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The Best of Both Worlds

Tuesday, 03rd March 2015

Want a weekend getaway that's affordable, has water views and that you can reach without sitting in traffic for hours? Read on.

She’s a brand new idea in house-boating. Innovative, eco-friendly, stable and very spacious. She’s called the Mothership and it is berthed on the outer arm of Akuna Bay, less than an hour from the Sydney CBD.

For just $200,000 you can own a quarter of her, plus $8,000 a year for your share of berthing, maintenance and insurance costs. But it gets better. If all owners agree the Mothership can provide an income through charters for corporate days and upmarket eco experiences.

The Mothership is innovative. She is 13.7 metres (45 feet) long and propelled by powerful electric motors that are ‘fuelled’ by solar panels. Sleeping up to 12 in comfort, she caters for the ever-changing needs of families. With space for relatives, friends - and probably more importantly, children’s friends - she is a great alternative to a traditional holiday house. 

“Once you take the distractions of modern life away it’s amazing how quickly families come together,” says Mothership designer, Tim Knox. “Swimming, fishing, paddle boarding, lots of talking, followed by a meal around a big dining table . . . it’s what builds family bonds and memories.” 

The Mothership is a sophisticated boat but Tim has done all he can to hide technology away and maximise cabin space.

“Travelling slowly with the bi-fold doors open and not a sound coming from the motors is wonderfully relaxing,” says Tim. “All you can hear is water lapping against the hull, and birds singing. If your family and friends need a tonic you’ll find it on the water.”

Strictly speaking it’s not legal to live permanently on a boat in NSW but many people do by having ‘off’ days and spending a few days a year ashore. However this wouldn't apply to shared boat owners who would be able to spend their full quarter on the boat, either on a mooring or berthed at Akuna Bay.

Specific details of the Mothership: 

Lower Deck Using the hulls as cabins is an innovative feature borrowed from sailing catamarans and allows full use of the other decks. There are four separate cabins each offering intimate views of the water.

Main Deck The main deck is where the Mothership offers the luxury and space equal to a boat twice her size and cost. The sofas are placed on small plinths allowing easier viewing of the natural world outside. Each sofa comfortably seats four adults. Interestingly, younger members prefer to sit on the plinths. The two swivel chairs allow 360 degree views. All 12 passengers can sit together in the main deck. The sofas can also be turned into further bed space.

Moving aft there is access to the sleeping accommodation and two generous bathrooms with shower, toilet and washbasin. At the aft of the boat is a comfortably large galley/dining room. Bi-fold doors completely open up the forward and aft decks, while louvered windows along the port and starboard sides provide exceptional views and ventilation. A second steering station can be swung down from the main deck ceiling if the weather is inclement or for close quarter manoeuvring. 

Upper Deck A stunning feature of the Mothership is the Upper Deck, offering all round views of the natural world. No other vessel offers a similarly spacious area. This is the perfect place to relax and entertain. 

Owners can be smug in the knowledge that whilst they are having fun, the solar panels above the awning are working hard to charge Mothership’s batteries. It’s a great place for kids to sleep under mosquito nets and gaze at the moon and stars.

Motors and Powers Storage

Each hull is powered by a 20KW electric motor. Electric motors are smaller and lighter than internal combustion engines, offering a greater weight for power ratio. Elco, the manufacturers of these motors, state that they are equivalent to 40HP diesel motors. Electric motors are quiet so cruising with the drone of a motor is a thing of the past. Best of all – no diesel fumes or greenhouse gasses. Efficient hulls and powerful engines mean speed. The top speed of the MotherShip is around 7 Knots. 

Batteries to power the motors are charged by solar panels. As a back-up there is a diesel 12 KVa generator. When fully charged, the batteries provide enough power to cruise at a speed of 4-5 knots for 6 hours. When the diesel generator is switched on, cruising speed can be maintained indefinitely.

For more information and high-res photos please contact:

Tim Knox - 0407 788 912, www.mothershipmarine.com.au


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