Since 1956, 60+ years' worth of wooden/wooden-decked Zephyrs have been built. Over the decades, generations of owners have taken "pride and joy" literally, combining the joy of honing their woodwork skills rebuilding and refurbishing older yachts, and taking pride in the results.

The Zephyr is a unique class that has strived to ensure older wooden yachts can stay highly competitive, and good old Kiwi DIY is valued part of the class culture. Refurbishing and repairing a Zephyr at home and making your own foils etc also helps keep the costs down, with many sailors happy to pass on their skills to new owners who want to enter the class at a lower price point. We aim to capture some tips and tricks to share on this page over time. 

If you are restoring a Zephyr, including spars & foils, please refer to the class rules for measurement advice and/or contact your local measurer.

If you would like to share your own project or advice, please email photos and your text to Cat!

Website Updates:
Email Cat Bridges email

We have collected some of the work shared by our owners. Here's what's in our workshops:


WARAU #303 & TITAN #308

 - Brett Linton - Facebook Group 13/12/20 - 

Warau, No. 303 finally made it back to the water. In fact we had a double re launch, with Titan making a comeback.

Apparently there were 23 boats on the start line.

Great to be back sailing again.


Photos from Richard Davies. Richard bought Athena in time for the 2019/2020 season, did some quick work with advice from some of the Canterbury fleet to get the boat sailing initially, and has spent the off-season working hard to get Athena up to shape!



- Mike Mason - Facebook Group 26/11/20 -

Ian Franklin is doing a fantastic job of breathing new life into #36 with superb attention to detail. Probably won't make the NI's but looking forward to joining the Zephyrites in the New Year!!



- Tim Willetts -

- Various posts in the Facebook Group from November 2019 to November 2020 -

  • 502 starting to look a lot nicer. We were 2.5kg over at last Nationals but nice new transom case and deck taken that excess weight out. Many thanks to Riaan at Marine Plus.
  • Boat hanging upside down from the roof makes jobs in side the cockpit and under the foredeck much easier! At the transom you can see the slots I cut to mount my carbon gudgeons flush with the inside forward face of the transom.
  • I had to make up a little mould to make this little moulding that weighs 20g. This forms the cavity for the hand hold on the stern but prevents water coming in when you capsize. There’s been a bit of work making these but happy to try to get a few of the small details covered.
  • The boat was originally named Merlot and painted the appropriate red. I do prefer very pale colour for the outside due to the timber hull construction so I have continued the original red theme on the deck



- Paul Pearson - Facebook group 15/10/20 -

After 8 months since purchasing No 3 from Phil Jones in Havelock and completing renovations on road trailer, beach trailer, mast, boom and of course the boat itself, she is finally ready to go racing. I have a few people to thank.....Firstly Phil, who had owned the boat for 20 years and really wasn't quite ready to sell but somehow was convinced that the new owner would treat her well. Secondly of course Matt Mitchell whose skills and attention to detail on this project have been exceptional. I've learnt a lot working with Matt. Most important is that he needs to be fed at least 4 times a day. This is not optional. Then of course there is Dennis Conway, who would drop everything to come round to help with boat turning over, rope splicing... basically anything and literally at a moments notice. Finally, I thank my wife, who now after 8 months, could literally answer any Zephyr renovation question you might have. A few pictures are attached. Sea trials were conducted on Tuesday but her officIal launch with be at Manly this weekend. Hope to see you there.


Work by Zephyr sailor Matt Mitchell of Titoki Projects Ltd over Winter 2020.

Titoki Projects Ltd. 021960675


Matt also worked on Dennis Conway's #220 in 2019



 - Chris Hargreaves - Various Facebook group posts Aug - Nov 2020 - 

This is 313 getting the works in my workshop over lockdown. Painting 313 now. My first zephyr - I had 313 for 15 years. Not used 313 last 6 years. I assembled and sailed my 525. But 313 will be my go to this season. As long as my daughter doesn't beat me in 525 or we will have swap.

"313 ready for z action"


WARAU #303

- Brett Linton - Facebook group 9/8/20 -

"Too good to cover up"

WARAU #303

- Brett Linton - Facebook group 26/9/20 -

"Gravity is our friend"


- Cathryn Bridges - Facebook group 2/11/19 -

"Aren't dads great?"


REWA #11

- Dean Salthouse - Facebook group 25/8/20 -

Hello fellow Zephyrites thought I would say hi and give an update of what I think I have learnt since joining your ranks prior to Christmas.

Those who I’ve played with have no doubt noticed a steady improvement in number 11 so as it seams to be a bit one sided at the top I thought I would perhaps simply pass on what I have changed if that’s a help.

Here is the simple list.

  1. Mast was short and is now max height.
  2. Centre board was short and is now max length ( I am racing at about 115kg maybe 120kg when wet so those matter to me)
  3. Gooseneck must be packed out to max distance pivot for down wind. This was silly and never should have been allowed! My opinion!!!!
  4. Rake using the 5700 I think it is at rest.
  5. Sail shape and this was the biggest issue.
  6. I shifted both bottom batterns back to 50% draft as I had no height upwind. This gives the finest entry and allows the outhaul to dictate max height.
  7. Centre case skirt at the bottom can only add spread and reduce drag. 
  8. Next trial recommended for heavier sailors only, max centre plate size (made but not tested yet) I have made a prototype plate in timber to test however a carbon plate would save a kg.

So I’m not a tweaker at all but I was seriously off the pace before doing the above last race I climbed off Becky and could mode upwind with Tim S upwind so I’m very encouraged to say the least. Down wind is sad and I will work on dropping some kilos to help that.

Anyway hope that helps so looking fwd to a contest to see how that format is compared to the sprint races with shorter upwinds go!



- Geoff Collins - Facebook group 21/4/20 -

Good time [lockdown] to tidy up the boats....63 year old #32 gets a new lick of varnish. As with the hull, single pot product all done by hand, not a spray gun. Makes it easier to touch up, and very cost effective.


- Rowan Adolph - various Facebook group posts over Winter 2020 -

17 finally decked after basically a full rebuild, will look flash once all trimmings go on.



Chris Bridges, a Zephyr sailor since the 1970s, has created these model boats in 2018 in his garage. Four of Chris' boats are currently being sailed, including one by his daughter Cathryn, another Zephyr sailor. Two more hulls are ready for production.



From original lines drawing, building a plug and then finishing the hull. The Zephyr dinghy class is an iconic New Zealand racing dinghy designed and built by Des Townson. This video is the record of building a 15% scale model of number 47 "Fantasy".


A 1⁄4 scale Zephyr, emulating construction of the new 600 series with a GRP hull and Plywood deck, bulkheads and buoyancy tanks, we launched Sunday 7th September 2019 and underwent harbour trials.​​​​​​​ There are now a number of boats in Auckland.

A 1⁄4 Scale RC Zephyrs and Chris Bridges' Remote Control Zephyrs have a few minor differences but end up racing together well! At Nationals 2020 in Picton there was some fun social sailing between the fleets.

Here's a photo of the two different types of RC Zephyrs lined up!