Innovative new RIB solves big problem for ETNZ

Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC72 is hooked up to two custom Protector tug boats for testing manouverability in the Auckland Viaduct basin. 20/7/2012
© Mike Rose
When Emirates Team New Zealand became the first team in the world to launch an AC72 catamaran, they could have been facing a very big problem: how to manoeuvre such a huge and immensely powerful vessel to and from their Viaduct Harbour base.

Working in such confined waters meant ETNZ crew had to be able to move New Zealand in virtually any direction, with little or no hesitation.

Realising that none of their current support craft, including their very versatile fleet of RIBs, were capable of manoeuvring quite that quickly, ETNZ CEO Grant Dalton approached Tony Hembrow, CEO of long-time ETNZ supporter and official supplier, Rayglass Boats.

Tony Hembrow’s solution was as simple as it was elegant: he and his team redesigned their standard 6.5 metre RIB to be powered by a centrally positioned outboard capable of being turned through 360 degrees.

The outboard, a high thrust Yamaha 60hp 4-stroke, sits in a specially moulded 'moon pool' in an otherwise clear cockpit. This unique design allows ETNZ crew to quickly and easily turn the outboard in whatever direction is required and to do so immediately.