The Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show, the event that's always highlighted on thousands of Kiwi fishing calendars, kicked off at the showgrounds in Greenlane yesterday.

Among the many innovations to lure boaties is a new amphibious craft that retracts its front wheel into the bow through a sliding door, while the rear wheels retract into a custom transom at the back of the boat.

McLay Boats managing director Steve McLay believes it's a world first for such systems and follows on from other Kiwi groundbreaking, or is that waterbreaking, innovations such as from Auckland boatbuilder Sealegs, whose amphibious boats use motorised, retractable and steerable wheels.

Steve McLay with what he believes is a world first - a boat with a retracting wheel bow door. Photo / Michael Craig
Steve McLay with what he believes is a world first - a boat with a retracting wheel bow door. Photo / Michael Craig

The retractable wheel system allows for launching without messing around with a trailer, making for a faster, quieter and drier start to any boating adventure.

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Visitors to the show also get the chance to win a boat package worth $250,000 — definitely the catch of the day.