For Nick and Jane Baker living in England and running a boat in New Zealand could be thought with problems, but thanks to Motor Yacht Service Centre, their Kiwi boating experiences have been virtually trouble-free.
When the couple brought their two-year-old Grand Banks 41 Europa from Hong Kong in 2012, it had done just 67 hours and had been used 100% as a day boat. “When we got the boat not one of the cabins had been slept in, and there were more hours on the generator than the engine,” says Nick.
Right from the start, the plan was to ship the boat to New Zealand and cruise the Malborough Sounds and Abel Tasman area for a couple of summers. However, when the boat (renamed Anne) was shipped to Auckland, Nick and his wife decided to spent a summer in the Hauraki Gulf and then motor on down to the Sounds the following season.
“Here we are eight years later, and I still have not got to the Sounds. I am still in awe of the Gulf, Great Barrier Island, Bay of Islands and the Mercury Islands. We spend 4-5 months every year and follow a similar route that we never tire of. Every day is different and a new boating experience”.
Living in Northern England means they are half a world away from their boat when back home so looking after their little ship is an important consideration. “We needed someone to maintain and service it when we are not in the country, and we also wanted to know that when we stepped off the plane and arrived at the marina, the boat was 100% turn-key ready”, says Nick.
This is where Motor Yacht Service Centre stepped in and for the past eight years have looked after the boat as part of their vessel management programme. Even now with over 1000 hours on the pair of MerCruiser Cummins 425hp/Zeus engines, Anne is as good as the day she was launched.
“Whether its marine engine servicing, shipwright services, marine electronics installation or even general maintenance work, we have everything covered”, says Motor Yachts Service Centre’s, Dean Ryder.
“The longer we stay here, the more I appreciate how important it is to have someone looking after the boat. I especially like the fact that Dean has a regular service plan, so things are fixed or replaced as need be, and we don’t have any issues once we start our cruising holiday”, added Nick.
Dean and wife Glynis add that they treat the boat as if it was their own and not only regularly wash it and open it up to get fresh air inside, but also give it a run to make sure all the system are working as they should.
“The boat is on a marina right in front of our yard, so I regularly check the lines, shore power covers, etc., especially when I know there is a storm front coming in. It gives peace of mind to Nick who knows that he doesn‘t have to worry if the marina is pounded by a cyclone, at least his boat is being looked after 24/7”, added Dean.
Nick remarked that people told him he was mad buying a boat and living 12000 miles away, but he is so happy with the service that Dean and his team have provided that he doesn’t have to worry about the boat when he is back home on his arable farm in East Yorkshire.
“As soon as I have booked my flights to come back down around November, I let Dean know, and he puts into action a plan to make sure every aspect of the boat is 100%, right down to milk in the fridge and a bottle of South Otago Pinot Noir on the table”!
“Through our vessel management package, we look after a number of local boats for owners who don’t live in Auckland and offer much the same service as we do to Nick. We believe if your vessel is up to date with its service you will be able to enjoy boating more without having the hassles of small things needing a repair. This, in the end, will help your boat retain its value by keeping all aspects of your vessel in like new condition’, says Dean.
Nick says he and his wife still plan to take the boat to the Sounds one day but hasn’t yet finished with exploring the Gulf, Great Barrier, Mercury Islands and the Bay of Islands.