Barry 2019-11-04

It seems that the alloy hardtop business is pumping if this image from McLay Boats is any indication. 

McLay Boats are one of New Zealand’s largest alloy trailer boat manufacturers and offer a wide range of models from under 5m open tinnies to larger cabin boats, centre consoles and hardtops to over 9m. Following a growing trend that has spread nationwide, their shop floor is all about hardtops.

In fact last week when we visited, there were no fewer than ten boats in the fitout shop and they were all hardtops. These ranged from the 571 Sportsman, one of the smallest hardtops in the McLay range to the 751G2.  Added to this were another fifteen in the manufacturing stage with only three not hardtops.

Owner Steve McLay says that there has been a huge swing towards hardtops in recent years and that doesn’t seem to be letting up. Most of the new model releases are now hardtops and of those there is a definite swing towards larger boats.

McLay Boats are just one of at least a dozen larger alloy trailer boat builders that have busy shop floors taken up with hardtop models. The current estimate of alloy boats built in New Zealand on an annual basis is in excess of 2000 units. When it comes to boats over 6m there’s no doubt the majority would be hardtops.


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