18.6M ROCK LOBSTER FISHING BOAT 'MAVERICK'

SPECIFICATIONS

Type of vessel:Rock Lobster Fishing Boat
Home port:Port MacDonnell SA
Designer:Allseas Marine Designs Jim Wilshire
Builder:Shoreline Marine Fabrication
Length Overall:19.3m
Beam:5.4m
Draught:1.6m
Max Speed:27 knots
Fuel Capacity:5,000 litres
Fresh Water Capcity:150 litres

Steaming for almost 85 hours up to 240 nautical miles off the coast in the Great Australian Bight, the 18.6m fishing boat Maverick arrives at her home port of Port MacDonnell, capital of Australia’s Southern Rock Lobster industry.

At the helm owner/operator Zeb Johnston berths at the town jetty to be welcomed by wife Stacey and parents David and Liz as word spreads there’s a new boy in the harbour.

Just as Zeb did a few months earlier, the town’s crayfishing gurus turn out to inspect the newcomer. Maverick brings to two the number of new, modern and faster rock lobster boats designed with greater holding capacity to keep their catch fresh for live export to markets in China.

Built at a cost of approximatley $1.3M, Maverick can hold 46 baskets or 1.25 tonnes of Southern Rock Lobster in her salt-water tanks, plus the insulated racks along the transom carry one tonne of bait to replenish up to 140 cray pots during her three-to-four day excursions  into Victoria’s Western Zone, 45 minutes steaming time from home.

On the port and starboard rear quarter, the name ‘Shoreline’ broadcasts news of yet another customised fishing boat has arrived fresh out of the West Australian premises of Shoreline Marine Fabrication located in the Australian Maritime Complex at Henderson south of Fremantle. It joins BroJak, a similar build operated by the three-generation ‘Port Mac’ fishing family of Barry Williams that arrived in port in September last year.

“As soon as BroJak arrived in the harbour it attracted a great deal of interest. I walked up and down the wharf and I could not find anyone who could bad-mouth Shoreline Marine or builder Brad Moseley which is an amazing fete these days,” Mr. Johnston said as the low loader positioned Maverick under the boat lifter.

Within minutes the 21 tonne vessel was lowered into the waters of Cockburn Sound as technicians swarmed aboard for the customary pre-commissioning checks of the Scania 1,000hp engine and Furuno/Simrad electronics.

“I wasn’t necessarily looking at building a new boat but I saw what Barry came home with from Perth and it ticked all the boxes we needed. I was very impressed with it that I signed the contract purely from what I had seen of BroJak,” Mr. Johnston added.

The name Shoreline Marine Fabrication dates back to 2011 when certified boatbuilder and shipwright Brad Moseley teamed up with aluminum engineering tradesman Brad Van Rongen. Both worked for Henderson boat builder IMAX Marine founded by Bill Plug, the former owner of Image Marine; company names that put Henderson on the global shipbuilding map. In 2005 Mr. Moseley was appointed a Director of IMAX alongside Mr. Plug. Mr. Van Rongen was Production Supervisor. When Bill retired the two Brads established Shoreline Marine Fabrication to continue their business vision of building superior  quality plate aluminum commercial vessels and government patrol boats. Together they have 60 years’ experience and currently employ 18 tradesman.

Maverick has luxury accommodation for a crew of four, complete with satellite television, an overall length of just over 19m with a beam of 5.2m. “I had it built a bit narrower than BroJak in the hope of getting a faster boat as we have further to travel to our fishing grounds,” Mr. Johnston added.

With much of the interior under the main deck taken up with the engine room and holding tanks, the exhausts from the Scania 16 litre V8 pass through the skin of the vessel just aft of amidships and disperse fumes through port and starboard sponsons just above the waterline. The hard top rear awning over the work area has been extended to protect the skipper and crew from the elements.

Fully loaded with close to 6,000 litres of fuel, Maverick left Fremantle on a Thursday afternoon and arrived in Port MacDonnell in the early hours the following Monday. The trip took 85 hours, calling into to Esperance for an hour to take on extra refuel. The vessel carried two 1,000-litre bladders on its decks which were filled up at Esperance and the total voyage used around 8,700 litres of diesel.

“From Esperance we headed in a direct line across the Bight to the South Australian/Victorian border and at one stage were 240 nautical miles off shore. Our average speed was 18 knots and the crossing went really well. I’m hoping to get a bit more speed so might have to tweak the propeller now that we’re home.”

The vessel was designed by Allseas Marine Designs with a top speed of 24 knots.

Unlike BroJak which was trucked from Perth to Robe in South Australia and then steamed to Port MacDonnell, Maverick’s owner decided to drive the vessel home on what was a thorough shake down voyage.

by Barry Wiseman