Restoration To Date
As funds were raised in 2014 the topsides were repaired with new planks, and a call put out for suitably curved branches of pohutukawa to replace several frames. Then, in November that year, she was hauled out on the Waiheke Boating Club’s hardstand for extensive repairs below the waterline, including a new forefoot, and dealing with rot between the two layers of planking. Some previous repairs were found to be sub-standard, and were rebuilt to full strength.
There were some challenging problems, some ‘Oh Dear’ moments as the true extent of the damage was revealed; but the apprentices learnt a great deal, tackling each job competently and gaining valuable experience.
On 28th February 2015 the KATE was re-launched, in sound condition and much stronger than before. And she didn’t leak a drop!
The next priority, and trickiest job, is rebuilding the stern to its original elegant shape. Then, new bulwarks, deckhouses and skylights.
With the hull restored to sound condition, we will have overcome the biggest challenge. However there is still much to do to turn her into a sail training ship, fully compliant with all the regulations.
We will fit a new mast step, mast, spars, rigging and sails, then tackle the engine, a new ballast keel, fuel and water tanks and accommodation. The paperwork will follow, fees and survey for compliance with Maritime NZ regulations.
In terms of cost, we are about 20% complete, but from now on it’s mostly new building rather than repair work.
The estimated full cost of restoring KATE to full seaworthy condition, complete with new sails, engine and fittings with materials and labour at retail prices, is $215,000.
Approximately $19,000 has been raised and spent so far, mostly on apprentices’ wages, and we are about 20% complete. This represents huge savings through donated labour and materials, and heavy discounts from suppliers.
However, to step up the pace of progress and get the “Kate” sailing as soon as possible we need to employ more paid labour, both for boatbuilding and administration. The unique nature of the project makes estimates difficult, but with continuing support from the community we should be able to complete the project for an actual cost well under $215,000.
The estimated full retail cost of operating the KATE as a sail training vessel is around $175,000 per annum. Again, we will be able to manage substantial discounts.