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THE newest Licenced Fishing Boat (LFB) has arrived in the Bay after a twenty year journey.
Built in the Bay in times when the fleet has been shrinking, the Coralie is a testament to the quality of our local businesses that have risen to the challenge of a new build.
It is important in these times to maintain food security and the fishing fleet is one aspect of our nations food security.
The trawler was built over a 20 year period by locals Ted and Brad Mcleay.
It was finally launched successfully at d’Albora Marina’s Nelson Bay.
New owners Grant and Natalie Leeworthy pass their thanks on to the many Port Stephens businesses that supported them finishing the vessel.
“The Port Stephens business community were outstanding and supported us amazingly.
“I think most of the Bunnings and Repco staff had me on a first name basis,” Grant said.
For Grant and Natalie it was a touching moment to have the Mcleay family and friends gather to bless the vessel and remember Ted Mcleay who passed away earlier this year.
“I named the vessel Coralie to honour my Grandmother who was a stalwart, resolute and faithful Aussie woman, who helped her husband Reg retrain as a gardener after he injured himself working on the wharfs back when they lugged wool bails by hand.
“Ruth Mcleay reminded me of her so I thought it would be a good name for the vessel.”
The local fishing industry and Co-op has been helping out and so has d’Albora Marina’s.
“Everyone has been so helpful and particularly, I cannot thank the Mcleay family enough, they are amazing”.
Grant Leeworthy told News Of The Area, “The 12 metre vessel will engage in long lining and conduct commercial fisheries surveys.
“We plan to do inshore trawling and some long line fishing for snapper interstate.”
Coralie was built on a hard stand at Anna Bay.
“Getting Coralie to Nelson Bay from Anna Bay was not easy; the truck towing the 12 metre vessel was bogged, and even the prime movers wheels were spinning at one stage, we got it out with a crane then trucked it to the marina where she finally made it into the water at Nelson Bay,” he said.
Grant believes that the build injected well over $100,000 into the local business community and many of the businesses that were involved were in the small to medium size.
By Marian SAMPSON