Rae Line History

 Have a read of how Rae Line became what you see here on this website... a very high quality manufacturer of fibreglass boats and components!


Rae Line was established in 1992 as a gel coat and fibreglass repair shop by Peter Rae. With Peter’s wealth of experience he gained from several training courses at some of the largest boat building manufactures in the US and the business ties he made there, Rae Line quickly became the south islands largest fibreglass and gel coat repairer, with work coming from all over Peter started expanding his work force to become a dominant figure in the New Zealand industry.

That same year the first Rae Line boat was born, the 2.5 catamaran dingy. The unique and stable design immediately caught the attention of some of New Zealand’s leading marine dealers, with orders coming from all over the country. After the success of the 2.5, Peter decided to expand his range and introduce the 3.2 model in 1993, based on the same design with more options this model kept the order books fill after it won the judges special award at the 1995 New Zealand boat show. Only a few years later Rae Line started working on another new model, the 130c, a 13’ centre console, then the flagship of Rae Lines range. Once again this was a larger model that has now become renowned for its stability, versatility and practicality. As the demand for Rae Line’s boats grew the company showed the capacity to maintain is status as a leading fibreglass and gel coat repairer. As a small player in a big boat building market Rae Line would spend the next few years refining its range and promoting its products and services.

In 1998, through Peter’s ties in the US and New Zealand’s & Australia’s Sea Ray dealer Sports Marine, Rae Line was approached by boat building giant Sea Ray to manufacture two models of Sea Ray’s sport boat range, then known as the 180BR and 180OB. Sea Ray had identified Rae Line as a quality boat builder with sound procedures and the ability to expand. This was the first time ever for Sea Ray to allow its boats to be built under license and was a huge contract for Rae Line. After extensive communication with Sea Ray and many visits to the US the first Sea Ray was manufactured on New Zealand soil in August 1999. Rae Line was now an incorporated company with Peter Rae and Ian Williamson of Sports Marine as the directors. This first boat was sent back to Sea Ray in the US for inspection, as Sea Ray is renowned worldwide as being a leader in quality control it was important for both companies that this quality level be maintained. The following year the New Zealand Sea Ray’s took part in the Sydney International boat show. This was a critical boat show to get both Rae Line and Sea Ray on the map in Australia, and what a success it was, with 35 sales between the two models at the show and many more following, Rae Lines order book was kept full for the remainder of the year.

After good success for Rae Line with Sea Rays 180BR and 180OB models and a great relationship that had formed with Sea Ray, in the year 2000 Rae Line were offered the opportunity to build Sea Rays 190CC and 215EC both boats also out of Sea Rays sport boat range. Once again Rae Line jumped at this opportunity and tooled up to manufacture these boats. Now with a solid dealer network in both New Zealand and Australia and continuously full order book Rae Line really started to expand to one of New Zealand largest fibreglass boat builders. With Rae Line manufacturing American designed boats, something that no one else in New Zealand was doing on such a large scale, there was a lot of opportunity for continual expansion. Rae Line took this opportunity by designing and building another Rae Line model, this time it was a 18’6” cabin cruiser, namely the Rae Line 186. Designed by Peter Rae and Gavin Cooke a local boat design guru, the 186, based on a typical New Zealand cabin boat design, fitted with the comforts of the American boats was a real head turner when launched at the 2004 Sydney International boat show. This model quickly put Rae Line on the map internationally as a leading and innovative boat builder.

In March 2006, the boat building contract with Sea Ray was reviewed and it was decided for the expansion of both companies that Rae Line would re-brand and re-market its Sea Ray boats as Rae Line, although Rae Line still works closely with Sea Ray sharing ideas, utilising Sea Ray’s molds and components, this new contract allowed Rae Line to further expand into markets such as Canada, Korea, South America and Europe. Expanding into Europe came with a new set of challenges, namely in getting CE (European Conformity) approval for all its models that were to be shipped into Europe. This was a long and extensive process requiring rigorous testing of test boats to ensure they were built to the highest standard.

With gaining CE Certification for the 180, 185 and 186 models, it was not long before dealer agreements had been signed and the first boats were on their way to the UK and Europe, with the 186 C Series developing a strong demand, while the 180 and 185 bowriders were holding their own, especially in finished quality, against all other leading American bowriders.

Fast forward through the global economic recession, where Rae Line, like the marine industry on the whole, saw a large decline in new boat sales, and with some major industry players really struggling, Rae Line saw this as an opportunity to re-invigorate the fibreglass repairs and contracting work that had set the Rae Line quality and innovation standards from the get-go. Taking on plenty of contracting and repair work has helped Rae Line to not only endure through, what were harder times, it also allowed more time to be spent focusing on product development and bringing all of the Rae Line models up to a new standard in terms of technology and interior and exterior fit out. Rae Line continues to innovate and will be known as an industry leader as it moves forward.


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