Commercial marine operators in the upper South Island will have better access to liferaft and safety gear supply and servicing with the opening of the Hutchwilco Group’s new service centre in Nelson.

Hutchwilco operations manager Bernard Orme says the company has been expanding the commercial side of its business. As well as being a leading wholesale distributor in the lifejacket, marine safety and watersports markets in New Zealand, the Hutchwilco Group also operates three Auckland-based businesses: Wilco Marine Services, (focussing on life raft and safety solutions for superyachts and recreational boats; Denray Marine Services, (liferaft, lifeboat and lifeboat davit supply and service for the commercial shipping market); and Actron Marine (marine fire safety solutions).

The Hutchwilco Group South Island Service Centre, located at 225 Akersten St, Port Nelson, is well placed to service the safety needs of the large commercial fishing fleet operating from there, as well as other South Island customers. A building has been fitted out for liferaft servicing, and will be able to hold stock of and therefore more easily supply rafts and other safety equipment from the brands Hutchwilco represents, including Haf, Viking, Ocean Safety and Jonbuoy.

With recent issues around freighting, including dangerous goods such as flares, it’s going to be much easier for Hutchwilco  to have a base in that area, so equipment can be supplied and fitted to commercial vessels more quickly and efficiently.