Tuesday, February 24, 2009

NZ Boat builders hit the wall

After reports not so long ago that Sensation Yachts in Henderson were in financial trouble, another two large boat builders hit the wall last week.

Both were industry leaders with a long history.
Cookson has 62 staff out of a job. Genesis numbers unknown, but 35 years plus up the spout.

The recession is biting hard. Our once proud world leading boat building industry has been reduced to small boat chilly bin production. Even that is under threat as China puts out similar product at a much cheaper price. Is Alloy Yachts still hanging in? Salthouse?

Custom yacht building has died. Wallets are firmly shut, gathering cobwebs. Except at Fitzroy Yachts in Taranaki. They are in the big league. $50M+ steel yachts. Genesis was sub-$1M fibreglass sport boats. Cookson has long built yachts of all sizes and shapes.

What do our many and well qualified boat builders do? Maybe R&M, but this is limited. Maintenance work never stops on boats. 10% a year for R&M is a good estimate, even this spend is probably at a bare minimum at present. Might keep a few employed. The flow on effects are huge. All those outboards and inboards that are not being brought. Small and large boat chandlery and associated products that are not being purchased.

Where will this recession end? And just how much taxpayer money did Jamderton pour into his mates marine park at Hobsonville? All for nought.

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