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Auckland begins preparation for Americas Cup 2021

03 October 2017


With many confirmations surrounding the 2021 Americas Cup being made, superyachts are beginning to plan their cruise south to time it with this exciting event. Emirates Team New Zealand CEO, Grant Dalton, confirmed that the boat will be the AC75 Class and will be a 75-foot-high performance monohull. The design concepts of which will be published by the 31st March 2018.                                         

Greg Kelly of the New Zealand Superyacht Group said “Auckland normally hosts about 30 superyachts over 30m per year and hoped the Cup would lift that number to in excess of 80.  The superyacht industry is expecting a big boost from an America's Cup event should it be held here in Auckland. There are hopes the infrastructure that needs to be built to cater for the growing number of superyachts will be permanent to cater for an ever expanding market.”

Managing director of Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ, Duthie Lidgard, said he believes now with the Pacific becoming more of a tourist and cruising destination more boats will continue to make the effort to travel to New Zealand and with the extra added bonus of the cup many will make the journey down.”

"With the average vessel now up over 55m in length, the boats are adventuring more and New Zealand always seems to be part of their bucket list. We are already in talks with several vessels three years ahead of planning their trip to New Zealand and the win has increased interest in cruising and chartering in New Zealand waters," said Lidgard who ventured to Bermuda to watch the Cup earlier in the year.

With another event of this kind held in Auckland we would definitely need to see a new major development to ensure we have sufficient infrastructure, base facilities for challengers and new berths for visiting superyachts and he believes these changes will definitely occur.  “In the last 15 years since the last cup, cruising outside of the normal Mediterranean/Caribbean run is becoming more normal than the exception.  The rise of Expedition Style motoryachts is creating a long range cruising environment and the Pacific is still offering untouched cruising grounds.

''For the last four years our marinas have been at near maximum capacity for the superyacht visitation each summer, the Americas Cup coming to New Zealand will definitely see a much needed boost for the local industry over the coming years." 

Key dates to keep in mind:
30th November 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
1st January 2018: Entries for Challengers Open
31st March 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
30th June 2018: Entries for Challengers Close
31st August 2018: Location of the America's Cup Match & The PRADA Cup confirmed
31st August 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
31st December 2018: Late entries Deadline
31st March 2019: Boat 1 can be launched
2nd half of 2019: 2 x America's Cup World Series Preliminary Events
1st February 2020: Boat 2 can be launched
2020: 3 x America's Cup World Series Preliminary Events
10th-20th December 2020: America's Cup Christmas Race
January & February 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
March 2021: The America's Cup Match

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New Zealand’s New Superyacht Refit Destination

03 March 2017

With New Zealand being the South Pacific Super Yacht hub for both refits and cruising, more vessels are feeling confident from many years of talk from fellow owners and captains to head to the southern hemisphere. Although many people outside of New Zealand believe Auckland is the only city for vessels to come to, this is becoming less of a “must go” place.  Whangarei, a city 2 hours north of Auckland, is opening its doors to the world of superyachts as an entrance to Northland and the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. Here in New Zealand, we believe that the whole world is situated in just our small country, and this all starts at the top in Northland and Whangarei.


Although this is a relatively unknown city of the world, Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand has seen the potential and opened a new office in Whangarei. Led by Karma Butler, an ex crew member, APS NZ has taken off already with a handful of vessels coming to Whangarei. Through this office, APS NZ is able to offer both refits and cruising opportunities for many different vessels. “When compared with Auckland, Whangarei is much more cost effective” says Butler. “Although, for many people, cheaper means not as good, this is not the case for Whangarei. This slower pace environment, offers a different style whilst upholding the best of New Zealand’s expertise and craftsmanship”, Butler continues, “All of the yards are in one area, there are no traffic issues, you’re right on the doorstep of the beautiful Northland beaches and the people are extremely friendly. Whangarei and Northland are not high rise cities and have a more relaxed and “beachy” lifestyle.”


New Zealand and Auckland in particular is a common destination for some of the best refits in the world and Whangarei is no exception. “With a variety of different shipyards some of which specialise in heavy engineering and large refits including a 2000 tonne capacity slipway as well as 40 tonne slipway, we can cater to it all. There are also sheltered berths of 120m, 67m and 36m, complete with a crane” reports Duthie Lidgard, Managing Director of APS NZ. With a large amount of knowledge surrounding Whangarei and Northland, Butler continues to explain that “Port Whangarei, is home to one of New Zealand’s largest travel lifts with it’s capacity being 100 tonne, with a maximum beam of 10 metres, that can do monohull or multihull, sail or motor vessels, as well as all tide access, wash down pads along with access to extensive hardstand or refit sheds, its an ideal place to come.” Contractors include only the best interior fit out services, superyacht paint companies and full marine engineering services, all of whom have workshops on site. There are two main marinas used for docking vessels: Marsden Cove Marina, which can take vessels up to 44m within the marina and Whangarei Marina which is the closest to the town centre and can take vessels up to 20m with a 3m draft. 


As a city, Whangarei offers a wide range of world class options for refits and is the ideal place to bring your vessel to refit and then to use as a base for cruising and chartering, as well as an entrance to the rest of the Northland which offers a wide range of activities for everyone. “Not only is Northland extremely beautiful, but it has some fantastic cuisine, great adventures and activities and allows you to immerse yourself completely into the New Zealand culture,” Reports Butler. With trips such as travelling to the top of New Zealand, Cape Reinga where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea, to sand surfing down the Ahipara dunes, Northland offers it all.  From Whangarei you have easy access to the Poor Knights Islands where some of the best diving in the world occurs allowing you to see just some of what New Zealand has to offer. With beautiful water falls, Maori culture and the Waipoua Forest to explore the ancient Kauri forests, Whangarei allows this to happen for you easily, along with great fishing off the coast, white sandy beaches and surf. With a wide range of luxury accommodations, APS NZ are able to accommodate all that you desire to create an itinerary unique and special to you. Butler continues “Whangarei is the new Auckland, allowing not only world class refits, but world class treatment and experiences without the hustle, bustle and expense of the Auckland city life.”


Contact Duthie for more information:


Waiheke Island listed in Top 10 Regions Worldwide

05 November 2015


Waiheke Island is a gem. Just a short ferry journey from Auckland's downtown lies an island full of beautiful beaches, boutique wineries and restaurants, friendly locals, great walks and amazing scenary.
It was recently listed by Lonely Planet as a Top Region for 2016 - an accolade we think is well deserved!


Janice Lynch promoted to APSNZ Yacht Support Manager

21 October 2015


It is with great pleasure to announce that Janice Lynch has been promoted to the job of Yacht Support Manager for Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand. With many years’ experience in the marine industry in New Zealand, Janice is already well known as the “go to” person.

“Janice’s expertise, knowledge and desire to showcase the very best that New Zealand has to offer enables her to support vessels better than anyone. These strengths ensure that vessels, crews & owners are cared for in the best possible way” says Founder and Director of Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ, Jeanette Tobin.

Janice will now oversee the day to day Yacht Support and be the main contact point for every vessel coming to New Zealand who choose Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ.

“Janice’s 24/7 work ethic and the relationships she builds with each client, she is really the best of the best. She’s an absolute star, just ask any of our clients” says Duthie Lidgard Managing Director of Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ, who will be working on the growth in other divisions within the business.

Personally - its an exciting time for me. From humble beginings back in the early 90's working on the wild Irish Sea onboard Irish Ferries to now working with some of the world's largest superyachts visiting New Zealand. I love New Zealand and have a slight obsession ensuring everything is running like clock work and everyone is happy! We have a great team in the APSNZ office and it shows. We've built up a great reputation down in NZ and its a pleasure to be now leading the Yacht Support division.  


Let's talk itineraries

21 September 2015

If you are thinking of chartering in New Zealand take advantage of the Monaco Yacht Show for a catch up with Duthie to discuss all that New Zealand has to offer and go through a raft of itinerary possibilities. For food for thought see why the Mayer family, owners of M/Y The Big Blue, found New Zealand a highlight of their world tour – watch the video interview here. We are proud to have looked after a host of superyachts and provided them with unique experiences for both their owners and charter guests.

For more food for thought visit our Destination New Zealand guide.


Traditional Poi dance


Experience New Zealand and South Pacific Destinations With Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand