Words: Karlee Sangster Photography: Luke Ray
IT’S A STORY THAT STARTS LIKE MANY OTHERS. CRUISING ON EBAY, FALLING IN LOVE WITH A MACHINE WAY OUT OF YOUR PRICE RANGE, OBSESSING OVER IT, RESEARCHING AND FINALLY FINDING A WAY TO MAKE IT YOURS.
Mario Bonnici (Marz to his friends) was on the lookout for an early ski boat when he stumbled across a wooden hulled ‘60s example. The asking price was above and beyond his means, but Marz knew she was something special. He couldn’t get her out of his mind. “American day was on at Flemington in Victoria, and the Classic Wooden Power Boat Association were there displaying some of their boats,” he recalls. “It was then when I met a guy named Leigh. I started talking to him about the boats there and I mentioned Hustler. He says to me “You mean Mandy?” and I said yes, he said “If you’re gonna get a woody, get that one!” He then started telling me about her history, and the more I heard, the more I had to get her.”
The history goes like this:
Mandy was built by the Lewis Brothers in Sydney in the early ‘60s, the boat was commissioned by Keith Hooper, who owned the Dorf taps company. Everyone who worked at the company was mad about powerboat racing, and the story goes that when it was time to race, the production line would stop, and Mandy would be worked on.
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