The New Zealand Traditional Boatbuilding School (NZTBS) will likely be forced to close its doors for the final time on the April 30. Sadly, the lease on its current location has expired and it has been unable to locate an affordable, alternative location.

Since being founded in 2005, the NZTBS has enrolled many hundreds of people in its courses with countless dinghies, canoes and small projects completed. A host of new and old skills have been passed on to the next generation.

During this time, while the demand for these types of courses continues to increase, so has the cost of commercial property in Auckland. For more than a decade, Panuku Development Auckland has promised the school space in the Percy Vos boatyard in Beaumont Street, but nothing concrete has yet eventuated.

Covid 19 also affected classes, and compounded efforts to obtain additional funding from the likes of Trusts.

NZTBS’ trustees have explored every option over the last year or two to stay in business. While other towns such as Hobart (Australia) and Port Townson (USA) have built thriving traditional boat centres running at a financial profit, it seems this can’t happen in Auckland.

Considering the world-class classic yacht fleet based in Auckland, the loss of the NZTBS would be a massive lost opportunity.

The School is making a last ditch call for help. If anyone has a building, a space to share, funding, or any other assistance that would allow us to continue operating, please contact Steve Cranch (Chairman NZTBS) at