Boat builder sets sights overseas
An Invercargill boat building company will export its first products to Australia next month.
Image Boats owner Dean Wilkes believes he has found a niche in the Australian market for his medium Fish Master pleasure fishing boats.
An 8.5m cabin cruiser was custom-built for a customer on the east coast of Australia and a 7.5m Fish Finder was custom built to sell in Perth, Western Australia.
He would try to find a dealer in Perth to sell his boats and said he was hopeful of more contracts.
‘‘They don't have anything like this over there, so I decided to try to find a market,’’ he said.
Mr Wilkes researched on the internet and made some contacts at the New Zealand boat show and various Australian boat shows.
However, he found getting into a new export market difficult, he said.
‘‘It was our first attempt and a real struggle,’’ he said.
The Southland Chamber of Commerce had helped them out, he said.
‘‘Now we have the contacts and have an idea what we are doing we should be OK,’’ he said.
New Zealand was still in recession and his Australian customer had told him he was getting a good value for his dollar.
He hoped to get more Australian orders and has had interest from other countries, which the company was working towards, he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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