Jul 29 2015

The last remaining wooden boat building yard in Auckland and possibly the country is set to be transformed into a social and education centre dedicated to the craft.

Friday 24 July 2015

The last remaining wooden boat building yard in Auckland and possibly the country is set to be transformed into a social and education centre dedicated to the craft.

The Vos yard in Wynyard Quarter was built in 1937 and for decades was a symbol New Zealand’s boat building prowess with many classic vessels built there under the tutelage of the renowned boat builder Percy Vos.

Initial funding was approved yesterday by Auckland Council’s Finance and Performance Committee to restore the site, with $2.3 million of the $4.7 million cost being met by Council’s Built Heritage Acquisition Fund and the balance of funds to be sourced through fundraising.

Specific activities planned for the 1,115m2 site include haulout and re-launchings on the slipways, education relating to boat restoration, new marine product displays and the potential for a café or similar food and beverage offer.

The yard is also seen as having huge tourism potential with the possibility of future links via ‘classic water taxi’ with other sites on a waterfront heritage trail i.e.: Voyager Museum, Torpedo Bay, Chelsea Sugar Works, Kelly Tarltons and the Cruise Ship Terminal / Shed 10.

Waterfront Auckland Chief Executive John Dalzell says the Vos Yard helped establish New Zealand’s reputation in boat building and it is only right it is restored to some of its former glory.

“Wynyard Quarter has a proud maritime heritage that began with places like the Vos Yard and continues to this day as the current home base for Emirates Team New Zealand.”

“It’s important we honour this as the area redevelops and that is why the authentic maritime elements have been incorporated into the wider design approach in the area to date. This restoration project takes it one step further by providing a chance for future generations to learn the craft that one of the original industries in the space was founded on.”

Waterfront Auckland will now work with third parties to oversee the next stage of funding to reach the $2.4 million target by December 2017 which will trigger the $2.3 million contribution from Council. 

After which time restoration work will begin on the Vos Yard starting with alterations to trusses/structural upgrade, recladding existing timber and steel-framed structure, repair bluestone slipways along with building enhancements.