O’Brien 56 Kekoa

The Magnificent O’Brien 56 foot fishing machine.

Captain, Luke Fallon

KEKOA 56 CAPT LUKE FALLEN“Kekoa” written by Warren Steptoe
Blue Water magazine Boat test
General Arrangements

Comfort, style, performance, economy, all in one brilliant package

After 4 years at the helm of 47 O’Brien KEKOA, Capt. Luke Fallon and owner Scott Taylor did not look any further than another O’Brien when it came to considering a new, larger vessel. O’Brien’s are well known for their sea worthiness, suitability, and low maintenance during the busy marlin seasons.  And, since the launch of the 47’s, O’Brien Boats have also paid significant attention to detail in terms of the finish and comfort of the boats matching their well known performance. With the charter boat industry hit hard by the global financial crisis, considerations to add another destination and dimension to their charter repertoire defined the layout and specifications. The new KEKOA should be large enough to add extra luxury in the absence of a mothership on the reef, but also to act as a mothership itself for the barra fishing season in the Gulf of Carpentaria; the bow, large enough to hold two tenders capable of fishing the productive river systems north and south of Weipa and to encompass a davit lift for their easy removal and deployment. It was also important to have a shallow draft for river access in the Gulf and so tunnels to set the propeller shafts at a shallower angle allowed us to achieve this in the bigger boat. Inside, comfortable accommodation for up to four guests and four crew (including two ensuites) was critical as well as a large saloon entertaining area and fully equipped galley to satisfy the cook. The result of the new KEKOA 56 has been what we expected and more. Already we have one Gulf season under our belt on the new boat and it has performed faultlessly. Our guests have praised the level of comfort and space. And despite the visual of seeing a game boat on anchor in the gulf rivers, we’ve really hit the nail on the head with its functionality which shows the great diversity of O’Brien Boats. Next up, our giant black marlin season in Cairns and we are excited to push the new boat to its limits. The shallow draft and underwater exhaust has created some a very clean, good-looking wash and we’re excited to see that translate into fish raising ability!