Cancelled contracts, yacht jobs at risk

VANITA PRASAD
Last updated 05:00 22/01/2013
Yachting Developments
KEEPING WORKERS: A Yachting Developments worker polishes the J Boat Endeavour as part of an award winning refit at its Hobsonville yard.

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The collapse of two significant yacht-building contracts scheduled for this year has Hobsonville's Yachting Developments looking at ways to avoid job losses.

Last year the superyacht-building company won four international awards including the 2012 International Superyacht Society's Best Refit award for its work on the Endeavour JK4.

Yachting Developments chief executive Murray Greenhalgh says 2013 was looking like a rosy year for the company with two high value contracts secured to build state-of-the-art yachts.

The first contract was a 36 metre superyacht for an international business consortium.

But with construction due to start, the client's funding fell through and the project was cancelled.

The second vessel, a 35 metre performance sailing yacht to be built for an international buyer, has also been put on hold.

On Friday Mr Greenhalgh says its staff of about 70 people were told about the postponed contract.

"Obviously there was a lot of disappointment. But our management is very transparent and it is what it is. Everyone knows the news because we keep everyone well informed."

Mr Greenhalgh says there have been no job losses yet but it could be a possibility if there isn't enough new work coming through.

"That would be a real shame because we have a great team."

Despite the collapsed contracts Mr Greenhalgh says Yachting Developments is financially stable and diversifying into other markets to keep business going.

"We've built composite reflector sail for the roof of the ASB Bank building and a large fire-proof funnel for natural air in the building as well as a carbon fibre furniture fit-out.

"We've still got other projects to work on but these two contracts were for very large jobs. In a way a good thing about the industry is that we only need a couple of superyachts to keep things going."

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- Western Leader

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