As you read this, the team at Rayglass are busy building 24 high performance Protector RIBs for a special collaboration between NZ Coastguard and the 36th America’s Cup. The vessels will be owned by Coastguard, but will be on loan to the America’s Cup to be used as support and safety boats for races and regattas.
In March 2021 when the America’s Cup is over, the boats will be returned to Coastguard. We’ll complete a full fit out to prepare them to go out to Coastguard units nationwide in August 2021.
We caught up with Coastguard to see how this benefits them and the amazing work they do keeping kiwi boaties safe out on the water.
Tell us a bit about the New Zealand Coastguard?
NZ Coastguard is the Charity saving lives at sea – staffed by 2,200 volunteers and a handful of full-timers. Our ultimate goal is to help Kiwi boaties enjoy the water safely by offering training, health and safety, and of course, search and rescue. In the last year alone, we’ve dedicated thousands of hours to training and getting several people home safely after responding to their calls for help. To do what we do effectively, we need the right gear, including boats, navigation equipment and outboard engines – all of which require a significant investment. And, as a Charity with limited ability to fundraise, this can present a real challenge.
Our collaboration with the America’s Cup and Rayglass will enable us to replace one third of our fleet with near-new vessels. It will make it possible for us to continue our life-saving work in communities throughout the country for decades to come.