Classic Launches

  • Classic Bridgedecker

    Classic Bridgedecker

  • Katherine


  • Ngaro hull refit

    Ngaro hull refit

  • Caulking and priming seams

    Caulking and priming seams

  • Ngaro refit

    Ngaro refit

  • Katherine At Anchor

    Katherine At Anchor


* Experts in the old boatbuilding methods and techniques

* Construction and repair using all boatbuilding materials

* Engineering and metal fabrication

* Engine, Transmission, Genset and Hydraulic servicing and installation

* All interior construction and finishing

* Painting

* Electrical

* 8.5 meter beam and 80 ton travel lift



* More than 30 years designing and building classic boats
* Maintaining and repairing classic boats for more than 30 years
* Performed countless internal and external refits of classic boats for more than 30 years
* Major refit of the hull and designed and built cabin top, decks and interior of a heritage classic 37 ft. steam boat
* Designed and built modern classic launches


Illustrative Case History of a Classic Launch

Ngaro is a 50 ft. bridge decker which is constructed from kauri and is double skinned carvel planked. It is based in Auckland and comes to Robertson Boats for its maintenance and servicing.

It came to the yard before Christmas to be readied for a summer of cruising and it was obvious the topsides needed a repaint. After the maintenance work was done it was decided that instead of being out of the water for a while getting repainted it would be given a sand and a fresh coat for the summer and come back at a later date to be completely repainted. The owner scheduled a date and the boat was brought back after the summer so the repaint could be done.

It was hauled out, and carefully water blasted so the seams weren’t damaged and then placed on the hardstand under one of the portable sheds. The job began with the hull being stripped right back to bare wood using heat guns and scrapers to peel the paint off. Once stripped, the hull was inspected and any lazy fastenings were replaced and any loose planks refastened, any repair work the planks required was also taken care of to ensure it was sound before the new paint system was applied.

Next the putty was removed from all the seams and they were inspected. The caulking in quite a few areas of the hull had become a bit loose so they got tightened back up with more caulking cotton. With that done the seams were then primed and puttied. They were then sanded up in preparation for painting. The entire hull was now primed with two coats of single pot Yacht Primer applied with rollers and then tipped off with brushes, left to air dry for a day and then sanded so the process could be repeated. This process was repeated 3 times to ensure there was a good build-up of product and there would be no sand throughs when faired up. It was left a few days to ensure that it was completely air dried before being faired up.

A team of guys faired the hull up with long boards and then finish sanded it with paddle boards using fine sandpaper until it was smooth and blemish free. Next the single pot undercoat was applied, two coats rolled and tipped, left to air dry and then sanded smooth with fine paper in preparation for the finish coat. It was inspected and when the management was happy with the surface the boat and shed got thoroughly cleaned up and the boat was masked off for the application of the finish coat. The painters now sprayed the white enamel semi-gloss finish coat onto the hull building it up carefully, making sure that it wasn’t going to run or sag, as single pot paint takes a lot longer that two pot paint to dry so doesn’t hold up as well.

Once dry the masking was removed and the finish coat was inspected. A beautiful finish had been achieved. Before the boat was launched all the external wood work was stripped back and varnished bringing it all to a high gloss again. The boat was launched and the owners were very happy, the original look and theme of the boat had not only been maintained but improved.