Whangarei's reputation as an international centre for marine services and supplies is holding strong with the recent opening of new multimillion-dollar vessel haul-out and hardstand facilities at Marsden Cove Marina.
Operating six days a week, the Marsden Maritime Holdings-owned haul-out ramp can accommodate vessels up to 12 metres wide to a maximum length of 35 metres and maximum weight of 80 tonnes.
The vessels were transported by the Roodberg hydraulic slip-way trailer on a private 400m road from the ramp to a 1ha heavy-duty hardstand with video surveillance and secure fencing, said Vibeke Wright, the company's business development manager.
At the hardstand site a dedicated washdown area is available for vessels requiring a quick "lift and wash" before returning to sea, or in preparation for additional works. Waste is captured at source for safe disposal off site.
For longer stays, certified weight-rated stands and cradles ensure vessels undergoing maintenance work are properly balanced and secure.
Also provided are live-aboard facilities including a kitchen, lounge, showers and toilets and the nearby marina commercial complex offers a range of amenities, including shops, customer lounge and laundry block, 24/7 on-water and on-shore fuel, and a restaurant, said Ms Wright.
The facilities are designed to cater for the national and international pleasure boat market.
"Whangarei is deservedly well known in the boating community as being a centre for excellence and we see the new facilities at Marsden Cove as being complimentary to that," said Marsden Maritime Holdings chief executive Graham Wallace.
"Our location at the mouth of Whangarei Harbour makes Marsden Cove a gateway for boats travelling from Auckland or the Pacific Islands, so our marketing and promotion is being targeted in those markets.
"Lack of capacity in Auckland boatyards is a really big issue," Mr Wallace said.
"Service provision currently available on site includes marine diesel engineering, marine electrics, canvas making and upholstery, boat-building, painting, sail-making and rigging.
"Additional services are available from Whangarei-based providers, although the company is keen to attract others to be based at the new facility.
"Our hardstand facility is unique in that it's backed by ample vacant industrial land.
"It's flat, construction ready, and available for lease at very affordable rates. There's effectively unlimited potential to develop a significant marine hub," said Mr Wallace.
"The Greater Marsden Point Area is the focus of a lot of development attention at the moment - aside from the new Government's commitment to examine Northport as an option to ease pressure on Ports of Auckland, and Marsden Maritime Holding's initiatives to promote the area, there's several residential developments forging ahead, too."