CanSail is delighted to deliver its mission for young people aboard STV Fox II, a 54’ gaff-rigged ketch. Made of kauri and launched in 1922, Fox II is one of the oldest sailing vessels in New Zealand waters.

Originally built as a crayfish boat to operate out of Auckland, Fox II was rammed by a steamer and sunk in 1934. Refloated, she was rebuilt and worked as a purse seine fishing boat. Upon retirement in the 1970s, Fox II was first laid up, then lovingly refitted and re-rigged. For the next two decades she was sailed for private recreation.

In 1995 Fox II was brought south to operate as a charter and tourist vessel in the scenic harbours and waters of Banks Peninsula. Every year CanSail welcomes over 1,500 youngsters to join in the thrill of crewing a Small Ship aboard Fox II.


‘All hands on deck’

One of the finest sail training vessels available in New Zealand, Fox II has hosted CanSail’s Sail Training programmes each summer since the Trust’s foundation in 1996.

The traditional bosun’s cry, ‘All hands on deck’, proclaims Fox II’s suitability for Sail Training. As befits her age, there's not a winch in sight. Requiring several young people on each line, Fox II demands coordinated crew-power to haul on the sheets and raise the six substantial sails.

And as the wind fills the canvas, the adventure has just begun. Three watches - foredeck, midships and stern - combine and compete to set, secure and control those sails as Fox II tacks and jibes, putting her crews through their paces. Port and starboard are soon second nature to the young helmsmen, eyes are peeled for wind changes and dolphins, ears are open for commands and points of interest, and the excitement on board is palpable.



Beyond the Gunwale

Once the crew has found its rhythm and Fox II is sailing well, there's time for a shift in focus to beyond the gunwale. For sailing in the pristine waters of Lyttelton and Akaroa Harbours provides an invaluable lesson in the natural world on Christchurch’s very doorstep.

It's an opportunity to open the eyes of young crews to the complete beauty of Banks Peninsula, from its violent volcanic birth six million years ago to the imprint of modern man: the explorer, sailor, warrior, farmer and industrialist.