Photography by Norman R. Wright & Sons
Drawing on their 110-year history of custom-crafted vessels, Norman R. Wright & Sons have brought to life the vision of a seasoned sports angler in the “serious, go anywhere” game fishing boat called Aura.
The 60-foot flybridge vessel was designed in-house by their intergenerational team of naval architects: Bill Wright, Adam Evripidou (from their Sydney office) and Angus Cameron, who was recently honoured with the RINA Award in London.
Following the meticulous brief from the discerning Melbourne-based owner, one-off temporary moulds were built for all main components including hull, deck, deckhouse, flybridge and console.
“None of our boats is built in fixed moulds, allowing for every aspect of the build to suit the custom requirements of the owners,” explained Tony Riek, Norman R. Wright & Sons Managing Director.
“Aura features a warped planing hull with deep tunnels below the waterline with substantial flare forward, optimised to be stable at speed and at rest when fishing, whilst retaining superior performance at speed in a seaway or to and from offshore fishing grounds.
“This is achieved without the need for noisy hull bottom spray-rails or planning strakes. The transom shape including large radiused corners and high gunwhales was designed to facilitate backing up hard on fish.”
The structure was designed by composite engineering experts, ATL Composites to meet DnV-GL HSLC R1 High Speed Light Craft Rules.
The hull bottom is designed and constructed for 2g loading and is infused with epoxy resin and E-glass either side of a high density Divinycell structural foam core providing the ultimate strength-to-weight structure.
Topsides are also foam cored with the highly stressed impact zones such as the chines, keel and stem all being solid GRP.
Engine bearers are a combination of carbon fibre and E-glass with epoxy resin and run the full length of the hull to provide a rigid hull. The hull is a monocoque construction with the hull shell providing the strength and rigidity with minimal internal framing to maximise usable space.
The main deck, deckhouse and flybridge are all constructed in custom moulds using E-glass and epoxy either side of a Divinycell structural foam core.
The saloon boasts massive glazing offering extensive natural light, while the interior is a stylish and minimalist blend of stainless steel, leather and light timber details, comfortable enough for guests and crew to enjoy a well-earned rest during extended stints at sea.
Below deck, the fully-customised three cabin layout suits the owner’s main purpose, game fishing, with enough of life’s luxuries for the owner and crew, and a fourth cabin devoted to top-of-the-line angling equipment.
In the spacious self-draining cockpit, the game chair is by Release, and there’s a live bait well, plenty of refrigeration and an electric hopper window separating cockpit from saloon so guests can keep a firm eye on the action.
A custom game tower teamed with 43-inch triple spreader with 15-inch centre spreader Outriggers from Rupp Marine round out this impressive battle wagon.
Powered by twin Caterpillar 1825HP C32 ACERT engines pushes Aura along at an impressive top speed of 41 knots or 27 to 30 knots cruising. Featuring Twin Disc Quickshift gearboxes and EC300 with Palm Beach controls, means backing up on fish or berthing is a breeze.
A Seakeeper 16 was specified by the owner and will ensure exceptional comfort underway, at rest or when fighting fish. Twin Onan 19kVA generators power the extensive air-conditioning and other equipment whilst also offering redundancy.
According to her owner, Aura was five years in the planning.
“We did our homework overseas and here locally,” he explained. “Wrights offered everything we were looking for, years of design and building experience, a very functional company structure and people that are passionate about building boats.
“The other thing that must be mentioned was the build process and the overall experience, it was fantastic these guys were a pleasure to deal with.”
Aura’s skipper, accomplished big game boat Captain Simon Carosi has only praise for the new vessel.
“I’ve been lucky enough to work on and run some of the finest sport fishers built here and overseas. Hats off to the team at Wrights on creating one of the finest, right here in Australia.”
Situated on the Brisbane River, Norman R. Wright & Sons have been designing and building custom crafted motor yachts for 110 years.
The esteemed Australian boat builder has a reputation for building premium quality motor yachts incorporating traditional timber boat building techniques with state-of-the-art processes, products and materials.
“Aura was a very exciting project for our business as she allowed the application of our extensive design experience, teamed with the ability of our master trades people, working with the latest composite boat building materials to deliver exactly what our client required,” said Mr Riek.
“Aura is an exceptional example of our custom design and boat building capabilities, seldom offered by local manufacturers.”
Ocean Magazine will feature the full review of Aura in our January-February 2020 issue.