Steve Ackerie – otherwise known as Stefan from the world of hairdressing – is, in case you weren’t aware, a bit of a boatie. In fact, this is a mild understatement, as he’s an incredibly accomplished powerboat racer – a six-time Australian speedboat champion who also holds the world record for the fastest crossing of the Bass Strait.
So it’s not surprising perhaps that his latest venture is a boating venture, not a hair venture. He’s spent a year and a half and around $10M preparing to launch Stefan Boating World, which will offer a range of boats priced at a big discount to current comparable models from other manufacturers.
Based in Coomera on the Gold Coast, the company will be selling its boats at up to a third less than competing watercraft. Stefan has imported 200 boats from Europe and Asia and has opened a showroom he claims is one of the best in the world.
The range offered by the company includes French designed tinnies and cubbies (boats with half cabins), and European manufactured Karnic boats, with one model boasting a double bed and toilet. “It’s the most luxurious small boat in the world,” said Mr Ackerie.
Some of the boat designs also have unique features, such as inflatables with glass bottoms and tinnies with fibreglass bottoms.
In our previous articles on superyachts, we’ve not yet featured any homegrown ones, so it’s a happy coincidence that Stefan owns a pretty impressive little superyacht himself – a $10M custom built power yacht; the 25m Hairazor catamaran. Built at Gold Coast City Marina in Coomera, the design is heavily based on techniques used in the latest round-the-world racing yachts, and the designer of maxi yacht Windward Passage II, Duncan van Woerden, had significant input into the design.
The catamaran has four cabins, can sleep 15 people, and is done out stylishly with a suspended spiral staircase with glass treads, four bathrooms and a marble interior. It’s very lightweight, using a material called E-glass over a balsa wood and foam core, with Kevlar and carbon fibre used as reinforcement. Unlike his powerboats, it has been built more for range and economy than for pure speed.
“It is built like a racing yacht rather than a powerboat,” said Stefan “ It is stronger and stiffer and constructed to have a very kind sea motion. The boat will perform like a wave-piercing cat. It won’t roll or breach and it creates virtually zero wash.”
If you’re planning your trip around Australia and you’re debating whether to put your tinny on the roof or put one of those roof storage units up instead, we’ve got some good news. You don’t have to choose any more, you can have them both. A new product called the ‘BoatPack‘ combines the two in a handy roof storage unit that doubles as an emergency dinghy. It can hold a maximum weight of roughly 160kg, making it OK to transport two (regular sized) adults. And, although at $1600 it’s a pretty expensive roof storage unit, it’ll be worth every cent if you end up up a creek without a paddle (don’t worry, it comes with two foldable oars).
Whether you’re looking to finance one of Stefan’s new creations (for the water, not your head), or the BoatPack is more your cup of tea, Aussie Boat Loans is definitely worth a call to arrange the boat finance.