Topic: Big Catamaran launched at Foxton Beach

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In February 2014 a big Catamaran was built in Palmerston North for an oil company. 'Guru' was transported in 2 pieces and assembled at Foxton Beach next to the Manawatu Marine Boating Club. It was launched from Foxton Beach on the 2nd of February.

The boat followed the Manawatu Coastguard boat out along the river and over the Manawatu River bar. 

It took 27 minutes to make this journey.

Catamaran at Foxton


The GURU being prepared for launching from the wharf into the Manawatu River from the Manawatu Marine Boating club launching ramp.


      A truck transporting a mulitimillion dollar boat hull from Palmerston North to The Manawatu Marine Boating Club wharf on the Manawatu River at Foxton Beach. 

     The boat was carried in two parts, ( Hull and top deck ), 11 metres wide at 12 oclock at night. The boat when fully assembled will weigh 110 tonnes. The boat arrived at Foxton beach about 4 am in the morning, nine hours after leaving the factory of Profab Engineering in Palmerston north













Big Catamaran at Foxton                                                                                                



        Photo Taken south of Sanson 

       A truck transporting a mulitimillion dollar boat hull from Palmerston North to The Manawatu Marine Boating   Club wharf on the Manawatu River at Foxton Beach. 

  The boat was carried in two parts, ( Hull an top deck), 11 metres wide at 12 oclock at night.The  boat when fully assembled will weigh 110 tonnes.

   The boat arrived at Foxton about 4 am in the morning. Nine hours after leaving the factory of Profab Engineering in Palmerston North




                  Multi-million dollar boat unmoved

Multi-million dollar boat unmoved 

     Photo courtesy Horowhenua Chronicle 29-1-2014                                             HJP

              The million dollar boat unmoved


   With the clock ticking  down to a launch date planned for January 30, the last thing boat builders of the multi-million dollar catamaran, being refitted at the Manawatu Marine Boating Club, would want is an earthquake.

   Fortunately, the magnitude 6.2 earthquake that jolted the district on January 20 left the 11-meter-wide by 24m-long boat still sitting soundly on its blocks.

   The catamaran named Guru, which means deep water in Aborigine, has become a mini-tourist destination over the past few weeks since it arrived at the boating club car park on January 8, attracting hundreds of locals and visitors alike checking its progress.

   Transported from Palmerston North by truck in three parts, more than a  -hundred people turned out on the day to see the catamaran reassembled using two cranes.

   It is the widest boat to be built by Palmerston North _ firm Prpfab Engineering and will weigh 110 tonnes when fully assembled and fuelled up.

With just the electrical wiring to complete, the catamaran will head toWellingtonfor its final fittings when it leaves Foxton, before starting work in Patea on February 10 and later heading to Darwin as a gear transporter for an oil and gas company.

  courtesy Horowhenua Chronicle 29-1-2014                                HJP

               Super cat gets fit-out

Super cat gets fit out 

         Photo courtesy Horowhenua Mail 16-1-2014                               HJP

                     Super cat gets fit-out

Getting ready: A newly reassembled catamaran bound for Darwin looms large over the boat club at Foxton Beach. The 24-metre-long and ll metres wide boat will be 110 tonnes when it is finished and filled with fuel.

   Built by Carl Ferguson's Palmerston North boat-building company Profab Central Engineering, the boat was transported in two parts and reassembled on Friday. A fatal crash occurred behind the boat as it trav­elled to Foxton from Palmerston North in the early hours of January 8. However, the boat was not involved in the crash itself and the moving company was found to be operating with the right permits and in a professional and legal manner.

   The catamaran is not expected to be launched until the end of
the month, but people would be busy until then wiring the boat up, testing its functions and completing the internal fit-out.

   The boat will predominantly be used by an oil and gas company in Darwin, Australia, to transport gear. It is fitted with state- of- the- art technology that allows it to steer and drive itself.

    courtesy Horowhenua Chronicle 5-02-2014                                                                                              HJP

                          Big Cat Casts off

The Big Cat Casts Off  Photo courtesy Horowhenua Chronicle 5-02-2014          HJP

       The Big Catararan " Guru " at Foxton

The Big Catamaran ready to leave Foxton

The big catarmaran now named "Guru" ready to leave Foxton and sail to Whanganui and Wellington for the final fit out.


                           Big Cat Casts off


Foxton Beach enjoyed a mini-economic boom thanks to the multi-million dollar catamaran which arrived at the Manawatu Marine Boating Club on January 8.

It quickly became a major tourist attraction, as thousands of visitors watched its progress after its arrival from boat builders, Profab Engineering in Palmerston North.

It was lowered on to the Manawatu River last Thursday watched by hundreds of interested bystanders.

    On Sunday, more than 1000 visitors lined the jetty and river edge to watch as it took advantage of the king tide at noon and followed the Manawatu Coastguard down the river and over the Foxton sand bar. A mini flotilla of boats, jet skis, people on stand up paddleboards and a private helicopter hovered overhead as the catamaran took about half an hour to make the journey.

Foxton Community Board chairperson Janine Smart believed the catamaran had boosted local business. "Visitors are staying to have a look around and are spending money here," she said.

"Many commented on how pleasantly surprised and amazed they were at what a pretty place Foxton is and at the facilities on offer."

Sunday's trade was "crazy busy" said Simply

Balmy assistant manager Toni Oxnam, and local real estate agent Amanda Street said there had been a lot of interest shown for river front properties since the boat's arrival. Manawatu Marine Boating Club commodore John Haverkamp said the club had received a lot of interest and had new members enrolled as a result.

The catamaran will spend about a week inWellington for final commissioning before starting work in Patea on February 10 and later heading to Darwin as a gear transporter for an oil and gas company.

Profab Engineering has been commissioned to build three more catamarans over the next 18 months. Foxton Beach is one of the locations

 being considered to reassemble and launch the boats, said managing director Carl Ferguson.

"I've got nothing but praise for the local support we've had. It's been tremendous," he said.

"We needed some work done in the car park area and it was done within the hour. You can't ask better than that."

    courtesy Horowhenua Chronicle 5-02-2014                               HJP

            The Big Cat Boat gets send -off

The Big Cat Boat gets send -off 

       Photo courtesy Horowhenua Mail 6-2-2014                                         HJP

          6 February 2014   Boat gets send - off


   More than 1000 people lined the Manawatu Riverto see off a boat, built in land-locked Palmerston North as it began its journey to Australia.
   Guru - a 110-tonne, 24-metre-long, llm-wide catamaran -launched from the Manawatu Marine Boating Club in Foxton Beach at noonon Sunday after being delivered there by truck last month.
Crowds  lined  the riverbank, with most people based at either the boat club or at the mouth of the river.
   People on powerboats, jetskis and even paddleboards acc­ompanied Guru down the river, while a helicopter hovered over­head.
   The seas were calm when Guru made it over the sandbar before turning south and sailing out of view Guru was built by Profab Central Engineering and can sleep up to 18 People.
  The boat’ strip was marred when a fatal crash occurred behind it as it was transported to Foxton from Palmerston North on state highway one on January 8 2014.
  The boat was not involved in the crash itself and the moving company was not at fault.
   Guru will sail out of Darwin, and will be predominantly used by an oil and gas company to transport equipment.  

       courtesy Horowhenua Mail 6-2-2014                                         HJP


Big Catamaran in the water  

                                   by ColleenH

The catamaran Guru at Foxton Beach                                                                                                      HJP

                     By Mr, John Girling, Foxton.

Titled  ( Boat comes in ) published in the Horowhenua Chronicle on Friday 25 th  September 2015     

A few months ago there was a discussion about another large boat being launched at Foxton Beach with the building of a new launching ramp and the possibity of folk losing their million dollar views.

   It was a somewhat touchy subject because there is no way that we want to dissuade businesses coming to our area but we do need to treat our natural assets with sensitivity.

   The good news is that we hear a "big boat" will again be coming to Foxton Beach for finishing and launching. I hear that is due wednesdayand the weather looks like nit will be kind too.

   Through some good and reasonably and open discussion, we hear that it has been decided to expand the existing launching ramp at the Manawatu Marine Boating Club  which, of course, will be a long-term advantage to all the folk who launch their boats at Foxton Beach as well as Profab Engineering, without permanently affecting anyone's river views. It looks like a victory for common sense.

   Congratulations should be given to Profab Engineeing, the Foxton Community Board and the Manawatu Marine Boating Club for the way they have been able to resolv e a challenge that ends up to be a winning position for all concerned.We should also welcome Profab continuing to use Foxton Beach to launch their boats. Long may it continue.  

   Let's hope that ev everything runs smoothly for the company, the boat club and the local people for the influx of onlookers can only be good for the area. I, for one,will be watching the progress with great ethusiam,

John Girling, Foxton. 


Guru launch 'historic'

    The recent ship launching at Foxton Beach was a spectacular and significant event. Guru's departure over the Manawatu Riverbar was easily the largest such event for more than 70 years. There may still be local people who remember the coastal trading vessel Huanui, that in the 1930s worked out of Foxton to Wellington, Nelson, and other small ports. The Huanui was a 28m auxiliary schooner (longer than Guru, but not as wide), built at Auckland in 1910 by Bailey and Lowe.

    World War II saw the end of Foxton as a coastal port. The Government requisitioned Huanui in September 1942 despite vigorous protests and a deputation by Foxton ratepayers and the Foxton Harbour Board, who did not want their port closed.

   Huanui crossed the Manawatu Bar outwards for the last time on 30 September 1942, bound forWellington, then to Auckland and Sydney to join General MacArthur's United States Army Small Ships operations around the Papua New Guinea and Solomons war zones.

    Huanui did not return toNew Zealand- it was reported wrecked on Pine Island in the Whitsunday group north of Mackay, Queensland, sometime between late 1942 and July 1945. Details about the circumstances have not survived.

Also, I understand that the 43ft steel fishing boat Coral V was built at  Foxton Beachby its owner in 1976. Coral V later fished out of Whanganui, and is now based at Tutukaka and Whangarei.
    Bob McDougall
    Maritime historian



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