Four years of hard work pays off for Pillar Valley couple

IN PROGRESS: A snapshot of Pillar Valley resident Chris Firth's boat build, taken from his blog SeeBeeZee.
IN PROGRESS: A snapshot of Pillar Valley resident Chris Firth's boat build, taken from his blog SeeBeeZee.

THE triumphant result of four years of blood, sweat and tears was realised when a home-built five-tonne catamaran was launched into the Wooli River yesterday.

What started as a set of plans and a shipment of wood for Pillar Valley couple Chris Firth and Birgit Golden has over three years taken shape in a shed on their rural property.

“We looked at one of these a few years ago and thought, we can do that,” Ms Golden said.

“When we started Chris was working so we would work on it in the early morning, after work and on weekends.”

The build gradually became a full-time job for both of them, and on Monday one wall of a purpose-built shed to house the boat was removed in preparation for its journey to the water.

Wooli Rd was closed for close to an hour yesterday morning as the 6.1m wide load made its way to the Wooli wharf on the back of a North Coast Heavy Towing truck, which was accompanied by a police highway patrol car and three pilot vehicles.

A crowd of admiring onlookers was then drawn as the boat was unloaded at the wharf by a 50-tonne Kato slew crane and lowered into the Wooli River.

At the launch yesterday, Ms Golden said they were both immensely relieved to have SeeBeeZee safe in the water.

“I’m actually amazed at the job we did.”

Friend John Hall, who was one of a number of people to lend a hand with parts of the build, said the couple put their “heart and soul” into the project.

“They spent three whole years; morning, noon and night,” he said.

“They worked really hard on it and it shows because it’s a beautiful boat.”

The Easy Cat will motor to Yamba in coming days, where sails will be attached.

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