The Restoration of Kate
I have been recently contacted by Bernard Rhodes in regard to the yacht Kate – I’ll let Bernard tell the story –
“From the 1860s onwards, sailing cutters, schooners and ketches gradually replaced Maori canoes as the principal means of transport around our coasts, till steamers in turn replaced them for passengers, and scows for bulk cargoes.
The Kate is a rare part of our nautical heritage, being one of only 3 of this once common type still in existence as far as we know. (Her near sister Rewa is displayed indoors in the Auckland Maritime museum, and the Undine is still sailing in the Bay od Islands).
When the Waiheke Working Sail Charitable Trust took over the Kate in 2013 she had a recently added cabin with full headroom and an 8” deep false keel. These made her suitable for conversion into a small sail training ship, giving today’s youth an opportunity to experience travel much as it was 150 years ago.
The restoration and re-purposing are now well under way – the work about 60% complete and the funding 50% with the big ticket items such as engine, sails and compliance to come.
We need another $60,000 to get her sailing.
The Kate’s history and an account of our progress can be found on our website, http://www.waihekeworkingsail.org, click on the brochure at the top. Much of her history was lost the last time she sank, but a surprising number of people have contacted us with stories of her, and we welcome any more.
Earlier this year we hauled her out a second time and fitted a lead ballast keel and new rudder, among many other tasks. The addition of the cabin has raised the centre of gravity, and the boom needs to be above head height for safety, so the 1 tonne external lead keel will compensate, giving her adequate stability and near-original performance.
The accommodation has been designed for 6 trainees, a master and mate. We anticipate running 5-day Youth Development voyages for 13- to 15- year olds, based on the wonderful programme developed by the Spirit of Adventure Trust. With her relatively small size and simplicity, by the end of the voyage the trainees will be handling the ship themselves, under supervision. The sense of achievement and satisfaction they gain from this will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Recently I re-connected with an old friend, marine artist David Barker, as he visited Waiheke on his launch “Feather”.
I talked of the vision of “Kate” as she will be, outward bound under full sail with a bunch of trainees aboard, and he agreed to do a painting encapsulating the dream.
I have long admired his talent for depicting boats and the sea, for giving an almost magical touch to a beautiful seascape, and I’m excited to be able to share this with you.
You are invited to subscribe to a strictly limited edition of 100 numbered, signed prints suitable for framing. $225.00 each.
When all subscriptions are sold, a draw of one number will win the original framed oil painting, generously donated by David.
This fund is to be spent exclusively on the restoration of the ‘Kate’ for youth sail training on Waiheke Island.”
For an informative card with bank details for payment, a ticket for the draw and for delivery of the print, please email your postal address to email@example.com.
Harold Kidd Input – She was built in 1896 by Thompson & Sons as a sailing fishing boat, and owned successively by J.F. Smith, J Moros (1900) then as a launch by Morgan Bros at Helensville from 1913, Bill and Archie Curel from about 1920. They fitted a K2 Kelvin in 1932 and owned her until WW2 at least at Helensville. To say she’s a near sister of REWA and (by implication) UNDINE is pretty far-fetched (to be polite).