Dear Rodney

Re:Kiwi Kraft 720 Hardtop

My brother-in-law and I purchased the above vessel as a demonstrator in March 2003. It was fully equipped with radar, GPS, colour sounder and powered by a 225hp Evinrude Ficht.

I have previously owned several alloy boats including Fyran, Starcraft, AMF and Lazercraft. I have also owned a couple of glass boats including a 24ft Marlborough and a 20ft Glasscraft Centurion.

My main criteria in purchasing this vessel was safety. I wanted to be able to travel long distances from my base in Whangarei and at times stay overnight and be confident that I can get home I can get home the next day no matter how much the conditions change.

Since March 2003 we have used the vessel on a recreational basis at least twice a month all year round.

My first experience in a Kiwi Kraft was in an older 6.3 metre model at Oakura near Whangarei. It was blowing onshore 30 knots from the northeast. I was so impressed with the handling of the boat that I came home determined to own one.

For anyone who hasn’t owned a pontoon boat before, they have some remarkable benefits. Going into a head sea, the bouyancy in the forward pontoons act to lift the nose as it cuts into a wave, substantially reducing any pounding that is so common in alloy boats. The pontoons also act to give lateral stability and there is some lift benefit when first getting onto the plane from the pontoon extending past the transom. She is remarkable going into a head sea.

I have already stated that safety was my number one priority.
The pontoons which are divided into six individual sealed compartments continually work to keep the boat balanced and reduce the wave impact. This is in stark contrast to traditional alloy monohulls where the under floor bouyancy only works when the vessel is upside down. My point is that the pontoons are working the whole time the vessel is in the water.

I have traveled around virtually all of the Northland coast since owning the vessel, including Great Barrier Island, Moko Hinau Islands, Little Barrier, Mercury Islands and twice to the Three Kings Islands. Consequently my preference would be to choose the larger fuel tank

Commercial Use
Since October 2005 I have been using the vessel as a commercial boat carrying up to 900 kg of product plus three divers and gear. The vessel has maintained structural integrity after several months of punishing work. We often worked in conditions over 40 knots where we can anchor in relative calm on the offshore islands but take a bit of a beating on the way home. The welding on the hull is like new. I have had a slight cracking at the rear of the hard top which Rodney is providing gussets for and which he tells me is standard on all of the new models. I had no problem putting her through survey (MSA no.130657).

I would happily buy another Kiwi Kraft.
To quote a friend’s 15 year old daughter, “That boat deserves respect”.

Hilton Leith and Kelly Wright


I recently purchased my third Kiwi-Kraft boat, a 780 Hard top.

Each time I have purchased a boat, I found dealing with Kiwi-Kraft was very easy and they catered for my personal requirements every time.

The finish on the boats has always been to a very high standard.

As I regularly cross Foveaux straight I need a boat that can handle very rough seas and that also has good stability while at rest for fishing and diving.

Kiwi-Kraft’s hull design gives a much superior ride than other boats I have been on.

I also like the added safety factor that the pontoons give, as they are virtually unsinkable.

Greg Gray

Outram, New Zealand

Hi Rodney

sorry this has taken so long, I have enclosed a photo – not the best but I don’t have many. Feel free to correct any typo’s

In mid 2005 we decided that 6 years had been to long without a boat. My attention had been diverted towards aviation over the past years, and I had imported a high performance microlight from Canada to use as transport in and out of my favourite hunting and fishing spots throughout Fiordland and the Southern Alps. The plane only had two seats and as we had a new addition to the family the toy stable needed to be reassessed. I syndicated my plane, retained a share and quickly set about the task of finding something that would allow the whole family some enjoyment.

Our criteria for choosing a boat was relatively simple, we wanted a boat that performed well, and a manufacturer that had a good reputation that could ensure a quality product and good future value. The majority of the time our new boat would be used for day trips out to sea fishing, Although I wanted to keep the options open as far as being able to sleep on board and have a reasonable overnighter for hunting trips around the southern lakes and Fiordland.

My wife and I went to many boat shows and water tested many hull types. We had decided to go with a positive buoyancy boat and make the small sacrifice of deck space for the peace of mind that comes with owning one of these great boats. Many pontoon boats seem to have developed a reputation for a hard ride, and to a certain degree I was happy to accept the fact until I got a chance to go for a ride in a Kiwikraft. My initial thoughts were that I would be quite happy to travel out for a days fishing 5kph slower for 40 mins then have a stable platform to fish off for 6 hours until it was time for the return trip. Now with a Kiwikraft it appears I could do both. After trialing most of the other manufacturers of pontoon boats the final decision was made to purchase a Kiwikraft after catching up with Rodney at the Christchurch boat show. After having a chance to discuss various options and gain his recommendations it was clear that Rodney’s product was the best available. This point is proven simply by the fact that there are very few second hand Kiwikraft boats available, especially in the larger hard top versions.

We ordered a 660HT open hard top and received delivery in October 2005. Having spent most of my recently gained wealth on the hull and trailer combo I made the initial decision to go with a good tidy second hand motor instead of a new option and purchased a 1999 200hp Johnson with 212 hours. By March 2006 we had completed 150hrs boating and were starting to regret our motor decision. With fuel prices increasing and a basic 2 stroke carburetted motor we were using 45-55 litres/hr ($90+/hr plus oil). A more suitable option was needed and quickly. We are now running a New Johnson (Suzuki based) 200hp 4 stroke at 25-30 litres/hr ($45/hr) with no need for 2 stroke oil. The combination is great, the motor is slightly heavier than a 2 stroke but the pontoon configuration carries it well, and I have no need for a auxiliary for trolling purposes.

Our decision to go with the 660HT open hard top was a very easy one, as explained the majority of use is sea fishing day trips including a lot of river bar work. The 660HT is large enough to handle a big sea but nimble enough to still allow beach launchings with the right crew. We have clear covers fitted to close off the hard top in winter that can be fitted in minutes. They are also useful for overnighting and coupled with some ‘lift in’ boxes that clip onto the rod pockets containing a chemical toilet on one side, gas water heater on the other, and a small gas bottle fitted in place of the old motor oil reservoir, form a easily fitted overnight configuration for extended trips for either our family or myself and a hunting companion. We chose this option over carrying around the extra weight of permanent fixtures and the associated larger hull for equivalent deck space. Saving the extra weight when we would only use it 10% of the time gives us benefits in fuel economy. The 660HT is also easily towed behind our ford courier with no need to upgrade to a larger landcruiser or equivalent.

Many of our old fishing companions who have been staunch mono hull advocates have been for a trip on our boat and all are pleasantly surprised by the softness of the ride, stability and overall performance. The quality of the build is impeccable. Very few welds are ground off which is more than most manufacturers can say, and as an engineer I appreciate the fact that Rodney and his team display the quality of there workmanship in this way.

Thanks Rodney for a great product. We are absolutely wrapped with our boat and you can be sure that we’ll be back for our next boat.

Kelvin and Janine Wright

Hi my name is Richard Eade.

My wife and I were looking for a boat about 2 years ago for fishing Diving and having fun on the water. We started by looking for second hand boats as we were really unsure on how much we should spend ,we had decided that we would take our time and find the boat that would serve our purpose .So we hunted around all boating mags and really couldn’t see a great deal that said buy me .

So we decided that I would go around our local boat builders to get prices for new boats.

We made a decision that we would look mainly at pontoon boats as we would be mainly diving off the boat, and would be fishing out at sea {Foveaux strait} So I went to stabi craft and they never got back to me with a price so we did not go back there for a sale.

I thought ill go to Kiwi Kraft to see what they could offer.

I walked into the office and asked to see the Manager and this guy said that’s me my name is Rodney Harris , how can I help so I told him what we were after and he gave me some advice on what he thought would suit .so I went away and my wife and I said we would look at every avenue that was put to us .I took my wife down to Kiwi Kraft two or three days later to show her what he had and to talk more on what he could offer .The first thing that impressed us was he took the time to answer our questions and show us what he had in the factory .

We went away again and decided that Kiwi Kraft was the boat that we would like to Buy, next thing was we would talk price.

Rodney gave us figures to build a new boat we said we would go away and talk about what we would like spend and get back to him .Within the same day we had a phone call to say come back down I have a boat that you might like to look at, so we went down and He had a Kiwi Kraft ht 590.

My wife said I like that tell us more , we were very impressed with Rodney and his professional service ,that’s the basic story on our choice to buy a Kiwi Kraft. We did buy this boat here are some of the pros and cons we have had since owning our boat .

Here is a list of the pro’s & cons about the Kiwi Kraft 590ht

Pre sale trial Rodney took us to Bluff so we could see what the boat went like and to put us and the boat through its paces.

After sale service you could not ask for better.

The way the boat rides in the water is great with the deeper V in the hull you get a better ride than other pontoon boats.

The power plant is fantastic I have not had any problems with it at all.Evinrude Ficht 150 bombardier range , Auxillary 4 stoke Johnson long leg . So far I have done about 100 hours on boat. And still enjoy as if it was like my first day out

For being new to boating this boat is so easy to operate getting on and off the trailer , putting it through its paces , using the GPS and chart plotter operating in rough water etc .

People on the boat the max is 7 we had 7 going to Stewart Island from Bluff with the boat stacked with gear I thought this would test it but the boat performed as if there were 2 or 3 on board , and time wise did not make much difference

Trips over too Doubtfull Sound I have found the same the boat filled with food gear and people and no problems to speak of.

The boat tows on the road like there is nothing there .The trailer is a Mudgway tandem trailer with one braked axle.

There is plenty of room on deck for a dive party to gear up, and for fishing, water skiing or wakeboarding etc.

Cons well to me there is none Except I would like a bigger Kiwi Kraft but I’m told enjoy the one you have…… for now.

So I hope your next boat is Kiwi Kraft, This boat suits every thing we needed to enjoy our boating. Some pictures to follow.

Richard Eade


We are normally impulse buyers of everything from a pair of slippers to a farm. But not so when we bought our Kiwi Kraft 590 HT . You see this boat had to do the job. And the job was to be ready and able to take us through any sea that the Marlborough Sounds could throw at us. Reason? We go to town to do our shopping and meet appointments in our boat.

A definition of “we” is needed about here. We were both wartime babies which puts us now mid sixty. We don’t bend and move as freely. Also this boat purchase could well be the last. This time it had to be right. So when the decision had been made to go pontoon it came down to a choice of two makes which both had local representation (essential for servicing). We visited a sample of each…and we visited….and we visited…and when it was she the one who sets the anchor through the hatch exclaimed “this is it” we were visiting a KiwiKraft. Just that more space in the cabin and hatch did it for us.

Well that was all on dry land. We took delivery of our Kiwi Kraft 590 HT and it has done everything and more for us. For me at the helm I have regained confidence in all sea. Sure I’m cautious but when the chop or swell comes up and we’re on our way home our boat takes good care of us. Out in the Blue Cod territory I like to explore in close. Good old KiwiKraft is just so very manouverable. And then at home after a long day it’s just throw the hose at it, open a can and fillet the catch.

Yep we’re sold on KiwiKraft.

Pat and Helen Williams


About four years ago, we took a family holiday to New Zealand. Whilst driving around Hastings on the lower North Island, I spied a boat in a dealership, and just had to stop. It was the sexiest “tinnie” I had ever seen. I didn’t believe that an aluminium boat could look so good. I’d had my first taste of Kiwi-Kraft, and instantly fell in love. After we returned home to the normal hustle and bustle that 6 children and a business creates, I soon stopped dreaming about that boat, and got on with life.

At the time, I owned a second-hand speedboat that we used for water-skiing on the local dams, but being an avid fisherman, and my wife being keen to try her hand at it, we decided to sell the speedboat and buy a fishing boat. The kids were none too impressed, as they thought they’d be losing their beloved dam activities, so in all fairness to all concerned, we took everything into consideration before making a final decision.

Having 6 children, safety, stability, and reliability were major factors. We were all keen on skiing and “biscuiting” around the dams, but my wife and I also wanted to be able to fish, and fish well from the boat. Another major factor for us was towing capabilities – the coast is some four and a half hours from our home in Mid North-Western NSW, so the weight factor and cost of towing behind our 4WD had to be considered. Lastly, the boat had to look good – my wife (not to mention the teenagers) wasn’t going to be seen dead in anything that didn’t.

We were able to narrow our choice down to aluminium, as fibreglass was simply going to be too heavy for us to be towing so far, but we still wanted it to ride like a well-built fibreglass craft. So then our hunt started in earnest, and we looked at a multitude of magazines and websites, and every conceivable aluminium boat that was ever made. Many of these had good reputations, and good features, but didn’t quite fit our tough criteria. Of course, we visited the Kiwi-Kraft website, and looked at their entire range, and were impressed with every single feature of their line.

Other than my one glimpse in New Zealand, practically sight-unseen, we decided that the Kiwi-Kraft was going to meet our every need, and some. And after talking to Rodney Harris at Kiwi-Kraft in Invercargill, we chose the standard 5.9 Sports package, a slick-looking, well-appointed craft, with all the craftsmanship and good looks that anyone could want. We added to the standard hull twin batteries with battery and oil tank cover, under-floor storage tank, radar arch, fillet board, twin king/queen seats and removable rear bench seat. We had her painted white, with grey graphics and matching upholstery and carpeting.

The whole process of buying the Kiwi-Kraft was smooth from start to finish. Rodney Harris was able to answer our every question, and made our purchase an absolute pleasure. During our boat’s manufacture, Rodney continually kept us up to date with each stage, and sent plenty of photos as he went along. It was very exciting watching our boat being built from the ground up.

We took delivery of our boat in July 2004.

The first thing that impressed us the most was the finish of the boat. The finish, and especially the welds, on the Kiwi-Kraft have to be seen to be believed. Working in the commercial construction industry, we often deal with welders, and every welder who has seen our boat has commented on the superb finish and craftsmanship – every weld is perfect, with no signs of production-line manufacture.

As far as safety is concerned, the Kiwi-Kraft has it all. Being a pontoon design, the boat just sits on the water – it even looks unsinkable. There is no pitch or roll, even in the biggest swells, or with 3 or 4 fishermen standing on one side, and a marlin hanging off the line. Add to that the deep V, and you get the smoothest of smooth rides, with perfect stability at rest. And trust me, we’ve tested it to the limits. Several weeks ago, on a deep-sea fishing trip, in conditions most sane fishermen wouldn’t even consider going out in, our Kiwi-Kraft 5.9 Sports blew everything away. Heading in from 500 metres of blue water, (about 25 km off the coast) with a 25 knot North-Easterly tearing at us, and 2-2.5 metre washing-machine chop, we flew back to home base doing 5,500 revs, overtaking anything else on the water, and laughing all the way. Never once did we “bang” into a wave, pitch or roll, get airborne or even look like losing the straight course we had chosen. There were four of us on board (all adults), and our good friend, an extremely experienced driver, was at the helm, and rode the sea like our boat was a motocross bike, screaming and “yahooing” like a cowboy all the way. It was the greatest ride of our lives, and certainly proved everything that we thought the boat might have ever been capable of doing.

The kids love our boat too. We chose Suzuki’s 140 HP 4-stroke engine, with a 4-blade 19° pitch stainless steel prop, and after having had a ski pole specially designed and fitted to the top of the boat’s fillet board rail, we can pull any skier out of the water with ease, and haven’t skipped a beat on our visits to the dams. The Suzuki is the perfect partner to the 590 Sport – perfectly weighted, and perfectly powered. We had a combination outboard cover made by Outboard Covers Australia, which includes a splash cover and full motor cover, and recently added a Permatrim, which sees our boat pop our of the water to plane in an instant. We also designed a bimini cover that fits to the radar arch, and a full-length fitted boat cover, both of which were made locally.

Electronically, after much research, we chose matching Navman Fish Finder and GPS, and a Navman VHF radio system. And just recently, we added a UHF radio and a marine CD/MP3 AM/FM stereo system with 4 channel amplifier and room for a subwoofer. (My wife loves her music). We are extremely happy with our choices, which have helped to make fishing an absolute delight for anyone on board.

Towing is also a breeze. A Boeing multi-roller twin-axle trailer makes the whole towing and backing task too easy, and when we come back in from a hard day’s “hunting and gathering”, we simply drive the boat straight on to the trailer, and take off – no dramas at the boat ramp for us.

The only other major things we’ve added is a set of Reelax 5 metre fibreglass outriggers, and downrigger, and don’t we look the shit when we’re all rigged up!

When we first bought our Kiwi-Kraft, our initial fishing trips to the coast saw long, lazy days spent baiting up hooks for the kids on the river, catching bream and flathead, and the occasional “strange” specimen. But the more time we spent on the water, the greater the pull of the open ocean, and after a couple of months, we ventured across the bar. The Kiwi-Kraft rides the bar like a dream, slicing through the swells, and landing softly every time. We even had a 10-foot rogue wave stand up vertically in front of us on one crossing, but our boat simply glided down the other side like it was nothing.

Crossing the bar confidently has certainly opened up our fishing possibilities, and we started heading out to close-by reefs for snapper and bigger flathead, and anything else we could get our lines on. We soon ventured even further, visiting the haunts of yellow-tail kingfish, and being sawn off by the occasional shark or wily mackerel.

Our “cowboy” fishing mate on the coast, an expert fisherman who has been featured in several fishing magazines, and who has had the opportunity to drive and be on board many, many boats in his time, tells us, and anyone else who might listen, that our Kiwi-Kraft is the best aluminium boat he has ever seen or driven, and that his only regret is that the day we came roaring back from the shelf in horrendous conditions, there weren’t 30 other boats on the water to witness it, and if there had been, 29 of them would have put an order in for one there and then. He has renamed his own very capable fibreglass boat “The Garden Gnome”, and plans to turn it into a garden bed, as he now fishes with us in our Kiwi-Kraft at every opportunity.

Since buying our boat, we had spent hours pouring over fishing magazines, and getting more adventurous by the day, decided we night like to try our hand at some real pelagic fishing. During a 2-week holiday to the coast at Christmas 2004, we met up with an avid marlin hunter, who patiently showed us all the tricks of the trade. When we thought we’d mastered several knots, and hunting techniques he had taught us, we started hunting down the black marlin, which frequent the waters of our favourite coastal spot. Full of confidence in our boat’s capabilities, but having absolutely no idea what we were doing, we set off across the bar in search of these creatures, and within two days, I caught my first black marlin – a 50 kg acrobat – he was small, but I was hooked. Unfortunately, we had to return home a couple of days later, so catching another wasn’t possible, and it wasn’t until the following marlin season (Christmas 2005) that my wife caught her first black marlin – we think he was about 80 kg, and gave her a great fight.

Only a few weeks after this, we took two of our youngest children out to the marlin grounds, but the marlin season not being particularly good this year, they had to be satisfied with catching a couple of monster cobia – our 10 year old’s fish was about 30 kg, and our 11 year old’s about 20 kg. No marlin, but a couple of great fights, and beautiful eating. The day after, Mum caught her first cobia, a measly 15 kg by comparison.

Most recently, our Kiwi-Kraft has taken us out to the continental shelf, about 25 km off the coast, where I caught my first blue marlin. Weighing in at about 110 kg, he was somewhat smaller than the 200 kg fella we had hooked but lost 2 weeks before, but a magnificent specimen nonetheless. No doubt my wife, with her fishing history, will better my catch next trip in a couple of week’s time.

Without a doubt, our Kiwi-Kraft 590 Sport is one of the best, safest, most versatile, and user-friendly craft on the water today. We have gone from toying in the river, to playing with the big boys, and she handles every situation with ease.

There is one major downside to the Kiwi-Kraft, however – we spend far too much time talking to people at the boat ramp about it, and not enough time fishing.

Sharon Harris

Dear Rodney

I first traveled in a positive buoyancy aluminium boat in the Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand in 2003. I new I was on to something good when I worked out these boats were light weight, safe and easy to handle. On my way home I purchased a few New Zealand boat trader magazines and started my own research. Kiwi Kraft jumped out at me as a very well designed and manufactured boat at a good price point. So I went for it, sold my old boat and purchased a 590 despite never actually seeing one in the flesh or being in one.

I purchased a 590 Aqualine in January 2005 and I could not be happier. I sold my trusty 21 foot fifteen year old fibreglass with a deep V hull and purchased the 590. The difference with any new technology is truly amazing. I tell my friends that it’s the same as trading a pair of 15 year old snow skis for the latest available. In the 590 I can go more distance, I feel safer, I can turn better, I can handle any water scenario better and it is an exciting boat. I have a 2004 model 140 Suzuki 4 stroke engine and this new technology (great power to weight ratio) has complemented my goal of having the perfect boat for my needs.

This boat is much lighter (around 1/3 of the weight for similar size) making it easier to handle out of the water and at the boat ramp. I like to drive long distances with my boat on the trailer to reach new and exciting locations. The old fibreglass made this a little difficult, it was heavy and hard to tow. A huge difference is that I can beach launch the 590 from my 4WD vehicle even in light surf. This is something I would not have dreamed in the old fibreglass.

The real difference is in the ocean, I first put my 590 in the water at Queenscliff near Geelong for a days fishing out side of the heads of Port Philip Bay. The first thing that surprised me was the interest from other boaties at the ramp and a lot of interested spectators. The engine started first click and having sold my old 2 stroke I was surprised that the 4 stroke was so quiet and did not blow smoke on ignition. My buddy a I were off through the blue water with a steady swell rolling into the Bay, the boat immediately displayed excellent stability and great handling. This is my first positive buoyancy boat and I really felt safe as the swell picked up as we entered the ocean. The light weight hull meant the engine can really can push the 590 along, and I have since had it to around 70 km/hr. We had a great day and caught a few snapper but I had still not really tested it out as I wanted to run the engine in.

The next thing that surprised me was how little fuel I had used on my first journey, the old V6 2 stroke pushing the big old fibre glass use to eat fuel, my new 590 uses around 30% as much fuel as my old boat. Again it is new technology!

Finally I really got to really test out the 590, I drove for 2 hours out of Melbourne to a small beach called Walkerville North (on Waratah Bay), this is the most Southern beach ramp on the Australian mainland and gave me direct access to Wilson’s Promontory. The boat is light to tow so the journey was a pleasure and my 4WD really did not notice it on the back. I proceeded to launch it off the beach and I have it set up to roll straight off the trailer so I do not need to back too far into the sea water. The light weight and excellent buoyancy of this boat are immediately an advantage when you beach launch.

So underway and further down Waratah Bay there was a good 5 foot wave rolling in to the delight of the local surfies. I soon joined the surfies to try out the boat in five foot waves on the verge of breaking and soon found with the power to weight ratio and balancing of the boat it was both very stable and I had the ability to get totally airborne and land smoothly. The more I push this boat the more I realise it can do.

Waratah Bay had a small chop that day which this boat loves to cut through under power so we did the 20 mile journey to the bottom of Wilson’s Promontory and the most Southern Point of the Australian Mainland with ease. We got to see the local seals playing in very clear blue water and caught some Trevally. Really a great day.

My friends and I also water ski in Port Phillip Bay off St Kilda, this boat is again good for this purpose as it accelerates well and turns beautifully, the light weight and aluminium also means I can land on a beach without worrying about getting stuck or damaging the underside of a deep V fibreglass hull.

I will be sticking with these boats from now on they are fantastic for my needs!

Sam Walker
St Kilda
Melbourne Victoria

Hi Rodney,

all the best to you and your crew for Christmas and New Year.

Our 590 sport you customised for us (via Richard) in late 2004 is still most brilliant and just a knock-out performer for us on Lake Taupo.

We have bought a place in Taupo now and building a large garage to take the 590 so it is there permanently, full rigged and ready for action.

All I can add is that if you (or your craftsmen) are going to be in Taupo and want to have a fish or cruise – just call me 027 595 4415 a few days ahead and I’ll do what I can to be there. I am happy to promote your business if you think that would help.

I hope you truly understand really just how cool the 590 (for a family) is as a performance alloy hull. It is not about flat out speed – it is about manoeuvrability, taking on those big Taupo white-caps some days, skiing, trolling, running onto the volcanic stone beaches without a worry. The 590 does it all for us what ever the conditions.

Kind regards,

Charlie & Margie Robertson

Hi Rodney and crew,

I thought that I would drop you a line regarding the service received by your dealer in Sydney. We just purchased a 550 Sport demonstrator model at Huett Marine for which we can only describe the service as exemplary, nothing was to much trouble, phone calls / emails were returned promptly and the work that we organised was all done prior to pick up by Roger,Sue and Craig.

The boat test was amazing and should be a ride at Luna Park, a real hang on job, that really showed what the hull is capable of, not to mention the meticulous welding/fitout/cabin-lining/ which can’t be faulted. If I sound happy you’re dead right, I can not see any reason why you need a 5 year warranty with this boat but its an extra feel good factor. I can’t wait to get her offshore and get amongst the Snapps as we’re still recovering from our 2000 km trip to pick her up, she’s now registered and ready to go as soon as we finish setting her up.

It was a big call heading down to Sydney to buy sight unseen, but one I’m glad we made, Huett Marine are a family team who genuinely care about there customers, something the big dealers have completely lost sight of and this in conjunction with your company who’s not out to build the most amount of boats, but rather the boats they do build, to a greater higher standard to which this buyer of one of the 200 you produced last year is rightly proud to have in his garage. Top marks to you and you crew.

Grant & Sue Willmott

For many years we owned a 12 meter yacht. We found that keeping a yacht in the North Island after we returned to southland was a non starter.

The opportunities to use it was seriously compromised by distance, & when we did make the time, the weather was often poor. The idea of keeping a 12 meter yacht at Bluff had little appeal to us & so it was decided that a positive buoyancy trailerable boat was the answer.

We wanted our boat to have a diesel engine, a toilet, a shower & a reasonable fuel capacity. We went looking for a boat builder & Kiwi-Kraft was chosen for a number of reasons; They came with very high recommendations because of their high quality finish.

However, & perhaps most important to us, was Rodney Harris’s attitude to us when we outlined or requirements. He was not luke warm to installing a diesel engine, & did not try to persuade us into installing outboard motors.

He listened carefully & his 780 Kiwi-Kraft became his first 820 model. It was then widened by 100mm over standard beam.

We have a beautifully finished boat that performs fantastically in the waters here in the Deep South. The lower center of gravity due to the inboard diesel gives greater stability. Fuel economy can best be described by a recent trip to Martins Bay; a three day trip; launched at Milford; up the coast & over the Hollyford Bar & into Lake Mckerrow; our boat used 170 litres of diesel & the other two boats with their outboards used 330 litres of petrol. We still had 120 litres in reserve, they had to come home!

This is a boat that we feel confident using anywhere in Foveaux Strait, Fiordland & around Stewart Island, & that is all that needs to be said for anyone contemplating boating around New Zealand.

If I was ever to build another boat, it would be a Kiwi-Kraft

Richard & Heather King
Southland New Zealand

Gidday Sam,

Received your mail re the “390” this morning and only too happy to extol its virtues. Ok. As you know we are a couple of old coots who should be attending to our knitting rather than facing Lake Benmore’s chills at 6am searching for the elusive trout…but we do.

Why the 390? We decided to down-size from 5 metres plus of cabin boat to the 390 for (a) ease of trailing, (b) ease of launch and retrieve, (c) sufficient comfort for old bones, (d) sufficient power applied to the rear to get us out of trouble when required…(this bit hasn’t been tested as yet!).

What have we to report? The wee 390 has been all that we could have wished for. Trails like a dream behind our two litre vehicle, launches off the trailer and retrieves equally easily.

We now have 35 hours on the hull, are still learning some of the ropes, but being old dogs, we learn quickly. “Tokoeka” (named after the southern kiwi) has drawn lots of interest on the launching ramps up this way and, if it wasn’t for the didymo scare, we would have it over the Lindis onto the lakes further south….maybe in the future.

The pic. is of the original launch on Lake Ruataniwha prior to the “silly season”. Only to happy to endorse the “390”.

Bruce and Glad Baldwin.