What started out as an ambitious project to build a 28m aluminium yacht by a group of New Zealand boat builders in the early 1980s led to the creation of Alloy Yachts just two years later. During the 1980s, a 12-13m yacht was considered large by New Zealand standards where the focus was on light displacement, relatively austere, high performance racing yachts. The use of aluminium for the 28m Chanel and the greater attention to the owner’s desired luxurious finish created a new level of skill and performance amongst the local boat builders involved.
The Chanel project took place on a leased site on the banks of the Henderson Creek in West Auckland, and when completed in 1985, the decision to keep the team together led to the purchase of nearby land and the establishment of Alloy Yachts Ltd.
With the next project – the tender launch for the 1987 New Zealand America’s Cup challenge – the foundations for today’s highly-rated aluminium superyacht building team were laid.
Alloy went on to expand and develop throughout the 80’s & 90’s and in 1998 they began construction of the 159ft sloop ‘Georgia’ – the largest single mast sailing yacht in the world (at that time).
The 2000’s were prosperous for Alloy Yachts where their developing reputation allowed them to re-specify with changes & improvements.
Many of these were their own designs, brought about from purchasing overseas products that did not always perform as expected.
Having an ‘all under one roof’ philosophy, Alloy’s systems and products were designed & built on site, where all team members remained hands-on throughout production and delivery.
On projects in the late 2000’s Alloy would promote their own build specification to the client in line with the Naval Architects general arrangement drawings. This specification included many custom products fully integrated across all systems providing more holistic final installation than ‘bolt on’ equipment manufacturer’s products that were not possible to seamlessly integrate together.
This process proved tremendously successful, allowing a standardization in many areas which provided the freedom and time to develop even more custom products and solutions.
Sadly, due to a decreased demand for sailing yachts, and a challenging time for NZ exporters Alloy Yachts elected to gracefully wind down and ceased operations in April 2016.
Many employees went on to start new companies and individually provide services to Alloy’s Yachts and the NZ marine industry.
We are eternally grateful for our time at Alloy and fiercely proud of what a bunch of westies were able to accomplish under the guidance of our leader Tony Hambrook.
Gone but not forgotten the Alloy brand endures in each exquisite yacht and in some small way here where we attempt to capture their story, keep yacht names & pictures relevant, while providing service and long term support.
We welcome feedback, and contributions so please get in touch if you would like anything updated.
To get in touch with past employees search Facebook for “Boat builders arms” the name given to Alloys social club.