New Plymouth boat-builder closure re-ignites plans

By: Media Release


A harbour-side industrial complex which once housed one of New Zealand's premier luxury yacht-building companies has been placed on the market for sale – re-igniting the potential for the establishment of a large-scale domestic-focused marine industry hub in its place.

New Plymouth boat-builder closure re-ignites plans
The former Fitzroy Yachts building in New Plymouth

Fitzroy Yachts in New Plymouth operated out of a 5890 square metre plant adjacent to the city's harbour. The company began building super-yachts in 1997 and over the ensuing years, built 11 multi-million-dollar sailing vessels for wealthy foreign owners.

The company's last yacht – a magnificent 37.5 metre floating palace estimated to be worth more than $30 million – was launched earlier this year, shortly before Fitzroy Yachts ceased trading. Before that, the company built an enormous 50 metre luxury sailing vessel.

However, with no additional yachts or motor boats on the drawing board, the company's foreign-based owner is placing the plant up for sale. The buildings on site include a 3590 square metre open plan high-stud workshop, a sizeable office complex, and car parking for 190 vehicles. The structures feature concrete foundations and flooring with heavy steel framing and a metal exterior.

The availability of the former Fitzroy Yachts location has re-ignited calls for the establishment of a large-scale domestically-focused commercial and leisure marina in New Plymouth – an opportunity initially highlighted in a 2006 feasibility and cost/benefit report undertaken by Business and Economic Research Limited (BERL).

The BERL report said that while Port Taranaki's existing marina provided basic swing-line moorings, the region's marine sector service facilities were largely under-developed.

"New Plymouth is the only major coastal town in New Zealand without a serviced marina, and is the only port on the western seaboard where boats do not have to cross a bar to enter," the report states.

"New Plymouth's port requires extra berthing facilities for service vessels – particularly as demand increases, and security issues create complications in entering and exiting the main port berths. The marina will provide the regional infrastructure expected of a coastal city, and will encourage community and commercial use – providing a safe haven for yachts and fishing vessels seeking shelter in rough weather."

Potential onshore facilities identified included for a marina development around the Ocean View Parade precinct include a fuelling jetty, chandlery and car parking. The BERL report calculated that such a marina would generate approximately $7.6million of revenue annually, and would create up to 70 new full-time jobs.

The Fitzroy Yachts buildings sit on some 12,000 square metres of land which is currently leased from Port Taranaki through to 2022, with two further rights of renewal which could take the terminating lease out to 2052. The land is 1200 metres from the suburban Moturoa shopping centre, and three kilometres from New Plymouth CBD.

The land and buildings are being marketed for sale by Bayleys Taranaki. Potential buyers are being offered the opportunity to purchase the buildings, plant and equipment on their own for $5.7million, or with Fitzroy Yacht's intellectual property and yacht plans for an additional $1.3million.

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