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Thread: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

  1. #1
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    Default NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Hey everyone,

    Further to another thread that I recently posted (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...ar-Auckland-NZ), I'm doing some ongoing research into the costs and practicalities of keeping a boat in New Zealand for 1-2 years while living in Australia and flying across every few months.

    The boat in question is currently kept in a marina berth about an hour's drive from Auckland. Lovely part of the country (pretty much all of it looks lovely from what I've seen) but it does cost about $700NZD/month. This isn't extravagant for a marina berth but it is more than my partner and I would like to be paying, at least for the first year or so while we're paying off the portion of the boat's price that we're going to be financing - especially with costs of travel to and from NZ factored in.

    So, I'm looking into moorings instead. I fully understand that these come with their own issues such as wear and tear (depending on how exposed they are), people running into you, less supervision etc. However, they are also around a quarter of the cost, and for a year or two I think this saving may be worth it.

    Moorings near Auckland that are (a) sheltered, (b) licensed for a boat of this size (36 feet) and (c) in deep enough water (2-meter draft) seem pretty thin on the ground (or on the water, ha. Sorry). However, there are quite a lot in the Bay of Islands, further north. This also happens to be a beautiful cruising ground with relatively short coastal hops to other beautiful cruising grounds (Whangaroa, Mangonui etc). It seems there are good facilities nearby to haul out etc.

    The main Bay of Islands areas where I see moorings listed are off Okiato, off Opua, off Russell, and in Kerikeri (http://www.mooringsnorthland.co.nz/r...moorings/pg/2/).

    If anyone has experience with the area, I'd like to hear your thoughts on keeping a boat in these places, and where would be the ideal spots in terms of access by road and (most importantly) protection from prevailing wind and whatever swell there might be. To my eye, most of the places mentioned above look well-protected from most directions, especially from the north which points out to the actual Pacific Ocean. By comparison with Australia's largely exposed east coast, it looks like paradise!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Look up JohnB on the forum search function Brightwater, he's your best NZ contact about such matters.

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Thanks skuthorp - I'm already hassling JohnB, was hoping to get a few more tales also!

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    I have been there, and I envy you.

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    You should contact John Welsford as well.
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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    You could try Russell Boating Club or Doug's Boatyard Opua or Opua Cruising club.

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    The idea that Bay of Islands area is "proercted from the "open Pacific Ocean to the ( north" is probably not worth banking on.

    Traveling costs to NZ and then up north to keep an eye on things, make marina costs a fair alternative...... especially since your boat is financed and probably needs insurance coverage.

    You might want to give Marsden Cove marina a call and hear what they charge. Their number is NZ 09 432 7740.

    They are situated only a little way south of BOI (for sailing purpose), but much closer to Auckland for travel purposes
    Last edited by Lugalong; 12-05-2017 at 02:32 PM.

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    I agree with Lugalong re Marsden although you don't get the near all weather cruising ground you get in the Hauraki gulf or BOI. If you were thinking that general area you could look into Tutukaka too( same applies). I don't think we could live with that considering how we use the boat.
    I do like the idea of the Bay of Islands and would look to moor at Opua first. I personally wouldn't want my boat at Russell but would consider Matauwhi bay ( very close and part of Russell I guess) . Up the Kerikeri river might be an option, a friend does that but I don't know much else about it.
    Opua is where I'd go, it gets you an astonishingly beautiful and close cruising ground , plus all weather protection. Northland council are avaricious and over the top in their administration of the region IMO , but do insist on regular mooring maintenance and strict length for moorings in different areas. That boat is an easy fit which is good. They have a moorings website.
    You will not be able to take the boat there unless you have had a recent haul and clean or antifouling job because of the Mediterranean fanworm.
    Thats just proof of haul / antifoul within 6 months or I think 1 or two ? months clean only. Keep that in mind.
    Yep, Opua. Having said that I still believe that a marina means a lot less maintenance on the boat plus I think you would maximise value by cruising the Hauraki gulf at least for a season, then you could organise and move to the BOI for another, why not have it all.

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Re the Kerikeri option, it is quite a way up the river. A friend has his boat moored there, and it takes quite a while to get out into the bay itself. John is right, Opua is well protected and probably your best bet if a mooring is available. I estimate it to be about three hours by car from Auckland.
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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Thanks guys, great info.

    Lugalong, since we're travelling from Australia we'll be over there a maximum of 4-6 times a year, for 1-2 weeks at a time, so 3 hours more each way isn't a big deal in the scheme of things. However, I'm curious about your thinking on the lack of shelter from the Pacific? Obviously the entire BOI isn't protected but Opua, Russell and parts of Kerikeri certainly don't appear to be open to much northern fetch. Wind is clearly a different question but there are a lot of boats moored there so it must be manageable!

    John, you've pretty much nailed my thinking on the BOI: an extensive and very beautiful all-weather cruising ground, with one of the friendliest climates in NZ. Good place to learn to handle the boat, as most of my sailing experience to date is in dinghies or as crew. Yes, 36 feet is kind of a big 'first keelboat' but she's just too gorgeous to resist (will post photos when I'm sure the purchase will go ahead). In terms of getting her up north to the BOI - not a trivial distance - I'd take along some experienced people.

    Fair point re the upsides of a marina. However, I can't believe the somewhat increased maintenance associated with a mooring can compare with ~$9k in fees over the short term. Basically, it comes down to wanting to wipe out the loan as quickly as possible in the first year, and paying the ~$9k in berthing fees will interfere considerably with that. We have a lot longer to pay it off if needed but getting rid of it quickly will cut down on the interest. After the loan is sorted, we'll be much freer to do as we please. That will definitely include some time in the Hauraki Gulf and possibly down to Picton and the Sounds. Who knows, maybe we'll never get around to taking the boat out of NZ!

    Opua sounds like the consensus so far. If (as Google seems to suggest) the prevailing wind is south-westerly, that also seems like the best-protected area except for perhaps Kerikeri Inlet.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Quote Originally Posted by Brightwater View Post
    Thanks guys, great info.

    Lugalong, since we're travelling from Australia we'll be over there a maximum of 4-6 times a year, for 1-2 weeks at a time, so 3 hours more each way isn't a big deal in the scheme of things. However, I'm curious about your thinking on the lack of shelter from the Pacific? Obviously the entire BOI isn't protected but Opua, Russell and parts of Kerikeri certainly don't appear to be open to much northern fetch. Wind is clearly a different question but there are a lot of boats moored there so it must be manageable!

    John, you've pretty much nailed my thinking on the BOI: an extensive and very beautiful all-weather cruising ground, with one of the friendliest climates in NZ. Good place to learn to handle the boat, as most of my sailing experience to date is in dinghies or as crew. Yes, 36 feet is kind of a big 'first keelboat' but she's just too gorgeous to resist (will post photos when I'm sure the purchase will go ahead). In terms of getting her up north to the BOI - not a trivial distance - I'd take along some experienced people.

    Fair point re the upsides of a marina. However, I can't believe the somewhat increased maintenance associated with a mooring can compare with ~$9k in fees over the short term. Basically, it comes down to wanting to wipe out the loan as quickly as possible in the first year, and paying the ~$9k in berthing fees will interfere considerably with that. We have a lot longer to pay it off if needed but getting rid of it quickly will cut down on the interest. After the loan is sorted, we'll be much freer to do as we please. That will definitely include some time in the Hauraki Gulf and possibly down to Picton and the Sounds. Who knows, maybe we'll never get around to taking the boat out of NZ!

    Opua sounds like the consensus so far. If (as Google seems to suggest) the prevailing wind is south-westerly, that also seems like the best-protected area except for perhaps Kerikeri Inlet.


    Fetch is not so much an issue as is free space to cope with winds coming from the west, through the north and around to the east and even the south, from low pressure systems moving down the east coast of the north Island for much of the year; we also have the odd ex tropical cyclone to contend with.
    You should realise that you are talking about a swing mooring, where there are other boats in fairly close proximity
    Leaving a boat to fend for itself is one thing when one lives 3 hours away in Auckland, but this is not the case here.

    Sure, KeriKeri inlet and Opua are well protected spots.

    Finding a suitable swing mooring there might be a possibility, if you were to arrive and have a look around.
    Getting to that point could best be achieved by first of all moving into a marina.

    Opua is right now expanding their marina facilities vastly.
    Last edited by Lugalong; 12-06-2017 at 02:45 PM.

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Matauwhi bay in Russell is only really sheltered in the shallower inshore water

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Yes its not prevailing winds you need to worry about so much as the boat killers... screaming NE , NW or SE.
    SE seems to put a lot on the rocks as its relatively uncommon but often savage when it does arrive, and lots of moorings are set up for 'prevailing'.
    Pahia for example, has moorings but it is recommended by the council that you move your boat if a gale is coming.
    Last edited by John B; 12-06-2017 at 04:58 PM.

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    I'm surprised to hear that a marina berth is $700 pm in that area. When Masina was in Nelson, I think the cost was between $100 and $200 pm. $700 pm is close to the cost of a marina in Port Stephens. I know marinas in Sydney cost a lot more but what's a marina berth in Auckland cost?

    A swing mooring is a very safe way to keep a boat as long as the mooring is good.

    Rick

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Opua Marina's website has a 10.5m berth for $452 pm (ex tax). That's about $400 AUD. The prices are 2016 so maybe they've gone up.

    Do you intend to sail the boat to Australia? If so, you'll need to register the boat as an Australian vessel (you can get temporary rego or permanent rego) or bring the boat up to NZ Cat 1 compliance, or NZ won't let you leave. If you're going to register the boat in Australia, you'd be better off doing that sooner rather than later so that you can get tax emption on your marina or mooring fees.

    Rick
    Last edited by RFNK; 12-06-2017 at 05:49 PM.

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Important Update November 2017: Except for some 8m and 10m berths, and short term 12m berths, Westhaven is currently at full capacity. You are welcome to enquire but please be aware that we are unlikely to have space for either short or long term berthage.
    Westhaven 12m berth , $790 pm.

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    As an aside, while Kerikeri seems well sheltered from most wind systems it has been vulnerable to rain events. Up north here we can get huge downpours from the edges of a tropical cyclone in summer. A few years ago such a weather system came through and the massive water flows and debris, along with high winds broke free many vessels, including my friend's in the Kerikeri mooring area. He seemed to think that the winds alone would not have done it. I dont think Opua has anywhere near the catchment above it to cause such problems. Such weather events can be extremly intense, but often very localised so vessels not very far away in a different catchment experience nothing much at all.
    Last edited by Stiletto; 12-06-2017 at 07:45 PM.
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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Our good friends have a BoI bach at Parekura Bay, and used to moor their yacht (a Gary Mull 40 footer) in Te Uenga Bay for several months each year. It's quite sheltered on all sides. No facilities, but they had their batch nearby. Which makes me wonder if you might be able to sublet an unused mooring during the hinge seasons with a bit of caretaking and maintenance on someone's bach. You'd need to find another spot for high season, but wouldn't be stuck with a high rate year-round.
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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Parekura bay , you don't dig on the beach there lest a human bone comes up . Massacre site from the 1800's.

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Quote Originally Posted by Stiletto View Post
    As an aside, while Kerikeri seems well sheltered from most wind systems it has been vulnerable to rain events. Up north here we can get huge downpours from the edges of a tropical cyclone in summer. A few years ago such a weather system came through and the massive water flows and debris, along with high winds broke free many vessels in the Kerikeri mooring area including my friend's. He seemed to think that the winds alone would not have done it. I dont think Opua has anywhere near the catchment above it to cause such problems. Such weather events can be extremly intense, but often very localised so vessels not very far away in a different catchment experience nothing much at all.
    Excellent point. and Tutukaka suffered from a couple of tsunamis over the last few years too.

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    Opua Marina's website has a 10.5m berth for $452 pm (ex tax). That's about $400 AUD. The prices are 2016 so maybe they've gone up.

    Do you intend to sail the boat to Australia? If so, you'll need to register the boat as an Australian vessel (you can get temporary rego or permanent rego) or bring the boat up to NZ Cat 1 compliance, or NZ won't let you leave. If you're going to register the boat in Australia, you'd be better off doing that sooner rather than later so that you can get tax emption on your marina or mooring fees.

    Rick
    Hi Rick,

    Yeah, it's Auckland pricing I was referring to - currently in a $700NZD/month berth. Berthing is definitely doable in BOI but I'd still prefer to keep the cost as low as possible for the first year, for the reasons set out above. After that time I may well look at moving her to a berth.

    I've read through your whole thread about buying Masina and bringing her back - lots of great info for someone intending to do something similar. I do indeed intend to sail her back, though likely with professional assistance. I've priced shipping and it's likely to be $14k+, so I suspect that even paying for a skipper and performing the necessary upgrades to the boat is likely to be considerably cheaper than shipping her. Plus, I think it'll make me a better sailor (or turn me off it for life, depending on how it goes!).

    I might bother you for some customs advice when that time comes

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Lugalong,

    Good information there, thank you. You're right that I wouldn't be close by if anything happened. Possibly (hopefully) I'd be able to find someone to keep an eye on her in exchange for a small fee.

    It's certainly my intention to do a bit of scouting prior to taking the boat up there - maybe hire a little boat and have a look around.. There are some moorings available rated for considerably larger boats than this one - 3-4 tons. If I can't find one that looks suitable then, in any case, Opua Marina is much more cost-effective than Auckland.

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Brightwater, I live in Adelaide, and kept my boat in Tassmania on a mooring for several years. For part of that we lived in PNG. I think swing moorings in Tassie, or at least where we were, in a sheltered river, are not as bad as Johns experience in NZ. In reality we had zero issues due to being on a mooring vs a berth. The problem for us was really that a 40 year old wooden boat needs more love and care than you can give it from thousands of miles away. I know some people do it. It seems to work best if you are able to have long visits, several months at a time. Arrive, do the maintenance required, then cruise for 2 or 3 months. We tended to find that we'd get to the boat, and find that all the port lights needed rebedding, or the batteries had died, or the toe rails needed varnishing, or there was a new leak and some rotten ply in the aft deck, or whatever. Suddenly there's a week or two of your two week cruise gone. And you need a shed to store all your boat stuff, (we bought an enclosed trailer and paid a few bucks to keep it in a shed nearby) including your dinghy, you need a hire car for the duration, or a beater you keep at offsite airport parking, or whatever. And unless you find someone really reliable and attentive, there's no one to fix a loose sail cover, pop down and check the mooring lines if a storm is coming, run the motor for an hour or so, etc, etc. we did it for 5 years, and loved being able to cruise Southern Tassie, but it wasn't all that easy.

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Phil,

    Very practical advice. While it's unlikely we'll get over there for longer than 3 weeks at a time given that both my partner and myself work full-time, I think we're relatively prepared to spend a good chunk of what time we do have on maintenance. Odd as it may sound, a few days of boat chores in a pleasant location, sleeping on the water etc, doesn't seem such a bad way to spend some of our holidays. And because she's in pretty good condition now, I'm hoping that with lots of covers, a solar panel to keep the batteries up, a beefy mooring and extreme care/redundancy in setting up mooring lines, she'll tolerate intermittent visits for a year or two.

    What does concern me is the practical/logistical side of it that you mentioned - a car and dinghy storage in particular. I haven't the first clue how to go about finding somewhere to keep a dinghy or outboard in the BOI and I doubt any marinas will let you pay to use their racks unless you also rent a berth. In fact, if anyone has any ideas on that front I'd love to hear them! The trailer is a good idea if I could find someone willing to rent out a shed.

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Might be best to buy an old car and a tinnie. Keep the tinnie on the roof of the car. Find a place to keep the car. A van would be even better, then you have a space for all the stuff you don't want to keep on the boat.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Quote Originally Posted by Brightwater View Post
    Lugalong,

    Good information there, thank you. You're right that I wouldn't be close by if anything happened. Possibly (hopefully) I'd be able to find someone to keep an eye on her in exchange for a small fee.

    It's certainly my intention to do a bit of scouting prior to taking the boat up there - maybe hire a little boat and have a look around.. There are some moorings available rated for considerably larger boats than this one - 3-4 tons. If I can't find one that looks suitable then, in any case, Opua Marina is much more cost-effective than Auckland.


    Brightwater, having only just (and cursorily at that) had time to look into info on your boat, the picture becomes clearer

    What Phil Y says is entirely relevant and for those reasons I think this corner of the North Island will probably suit your needs.
    While work on the boat could be problematic ( from the water contamination point of view), either on a swing mooring or a marina, there are ample on-shore facilities available.
    Getting any serious work done is going to call for haul-out any way, and you then have the option of parking facilities(if needed) and a safe storage for winter conditions thrown in.

    Mooring in fairly deep water is of course going to impose the dinghy storage problem, and this is where a marina berth is the easiest way out.
    This being one of the reasons why I do no want a deep keeler.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Quote Originally Posted by Brightwater View Post
    Hi Rick,

    Yeah, it's Auckland pricing I was referring to - currently in a $700NZD/month berth. Berthing is definitely doable in BOI but I'd still prefer to keep the cost as low as possible for the first year, for the reasons set out above. After that time I may well look at moving her to a berth.

    I've read through your whole thread about buying Masina and bringing her back - lots of great info for someone intending to do something similar. I do indeed intend to sail her back, though likely with professional assistance. I've priced shipping and it's likely to be $14k+, so I suspect that even paying for a skipper and performing the necessary upgrades to the boat is likely to be considerably cheaper than shipping her. Plus, I think it'll make me a better sailor (or turn me off it for life, depending on how it goes!).

    I might bother you for some customs advice when that time comes
    No problem. It's not a difficult process if you take a few necessary steps beforehand. Just let me know and I'll be happy to help.

    Rick

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Quote Originally Posted by Lugalong View Post
    Brightwater, having only just (and cursorily at that) had time to look into info on your boat, the picture becomes clearer

    What Phil Y says is entirely relevant and for those reasons I think this corner of the North Island will probably suit your needs.
    While work on the boat could be problematic ( from the water contamination point of view), either on a swing mooring or a marina, there are ample on-shore facilities available.
    Getting any serious work done is going to call for haul-out any way, and you then have the option of parking facilities(if needed) and a safe storage for winter conditions thrown in.

    Mooring in fairly deep water is of course going to impose the dinghy storage problem, and this is where a marina berth is the easiest way out.
    This being one of the reasons why I do no want a deep keeler.
    So you located the boat online, despite my sketchy details so far? Impressive! What do you think?

    I'm glad you think the BOI is doable. I find my determination occasionally wavering in the face of the scale of the commitment we're talking about, and the logistical problems involved. Most people would not consider this a sane course of action at my age. I have the financial means to do it, but not with a large margin of comfort until the first year is up.

    What kind of boat do you gravitate toward, if not a deep keeler? I myself was until recently considering a trailer sailer before stumbling on this boat. The heart wants, and all that.

    Phil, that's a good idea. The boat comes with an inflatable in good condition so a car may be sufficient, but a van would definitely be practical. Needs to fit an outboard in there as well. Then I'll just have to find someone near Auckland willing to let me park it in their yard for a monthly fee!

  29. #29
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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    I reckon I'd be looking around in Australia for a decent boat. Your plan is doable, but expensive and difficult. I did Tasmania because I have family there so frequent visits made sense anyway. I bought the boat in Brisbane and first thing I did was down to Tassie.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    I reckon I'd be looking around in Australia for a decent boat. Your plan is doable, but expensive and difficult. I did Tasmania because I have family there so frequent visits made sense anyway. I bought the boat in Brisbane and first thing I did was down to Tassie.
    Same distance as NZ to AU ?
    We just spent the weekend driving around the BOI and back down to Ngungaru for a party. Its a cool place on land too. Pahia is tourist hell, Kerikeri is busy busy.
    Whangarei is really flat out busy with all the cruising boats in for summer. It seems to be the place to go in NZ , quite a few of the cruisers we met were heading there for the cyclone season and for maintenance.
    Quite the boaty atmosphere thing going on.
    Last edited by John B; 12-10-2017 at 06:50 PM. Reason: sp.

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    Default Re: NZ Bay of Islands + keeping a boat on a mooring

    Quote Originally Posted by Brightwater View Post
    So you located the boat online, despite my sketchy details so far? Impressive! What do you think?

    I'm glad you think the BOI is doable. I find my determination occasionally wavering in the face of the scale of the commitment we're talking about, and the logistical problems involved. Most people would not consider this a sane course of action at my age. I have the financial means to do it, but not with a large margin of comfort until the first year is up.

    What kind of boat do you gravitate toward, if not a deep keeler? I myself was until recently considering a trailer sailer before stumbling on this boat. The heart wants, and all that.

    Phil, that's a good idea. The boat comes with an inflatable in good condition so a car may be sufficient, but a van would definitely be practical. Needs to fit an outboard in there as well. Then I'll just have to find someone near Auckland willing to let me park it in their yard for a monthly fee!


    Info found on Masina( a ‘cursory search’ is what I think I said), is only what you discussed with john B in the other thread.
    What I am into has pretty much always been about shallow draught and the ability to dry out between tides with no problem, although, I did have a deep keeler for a few years when living on the Portugeuse Algarve coast and visiting Spain nearby.
    Now it is all about finishing a double canoe of my own design(which is not a catamaran, but can dry out like one of them and has boards that that kick up in thin water).
    In other words….’something completely different’; which I have been threatening to reveal on this forum and am now very close to being able to do.
    finishing this craft to the point of vacating it's building shed in a couple of months time puts limits on doing anything else (even answering posts on this forum,unfortunately, for instance)

    What john B says about this part of the world is exactly what I see going on.

    Thinking about your situation- a boat parking in a yard or a marina gives you a place to park a vehicle at the same time, and could be a saving over car hire costs and airport parking in Auckland,(which is not going to be trivial).
    So, weigh this up along with the dinghy issue

    Having just gotten back from visiting family living near Spray farm south of Geelong , I am pretty sure that this is a way better part of the world.
    Last edited by Lugalong; 12-11-2017 at 12:31 PM.

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