In its element, at last

NEGOTIATING its way along south-west roads yesterday, the Southern Explorer was certainly out of its depth.

Three years after it started taking shape on the Pender family farm at Timboon, the Southern Explorer was yesterday gently lowered into the Moyne River at Port Fairy. 140902RG29  Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

Three years after it started taking shape on the Pender family farm at Timboon, the Southern Explorer was yesterday gently lowered into the Moyne River at Port Fairy. 140902RG29 Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

The 18-metre long boat built by Timboon farmers Barry and Will Pender finally made it to more suitable surrounds after being transported from the father-and-son duo’s farm to Port Fairy yesterday morning.

The Penders spent nearly three years and roughly $500,000 constructing the vessel, which took two hours to transport from its home adjacent to farm sheds along the Princes Highway to Port Fairy’s harbour.

Will’s wife Anita Pender said the 80-kilometre trip along various country roads was largely uneventful with most motorists understanding and courteous.

“Everything went according to plan and you do have to plan when you’re transporting a boat that far,” Mrs Pender said.

“We had an escort vehicle which meant that people weren’t able to overtake along the narrow stretches of road, so it was pretty much smooth sailing.”

A few additions need to be made to the Southern Explorer before it is seaworthy, including the installation of a cabin. 

Mrs Pender said the work was expected to take a fortnight before the family would leave Port Fairy harbour.

“It’s all very exciting,” she said. 

“(It’s) way better than having (the boat) just hanging around the paddocks. It’ll be exciting to see it in action.”

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