An established Raglan accommodation business Sleeping Lady Lodgings Ltd and a Mount Maunganui boat builder Alloy Leisure Cats are confident a new tourism business has been born and is set for launch on Raglan’s beautiful harbour this summer. In what best can be described as a cross between a private luxury hotel room and a charter cruise boat or “Floatel” named the “Wahinemoe” (Sleeping Lady) was delivered to the Raglan Wharf in the early morning hours on January 6th.
Ironically it was at this same time of the day last year that Raglan’s historical wharf tragically caught fire with the loss of vital jobs and businesses.
The introduction of this new business begins to bring new life back to the Raglan Wharf .
“We initially thought about a traditionally designed cruise or house boat, but after much discussion and research, we decided in favour of building a vessel that would match or exceed the expectations of our company’s holiday home client base” said Sleeping Lady Lodgings director Erin Rogers.
The boat is a twin hulled catamaran that offers unparalleled stability, manoeuvrability and a shallow draught necessary for accessing some of the harbours’ hidden secrets.
“Our knowledge of boat building was limited but our strong background in the holiday homes business proved to be a huge benefit to the interior design process by getting everyone involved in thinking out of the box”.
“We asked for amenities that were not normally found on boats” Rogers said.
These amenities included a fireplace, an outside spa bath, large BBQ, a king size bed , 40” LED TV for DVD and Satellite programming with a state of the art sound system.
Alternative and environmentally friendly construction materials were also a big priority for the team.
The kitchen or galley was sourced from a firm featuring renewable bamboo products and the plush carpet was manufactured from a fibre made from corn by-products.
A local artist , Krishna Smith, developed a uniquely treated metal application for the boat’s nameplate.
Overnight guests on the boat are to be taken to a an exclusive overnight anchorage where they would be given full and private use of the “Floatel’s” amenities.
“Waking up at sunrise watching the morning light cascading over Mt. Pirongia and Mt. Karioi will be a priceless experience” added Erin.
As well as daily, evening and sunset harbour cruises on the Wahinemoe, it will also be available for private charter for corporate and group functions and weddings.
The boat can carry 70 cruise passengers and 5 crew.
Its operators say it is the perfect venue for a wedding reception with the bonus option of that special romantic sail away to start any honeymoon.
The Wahinemoe is expected to be operating from Raglan Wharf by 10 January, 2011. For further information (or to discuss franchise opportunities) call Charlie Young or Erin Rogers on 07 825-7873 or visit one of the following websites: www.sleepinglady.co.nz or www.raglanboatcharters.co.nz