Long-time locals launch unique boat
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.