After nearly 20 years, 17,000 man hours and about $400,000 later, Max Deal's 52-ft yacht The Double Deal had its first taste of life in the ocean.
The boat, which started as a dream over a glass of rum with his brother Greg in 1994, was dipped in the water at the Tauranga Bridge Marina yesterday, sparking the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.
"I didn't worry when they had it on the crane and on the back of the truck, those guys know what they're doing so I was pretty relaxed about it," Mr Deal said.
"It was a really exciting day and it's been a culmination of a lot of hours and a lot of money."
The boat, which has been an icon in Papamoa for the past 18 years, was lifted onto the back of a large truck in front of more than a hundred family, friends and well wishers.The boat was transported to the Tauranga Bridge Marina before it was lowered into the water for about 20 minutes. On the boat, large drums of water were strategically positioned so Mr Deal could get an accurate waterline measurement.
After its brief dip in the sea, The Double Deal will spend the next three weeks on land whilst the mast in put in place, anti fouling paint is applied and finishings completed.
Then it will be put back into the water and live in a berth at the marina.
"And that will be another adventure," Mr Deal said.