She's tall, beautiful and can stop air traffic.

A special guest has sailed into Whangarei but it's not those aboard the enormous M5 causing the stir.

It's the $50 million yacht herself, the world's largest single-masted sloop, sitting at 90m tall, 75m long and equipped with seven cabins.

It's good to have a big yacht come up and use Whangarei.

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Owned by Texas oil billionaire Rodney Lewis, the M5 is at Port Nikau for rigging repairs, with a special crew flying in to do the job with assistance from a local business.

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Whangarei Airport had to be notified as she sailed past Onerahi on Wednesday afternoon, to ensure no flights were arriving at the same time.

The airport is only about 40m above sea level meaning the M5's mast dwarfed Onerahi peninsula.

Airport manager Mike Chubb got a call about the yacht's arrival about a week ago.

On Wednesday, he drove down to the end of the runway to watch the craft with a "towering mast" pass about 4.30pm.

"It was a bit nerve-wracking because I had an Air New Zealand flight coming in at 4.50pm. I was down there on radio making sure no one was coming in to land," Mr Chubb said.

The M5, originally named Mirabella V when she was launched from Hampshire in 2003, was now at Port Nikau's Oceania Marine Limited.

Oceania marketing manager Jim Loynes said the yacht would be in town about a week with a special crew from England being flown out to complete the repairs.

The M5 has the world's largest single-masted sloop, sitting at 90m tall and 75m long.
The M5 has the world's largest single-masted sloop, sitting at 90m tall and 75m long.

"Oceania Marine are lending a bit of assistance where we can with forklifts and trucks," Mr Loynes said.

"It's good to have a big yacht come up and use Whangarei. It highlights the fact we can accommodate them."

The M5 was previously docked in Auckland and Mr Loynes said he suspected the crew had picked Whangarei because there was ample space at the port to lay out rigging.

"I can't really comment on the exact reasons, it's just great to have them here."

He said the boat's owner was a "very private gentleman".