Powered by two Mercury 150hp SeaPro FourStrokes, the new Noosa Cat 2400 operated by the Jacobs Well Volunteer Marine Rescue squadron is already saving lives … literally.
“It’s an outstanding boat and it’s already saved four lives on Jumpinpin Bar; it got blooded very quickly,” said Captain John Jacobsen, the President of VMR Jacobs Well which operates in and around Queensland’s famous Morton Bay.
“There were two rescues and I was driving for one of them; a boat got overturned on an outgoing tide and another went belly up on the bar on the incoming tide.
“This new boat is marvellous and combined with the SeaPro engines it is a dream to operate.”
In a rescue situation, especially in the chaotic conditions which exist on Jumpinpin Bar, instant power is needed to ensure the boat is exactly where it needs to be, and that is what the SeaPros provide.
The boat is no lightweight, tipping the scales at more than 2.5 tonnes and is rated for up to six people.
However, when combined with three-blade, 15” Enertia props, the two 150hp Mercury SeaPros can make it jump with a top speed of 61 km/h (33 knots) at 5300rpm and optimal cruising speed of 40 km/h (21.7 knots) at 3500rpm using just 40 litres of fuel an hour combined.
“It’s a very, very well-balanced boat and the SeaPros deliver excellent torque. We’re often towing boats we’ve rescued and that torque means we get out of the hole very quickly and away from danger,” John said.
“We also need a lot of power to outrun waves, which even after years of experience around this bar really gets your adrenalin up. You have to be at the top of your game and you need the best equipment.”
The new 6.8 metre Noosa Cat, designed and built to the squadron’s specific requirements, is the organisation’s third boat – and it’s needed. Jacobs Well VMR, established almost 40 years ago, is the second busiest squadron in Queensland with its 86 working crew filling rosters 24/7.
Mercury SeaPro commercial outboards are engineered to be ultra-tough working partners – engines that work as hard as the people who use them – so they are ideal for VMR Jacobs Well.
Their new boat literally lives in the water due to the squadron’s workload and lack of space. It’s a rare break when the Mercury SeaPros are serviced.
“We work with Brisbane Marine and they have been brilliant in helping keep us on the water,” John said.
“Recently we had a propeller break and they snapped into action. Two hours later they had a new prop fitted and we were back on the water keeping people safe. The support we get from them and Mercury has been fantastic.”
With new SeaPros on the back of the squadron’s new Noosa Cat, all the crew at Jacobs Well feel that much more capable and safer.
“What some people forget is that the equipment we select isn’t just about rescuing others – it keeps us alive as well, all the volunteers.
“Having the best engines doesn’t just save other boaters, it means that we get to go home at the end of the day as well.”