At 61, Rocco Lemma is living what many would call the perfect retirement.
Two or three times a week he goes fishing with his mates on the clear blue waters off Karratha, WA, aboard his new nine-metre Westcat 9000 catamaran Hard Yakka.
“The ocean, the archipelago, it’s what’s kept me at Karratha for the last 32 years. I love it,” he said.
Rocco had had his new cat for only two months when we spoke to him, having replaced his old 7.5-metre model.
“We fish the Montebello archipelago where there’s more than a hundred islands to go to, or go out to Barrow Island and maybe stay overnight, sleeping on the deck in the cabin,” Rocco said.
“I’ve put twin 300 Verados on the new boat and they’re awesome.”
The powerful pair can push the cat, which weighs in at a touch above four tonnes, up to 44 knots with a wide open throttle.
Cruising speed is a more sedate 28 knots which has the two engines sipping just 90 litres an hour between them.
“I’ve got four tanks that can hold a total of 1800 litres of fuel and I’ve got 500 litres of water, so going for long cruises and staying out for one or two nights isn’t a concern,” Rocco said.
Fantastic economy is not the Verado’s only plus. Designed from the ground up to set new standards in economy, control, performance and quietness, the Verado is a fourstroke which gives you an automotive-like driving experience. Powerful, quiet, efficient, and truly reliable, Verados are the ideal mix of brains and brawn.
“I think Verados are incredible; I wouldn’t buy anything else,” he said. “Some of my mates have bought other brands, but they all comment on the Verados when we go out.
“The beauty of it up here is that you never know what you’re going to pull up – coral trout, red emperor, northwest snapper or mackerel – there are so many species and with the Verados we go wherever we have to.”
Rocco’s love of the water is nothing new. In his three decades at Karratha he’s owned numerous boats and engines, and he’s definitely a Mercury man.
“I bought the first OptiMax ever sold in Western Australia and I had the first two Verados ever sold here as well,” he said.
Those original Verados were 250hp models, which he upgraded two years later to 275s. He ran them for five years before getting his latest pair.
So, all-in-all it’s a heck of a life but of course nothing’s perfect. Occasionally this very happy retiree has to consider …. fishing by himself!
“Yeah, sometimes it can be a bit tricky finding someone to come along,” he laughed. “But most people up here work shifts so I can usually find someone to join me.”