Boating is back with a roar as biggest on-water event of the year returns with the Auckland Boat Show. When the show kicks off on March 23, it will be with a record number of brands.

The 2023 show will see exhibitors present close to 500 marine brands to a public hungry for nautical products. Statistics commissioned last year by NZ Marine show 1.9 million people, or 40 per cent of New Zealand’s population, participate in boating each year, making boating New Zealand’s most popular recreational activity.

Exhibiting companies are set to use the Jellicoe Harbour show, March 23-26, as a showcase for innovation, which has exploded within New Zealand’s thriving boating industry over the last few years. Rapid growth and record boat sales have seen new models, boundary-pushing innovation, and a growing range of vessels – and ways to access them – feeding the appetite of the boating public.

Shared boating options are becoming increasingly popular. Shared boating is a lower commitment than traditional boat ownership – in time, vessel maintenance and capital investment. There are options to suit the new-to-boating owner, those without space for a trailer boat at home, or anyone who doesn’t get out on the water quite as often as they’d like.

Skipperi is a new-to-New Zealand, subscription-based service that operates on the Hauraki Gulf with access via an app to a fleet of 20 new Haines Hunters. At the other end of the spectrum, the Yacht Collective, introduced by experienced brokerage house 36 Degrees Brokers, is a premium syndication option offering luxury boating for a fraction of the cost, with full service included.


Likewise, Your Marine offers one-sixth ownership syndication with a walk-on, walk-off service. The vessels – a 1090 Evolution, a 31 Spirit and an 890 Ventura – are berthed in Westhaven with cleaning, valet and laundry included in the management fee.

Sea trials
Sea trials will come to central Auckland during the show, with plenty to experience on the water for those in the market for a new vessel. Whangarei’s Blackdog Cat will bring its ultra-stable, twin-hulled aluminium vessels, favourites among fishermen, divers and families, to the sea trial area. Another aluminium boatbuilder, Northland’s Makaira Boats, will demonstrate its striking, long-range offshore vessels on the water, while Innovision Boats, whose alloy trailerboats feature a longer waterline length for improved ride and performance, a finer bow entry to reduce pitching, and extra waterline at the transom for added stability at rest, will also be available for sea trials. Innovision boats have become popular for fishing, diving and other recreational activities.


Something for every boater
From amphibious vessels to explore New Zealand’s bays and coves, to motor yachts designed as family weekenders, the latest crop of boats on display at the Auckland Boat Show will reflect the enjoyment Kiwis draw from exploring local waters.

Whakatane-based builder Legacy Marine has entered the market with its flagship model, the 25m (78ft 9in) L75 Paragon. Constructed from aluminium, the new Legacy range also includes L35, L45 and L52 models. Legacy Marine draws on the boatbuilding pedigree of Extreme Boats, which has been manufacturing aluminium trailer boats for nearly 20 years.

Amphibious innovation from Auckland-based Sealegs is epitomised by the release of a 3.8m electric amphibious tender, the 3.8TE. Developed after feedback from superyacht owners and crew, the 3.8TE is specifically designed to fit inside the lazarette of larger vessels.

Innovation is being delivered through the 3TE’s Programmable Logic Switching (PLS) technology, coupled with next generation sensors. Sealegs’ AMTRAX system has pioneered amphibious electrification with digital controls and software.


Festival on the water
The show’s late summer dates have been set to ensure a ‘festival on the water’ feel. It’s also designed to allow boaters to discover the products and services that will help them prepare for the season ahead.

The show follows hot on the heels of SailGP in Lyttelton, March 18-19, giving marine enthusiasts back-to-back weekends of on-water events.

Tickets to the Auckland Boat Show are on sale now and online ticket purchasers will go into the draw to win from a huge selection of prizes when they answer the questions accompanying their purchase confirmation.