Two examples of early boat building in Wellington

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Gavin Pascoe from the Wellington Classic Yacht Trust continues his story telling about the yachts and their sailors in Wellington. This time he focuses on the boat builder Roydoin Ross and on the yacht Taipare.

Roydon Thomas was a draughtsman and boat designer based in Evans Bay and Miramar. He was also well-known personality in the Wellington boating world in the 1950s and 60s. He came from a line of sailors; his father owned the well-known trading schooner Huia.

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Wellington has a long history of do it yourself design, experimentation and adaption in yachts. Though there were plenty of skilful boatbuilders in the early days, commercial work kept them busy, and there was not enough local business to concentrate on racing vessels over an extended period. With a few notable exceptions, local boatbuilders’ involvement with racing yachts was in the realms of repair and adapting existing boats for clients. To own a yacht with the latest in go-fast technology, you either had to buy one from Auckland, or design and build it yourself. Taipare was a successful early example of the latter.

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