Sail with the dolphins in the crater of an extinct volcano on New Zealand’s oldest gaffed rigged ketch and enjoy the wildlife of Akaroa Harbour up close. Relax and soak up the sun, sea and hills or take part as one of the crew. See Hectors dolphins, yellow-eyed and blue penguins, New Zealand fur seals, albatross and other sea birds. Be surrounded by giant volcanic sea cliffs, caves and rock formations along the journey. A guaranteed highlight of your trip that you will remember for the rest of your life.
FOX II is a gaffed rigged ketch that was built in Auckland, New Zealand in 1922 by WA Elley.
She was originally built as a sailing cargo carrier with a single mast, a 9 foot bowsprit and a steel centre-board. Originally named Iris Eileen after the builder’s daughter, only the best kauri was used in her construction. The knees being formed from pohutakawa and all fastenings made of copper.
The Iris Eileen was later sold to the Fox Fishing Company, and became the second boat for the company fleet. She was renamed FOX II. A steam engine was installed, masts were removed, and a wheelhouse and bulwarks built. In 1936 a Kelvin K3 diesel engine was fitted.
She was then used as a fishing boat until the 1970s when she was bought by Mr Ian Forsythe. He replaced the masts, added a new wheelhouse and cabin, refastened the hull and generally brought her up to her present configuration.
In 1995 she was purchased by Coastline Adventure Ltd, who overhauled her, and had the vessel surveyed to the rigorous Maritime Safety Authority standards, certified to carry 30 passengers. Since then, FOX II has carried thousands of people around the waters of Banks Peninsula. Every year she is used as the boat to teach basic sailing to 1500-2000 school children through the Cansail Trust. She was most recently purchased by Fox II Sailing Adventures, Ltd. and continues to sail both Lyttelton and Akaroa Harbours.