It's business as usual at New Plymouth's Fitzroy Yachts despite widespread speculation the luxury boatbuilder was due to close.
Fitzroy Yachts' production manager Nick Herd said yesterday the more than 120 specialist staff employed at Fitzroy Yachts were currently hard at work on a super yacht which was due to be completed by the beginning of next year.
"And a couple more are in the pipeline," Mr Herd said.
The owner of the yacht under construction wanted to remain anonymous and this extended to the name of the yacht, he said.
Because of the secrecy, the staff were calling the yacht FY17, Mr Herd said.
The company was established by Peter White-Robinson but the current ownership is unclear.
The Government's Companies Office website shows Mr White-Robinson and White- Robinson Holdings Ltd were removed as shareholders of the company on June 12.
The single shareholder is now listed as Fitzroy Yachts Holding Ltd, a company registered in Vanuatu.
However Mr White- Robinson remains chairman of Fitzroy Yachts but ceased being a director on May 28.
Oakura man Rodney Martin continues as the sole listed director of the company.
The boat in which Mr White-Robinson left New Plymouth to sail the world, the MV Kahu, is currently in Vancouver and listed for sale on boating websites for US$2.9 million (NZ$3.5m).
The Daily News could not contact Mr White-Robinson yesterday
Meanwhile, a big black yacht destined never to feel the wind in her sails is causing headaches for Fitzroy Yachts.
On Friday night contractors attempted to blow up the framing which supports the 33m sleek vessel on the company's forecourt near Ngamotu Beach.
The aim was to have it fall on its side on the ground so the yacht could be broken up and demolished.
But the explosives proved ineffectual and the yacht, named the Northwind when it arrived at Port Taranaki in February 2008, remains firmly in place.
The sorry history of the yacht-which-never-was included it being shipped to New Plymouth by its North American owner when he was dissatisfied with the quality of its construction in Taiwan.
Ironically the same owner had passed over Fitzroy Yachts' original price to build the yacht, choosing the cheaper option in Taiwan.
When the yacht arrived five years ago, the intention was for Fitzroy Yachts to inspect the fibreglass composite vessel and make it shipshape.
But the original work was so bad it was unable to be fixed.
The owner went into a legal wrangle with the original builders and the yacht was left to sit it out.
Mr Herd said the company would now discuss with the contractors other methods to pull it down.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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