Lion New Zealand begins Yachting Developments refit

The 24m maxi racing yacht Lion New Zealand has checked into Yachting Developments for an extensive winter overhaul. The works, which began on May 15 with her haul-out, are described as a “top-to-bottom refit”.

Designed in 1985 by Ron Holland for Sir Peter Blake, Lion New Zealand raced in the 1985/86 Whitbread Round The World Race. She was purchased in 2008 by the NZ Sailing Trust, which uses her to provide sailing experiences for young New Zealanders.

In the past nine years, Lion New Zealand has covered more than 200,000 nautical miles, welcoming thousands of guests on board along the way As such, the trust explained that she is in need of a much-deserved refit.

Yachting Developments has already completed a refit project on another NZ Sailing Trust-owned yacht, the 25.6 metre Steinlager 2. Managing director Ian Cook is also said to be particularly fond of and familiar with Lion New Zealand, having worked on her build more than 30 years ago.

Tony Stevenson, chairman of the NZ Sailing Trust, said, “The workmanship and passion shown by all the team and their willingness to work with the trust are key reasons why we have returned to Yachting Developments once again.”

Planned upgrades include a new mast, boom and keel, as well as replacement of the rigging, deck winches and electronics. She will also undertake a brand new paint job, to match her original livery.

On the inside, she will be outfitted with new accommodation, a redesigned galley, new electronics, navigation and lighting systems, and new plumbing. Her propeller shaft, engine and propeller will also be replaced.

Despite the scope of this refit, Yachting Developments insists that the original spirit of Lion New Zealand will be retained.

Other superyacht projects currently under development at the New Zealand yard include the 38.7 maxi sportsfish yacht YD 1015, which is due to hit the water before the end of the year.

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