Secret behind the look

There’s a Tauranga team behind Napier boatbuilder Dickey Boats’ four prizes taken from this year’s Hutchwilco boat show.

Some of the BOP Marine Painters from left: Kevin Kindred, Jory Withington, Allen Hartridge and Adrian Cole.
The Napier manufacturer of luxury, custom aluminium launches was awarded Boat of the Show for the Dickey Custom 950, and Best New Model. The Dickey Custom 750xs won Boat of The Show, Aluminium Fishing Boat Open, and Boat of The Show All Purpose Open.

The Dickey boats are standouts even to non-boaties because of the smick finish, and many who think they know better don’t believe the flawless gleaming, mirror finish paint is on an alloy hull – until they touch it.

“People come up and tap on the hulls; they can’t believe it’s alloy. They think it must be glass,” says BOP Marine Painters proprietor Allen Hartridge.

BOP Marine Painters is the team responsible for the finish, achieved by starting with epoxy filler.

“There are three more epoxy coats before we go to the final coat,” says Allen.

In an unusual step in the high quality marine paints world, BOP Marine Painters uses a mixed system; the primers and undercoats from one manufacturer and the final undercoat and top coat from another.

It all takes place in a shed on Mirrielees Rd, which is transformed internally from sanding to painting with the addition of plastic tenting  to house the boat, and blowers to create a positive pressure environment inside and keep dust out.

“We’ve been part of the Dickey’s Boats team right from the start; seven years we’ve been painting their boats. They are going from strength to strength.”

Allen started as an industrial spray painter in Rotorua. He says he was getting a bit bored when the opportunity came to spray a boat.

“I sprayed it and they handed me the job pretty much,” says Allen. “I’ve been doing it ever since; and I did an apprenticeship as a boat painter as well, through Pachouds.”

One of the Pachouds employees knew Jason Dickey from Napier, says Allen.

“So he helped Jason on his first boat and I just gave a lot of advice over the phone; products, and I think we loaned them some sanding boards and stuff like that,” says Allen.

“Then because Jason got to know me that way, when the next boat came along we were first in line to paint it. So we’ve been doing them ever since.”

As has BOP Marine Painters. He’s got 10 staff and is looking for more.

“The one thing that sells these boats is the ride quality,” says Allen. “They are designed by Dickey Boats in-house.”

The characteristic plumb bow, the 22 degree deadrise  and long keel contribute, says Allen. The boats themselves are built like superyachts with a traditional ship interior construction of ribs, stringers and trademarked custom interlocked CNC cut frames.

It’s the second year in a row a Dickey Boat has won boat of the show at the Hutchwilco  boat show.

Another thing the punters don’t believe at the shows, is that is how the boats really look. They are not specially prepped just for the shows, they are borrowed from their owners.

This year all the boats were borrowed, says Jason Dickey.

“That’s how they are. They are all built to order. We don’t have any stock or show boats. This year we managed to borrow two boats in Auckland, which made life a bit easier.”


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