Michael Hill's 40m-long catamaran draws hundreds at Foxton launch

Hundreds of onlookers flocked to Foxton Beach on Thursday for the launch of Michael Hill's massive new catamaran.

The 40-metre-long boat has taken nearly two years to put together.

Profab Engineering Owner Carl Ferguson said the team behind the huge creation, dubbed 'The Beast', will be celebrating its launch tonight.

"We'll have a couple of shandies tonight to celebrate into the wee hours of the morning I'd say, and the owner's happy as well."

Foxton locals said the launch was big talk for the small town, and it was exciting to watch the catamaran being launched.

"It's a big event for the town... I'd hate the headaches that he's got at the moment trying to get this into the water."

Michael Hill's new pleasure craft can sleep 22 people, including 10 crew members, and has 12 toilets and 12 showers.

It will even have large cranes installed on its deck for the 12-metre sports fishing boat and the carbon fibre amphibious boat that it will carry.

Michael Hill seemed proud of his new toy.

"It is a bit of a beast actually, it's a most unusual looking vessel."

It's the 72nd vessel Carl Ferguson has overseen, it's launch a relief for the boat-maker.

"We seem to have found a little niche market in the bigger side boats - which is good, because boat-building is a bit of a dying breed in New Zealand at the moment."

The boat was made in Palmerston North and then brought to Foxton in three parts, where crews spent six weeks fitting it together.

"280-tonne, getting that down the road is a nightmare. Finishing it on bracing in a grass paddock down here at Foxton, in the middle of a car park - logistically that's a bit tricky as well."

The interior isn't finished, but Hill says it'll be "down to earth".

"There's no sort of gold taps and things - it's more sort of simplistic, minimalistic, modern New Zealand."

Michael Hill says his first trip on The Beast will be around New Zealand.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: