It’s been a long journey for the Waiheke Working Sail Charitable Trust but their latest project, the restoration of the Kate, is nearing completion. After buying the boat for $2000 in 2013, they are now ready to fit her with a beta-type 30-horsepower auxiliary engine and a feathering propeller that will reduce drag, allowing her to move as she originally did.

Built in 1898 as a coastal trading cutter, the Kate is now one of only three ships of her kind remaining in the country. The Rewa, built in 1880, resides at the New Zealand Maritime Museum, while the other, the Undine, has found a home in the Bay of Islands.

Originally designed to haul cargo across the Kaipara Harbor, the Kate was eventually transformed to fit a variety of different roles. She was turned into a private yacht, and her previous owners tried and failed to restore the ship after it was severely damaged in 2013. Naval architect Bernard Rhodes was brought in to help repair the Kate, and assisted in setting up the trust to buy the historic ship in order to preserve a piece of Waiheke’s marine heritage. • Kerry Lee

Full story in this week’s Gulf News

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