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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