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WETA MARINE - HISTORY OF THE WETA DESIGN


Weta Marine founders Roger and Chris Kitchen saw a gap in the New Zealand market for a safe, stable, easy to rig, easy to stow, high performance, recreational family boat. Twenty years ago there were a variety of surf cats available but there had been little or no development since then and many sailors were looking for a boat that could be easily handled, single handed, both on and off the water.  There was no centreboard yacht available that could be used both by kids learning to sail and adults looking for high performance and thrills.

In 2001 on a trip to France Roger and Chris were really impressed with the way the French used multihulls in their Learn to Sail programs with 3 young children learning together on a 3.5 m cat. On returning to New Zealand they commissioned a multihull designer to sketch up some hull forms that fitted their brief.

They built the first Weta using foam/glass construction and launched it early 2003.  The boat had potential but it needed a huge amount of development. Over the following 3 years the Weta underwent trials with many design changes with input from some of New Zealands top sailors. The Weta created a lot of interest both nationally and internationally, especially from people who saw it as being a truly versatile family yacht that looked so good.  Weta Marine was formed in February 2004 and the decision was made to manufacture the Weta.

2006 was spent setting up a top quality production line in China and sourcing world class components for the boat.  The first production Weta was sold in New Zealand in October 2006.  2007 was a time of expansion into a number of overseas markets where there is now a great team of enthusiastic hard working distributors in; China, France, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand, UK and USA.  By Dec 2007,  74 Weta had been manufactured.

The Weta has evolved over a number of years with various people contributing to the design.  Some were commissioned and others have made important contributions giving freely of their advice and time.  The Chinese manufacturer and sailmaker have also made significant contributions to the success of the design and have been excellent to work with.

There are a number of people/companies/organisations who have made a significant contribution to the success of the Weta Marine design team.  These include:

Mike Bullot, David Charlesworth, John Cliffe, Jason Daniels, Gaastra, Harken NZ, Warwick Kitchen, Land & Ocean, Vince Lettice, NZ Trade & Enterprise, Graeme Robbins, TC Design and  Markus Winter.

 

 

 

Weta Canada - email: info@wetacanada.com, Phone: 416.237-0777