On the western edge of Wynyard Point, behind an unassuming façade, you’ll find the Percy Vos Boat Yard. To those in the know, the name ‘Percy Vos’ is synonymous with skill, craftsmanship and innovative boat design. Many of Aotearoa’s finest vessels were built there; the last place in the country to build wooden boats.
Since the doors closed in 1994, the state of the boatshed and slipway had deteriorated. The machines and tools remained, with evocative smells preserving the ambience of a boat yard where kauri was transformed into beautiful vessels.
Today, the boatbuilding shed has re-opened to the public as a working maritime heritage centre, following a major two-year restoration project undertaken by Eke Panuku Development Auckland, in partnership with the Percy Vos Charitable Trust.
The newly opened public space will be managed by the NZ Maritime Museum; an engaging visitor experience for the public, allowing them the chance to learn about wooden boatbuilding, Aotearoa’s strong maritime history, as well as Percy Vos and his legacy.
It will preserve and continue the craftsmanship for which our marine industry is known, and house facilities for the restoration and maintenance of wooden boats. It will also be a place to showcase and teach boatbuilding skills to new generations, and for telling stories that celebrate our rich maritime heritage.
It will offer an open door to all – acting as a gathering point for the custodians of our unique classic vessels, and for people who want to reconnect with the maritime origins and the future of our waterfront.
The boat yard, in the heart of Tamaki Makaurau’s marine precinct, joins other cherished heritage sites across the city’s waterfront. Its restoration contributes to the waterfront’s strong historical and cultural character.
WATCH to find out more.