Once fully restored, the 120-year-old trading cutter Kate will look like it once did as shown in David Barker’s oil painting.

Boaties and boatlovers should mark Saturday 3 November in their calendars, as the Classic Yacht Association are planning a race and cruise that will finish in Rocky Bay and will celebrate their 23rd birthday.

The yachts will sail out of Westhaven at 10am, and dependent on the wind, they will be arriving from midday onwards. Gradually, the bay will fill with a unique fleet of beautiful old keelers and launches.

As well as the 1930 schooner Arcturus, the former trading cutter Kate – under restoration at Putiki Bay – is ready to join them as one of the few surviving working boats of the 1800s.

“The steering is connected, so we’re planning to tow her round, moor alongside the Cruising Club jetty and open her to the public from 3pm to 6.30pm with a display on the dock,” says Bernard Rhodes of the Waiheke Working Sail Trust, which manages the cutter.

“We’ll also have her tender, a traditional-style sailing dinghy, to give rides around the bay, weather permitting.”

The trust is fundraising to get Kate sailing as a youth training ship and will be asking for donations. Its latest venture is an oil painting by David Barker of the cutter as she will be, outward bound and under full sail with trainees aboard.

“We have 100 numbered and signed high quality prints for sale at $225 each. When all are sold, a number will be drawn and the winner gets the framed original,” Bernard says.
He adds that David is planning to bring the original painting to Rocky Bay on the Saturday, so you can see it for yourself.

In the evening the visiting crews will join a BYO barbecue at the Omiha Memorial Hall, with folk music by traditional Irish folk group Grainneog. Family and friends are welcome. •

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