MURWILLUMBAH boat builder Steve Peterson is putting the finishing touches to the largest vessel built in the town.
MURWILLUMBAH boat builder Steve Peterson is putting the finishing touches to the largest vessel built in the town.

Super cat symbol of expertise

By PETER CATON

SHE weighs 23 tonnes, is as long as a cricket pitch, and has been valued at $3 million.

She's the biggest boat to be built in Murwillumbah in recent times and a stunning symbol of the growth in the town's marine industry.

Steve Peterson, proprietor of Ramtech Custom Catamarans in Quarry Road, Murwillumbah, plans to personally deliver the giant "cat" to its Singaporean owner later this year.

The boat is due to undergo sea trials following a launch at Condong in about six weeks, which may itself require military precision.

Mr Peterson said Country Energy had been helpful in ensuring the craft, loaded onto an Action House Removals truck, can slip under power lines on the way to the launch site.

The 19.6m long by 7.7m wide catamaran, with a draught of one metre when sitting in the water, will be lifted into the Tweed

River by crane.

Final fitting out of the four cabins, stateroom, separate crew quarters and command deck is currently underway. By the time she hits the water 46,000 man hours are likely to have been spent on her construction.

Mr Peterson said the craftsmanship was all local ? from quality polished woodwork in the cabins, highly technical electrics and the latest fibreglassing techniques to engineering and stainless steel fabrication.

The Singaporean businessman, who'll be able to keep in touch with his office by phone, internet and email from anywhere in the world by satellite, has tentatively named the craft Otoro, which Mr Peterson said was Japanese for "best of tuna". He said Otoro was a Jutson custom design ? "the only one like it".

Two 420hp Yanmar engines will provide the top speed of a light ship at 23 knots, a cruising speed of 12-14 knots, with a 1500 nautical mile range costing "four dollars a nautical mile to run".



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