The state-of-the-art commercial longlining vessel being built for the Abbott family of Narooma is nearing completion at an Adelaide shipyard.
The three siblings, Ryan, Todd and Hayley, still only in their 20s, have invested heavily in the multi-million-dollar vessel because they believe in the sustainability of the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery and the demand for their top-quality fish continues to grow unabated.
Todd Abbott and his father John this week travelled down to Adelaide to check on the big catamaran’s progress and are very pleased with the vessel taking shape.
“We’re very, very pleased and it’s looking great,” Todd said.
Other than a couple of 25-metre crayfishing boats operating in Western Australia, it will be one of the largest commercial fishing boats built in Australia, he said.
Related story: New long-lining catamaran being built
They are also able to announce the name of the new 25-metre-long and 10-metre-wide all aluminium catamaran will be the D&D, in honour of Dot and Des Creighton, the grandparents of Todd, Ryan and Hayley Abbott.
Todd Abbott said the vessel was just about finished inside the large shed at Calibre Boats, but it will have to be moved outside for the top wheelhouse roof to be fitted, as it was 10cm too tall for the shed. The entire building process was nearing 12 months.
He expected the vessel to be launched in six weeks time, after which they would sail it back to Narooma in a voyage expected to take two to three days.
But then there was still a lot of work to done, fitting out the vessel with refrigeration and hydraulics, which would be done at its berth at the Narooma town wharf.
Fortunately the Department of Lands was in the process of upgrading the northern end of the wharf, just in time for the new vessel to arrive.
The new D&D catamaran replaces the family’s current longliner the Fisco II that is currently fishing off Coffs Harbour, chasing a diverse range of pelagic species from albacore to yellowfin to mahi mahi for the Hayley’s seafood supply company.
Todd said the family would retain the Fisco II for the immediate future fishing her out of Bermagui until it was decided what to do with that vessel.
The catamaran design was chosen because it was very efficient, fast and also had shallow draft allowing it easily enter and depart over the Narooma bar crossing.
The family hoped to sail her as far away as Lord Howe Island because of her efficient and safe design.
“It’s safer with two engines and more economical,” Todd said.
It was hoped the vessel would be fully fitted out and ready to fish by October.