Cule Marine manufactures hatches for every application

Cule Marine is anothwer Kiwi marine success story, quietly establishing its mark in the marine hatch market since 2007.

Its high-quality products have found favour with a number of local boat manufacturers, and they also have a strong following in the refit and custom build market. Based in Auckland’s west, director Scott Hanson says they are proud to produce a high-quality NZ-made product for both local and international customers.

The manufacturing process emphasises quality above all else, and to this end Cule recently made a sizeable investment in a computer controlled bending machine. This new machine enables a very precise build tolerance with multiple units of identical sizes being more easily achieved. Because the design is digitally stored on the computer it can build identical units even years apart. This is almost impossible to achieve with traditional patterns made of MDF, not to mention the hassle of storing physical models of each frame.

Hanson says that the new machine has not only considerably increased production capability but also reduced the amount of handwork required to finish each hatch frame. He says the investment reduces the company’s operating costs while at the same time ensuring it can meet future demand.


Cule has made it a point to use New Zealand made materials in its products wherever possible. Hence its aluminium extrusions, catches, fittings, and even the tooling is made locally. Only the acrylic, for which there is currently no New Zealand-based manufacturer, still needs to be imported.

Cule can custom manufacture a hatch to suit almost any customer requirement. Its frames incorporate just one weld, which may lead to less-efficient utilisation of extrusion lengths but minimises the possibility of corrosion in the finished product.

The finished product can be powder coated or anodised, with a variety of colours available. The fill panel can be tinted acrylic, opal (which lets in light but provides privacy – ideal for toilet and shower hatches) or solid aluminium. Solid hatches are often deck mounted and may be covered in U-deck or similar flooring.

Recently Cule Marine expanded its New Zealand business by purchasing the operations of MarineXpress and VibraStop. Fellow director Ursula Hanson says these acquisitions help to future-proof the business, by expanding their product offering.

They also offer them more opportunity to strengthen their relationship with retailers and hence broaden their base. At the same time, it will broaden the range of products the company can offer to thier whole customer base.