Tortuga Launch

Project Refresh

With nearly 1,800 people coming through Anakiwa each year, it's essential that all of our life saving equipment is fully equipped and ready to rock in the rare case of an emergency. Outward Bound must have three fully operational powered launches to ensure that all educational sea activities can take place, including sailing, canoeing, and waka ama.

In recent years, Outward Bound has been fortunate to have two launches replaced with Tortuga built by Barnett Offshore Design and constructed by Allspec Marine. The third launch in the fleet is the Matakana which is now ready for retirement.

Mature Students 2006 Frank Gasteiger 121

The Sir Roy Tortuga shadowing students out on their sea expedition

Tortuga vessels shadow our students when they are sailing the cutter, canoeing, and waka ama. They're essential in ensuring the safety of our students as they are used to evacuate students if necessary and to remove students from vessels to treat minor first aid, exhaustion, and sailing injuries.
Running powered vessels also ensures that Outward Bound is not relying on external agencies to support students which would place a strain on local safety and rescue resources.

Once students have been taught to sail, instructors leave the cutter and shadow the vessel in the Tortuga. This provides students with an important and unique opportunity to be sole charge of a sailing vessel for up to three days. This unique experience teaches skills such as team collaboration, coaching and leadership, and aims to strengthen organisation, communication and decision making qualities.

The ability to carry out these activities is dependent on a full fleet of three Tortuga vessels.

We had perfect weather for three days out sailing the cutter, and the sights of the Marlborough Sounds were truly special. We sailed isolated bays, saw dolphins and slept aboard the cutter at sea. You have to be there to know what it's like. It's one of those things in life that you can't fully describe. There is just some inexplicable magic that you can't put into words.

Aidan, Rutherford 600

Did you know?

The Matakana was built as a lifeboat for the ill-fated Wahine, but the ship sank before it could be put on board. The lifeboat was donated to Outward Bound by the Union Steamship Company. 

After over 40 years supporting students at sea, the Matakana is sadly approaching the end of her working life. School Director Simon Graney described the important safety vessel as ‘a fantastic work horse’ who has reached retirement after a solid run with us.