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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A new era in Eco-Tourism

Once again, something new and original has left the shed and entered the waters here at the Salthouse yard.  The SoelCat 12 is an 11.8m Solar Electric Catamaran destined for the tropical lagoons, reefs and nature reserves of the pacific.  With it comes a new era in Eco-Tourism where boating and being part of nature is possible without leaving a footprint of noise or fuel on natures beauty.  
The brainchild of Soel Yachts and Naval DC, we wish them well as they silently make their way in natures waters.

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Friday, November 18, 2016


We continue to be busy here at the Salthouse yard and are still on the lookout for more qualified boatbuilders to join our team. If that's you or you know of someone looking for an opportunity, then read on as we'd love to hear from you...

We are well underway with several existing projects and ready to move straight onto new orders booked to start over the next 12 months. Therefore we are seeking qualified and experienced boatbuilders to join our friendly hardworking team.
The ideal applicants will have experience in custom composite and wood construction and be able to produce top quality work with an eye for detail.
We are looking for honest, reliable and self-motivated individuals who can work well as part of a team.
Key criteria for this role include:
Qualified (preferably within NZ)
Experience with composites and wood
Motivated, hard working attitude with
commitment to high standards
Reliability, integrity, initiative - key qualities
for our employees
In return for your skills, we offer an immediate start, top rates for top trades people, and you will join an experienced & supportive team environment.
If you have NZ residency or a valid NZ work visa and believe your skills match what we're after, please APPLY NOW with CV and references attached to:
Salthouse BoatBuilders Ltd
landline - +64 9 4139021
mobile - + 64 021 412432

Friday, October 23, 2015


Busy times ahead at the Salthouse yard as we have secured several new contracts in the last short while.  We are now looking for enthusiastic new staff to join our team....
We have recently signed several new contracts and are seeking to find new qualified and experienced boatbuilders to join our friendly hardworking team.
The ideal applicants will have experience in custom composite and wood construction and be able to produce top quality work with an eye for detail.
We are looking for honest, reliable and self-motivated individuals who are able to work extra hours if and when necessary. 
Key criteria for this boatbuilding role include: 
Qualified (preferably within NZ)
Experience with composites and wood construction
Motivated, hard working attitude with commitment to high standards
Reliability, integrity, initiative - key qualities for our employees
In return for your skills, we offer an immediate start, top rates for top trades people, and you will join an experienced & supportive team environment.
If you believe your skills match what we're after, please APPLY NOW with CV and references attached to

We have recently signed several new contracts and are now seeking to employ a new apprentice to join our friendly and hardworking team.
The applicant we are looking for is someone with enthusiasm, commitment with a get up and go attitude. They will have an eye for detail and a willingness to learn and follow instruction from our experienced team. 
We are looking for an honest, reliable and self-motivated individual who is able to work extra hours if and when necessary. 
Key criteria for this apprentice role include: 
Motivated, hard working attitude with commitment to high standards
Reliability, integrity, initiative - key qualities for our employees
In return for your skills, we offer an immediate start, support and help through an apprenticeship and you will join an experienced & supportive team environment.
If you believe your skills match what we're after, please APPLY NOW with CV and references attached to

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ready for take off...

Like a thief in the night, we had our photographer steal a few shots of the latest Luxury Catalyst45 before it leaves the shed bound for San Fran ....
Fully set up for traveling in style and comfort with Ullman shock absorbing seats and all the electronic toys you can squeeze on board, this Luxury Catalyst will be fitted with the latest 7Marine outboards on arrival in San Fran.  With this particular boat principally for use as a commuting vessel, the Catalyst again shows its versatility when it comes to layout and functionality.  Another Luxury Catalyst, fit for super yacht purpose, is already underway in the sheds as we continue to field demand for this outstanding design.

Friday, October 31, 2014


Three months of winter may not be the most inviting time to spent underneath your boat on a cold and windy slipway - that however did little to deter the owners of Ranui from undertaking a complete hull refit at the Salthouse yard recently.  
A 3 month hull refit for Ranui - (an old girl with a busy past) has been a labour of love for owner Richard Allen who also had lots of nice things to say about the Salthouse yard, ....      ” really performed and they are special , providing owners with use of their facilities and advice without charge and with a wealth of knowledge and practical advice gained over 60 years building. All traditional boaties need to remember Salthouses yard, which of course has its own dock facilities, 3 slips and various moorings in Greenhithe. Of course if you want a high tech carbon racer they love doing those too.”
Ranui would be one of the best documented vessels we know of.  Click here for some interesting reading from a recent post on the Waitamata Woodys website....

Ranui looking beautiful again after her hull refit at the Salthouse yard winter 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


The last two months of 2013 saw 3 shiny new boats preparing to run down the slip way and into the water.  Each time a new boat is launched, there is always a pressured schedule of last minute activity required for everything to come together - amplify that by 3, and you get some idea of how busy the Salthouse yard was at the end of 2013!!
Now in 2014, two new Southstar37's are out and about cruising the Hauraki Gulf with their new owners happily at the wheel, and a luxury version of the Catalyst45 is performing host duties for guests at an island resort in the British Virgin Islands.  (Before her departure we asked Sub Zero Images to snap a few shots for us - see these here.)
Another of the Catalyst45's is currently underway in our sheds.  Like the previous boat, this one will be customized to include her owners specific requirements.  She will have all the trimmings, providing creature comforts of luxury boating without compromise to the power and performance this design has become renowned for.
See our showcase for the workhorse Catalyst45 and for more information on the luxury version, contact us at

Teak decks and aft seating just some of the extras in the luxury version of the Catalyst45

1200Hp and a superyacht finish make for one slick tender
Two Southstar37's have given their owners a whole new perspective on 'cruising in style'

Friday, September 13, 2013


Another of the Catalyst45 hit the road today – off on the first leg of her journey to San Francisco. 
Shrink wrapped for good measure – this Catalyst45 ships out on Sunday to arrive in just over a week.
Four Yamaha outboards will be installed on arrival – an exceptionally easy process taking all of one day – and then a short commissioning period before hand over to some happy new owners who will put the boat to good use as support vessel for their race team.  Each of the Catalyst45 built so far have been tweaked slightly to accommodate owners specific requirements - this one has more seating than the other 3 which where built with greater deck space as Americas Cup support boats. The next Catalyst45 to be finished later this year will include a few more creature comforts including teak decking.

Check out video footage and more

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Update from ETNZ

Check in here to see the latest blog update from ETNZ on their first race (or non-race, depending on your viewpoint)  An incredible display of power and speed which ever way you look at it.  The promise of whats to come makes the Americas Cup an outstanding spectacle to follow.!2013/07/first-point-on-the-board-in-race-one

Special mention must go to the race committee boat... the 16.5m Powercat, along with the Catalyst45 tender, is another workhorse of the Americas Cup proudly produced by Salthouse Boatbuilders.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Blue Hulls and Jet Engines!

In December 2012, Salthouse Boatbuilders launched number five of the Southstar37 designs for the Frankham family of Auckland.  The Frankham’s have a long standing connection with the marine industry in New Zealand and a wealth of boating knowledge.  The Salthouse family themselves have over the years, worked on, sailed, built and repaired more boats than any of them can rightly recall.  Bringing two families together with this rich and plentiful boating heritage has certainly brought out the best in this most recent Southstar37Lady May.

When considering a new boat, the Frankham family had an unusual and demanding set of criteria. It was to be used primarily for commuting from Auckland to the family's Waiheke bach, set in a small tidal bay without any road access whatsoever. For 60 years, all traffic to and from the bay—including building materials, fridges and beds—had been transported by sea, a pleasant though difficult chore. 

Over the past 60 years a number of vessels had served this purpose. All were light, fast and seaworthy; some were pioneering—Excuse Me was built with the then new marine plywood by the shipwrights in AG Frankham’s engineering and ship yard in Daldy St  in 1956. The 250 hp Chrysler Crown petrol engine and bullet proof gas tanks, used in landing craft in WWll, were purchased at a war assets auction. It could do 35 knots, making it the fastest vessel plying the Waitemata at the time. It was followed by Excuse Me II in 1962 with a Fordson 100hp diesel tractor engine because petrol had risen to 15c a litre. Diesel was 8c. Later came Moana Nui, a 36-foot vessel designed by Max Carter, built in 1974 which could top 35 knots. Summer Salt built in 1985 was a Pelin design which slipped easily into Auckland’s first dry berth marina. Again with over 35kts, this meant the batch at the bottom end of Waiheke was accessible within the hour.    

The Frankham’s needed a fast, beamy vessel to continue this tradition, but stern legs could not provide the required horsepower and came with a substantial maintenance cost. They settled on a jet unit which could take enough horsepower to get a 37-foot boat over 30 knots, and could operate in shallow water allowing access to the shore at any tide. Advantages of a jet multiplied; they are virtually maintenance free, are easy on the engine, and provide a degree of maneuverability unknown in direct drives or stern legs. 

They settled on a Southstar37 for a number of reasons. The traditional lines harked back to a stylish era of varnish and chrome, yet it was constructed of glass over a foam core, a phenomenally strong and durable construction that would last a lifetime—the design-life required on the vessel. The hull is efficient in form with a fine entrance to bust through harbour chop and a flatter section at the transom which allows Lady May to plane at relatively low speeds, carry a load, and importantly, operate in just 350mm of water. Finally, it was to be built to the exacting standards of Salthouse Boatbuilders who have created enduring designs to the highest standards for almost six decades.

The resulting boat is a timeless design, and fit for purpose. She can plane at eight knots, lift her skirts to top 30 knots, operate in knee deep water and turn, literally, on a dime. In fact the Frankham’s no longer put the bow on the beach to unload—they come in astern until the transom touches, swing open the big stern doors and step off on to dry sand.

If you, like the Frankhams, have an inspired idea of boating – read more on the Southstar37

Salthouse sheds have been a hive of activity

Summer has passed with a hiss and a roar and winter is beginning to show signs of creeping in.

All the while the Salthouse sheds have been a hive of activity.  
Luna Rosa had their 1200hp Catalyst45 launched just on Christmas and another has since been launched and shipped for her owners off to San Fran last week, ready to be part of the action at the forthcoming Americas Cup.
This has made space for the next Catalyst45 to begin - this one destined for offshore waters also.  
This spectacular new Melvin&Morelli design has certainly managed to catch the attention of a few adventurous boaties and we continue to here nothing but impressive feedback on performance. 
Latest Catalyst45 being loaded ready for shipping to San Fran

The Southstar37 launched at Christmas has been out on the Auckland Harbour showing her wares and impressing her new owners. (we have a following story on this particular boat so be sure to check back) She will have another stable mate before too long with number six of the popular design following hot on her tail.  This particular Southstar37 will be powered by a 400hp Volvo with stern-leg.

Our affectionately named 'Vaka Land' (number 1 shed), has so far this year been the site of several refits for the original Vakas that have returned after many thousands of miles traveled between New Zealand, America and the Pacific Nations, for a well earned lick and a polish! We continue to progress on the construction of another Vaka due for launch later this year.

Meanwhile, we'll enjoy the last few rays of summer and rather than hibernate for winter, we look forward to a few good months of progress in the sheds.
Check back soon for updates

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Crusader Blasts Old Records

The recently launched E35ss 'Crusader' has come storming onto centre stage with an outstanding performance blasting 2hrs off the previously held 35ft record for the Coastal Classic.
We think crew member Josh Tucker just about sums it all up with the this report... 
   ....the onboard footage does the rest...

The Coastal Classic is our biggest race of the year in New Zealand with often over 200 boats on the start line. This year was set to be a record breaker with a 35-45kt SW forecast which would be a fast 110-130TWA reach.

I was fortunate enough to hitch a ride on the brand new Elliott 35ss canting keeler ‘Crusader’ after we decided to pull the pin on my brother's 8.5m trimaran due to the extreme forecast.

Man what a ride, I had never sailed on the boat before but were good friends with a lot of the crew and had a bit to do with the full North Sails inventory that we had just put on.
We had a conservative start, opting to 2 sail to north head and be one of the first to gybe towards rangi light. The other boats that had set big gear to try and get away were either on their side down and kicking or blasting off in the wrong direction in the 25-35kt breeze.

After our gybe we set the fractional furling A5 (with a reefed main) and I instantly got a real feeling of the potential of this boat as we leapt up to 22-24kts of boatspeed comfortably. At this stage we were amongst the 50ft fleet and having a ball. We watched a 40kt squall come down and flatten most of the fleet but opted to hold on and try and ride it through as we felt pretty comfortable. When it hit we were underwater. 42kts with a kite on is not really ideal so we bore away and furled it. Still sitting on 18-24kts 2 sail reaching towards tiri with 30-35kts at 125TWA.

Further down the track we changed from the #4 jib to the J2 with a reef point and from then on it we went between the reefed and full jib in the very changeable 25-45kt breeze. We decided on going outside the hen and chicks, slightly further in distance but a more steady breeze and didn’t see the point coming up 20 degrees to go inside. It think was the best route as it often is in a planning boat in SW conditions.

The boat was just incredible, sitting on sustained speeds over 20 and regularly hitting 24-25kts with a peak of 25.8kts although we might have gone faster in the first big squall with the A5 on, no one really had a chance to look.

We went past the poor nights island by 3:10pm which was an average over 17kts for 5hrs. From there to cape Brett was a bit lighter and we shook out the reef in the main and carried on under full sail. A few tacks to get through the light and fluky gap between Brett and Percy island to finally be around just after 5pm. That's around a 15kt average for 7hrs 2 sail reaching down the coast in a 35ft monohull.....

We managed to hold off the class 40 ‘Buckley Systems’ for the 15nm beat into to the finish even with a few small technical issues we had and finished at 8:02pm still in daylight smashing 2 hrs off the previous 35ft record and 30minutes off the 40 ft record with an overall record time of 10hrs 2min 51seconds. We only had a kite up for a total of about 15minutes for the whole 10hr race and the wind was generally around 100-120TWA so a pretty tight 2 sail reach.

Overload the smaller Elliott 9 super sport canter still holds the record for under 30ft of 10hr 23min 56seconds that they set in 2009 and were not far behind in this race when they had rudder issues and withdrew from the race.

Worth noting that until the 100ft Supermaxi ‘Alfa Romeo’ smashed the overall race record in 2009 the overall monohull record was also held by another Elliott designed boat the radical 50ft Schooner ‘Primo’ which held the record since 1996.

Well done to the Orma 60 ‘Vodafone’ who also set a new overall record.

I was seriously impressed with the Eliott 35ss it was extremely FAST, easy to sail and I was also surprised to hear how affordable it was. I imagine there will be a few more of these built in the near future.

Our video of the race And a photo album with some great shots of us just after the start.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Salthouse Updates

Trinidad - 52ft Classic Launch - built by Salthouse Boatbuilders NZ

Things don’t seem to stand still for too long at the Salthouse yard these days. 
No sooner has the ETNZ Chase boat left the number 1 shed than out comes the mould again for a sister ship to be built.  This second chase boat is for an overseas client who was impressed with the power, speed and functionality of this new design.

From one powerboat to another; Salthouses have begun work on a new Southstar37.  This is number 5 of these great little coastal cruisers and proving the versatility and adaptability both in layout and powering options; will be driven by jet engine and used predominately as a commuting vessel.

Across the yard in the number 2 shed, or what has affectionately become known as ‘Vaka Land’, is  a 72ft traditional Vaka Moana near completion.  This Vaka will go on to join the fleet of previously launched catamarans currently doing their tour of duty in the Pacific Islands and beyond.  The shed space will then remain empty long enough to have a good sweep out before 4 of the 7 original Vaka return to the yard after 3 years for some well deserved maintenance.

Meanwhile, right next door is a group of men clad in white paper-suits, crawling like ants over a soon to be finished Elliott35 SuperSport, due for launch early September. With the launch of this exciting new canting keel race boat – we will have photo’s and footage with feedback from designer Greg Elliott and her new owner.  
Watch this space….

And just to top things off, we also have our slipways packed full with our local boaties coming up for their winter maintenance.  Most notable of these is the old classic Trinidad which was built by Salthouses back in 1964. Trinidad is having a complete strip down with 20years worth of anti-foul being removed, and a new breakthrough anti-foul product applied.  Check back for our next news update for a story on this.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Emirates Team New Zealand Chase 1 Video Footage

Designed by Morrelli & Melvin, built by Salthouse Boatbuilders, the new ETNZ tender takes to the water at pace....

Emirate Team New Zealand Chase 1

July saw the launching of Emirates Team New Zealand’s latest chase boat from the Salthouse Boatbuilders yard.  The new chase boat is powered by four Yamaha F300B V6 four stroke engines. With the advent of the new America's Cup, the whole format of the race has changed. The competition has moved from traditional mono hull yachts to massive 72 foot (22m) catamarans. These catamarans are capable of achieving speeds of up to 40 knots. This new format provided some unique challenges and requirements when it came time to look for support craft, as previous boats used for this purpose would not be sufficient.  Emirates Team New Zealand approached the challenge head on by designing a totally new craft in house with input from Chris Salthouse, from Salthouse Boat Builders.  The new 14m Cat that has resulted exceeds the required design speed of 50 Knots with an impressive top speed of 58 Knots (107km/h) – amazing performance for a boat of its size.
With limited days allowed for testing between now and January 2013 this Chase boat will need to be capable of being on the water and operational on these set days from dawn until dusk. That requires long range fuel efficiency - an area where the big Yamaha F300Bs excel. The reported fuel consumption of these engines at mid range cruise speeds is 100 Litres per hour at 30 Knots (56 Km/h). That’s only 25L/h per engine. At this speed the boat has a range of 510 nautical miles (926 Km).
The boat is expected to carry a range of support crew during this important preparation period. Among the staff onboard will be sailing coaches, boat builders, sail makers, riggers and on-board systems experts monitoring the finest details of boat and crew performance to get the most out of Emirates Team New Zealand. For added comfort for all on board, suspension seats have been added to smooth the ride in rough conditions, a feature that has been especially well appreciated by the crew. The success of this new chase boat design has not gone unnoticed and Salthouses are already in discussions for another 2 boats.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Salthouse Updates

Salthouse Boatbuilders launch the new Emirates Team New Zealand tender -
more info and footage to follow....


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Salthouse Updates

Increasingly, we are hearing of the troubled state or our oceans and how we as users of the sea as our playground and workplace, have an added responsibility to act as minders and care takers of our planets oceans.

Salthouse Boatbuilders currently have the privilege of working with a man named Dieter Paulmann, who with his foundation, Okeanos for the Sea, was searching for the best way to convey an urgent message of marine protection.
Dieter was inspired by Pacific Island culture and their stories of ocean voyaging.
As Islanders, people of the Pacific have an intimate understanding of our dependence on the surrounding environment. Although Pacific nations are amongst those contributing the least to climate change and environmental damage, they are some of the first to experience the consequences.

Through one man’s inspiration has come a fleet of 7 Vaka Moana (ocean going canoe) and a Vaka Motu (inter-island canoe).  With more on the way, and thousands of ocean miles already traveled fueled by nothing but the wind, sun and our struggling sea, the crew of these traditional vessels, aim to spread the word of ocean conservation.  As direct witnesses to the effects of pollution on our environment, Pacific Voyagers are voicing the immediate need for change, the need for a new story, a new sail plan.

Salthouse Boatbuilders will keep you posted so you can follow their journey and help change the tide on ocean pollution…

Monday, May 21, 2012

Salthouse Updates

Salthouse Boatbuilders are excited about the soon to be launched, Elliott35 Super Sport.
Read the latest info on our new 'Production Boats' page and check out detailed specs on the Elliott35ss PDF link

Friday, May 4, 2012

Emirates Team New Zealand Tender

The first of the new Emirates Team New Zealand chase boats is currently being built at Salthouse Boatbuilders. It will be launched in mid-June. A second has been ordered by a private buyer and interest is being shown by others.
Emirates Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton is impressed with the new chase boat. “It will be rugged, nimble and powerful enough to do the job. It will do the work of the big tender and a chase boat. 

There’s more to the multihull world of the America’s Cup than meets the eye. There’s the design challenge, figuring out how to launch and retrieve a big cat and learning how to sail them fast and safely.

But what about the chase boats? When the yacht can reach speeds of 40 knots, the chase boat has to be able to keep up and stay on station with the yacht for as long as it’s sailing.
When sailing conditions are favourable, the crew will spend a lot of time on the water. The chase boats will have to carry enough fuel for long days and have enough power and stability to stay close in fresh winds and choppy seas. And it has to be capable of righting the big cat should it capsize.

Wear and tear on the people also had to be considered. Twelve or more hours on the water slamming into a Hauraki Gulf chop is very hard on bodies. 

The familiar Protector RIBs with the big Yamaha engines that have served Emirates Team New Zealand so well for many years were not designed and built with the AC72 in mind. Even now, the Protector RIBs will not be retired. They’ll also be out on the water with the yachts every day, carrying spares and equipment. They have served the team well, maintenance free, for a number of years and up to four of them will remain in use in the future.
The team also needed a vessel to replace the big 60ft ASB tender of 2007. Team designer Pete Melvin came up with a 45ft catamaran, powered by four 300 horsepower Yamaha outboard motors. It’s lighter than the old chase boats and more fuel efficient. Just like the old RIBs its composite hull will be topped by inflatable tubes so that it can go alongside the race yacht.

With a centre console and enclosed cabin, team members will be well protected from chilly winter and spring weather and the spray that will be thrown up when travelling at speed.
It will have the endurance to stay out all day and will achieve speeds of more than 50 knots if necessary. With suspension seats to smooth the ride, it will be kinder on its passengers - the sailing coaches, boat builders, sail makers riggers and on-board systems experts.

Grant Dalton says, “When it’s at work on San Francisco Bay it will be another good advertisement for the capability of the New Zealand marine industry.”

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Salthouse Boatbuilders currently have a busy schedule and require new boatbuilding staff.
Our existing team of qualified boatbuilders are all skilled in both woodwork and composites and all have a keen and motivated work ethic - we are looking to add 5 new members to our team.
If you are a qualified boatbuilder with references - please apply to