Lees Boatbuilders is one of the longest standing family owned boatbuilding businesses in New Zealand. We started on Kawau Island in 1951 and our traditional timber skills that hark back to that time have been retained and cherished. However as different boatbuilding materials and methods have been embraced over the years it has added to an incredible depth of knowledge and skills within our staff which allows us to tackle a wide variety of work.
These days a lot of our business is high end restoration work on older timber vessels. This involves getting boats to a "better than new" stage and we are immensely proud and passionate about the work that leaves our yard.
Our staff are all avid boaties. Their spare time often absorbed in and around boats and they all have a passion and enthusiasm for boats. Boats are our thing!
Greg's early years were spent in and around boats including many years in the family business before operating his own insurance brokerage in the city whilst still part of the Sandspit boating community. However the call of the ocean was loud and he returned to the yard in 1992 and took over the business from his father Tim. Greg is a born and bred Kawau/Sandspit local and has a great passion and wealth of knowledge of the area, it's people and their boats.
Our foreman Dale is a qualified boatbuilder with over 30 years experience and also a seriously talented spray painter. He has an eye for detail and makes sure any work bearing the Lees Boatbuilders name retains the level of workmanship that the company was founded on. After dozens of personal boat projects in his spare time, Dale is currently enjoying taking his whanau on tours in the family camper van.
Brian has been with Lees Boatbuilders for over 35 years and is an absolute craftsman when it comes to timber work. A cabinetmaker by trade, Brian applied his skills to boatbuilding and worked for Max Carter for many years. He has not only designed and built his own boats, but also his own car. What Brian does not know about timber work - is generally not worth knowing!
Angela's dedicated work in the background is the glue that keeps the administration side of the business running smoothly. She keeps the boys in line and adds a female perspective to the lunch room discussions.
Graeme is an Able Seaman with a naval background. He is a former Sandspit Harbourmaster and still does some contract work on oil rig tenders. Given his lifetime of practical boating experience, Graeme is an extremely versatile staff member.
Kris comes from a government background but is an extremely versatile staff member who has been boating for many years. He has just sold his personal boat and is on the lookout for another. Kris also renovates villas on an ongoing basis and enjoys breathing new life into the old.
Anthony is an apprentice in his third year with us. He hails from Karangahake and enjoys the great outdoors with a particular interest in fishing. Prior to joining us he spent two years in an outboard mechanic's workshop.
Vincent is our newest staff member starting his apprenticeship in 2018. He comes from a background of family boating on the Kaipara Harbour and given the amount of fish on the Kaipara - he is a mad-keen fisherman.
Dave is a retired boatbuilder who is here on a daily basis. He was, for many years, the slip master at Sandspit Yacht Club. He served his time with Roy Paris and has an extensive knowledge of boatbuilding and the history of the Auckland Classic fleet.
Holly's friendly face is likely the first you will see when you visit our yard. Throw her a stick and you have a friend for life.