Bernard is a lifelong sailor and naval architect. He built his first boat at age 13. He designed and built Klis – which he then sailed from England to New Zealand from 1966-1969, and Klis 2 which can still be seen in Ostend Harbour. He sailed on the Greenpeace vessel the Fri for the famous anti nuclear protests to Moruroa in 1973. He designed and built the Flying Carpet using mostly locally grown timber – a unique biplane rig which sailed to Japan and back in the 1990s. Designed, built and more recently restored the Coriolanus – a quarter scale model of a top sail schooner.
Grew up on Great Mercury Island and then moved to Waiheke in 1966 when the family bought the Matiatia Farm. Now runs the Fossil Bay Farm and when not growing olives and maintaining the accommodation and Steiner Kindergartens is to be found driving the ferries, helming classic yachts or captaining super yachts across the Atlantic.
Has 20 years maritime experience and over 50,000 miles sailed at sea from Alaska to the Antarctic. Holds Superyacht Master 3000Gt and NZ Offshore Master Unlimited marine tickets and is a qualified RYA tutor and examiner.
I qualify for membership to the New Zealand Founders Society on my mothers side with both her parents lineages having arrived in New Zealand within the first 10 years of immigration from England.
My father immigrated from Berwickshire, Scotland during the Great Depression. His steamship travel to New Zealand as a young adult man was a life defining experience. It was his first time away from the United Kingdom and his first experience of the ocean. The romance of the sea stayed in his alter ego for his whole life and became part of my inheritance.
I have “messed around in boats” intermittently for my whole life and have owned sail boats ranging from a trailer sailer to the 35 foot keeler I have had for this last 10 years. It was not until I was in my forties that I crewed offshore and fulfilled that part of my life script. I have since made two more passages between New Zealand and Fiji.
In my working life I spent 33 years as a secondary school teacher of mathematics and physics, one year as a yacht broker and 10 years as a secondary school counsellor. During this time I have been involved in the Outdoor Education programmes of of the schools in which I was employed. I have now retired from salaried work and retain my registration with NZAC and work part time as a counsellor.
I’m an IT consultant with 20 years IT experience and am now semi retired. I have been building and sailing boats since my teenage years and built and lived on a 34 foot catamaran in the UK for 2 years while sailing around the south and southwest coast of the UK, the Channel Islands and Northern France.
I am currently catching up on the maintenance on my 26 foot Wharram tiki ‘Tara’ and planning some serious sailing time this summer.
I was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. At the age of 10 my family moved down the coast to the delightful seaside town of Bangor. I instantly fell in love with the sea and messing around in boats. For the following 6 years I lived an idyllic ‘Huck Finn’ childhood, with every opportunity spent on or near the water.
My family had to leave Northern Ireland because of ‘the troubles’ and for the next 35 years I spent life as a landlubber, raising a family and working out an IT career in London and various cities in Europe.
Once my children grew up, I ran away to sea with my lovely wife Yvete. We set our compass for sun, sea and sanity, and discovered wonderful Waiheke. Order has been restored. I am a boy again.
I would like to help young people to get out from behind a screen, to go and have an adventure, to learn the joys of sailing and have an outdoor ‘3D’ life.
The Kate is a classic vessel and I’m lucky enough to have been involved with classics since starting out as a deck hand on the 95ft gaff cutter Mariquita, which made me re think my entire thinking on the sport of sailing.
Since then classics have become central to my life with work and pleasure. As a family we maintain, cruise and race the 1923 Bailey ‘Prize’ and if not in NZ I’m probably in the Med skippering the 1914 gaff schooner Morwenna. My NZ business specialises in classic yacht varnishing, painting and rigging.
I also have a strong background in racing dinghies of all types and at all levels. I coach the kids of Waiheke dinghy team racing.
We are blessed on Waiheke with one of the worlds best sailing environments. The Kate project will enable to youth of Waiheke to realise that and oh so much more.