Modified skiff almost foils Kent

00:32, Feb 07 2014
Kent Luxton
Waterborne: Kent Luxton, of Waikawa, will race his newly adapted collapsible rowing skiff on foils at the New Zealand Antique and Classic Boatshow this weekend.

A Waikawa man yesterday got his quirky new boat up and running just in time for his big race this weekend.

Kent Luxton has been working on his boat for the past few months, after being inspired by the America's Cup catamarans.

He has raced his boat at the New Zealand Antique and Classic Boatshow at St Arnaud once before, but this will be the first time his boat has sported foils, or "wings".

Ken Luxton
Kent Luxton

The foils are responsible for lifting the boat out of the water. Despite the first foil boat being built in 1911, the idea was completely new to him, he said.

"This started off life as a collapsible rowing skiff, then we thought since Team New Zealand could get up on foils we could too," he said.

The boat is powered by a 3.3 horsepower motor.


Following a disastrous first attempt, Mr Luxton took his boat for a second, much more successful, test drive yesterday.

"It was so much better than the first time it went out, it was bouncing like a banana but we have sorted it out . . .

I've had dreams about it for a long time," he said.

The idea of adding foils to the boat had come to Mr Luxton late one night so he got in touch with a friend involved with Team New Zealand who provided him with the information he needed.

"The foils are really efficient . . . It [was like I imagined] but I wasn't quite prepared for how quickly it pops up, it's almost instant."

He wouldn't say the boat was easy to manoeuvre, but he was entering the show for a "bit of fun", he said.

Mr Luxton already had plans to build more unusual boats, he said.

The annual boat show is on tomorrow and Sunday at Lake Rotoiti, St Arnaud, which is about one and a half hours' drive west of Blenheim along State Highway 63. It will feature many different types of boats including clinkers, restored steam boats, classsic runabouts and jet boats.

The Marlborough Express