Council project manager Ken Gousmett told councillors the Frankton Marina working party had been working ''quite hard'' with the developers to get to this point but noted there was ''still a long way to go''.
Councillors questioned technical parts of the proposal, such as whether $80,000 was enough for a block of toilets and what effect small but constant waves would have on the structures, and asked where the many boats needed to fill the marina were.
They were reminded by Mr Gousmett the only decision necessary at the meeting was whether Lakes Marina Projects should be appointed as preferred developer.
''We are not sitting here in judgement of the proposal.''
The Frankton Marina working party will also assist the developers prepare resource consent applications, which would need to be approved before any development could occur.
Lakes Marina Projects was formed to undertake building of the marina, and two of the three founding shareholders, United States-based Nasser Barabi and Queenstown businessman Alan Kirker, attended the meeting.
The marina would be located at the entrance to Queenstown within the Frankton Marina Reserve.
In August 2011, the council cancelled its agreement with Queenstown Marina Developments Ltd, five years after the company first mooted an offshore marina, and subsequently sought expressions of interest.