First look at Dreamworld co-founder's new $2.5m boat
IT'S Dreamworld co-founder and two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Tony Longhurst's new 65-foot, $2.5 million luxury catamaran and it's the definition of state-of-the-art.
Even the dog bowl is carbon fibre.
Julian Griffiths, a boat builder of 25 years and owner of Noosa Marine, and his team of five, as well as subcontractors, have spent the past 14 months building the massive, multi-hull vessel in Noosaville.
The team are now about a week away from craning the boat into the Noosa River, steering it across the bar and sailing it down to Mr Longhurst's Coomera marina.
The sleek, carbon fibre catamaran comes in at just under 20m in length and is 8.6m wide, making it the largest boat Mr Griffiths and his crew have built, eclipsing a 63-footer they finished last year.
Mr Longhurst - who founded Dreamworld, which opened in 1981, with his father John - has a penchant for boats.
He owns The Boat Works marina in Coomera and his latest mega-boat is the second he's had built by the Noosa Marine team, who finished his previous boat about three years ago.
His latest vessel, also named Kato, is fully customised with two master bedrooms, two master bathrooms, is fully self-contained with air conditioning, fridges, freezer, water maker and can be sailed single-handedly.
"It's a world-cruising boat," Mr Griffiths, also a close friend of Mr Longhurst's, told the Daily.
Mr Griffiths said the boat's propulsion was fully electric as were its auxiliary motors, with solar panels on board providing the power, while a back-up generator could be called upon if there was not enough sun to power the cruiser.
The Noosa boat builder said while the technology was already in use, there were eyes from around the globe on Mr Longhurst's boat to see whether solar-electric power would work on a cruising yacht of that size.
There's America's Cup technology in the catamaran's sails while the masts are from South Africa and also carbon fibre.
Mr Griffiths said it was a cruising vessel, but expected it could reach speeds of up to 30 knots.
Mr Longhurst is no stranger to speed, having enjoyed a successful touring car career, taking out the coveted Bathurst 1000 twice, before his V8 Supercars career wrapped up in 2007, while he's also a champion water skier.
Aside from a few finishing touches, including electronics, windows and some upholstery, Mr Griffiths said the boat was finished, the only hurdle left getting the permits to transport the massive vessel and picking the right conditions to navigate the yacht through the at-times treacherous Noosa River mouth, onto Mooloolaba for testing, and then to Coomera.
With the rig and sails Mr Griffiths said the cost of constructing the dream boat was more than $2.5 million and with two similar boats already on order from other buyers, the next few years will be busy for the Noosa Marine team.
So what will Mr Longhurst be doing with a cruiser of that magnitude?
Mr Griffiths said it would ferry Mr Longhurst and his wife to all their favourite kiteboarding and stand-up paddleboarding destinations, with plenty of customised space on-deck for his boards.
"Even the dog bowl is a carbon fibre dog bowl, just to save on weight," Mr Griffiths said.
Mr Griffiths, who owns Noosa Marine with his wife, Jenny, said he and Mr Longhurst had become "pretty good friends" over the years and were also partners in a racing boat.
He said his team had been keeping a pretty "low profile" as they worked away in their shed on the stunning vessel for more than a year.