Inflatable raft sales buoyed by new park

By Lin Ferguson

Add a comment
RACING THE RAPIDS: Whitewater rafting on simulated rapids at a new park in Auckland. An inflatable raft can be seen at back. PHOTO/JOHN BOOTH
RACING THE RAPIDS: Whitewater rafting on simulated rapids at a new park in Auckland. An inflatable raft can be seen at back. PHOTO/JOHN BOOTH

Business never lags at Incept Marine in Taihape.

Owner John Booth has just returned from Auckland and the official opening of the $45 million Vector Wero Whitewater Park, a manmade course of rapids in Manukau.

Incept has supplied the new adventure park with its inflatable rafts and kayaks - around 20 at this stage, Mr Booth said.

The new centre is run by Ian Ferguson, New Zealand's most successful Olympian, competing in K1, K2 and K4 kayak events.

He first competed at the Canada Olympic Games in 1976 and again at the Russia Olympic Games in 1980.

"I've known Ian for a long time and this centre is quite something," said Mr Booth.

It features artificial rivers with removable obstacles allowing fast and varied configuration of rapids, which are becoming popular throughout the world, Mr Booth said.

"It was fantastic to be at the opening. The simulated whitewater course is amazing to see."

And the centre is practically beside the motorway in Wiri, "which means you don't have go off into remote country areas to get there", said Mr Booth.

"It's very accessible."

Incept was also keeping up with a standing order of 200 inflatable rescue rafts at $4500 each a year for the American Search and Rescue Service.

But moving his manufacturing operation from Hautapu St in Taihape would never be an option, he said.

"No, we're here for the lifestyle and we're staying put."

His company even created special craft for the New Zealand film industry.

A special elongated raft was built with a steel frame for a camera.

"It means the camera can film from the perspective of a kayaker paddling furiously through rapids. I'm told it's working well."

The latest projects under way are inflatable docks for oil company Chevron for its tankers and a large, very stable rescue boat that can take a tonne payload, travel at 45km/h and opens out at the front for easy access to water.

"So yeah, we're pretty busy."

- Wanganui Chronicle

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 23 May 2017 13:29:51 Processing Time: 650ms