Picton boat buying

By: Norman Holtzhausen


If you’re after a yacht or launch, Picton is a great place to start. With a booming maritime industry, this picturesque little town has hundreds of great vessels to choose from. Here’s three to whet your appetite.

Picton boat buying
Maritime Mecca

The picturesque South Island town of Picton is well known to anyone who has had the pleasure of crossing the Cook Strait on a ferry. While most people first visit Picton on the Interislander and Bluebridge lines, there's a lot more to the place than merely a disembarkation point, especially if you're in the market for a quality second-hand boat.

Together with its sister town of Waikawa just a few minutes away, Picton has around 4000 permanent residents, but the population swells considerably in the busy summer months as the tourist flock in. Apart from the obvious opportunities for the hospitality industry, Picton and Waikawa are also the main entry point to the Marlborough Sounds. With its deepwater harbour and sheltered waters, Picton is both an important location for our timber exports and a fantastic launch point for recreational boating and fishing.

The place to go

As a result, Picton and Waikawa have a booming maritime industry, boasting large marinas in both locations. An upgrade of the Picton marina is currently underway, with all the new berths pre-sold before construction began. Numerous boat builders, marine chandlers and specialist services all operate out of the area.

But most noticeable, perhaps, is that Picton is very much the centre of the yacht broker industry in New Zealand. Three of the biggest brokers in the country are headquartered there or in Waikawa, with most national brokerage firms maintaining a local office in the area. At any one time there may be close to 500 yachts and launches listed for sale here.

It would be an extremely wise investment for potential purchasers of a launch or yacht to plan a visit. This should be pre-arranged, as some of the boats are not stored on the marina. Once you have some dates in mind, contact the brokers and they'll be happy to ensure the vessel you're interested in will be ready for viewing. You're guaranteed a pleasant and successful trip, and the small investment of time and cost in travelling there will be saved thanks to the convenience of being able to view all the boats at once.

Getting there

Air New Zealand flies to Blenheim from all the main centres, and hire cars are available at really reasonable rates. Alternatively, travel to Wellington and experience the pleasant ferry trip into Queen Charlotte Sound.

We check out three high quality examples: a 1991 Sealine 305, a 2005 Franklin 925 and a 2003 Paul Priebe 35.

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