New Zealand: A Leader in Boat Design and Production

July 17, 2023

Yachting Journal

(Photo: New Zealand Trade and Enterprise)

With its diverse marine environments, from protected harbors to rugged ocean waters, New Zealand has made an exceptional impact on the global market. By focusing on the design and build of recreational products, New Zealand marine companies emphasize the use of materials that can withstand a diverse range of conditions, have a long lifespan, and can be used year-round. The kiwi boatbuilding expertise and equipment hardware capabilities have grown out of a thriving and ever-expanding recreational marine culture. From high-quality boat design to composite construction, interior fittings, woodwork and marine electronics, the country has emerged as a leader of the marine industry.

As a global leader in boat design and construction, New Zealand brands such as Stabicraft, which has shown profound growth as the largest aluminum boat manufacturer in the country, are sought after internationally. An exemplar of New Zealand’s widening sphere of influence, Stabicraft recently announced its first manufacturing facility in North America, located in Port Angeles, Washington. This expansion serves as just one example of New Zealand’s widening sphere of influence. Due to a rising demand in the United States that exceeds their production capacity in New Zealand, Stabicraft will enhance accessibility to their high-quality marine products by designing their models in New Zealand and building them in the United States. This includes the first model to be built at the new facility, the limited edition 2250 Ultra Centercab Alpha.

New Zealand’s companies have not only excelled in traditional boat design but have also produced a range of world-class recreational vehicles and marine equipment, such as Manta5’s Hydrofoiler water bike. Taking the world by storm as a revolutionary, first-of-its-kind product, the water bike allows customers a surreal cycling experience on water.

The cleanest, safest, and easiest to use of its kind on the market, Manta5’s Hydrofoiler water bike represents New Zealand’s innovation on a global scale. Now, a second generation of the bike is hitting the market, providing consumers with a no noise, no wake, and emission-free alternative personal watercraft.

New Zealand professionals design marine equipment of all kinds, including VETUS Maxwell’s anchoring solutions by Maxwell Marine. With over 50 years of industry expertise and continuous hands-on research and development, Maxwell’s anchoring solutions are designed to alleviate the stress of anchoring for the full spectrum of customers from recreational to superyachts.

With its high production standards and uncompromising stance on quality materials, VETUS Maxwell places great value on the reliability and functionality of its products, as well as customer-focused service. Their innovative and elegant design solutions are consistently leading the market.

When it comes to essential boat components such as thru-hull fittings, there is no room to compromise on quality. Designed and manufactured in New Zealand, Tru-Design Certified Ball Valves are specifically crafted for use in marine applications, both above and below the waterline. Manufactured from a glass-reinforced nylon composites, the full line of Tru-Design parts is lightweight, durable, and high-strength. These parts are immune to corrosion and electrolysis, and are also electrically non-conductive, requiring no electrical bonding. The ball and sealing rings use a PTFE polymer to ensure smooth operation and minimal fouling of the internal ball. Additionally, the ball valves can be locked in the closed position to comply with toilet waste outlet regulations and each part undergoes a 100% leak test before leaving the factory. With a wide operating range of -40°F to over 230°F and built-in U.V. resistance they are suitable for all marine conditions, making this a must-have product for any recreational boater.

Tru-Design Plastics has recently expanded its production and research capabilities by relocating to a new 3,000 square meter facility near Auckland’s International Airport in the Airport Oaks precinct. The company has a close partnership with GEMLUX, a Florida-based distributor of Tru-Design / GEMLUX products throughout North America.

“We are confident that regardless of the type of product you need, if it says, ‘New Zealand made,’ it is of the highest quality and designed by some of the most innovative minds,” said Scott Wentworth, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s US-based Business Development Manager for Marine. “We are very proud of the distinguished New Zealand brands that manufacture boats, parts and accessories for the marine industry and echo their pride in identifying themselves as New Zealand companies.”

The New Zealand marine sector is highly regarded in the global industry, with a worldwide reputation for producing high-quality products across multiple segments of marine products. Characterized by an ongoing commitment to innovation and advanced technology, New Zealand will continue to produce world-leading marine products and services across all sectors.