Frustrated owners of a stranded luxury launch yesterday put it up for sale after repeatedly failing to free it from wet sand less than 100m from the Mt Maunganui shore.

But by evening, the boat was lying in pieces on the beach, the owners finally deciding to take what they could and lose the boat.

The launch, estimated to have been worth more than $400,000, hit rocks early on Wednesday and became an attraction at the beach for two days while diggers tried to pull it ashore.

Authorities said it had overshot Tauranga Harbour's entrance as it approached in the dark.

Yesterday a "for sale" sign was put on the boat, although calls to the number were unanswered.

At 6pm, the 20-tonne boat lay on the beach in two parts, its cabin torn off its splintered hull that had wires dangling off it. A dump truck carted away a third piece including the boat's engine.

Dozens of people were gathered to look at the debris that remained.

Local resident Guilherme Athanazio said it was terrible to see the beautiful boat in ruins. "I hope these guys have insurance. It's a big mess."

But another local was far less sympathetic. "They didn't know what they were doing. It was quite salvageable this morning," said the man, who did not give his name.

He said he would have made a serious offer of up to $50,000 to buy the boat. "I would've bought it this morning. It was worth it. It had a perfectly good hull."