Auckland Int Boat Show: Superyacht builders create hi-tech outriggers

The superyacht apprentices race their creations in the Viaduct Harbour
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Australia and Ireland tangled on the water at the Auckland International Boat Show today in a precursor to tonight’s big game. The boat show is based in the new Viaduct Events Centre in the Viaduct Harbour from 15 to 18 September.

Teams of apprentices took part in the NZ Marine Industry Training Organisation’s International Boatbuilding Competition to compete for highest standard of innovation, best quality of build and best overall presentation. Their task was to build outrigger canoes within a basic design, and apply their skills in composite, design, cabinetmaking and creativity to impress the judges. In the afternoon, the Wynyard Crossing bridge became a grandstand from which the crowds could watch the boats race under paddle, sail and outboard power in front of the Viaduct Events Centre while Peter Montgomery provided the commentary.

The five teams are made up of apprentices which build boats or masts for the superyacht industry; every team represents a country competing in Rugby World Cup 2011.

SMI (Specialist Marine Interiors) did a grand job for Ireland, taking inspiration from the Giant’s Causeway, a famous landmark in Ireland. Daniel Bliss, Leon Tonner, Matt Webster and Wayne Keller easily won the categories of innovation, best quality of build and overall presentation. Their boat was a work of art which recreated Celtic knotwork and the SMI logo in timber veneer of makore, and light and dark sapele mahogany. The outrigger hull is secured with wavey, hollow beams in an octagonal cross-section built in yellow cedar.

Alloy Yachts created an understated pair of hulls in dark blue, carrying the rooster emblem on the bows for the French rugby team. Fitzroy Yachts’ creation featured the Ranfurly Shield, and represents the puma for Argentina. The team of Matthew Stephens, Jordan Pretty, Brendan Hodge and Aaron Green demonstrated their cabinetmaking skills in the decking which features teak with wenge inlay. The boat even had bling in lights either side and bright-blue, back-lit signs for line controls in the carbon fibre-lined mastbox.

Designer Roger Hill on the heli-deck of Kukai, the 14m powercat he designed and is exhibiting at the Auckland International Boat Show.
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Kiwi-Aussie rivalry featured in the Superyacht Interiors NZ entry, named Underarm and featuring a wallaby. Kieran Rowe, Phil Dack, Chris Marsh, Michael Shieffelbein and Phil Webb gave their hull a moderate vee and placed their cross beams across the entire beam to avoid point-loading.

The NZ Marine team’s entry was painted plain black and took inspiration from the America’s Cup catamaran, the AC45, with a reverse raked bow and transom for longer waterline.

NZ Marine Industry Training Organisation ran the International Boatbuilding Competition to promote the skills in the marine industry and to encourage young people to consider a career in the industry. Staff from NZ Marine ITO will be on the stand to discuss career options. The boats will be on display at the show tomorrow.

The boat show is offering plenty of land-based action. At the Vetus Maxwell stand, the RC12, 3500lb-capable windlass has enough to pull an All Black scrum over the try-line and is making its world debut at the Auckland International Boat Show. The RC stands for rope-chain, traditionally the preserve of smaller boats but new developments have made this technology available to larger boats, including launches up to 22m.

Vetus Maxwell’s sales manager, Indo Asian region Ron Czerniak says the rope-chain combo gives owners the security of anchoring with chain but without the considerable weight of having an entire length of chain in the bow.

Doyle Sails is pointing high at the show, thanks to its boat show special which promised to reef down its prices by 25% on all orders placed at the show. Doyle supplies the dinghy, cruising, racing and superyacht markets, particularly promoting its Stratis technology. Sales manager Roger Hall says the stand has been busy as soon as the show has opened both days, with many people buying new sail wardrobes for their yachts following a general refit over the winter season.

Fi-Glass Boats is offering the sweetest of deals on its one-third, one-third, one-third offer on its 5.8m Fi-Glass Lightning. The boat is selling at $49,950 including gst and trailer fully warranted and registered, ready to hit the road to go exploring. Buyers can pay a third now to take the boat away, a third in 12 months time and a third in 24 months.

Boats on display at the Viaduct Harbour, Auckland International Boat Show
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Five hundred visitors arrived at the show within 30 minutes of the gates opening this morning as the spring equinox gets boaties in the mood for summer. The first two days of the show have welcomed more than 6000 visitors through the gates. The show has its final day tomorrow, from 10am to 6pm, giving visitors another opportunity to win the survey prize of a week’s sailing in the Bay of Islands with The Moorings.


Auckland International Boat Show
Auckland Viaduct Harbour
15 – 18 September 2011
10am to 6pm daily
Adult day pass $20; online $18
Child 5 - 15yr, day pass NZ $8; online $6
Child under 5 Free
Family day pass NZ $40; online $33
Adult 4 day pass NZ $30; online $30