News - May 20, 2021

2021 New Zealand Boat Show Hall of Fame Inductee

Congratulations to Steve McLay on being 2021's New Zealand Boat Show Hall of Fame Inductee.

Steve and partner at the time Alvin Stephens started an engineering business Toko Engineering in the small Otago town of Milton. Several years later at the request of a customer he designed and built his first aluminium boat. Toko Engineering became Toko Engineering & Marine. Steve and Alvin then went in different directions, Alvin to start Toko Trailers and Steve to start McLay Boats. 40 years later McLay Boats is now well established and employs 28 full time and part time staff and produces a range of aluminium boats from 4.2 meters all the way to 11 metres.

A keen supporter of the apprenticeship system, Steve started taking on young apprentices 15 years ago and for the last 7 or 8 years has taken on two more each year, including the first female boat builder apprentice in New Zealand.

An innovator who is constantly improving his designs, he started building amphibious boats 3 years ago, using the Tectrax system. Determined that the amphibious wheels would not affect his boats performance, Steve designed a retractable door to enclose the front wheel and cavities at the stern for the rear wheels to disappear into. The result is that absolutely no part of the wheels is exposed while the boat is underway.

Steve has been a constant exhibitor at the Hutchwico New Zealand Boat Show for over 30 years. He is also a very staunch supporter of his local community and has been involved in the Miton Rotary for 15 years, helping the Rotary Tramping Club raise thousands of dollars for the community and youth. He has also been a volunteer at the local prison and is now a voluntary Chapin once a week.

A significant and incredibly well-respected contributor to the New Zealand marine industry and to his beloved Milton community, Steve McLay is a very worthy inductee into the New Zealand Boat Show Hall of Fame.
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