Ef Jay returns to Tweed birthplace for check-up
A BIG man needs a big boat. And when you are six feet eight inches (203cm) tall, most boats aren't big enough.
One of Darwin's biggest car-dealership owners, Kerry Ambrose-Pearce, has been visiting the Tweed, where his 18.3-metre-long and almost 10-metre-wide height-customised catamaran was laid up for maintenance work.
The $2 million giant, named Ef Jay after Holden dealer Mr Ambrose-Pearce's first car, was in the Tweed River adjacent to the Tweed Heads tick gates last week, turning a lot of passing motorists' heads and attracting a steady stream of curious boat lovers to its mooring.
After all, you can't really miss it.
It is one of the biggest modern-design catamarans in the world and certainly one of the biggest boats seen for a while in the lower reaches of the Tweed, built by Peter Loram of Chincogan Catamarans at Murwillumbah and designed by Kingscliff's Tony Grainger.
Mr Ambrose-Pearce, 58, said he had been looking for a really big boat to accommodate his super-size frame and after asking around the Australian catamaran community was impressed by the number of recommendations for Chincogan. He had owned motor boats for many years, but with the rising price of fuel he knew the time was right for a customised cat.
Initial plans to sail around the world were shelved in the wake of rising terrorism threats. Instead, he sailed Ef Jay "backwards" around Australia ? that means he sailed clockwise against the trade winds, waiting for weeks at a time in ports along the way for favourable conditions. The journey took 11 months.
Mr Ambrose-Pearce praised the Chincogan workmanship and the natural beauty of the Tweed.
- ED SOUTHORN