Thursday, February 5, 2015


 Brigantine 'Breeze' sailing in the Bay of Islands North Island New Zealand.

Nah, bugger that. Don't give me a pair of fussy focusing 8X40 binoculars to look at this little ship! Give me a monocular, long, straight, unidirectional tube with a lens in each end. Make it telescopically collapsible. Correct me if I call it a telescope and remind me that I am looking through the one eyed romance of a real ships spy glass! ---- Sometimes the old ways are best for looking at the spring in a sheer and the cut of a jib.

This is the good ship BREEZE. This  60ft (18.3m) wooden vessel was launched at Tiki Landing in Coromandel in 1981 by retired boat builder Ralph Sewell, who wanted to recreate a 19th century square-rigged ship that required traditional sailing skills and would encourage an awareness of New Zealand’s maritime history.

He stayed faithful to the shipwright techniques and materials of the time. BREEZE is built from locally-milled kauri and totara, copper-fastened and stiffened with carefully selected pohutukawa knees.
She is rigged as a brigantine – square-rigged on the foremast, and fore-and-aft rigged on the mainmast. Her powerful rig spreads up to 11 sails. Adapted for modern-day sailing, she is fitted with an auxiliary engine, and the main hold is fitted out as a cabin.

BREEZE was used by the Breeze Sailing Club to teach young people how to sail a traditional boat from New Zealand’s seafaring past. She is now owned and operated by the Auckland Maritime Museum and is available for public sailings. Watch this space shipmates.

'Breeze' -  Auckland Anniversary Regatta Feb 2015 - Photo Alden Smith 


Ben said...

The combination of scare rigged and sloop rigged sailing ships always hurt my eyes. I prefer the tall ships scare rigging and the more modern sloop rigging ships separately.

Alden Smith said...

The Brigantine rig has historical origins so it is not a disjointed combination - but I do understand your sentiments - you would rather either modern rig or full square sail rig.

I think the 'fore and aft' rig became combined with 'squares'ls' when the windward ability of the 'fore and aft' became apparent.

.... and you have given me an idea for a blog post ... so thank you .... the post will deal specifically with this idea.