by Jeni Bone
A partnership among two generations of boating luminaries: Luke Durman, Tom Barry-Cotter, Grant Senior and Billy Cranston, is working on the launch of a sleek new sportsyacht under the brand Elandra Yachts.
Translated from the indigenous word for 'Your Home By the Sea', Elandra is the brainchild of brothers Luke and Tom, who envisaged a new breed of sportsyacht that will have all the hallmarks of the group's expertise gained over decades of involvement with iconic marques, Maritimo and Riviera, plus that 'something extra' they felt was missing from the current offering.
While reluctant to reveal too many details more than a year out from launch - at this stage slated for the 2014 Sydney International Boat Show - Luke Durman said that 'picking the best talent for this project was our aim'.
Tom Barry-Cotter is responsible for much of the design work, in tandem with an experienced draughtsman, and with naval architecture handled by Grant Senior, whose background includes Formula Cruisers in NZ.
Under the tagline: 'Inshore Elegance. Offshore Attitude', the Elandra will have all the design appeal of a European sportsyacht, with the capacity and stamina for performance offshore and long range cruising.
The first boat is underway at Elandra's new premises in Arundel on Queensland's Gold Coast. It will be a 50ft boat, designed in-house, and destined for unveiling at SIBS 2014.
With a very targeted buyer in mind her design details, specification and price are still being finalised, but Luke said they will release more information towards June-July 2013.
'It will be a high quality product,' he added. 'We're not your typical production builder. It will be a semi-custom, high spec motor yacht, and for that reason, we have to stand behind it. The warranty will be a superior offering to that which is currently on the market.'
Like their father (or step-father in Luke's case), Bill Barry-Cotter, his sons will be making their own way. 'This was something Tom and I both wanted to do. There's no animosity there.'
As for whether there will be further models in the range, Luke said 'the 50-53ft will be launching first with perhaps a larger model in a few years time'.
'It's hard to compete with US and European imports if you build any smaller,' he stated, acknowledging that the predominant markets for the new brand will be Australia, New Zealand and eventually the US.
'We realise we have a grand vision, but it takes little steps,' added Luke.
More at www.elandrayachts.com and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Elandra-Yachts/341528335962801
Elandra - all will be revealed at Sydney International Boat Show in 2014.