a marine surveyor to do a survey and a marine engineer to do a mechanical check. Seek advice to ensure you are well informed about different types of inspections and testing that are available about the product on offer.

Key Features:

  • Build: Viking USA
  • Year: 2001
  • Propulsion: MAN 1300-hp diesels
  • Fuel capacity: 7000 lt
  • Water: 1200 lt
  • Genset: Onan 23 kva
  • Refrigeration: three freezers and seven fridges
  • Accommodation: three staterooms, three bathrooms, sleeps seven
  • Inclusions: water maker, A/C, bow thruster


HALVORSEN 42 – Eliza 1: The mariner’s choice

By Lois Voevodin


Former Port Phillip pilot, Captain Chris Coy and his first mate, Roslyn, have succeeded in making the transition from a British-built Fisher 37 Motorsailer to their dream vessel, a Halvorsen 42 Coastal Cruiser, an iconic Australian brand with a proven pedigree.

Eliza 1, named after their home town of Mt. Eliza in Victoria, has voyaged from their marina berth at Soldiers Point (NSW) to the calm water haven that is Hope Harbour Marina.

Master mariner and a true Brit, Cpt. Chris has served over half a century aboard all manner of ships and has cruised the hemispheres from the Arctic circle to Antarctica. Spending 25 years of service as a ship’s pilot in Melbourne and facilitator at the Australian Shiphandling Centre (only one of five such centres across the world), this salt knows the ropes—being responsible for the safe passage, conduct and navigation of 100,000-tonners.

However, it was a chance meeting with Mark Halvorsen at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show that sealed the deal and the creation of their new offshore-capable pocket pilothouse, built at Fu Shan in Southern China by Yardway Marine, designed by Harvey Halvorsen with supervision by Mark Halvorsen.

Ironically, it was the insistence of Roslyn Coy’s preliminary brief for her retirement choice in a cruising vessel to escape southern winters which changed the couple’s mindset from sail to power. Furthermore, her discerning input into the choice of decor, the desire for a spatial master stateroom with island bed, full walk-around decks accessible in all-weather conditions and suitability to their constant cruising companion, beloved beagle Mele, have resulted in a most distinguishable craft.

Having always admired the workmanship of the Halvorsen marque, style, superior finish and obviously, the captain’s final word on safety and sea-kindliness, their fully-optioned vessel met the seafarer’s requirements on all fronts.

Unique features are many aboard Eliza1 including a brilliant internal companionway of holly and teak, a separate pilothouse with full-sized chart table and a two-person watch seat. The leather and teak feature in the contemporary saloon is complemented by the functional gourmet galley with corian bench tops and clever storage.

Powered by a single Cummins 330HP diesel with bow and stern thrusters, achieving a comfortable cruising speed of 10 knots with economy and range, Eliza 1’s voyage is just as important as the destination.

This congenial couple regale with cruising tales and their past log books provide an enviable atlas of exploration. Aboard Eliza 1, having cruised as far north as Great Keppel, they reason anywhere further north is out of bounds (i.e., dog unfriendly due to National Parks restrictions) to their most important four-legged passenger, Mele.

Captain Chris’ tips on buying a vessel:

  1. Know why you are buying a boat.
  2. Know where and how you want to use it.
  3. Check comfort and modern conveniences to your taste. It can be hard work and expensive to change, so it is better to get it right the first time.

Halvorsen 42 Coastal Cruiser Principal Dimensions

LOA: 12.74 metres (41 ft 1 in)

Beam: 4.09 metres (13 ft 5 in)

Draft: 1.24 metres (4 ft)

Displacement: 14,414 kgs (32,000 lbs)

Water Capacity: 750 lt

Fuel Capacity: 1,500 lt


RIVIERA 48 – Nasty: From fishing to cruising

Interview with John Goody, owner of Nasty

Photo Nasty Morton Bay 18.5.14

Brand and make: 2004 Riviera 48 Enclosed Flybridge

Built in: Riviera Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Considerations for buying: We initially wanted a bigger fishing boat, but then the 48 caught our eye. The wife loved it so much she won’t let me fish off it and now it is used for cruising.

Primarily used for: Cruising.

Usually travel to: The Whitsundays. And anywhere from Lizard Island to Sydney.

Top tips for buying a big boat:

  • Talk to Ben Crawley, or talk to someone that knows what they are talking about and has experience with big boats.
  • Not every model suits everybody. They should be tailored to what you use the boat for: cruising up north you should have a flybridge, and cruising locally you shouldn’t need a flybridge.

Unique Features: Exceptional sea performance due to hull design, great fuel consumption and very liveable


DYNA 57 – Everybody needs a little place called Kokomo

Story by Rob Foster, owner of Kokomo


It was finally a boat that Rob owned that Kaye would actually get on.

The name was mentioned a couple of times in secret referral to mates and those in the know, like Tom, the broker. And anyone who knew, could not stop whistling the tune.

It was truly beautiful. Long and high, and white and gleaming gold, and styled to make a statement—a big one!

It looked like it was moving when it was just standing still.

Kokomo. Everyone needs a little place like that–right? The Beach Boys said so. And if you can’t trust the Beach Boys, you can’t trust your past.

Rob had six boats before this, but this was a ship. From years of owning and running fishing charters and pro fishing boats in the wildest parts of the Northern Territory that by necessity were built to survive, Rob had boats that were no more than functional and seriously safe—cyclone-safe, crocodile-safe. “Safe” in the Territory means reliable. Flash does not make reliable. Flash in the Territory has an unnerving lingering inevitability of failure about it. It’s like a challenge to the Territory itself, a terrestrial one. It says, “I’ll fix you—you flash bastard!” And it does.

The first time Kaye saw it, she loved it. It was nothing like the previous beaten-up examples. Rob knew at that minute it was his. Bewdy.

Now a quick test run: Melbourne to Hobart by the West Coast, then a straight delivery run to the Gold Coast. That would do.

On arrival at the Southport Yacht Club, it was still in the same shape.

Kokomo was in the building: 57 feet and 30 tonnes of tensioned fibreglass and stainless steel powered by two MTU tank engines, with beds, and air conditioning. It is a home unit on the Gold Coast and a big powerful long range Cruiser.

Rob was happy—Dyna Craft had built them right alright! He didn’t give any truck to what the other blokes had said now. He knew what it took and he’d be happy to take this one north, and that’s where she was headed. The long way.

Absolute confidence in a vessel is essential to the pleasures and joys of boating. Any lingering doubt tends to concentrate the mind. And rather than looking to what is coming up over the horizon and feeling the inherent excitement of adventure, your senses are concentrating on when and what was going to break, and how the hell you are going to get to safety if it did. It’s about lives—ask any experienced skipper.

And now Kokomo is ready with three months of over-the-horizon stuff coming up. Perfect time of year.

Rob can’t wait.



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