The rebirth of Juanita

Juanita 021

The Rebirth of JUANITA
photos Greg Lees & Alan H

Yesterday I was privileged to be asked by Greg Lees to attend the re-launch of the 32′ classic launch Juanita, a 1951 Allan Williams (Milford Creek) built beauty that has  just spent the last 4 months in the Lees Boatbuilder shed at Sandspit. In Greg’s words she was in for a ‘refresh & to bring her back to her original appearance’ – well Mr Lees, I do not think she has ever looked this good before so you have exceeded the brief, but we have come to expect that from the yard. Greg commented that Juanita’s new owners (Nick & Anna Davidson) contribution to the work was huge, every weekend for the 4 month period.

Juanita has had a busy life having called numerious places home – Auckland, Whangarei, Lake Taupo, Whitianga & now Sandspit.

Juanita’s past has been well documented on ww – some links below for details & photos

I took the photo of her below late last year, moored off Greg’s wharf looking very sad & tired as she awaited her turn in the shed. Arohanui was in-residence at the time mid restoration. One of the reasons Nick chose the Lees yard was the long association the yard & Greg personally has had with Juanita, in fact Greg told me that he once got very close to adding a flybridge to her, luckily that never happened 🙂

Again I’m so pleased to see so many of our classic launches being returned to their finery – so woodys who’s next in the shed?

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Took the opportunity to have a  peek at Karros hauled out & chat to Dave Jackson, with a 14′ beam she is a rather pretty big bottomed old girl 🙂

8 thoughts on “The rebirth of Juanita

  1. I had the pleasure of sailing on her as a kid in the 70’s. Rae Blumenthal would take our whole family away for holidays to Kawau or Barrier for a week. My Dad helped sand her bottom in Lees Yard in Sandspit as way of saying thank you. The holidays are some of my best childhood memories and has lead to a love of our Gulf and the ocean. It’s great to see she is well loved and has good custodians. Rae would have wanted her to go to a good home. I think I have some old photos of her somewhere…..


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  4. Wow! Congratulations, she looks beautiful. Almost bought her myself but was too big a job for me first time around. Previous owner’s had done a great job inside and now the outside looks amazing too. Hope to see her out and about the gulf ( if that’s where your based).
    Happy cruising!


  5. Hi Alan, was great to have you there on the day documenting Juanita’s launching thank you for that, the photos are terrific. As you have mentioned the work that Greg Lee’s and his team have undertaken on her is simply fantastic. Their attention to detail, craftsmanship and can do attitude is second to none and they worked closely with us throughout the process . So if your readers out there are looking for someone to make their boat beautiful again give them a call. By the way this is a completely unsolicited recommendation (although he may have to shout me a beer) and as you can see the pictures speak for themselves.

    Nick and Anna Davidson

    p.s; Although I would love to claim her as being 36′ she is 32′ LWL and 34′ LOA.


  6. Having known her well since she was 2 weeks old & the Cyril Bertrand family being close family friends, I can confirm that she is indeed totally original. Greg, as Alan has said, another wonderful project out of your shed — FABULOUS & VERY WELL DONE!! – KEN R
    edited by AH.


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