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Port Chalmers Yachting Club unveiled its new rescue boat at Back Beach on Saturday, which has been named after club stalwart Stewart Elder.
"It's a very important occasion for me.
" I'm very proud to be connected with the naming of this boat," Mr Elder (88) said at the launch of the craft on Saturday.
"I'm sure it will do the job admirably."
Mr Elder has been a member of the club since before World War 2, after becoming fascinated with boats and yachting as a child.
"I joined the club here when I was very young. I was about 9, I think."
Mr Elder won New Zealand's oldest and most prestigious yachting trophy, the Sanders Cup, in 1954.
About 100 people attended the launch of the new rescue boat on Saturday.
Port Chalmers Yacht Club commodore Graeme Wall said the club traditionally named its boats after long-serving members.
Mr Wall thanked the Community Trust of Otago, the Southern Trust, the New Zealand Community Trust and the Southern Victorian Trust for their help with funding the rescue boat.
The Port Chalmers Yachting Club also launched its 2011 summer season on Saturday.