Organisers of the Auckland Wooden Boat Festival (1-3 March, Wynyard Quarter) are pulling out all the stops to create an extravaganza of anything and everything related to wooden boats.

This free inaugural event is a celebration of the boats, their custodians, skilled craftsman, sailors and enthusiasts who laid the foundation of New Zealand’s maritime tradition, and the people that followed them,” says co-founder Michelle Khan.

The Boat Festival (part of the Moana Auckland Festival) is an event organised by members of the Tino Rawa Trust and the Classic Yacht Association, with the support of Tātaki Unlimited, the New Zealand Maritime Museum and Eke Panuku.

It tells the story of Auckland’s maritime history from early Māori times through to today. More than 100 boats – each with a colourful story – will be on display. They include:

Arguably the most beautiful yacht designed and built by Logan Brothers.


One of four trading cutters of her type still in existence. These vessels played a vital part in New Zealand’s early development.

Rat Catcher
A tiny boat with big ambitions.

A 70-tonne, double-ended ketch carrying 2,900 square feet of sail, built in 1936.


Harvest Moon
A home-built cedar strip canoe.

A classic double diagonal Kauri Whale Chaser (found on a family cruise boat and invited to the Festival.

A 1969, 42’ Bailey & Sons bridge-decker – built to last generations.

In the same family since the end of World War 1, a remarkable race yacht with heritage


Taranui 3
A modern classic that’s sailed nearly 90,000 nautical miles on all oceans.



Books, exhibitions, dinghies and more

Marianne and the team from New Zealand’s premier boat books store, Boat Books, will have a wide variety of books on sale including the popular Johnny Wray classic – South Seas Vagabonds. A number of authors will be in attendance.


This exhibit explores Aotearoa’s oceanic environment and draws inspiration from Gregory O’Brien’s eponymous book. The exhibition celebrates our connection to the wider Pacific region, its people, flora and fauna, and reflects themes of whales, oceans, voyaging and conservation.
New Zealand Maritime Museum, Viaduct Harbour, until 10 March.


While modern foiling yachts are made from carbon and high-tech materials, in past decades our fastest and most celebrated boats looked quite different. Festival organisers have assembled a display of New Zealand’s most famous sailing dinghies over the decades – including the iconic P Class dinghy designed by Harry Highet in 1919, the Starling, Zephyr and Mistral from the drawing board of Des Townson, Javelin, Cherub, Flying Ant and John Spencer’s Jolly boat (now called J14), and the Frostbite and Sunburst designed by Jack Brooke, plus many more!

A Taste of the Festival

• Real examples of boat building heritage
• Wooden sailing dinghies and waka
• Listen to sea shanties
• Boatbuilding workshops
• Yachting trophies through the decades
• Model boats
• Steam engines
Things to try:
• Family and kids activities
• The art of knot tying
• Browse New Zealand’s best boat books
• Boat rides
• Have a go at sailing, rowing, paddling and more
Seminar and film programme – HOSTED at the Maritime Museum:
• The preservation of the Daring: a work in progress
• Ocean adventures
• Pacific voyaging and navigating Waka Hourua
• Boatbuilding in action, with Marine and Specialised Technologies (MAST)
• Boat histories: vessels that helped build Tamaki Makaurau / Auckland
• Is there a sustainable future for classic boats?
• Film: Building waka in modern times and many more
More is being added every week!
The full programme will be published closer to the event – Follow our website, Instagram and Facebook for updates!

1-3 March 2024, Viaduct Event Centre
and Jellicoe Wharf, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland