The first commercial customer of the Tauranga marine precinct's new 350-tonne capacity travel lift says it is a "huge asset" for the city.
Cy Wastell, skipper of 325 tonne, 47.5m superyacht No Comment, said he was stuck "between a rock and a hard place" when the boat needed repairs right before it was due to depart for Fiji.
"All the lifting facilities in Whangārei and Auckland were all shored up. The only option available was Brisbane, which would have been a 1400-mile passage in a leaky boat."
After hearing about Tauranga's new lift, the crew brought No Comment down from Auckland and it was lifted on Tuesday.
"It's a huge asset for Tauranga," he said.
Precinct project manager Phil Wardale said although the lift had been tested on a few local boats, this was the first true commercial lift, and the heaviest.
Before the travel lift could be officially open for business it would be stress tested with a 400-tonne vessel in the next few weeks, Wardale said.
In the wider precinct, he said eight marine services businesses had signed on to buy or lease spaces and the final stages of construction were being finished before an official opening planned for mid-June.
Councillor Max Mason said the lift was a milestone for the $11.4 million marine precinct and a "significant event in Tauranga's economic history".