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A new breed of coach boat impresses the sailing world

by Zoe Hawkins 18 Dec 2020 01:51 PST 18 December 2020
Greg Salthouse puts hull #5 through its paces on the Tutukaka Coast north of Auckland © Subzero Images

The Salthouse family are synonymous with New Zealand sailing and have been for many decades. From America’s Cup to Olympics and world ocean racing, Salthouse sailors, designers and boatbuilders have been there all the way through.

Greg Salthouse took the helm of Salthouse Boatbuilders from his father in 2005 and continued to run a thriving business that continuously produced high end sport racers, impeccable luxury powerboats and coastal cruisers, each purpose built and highly bespoke.

But boatbuilding is highly demanding work and with a growing family and work life balance to consider, Greg and wife Delayne made a strategic lifestyle decision to rescale and hone in on creating hand built coach boats and high performance tenders.

This enabled them to cast off the aspects of business ownership that they least enjoyed and to focus on the parts of the business that they most loved, namely designing and hand crafting boats, one at a time, specifically for the requirements of each individual owner.

That was a year ago, and today boat number 13 is now in the shed under construction. Greg admits this one is taking slightly longer as usual because he is busy skippering a signal boat on the America’s Cup race course, alongside Australian Yachting boss Iain Murray.

Since the build of the first coach boat got underway in 2019 , Yachting New Zealand has taken purchase of five Salthouse Coachboats for its high performance programme. The pro wind foiling and youth sailing Herbert family have one. New Zealand’s most successful sailing coach Grant Beck has one – and had a hand in designing them. And Emirates Team New Zealand Sail Program Manager and family cousin Rob Salthouse has one – although it is primarily used for fishing.

Salthouse Coach Boats, with a distinctive high bow designed to keep the crew dry even at speed, are entirely made in New Zealand (with the exception of a few components) and are designed to enable coaches to best support their sailors through training and racing, even those ‘difficult to accommodate’ boats such as 49ers and foilers.

Salthouse Coach Boats are in demand and the first boat arrives in Australia this month. If you intend to invest in one, highly recommends that you register your interest soon at – or have a chat with Greg and Delayne if you see them around the water.

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