New tractor for Whitianga Coastguard’s AC36 boat

04 May 2021

The Whitianga Coastguard unit is privileged to have been allocated one of the 9m Protector boats that have been used as chase and safety vessels in the recent America’s Cup (AC36) in Auckland. The 26 vessels have largely been funded by Lotteries grants with the purpose of being allocated to Coastguard units around New Zealand after the AC36 sailing has concluded.

The AC36 boat will join Te Morehu, the Whitianga unit’s current 9m vessel, as a second primary rescue vessel. Delivery of the boat is expected in August. 

On Wednesday last week, the unit took ownership of a brand-new Kubota tractor that will be used to tow the AC36 boat. “Our vessels all need their own individual towing appliances, hooked up and ready to go when we receive a call-out,” says Graham Caddy, Whitianga Coastguard operations coordinator. “Generous support of Kubota New Zealand and Central Motors Ngatea, the Kubota dealer covering the Coromandel, made it possible for us to acquire the tractor. TRS Tyre and Wheel has also chipped in to ensure the tractor was fitted with upgraded with tyres more suitable for what we’ll be using it for.”

Kubota New Zealand was also the main sponsor of the Mercury Bay Game Fishing Club’s Billfish Classic tournament. “Kubota’s involvement in the Mercury Bay area is quite exceptional,” says Graham. “Not only are they supporting our recreational anglers to have a good time out on the ocean, they’re also ensuring we can get to those anglers as soon as possible should any of them ever get into trouble on the water.”

Pictured: Those who were present when the tractor was delivered on Wednesday. From the left - Stuart Brown (Whitianga Coastguard president), Mark Browne of Central Motors Ngatea, Hamish Lim of Kubota New Zealand, and Whitianga Coastguard members Graham Caddy, Steve O’Neill and Niels Dijkstra.