End of the road for Kiwi superyacht yards

By Barry Thompson
Tue Mar 13 2018, 08:07 AM

Nine years ago two of New Zealand’s largest superyacht builders, Alloy Yachts and Sensation Yachts dominated the Henderson, Auckland waterfront, today there is little left of either yard

While nine years ago two of New Zealand’s largest superyacht builders, Alloy Yachts and Sensation Yachts dominated the Henderson, Auckland waterfront, today there is little left of either yard. Neighbouring each other for many years, Alloy Yachts became one of the world’s most awarded superyacht builders, but due to the economic downturn, and lack of orders closed their doors a few years ago. The once iconic 10,000sq m Kiwi superyacht factory has been refurbished and is now being sold as industrial units.

Sensation Yachts however, were a different story, with the owners shutting shop around 2009 after experiencing financial difficulties and on-going disputes with an existing client on a three boat order. When Sensation Yachts closed there were three partially completed superyachts and lawsuits pending. Now nine years later only one, SY32 remains. The other two partially completed hulls were scrapped along with the rest of the buildings and equipment with an empty yard now planned for redevelopment. As SY32 is considered to be approximately 50-60% complete the unfinished 49.5m, 280 ton displacement vessel has been made available to prospective purchasers as part of the salvage agreement on a demolition contract being undertaken by the Ward Group.

For the past nine years the partially completed hull has been inside, however the two main buildings have now been demolished and the site cleared in preparation by developers, Goodman Property Trust to build industrial units on the 2 hectare riverfront site.

According to a report by DNV GL New Zealand Limited, the hull materials of SY32 remained fairly stable through the years, but further reviews definitely have to be made if the project is to be started up again.

DNV also remarked that the build quality was good and certified in accordance with their rules and statutory regulations up to the date when we (DNV) terminated the agreement with Sensation Yachts when work ceased on the three vessels.