Locally built catamaran ‘Emotion’ steps mast, moves one step closer to the ocean

The 21.5 mast and boom were lifted by Lofty Cranes from Mr Lyall’s oyster barge onto Hawks Nest wharf.

STEPPING closer to the ocean, the locally built catamaran ‘Emotion’ had its mast ‘stepped’ at Hawks Nest’s Pelican Park Wharf on Monday, 3 April.

In the dismal, wintry morning, the 21.5m twill-finished carbon fibre mast was ferried from Carrington, in two sections, upon John Lyall’s oyster barge, then hoisted onto solid ground by Lofty Cranes.

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Local carpenter Winnie brought the third and final piece, the boom’s furler, by road, telling News Of The Area (NOTA), “It’s probably worth more than my car!”

Boat builder Nigel Holt, with Emotion owner Rob Cave, guided the pieces to safety, then prepared the complicated electronics and connections for the stepping later in the day.

At mid-morning, Emotion left Tea Gardens public jetty, glided under the Singing Bridge, and sidled silently up to the Hawks Nest wharf.

The catamaran’s sleek ‘Matterhorn White’ paint job, courtesy of Ian Car, conjured the visage of a spaceship, crossed with a manta ray, when viewed from the front.

“The mast weighs 300kg, and its fully-assembled 21.5m won’t fit under the Bridge,” Mr Cave informed NOTA, alluding to the Singing Bridge’s 10.6m safe clearance limit.

“It was actually my first ‘voyage’ as we said ‘Goodbye Tea Gardens, hello Hawks Nest’,” said co-owner Anna Cave.

“Since the launch, we’ve been amazed by the interest from locals, and want to thank everyone for their support and well-wishes,” Mrs Cave told NOTA.

“’Stepping’ is the whole process of raising and attaching the mast, and we’re following a traditional attaching of a silver coin at the mast’s bottom,” Mrs Cave explained.

The silver coin was donated by Paul Johnson, a retired policeman from the Central Coast.

The morning’s wintriness yielded to a trademark sunny Hawks Nest afternoon, as rigger Bart, from NZ Spars & Rigging, ascended the mast to ensure the connections.

The sails and jib will be added in coming weeks, after which Emotion will move from the estuary into the bay to begin sea trials, one ‘step’ closer to her ambition of sailing around the world.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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