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New Zealand boatbuilder Rayglass and Yamaha have been named as one of the finalists for a prestigious new international boat building award.
The companies, which joined forces to create the innovative Protector Projet, are in the running to win the first Boatbuilder & Equipment Manufacturer Collaborative Solution Award, one of the inaugural Boat Builder Awards for Business Achievement at the METSTRADE international marine trade expo later this month.
In selecting the Rayglass Protector Projet, the judges said they were impressed with the way the two firms had effectively integrated Rayglass’s standard 6-metre RIB (rigid inflatable boat) with a Yamaha PWC (Personal Water Craft or jetski).
Rayglass CEO Dave Larsen says the Projet was created after an approach from organisers of the America’s Cup and Lois Vuitton regattas.
“They wanted to find a way to improve their on-water policing and spectator boat control,” he recalls. “They needed a fast and highly manoeuvrable vessel that could quickly and safely navigate around the large race course area and between the hundreds of spectator craft, and safely come alongside other boats without damaging them.”
The company’s solution was to permanently mould a Yamaha high performance PWC into the middle of a Rayglass 6-metre Protector RIB.
“Because the jet-powered PWC comes complete with seating, steering, instrumentation and a fuel tank, there is no need to build these into the Protector hull,” says Dave Larsen. “This reduces manufacturing costs and creates a wealth of useable cockpit space.”
The resulting Projet, which is capable of speeds up to 80 kilometres per hour, proved an immediate success. It has since been employed in a variety of roles around the world including by other sailing organisations and syndicates, as superyacht tenders and for fun recreational boating and fishing.
Auckland Airport’s Wildlife Hazard Management team also operates a Projet around the edges of the airport’s runways, scaring away birds, especially swans, that sometime congregate on the nearby banks and helping protect flights from the possibility of bird strike.
The Boat Builder Awards for Business Achievement, which are jointly organised by IBI (International Boat Industry) and METSTRADE (the world’s largest marine trade expo), will be presented at a gala dinner at Amsterdam’s Maritime Museum on November 18.
Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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