My passion for boats started back in my native Germany. I thought to become a boat builder would be a good idea to fulfill my dream of sailing around the world in my own yacht. Things worked out slightly different: after successfully completing my apprenticeship in boat building, my wife Romy and I decided to immigrate to New Zealand, a country I had visited before and fallen in love with.
Yes, I did arrive on a plane rather than on a boat.
Working for ‘John Gladden Boat Builders’ in Milford on the North Shore quickly introduced me to the New Zealand way of cold moulding wooden boats – I always call this time my second apprenticeship.
Venturing out on my own started by becoming a working partner at the ‘Wooden Boat Workshop’, in Parnell where I project managed several big restorations and even a new build. A big step up came when I was asked to run a professional boat building workshop at the new ‘Auckland Maritime Museum’. This venture involved some major restorations of New Zealand Classics as well as teaching small craft clinker boat building courses over weekends and supervising guided projects with amateur boat builders. Yes, it was a busy time!
It seemed natural for my clients to ask me: “Herbert, I want to buy this boat, can you have a look at her and tell me what you think?” So I stumbled into Marine Surveying almost by osmosis [excuse the punt].
Nowadays, 35 years into my career, I still love hands on boat building as much as when I began, but Marine Surveying has become a much bigger part in what I am doing – using my experience gained over all those years.