Billionaire's Kiwi super yacht wins world award

Henderson-based super-yacht builder Alloy Yachts has defied tough industry times to win a prestigious international award for a boat built for one of Canada’s richest women.

The 47m Loretta Anne has been named Motor Yacht of the Year at this year’s World Superyacht Awards in Istanbul, Turkey.

It also won the category of Raised Pilothouse Semi-displacement Motor Yacht.

Alloy Yachts marketing manager Linda Berry would not disclose what 72-year-old Canadian billionaire Loretta Anne Rogers paid for her new yacht, but being significantly bigger and more lavishly fitted out than previous vessels, it is estimated to be in the $25 million to $30 million range.

An earlier, smaller version built in 2009, has been advertised for sale internationally at nearly $18 million. 

Alloy, which is partly-owned and chaired by NBR Rich Lister Gary Lane, is no stranger to winning awards, having earned international plaudits for earlier craft such as the 67.2m Vertigo.

Loretta Anne Rogers was heavily involved in the design and features for the boat, the fifth of its name. This is her third super-yacht from Alloy.

She was married to Edward “Ted” Rogers, a telecommunications and media mogul who died in 2008. At the time, the Rogers family was ranked fifth on the Canadian rich list with an estimated worth of $US4.7 billion.

Mrs Rogers had high praise for Alloy in a recent feature in The Superyacht Owner magazine, where she described how she liked to get out on the yacht for at least three months a year.

High praise

“Alloy is very nice to work with,” she told the magazine. “With lots of boat builders, once a yacht is off the assembly line you can say goodbye, they don’t want to take the time to work with you, and that’s not Alloy’s way of doing things.”

Ms Berry says awards are particularly important in the super-yacht industry, where reputation is paramount.

"It gives Alloy more credibility,” she says.

Every Alloy vessel is custom made and they usually take from 26 to 30 months to complete. On average, the company finishes about two boats a year.

Alloy recently launched Encore, a 43.9m sloop which will spend the next few weeks in commissioning mode before being handed over to its owners in late June.

Ms Berry says Alloy has held up well in spite of tough economic conditions that have left the future of an Auckland Council marine precinct in doubt.

A report on the project identified a number of factors making life difficult for local boat builders, including the high New Zealand dollar and increasing competition from Asia.

Ms Berry says the high dollar “certainly doesn’t help” but the threat from Asia is not much of an issue for Alloy yet.

“Asia is a new market but their boat building would have a long way to go to catch up to the standards of New Zealand or even the rest of the world,” she says.

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