Kotuku

Designer: Col Wild

Built: 1923  Col Wild  Ngataringa Bay, Auckland

Length Overall: 34ft (10.63m)

Beam: 8ft (2.43m)

Draught: 5ft 10” (1.77m)

Length Water Line: 22ft 4” (6.82m)

Construction Hull: Kauri Carvel

Engine: Arona 12hp

Sails: Bermudan cutter: Jib, staysail, main

 

Kotuku was donated to the Tino Rawa Trust by Dean Organ in August 2012

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On 23rd January 1923, aged 24, Colin Wild launched a keel yacht he had built for himself, 39ft overall, 22ft 4in on the waterline, 8ft beam and drawing 3ft 10ins.

Delville was named after the French wood in which his brother A.C. “Barky” Wild had died in September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. She was a radical yacht for the time with a bobbed counter and an inboard bermudan (or “marconi”) rig. Wild built to the International 6 metre class rules because it was hoped at the time that the class could be established in New Zealand. One Auckland yacht, Scout, had been built as a 6 metre in 1909 and Wild built another, Mana, for Wellington in 1924, but the class never got going here. This was such a disappointment for Wild that he defiantly carried the numeral 6 over the numeral 1 on the mainsail for many years.

In early March 1923 Delville won the RNZYS Ocean Race, and her reputation was made. In 1924 Wild extended the stern out to a conventional counter and rigged her as a cutter with a short bowsprit. He added the class letter C to the sail in 1926. In 1929 she was sold to architect Keith Draffin who renamed her Kotuku. She was always raced extensively even after the well-known yachtsman Jim Faire bought her in the 1950s.  

Delville established Colin Wild in the public eye as an excellent builder, despite his youth. Commissions started to flow and never really ceased for the rest of his lifetime.

Kotuku was donated to the Tino Rawa Trust by Dean Organ in August 2012.