What do you get when you cross waterskiing and wakeboarding with a touch of James Bond?
You get Nautiques NZ on Te Rapa Rd in Hamilton – New Zealand's sole importer and retailer of elite Nautique watersports boats.
Walk into the small showroom behind Rollos Marine, take a look at the boats and you get a sense of lifestyles of the rich and famous.
The boats are dedicated watersports towboats, and start at about $100,000. They are custom-built and designed to get the best out of the water, with a lot of technology in the hull design.
Nautiques NZ was named the country's 15th fastest growing company on Deloitte's Fast 50 Index this week.
It earned the spot among the top 50 businesses nationwide with revenue growth of 358 per cent over the past three years.
Manager Glenn Harrop attributes the growth mainly to spending a lot of time in the industry.
"We focus on getting people into boats and out onto the water," he said.
The business attends all the boat shows and other trade shows, and supplies boats to a number of waterski clubs nationwide. Harrop is involved in Waikato waterski clubs, and waterskis himself.
Nautiques NZ is part of the Dutton Group of companies, which also owns Rollos Marine. The Dutton Group is owned by Waikato's Dutton family.
When Dutton Group became the New Zealand seller for Nautique boats in 2008, Harrop ran the parts counter at Rollos Marine. Since becoming the full-time manager at Nautiques NZ two years ago, the business has grown significantly and Harrop has been busy collecting awards.
In July, the business was named by Nautique US as one of its top 10 international dealers.
Clients can sit down with Harrop and select the options they want on their boat including colours, graphics and specifications. Optional extras include GPS speed control, carpet, heaters and speakers. A computer program shows the customer how the finished product will look.
"No two boats are the same," he said.
The boats are made in Orlando, Florida in the US, with two to three months between ordering and delivery. The boats are shrink-wrapped in a cradle and shipped from the US. There are also boats on the shop floor in Hamilton for people who would rather just pay and go.
Harrop grew up in the Waikato, attending Hamilton Boys' High. His next professional ambition? To sell more boats and put more families on the water.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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