by Kate Gordon
The Smuggler Strata 770 is the first boat outside the Sealegs brand to receive the Sealegs’ system of hydraulically-retracting wheels. - Auckland On Water Boat Show
Smuggler Marine has wheeled in Sealegs technology to give amphibious capability to its flagship rigid-inflatable boat (RIB), the Smuggler Strata 770, and the new boat makes its public debut at the Auckland On Water Boat Show when it opens on Thursday 27 September.
David Pringle, managing director of Smuggler Marine based in Henderson, Auckland, says the Smuggler Strata 770 powered by Sealegs technology targets a new market without reinventing the wheel, literally.
'Our customers have been asking for an amphibious version of the Strata RIB,' says Pringle. 'We’ve always admired the Sealegs technology so we are very keen to use their expertise. Sealegs has sold more than 650 amphibious boats in more than 30 countries, so they have already proven their reliability.'
The Smuggler Strata 770 is also significant for Sealegs, being the first boat outside the Sealegs brand to receive the Sealegs’ system of hydraulically-retracting wheels, which enable a boat to be driven straight out of the water on to a beach or boat ramp.
David Glen, chief executive officer of Sealegs International, says: 'Sealegs is committed to growing the amphibious market globally using Sealegs technology. Our arrangement with Smuggler Marine is a small, but very significant step for Sealegs and the growth of our technology, and we’re looking forward to seeing this new vessel at the Auckland On Water Boat Show later this month.'
Peter Busfield, executive director of the New Zealand Marine Industry Association which owns and runs this event, says: 'The new Smuggler Strata 770 with its amphibious Sealegs capabilities is one of several marine and boating products making their New Zealand or world debut at the Auckland On Water Boat Show.
The Smuggler Strata 770 powered by Sealegs technology debuts at the Auckland On Water Boat Show, 27-30 Sept - Auckland On Water Boat Show
'It’s significant to note that New Zealand companies which are using new technologies and releasing new boats and marine equipment are staying ahead of the game. There is no competition from a second-hand version of the same thing and if a customer likes what they see, then they buy the new product or boat. It’s a winning combination for both the customer and company.'
Others new boats and products at this year’s show:
- Tristram Marine’s new 641 Offshore powerboat, designed and built at their Hamilton factory;
- new models from Riviera Boats – the 63 Flybridge and the only 75 Flybridge built to date;
- Back Cove New Zealand has imported the first-ever Back Cove in time for the show, a single-engine pilothouse Back Cove 34;
- new model paddle boards from NZ Paddle Company, and;
- the new Scania DL13 13-litre diesel engine from South Pacific Diesel Systems.
The Auckland On Water Boat Show features over 200 exhibitors and runs from 27 to 30 September. Boats of all types and sizes are on display on the water of Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour or on land in and around the Viaduct Events Centre. Among the many attractions for the thousands of boating enthusiasts who enjoy the spring show are two of Sir Peter Blake's most famous yachts, Steinlager II and Lion New Zealand. Now owned by the New Zealand Sailing Trust, the yachts are both open for show visitors to go aboard.
The Auckland On Water Boat Show is open from 10 am to 6 pm Thursday through Saturday, and 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday. Tickets are available at the gate; an adult day pass is $20, buy a four day pass for $30, or save 20% by buying online from iTicket. See www.auckland-boatshow.com for further details or find Auckland On Water Boat Show on Facebook (www.facebook.com/OnWaterBoatShow).