A Waipu designed and manufactured sports boat has gained an international reputation for its light weight and being easy to maintain.
Grant Greenbury, and his then business partner Ross McGuiness, started Zego Sports Boats 20 years ago while also working for a rotational moulding business making calf feeders.
They decided to use the same technology to create a plastic boat, which they could use to more easily cross the Waipu and Mangawhai bars.
“We wanted to build a light and easy to use machine for going fishing and playing in the waves,” Grant says.
The pair launched their first boat to coincide with the 2000 Americas Cup in Auckland and managed to sell them to spectators looking to get close to the action.
Grant says it was hard going at the start of the business, driving all over New Zealand doing demonstrations to introduce the new concept to the market.
Today, Zego exports its craft all over the world. It has sold “thousands” across the Americas, Europe and Pacific.
The Zego hull is filled with buoyant expanding foam to keep it from sinking, even if you crash into rocks.
Meanwhile, its asymmetric catamaran hull design, with one side longer than the other, coupled with a vertical inner base means it “spins around on a dime.”
Grant says he has proven beyond a doubt that his Zego boats are “unsinkable”.
He applied to the United States Coastguard for certification. As part of the testing process, holes were drilled in the top and bottom of a Zego hull and left for 24 hours in the water.
“A day later we got on board, started the motor and off she went,” he says.
The flagship craft, a Zego 300, has been described as a “quad bike at sea”. It comes standard with a 30 horsepower engine and tops 50kph with a single person aboard. It is more stable than a jet-ski in rough waves and is able to store fishing gear.
The craft have been designed with a single person in mind, but are rated for two people for outside-of-harbour use and three people for use inside a harbour.
“You can fit up to three people on it, as long as you like them,” Grant says.