Queenstown’s losing its yachting ‘landmarks’.
Last month, home-made catamaran, ‘Ruawaka’, which had been moored in Frankton Arm since 2004, was towed to Kingston following its purchase by a Switzerland-based couple, who intend taking her ocean sailing — she’s being stored meantime in Dunedin’s Port Chalmers.
Last Thursday, former America’s Cup yacht, NZL14, which had been moored in Queenstown Bay since 2005 — having originally served as a tourist sailing attraction — was also towed to Kingston, then removed from the lake.
‘‘It is now being processed for disposal,’’ council spokesman Sam White says.
Aucklander Geoff Hunt bought the boat in 2017 and then transferred its ownership to NZL14 Youth Aid Ltd in 2018.
Since 2020, however, council’s sought through the legal system to prove she’s been legally ‘abandoned’ under section 33L of the Maritime Transport Act 1994, alleging mooring fees hadn’t been paid.
White adds council’s pleased she’s no longer on the lake — ‘‘this removes the risk of it sinking, which would have added further complications to this matter and possible environmental degradation’’.
Hunt, however, argues his company has a $600,000 security registered against the boat.
He says he could have sold the boat himself and with the proceeds defrayed council’s significant costs.
‘‘Why would you spend all that ratepayers’ money for no good reason?’’