The town of Narooma came out in big numbers to greet the big new commercial fishing boat the D&D when it sailed through the bar crossing after its maiden voyage.
The 25-metre, state-of-the-art, long-lining catamaran was built for the Abbott family of Narooma and will now be a unmissable fixture at the town wharf.
The three siblings, Ryan, Todd and Hayley, still only in their 20s, commissioned the vessel to take their business the next step, to deliver the fresh seafood that they value add, selling it direct out of the factory, at markets and to restaurants.
The vessel arrived in Narooma on Saturday afternoon, November 11 after departing Adelaide on Tuesday evening. The all-aluminium catamaran was built by Calibre Boats at Port Adelaide.
Skipper Ryan Abbott said seas were rough from Adelaide round to Melbourne but conditions calmed in the Bass Strait. The vessel however handled conditions great, despite riding bow high due to the fact it has yet to be fitted out with fishing gear and refrigeration.
The longliner will have to be a great sea boat as it will be travelling as far out as Lord Howe Island chasing pelagic species such as tuna and billfish.
Sailing through the bar in the 10-metre wide catamaran was an experience. “It looked a lot narrower than coming in the Fisco,” he said.
The family’s former vessel Fisco 1 remains working off Ulladulla bringing in fish for the business.
The new vessel while having much more space being a catamaran also only draws minimal water, about the same as the Fisco, and this ability to travel through the shallow bar was the reason why the family chose the catamaran design.
There were people at look outs and lining the breakwaters at the bar waiting for the vessel to arrive and an even larger crowd waiting at the town wharf.
Among them were Des and Dot Creighton, the Abbott siblings grandparents, whom the vessel was named after. Des was a fishing pioneer of the town starting out in 1949.
Eurobodalla councillor Phil Constable was at the wharf to greet the D&D and remembers Des Creighton’s big old fibro cement fishing boat the Flintstone that he built himself out the back of Narooma.
The new vessel was a far cry from that old boat, and its steered with a joystick and Recaro bucket seats.
Clr Constable said what the young Abbotts had achieved was impressive and the new fishing vessel was great for the town.
There was no rest for the hardworking family as Hayley and her mother Vicki were straight back to Canberra to sell fish at their market stall, while the boys will be on the boat tomorrow starting the big job of fitting out the vessel with everything from accommodation to electronics to the refrigeration system.