Herbert Krumm-Gartner says he and his colleagues just love to build, restore, repair and sail wooden boats, and finds the experience of creating a one-off each day hard to beat. He couldn’t imagine restoring even a ‘classic’ fibreglass boat to its original lines and specifications, carefully removing layers of old chop strand matt to be replaced by new ones carefully fitted with that craftsman touch…
Herbert started his career in 1982 with an apprenticeship in boat building, beginning with a plan to become a boat builder and then to fulfill his dream of sailing around the world in his own yacht. Since then boat building has turned into a profession and, although sailing is still high on the agenda, the practical aspects of wooden boat building have become his priority.
Having apprenticed on the Bavarian Lakes near Munich in 1982 , he decided with his wife Romy to set up a classic boat building business in New Zealand. Initially he worked for John Gladden, a well respected boat-builder known for his quality workmanship and eye for detail, and then became one of the working partners of the Wooden Boat Workshop. Aspiring to build real boats and deal with classic boat enthusiasts, Herbert then stepped out on his own to run a working boatyard exhibit at the New Zealand Maritime Museum. The experience and craftsmanship gained over the years has culminated in the formation of Classic Boats Ltd, with the aim of getting people hooked on wooden boats.
The profile below is of a 26ft Pilot Sloop that Classic Boats are currently building. It was designed by American naval architect George Stadel in 1939, and plans are available fom Wooden Boat magazine. Construction is edge-glued carvel over laminated frames. The yacht will also feature teak cabin sides and a teak deck.
While you’re there, look out for photos of a 17ft whitehall Herbert built from John Gardner’s book Building Classic Small Craft, and for Classic Boats line in blocks in sizes ranging from 6mm to 16mm line. They are available in singles and doubles with or without beckets, with shells made from teak with stainless straps, aluminum sheaves and Tufnol bushings to minimise friction.
Once again, my thanks go to John Welsford for leading us to this site.