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  • Writer's pictureNic de Mey

What to Look for When Hiring a Boat Builder

Investing in a custom-built boat – be it a recreational catamaran or a rowing skiff – is a big

commitment, which is why you’ll want to choose the best possible boat builder. For anyone

setting out on their first boat building journey and unsure where to turn, look out for the

following traits.

Experience and Specialisation

First things first, boat building is not for amateurs. Whether you are in the market for a

custom racing boat, catamaran or luxury yacht, you’ll want to go with an experienced boat

builder with an impressive portfolio.

Beyond confirming their credentials, inquiring into a boat builder’s area of experience and

preferred materials to work with will give you an indication of whether their style matches

yours. If you want a boat made of timber and fiberglass, don’t hire a boat builder who works

exclusively with aluminium.

Team Work

Building a boat is not a one-person job, so one of the most important qualities to look out

for is a strong team environment. Ask your boat builder about his workshop atmosphere

and even make an appointment to visit so you can observe how the builders work together.

Look out for collaboration, hard work and good communication skills.

A Well Set Up Workshop

You can’t build a 20-foot catamaran in a garage! A professional boat building workshop

requires plenty of space, appropriate tools, strong organisational systems and an eye out for

health and safety.

Balancing Innovation and Tradition

Boat building is a craft with a long history and any boat builder worth his salt will respect

the trade’s tradition. At the same time, we want boat builders of today to embrace modern

technology that will give you superior performance – after all, would the America’s Cup be

in NZ without those cutting-edge cycle grinders?

The best boat builders blend these two traits, using the latest innovations without forgetting

the foundations upon which the boating trade is built.


Hands down, the most important quality to look out for is passion. A boat builder with

passion will put in the hard work, attention to detail and dedication that goes into creating a

custom boat.

Nic de Mey Yachts has all the qualities needed to build your custom built. Give Nic a call at

0275 595 093.

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