A man has faced court charged over the murder of a man whose body was found on a boat at Nelson more than two weeks ago.

Martin Grant Price, 52, was arrested on Saturday and appeared in Nelson District Court today charged with killing John Murray Morton, whose body was discovered at Nelson Haven on August 4.

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Man charged with murder over Nelson death
Police: Nelson man suffered a very violent attack

Police say Price was known to the 55-year-old victim, who went by the nickname Muzza.

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Price will next appear in the High Court at Nelson on September 6, his lawyer Tony Bamford told NZ Newswire.

He was unable to comment on whether Price would enter a plea on that date.

According to detectives, Mr Morton's injuries suggested he was the victim of a "very violent attack".

His death sparked a widespread search for clues, including examination of a number of boats moored at Queen Elizabeth II Drive.

Mr Morton lived on a boat moored in that area, but his body was found on a different boat nearby.