Brrr! Winter is truly upon us, just in time for the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show at Greenlane, Auckland, which as I write starts tomorrow. But it’s not just the winter breezes that are chilly this year – the economy seems to have caught a cold as well!

As Kiwis hunker down clutching their wallets tight, the marine industry, like many other sectors, is feeling the pinch. Many Kiwis are deferring buying a boat for now, which is ironic since prices are sharper than they have been in years. There are bargains to be had – hopefully, plenty of savvy Kiwis will take advantage of them at Greenlane over the next few days.

Of course, the economy’s chill will thaw eventually. It always does. And in the meantime, people will still go boating.

They will also continue to tinker with their boats, repair, refit and restore them. That’s how a lot of us like to spend our time. And if buying a new boat has been put on the backburner, some of us may decide to spend money on our existing vessel instead. Such projects require parts, materials, and often professional help, which keeps the industry ticking over.

Here at the magazine, people contact us regularly with boat projects they have been quietly working on, sometimes for years. Our review of the Dibley 12m Fulcrum in this month’s issue is a good example. Thirty years in the making, it’s a project that’s resulted in an awesome vessel its owners are justifiably proud of. There must be many other similar stories out there – our writing team is already working on a few we’ll bring to you in future issues – and we’d love to share more of them with our readers.


I’m certain there are projects underway in garages, sheds, and backyards all around the country, from full-scale home-builds to modest upgrades; re-powers to ground up restorations. Dinghies, yachts, trailer boats, keelers and yachts. Classics and not-so-classics. They’re all interesting.

So, if you’ve got a boating project you’d like to share with Boating NZ’s readers, we’d love to hear from you. Email or contact us via our website:

Happy boating,

John Eichelsheim