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Support buoys cutter project

DIANA WORTHY
Last updated 05:00 30/12/2013
 Philip Symonds
Diana Worthy
HAPPY HELPER: Philip Symonds gets stuck in at the well-attended working bee, stripping the first log of its bark. ‘‘This is fun. It’s very satisfying,’’ he says.

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Fundraising for a boat restoration project to improve the lives of Waiheke youngsters will start again in earnest this year.

Work by the non-profit Waiheke Working Sail Trust to restore ex-trading cutter the Kate began last winter.

Enthusiasts headed by experienced boatbuilder and sailor Bernard Rhodes bought the 130-year boat with plans to turn it into a sail training ship for youth.

They are now waiting for approval from the Charities Commission to make their charitable trust a tax-deductible entity.

"Once that's through, we'll be talking about bigger-term fundraising. People can make an investment in the island for the future," Mr Rhodes says.

"It's a Spirit of New Zealand type of idea.

"Young people involved are less likely to get in trouble as well as learning to sail. It's about youth development.

"The Waiheke Sea Scouts are doing a great job but when people grow out of it, we would take over.

"We're complementing what they're doing."

Mr Rhodes says the trust will have the Kate's hull inspected when $20,000 is raised.

He says one of the country's best surveyors has already offered to do it for nothing.

"That's when we'll find out the real size of the project."

The trust has run a number of fundraising projects including November's packed film screening that generated $1000.

Members will continue to put in their own time and canvass help.

Great Barrier Rd residents Brett and Monica Thom have offered a stand of 70-year-old japanese cedar for use on the project and four have already been felled by trust members.

They were taken off the beach at Nugents Bay, near Enclosure Bay, by Mr Rhodes and two apprentices in his boat Flying Carpet.

The first log was stripped of its bark at a working bee on Putiki Bay beach where workers also gave Kate a Christmas paint and brush- up.

The log will become the ship's boom if it passes muster.

"I'm really keen to see what's underneath the bark to make sure the bugs haven't got at it," Mr Rhodes says.

Call Bernard Rhodes on 372 5621 to register for The Waiheke Working Sail Trust.

Visit the givealittle.co.nz site and see Waiheke Working Sail Trust to make a donation.

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