GEAR | Holdfast demonstrates big boat benefits


With tanks for 208 baskets (6.2 tonnes) of lobster, Holdfast was the largest capacity high-speed lobster boat in Australia when it was launched in early 2018.

Nearly two years later, that title has passed to Poppa G – also a product of Western Australian boatbuilder Dongara Marine – but the Cockman family and crew members continue to enjoy the benefits of a big boat, especially when undertaking multi-day voyages far offshore.

The seakeeping of the Southerly Designs hullform is a major factor but so are other habitability factors such as quietness, with all wheelhouse and accommodation areas being at or below 71dB. Those low noise levels are achieved at full power, when the twin 680kW diesels the 25.95-metre-long, 6.8-metre-wide boat can better 23 knots.

The use of a resin-infused composite wheelhouse, which Dongara Marine manufactures for both its own and other builders’ projects, contributes to these quiet onboard spaces as well as reducing weight and improving finish quality.

Holdfast was the first vessel completed in the larger facilities Dongara Marine expanded into during 2017. In addition to managing vessel construction, including producing the wheelhouse and Niche Marine’s hull subcontract, Dongara Marine undertook all engineering and fitout; acid sealing and painting; electrical work; installation of the windows; and project management of specialist subcontractors who contribute to building a vessel of this size and complexity.

“This was the seventh boat we have had built and despite it being the largest and most complicated, it was also the easiest build process,” commented Bruce Cockman. “We were able to work really well with the guys at both Southerly and Dongara Marine.”

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Baird Maritime Gear Editor

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