New lease of life for old yachts

New lease of life for old yachts

The Hawke’s Bay Nautical Education Trust Board was over the moon when they bought four second-hand Elliot 6 yachts for a bargain price last year. The icing on the cake has been receiving an NZCT grant of $4,823 towards wrapping the yachts to make them look brand new.

Yachting is a growing sport in Hawke’s Bay and is enjoyed by both young and old. All it takes is one go on the water and it can start a lifelong love affair with the sport. “Once people get on, usually they are hooked,” says Hawke’s Bay Nautical Education Trust Board Chairperson Adrian Mannering.

The NZCT grant will have a big impact on the 200 people involved with the Hawke’s Bay Nautical Education Trust and the wider community. Wrapping the yachts will maintain and protect them and also help them stand out on the water. Each yacht has been wrapped in a different colour, which makes them look attractive and will help get exposure.

“It will get more people interested in the sport in Hawke’s Bay, particularly young people,” says Adrian. “We try and get as many bums on seats as possible, so we don’t have to charge. We have Wednesday night sailing using the boats and are getting quite a diverse range of people turning up, which is great.”

The yachts themselves are multi-purpose and can be used for match racing by experienced yachties, as well as giving older, larger and disabled people an opportunity to learn to sail. This is due to the Elliot 6 being an open boat with no cabin, allowing people to see. The keel also adds a layer of safety. “The Elliots allow us to take people who have never sailed out on the water. They are really user-friendly. We can also put five juniors on with a skipper, which helps get more younger people involved in the sport too,” says Adrian.

Adrian is thankful that NZCT recognised the need and funded the wrapping of the yachts. “NZCT has trusted us and saw the benefit of painting the boats. Getting the funding all in one shot meant we were able to manage the process better and do it properly,” he says.