Notorious draws spectators at Yamba
A REPLICA 15th Century pirate ship has pillaged the pockets of holiday makers so successfully it will return to Yamba next weekend.
Ship owner Graeme Wylie said his vessel, Notorious, which he built over 10 year in Victoria, has been a huge hit since it moored at Yamba Shores Tavern on Friday.
"We haven't tallied it up yet, but it would be in the hundreds," Mr Wylie said.
He said the vessel, which was similar in design to vessels used by Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama on their voyages of exploration, had something for everyone.
"Kids love the idea of seeing a pirate vessel up close and for boatbuilders and woodworkers it's a great example of their craft," he said.
Mr Wylie built Notorious over a 10-year period in Western Victoria before embarking from Lakes Entrance on a voyage up Australia's East Coast three months ago.
He classes the vessel as a museum ship, although it is a purely private venture.
"It's a unique vessel," he said. "Normally a boat like Notorious would be run by a museum trust.
"This vessel was financed by my wife, Felicite, who worked while I built her.
"Our daughter Tegan has been crewing for us on this voyage."
In addition to the fees, the pay-off for the Wylies has been the smiling face of the people visiting her.
"It's a real wake-up call for people who didn't realise what the scale of a vessel from the 14th or 15th Century was," he said.
"It's not like something from the Pirates of the Caribbean."
Mr Wylie said the boat would moor in Iluka Bay during the week, giving the crew a rest.
"We'll be back at Yamba Shores Tavern next weekend," he said.