Boating NZ - - Feature -

But by far the trick­i­est part of the project, says Alan, was fit­ting mod­ern tech­nol­ogy to the boat – and keep­ing it hid­den to pre­serve the old lady’s char­ac­ter.

Con­sider the orig­i­nal me­chan­i­cal rod steer­ing – now re­placed with a hy­draulic Seas­tar sys­tem. Fit­ting it re­quired an in­no­va­tive so­lu­tion in­volv­ing a cus­tom-de­signed, chain-driven steer­ing box. The in­stal­la­tion was fur­ther com­pli­cated be­cause there are two helm sta­tions – sa­loon and cock­pit.

And the gal­ley’s orig­i­nal ice-box. On the out­side it’s still the pe­riod ac­ces­sory – but within it’s been con­verted into an elec­tric fridge. You’ll be pressed to find the stereo, speak­ers and fish fin­der. They’re hid­den in the fore­peak, be­hind the helm. Both are con­trol­lable via Blue­tooth, with the fish fin­der be­ing dis­played on an iphone or ipad.

Craig Ma­rine’s team built a new sa­loon ta­ble, and it’s a far more ‘flex­i­ble’ de­sign than the orig­i­nal: it can be low­ered and, us­ing the set­tee squabs, con­verts into a mod­est dou­ble bed. I par­tic­u­larly like the tap over the gal­ley sink. Still the orig­i­nal man­ual ‘pump’ model, it too has ben­e­fit­ted from an elec­tric mod­i­fi­ca­tion.

Slàinte is the only Chris-craft of her kind in New Zealand – and what a glo­ri­ous ad­di­tion to the Lake Ro­toiti clas­sic launch fleet she is. As one over­seas ad­mirer has ob­served: this is a beau­ti­ful boat, beau­ti­fully done, in a beau­ti­ful part of the world! What more could one ask for?

Re­splen­dent in paint and var­nished ma­hogany - just as she was launched 72 years ago.

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