Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Auckland Boat Show

There are two annual boat shows held in Auckland. One is on the waterfront where moored boats can be viewed and the other is at the Auckland Show Grounds. I have been very disappointed in the Auckland Show Grounds boat shows in the past as there have been no yachts displayed at all. What is displayed is mainly power boats, fishing rods and their associated paraphernalia and those detestable surf ski thingies that turn pleasant anchorages into dangerous race tracks with their noise and their poncy, ostentatious hubris. In my opinion never has such a lamentable addition to the boating scene  ever been invented - but I digress - I was pleasantly surprised this year to find a small part of the 2014 Auckland Boat Show devoted to centerboard yachts. There weren't as many as I would have liked to have seen but enough to put a smile on my face. I found them unexpectedly just as I was leaving. I had gone to the show to get some information on a new diesel engine for my yacht 'Mariner' and caught the small pavilion out of the corner of my eye as I was leaving. Inside amongst the displays I found a couple of P Class dinghies, an OK Dinghy and a fine example of a Starling sailing dinghy, a boat that I am currently restoring.

This P Class yacht in the photo used to belong to Dean Barker, New Zealands' Americas Cup skipper. I must have been a little over zealous in my removal of the signage in front of Dean Barkers P class so I could take a photograph, as an amused voice enquired, "Are you an old P class sailor?" I replied that I certainly was and added "How great to see not only some yachts at the boat show but some wooden ones into the bargain."

The voice belonged to Dean Barkers father, himself a former P Class sailor. He told me that this P Class yacht in the photo is the boat that Dean won the New Zealand National Championships when he was a young fella. He told me how he had tracked down this boat, restored it and presented it to his son Dean on his 40th birthday. When Dean arrived at the party 'Evolution' was floating in the family swimming pool. I think that's just about the best present I have ever heard of and I told Deans father so. 

"Yes, Dean was pretty stoked to see his old boat again!"

 I can imagine, I know Exactly; how he would have felt.


Ben said...

I had to use the dictionary to find out what “their noise and their poncy, ostentatious hubris” means, but I get the big picture.
It is beautiful to see old boats in their new shining glory.
Your Starling could be as beautiful.

Alden Smith said...

Perhaps I am being a little unkind - but I hate lovely summer anchorages ruined by noise - outboard motors on dinghies is one thing but the interminable roar of surfski thingies going round and round aimlessly spoils one of the nice aspects of sailing - and yes! old boats in their full glory is a sight indeed to gladden the heart (even old dodgy hearts such as mine) - My starling WILL be as beautiful ---- And my dear old friend I hope you read this comment because you are charged with thinking up a name for it Lol!! I emailed and asked the man I bought it off what her name was and he didn't have any idea at all - So I formally put onto your shoulders the responsibility of thinking up a name for this fine little ship!

Ben said...

Thinking up a name is almost too much honor to me. Give me some time, I assume that it will take some time till the Starling is very beautiful. Be prepared for some strange landlubber names for yachts.

Alden Smith said...

You deserve the honour Ben. As you said, there is really plenty of time - and don't feel obligated to do this at all! - if you would rather not just say so. Otherwise I shall prepare myself for some interesting names !!