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Many of the recommendations (soft wooden plugs etc.) are "just in case"

Every yacht that I have heard of being lost from water entering the hull, by the time it is noticed, the water is too deep to determine where it is coming from. ( excluding rudders and keels falling off ) 

An overseas yacht I spent a considerable time working on had 17 through hulls, most of which had Brass ball valves fitted. All showed signs of de-zinkification. They were almost impossible to replace as it was near impossible to source Bronze V/v's and the certified nz made "plastic" ones were much larger and wouldn't fit into some of the tiny almost impossible to reach areas where they were installed, it would be impossible to reach them to fit a plug.

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Many of the European imports I understand are sent with what appears to be brass type through hulls, that despite being CE and Iso standards are failing in a couple of years. Also, many of these boats (including the cats) have holes at keel level connecting the whole boat to one bilge pump. So in the event of a hull impact or through hull failure the boat sinks. Anyway, the wooden bungs may not be needed in older boats as much as new ones!!

We call this progress...


Whilst visiting my boat this week I read an essay by another long time cruiser in which he wonders why we all carry tapered soft wooden bungs attached to our through hulls. The reason being in 40 years he has never heard of anyone actually needing to use one. I thought about it and I can

t recall ever knowing of one being used in anger either.

Can anyone?

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Had a friend buy a used Beneteau in the Caribbean.

Shortly after the purchase he was sitting at anchor, turned a sea cock on and the thing snapped off in his hand. With not softwood plugs on board he used a broom handle which kept it under control until the boat could be hauled.

Could have turned ugly if it didn't happen until later on in the middle of the pacific.


Why don't they just use nylon sea cocks?

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I reckon! Apparently it is common now to see BRASS thru hulls on some production boats. NOT naval bronze, real brass!! Man, that is crap. Life expectancy of only a couple of years, possibly less, and the consequences can easily be a lost vessel.


I learned this third hand though, so I hope it is not true. Fiber re-enforced nylon looks good from here!

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SS below the waterline isn't recommended, It needs oxygen to survive, (the opposite to mild steel)  I have seen a 316ss shaft absolutely stuffed where it sat in the cutlass bearing over the winter, being starved of Oxy.

That being said most SS ball V/v's have a lot of redundancy and are certainly a much better option when compared to most of the so called bronze v/v's that are either brass or a very poor quality bronze alloy.

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I'd like one of you to name a specific piece of Cat 1 gear that you'd leave on the dock, in front of your family and /or crew, and sail away without. Go on, name it!



I'm solo in a ferro yacht so I'd say the 3rd fire extinguisher is a bit of overkill, as is possibly the 2nd one. I could also do without the expense of a liferaft, considering I never intend to bail out. Statistically, that's the easiest way to die at sea.


More examples could be found but it would be gilding the lily.

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I've looked into the registration and cat 1 thing quite a lot over the last 5 years. Both are quite different, as far as I can tell, from the GST/customs importing thing. Actually, they're completely separate.



From my research, a vessel can be registered as a NZ ship (Part B - previously also Part A but now horribly expensive) as long as the majority owner is a NZ citizen OR a natural person who has "the right of residency" in NZ. (i.e. my German wife)


A NZ registered ship does not need to be Cat 1 to sail to NZ. But it does to leave NZ.


So it's my understanding that a boat can be bought (legally) or constructed anywhere in the world and so long as it's not registered elsewhere, can be registered in NZ. All that's required is a survey for length measurement only from a NZ approved surveyor in EU, and some kind of proof of ownership - which I guess differs depending upon if you bought it new or second hand, had it constructed, or built it yourself.


A NZ registered ship can ply European waters (and any international waters?) under the regulations of the flag country (NZ). I'm not sure how this applies to skipper and crew qualifications - except that in inland EU you need the CEVNI endorsement (online) and some proof of your competency, usually a Certificate of Competency much like our Boatmaster's but with an additional practical element. 


I believe, as far as I know, that the EU authorities can not force you to be Cat 1 when you leave EU waters. And as you are Flagged NZ, they can not force you to be to any EU standard (classification A, B, C etc.)

To do so would infringe upon the International Laws of Freedom of Navigation.


Having said that, I'm not sure I'd leave EU and head across two oceans without most of the things on the Cat1 list - including the pregnancy test.




It's a bit more murky here, but I understand, from having read the customs stuff that the necessity to pay GST/import duties on the purchase price (or value) of the boat depends up on your residency status in NZ, and how long you intend for the vessel to stay in the country (imported). If you are resident in NZ, then you have to pay - unless you can somehow prove the GST was paid in NZ already in the situation the vessel was built in NZ and the GST was indeed paid.


However, if you are moving to NZ (relocating a permanent residence) for the first time, you may import a number of items free of tax/customs. One of those items is a car, one is a ship, along with most of your household goods and chattels. I'm not 100% sure if you need to own the ship for more than a certain number of years prior to arriving but I think it might be 2y if so, much like a number of other goods, SO LONG AS you do not sell the vessel within two years of your arrival in NZ.


If you sail a foreign registered ship to NZ and it remains in NZ for greater than a certain number of days, then it is deemed to be imported and the above rules on GST/import duties apply.




Them's what I understands...


Happy to be corrected on any point - but I naturally will be disappointed if i find out otherwise.

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Yep, that pretty much matches my understanding. The only issue I've had anywhere about certification was in Singapore. You can come in, and you can leave, however, you cannot go out, even for a day sail, without their local qualifications. My Yachtmaster cert is not acceptable - you MUST have the local ticket (online, a few hundy IIRC) which is a power vessel ticket! I just left Singapore...


On other country even asked to see my ticket - they assumed that as we had sailed from NZ, we must be basically competent I guess.


I did not know the bit about importing free if you were coming to live here.

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Yep, that pretty much matches my understanding. The only issue I've had anywhere about certification was in Singapore. You can come in, and you can leave, however, you cannot go out, even for a day sail, without their local qualifications. My Yachtmaster cert is not acceptable - you MUST have the local ticket (online, a few hundy IIRC) which is a power vessel ticket! I just left Singapore...


On other country even asked to see my ticket - they assumed that as we had sailed from NZ, we must be basically competent I guess.


I did not know the bit about importing free if you were coming to live here.


Singapore is pretty boring anyway... no need to even stop there I would have thought, unless you need a "corruption free" Asian port...

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when i returned to nz last year


my wife and i brought our cars with us free of import taxes


i seem to remember we could also have brought a motorcycle, aircraft or small ship 


if we had been away for 21months, owned it for a year? promised not to sell it for 2 years

and if the small ship had no engine and was less than 2.5m wide...


at the time i could have brought my weta


except it was too widewhen assembled


edit - here's the doc


small ship means a ship that is either of the following:

(a) a sailing vessel that

— (i) in the sailing condition does not exceed 2.5 metres in width at any section;

and (ii) does not exceed 1,000 kilograms unladen weight;

and (iii) does not incorporate any device for propelling the vessel by power (for example, an auxiliary motor);

and (iv) is not of the deep keel type:


( b

 a powered vessel that

— (i) does not exceed 7 metres in length;

and (ii) does not exceed 2.5 metres in width at any section;

and (iii) does not exceed 1,250 kilograms all up unladen weight (ie with driving units and transmissions) or 800 kilograms unladen weight when imported without driving units and transmissions


tail end of this


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That's interesting, and is a remarkably different document to the one I last read (middle of last year?). I see that this document is dated Nov 2014, so I wonder if there have been some updates? Lemmie see...


Ok here it is on this page: 




One tab called Concessionary entry for boats and aircraft


the one directly under it called: Concessionary entry for boats for first time immigrants


When entering New Zealand to live for the first time you may import boats (of any size) without payment of Customs duty. The concession, however, is subject to all the following conditions:

  • You have arrived to live in New Zealand for the first time; and on the date the boat is imported you hold a document authorising residence in New Zealand. (Brief holidays or exploratory visits do not exclude a person from qualifying for this concession.)
  • You have personally owned and used the boat for at least one year before the date of your departure for New Zealand; or one year before the date on which the boat or aircraft was surrendered for shipping; or one year before the date of its departure for New Zealand where the boat or aircraft is imported other than as cargo – whichever is earlier.
  • You give a written undertaking that, if the boat is sold or otherwise disposed of within two years of the date of its arrival in New Zealand, you will make payment of the Customs charges that would normally have been payable; and you give a written undertaking that the boat will not be used for hire, or for the transport of cargo, or the carriage of passengers, or for any other commercial activity or reward, within two years of its importation.
Leased boats and aircraft

In some cases the boats may have been either:

  • leased by you, or
  • purchased by you through a hire purchase agreement.

This concession will still apply as long as you have:

  • Possessed the boat for at least one year prior to the date of your departure for New Zealand; or one year prior to the date it was surrendered for shipping to New Zealand – whichever is earlier.
  • Complied with the terms of the lease or hire purchase in full: prior to property in the boat passing to the importer; and prior to importation into New Zealand.

Rate: N/A

Last updated: Friday, 15 April 2011



It's the "first time immigrant" clause, so it doesn't really work for everyone who grew up in NZ...


When I move back to NZ, my wife will accompany me.


She will be a first time immigrant, and she owns the boat (all construction bills paid for by her from her account).


I just hope it's still the same when we finally cast off for NZ...

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The thing that really rips my reacher is the fees increase.  See:



How in (insert omnipotent being's name here)'s name do they justify that scale of increase?  What do you get for $920 ? An A4 sized laminated piece of paper.


I did the sums when I wrote and complained to Parliament in February.  My email is below.


Angry D2.


"I have a yacht and intend to sail overseas with my partner.  Although not compulsory, it is considered wise to register your vessel in your home country.  There are two parts of the register, Part A covering commercial ships, and Part B covering recreational vessels.  I am discussing Part B.


The fees charged by Maritime NZ for this registration are becoming prohibitive and in my opinion, totally unjustifiable.  Although yacht ownership can be considered a luxury by some, the reality is that many overseas cruising yachts have very small budgets, I know I do.


The process of initial registration simply involves filling out a form.  The registration document itself is an A4 laminated sheet.   Registration is valid for 5 years.  MNZ do not send a reminder, if you forget to renew you must re-apply (and pay the new registration fee).


I first registered my boat in 2006 and although I don’t have a record of how much I paid for the initial registration, I don’t think it was over $500.  I re-registered in 2011 and paid something like $560.  I thought that was expensive.


If you review the charges for boat registration here, you can see a trend of wildly increasing fees, in this case moving from $576 in 2013, to $940 in 2018 (Part B Renewal of Registration).


I can’t see why these fees should be set this high and don’t believe it is justifiable.  I do not understand the near-doubling of fees.  MNZ advertise this as “proof of nationality”.  Why does this cost far in excess of a person’s passport?  Bearing in mind that the boat itself can’t get into “trouble” while overseas, I don’t imagine that there are costs associated with maintaining “vessel embassies”, so it would be fair to assume that the registration costs relate solely to the maintenance of the register.  Looking at what information is recorded about the vessel and the registration document, it is hard to justify.


Compare this situation with the British Small Ships Register, the difference is staggering.  25 Pounds ($51.23) gives you 5 years registration, while allowing you to change the ownership of the vessel etc.  The SSR is a well-utilised, effective process.


There are many other fees set by MNZ which I don’t believe would stand up to scrutiny, when comparing the charges set with the work involved.  To replace the Certificate of Registration - $288 moving to $470 - unbelievable! 


You may be aware that many other aspects of MNZ are currently unpopular.  I would appreciate it if you can advise of any action I can take to address this particular situation."

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Probably about the only useful thing he has ever done -

Labour's D Cunliffe is making some noise about this, see


and September's Professional Skipper mag has a lengthy article about MNZ's extortionate fees.

It cost me over $400 to have the change of engine recorded on my registration!

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I have sent YNZ a PM, lets see if they respond.

I have also thought about an email to D Cunliffe  on behalf of crew.org to object. It could get some traction in view of the above issues. If we did a crew.org email, I wonder how many we would get to sign it? There is probably a way to do this online here with this software. If people are interested, I'll investigate how it may be done.

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