Picton police say a body found in the Marlborough Sounds on Friday may be that of John Purdy, who has been missing since last week.
The body was found by a friend on the shore between Double Cove and Torea Bay in Queen Charlotte Sound.
Mr Purdy, 56, lived aboard his yacht. He was last seen in two Picton bars on Wednesday night last week.
His dinghy was later found by the Coastguard.
Police are yet to formally identify the body.