A new boat washing facility at Sulphur Point _ the first of its kind in New Zealand _ is helping Tauranga boaties save time as well as the environment.
Washtech Solutions manager Noel O'Dwyer said he and two friends, Trevor Jans and Mike Ensor, came up with the idea after spending an hour and a-half washing down their boat following a day on the water.
They all agreed there had to be a better way, so the trio set about coming up with a solution. Two years later, their idea is launched.
The boatwash began operating on December 28, and Mr O'Dwyer said they hope to have them installed at boat ramps throughout the country.
The idea was to save people time but it wasn't long before the environmental benefits of the boatwash also began to surface.
With the recent spread of invasive pests such as didymo and sea squirt, the boatwash provided a fast and effective way for boat users to decontaminate their craft.
"The lakes in Taupo and Rotorua have expressed an interest because it is an effective way to remove bugs and contaminants from boats and trailers," he said.
Another environmental benefit was that boatwash used much less water than if people washed their boats at home. "If you wash your boat at home you use between 800 to 1200 litres of water. Here they use 135 litres for the $6 wash."
There are $2, $4 and $6 washes available and the self-serve machine operates in a similar way to a car wash.
"People can launch their boat then run the trailer through and wash all the salt off so it is not sitting out in the sun all day, covered in salt."
With the rate of corrosion caused by salt this could be a yearly expense, he said.
Rust on a trailer can also cause it to fail a warrant of fitness.
Mr O'Dwyer said people have been slow in taking to the new boatwash but it was getting more and more use every day.
"I think the main reason people are not using it is because they don't know how it works or how much it costs."
Mr O'Dwyer said it felt fantastic to have the boatwash finally up and running.
"After 18 months people still weren't very receptive and they all wanted to see one first. To see it up and running now is great."
Tauranga City Council senior property consultant John Budden said the council had supported the boatwash because it added another service to the area.
"It is user pays ... so everybody wins."