History Repeating: 1964 Norman Wright 82 Pilothouse
It’s not every day you come across the chance to own a genuine piece of Australian maritime history.
But that’s exactly what is moored on the dock at Leigh-Smith Yachts right now – a classic timber ocean cruiser, launched by Norman Wright Shipyards in 1964.
Bali-Hai II boasts the timeless lines and stylish design cues from Australia’s golden age of boatbuilding, but this grand old lady is also charter-ready and has recently undergone a comprehensive 18-month refit by her original builders.
Bill Wright was just 10 years old when this fully-custom beauty hit the slipway for the first time and he was proud to oversee this latest rebuild project which focussed on retaining the yacht’s aesthetics, while modernising her structure and systems.
"Bali Hai II is certainly one of the great boats,” Bill said. “Even in 1964, there was nothing like her.
“She was fitted with technology never seen before on privately owned cruising motor yachts, such as radar, large radios, depth sounder, autopilot, and higher than usual horsepower engines built by Gardner."
The new owners of this modern classic can confidently venture forth on their own adventures, secure in the knowledge that the engineering and electronics purring away beneath the surface of their motoryacht will keep them safe for many years to come.
Imagine exploring the secluded bays of the Whitsundays with your family or heading further north along the Great Barrier Reef on a fishing or diving mission – the opportunities are truly limitless.
Bali-Hai II’s ocean-going credentials are well-proven with several South Pacific cruises under her belt and she is equally renowned in sailing circles for her involvement with the Sydney-Hobart yacht race as a radio-relay vessel.
Below the waterline, those ultra-reliable Gardner 6LXBs will keep you punting along at an economical 9 to 10-knot cruise and the recently-updated Naiad stabilisers will ensure no one spills their drink en route to the next destination.
A raised pilothouse design offers the skipper multiple helming opportunities. Upstairs, the flybridge deck provides ample shelter from the Aussie sun under a hardtop, plus clears.
Here, guests can enjoy the journey with lounges alongside the helm, plus handy access to a barbecue and fridge for a relaxing lunch underway. The tender and toys are also stored on this flybridge deck.
One level down, the spacious aft deck is completely covered and offers seating for 12 lucky guests, or room for up to 25 people at dockside cocktail parties.
The well-equipped galley is located just aft of the lower wheelhouse and features an access door to the side decks for easy loading of stores during provisioning.
The accommodation deck features a plush full-beam master cabin at the aft of the yacht, plus a double VIP up forward and another twin-bunk guest cabin. There is a further twin-bunk cabin for crew to assist the new owners in maintaining their investment to the highest standard.
This is a yacht that will turn heads at every anchorage with her timeless looks and elicit knowing nods from old salts who recognise time-proven design.
Complete with an up-to-date AMSA survey, this is a yacht like no other – put to sea and realise your bluewater dreams, or put her into charter and watch the offers roll in.
1964 Norman Wright 82 Pilothouse
(Spotted Gum/ QLD Maple)
LENGTH OVERALL 24.99m
HOLDING TANK 1200L
ACCOMODATION 6 guests, 2 crew
ENGINES 2 × 144hp Gardner 6LXB
ENGINE HOURS 1136hrs
MAX SPEED 11kt
P (07) 5577 9200