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Family boatbuilding venture doesn't quite fit the bill

by Mark Rothfield on 15 Aug 2013
The elegant Elandra 5 will be built on a semi-customised basis Elandra Yachts
It’s likely there’ll be more eating turkey than talking it when the family Christmas dinner rolls around at Chez Barry-Cotter this year, following the launch of Elandra Yachts in Queensland.

Bill Barry-Cotter, family patriarch and founder of Maritimo, is apparently somewhat riled with the decision of stepson Luke Durman and son Tom Barry-Cotter to start what appears to be a rival company.

Elandra’s newly released hull renders and concept interior layouts reveal a shaft-drive 53-footer that squeezes into the market segment occupied by Maritimo’s C53 Cabriolet, S50 Motor Yacht and Mustang 50 … albeit the Elandra will be a semi-customised, minimal production offering.

Funnily enough, it’s the sort of thing Bill may have done himself. When he sold Mariner Cruisers in the late 70s, Bill reputedly pocketed around $3 million … and his parting words were ‘one day I’ll get this business back for 10 bucks’.

Riviera Marine was his eloquent response and a decade to the day later Bill was haggling with Mariner’s liquidator. When the negotiations got down to the goodwill, he offered 10 bucks.

‘The liquidator said it had to be worth a million,’ Bill once told me. ‘Finally he said, 'I’ve heard the story and you’re never going to get it for $10 – what about $12?', and I said ‘it’s a deal'.’

Years later, when Bill sold Riviera for enough to live happily thereafter, he started Maritimo. The man he mentored at Riviera, Wes Moxey, did a similar thing by creating the Belize brand.

It’s in their blood.

But that was business. Luke and Tom are family, and it’s a possible blow to Bill’s succession planning if nothing else.

Unabashed, Luke Durman cites a difference of opinion in how production boats should be built and marketed that led to them ‘going it alone’. He said Elandra was dedicated to building more bespoke craft for discerning buyers.

Elandra is well advanced in its program to launch the 53 next July, having recently rolled the hull plug and developed deck and cabin top moulds.

Plans show a three-cabin layout with full-beam master suite amidships and a vast entertaining area from cockpit through to saloon and galley.

Durman teamed with naval architect Grant Senior to develop the Elandra concept and, according to Senior, they chose a sports yacht because of its versatility in handling inshore and offshore waters.

‘The hull has a fine bow with a slight flair and broadens out to a 17-foot beam that’s maintained all the way aft,’ Senior said.

‘The running surface is a variable deadrise, curving to a convex shape. This provides the buoyancy and efficiency to cruise through even the most undesirable sea conditions.’

The hull will be hand laminated with quadraxial fibreglass cloth, reinforced with kevlar. Every element of each boat, right down to serial numbers of individual components, will be recorded.

‘We have set the build quality benchmark high,’ Durman said. ‘We are offering a world-class warranty and a
level of service that is second to none.

‘The idea is, you don’t call us with a problem, we’ll call you and arrange a service before there is a problem.’
Let’s hope he doesn’t have a problem calling Bill …
Boat Books Australia FOOTERMariner Boating 2021 - FOOTER38 South - Sun Fast 3300 - FOOTER - Sept2021

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