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Lion New Zealand Relaunched After Extensive Refit

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Yachting Developments has relaunched iconic race boat Lion New Zealand after a two-year-long refit.

Sailing yacht Lion New Zealand on relaunch day

Lion New Zealand


After nearly two years, Lion New Zealand is safely back in the water after the completion of a major million-dollar refit. Relaunched on March 11, 2019 by Yachting Developments in Hobsonville, Auckland, she then cruised to nearby Viaduct Harbour for her relaunch celebration. At the event,  Lion New Zealand was rechristened by Bianca Cook of Yachting Developments and Michelle Khan and Evelien Van Vliet of the New Zealand Sailing Trust.

The extensive refit involved restoring the boat’s interior and exterior while maintaining the design integrity and bones of the Whitbread champion maxi yacht. The work included a new mast, boom and keel; new rigging, deck winches and electronics; a full paint job; new antifouling and, of course, new Propspeed. 

Propspeed applied to sailing yacht Lion New Zealand's propeller and shaft

The interior was completely kitted out with an all-new accommodation galley and upgraded electronics, lighting and navigation systems. A new propeller shaft, engine and propeller were also included in the refit, with a new Volvo engine replacing her older diesel Gardner engine. Originally designed by Ron Holland, Lion New Zealand was built for Sir Peter Blake’s fourth attempt at the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1985–1986. Now owned by the New Zealand Sailing Trust, the vessel, which finished a very respectable second, is an iconic piece of New Zealand history.

Lion New Zealand sailing in the Hauraki Gulf

Thanks to the Sailing Trust, she is now back up and running, allowing young New Zealanders to experience the sport of sailing and the art of team building in the Hauraki Gulf. You can help get more children out on the water for this beneficial experience, through donating to the New Zealand Sailing Trust.


Foul-release coating for all underwater metals.