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Smuggler Marine are busy but can supply most models before next summer.

Griff Simpson, MD of Fi-Glass Boats, New Zealand’s longest established fibreglass boatbuilder, said he has orders right through March 2022. “We have cranked up the number of boats we build and even added on a new router to streamline production, and we are still unable to keep up with demand”, says Griff. He added that he could not supply any stock boats to his dealers, and every boat they are building has been sold by his dealer network.

Similar comments came from Geoff Robinson at CSB Huntsman Boats, who currently has a considerable backlog of boats on order and is struggling to meet the demand. 

“We have kept a couple of boats aside, so we have something new for the Hutchwilco NZ Boat Show, but they are already committed to owners”, says Geoff. But, like Fi-Glass, he is around 12 months out from delivering a boat if you ordered it today.

Buccaneer Boats, Gerry Gerrand says that his production is total committed for the rest of the year, and unless a dealer has stock pre-ordered that isn’t already sold, getting your hands on a new Buccaneer will not be until the first quarter of 2022.

“While 2020 was a dismal year with the first Covid-19 lockdown, this year has been exceptional, especially with orders for our boats over 6m, and that’s from right around the country”, says Gerry. He added that he has dealers already ordering stock for 2022, so they don’t get caught out with no boats to sell.

Napier based Senator Boats have bulging order books.

Denis Kendall, CEO of Haines Hunter Ltd, says it’s been a big year for the company with a new marketing strategy coupled with the market upturn and rationalisation of the product range. There was the release of the SF635 and the discontinuing of the SF535 and SF600. Plus, the company has dropped all reference to Sea Craft and Miller Moyes.

” We have never been so busy, and production is too full capacity”, says Denis. He added that issues with component and engine supplies hadn’t made things any easier, and he predicts a price rise is inevitable later in the year.

“We lost six weeks production with lockdowns in 2020, and then coupled with an unprecedented surge in orders, we are still playing catch-up, although I don’t see things getting any easier this year. There are some challenging times ahead,” added Denis.

With a reputation for building some of the finest amphibious and non-amphibious RIBS in the country, Smuggler Marine’s David Pringle says that while they are busy building customers boats, they can still supply before Xmas.

McLay Boats will be bringing out a smaller version of the 741 Raptor.

“We are certainly not building any stock boats, but our lead time right now is about 4-5 months, depending on the model”, says David.

He added that most new builds are amphibious boats but say there is still a steady demand for their non-amphibious Strata range of RIBs.

Steve McLay, McLay Boats, one of the countries leading aluminium boat builders, says that things are hectic, and 2021 will go down as one of their best years ever.

“We are not building as many units as we did a few years ago, but that’s only because the sizes have increased, and now most of the boats we build are over 6m, especially the larger hardtops”, says Steve.

Huntsman will have limited new boats at the Hutchwilco Boat Show.
Buccaneer is building more of their bigger models.

He says he has employed more staff to keep up with demand, but even that has only made a small dent in the number of boats he can get out the door each week. Like most manufacturers, there is a supply issue, which impacts being able to finish a boat to send to dealers.

Despite this, McLay has managed to slip in a custom 8.8m hardtop and are busy with a smaller Raptor cabin version of the larger 741 Raptor hardtop.

Most other alloy boat manufacturers also report bulging order books, with 2021 shaping up to be a record year.

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