AUSMARINE AWARDS 2019 | Best Lobster Boat – Poppa G – Dongara Marine / Southerly Designs

AUSMARINE AWARDS 2019 | Best Lobster Boat – Poppa G – Dongara Marine / Southerly Designs


Best Lobster Boat – Poppa G – Dongara Marine / Southerly Designs

Poppa G is a lot more than just a big fast lobster boat. She can also operate as a 12-passenger offshore crew/supply boat and as a 70-passenger smooth water tourist boat. Her owner, Port Denison-based Bass Marine, has a boat with many strings to its bow.

Designed and built by the renowned Southerly Designs/Dongara Marine combination, Poppa G is a classic example of that group’s many talents.

The biggest, flashest, most multi purpose and technologically complex cray fishing vessel even constructed in western Australia, Poppa G has bells and whistles on its bells and whistles. Aside from all the technological inclusions, the configuration of Poppa G is unique in several aspects.

The owner specified a raised bridge position in line with his previous vessel, however the raised bridge was also dictated by the requirement to achieve AMSA AL72+ accommodation rating for the most number of people possible.

The raised bridge allows the lower accommodation deck to be also raised in the hull achieving a significant increase in floor space in the accommodation to fit AL 72+ accommodation for eight and a bathroom/laundry space.

Unusually for raided bridge type vessel the Poppa G also includes a flybridge.  The inclusion of a flybridge above a raided wheelhouse is relatively unusual on vessels of this style and presented quite a styling challenge.

Poppa G also features a unique arrangement of engine room ventilation – aimed specifically at improving the down flooding angle to afford maximum deck load capacity for prospective work in the offshore sector.

Poppa G is the most unique vessel that we have ever built at Dongara Marine,” Dongara Marine’s MD Rohan Warr told Ausmarine. “Whilst it is primarily setup as a lobster vessel it has been built with multi-purpose roles in mind for charter work and offshore oil and gas. All systems have full redundancies and it has the largest live lobster capacity of any vessel in Australia at 6.5 tonnes.

“On top of this the sea-keeping and performance is still outstanding and exactly what you would expect from Southerly Designs. The overall finish of this vessel and technical systems that are on board are far beyond anything that we have done before at Dongara Marine.

“With the complexities and specific custom requirements that Bass Marine wanted on this vessel I think there would have been few other companies capable of offering such a bespoke vessel for them. Once again I think the relationship and trust that had been previously built over many years contributed to securing the contract.

Warr said the future emphasis of the lobster boat industry will be on delivering the best live product to market. This will mean that on board air systems for live cray tanks and correct pump flow rates and capacities will become crucial.

“I think the trend towards larger vessels to make catch rates more efficient will continue, however I don’t think that we will see another vessel eclipsing Poppa G in the near future,” Warr added. “The 21-metre vessel that we currently have under construction for Dave Perham will be a very nice boat and this may suit buyers with quotas that are under 50 tonnes, so we may see some growth in this area.”

“We see the market for the largest boats (like Poppa G, Holdfast and Daydawn) being almost saturated,” commented Andrew Taylor, Managing Director of Southerly Designs.

“A few more vessel in the second tier size (such as Gambler, and the new 21-metre vessel currently under construction) are probably likely. We also expect that there will at some point in the near future be a wave of renewal in the smaller vessel sizes – 16- to 20-metre, single screw, ‘back-to-basics’-types of vessels.”

See all the 2019 “Best Of” award winners right here.


Published since 1978, Ausmarine is the foremost magazine servicing the Australian and New Zealand commercial, military and government marine sectors.