DEEP inside the Australian Marine Complex, Bicton resident Mark Stothard is overseeing the construction of the world’s largest all-aluminium superyacht, White Rabbit Golf.
Echo Yachts, which Mr Stothard launched with business partner Jurien Van Rongen in 2010, began work on the 84m long, 19m wide trimaran two years ago and the project is now just a year away from completion.
Mr Stothard said the boat’s owner shied away from the spotlight, revealing only that he was a Singaporean national with a passion for diving and wreck-finding.
“All of the aluminium body work is pretty much complete and the painting is about half-done,” Mr Stothard said.
“The fit-out and wiring is also well advanced, with a lot of the tricky areas underway, so the build is on track and coming together well.”
Once completed, the superyacht will sleep 22 guests and boast a crew of 32 – and that does not take into account a second 46m fibreglass catamaran that will shadow the main vessel.
“The shadow yacht has already been built and basically carries all the toys for the main boat, which include a hovercraft and four jet skis, as well as a 12m catamaran that hangs off the back.”
When Echo Yachts was established seven years ago, it employed just six staff, but the Henderson-based company now boasts a workforce of 270.
Mr Stothard said the project, the biggest ever superyacht built in Australia, was more complex than building a high-rise development.
“A skyscraper is full of rooms and luxury finishes and what-not, but you aren’t trying to build something that moves and floats and has to conform to international class requirements, nor something that has to generate its own power and water and deal with its own sewerage,” he said.
The external styling and interior of White Rabbit Golf, from the white marble and dark wood surfaces right down to the brand of cutlery on board, is the work of award-winning Fremantle superyacht designer Sam Sorgiovanni.
The completed vessel will displace 12,000 tonnes fully loaded and be capable of reaching speeds of up to 20 knots.