It's full steam ahead for a new ferry service between Tauranga and Mount Maunganui that was launched this morning.
The service is being run by Tauranga Water Transport which also runs the Omokoroa to Matakana barge.
Owner Glen Proctor said he is expecting a slow start to the service between The Strand and Salisbury Wharf.
"It's going to be tough going for a while but we expected that," he said.
His son Michael will be skippering the ferry which can seat up to 20 people.
Patronage during the first day has been low but it is expected to pick up from Labour weekend.
"From about Labour weekend our area fills up with campers at the Mount abd we get a lot of visitors in the area. We're just trying to cater to people who want to park their car in one place and get across," Michael Proctor said.
The service is currently on offer from Wednesday to Sunday and will leave from Tauranga at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm and from Salisbury Wharf at 10am, noon, 2pm and 4pm.