At Noosa Marine, the expert team of boat builders is crafting a sleek Noosa 7, a 7-metre motor yacht designed by Director Julian Griffiths and only the second unit ever built, constructed using the lightweight and strong DuraKore and DuFLEX panel systems from ATL Composites.
Renowned for his expertise in building multihulls of the calibre of the Schionning G Force 2000 Special, KATO, a seriously fast cruising cat, as well as power cats from the pen of Roger Hill, including the 14-metre AYANA and 19.5-metre BAJACA, Julian is now focused on promoting his own designs under the Noosa brand.
Ten years ago, Julian built the first Noosa 7 as his own boat to a design he developed as he went along. It’s the kind of boat you’d see in Monaco and the Riviera, as luxury tenders to superyachts and day boats.
“It was ahead of the times,” he says of the compact craft that serves as an excellent day boat or weekender and is sturdy and stable enough for runs up to Double Island Point and Musgrave Island from Noosa at a top speed of 30 knots.
“I built the first one for myself, without plans, just making it up as we went along. On the second one we’re doing plans as we go. A draughtsman is measuring and doing the drawings which will be computerised. Then we’ll get a kit produced from ATL so future boats are a quicker build for us.”
Two days into this build, Julian received an enquiry from a Gold Coast couple who’d seen his original Noosa 7 on social media. “It was on Pinterest, of all places,” says Julian, delighted, yet still staggered.
They couple visited Julian’s factory at Noosaville on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and saw Julian’s boat in the flesh and bought the second vessel on the spot.
“The boat grabs a lot of attention,” says Julian. “It’s unique, classic but modern, simple, cool.”
With space for up to eight people, sleeping four in comfort, the Noosa 7 boasts a bathroom, deck shower and fridge under the helm. “It’s a great weekender. We take it offshore fishing or just island hopping.”
Its 140 hp Suzuki engine is all that’s required to top 30 knots. The incredibly light vessel weighs only 1,250 kg and at 2.3m wide x 7.3m long, it’s conveniently trailerable.
The first Noosa 7 was constructed using DuraKore Strip Planking for the hull, but the following models will be made of 100 percent DuFLEX Composite Panels in CNC routed kit form.
“DuFLEX is brilliant to work with,” says Julian. “You can create boats that are quicker, lighter and stronger. Our boats aren’t moulded, they are made by hand, using widely spaced temporary build frames that are CNC- routed from design files to the required shape. Large parts like hull panels are created by bending the flat panels around the frames, ensuring a fair hull shape.”
The DuFLEX Kit Technology also minimises material waste and tooling costs and simplifies quotations.
Other features of the Noosa 7 include a T top for protection from the elements, full size fridge and accommodation for up to four people.
“It handles really well because of its long waterline length, like a yacht,” Julian explains. “I took my sailing and yachting background and incorporated knowledge into a power boat.”
Build time is approximately three months and the cost of the Noosa 7 with engine and nav gear is $140,000.
“This is a hand built, high-end, epoxy composite product, unique and one-off, you are buying a custom vessel. It’s not for everybody, but we are hopeful of catering to a niche of coastal cruisers looking for something different.
“The best things are the simple things,” explains Julian. “That keeps everything down: weight, maintenance, price. We’re aiming to build around five to eight per year, it depends on labour.
There’s also a 10-metre version in the works, just waiting for somebody to spot it and make it their own. The larger model will be priced at $300,000. “It’s more like a super tender, European style with a V8 diesel inboard and the works onboard.”
Owners can be sure of after-sales support. “It’s my name, my pride that go into our boats,” asserts Julian. “Once you buy one of our boats, you’re in the family.”