First Ever Fibreglass Yacht in NZ - Arnold France 1959 30ft Sloop

 Yachts / Posted 2 months ago / Sold


Want to own a piece of history but also something that still sails like a dream?

I am parting ways with Gazelle, the first ever fibreglass yacht built in New Zealand!! Open to offers.

Link to photos here:

She is a 30 foot sloop keeler, hand crafted  in Lyttelton, Canterbury from fibreglass in 1959 by local boat builder Arnold France.

“In the beginning, I was against building boats because Arnold Francis, who built the first fibreglass production boats in New Zealand under the name France Craft, appeared to have the market tied up. They were a bit rough, but solidly built and I didn’t think there was an opening for another fibreglass boat builder in New Zealand.” – Fi-Glass founder, Frank Simpson

Gazelle was featured in Sea Spray Magazine in the 1959 issue (see photos)

“Arnold France’s sloop Gazelle, believed to be the first all- fibreglass keeler built in NZ… Clean lines of well proportioned superstructure help to make her one of the prettiest keelers in NZ waters” – Sea Spray Magazine 1959

Arnold France was a pioneer of boat building and was influential in helping Sir William (Bill) Hamilton develop the World-famous Hamilton Jet!

“In 1953, after experimenting with a number of concepts without great success, Hamilton approached Christchurch boat-builder Arnold France to advise on the design. Hamilton’s specifications were for a hull suitable for a river craft and a replacement for the propeller. France suggested a jet unit and loaned Hamilton a US pamphlet on the Hanley Hydro Jet which used a centrifugal water pump system.” – Bloxham, Les & Anne Stark. The Jet Boat – The Making of a New Zealand Legend

In 1941, France also built Windswift, a 33ft ketch which is currently valued at $65k, so it is only likely that the value of Gazelle will go up and up.

Gazelle features:
30ft length
2.28m beam
1.2m draft
Classic brass winches, and anchor roller
Hardwood deck trim
Vanished timber hatch lids at stern and vanished timber trim around cockpit
Vanished timber joinery inside vessel
Modern deck hatches
New standing rigging in the last couple of years
New mainsheet jammer
New squabs Berth 3 comfortably, could go up to 5
Been antifouled 18 months ago
Mercury 2-stroke 5hp inboard motor in good working order – is regularly serviced
Main sail in working order – no tears
2 x head sails (gib and genoa) – both in working order with no tears
Running rigging in working order
2 x bilge pumps in working order 10m chain + 30m rope + anchor (all in good condition)
Head (toilet) in working order
Galley sink in working order
Lots of spare rope and lots of storage space
Exterior is excellent condition, interior could do with a lick of paint but that’s about it.  

She really does turn heads and I constantly receive comments from other yachties about how nice and sleek she looks out on the water!

Located in Te Ana Marina, there is also an opportunity to carry on the berth lease which currently has a 6 month waiting list.

Please get in touch and I am happy to show you the vessel or even take you out for a sail.

  • Listing ID: 163973
  • Type: used
Contact details

Canterbury,South Island 027 471 1664

Contact this listing owner

We are grateful to be supported by the following businesses and organisations. Please support them in return when you can.

© 2020 The Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand    Follow us on Facebook

Website by Karebou Web Design