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Boaties reaching for wallets at Auckland On Water Boat Show

by Kate Gordon-Smith on 29 Sep 2012
Olympic Gold medalists, Olivia Powrie and Jo Aleh at the 2012 Auckland On the Water Boat Show © Richard Gladwell http://www.richardgladwell.com

Several people have made the decision to buy a new or second-hand boat during the first two days of this week’s Auckland On Water Boat Show. And with more than 100 boats on display, those looking to buy certainly have plenty of options to choose from.

Lance Fink, head of Tristram Marine, a Hamilton-based composite boat manufacturing and retailing operation, has been encouraged by speaking with a number of people wanting to make a decision to buy.

With contracts in place on a 7.9 metre 741 Offshore hardtop fishing boat and a 6.4 metre 641 Offshore family-oriented fishing boat, plus the sale of a second-hand 9.1 metre 851 Grandeur, Fink says: 'The timing of the Auckland On Water Boat Show is ideal for people looking ahead to their summer boating. The numbers through the gate have been steady and the neat atmosphere this year; very positive.'


The McLay Boats team from Milton, near Dunedin, are the southern-most firm to exhibit at this year’s show and director Steve McLay is delighted to have already sold the first example of the 11 metre McLay 1100 Walk Round, a model which was released earlier this year.

'In fact, we could have sold two on Thursday morning,' McLay said. 'One group of Samoan fisherman looked at it on the marina before we did a demo with the guy that bought it. When we returned to the dock, the others said they’d have bought it too.'


The game-rigged, walk-around sport-fisher is designed for charter use and is powered by a 350hp Mercury TDI diesel. It’s the largest vessel designed and manufactured by McLay Boats which specialises in aluminium boats crafted for South Island’s rugged conditions, ranging from four to 11 metres in length. The company exports a significant number of the 200 boats it builds annually to Australia and has also created new markets in Sweden and Germany where their vessels are particularly popular with charter fishing operators.

McLay says they are currently pricing examples of this 1100 Walk Round model for two commercial operations, so he’s pleased with how the new model is being received. 'This is the first time we’ve been to the Auckland On Water Boat Show ourselves, although our smaller boats have been shown here before with our Auckland dealer Fish City. We thought the bigger boat would be well suited to this show which has a different clientele to indoor shows; there’s definitely more interest in the larger boats.'


Long-established boat retailer Rogers Boatshop has five brands represented at the show. Managing director Nigel Arkell says there’s been tremendous interest in the new range of Fryan pontoon boats. Built from aluminium, the six-strong range features oblong pontoons, which look somewhat like an inflatable craft, but are made with aluminium rather than a flexible material around the pontoons.

Arkell also import French-made Beneteau motor yachts. 'I’m pleased to report strong sales of the Beneteau range which is largely due to the strong New Zealand currency versus the Euro which makes the price of these quality-built vessels attractive to New Zealand buyers.'

With one Beneteau A30 sold just before the show and another sold on Thursday, Arkell says through the marine sector’s recent challenging years, 'those that survive are the innovators, that keep bringing out new products, companies like Beneteau.'

Arkell also has a contract pending on the $NZ 524,000 Beneteau Swift 34 Trawler on display at the show.


The Auckland On Water Boat Show started on 27 September and continues to 30 September. 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. Tickets are available at the gate or online from iTicket. See www.auckland-boatshow.com for further details or find Auckland On Water Boat Show on Facebook (www.facebook.com/OnWaterBoatShow).


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