Meeting Sat 17th March 2012

Andrew, Millie, Bernard
Topics: what to do next, leasing.

Recent Activities

Meeting with Paul Hailstone

Millie,Andrew and I met with Paul last Monday. Paul is a tradesman boat-builder who has taken over repair work I used to do on The Causeway. He is also a welder and steel worker, and with his brother Brett used to operate a big mobile crane on the Island.
Paul is very supportive, and would be keen to be lead boat-builder if we build a new ship. Working under cover would be essential, either a temporary or permanent shed. This raises the problem of resource consent – Peter Stoddart’s section is zoned residential and this would probably be considered industrial, unless we could persuade Council this is a one-off project for community charitable purposes. (we need expert advice on this).
Also, Paul has been given 2 large macrocarpa trees blown down in a storm, in an inaccessible gully in Surfdale. They are straight and clear, should be beautiful timber. He is thinking of investing in chainsaw mill to slab them, and has a place to store them.

Meeting with Tony Sears

Bernard met Tony last Wednesday 29th Feb. Tony is Deputy Principal at Waiheke High, in charge of their Sea Sports Academy, also a Rotarian.
Tony is very enthusiastic about sail training, sees a particular need to give direction to at-risk youth. I mentioned experience on “Spirit of New Zealand” where a ratio of one police referral to 9 other trainees means peer pressure usually gives them the big self-discovery. He said if he asked at Assembly who would like to go on a sail-training voyage, about 300 hands would go up – but the big problem is finance. Most families are struggling these days. Every year the school sends the head boy and head girl on “SONZ”, it now costs $1700 each. (I’m sure we could do it much cheaper) Rotary usually pitches in about $500 each, the rest has to be found somehow.

Tony and Bernard discussed the concept of an endowment fund for Youth Development – invite wealthy islanders to contribute, each 1 million invested produces $50,000 annually at 5% interest… Names mentioned are John Gow who has the sculpture park, Brad Butterworth, Neal and Annette Plowman who spent $49 million on Rotoroa Island to make it a superb public park.

Regarding releasing students, this is at the discretion of the Principal, and would come under the category of ‘attending alternative education’, particularly if the Day Skipper course was included, which is part of the Unit Standards system. 5 days off would be manageable, so 9 day courses could be arranged by including 2 weekends or running into school holidays. The 13 to 15 age group is probably best, before NCEA . Mid-October and November are exam season.

There are about 60 students in any one level at Waiheke High, so we would also have to canvas other schools in the Auckland area to fill the ship year-round.

The Sea Sports Academy (15 – 18 year olds) would fill 2 short trips a year, they presently use “Redquarters” but Red is planning to sell up. Having a dive bottle compressor aboard would enable the PADI dive course to be run, as he does. Local students pay $400 a year to participate in the Academy, international students $2,000. The Academy is big selling point for international students. About half the teachers are volunteer, half are paid.
A training pattern that might work would be to overlap 10 day courses with each school holiday. 5 from the holiday and 5 from the term.
WWS would not directly compete with Spirit of NZ by focusing on year 9,10,11 and less able children and being more affordable.

We need to decide how busy we can or need to keep the ship.

Naval Architect

I am presently in correspondence with Ted Ewbank, who designed “Spirit of New Zealand”. he has been most helpful, and is working on a price we can use for seeking sponsorship. The lines drawing and calculations need to be computerised, which he can do, however he considers hand drawings of construction and general arrangement better than CAD, so I can do those.
We now have a list of documents and plans that would be required.
Annual maintenance costs would be 10 to 15% of the value of the ship.

Potential skippers

Mike Delamore
Rob Morton

Aim to have one or two official primary skippers and a pool of less experienced skippers who can volunteer and take responsibility from time to time.
Millie: We want to encourage talent from the island as much as possible.
Buying Second hand?

Talking to Red (Owner of “Redquarters”) he recommended trawling the Internet for boats for sale, and indeed there are some apparent bargains on the market. A couple have the shoal draft we desire, the accommodation would have to be converted to a cargo hold, and the rig is conventional Bermudian, easy to handle but not so suited to sail training. Should this be an option we pursue?

It might have us a ship in 6 months or a year, and bypasses the need for resource consent. It wouldn’t have the cachet or iconic value of being built on the island, but we could still aim to purpose build the new ship as well, if we can find the energy. Asking prices are $285,000 to $650,000. At the lower end I would be suspicious, would definitely commission an independent survey in any case.

We are comparing building from scratch for 750k so to purchase existing would be cost effective if it gets us a basic hull for 100 to 200k leaving more for refit and development.

Other Supporters

Bernard met with Chris Palmer (retired Real estate agent). Has offered to help with Marketing and Advice.
Away for Easter then available.


Millie: Meeting needs priority
1. For local transport of goods.
2. For training young people on island
3. For training young people further afield.

This is a transitional process. we aim to go beyond giving kids a ‘nice’ experience. We want to get to the ‘wharf rats’ and develop a new maritime culture.

Discussion of best rig

Single mast and large sail –
most efficient
requires more high tech solution, big sail, alloy or carbon fibre, winches.
Double mast and more smaller sails –
lower stresses
easier to handle
wooden masts

Next Actions

* Generate Business plan – Millie
* Setup Charitable Trust – Mike Delamore?
* Research existing vessels. – Bernard and Marta ?

Trustees need experience, talent and energy for the project.
Donors need money and enthusiasm for the project.
These two are not mutually exclusive.

Motion – to give purchasing an existing boat that meets our goals serious consideration.
We need to do a realistic price comparison to decide at what point does a buy become a better deal than a build.
We should continue development of the build plan to establish likely costs.