Much has been written about wooden boats, their beauty, their unique feel and their irresistible attraction.
Our own philosophy is actually quite simple: We just love to build, restore, repair and sail wooden boats. We couldn’t imagine restoring a “classic fibreglass boat” to its original lines and specifications, removing layers of old chop strand matt to be replaced by new ones carefully fitted with that craftsman touch. Neither can you probably, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading these pages.
So yes, we admit unashamedly that we don’t like fibreglass and that we relish the challenge of putting wooden boats together everyday.
It’s fun, it keeps your mind occupied, and the fact that you are creating a one-off experience is hard to beat. These experiences have kept Herbert Krumm-Gartner going in a career that started in 1982 with an apprenticeship in boat building.
Back in his native Germany he thought it to be a good idea to become a boat builder to fulfill his dream of sailing around the world in his own yacht.
The goalposts have slightly shifted since then – and wooden boat building has turned into his profession and passion. Although sailing is still high on the agenda, all the practical facets of classic wooden boat building have become his priority.
Having apprenticed on the Bavarian Lakes near Munich, he decided with his wife Romy to set up a classic boat building business in New Zealand. Initially working for John Gladden, who was well respected for his quality workmanship and eye for detail, a period Herbert describes as ‘my second apprenticeship’, he then became one of the working partners of the Wooden Boat Workshop.
Aspiring to build real boats and deal with classic enthusiasts, Herbert 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’.