OCEAN VOYAGERS: Felicite and Graeme Wylie spend 10 months of the year sailing around the country on board Notorious.
OCEAN VOYAGERS: Felicite and Graeme Wylie spend 10 months of the year sailing around the country on board Notorious. Noor Gillani

Striking 'pirate ship' pulls into Gladstone Marina

A UNIQUE vessel docked at the Gladstone Marina is drawing the attention of many locals.

Owners Felicite and Graeme Wylie last sailed to Gladstone in Notorious in 2017.

Mrs Wylie said spectators often labelled the boat a "pirate ship" when it was actually a full-scale recreation of a Portuguese caravel from 1480.

"Caravels were the vessels that enabled Europeans to first sail south and colonise the New World," Mrs Wylie said.

"They are a small vessel (with) a shallow draft, wide beamed with a lateen rig and easily handled by a small crew."

Mrs Wylie said the ship was researched, designed and single-handedly built by her husband Graeme over eight years, from a timber called Monterey cypress, from western Victoria where they lived.

VOYAGERS: Felicite Wylie and Graeme Wylie spend 10 months of the year sailing around the country on-board vessel Notorious.
VOYAGERS: Felicite Wylie and Graeme Wylie spend 10 months of the year sailing around the country on-board vessel Notorious. Noor Gillani

"We had 300 tonnes of logs in the yard because in the early 1900s Graeme saw this huge resource being burnt by dairy farmers in Victoria," Mrs Wylie said.

The pair launched the ship in early 2011 after months of fundraising and have since spent 10 months of every year living on the ship, returning home only to visit family and maintain upkeep of their residence.

Mrs Wylie said since the launch Notorious, "the only sailing caravel in the southern hemisphere", had garnered a large following with more than 11,000 likes on the "notorious" Facebook page.

She said the vessel allowed her and her husband to generate an income through public viewings of the ship's interior.

However, Mrs Wylie said viewings are not available during their current stay in Gladstone and the ship was only stopped to avoid tropical cyclone Oma.

"We're looking forward to returning to Gladstone in the winter," she said.