Support a Local Business - Westhaven Marine Brokers
A boat brokerage based under the Ponsonby Cruising Club at Westhaven, has filled a niche for good quality keelboats and launches at an entry level price point, and was founded by one of Westhaven’s most well known characters, who’s had a hand in the sailing careers of at least 1,000 people.
Tony Smith has enjoyed over 50 years of cruising and racing,and owns the boat that has, according to statistics, raced more than any other boat in New Zealand. Having taken so much enjoyment from his own boat, Tony established Westhaven Marine Brokers in 2008 to match new boat owners up with the right vessel.
The Westhaven Marine Brokers office is wallpapered with pictures of boats for sale, most with price tags in the $10,000 - $150,000 range - a marked difference from other brokers.
In a time when production imports are flooding the market at a much higher price point, there is a solid demand for more affordable boats, says Tony Smith, and owners get great value for money from tried and true favourites like Raven 26s, Lotus 9.2s, Farr 1020s, and Ross 930s.
“Bigger boats and new imported boats aren’t affordable for many of us, but many of these smaller and more affordable vessels have been sailing for decades in New Zealand, and are proven to be reliable” says Tony, who has recently been joined in the business by brokers Catherine Wenzel and Olivia Dexter, and office manager Pat Goldstilver.
With such a wide range of boats available, the company also helps the buyer choose one that matches their level of experience, and boating goals, and gives a high level of after-sales training, which can be very important for first time owners.
Tony himself owns a Ross 930 racer-cruiser Fast Company, and has given over 1,000 people a chance to sail over the decades that he has owned the boat, and many have gone on to buy boats, have careers in the industry, or even get married to people that they met aboard his boat.
More Fast Company Statistics:
Fast Company has raced more times than any other boat in NZ.
It’s sailed nearly 80,000 nautical miles (which is almost 145,000 km), and equivalent to three circumnavigations of the globe - and almost all between Westhaven and Rangitoto!
All in all, since launch, Fast Company has competed in an estimated 4,400 races and cruised 250 times
This means Tony has had to make over 60,000 phone calls to organise 27,000 bums on seats.
More than 1,000 people have sailed aboard Fast Company (950 of which are women). Over 10 have gone on to work professionally within the marine industry, and at least ten have met their future partners aboard their boat.
All this organisation is thirsty work which explains why Fast Company has hosted the consumption of more than:
30,000 cans of beer
5,000 bottles of rum (of which 1,500 have been won)
Which have been washed down with over 8,000 bottles of coke
And supplemented by more than 10,000 bags of chips