Colossal superyacht My Girl left Whangarei this week, after a refit at Oceania Marine's dry dock, ending a summer of mixed fortunes for the local multimillion-dollar superyacht refitting and repair business.
Superyacht Support managing director Jeanette Tovin said New Zealand attracted about half the superyachts visiting the Pacific. Most reached our waters after sailing from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, then through the Panama Canal.
The 25 to 30 superyacht stopovers this summer had added millions to the economy but New Zealand could do better, Tovin said.
"When you've got a crew of 30 on the big boats, they go out and spend their money at bars and restaurants," she said. "Tourism NZ doesn't even have a budget for the superyacht industry. All the money goes into cruise ships."
She said the industry needed GST breaks for its overseas visitors.
Oceania Marine yacht liaison Jim Loynes said the 50m My Girl, owned by a wealthy US businessman, was as big a yacht as they could handle without reconfiguring their slipway.
"Some other bigger boats are being done in the water down in Auckland."