About N & K Consultancy & Imports
The founder of one of New Zealand’s largest inflatable boat companies is setting up a business in Ahuroa.
Neil Curtling founded boat manufacturer, Southern Pacific, in 1994 after working in the industry for a decade.
The company soon became one of New Zealand’s largest boat brands, exporting to the US, the UK, Canada and Australia.
Neil has since sold Southern Pacific and is starting an inflatable boat business, N & K Consultancy & Imports which is currently focusing on re-tubes and repairs for inflatables, but will soon expand into boat manufacturing.
“I’ve designed a range of boats from 2.5 metres to nine metres, and the machinery to manufacture them is on its way,” he says.
“Boat repair work tends to taper off in the winter, so the two elements should work together nicely.”
The new company allows him to run the business from home, with his wife Kathy doing the administration, sales and marketing.
“Repairing boats is a good motivator for producing boats which are built to last.
“Most of New Zealand’s inflatables are imported from China and are glued together, which limits their lifespan.”
Neil has developed a method where the material is welded together, which he says produces a stronger construction, as well as a boat that is lighter than anything else on the market.
His experience in the industry has also taken him to Fiji. He says working in the heat and humidity was a challenge and he had to take the boat into a nearby brewery to find the right environment for the glue to dry.
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