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Old 25-05-2024, 08:26   #1
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Refit in New Zealand vs Australia

We're currently in French Polynesia and have started planning our refit that we would like to complete next year.

We plan on pulling the mast to make some changes, replace the standing rigging, have one of the cabins demo'ed and built into a shop, pull and refresh the generator, upgrade charging systems, modify the galley, and a few other projects.

We would be living off the boat during this work so we'll be renting a place to live for about 4 months.

It's been suggested to us that our best option is The Boat Works on the Gold Coast.

Are there any other places we should consider in either Australia or New Zealand?
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Old 25-05-2024, 09:48   #2
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Re: Refit in New Zealand vs Australia

We were delighted with the standard of work and prices at...

https://www.seaviewmarina.co.nz/

in Wellington.
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Old 25-05-2024, 10:01   #3
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Re: Refit in New Zealand vs Australia

New Zealand is noted for more satisfied customers and fewer horror stories, but some of the better shipwrights in Australia were raised in NZ.
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Old 25-05-2024, 10:07   #4
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Re: Refit in New Zealand vs Australia

I should also mention that we have a 26 foot beam.
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Old 25-05-2024, 15:11   #5
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Re: Refit in New Zealand vs Australia

Sabado Boat works is a great yard. I don't hear many complaints from there.
The other thing is there are plenty of holiday apartments a short drive away available for short term lease.
Cheers
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Old 25-05-2024, 15:14   #6
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Re: Refit in New Zealand vs Australia

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Sabado Boat works is a great yard. I don't hear many complaints from there.
The other thing is there are plenty of holiday apartments a short drive away available for short term lease.
Cheers
Thank you
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Old 25-05-2024, 15:33   #7
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Re: Refit in New Zealand vs Australia

Boat Works could handle you. We found them very easy to deal with, and they have a full array of services available. There are a variety of accommodations in the area, and access to industrial areas as well. There's a difference between having the work done and doing it oneself. We always did most of the work ourselves.

NZ is a beautiful country, and small enough to really enjoy via car touring. Everywhere has a few rogues, all over the world... It will be warmer in Queensland, and possibly too warm for you, just as NZ is cooler, being further south.

With a beam of 26 ft, if you're a monohull, the draft may be a problem getting to Boat Works. If you're a cat, they can easily handle the boat. I'd think you could get the work done in NZ or Oz, but if you skip over NZ, you miss a beautiful spot, and it's a long way back, whereas when you leave NZ everything from Tonga west is easily available. Ultimately, it comes down to where you want to go, and what you like to do.

Although New Caledonia is going through a rough spot now, if the troubles there ease, it is a great place to do boat work, also. You have hoops to jump through to import "stuff" duty free if you're going to take the boat out, you need prior approval from La Douane, but it all works smoothly. The climate is neither too cool nor too warm, and also a beautiful place.



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Old 25-05-2024, 16:17   #8
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Re: Refit in New Zealand vs Australia

The Boat Works is indeed an excellent yard, the best we've ever been in... but the success of your projects lies not in the yard but in the individual contractors and artisans that you employ. There are a variety of such who work on the premises and some local research will be a good investment of your time, for they are not all equal.

It has been some years since our experiences there, so we can't offer advice oursselves, but perhaps some other CFers will step up with recommendations.

Good luck with it all!

Jim

PS They will have no problem with your beam!
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Old 25-05-2024, 16:24   #9
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Re: Refit in New Zealand vs Australia

We have done extensive refits at both Norsand Boatyard in Whangarei New Zealand https://www.norsand.co.nz/ in 2020/21 and at The Boat Works in Queensland https://theboatworks.com.au/ in 2022, both places while living aboard. Norsand comes out ahead, for us.

While TBW is a great facility for liveaboards and has extensive service providers onsite and nearby, the contractors there need to be chosen and managed with care (we used Multihull Marine Australia https://theboatworks.com.au/trade-li...ine-australia/ as our lead project manager and that really helped to select and keep other trades in line). Junior workers are scarce (due to running away to FIFO work once they’re trained) and jobs can take a long time due to scarce availability of trained workers. We experienced delay after delay, even for work we’d booked months in advance. You will pay 10% GST as Australian businesses just don’t want to follow the law exempting foreign boats from the tax, and labour rates are relatively high. On the plus side, you’re on the edge of a large metropolitan area with lots of entertainment options and accommodation is varied and numerous. TBW supplies courtesy cars, which could mean you don’t have to buy your own. More supplies are available locally as it’s a much bigger market than NZ, but unlike NZ you will not avoid paying GST on imports.

In New Zealand the best place to get refit work done is in Whangarei. We are very familiar with Norsand and strongly recommend them. Their facilities are a bit rough and they don’t provide courtesy cars, but the trade services are excellent and numerous (limited onsite, lots in the surrounding area). As a foreign vessel you’re exempted from the 15% GST and all service providers (and even local stores) are familiar with the exemption. Labour rates are lower than in Australia. Whangarei is a small city and Auckland is a couple hours away. New Zealand weather during the summer is cooler and generally more pleasant than QLD (no humidity!!).
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Old 25-05-2024, 17:14   #10
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Re: Refit in New Zealand vs Australia

Plenty of good advice upthread, I'll just add a couple data points.

You are estimating for about 4 months for the work. It might stretch to much more. If you are paying short term holiday rental prices, you budget will be stretched. Long term (i.e. 6+ month) 'permanent' rentals are cheaper but they might be difficult to find currently in any Australian waterside city (we have a serious housing shortage). I dunno about NZ.

Regarding Australian GST, it is my understanding that if the work being done is genuinely for a foreign vessel 'in transient', you claim the GST back from the tax office when clearing out of Australia. However I might be wrong and you need to check with a import / export tax expert. Obviously there is much paperwork required...

Perhaps as importantly, the beer (and wine) is better in Oz.
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Old 25-05-2024, 17:24   #11
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Re: Refit in New Zealand vs Australia

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Regarding Australian GST, it is my understanding that if the work being done is genuinely for a foreign vessel 'in transient', you claim the GST back from the tax office when clearing out of Australia. However I might be wrong and you need to check with an import / export tax expert. Obviously there is much paperwork required...
NOT TRUE. The only tax you can claim back on leaving Australia, the Tourist Refund Scheme https://www.abf.gov.au/entering-and-leaving-australia/tourist-refund-scheme, is only for goods purchased in the 60 days prior to leaving. It does not apply to services.

Refer to https://www.noonsite.com/report/australia-clarifying-the-gst-situation/ for the legal interpretation. But it doesn’t matter - show the documents to a service provider or a retailer and they laugh at you.

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Perhaps as importantly, the beer (and wine) is better in Oz.
Wine, absolutely cheaper in OZ - thanks to Dan Murphy’s and the SA growing regions. But the beer is expensive and crappy - NZ beer wins hands down.
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Old 25-05-2024, 17:50   #12
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Re: Refit in New Zealand vs Australia

^^ Thanks for clarifying, clearly my info was completely wrong. The noonsite link was vey helpful.

As to the beer, you must be buying the wrong stuff.
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Old 25-05-2024, 22:41   #13
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Re: Refit in New Zealand vs Australia

Another New Zealand option is Nelson. The scenery of the South Island is great and there's a large and sophisticated maritime industry that given the constant work demand with large fishing vessels. Plus house rents are lower and there is more available. Nelson is also the NZ centre for private jets.

It will need double checking but I think that you'd be able to claim all GST paid too.

And let's be realistic, New Zealand has the edge over Australia too, Australia is full of Ozzies and Kiwis have never bowled underarm.
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Old 25-05-2024, 23:09   #14
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Re: Refit in New Zealand vs Australia

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..........

And let's be realistic, New Zealand has the edge over Australia too, Australia is full of Ozzies and Kiwis have never bowled underarm.
Hmm...it seems not every Kiwi agrees.

It is estimated that around 670,000 New Zealand citizens live in Australia (close to 15 per cent of New Zealand's population), while there are around 70,000 Australians in New Zealand.

https://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/new-zeal...0New%20Zealand.
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Old 26-05-2024, 00:19   #15
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Re: Refit in New Zealand vs Australia

Cruising

A Cruising Permit will be issued for visiting vessels that do not wish to undertake charter work. This permit will be for an initial period of up to 12 months. Extensions can be applied for and are generally granted. GST tax is payable on all purchases (eg. fuel and other consumables) if under a cruising permit. Superyacht Base Australia can assist with these requirements.

Refit, Repairs and Maintenance

The owners or masters of yachts cruising Australian waters on cruising permits will be able to obtain Goods and Services Tax (GST)-free repairs or refits by presenting their cruising permits to their repairers/refitters. The Australian Taxation Office will not require presentation of documents showing prior arrangement of repairs or refits.

GST-free repairs/refits include any repairs or refits to the yachts which are done during the course of their visits to Australia. Examples of these include:

repairs necessitated by accidents in Australia; and
routine maintenance
To be GST free the supply of goods must be provided by the supplier of the refit/repairs to the vessel.

The repairer/refitter can make a GST-free supply of the repair/refit by retaining a copy of the cruising permit. In addition to the cruising permit, the repairer/refitter will retain the financial records ordinarily required for taxation and accounting purposes.
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