Final countdown until Lion New Zealand relaunches following major refit at Yachting Developments.
14 months on from her arrival at the Yachting Developments yard in May 2017 refit work on Lion New Zealand is moving forward with a hopeful Spring relaunch planned. Undergoing a top to toe refit this iconic yacht, now 34 years old, has been returned to peak condition in order to continue in her important role of providing sailing experiences to young New Zealanders through her owner the New Zealand Sailing Trust. All work has been sympathetically undertaken in order to maintain Lion New Zealand’s rich history and original design.
“The restoration on Lion New Zealand is comprehensive and progress to date includes a complete strip and gut of all interior systems and engineering,” says Paul Powney, CEO of the NZ Sailing Trust. “The interior and exterior has been faired and painted and the keel, rudder and mast redesigned.”
As of the end of June 2018 a number of project milestones have been met including 99 per cent of paint work and a complete interior overhaul. All signage decals are now on the yacht and deck gear is in the process of being reinstalled. The next stage is the return of the lead bulb, new rudder and all steerage systems.
Lion New Zealand will soon boast an all-new interior with the interior space completely gutted, repainted and redone including all-new plumbing and wiring. The updated layout includes new accommodation and a reconfigured galley and forward area. Other additions include a new Volvo engine, in place of the older heavier diesel Gardener engine.
On relaunch a new carbon mast will be put on with a fractional rig, in place of the old mast head rig, which will make the boat easier to handle and lighter overall, especially with the newer keel. The August relaunch will be followed by sail trials before she hands back to the Trust to continue her important work as a base for Youth sailing and goal of making the start line of the Coastal Classic race.
Design work for the ‘reborn’ Lion, including the new keel, is the work of Yachting Developments’ Bob Graham, who has played a major part in the entire refit development process, working alongside the Trust team. Bob originally sailed on the boat with Sir Peter Blake and his knowledge of the boat has proved invaluable.
With the final few months of the refit to go, Yachting Developments is looking forward to the relaunch of the ‘reborn’ Lion New Zealand. More updates to come as launch date approaches.
About Yachting Developments
Yachting Developments is an award-winning builder of composite yachts. The owners and staff at Yachting Developments have shared the vision and dreams of more than 70 individual clients, creating vessels of the highest quality standards, designed and custom made to the client’s brief. With launches including 33.83m Cygnus Montanus, 37m S/Y Bliss and 30.5m S/Y Quintessential, and the award-winning refit of the J-Class Endeavour to their name, the yard has forged a strong international reputation for its high quality work and specialist team.
Operating out of a 10,000sqm yard facility that includes 5,000sqm of fully equipped sheds and water access in Auckland’s Hobsonville, Yachting Developments is able to service yachts of up to 60m. The yard welcomes all inquiries for new build, refit and service work, for both small and large projects, and can also service yachts on location.
About the NZ Sailing Trust
The NZ Sailing Trust has provided youth sailing experiences for some 8000 young kiwis on the trusts historic Whitbread sailing vessels Steinlager 2 and LionNew Zealand. In 2017 1237 students completed multiday Youth Development Sailing Programmes with a focus on personal development, leadership and teamwork.
Operating in the Greater Hauraki Gulf, Bay of Islands and Bay of Plenty the NZ Sailing Trust takes groups of up to 25 high school students between the ages of 14 and 18 on anywhere from a single day to a six day sailing expedition. With 3-4 crew to assist, the students quickly learn how to sail, watch keep, form teams and natural leadership skills start to emerge. For many students it’s the first time on the water and in some cases the first time they have been away from home. Students learn about the legacy of Sir Peter Blake and the vessels he and his crew sailed on, and about the ecology of the ocean environment and sea mammals and bird life, essential sailing skills, rope work and navigation among many. Team activities such as building bivouacs, raft building and building campfires all test the skill sets and encourage thinking outside the square.
The NZ Sailing Trust is a not for Profit registered Charity. Yachting Developments supported the trust 5 years ago by completing a refit on Steinlager 2 and four years later the Trust once again called on Yachting Developments to assist with a restoration of Lion New Zealand. Lion New Zealand is 34 years old and has covered 200,000nm since being under the Trust’s ownership. Once Lion is complete the Trust will have two platforms to deliver their Youth Development Programmes.