Now that Rob Wood has built one of the fastest sports yachts
in the South Island, his family is delighted they can have
their carport back.
The Dunedin secondary school teacher christened and launched
his Leech 650 carbon-fibre yacht in Port Chalmers last night
after spending the past 18 months building it in his carport.
The lightweight 6.5m long vessel was designed by Dan Leech,
of Christchurch, and is capable of reaching speeds of up to
35 knots - something he hopes to experience on Otago Harbour
''It's designed to go fast and get you wet. It's designed to
Mr Wood said one of the main problems with building his own
yacht had been that his partner, Ruth Ferguson, was ''not a
fan of sailing''.
He began the project after she returned from a sabbatical in
the United States. Feeling philosophical, she asked what his
dreams were, and he responded: ''I'd like to build a yacht.''
''She said OK, but I don't think she realised what she had
''There was dust of all different colours through the house
and the carport was turned into a construction site for a
year and a-half.
''She's been very supportive, though, in helping me realise
Mr Wood said the boat would normally cost more than $60,000
if it was built
commercially, but because he built it himself, he only paid
the price of the building materials - about $40,000.
The yacht was launched yesterday at the Port Chalmers Yacht
Club accompanied by speeches, a Maori blessing and the
pouring of a bottle of beer over the bow in lieu of smashing
a bottle of Champagne.
Mr Wood plans to start slowly with the boat, sailing it
locally, but eventually he hopes to sail it in major races
around the South Island.
''It's not about prize money or winning races. It's about
sailing a boat the best that you can.''
Sails: North Sails 3DL.
Top speed: Up to 35 knots (65kmh).