Spirit of Bunbury III

Refit and repower for Marine Rescue Bunbury

Marine Rescue Bunbury’s 10.8 metre aluminium catamaran Spirit of Bunbury III was trucked over 500 kilometres from Bunbury to Port Denison in order to benefit from Dongara Marine’s cost-effective, high quality capabilities in vessel repair and maintenance.

Having been delivered to the volunteer group in 2012, the Adam Schwetz designed, Elite Marine built vessel was in need of a range of maintenance and modification tasks by March 2021 when works were undertaken.

The scope of work undertaken by Dongara Marine included:

  • Hull repairs including addressing corrosion and physical damage
  • Full strip back and repainting of hull and superstructure including updating livery to new specifications
  • Fuel system modifications including new piping and tank inspections and pressure testing
  • Repowering including removal of existing engines and replacing with new Volvo Penta diesels as well as all new cooling water systems, engine controls and monitoring systems
  • Replacement of the propulsion drives with new sterndrive units and associated steering systems
  • Interior refit including new suspension seats and replacement of forward windows
  • Partial removal of aft canopy to facilitate interoperability with helicopters
  • Replacement of anchor windlass

The tasks were completed between March and May 2021, after which the vessel returned to Bunbury under its own power.

This project was awarded following Dongara Marine submitting a successful project bid after being appointed to a select panel of contractors by Western Australia’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) to provide vessel refit services and supply new ‘fit for purpose’ marine rescue vessels.

Dongara Marine was announced as one of only four boatbuilders selected for the panel in April 2020, following a competitive request for tender process run by  DFES in 2019.

Marine Rescue Bunbury is one of 37 Marine Rescue WA groups in the state that are managed and funded through DFES. Another two, in Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands, are funded and managed by the Commonwealth.

For more information on Volunteer Marine Rescue Western Australia (VMRWA) visit www.vmrwa.org.au or its Facebook page. Marine Rescue Bunbury has a Facebook page here.

“Our main rescue vessel, Spirit of Bunbury III has recently undergone a major refit. Needless to say, the skippers and crew are very happy with her performance.”

- Marine Rescue Bunbury, July 2021


Principal Particulars
Propulsion & Performance
Other Details
Project type
Vessel Refit / Repair
Marine Rescue Bunbury / Department of Fire and Emergency Services
Vessel Type
Search and rescue
Hull type
Schwetz Design
Construction materials
Aluminium hull and superstructure
Survey / Class
Length overall
10.8 metres
4.0 metres
0.65 metres
4 additional personnel
Fresh water
Main engines
2 x Volvo Penta D6-380
Main engine rating
2 x 280kW
2 x Volvo Penta DPI sterndrives
Maximum speed
34.0 knots
Service speed
25.0 knots
Vessel builder
Elite Marine