Dou­ble bonus: boat & cruise

In the good old days buy­ing a new boat from a for­eign land used to be a risky, not to men­tion pricey, ex­er­cise. The build could be of du­bi­ous qual­ity and the prod­uct would take a long time to get to our lit­tle part of the South Pa­cific, well away from the

Boating NZ - - Contents - BY MATT VANCE

Buy off­shore, take a cruise, then ship the new boat home.

With the rise of the qual­ity pro­duc­tion boat man­u­fac­tur­ers in Europe over the last 20 years all that has changed. Even in New Zealand, which is known for its well-built cus­tom boats, most of the new boat mar­ket is now made up of im­ported pro­duc­tion boats. Buy­ing a Euro­pean pro­duc­tion boat here has tra­di­tion­ally been based around ship­ping it di­rect from Europe, as most New Zealand agents keep only a small range in stock. While seen as a dis­ad­van­tage by some, it can now be turned into the best of ad­van­tages.

Or­der­ing your boat from the Euro­pean fac­tory, hav­ing it com­mis­sioned there and then launched in time for a cruise in the Mediter­ranean or Adri­atic is now an op­tion. Once the cruise has been com­pleted over the north­ern sum­mer, the boat can then be shipped back to New Zealand to ar­rive in time for the south­ern sum­mer – with all the bugs ironed out and a boat­load of mem­o­ries in tow.

One of the ad­van­tages is that the boat re­mains rel­a­tively close to the fac­tory dur­ing the all-im­por­tant com­mis­sion­ing stages. Us­ing the boat in cruis­ing mode will flush out any prob­lems or war­ranty is­sues, which can then be quickly sorted out by the fac­tory and fixed on the spot.

While this knowl­edge is nice to have as a back-up, most pro­duc­tion boats now on the mar­ket have qual­ity as­sur­ance mea­sures and pre­ferred sup­pli­ers, which means you will be fo­cussing on the other big ad­van­tage: a great op­por­tu­nity for a Euro­pean cruis­ing hol­i­day.

Richard and Suzy Wardenburg, the New Zealand agents for Green­line Yachts and other Euro­pean brands, put this idea to the test re­cently when pur­chas­ing their own 48-foot (14.63m) Green­line Fly­bridge Cruiser from Green­line Yachts fac­tory in Slove­nia.

“It was such a great way to in­tro­duce our­selves to the new boat,” said Suzy. “From the out­set it was a gen­uine ex­pe­ri­ence, from see­ing the pro­duc­tion line at the Green­line fac­tory, to ex­plor­ing the beauty of Slove­nia while we had the boat com­mis­sioned.”

The War­den­burgs met their new boat, Kiwi Green, at the Por­toroz Ma­rina in Slove­nia be­fore em­bark­ing on a jour­ney south through the myr­iad is­lands of Croa­tia’s Adri­atic coast.

“It was re­as­sur­ing to have the Green­line tech­ni­cians there while we were get­ting ready to cruise. We were also able to fit the boat out with the best gear as both Slove­nia and nearby

It was re­as­sur­ing to have the Green­line tech­ni­cians there while we were get­ting ready to cruise.

Italy have good qual­ity equip­ment at rea­son­able prices,” said Suzy.

With Kiwi Green fit­ted out, the Wardenburg’s headed south on a 240 nau­ti­cal mile cruise to Ko­tor in Mon­tene­gro, via the Is­trian Penin­sula and the Kor­nati Is­lands.

“The cruis­ing is magic!” said Suzy. “There are plenty of an­chor­ages, how­ever most nights we booked in to the wa­ter­front quay of one of the many beau­ti­ful small towns amongst the is­lands. It was stern-to Mediter­ranean moor­ing with a se­lec­tion of res­tau­rants and bars right at your board­ing lad­der.”

This fac­tor alone made it quite dif­fer­ent to the sort of cruis­ing we are fa­mil­iar with in New Zealand where an­chor­ing out is the norm.

“We nar­rowed our favourite spots down to Brbinj Cove on the is­land of Dugi Otok near the Kor­nati Is­lands, the town of Skradin on the in­land

wa­ter­ways of cen­tral Croa­tia and Stiniva Cove on the is­land of Vis. We were spoilt for choice, as all of it is pretty amaz­ing,” said Suzy.

“If we needed to pro­vi­sion along the way we went to one of the main­land ports where there were big su­per­mar­kets to do a stock up.”

The main­land ports were good for lo­gis­tics as well: “We had sev­eral groups of friends and clients meet us along the way, and with air­ports and buses, ac­cess was a breeze. Ev­ery­one was able to meet us, and with the short dis­tance be­tween ports, it was al­ways easy to co­or­di­nate the crew changes.”

The cruise south was enough to whet the ap­petite for more. “Once we reached Mon­tene­gro we had a def­i­nite list of places we wanted to re­visit on our way back north, as well as many new ar­eas we had missed on the way south,” said Suzy.

Part of the ad­van­tage of cruis­ing the Adri­atic this way was that the War­den­burgs had many of the po­ten­tial bu­reau­cratic has­sles ironed out by reg­is­ter­ing the ship as a New Zealand­flagged ves­sel. “It was also great to fly the New Zealand en­sign so far from home,” said Suzy.

The War­den­burgs were able to cruise for three months be­fore re­turn­ing to Por­toroz to pre­pare the boat for ship­ping.

Kiwi Green was then taken to the Ital­ian port of Tri­este, where she was craned di­rectly from the wa­ter onto a con­tainer ship. With the aid of a cus­toms agent, they were able to work through the fine de­tails of im­port and ex­port with ease.

After her tran­sit to New Zealand, a trip that typ­i­cally takes six to eight weeks, Kiwi Green has ar­rived in the port of Tau­ranga in time for sum­mer. She will be at­tend­ing the Auck­land On Wa­ter Boat Show with a boat-load of mem­o­ries from one of the world’s best cruis­ing grounds in her wake.

RIGHT The War­den­berg’s 48foot Green­line Kiwi Green is now home in New Zealand.

ABOVE Most nights we booked in to a wa­ter­front quay and moored stern-to. INSET The scenery ev­ery­where in the re­gion is stun­ningly beau­ti­ful.

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