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Students benefit from classic boat

Posted at 1:52pm Monday 03 Aug, 2020 | By James Addis editor@localmatters.co.nz

Tutor Adrian Dubbleman, front left, says the boat will provide excellent hands-on training for students. Pictured with Men’s Shed members, from left, Eric Henry, Barry Thompson and Glyn Williams.
Tutor Adrian Dubbleman, front left, says the boat will provide excellent hands-on training for students. Pictured with Men's Shed members, from left, Eric Henry, Barry Thompson and Glyn Williams.

The donation of a vintage Frostbite sailing dinghy will help bolster student learning at the Manukau Institute of Technology's maritime training school in Warkworth.

Mahurangi resident Eric Henry acquired the dinghy about two years ago intending to restore it as a “winter project” when he lived in Omaha.

Unfortunately, he never quite got around to it and found the task impossible once he moved into the Summerset Falls retirement village in Warkworth.

Eric passed the boat on to the Men's Shed, though it turned out there was not really the space for it. It was then decided to give it to the maritime training school.

Eric says the iconic New Zealand boat, made from kauri, is more than 65 years old and was once owned by famed Warkworth boatbuilder Chris Robertson and was successfully raced by his son Martin.

The Frostbite was designed by Jack Brooke in 1937 and later was adopted for competition nationally among secondary schools in 1951.  

Maritime tutor Adrian Dubbleman says he is delighted with the donation of the Frostbite, which will be perfect for teaching boat painting as part of the training school's super yacht programme.

Typically, students learn by preparing and painting materials on a bench rather than on a real boat.   

“I prefer to give them actual hands-on experience on a boat rather than chipping away at a bench,” Adrian says.  

Students will also install fibreglass on the outer hull. Adrian says he would have preferred to keep the boat original, but cracks in the timber prevented this.

Once the boat is complete, students will have the pleasure of sailing and racing it.

The maritime training school's super yacht programme is a three-month course designed to equip students with the necessary skills to crew a luxury yacht. It includes everything from watchkeeping, sea survival and firefighting to bar tending and ironing of uniforms.

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