Archived: BANDIT

Sir Peter Blake’s first boat gets new home at New Zealand Maritime Museum

BANDIT, the first boat Sir Peter Blake ever built back in the 60s with his brother Tony and a friend, has been restored to its former glory and is now on display at the New Zealand Maritime Museum alongside Black Magic.

BANDIT may be small (7m in lengh) but she has played a huge part in New Zealand’s maritime history, as building and sailing the boat was how Sir Peter learned his craft and started him on his journey to becoming one of the world’s most celebrated sailors.

The building of BANDIT was a true DIY project and it wasn’t all smooth sailing. At one stage during the two-year build molten lead leaked all over the Blake family lawn, after the iron bath tub being used to melt the keel cracked.

Upon completion the three young men spent the summer of 1968 sailing and racing her on the Hauraki Gulf. BANDIT went on to compete in the 1968-69 racing season where Peter, Tony and Crawford won the Akarana Junior Offshore Group Championship. 

It was Tantrum who started the restoration process of BANDIT after meeting with Viv Wyatt who had acquired BANDIT in the late 90s and kept the boat in Warkworth. Wyatt gifted BANDIT to the Classic Yacht Charitable Trust which paid a token sum of 20 cents to complete the transfer.

After 14 years in storage the yacht has been completely restored by Yachting Developments in Hobsonville over a two-year period, using as much of the original rigging, fittings, and sails as possible.

BANDIT was donated to the New Zealand Maritime Museum 2018 where she is on permanent display next to NZL 32 (Black Magic) which Sir Peter sailed to victory at the 1995 America’s Cup.

Along with donations from Sir Peter’s friends, family, and associates, the $42,000 restoration was made possible thanks to an arrangement between Tantrum and Cook. In exchange for the restoration work, Tantrum, a model boatbuilder, gifted Cook three model boats.

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Last updated: 17 June 2019

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