Two men attempting to sail from Auckland to Wellington have been towed into port at Napier after their yacht lost its sails and developed engine trouble.

Coastguard Hawke's Bay president Henry van Tuel said the yacht got into trouble 43 miles off Hawke Bay early yesterday morning.

The two men on board had been attempting to sail from Auckland to Wellington when they lost their sails and couldn't start the yacht's engine.

A Maritime New Zealand spokesman said the alarm was raised about 6am yesterday after relatives called police to say they were concerned the yacht Movin Free may have been in some difficulty.


Mr van Tuel said it took all day to tow the yacht into shore because the wind was up to 25 knots, the swell was about 2m high.

As a result, the Coastguard could only tow the yacht at a speed of 5 knots.

The yacht was moored at Napier Sailing Club and the men would probably sleep on board, Mr van Tuel said.