I wanted to upgrade from my last boat and decided that a 7m plate boat would be ideal -- it would still be easily towed and would provide the scope for the custom fit-out I had in mind. I had already started to make initial enquiries re pricing with a couple of builders when Col Svensson phoned me to let me know he’d be building boats with a new company: OriginBoats. Col and his team did a great job building my last boat in 2004.
I explained to Col what I had in mind and he soon had some drawings ready for me to see. I loved the look of the newOrigin Evolution. Knowing the build quality of Col’s work and his ability to customise to my requirements, I decided to go with Origin and their Evolution 7500. As the name suggests, it is 7.5m long and has a 23 degree deadrise.
The next big decision was the power plant. I had been considering a big single or twins. I really liked the idea of twins given the distance from shore that we fish on the GBR, but the capital outlay and servicing cost was of concern.
I had also thought about a diesel stern drive, but had never had any experience with this type of set-up. I was of the belief that it would be costly to install, maintain and weigh too much. However, I spoke with a friend who worked for MTU Detroit Diesel, and he gave me the low down on an Italian engine they were distributing.
The engine MTUDD had was a Lombardini, 2.4l, 5-cylinder turbo diesel producing 240hp. This could be supplied with any of the Mercruiser Bravo stern drives, and with the Bravo 2 it only weighed in at 400kg. The weight of this set up was less than twin 150hp 4-strokes, had all the diesel advantages of reliability plus I wouldn’t have to worry about the ethanol issues I would have faced with outboards.
The other surprising aspect was the price, which was less than a pair of 150hp 4-stroke outboards and relatively favourable when compared to a big single (e.g. 300hp 4-stroke). Given these advantages I ordered the 240hp Lombardini with the Bravo 2 stern drive.
The last boat Col built for me was in 2004. I lived in Brisbane and was able to make regular trips to the factory to see what was going on. This time I was living in Townsville, so I wasn’t able to drop in whenever I chose. To make matters worse, I was going to be in Europe for seven weeks during the early build stages.
I needn’t have worried though, as Col and Richard kept me up to date with regular photos and emails while I was overseas. The emails and photos continued when I got back, plus I got a call from Col or Richard a couple of times each week. I also got photos at least once a week, and more often when a milestone was approaching.
So far as the build process goes, I'll let the following pics tell the story.
|Flat pack arrives. It begins!|
|Framed! Hull frame work on jig.|
|Hull sheets tacked on.|
|Side sheet tacked on|
|Hull being turned over. Off the jig at last.|
|Main deck and side decks going in.|
|Cabin and cabin sides.|
|Hard top; Mk1|
|I asked Col to push the transom back to the trailing edge of the hull sheets.|
This has created a lot more space inside the boat.
|Duck board fitted.|
|Can't have too many rod holders!|
|Engine box complete|
|Looks like Mark is having too much fun before I do on my boat!|
|Toilet/shower cubicle. This is 1200mm high, allowing vision back from helm.|
The lid is lifted for access and a curtain hung for privacy.
|400 litre walk around fish box, 50mm insulation, fibreglass interior.|
|Port bench seat which houses a 100 litre fridge and a 100 litre freezer.|
The flap on the end extends this to a 6 foot long bunk.
|Under the helm seat. A two burner metho stove will live here.|
|Starboard side rope locker, to keep deck tidy when retrieving|
the pick on the float.
|Hard top Mk2 going on.|
|Hard top Mk2 and the boat looks much more balance now.|
It will also provide shade for our tropical environment plus allow
me to keep side curtains rolled up ready for use at all times.
|Hot work complete, off to the painters.|
|Back from painters.|
|Now for the fit out.|
|Lombardini 240hp from MTUDD installed.|
|Bravo 2 stern drive installed.|
|Stone guards fitted to trailer. Material is 1.6mm checker plate alloy.|
|Custom vinyl work.|
|These two pics show the custom padded windscreen protector.|
This is to protect the screen from stones on the highway.
Origin Alloy Trailer
The specs on the trailer to suit my 7.5m Origin;
· 5mm 5083 marine grade full structural alloy plate construction.· Fully welded frame
· Fully gusseted frame.
· Duratorque fully galvanized marinised rubber suspension 3500kg
· Alloy 15" wheels with 8 ply light truck tyres
· Upgraded callipers and rotors to stainless steel
· Two fully adjustable alloy slides with polyethylene skids
· 4mm Plate alloy mudguards
· Sensabrake System with alloy cover
· Heavy Duty Tie down lugs
· Heavy Duty Swing up jockey wheel
· Safety chains and shackles - rated
· H/D Winch· All LED lights
TARE = 570kg