New Zealand is a bucket-list destination for almost everyone on the planet, but when you combine an ambition to travel there with a passion for yachting there are a whole host of new challengesto overcome. We’ve been chatting to AYSS agent Integrated Marine group a lot recently, and from those discussions have come up with this list of reasons why NZ and IMG are the perfect pairing…
1. INTEGRATED MARINE GROUP KNOW YACHTING.
The Integrated Marine Group (IMG) practically wrote the book on refit and yacht concierge services. Director Mark Wightman’s background as a commercial ship’s engineer along with that of Dave Low, a former yacht engineer, makes them two people you will want to get to know. Alison Walker spent 13 years on superyacht yachts cruising just about every corner of the globe on three different vessels (two of which completed large scale refits in New Zealand.) In today’s world, where an engineer is responsible for just about everything on board that could break, captains are always pleased that Mark, Dave, and Alison have decades of hands-on experience between them. Couple that with their extensive knowledge of the area; then, you have perhaps the perfect package of what an exceptional yacht agent is nowadays. New Zealand is often part of a larger world tour itinerary, and you’ll appreciate a seasoned, highly capable team to help you at this strategic half waypoint around the world to get some work done. (PS: Congrats to Dave who is celebrating his 10th anniversary as IMG’s Refit Project Manager in 2017!)
2. NEW ZEALAND’S GREAT REFIT FACILITIES.
Management companies and captains are always pleased to find that the region offers a large number of exceptional yards along with highly skilled contractors. IMG works with everyone; boat builders, engineers, upholsterers, interior designers, metal workers, painters… you name it. With each yacht’s varied requirements for getting hauled out, the team has assisted both small to large motor and sailing yachts and knows the best place for you to be no matter what you need to do. An added bonus, besides their experience on large refits, is that they also know how to work with your management company. Do you need to make sure that all your invoices are presented “just so” for each part of the job? Not a problem at all.
3. IMG WILL SAVE YOU TIME.
In an industry like yachting, there is one commodity that surpasses all others when you are managing the complex coordination that a world cruise demands. This is why a perfectly seasoned team like IMG, who come from yachting and know what you need, can help you get the best out of your time there with specialized cruising itineraries. Whether your owner and guests are more adventurous types and get their thrills from bungee jumping or parachuting, or whether they desire a lower key helicopter scenic tour, they know how to help you navigate the island’s abundance of opportunities to make sure that your owners and guests are getting as much out of their time there as possible.
4. THEY ARE IN AUCKLAND.
IMG is based in Auckland, which is the hub of everything in New Zealand for superyachts. And while you may think that’s a disadvantage, it’s actually simple to coordinate your entire cruise around NZ from one spot. Auckland offers vineyards, restaurants and exceptional shopping. This is the hub of the country where you will be able to source the highest quality of provisions. It’s an easy country to make things happen from one location no matter where you are cruising. As New Zealand’s largest city it has an abundance of resources, and it is in fact from here that IMG will continue to assist yachts during their cruise throughout the Pacific Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and even Palau. There is an epic story of how a spare did not arrive in time to catch the only direct flight to Tahiti (which doesn’t happen every day) but being engineers the guys knew the yacht needed this part pronto and waiting until the next day wasn’t an option. They found a solution to get it from Auckland to Tahiti that day, and a team member boarded a flight from Auckland to Los Angeles where they caught a flight to Tahiti. I think the term “you are my hero” was apropos for this delivery.
5. THEY KNOW THEIR STUFF.
A testament to the growing importance of the superyacht industry in the region, NZ authorities extended the temporary import exception to 24 months a few years ago. While regulations are fairly strict, especially on foreign flagged vessels, crew from most nationalities can enter on a visitor visa, and the IMG team are experts in ensuring you have all your paperwork in order. The team will also guide you on the stringent biosecurity regulations that are in place to protect this pristine environment because they know you’ll want to leave it just as beautifully as you found it. Whether you wish to organize some of the best private nature walks to see the elusive kiwi on Stewart Island, a day of kayaking around the headlands in the Marlborough Sounds, or a round of golf on Cape Kidnappers, it’s all in a day’s work for IMG.
6. YOU WILL NEED A GREAT TEAM ON YOUR SIDE.
This last year was probably the busiest ever in terms of the sheer number of yachts in the marinas, and you need a good agent here to get you a berth. As soon as you know that this region is on your radar, give a shout to Mark, Dave, or Alison to get a berth booked as soon as possible. They have great contacts, but dockage is limited in particular for vessels 70m+. While pilot restrictions in some parts of the country are strict, they will coordinate are the necessary issues so that it won’t affect any parts of your cruising itinerary.
Find out more about Integrated Marine Group – visit their profile here.