WATCH: $2.5 million luxury yacht leaves Noosa
IT TOOK 14 months and $2.5 million to build Dreamworld co-founder and two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Tony Longhurst's new luxury yacht which today faced its first test.
His 65-foot catamaran 'Kato' was expertly steered through the Noosa River mouth this morning in its maiden voyage by Noosaville boat builder Julian Griffiths, a close friend of Mr Longhurst.
The carbon-fibre, luxury cruiser is the biggest boat built by the team at Noosa Marine and is being sailed south to Mooloolaba for testing for the next few days, before it will be sailed down to Mr Longhurst's Coomera marina The Boat Works.
Measuring just under 20m in length and about 8.6m wide, Mr Griffiths and his team had to get special approvals to transport the massive boat to the river, where it was craned into the water and then steered across the often-treacherous Noosa bar.
The fully-customised yacht even has a carbon fibre dog bowl and is decked out with two master bedrooms, two master bathrooms, is fully self-contained with air-conditioning, fridges, freezer, water maker and can be sailed single-handedly.
The fully-electric boat was expected to reach speeds of up to 30 knots and is solar powered, with a back-up generator for days the sun isn't bright enough to power the boat.
Mr Griffiths said the catamaran had been a dream to steer out this morning, speaking to the Daily as the boat was cruising at a leisurely 6.5 knots, under power, past Sunshine Beach this morning.
"So far so good," he said.
The generator was in use this morning with a few rain clouds around limiting the amount of solar power generated.
There's a team of five on-board this morning while Mr Longhurst is following closely in a rigid inflatable boat to keep an eye on his new toy, taking plenty of pictures and monitoring its performance.
Mr Griffiths said the atmosphere was very relaxed on board this morning as they cruised what will be about a four-hour trip to Mooloolaba, where the yacht will have its sails and rig fitted before a few days of ocean testing out of Mooloolaba, including some full-speed sailing to test out the vessel's capabilities.
The boat was craned into the Noosa River yesterday morning, causing some minor traffic delays as motorists slowed down or stopped to check out the huge boat as it was transported.
"It went really smoothly," Mr Griffiths said.
Mr Griffiths said Mr Longhurst, the Australian touring car legend, spent last night on-board and was "pretty excited" by his new boat.