The Americas's Cup gives us a huge opportunity, at minimal cost, to promote the marine industry


C-Quip’s Paul Hackett – pictured with a carbon fibre dive ladder.

Emirates Team New Zealand has had an impact on C-Quip in that Grant Dalton’s team and the Italian challenger Luna Rossa contracted them to make carbon fibre parts for the AC72s’.  They built the control arms for the wing sail – previously known as booms but housing electrics and hydraulics.

Busfield says “we have the fundamentals of a reputation like the French to Champagne and the Swiss have to watches …. Kiwis to boats”

There is no doubt New Zealand’s involvement in the battle for the world’s oldest sporting trophy has already reaped benefits for Kiwi marine companies. Busfield says there would be “several companies out of business and more with fewer employees” had Team New Zealand not challenged for the cup and made a lucrative technology deal with Patrizizo Bertelli’s Luna Rossa syndicate. Southern Spars took on extra staff to specifically build the gargantuan AC72 wing sails for both teams.

World renowned Cookson Boats built the hulls for Team New Zealand and its round the world race yacht Camper and the next build is a boat for the Sydney Hobart race. “To win this cup would be huge for New Zealand and from our perspective it would be hugely rewarding. Composite boat builds are our dream come true” Cookson says.

Team New Zealand called on more than 130,000 hours of outsourced labour to build their two AC72 yachts, as well as more than 120,000 hours of labour internally. Managing Director Grant Dalton has done his maths, especially after coping public flak for the million investment from government.

The team contracted 13 machine and fabrication shops in New Zealand to manufacture the thousands of parts needed to build the complex catamarans. “What gives us a cut above the rest of the teams in one respect is that the industry is right on our doorstep. There’s a mutual respect between this team and the industry” Dalton says.

The opportunities weren’t there for all New Zealand marine businesses. In fact Q-West Boat Builders in Whangarei made a conscious decision not to focus on securing business tied up with the America’s Cup. “We knew our counterparts would push hard in those areas” says Managing Director Myles Fothergill. “But indirectly we benefit from Team New Zealand’s success” Q-West stuck with what it knows best – building a range of custom one-off aluminium boats, from pleasure craft to ferries and continues to prosper.

From a New Zealand branding point of view the past successes of Team New Zealand has opened doors for marine manufacturers.

Picture: C-Quip’s Paul Hackett – pictured with a carbon fibre dive ladder.