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Outward Bound To Replace Sailing Cutters

19 March 2012

Outward Bound To Replace Sailing Cutters

They have been plying the waters of the Marlborough Sounds for 30 years and now Outward Bound is looking to raise funds to replace its fleet of aging sailing cutters.

Outward Bound Chief Executive Officer, Trevor Taylor, said with 2012 marking the 50th Anniversary of the organisation, it was time to start the process of retiring its three ‘clinker cutters’ which form an integral part of the organisation’s life-changing programmes.

“Over 52, 000 New Zealanders have sailed the waters of the Queen Charlotte Sound in one of our cutters,” Trevor said.

“These gaff rigged vessels have become iconic in their own right for both our alumni and those kiwis that sail in the Marlborough Sounds. There has been many a tale told by our alumni and staff of their sailing and rowing exploits. We now want to ensure that the next generation of kiwis will benefit from that same experience.”

Trevor said the cutters are up to 30 years old and proving too costly to maintain.

“We’re aiming to replace one cutter each year in 2012, 2013 and 2014, at a cost of around $200,000 each. These new cutters will be modelled on the recently rebuilt, diagonally plyed fibre-glass Matahorua.”

Last year, the Matahorua was damaged during a collision with a Dolphin Watch Ecotours catamaran in the Marlborough Sounds. While it was severely damaged, its unique design enabled it to withstand the impact and ultimately be repaired.

“It took 700 hours of work to get it seaworthy again,” Trevor said.

“We’re now keen to replicate some of the design features of the Matahorua in the new cutters.”

While the vessels will be brought up to modern standards, they will continue to retain their traditional look and design.

“The challenge of sailing these vessels is an important part of the Outward Bound experience that’s why they need to be in keeping with the original design.”

Outward Bound is looking to rally support from its alumni, the business community and New Zealanders around the country to help raise the $600,000 needed to build the three cutters. For further information go to www.outwardbound.co.nz/cutters

ENDS

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