Matthew Theunissen

Matthew Theunissen is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Luxury superyachts share glittering Christmas spirit

Big Fish captain Winston Joyce-Clarke is about to deliver aid to Fiji. Photo / Michael Craig
Big Fish captain Winston Joyce-Clarke is about to deliver aid to Fiji. Photo / Michael Craig

Superyachts and their millionaire owners are in port - and they're sharing the Christmas spirit.

The locally-built 50m Ohana and the palatial 58.5m Ulysses are the big attractions around Auckland's Viaduct Basin.

Kiwi billionaire Graeme Hart, who owns Ulysses, has the even larger 77m superyacht Weta moored at the nearby Silo Marina.

Nearby is the $60m superyacht Big Fish, which was yesterday stowing 20 tonnes of aid for cyclone-struck Fiji. Spending the Christmas break shipping aid to Fiji isn't everyone's idea of a holiday, but you could do worse than doing it on superyacht Big Fish.

"It's hard to take a palace to some of the places we go to, so bringing along a bit of good definitely goes a long way," said Winston Joyce-Clarke, captain of the 45m Big Fish.

One of the most difficult things about getting aid to those in need was freight, he said, so it made sense for private yachts to assist. "And you're giving it to the end receiver - the person who actually requires the help."

In addition, the crew of Big Fish "spend a lot more than the average tourist" and their dollars would be welcome in the local economy, he said.

The newest arrival attracting rubberneckers at Silo Marina is the 50m Ohana. Fitzroy Yachts in New Plymouth built and launched it on October 28 for its European owner.

Fitzroy Yachts managing director Rodney Martin said Ohana would stay in Auckland until May. The yacht can accommodate 10 guests and eight crew.

Superyacht Support managing director Jeanette Tobin said New Zealand could attract more superyacht owners and high-rollers, although outfitters around the country were "jam-packed full". She said about 200 superyachts were floating around the Pacific at this time of year.

- APNZ

- APNZ

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