Lion New Zealand begins Yachting Developments refit
by Chris Jefferies
The 24.38 metre maxi racing yacht Lion New Zealand has checked into Yachting Developments for an extensive winter overhaul. The works, which began on May 15 with her haul-out, are described as a “top-to-bottom refit”.
Designed by Ron Holland and launched in 1985 for Sir Peter Blake, Lion New Zealand raced in the 1985/86 Whitbread Round The World Race. She was purchased in 2008 by the NZ Sailing Trust, which uses her to provide sailing experiences for young New Zealanders.
In the past nine years, Lion New Zealand has covered more than 200,000 nautical miles, welcoming thousands of guests on board along the way, and the trust explains that she is in need of a much-deserved refit.
Yachting Developments has already completed a refit project on another NZ Sailing Trust-owned yacht, the 25.6 metre Steinlager 2. What’s more, managing director Ian Cook is particularly fond of and familiar with Lion New Zealand, having worked on her build more than 30 years ago.
Tony Stevenson, chairman of the NZ Sailing Trust, said: “The workmanship, passion shown by all the team and their willingness to work with the trust are key reasons why we have returned to Yachting Developments once again.”
Planned upgrades include a new mast, boom and keel, as well as replacing the rigging, deck winches and electronics. Lion New Zealand will be given a full paint job, which will match her original livery.
Moving inside and she will be getting new accommodation, a reconfigured galley, new electronics, lighting and navigation systems, and new plumbing. On the technical side, her propeller shaft, engine and propeller will be replaced too.
Despite the widespread scope of this refit, Yachting Developments insists that the original spirit of Lion New Zealand will be retained.
Other superyacht projects currently under development at the New Zealand yard include the 38.7 maxi sportsfish yacht YD 1015, which is due to hit the water before the end of the year.