Long-time lo­cals launch unique boat

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

AN UN­USUAL look­ing boat in the Port of Air­lie car park ear­lier this month drew quite a crowd of in­ter­ested passers-by.

The brand-new power tri­maran named I try, is an orig­i­nal de­sign by Whit­sun­day res­i­dent Joe Bucher.

Built of balsa wood and fi­bre­glass, the boat is 14.5me­tres long, with a 5.8me­tre beam and 0.6me­tre draft. Its fu­tur­is­tic-look­ing shape is all about “func­tion over form”, ac­cord­ing to Joe, who is a me­chan­i­cal de­sign en­gi­neer.

“I wanted to make it as stream­lined as pos­si­ble but still give it nice ac­com­mo­da­tion,” he ex­plained.

The boat has a max­i­mum speed of 15.2 knots, but for Joe and his wife Agi, the aim is not to travel fast.

“It’s a cruis­ing boat,” Mr Bucher said.

Joe, Agi and their two chil­dren Gil­lan and Nadine, ar­rived in the Whit­sun­days about 20 years ago aboard their first home-built cata­ma­ran Ton­garra. Ton­garra, which was also Joe’s orig­i­nal de­sign, was the first steel cata­ma­ran to be built to com­mer­cial sur­vey stan­dards in NSW.

Af­ter cruis­ing up and down the east coast of Aus­tralia, the fam­ily de­cided to start a busi­ness with the boat and set up char­ters for back­pack­ers out of Air­lie Beach.

They ran Ton­garra for 10 years, even­tu­ally sell­ing it in 2003, be­fore build­ing an Oram de­sign cata­ma­ran, which was wrecked in the storm of Fe­bru­ary 2008 along with about 70 other Air­lie Beach boats. Joe switched to build­ing ul­tra­light planes be­fore de­cid­ing it was “time to get back into boats again”.

I try took about two years to build and was fi­nally launched this month.

The Buch­ers said there was still quite a lot of work to do on launch day, hence they were un­able to spend time with many of the lo­cal res­i­dents and vis­i­tors who came to ad­mire their work.

“I’d like to apol­o­gise – at one time I could see eight cars. It was in­cred­i­ble. I wasn’t pre­pared for that,” Joe said.

The Buch­ers also wanted to thank all those who helped with the launch.

RAD­I­CAL LOOK: The un­usual-look­ing tri­maran 'I try' drew more than a pass­ing glance when it was launched at Port of Air­lie on Fri­day, June 14.

PROUD OWN­ERS: Long-time lo­cals Agi and Joe Bucher are the proud own­ers of 'I try', an im­pres­sive-look­ing tri­maran, de­signed and built by Mr Bucher.

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