Magic home for black boat

01:43, Jan 31 2009
NEW BEGINNINGS: Maritime Museum chief executive Paul Evans and collections officer Karolina Spasseka Markovska at the demolition site.

Work is under way on the Sir Peter Blake memorial redevelopment at the Maritime Museum.

The former Hall of Yachting is now a demolition site, with only its steel pillars and concrete floor remaining.

Even the roof has made way to allow for the mast of yacht NZL32, Black Magic, which will be suspended in the centre of the new room.

The accompanying exhibition, Blue Water Black Magic, will surround the yacht on three levels featuring displays from the beginnings of yachting in New Zealand up to the 1995 America’s Cup win.

"The idea is to tell how the success of the America’s Cup actually happened," says the museum’s collections officer Karolina Spasseka Markovska.

"It will be very impressive and dramatic."


Black Magic, which now sits in the Team New Zealand shed in the Viaduct, will be craned along the west side of the museum out on to the water.

It will then be guided on to tracks and wheeled into the new room and a removable wall will be put back in place.

Ms Spasseka Markovska says the whole boat will be original except for the 20-tonne lead keel, which will be replaced by an identical, lighter version.

"It’s a big challenge, it’s a big boat," says museum chief executive Paul Evans. "It’s going to be a bit of a logistical exercise."

Construction on the $9 million redevelopment began in September and is due to be finished late next year, with an official launch planned for November.

The design for the memorial was chosen after an original idea to have Black Magic housed in a glass casing was rejected.

It was labelled a "giant coffin".

Lady Pippa Blake has shown her full support for the new design and provided some of Sir Peter’s belongings.

Mr Evans says although they are still going through the selection process, the exhibition will focus on the human stories behind the objects.

Auckland City Harbour News