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Join the Tino Rawa Trust as we share the story of John Spencer, one of New Zealand’s most talented designers, his boat-building history and his invaluable contribution to New Zealand sailing.

Event Dates: (Fri  6- Sun 8 November 2020, 10am-4pm) Note: New Date of Exhibition

Event Location: (Karanga Plaza, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland Central)

John Spencer, (1931-1996) was a brilliant NZ yacht designer, an innovator and free thinker, outstanding craftsman and a champion of the amateur boat builder. John was responsible for designing some of the best-known sailing dinghy classes and racing keelers both in New Zealand and internationally including the Cherub, NZ Javelin, Firebug and Flying Ant classes. 

His influence in yacht design and construction was wide ranging and his fast sailing dinghies were a major part in the 50s/60s sailing boom in NZ/Australia. He remained thoroughly committed to light, fast, fun and inexpensive boats.

A three day static display in Karanga Plaza will include information and history on vessels that John Spencer designed and built. Spencer designed yachts will be rafted up on the Karanga Plaza visitors berth with some of them available for the public to inspect.  A display of Spencer sailing dinghies, plans and storyboards will be available for visitors, alongside information and history of the yachts.

Please contact us if you have Spencer memorabilia, model yachts, sailing dinghies or yachts you wish to share with us for the exhibition. Contact Tony at tonys@nwv.co.nz

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owned 2 Spencer's. One was a 1/2 tonner "Emma" 30ft round bilge but had chine stern section, very good in the light. But sold due to new family and accepted a "sabre "sundance" as part trade. Over grown stiletto. Nice to sail in 15/20 knots

Dont think John designed a bad vessel just some were better than others. Rumour has it.The height of the cabin in stilettos was just high enough to consume a 750ml bottle.

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22 hours ago, harrytom said:

owned 2 Spencer's. One was a 1/2 tonner "Emma" 30ft round bilge but had chine stern section, very good in the light. But sold due to new family and accepted a "sabre "sundance" as part trade. Over grown stiletto. Nice to sail in 15/20 knots

Dont think John designed a bad vessel just some were better than others. Rumour has it.The height of the cabin in stilettos was just high enough to consume a 750ml bottle.

Sundance is still going.

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Still have some plaques here the belong on "Sundance" be happy to hand to owner.

"Emma" unfortunately got stolen and run aground at Whangamumu and wrecked. Coastguard turned up took the person back to Whangarei fed/bed and next morning car was stolen. At the time didnt know vessel was stolen.

Living in Devonport as a lad, walking home from primary school always stopped and looked at "Buccaneer" being built.

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We have Stepping Out in part because my FIL built 2 Spencers, a Sabre design "Claymore" and then the 45 footer Sirius, first of that design.  Apparently Sirius is still afloat somewhere in the Tamaki River.

John built Sirius specifically for ocean racing in the South Pacific.  Basically a surfboard with a keel and a mast.

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