New lease on life

A special fleet of boats that served as support vessels during the America’s Cup will now save lives throughout New Zealand waters.

Photography by Rayglass

08 April 2021


The 26 vessels were produced in partnership among Coastguard, Lotto New Zealand and Emirates Team New Zealand, built by Rayglass and Salthouse Boats using a $9.8 million lottery grant.

The boats were used during the Prada Cup and 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada as support vessels and chase boats, before becoming part of Coastguard’s fleet of rescue vessels.

“From supporting Emirates Team New Zealand and the exciting racing on the water over the next three months, to saving lives at sea, this fleet has been built for New Zealand,” said Coastguard CEO, Callum Gillespie.

“These vessels will enable us to replace some of the ageing boats at our Coastguard units that have limited capacity to fundraise for a new rescue vessel, ensuring that our volunteers can continue their life-saving work in their communities for many years to come.”

This represents a win-win for New Zealand, with Coastguard units in communities as far north as Whangaruru and as far south as Dunedin receiving the new vessels.


Lotto New Zealand CEO Chris Lyman says it’s great to see Lotto NZ’s profits going to such a worthwhile cause that will the benefit so many New Zealand communities.

“Lotto NZ exists to generate funding for New Zealand communities, so we are incredibly proud that a lottery grant has fully funded these 26 boats that will become part of the Coastguard’s fleet of rescue vessels.

“The positive impact these vessels will have on New Zealand communities cannot be underestimated, with each one helping Coastguard save countless lives at sea each year.”

Lotto New Zealand’s profits are distributed back into Kiwi communities via the Lottery Grants Board, providing a major source of funding for sport and recreation, arts and culture, environment and heritage and community projects throughout the country.

Built by Rayglass and Salthouse Boats in New Zealand, the fleet has provided additional economic benefits for New Zealand’s marine sector and boosted employment and apprenticeships.

Each vessel features the letters 4UNZ on the front of its cabin or engine compartment, a nod to the identifying letters and numbers on the sails of racing yachts, making them easily recognisable for Kiwi’s watching the Prada Cup and America’s Cup on the water or TV.

While the vessels have been built with their dual roles in mind, on the completion of the America’s Cup they will go back to Rayglass to go through a refit process before being delivered to their respective Coastguard units and communities.

“We are delighted these boats will ultimately benefit Coastguard and Kiwi communities around the country,” said Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton. “Coastguard are the unsung heroes of our waters around the country and the timing of the delivery of these boats after the America’s Cup is ideal.”





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