A unique aspect to this week’s Auckland On Water Boat Show, is the sheer size of the boats on display for boating enthusiasts to view via the easily-accessed marinas, around Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour.
New Zealand-built and refitted vessels are strongly represented, highlighting the expertise of Kiwi boat builders and marine suppliers, and include such vessels as classic sailing yachts from specialist custom boat builder Johnson Yachts, based in Auckland’s Pine Harbour, world-class motor launches from East Tamaki’s Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders and a full range of New Zealand’s best known trailer power boating brands.
Chief executive of the New Zealand Marine Industry Association Peter Busfield says being able to go aboard boats ranging in size from 4 to 24.5 metres offers show visitors a valuable opportunity to inspect a variety of motor and sailing yachts in close detail.
Busfield says: 'You quickly get an appreciation of the high standards of workmanship and, if you are in the market to purchase the latest runabout or one of these larger vessels, it’s a great chance to compare brands and models.
'New Zealanders are some of the most discerning, knowledgeable and practical boat users in the world. For designers and manufacturers of marine products to succeed in New Zealand, they must deliver, and these high standards contribute to our marine industry’s success internationally. The New Zealand marine industry is the country’s largest exporter of manufactured products, so the Auckland On Water Boat Show provides a valuable public demonstration of the diverse, world-class nature of our marine sector.'
Busfield also says that the show provides evidence of the large number of imported boats available to New Zealanders. 'With either zero or low duty from most countries and New Zealand’s strong dollar, this makes for competitive buying for the Kiwi boat owner. The US-built Back Cove 34 motor yacht available from Back Cove New Zealand and the Beneteau Swift Trawler 34 available from Rogers Boatshop and Greenline Hybrid launches are good examples.'
For Bill Upfold of Elite Marine Design whose latest Elite 16 mid pilothouse launch, with a retail value of $2.5 million, is being shown by the builders Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders, the show represents a good opportunity to keep their brands in front of the buying public.
'The number of comments we get from people who go aboard our boats indicate they are seen to be head and shoulders above many boats built overseas,' says Upfold. 'There’s an attention to detail and a desire to source quality materials that ensure the longevity of the finished vessel that New Zealand boat-builders and Lloyd Stevenson, in particular, are known for.'
Lloyd Stevenson adds that they come to this year’s show in a positive frame of mind, having just signed the contract to build a new Elite design a fortnight ago. 'We’re hopeful this is a sign of the boat building business as a whole improving.'
The Auckland On Water Boat Show also features several overseas vessels including the only one of its kind in the world, the Riviera 75 flybridge motoryacht, on show with Westhaven Marina-based R Marine New Zealand.
With over 200 exhibitors, show visitors can talk to the experts about a wide range of marine products and services, including a huge line-up of trailer boats, personal watercraft (aka jet skis), launches, fishing, marine safety and navigation equipment, diesel and outboard engines. Among the features of this year’s show are two of Sir Peter Blake's most famous yachts, Steinlager II and Lion New Zealand which are now owned by the New Zealand Sailing Trust and open for show visitors to go aboard throughout the four-day show.
The Auckland On Water Boat Show is open from 10 am to 6 pm Thursday through Saturday, and 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday.
Tickets are available at the gate; an adult day pass is $20, family pass is $40, buy a four day pass for $30, or enjoy an online discount with purchases from iTicket.
See www.auckland-boatshow.com for further details or find Auckland On Water Boat Show on Facebook (www.facebook.com/OnWaterBoatShow).
by Kate Gordon-Smith
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7:38 AM Thu 27 Sep 2012GMT
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2012 Auckland On Water Boat Show
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