A number of young sailors will on Saturday launch the 2.4m wooden rowing boats they have spent the week building at the Taikata Sailing Club.
The New Zealand Traditional Boatbuilding School club have been working in collaboration with the Taikata Sailing Club to run a week-long course for predominantly 8 and 9-year-old students who might not have had the chance to experience boat building or hands-on construction.
The group of students, working under the guidance of master boat builders Olaf Wiig and Allan Hooper, have been constructing two wooden rowing dinghies from scratch. Lectures on various complimentary topics, such as nautical chart reading and knot tying are also included in the course, as are workshops on drowning prevention and the Coastguard.
“It’s really quite amazing how quickly they have picked up using the tools," Hooper said. "It surprised me how quickly they are progressing in the build. They are doing very well. They’re using hand planes and saws etc. It’s really a pleasure to watch.”
The New Zealand Traditional Boat Building School is a volunteer-run charitable trust that started in 2005 and plays an active part in maintaining New Zealand’s valuable maritime history. You can find out more about them here.
Taikata, who featured as Yachting New Zealand's Aon Club of the Month in June, hope an ongoing relationship with the boatbuilding school will not only help boost membership but also see the club more active in the local community.