He then built "Seahawk" a half cabin in-built motor of 18 ft. He found this too small for safety to get to the Barrier Reef and built "Seaspray" 26 ft. His designs were quite revolutionary with planeing hulls and sleek lines. "Seaspray" could travel at 26 mph and was the fastest boat in Mackay.
He then built "Osprey" a cabin cruiser of 32 ft. This was designed for cruising around the many islands of the area. He launched "Osprey" in the Pioneer River, and I was fortunate to be a passenger at the launching. It was beautiful.
Boats were ABM's other life.
Fishing, the beach and boats were his recreation and he enjoyed them to the full. He had his first boat at Shoal Point in partnership with another man. It was called "Whippet".
It was not a sheltered bay and it continually broke its moorings and eventually was smashed up on rocks. That decided his move to Eimeo to a quiet creek outlet.
Slept 6 people, had a galley fitted with all stainless steel cooking implements, which he made and it behaved exactly as he had intended. (this was about 1944) He travelled around to the Mackay Harbour that afternoon and moored it at a mooring within the breakwater. That night a cyclonic storm came up and the boat broke both fore and aft steel ropes holding it to the mooring and it crashed into the breakwater and sank. This broke his heart. He had it raised, put it in the yard at Malcomson Street, and sold it "as is".
He still hadn't a suitable boat for cruising, so he bought a boat, nothing like his own designs, did a lot of work on it, called it "Kingfisher" and it suited his purposes while he concentrated on his dream boat.
"C-King" was 39ft., slept 11 had a wonderful wheel house galley and dinette, and a deep sea fishing well at the rear. By the time building was complete, he was aged 70.
He finally sold "C-King" but retained "Seaspray" and they obtained a lot of pleasure from it, until he sold it when he was about 87.
He and my Mother then chartered the ship, she was cook, but time was running out for them and after a couple of years they found the size of the ship too much to handle.
Anne kept a diary of some of these trips.
He had designed it for charter, and to achieve this he had to hold a Captain and Marine Engineers ticket. This he obtained by examination and, as he said, he was probably the only person holding both tickets.
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