A year ago, seasoned boat owners, Tony and Gaebrille Derham bought Komotion, the original Whitehaven 7000 Flybridge built for Whitehaven Managing Director Bruce and Julie Scott.
Tony, Gaebrielle and their two dogs, Luna and Bella, have already spent many months aboard the boat they renamed Hells Bells and are ecstatic about its every attribute.
“I had to twist his arm – they wouldn’t let it go!” Tony recounted.
“It was one of the first flybridge Whitehaven and built just for them. It was their pride and joy. Every time I saw the boat at the boat show I would say it’s by far the best designed boat we have seen.”
Tony and Gaebrielle who have been boating since they were 10 years old, runs a civil engineering company with 100 staff on the Gold Coast and Sydney and with such big machinery, pride themselves on their knowledge of solid mechanical equipment.
“We have owned a lot of boats over the years; custom built 80ft motor yachts, several 65 footers and most recently, imported the large Mangusta 105ft superyacht. When we got on board Bruce’s boat, we decided it was the boat to take us to far North Queensland.
“The boat was built in 2011 and still has the ‘wow factor’. The way they set it up all on one level is superb. We spend all our time on the back deck – we had 13 people for lunch the other day. The engine room too is brilliant for its easy access and layout. Bruce really thought it through.
“The boat is fitted with Twin CAT C32 ACERT engines at 1,625 hp each which are reliable and efficient and you get great backup support from Caterpillar dealer network. One of the standout features is hydraulic thrusters front and rear, which are superior to electric thrusters, as well as Twin Disc transmission fitted with Skyhook with three stations, which is ideal for getting a big boat into a berth easily in all conditions.
“A large Seakeeper Gyro was fitted on board which is great for situations where there is a lot of swell particular around the Kepples and the Percy Islands. We have been the envy of all our friends.”
When considering a pre-owned boat, insurers can be cautious.
“But in this case, Club Marine insurance said they knew the boat and it was impeccable,” said Tony.
“They said we didn’t need a survey, but we went ahead with the survey anyway and the surveyor said the boat has incredible build quality. All structure, plumbing and electrical are all first class. Everything is easily accessed with hatches placed to inspect and service all areas of the boat. It’s been built brilliantly for servicing.”
Enhancing its close to ideal design, Hells Bells underwent a refit in Sydney – all new Garmin electronics and the new 254w 96NM Digital Radar and the new forward-facing sonar. The new electronics now monitors fuel Victron Electrical Systems.
“When you cruise the 1,000 nautical miles from Sydney to Far North Queensland, you can encounter a lot of whales along the way, especially during an eight to 10-hour stints. You need to keep a vigilant watch ahead constantly. We have experienced numerous whales breaching directly in front resulting in some radical steering!
“With the Garmin forward facing sonar we can see 100 to 300-feet in advance and much deeper, so it’s worth the investment if you’re embarking on long journeys. We now have the latest electronics and support available in this Whitehaven.
The new sonar is vital for reef cruising and exploring as well.
“We went to Swains Reefs off Mackay, through into Hardy Lagoon which is only 8-metres wide and very shallow, and we can approach at any time and the imagery will give us all the information we need to enter safely.”
Tony and Gabrielle installed new LED TVs, a ZIP tap for cold, sparkling and hot water at the barbecue, replaced all hydraulic lines on the swim platform and have sanded and treated all the teak, soft furnishings, sun shades in the fly bridge and commissioned a new permanent sunshade over the aft deck.
“We also installed a Victron lithium battery system with twin 8000w charges and 400amp of charging and also using the CAT32 alternators to run the boat on long trips, so now everything runs smoothly on long trips with no restrictions.
“In order to help us run our business, we installed a new Comset 5G data system, new Satellite KVH V30 with track phone and also the Starlink satellite dish, so we will never be out of range! Then there’s the Yamaha jetski on the back which is great to explore islands fast plus Bruce’s original Avon tender, which we’ve spruced up and used to catch some very large Spanish Mackerel.”
The couple’s main objective is to explore everywhere in their Whitehaven.
“We’ve been to incredible places where not too many people get to go, like Credlin reef, Orpheus Island, John Brewer Reef and exploring the south arm of Port Clinton, north Rosslyn Bay, where we saw a herd of 20 dugongs in a couple of metres of water on drone footage. We managed to take some incredible shots with lasting memories. You don’t normally see these beautiful creatures in the wild.
“We recently spent a lot of time exploring many of the Islands south of Whitsundays to Mackay. St Bees has some great wreck dives and some beautiful beaches.
“Next time, we’re heading to Port Douglas via Townsville, which is the pick of the bunch for us – the people, the restaurants, swimming pool, marina, and there’s an amazing dive site called ‘The Museum of underwater art’ at John Brewer Reef with some large built structures and stone sculptures by international artist Jason de Caires Taylor.”