CHRISTINA > VICTORY – Sailing Sunday
photos & details ex Bill Moe
I was contacted last week by Bill Moe from Silva Bay, Gabriola Island, B.C., Canada who had stumbled across ww when looking for details on the boat designer Athol Burns. Bill owns a AB boat originally named Christina (now called Victory). Bill bought the boat online, unseen, approx 4 yrs ago & tried to sail it back to Canada but found our weather was horrendous & being in his early 60’s at the time, did in no way have that kind of endurance for single handed sailing. So he pulled into Wellington and a vicious storm descended that blew 70 plus for about 5 days, would have killed him no doubt, so he shipped the boat back. Unfortunately he had to cut up the beautiful mast for shipping, but Bill has made many a mast in the past so he saved all the beauty fittings.
The other day a passing yacht was inquiring as to her design, so Bill googled Athol Burns and found the ww site.
Bill commented that he just loves this boat & never expects to sell her. The boat often anchors in Vancouver and he uses it for cruising the coast. Bill has made many upgrades to the boat, new glass, new heaters, opening port, chart plotter, opening companion doors etc, but always respectful of the original workmanship, which he reports is exceptional. Bill commented that boats need good owners and this boat has a very caring, practical artisan owner now & even though the boat is out of NZ it continues to draw great admiration & continues its illustrious life. Its also nice for Bill to maintain the historical connection with those that love Athol Burn’s designs and the boats Wellington roots.
In addition to old boats Bill restores vintage Honda motorbikes (photos below) & hand built the waterfront cottage he lives in. Bill also restored the 1946, 38′ center cockpit yacht pictured below but says he can not take credit for the joiner work.
Can any woodys help Bill with any info on Christina’s life in NZ prior to shipping across the world?
30-06-2016 – A note from Bruce Tantrum
Regarding your story about Christina, the Athol Burns cutter, I knew Christina very well.
What a delightful surprise to fill in part of a 6 decades ago gap and to learn of her excellent condition now in the hands of such a caring owner in distant Canada.
Bill McQueen, a skilled young boat builder, built Christina at his family home in Wellington. She was kauri planked with a laid deck of Matai, an Oregon mast, boom and bow sprit with a laminated semi circular Oregon bumpkin to take the backstay. Christina would have been launched in the early 50’s, and was moored in the somewhat exposed Oriental Bay `marina’, overlooked by the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club. As a youngster, less than a decade after the second world war when times were financially tight, I would take the train to Wellington and walk along the wharves to admire the boats on their moorings in the marina. One weekend, by chance, I met Bill McQueen who had Christina alongside the little jetty. He was, as is the norm, doing some routine maintenance on what was, to my boyhood eyes, his large and beautiful 26 foot cutter. We got chatting, I was invited to come aboard and subsequently, I became a crew member. Amongst my most formative and definitive memories was one Friday evening slipping the moorings and crossing Cook Strait at night in a favourable southerly breeze. We entered Tory Channel and anchored at a late hour some short distance in on the port hand in a sheltered little bay amongst other boats all illuminated by starlight.
We had a great sail back on the sunny Sunday, a starboard tack reach. I was hooked.