The installation of NZL 32, BLACK MAGIC

‘It’s fitting that at the heart of this country’s tribute to Sir Peter is NZL32 – Black Magic.’

It was ten years ago that NZL32 made her entrance to the New Zealand Maritime Museum, manoeuvred into place by barge and crane as the night of 5th August became the morning of the 6th. The new gallery, clad in translucent coloured polycarbonate, was designed by Pete Bossley to showcase the yacht; ‘a unique building for an iconic object’.

Her incredible installation was screened on breakfast television, although the care required to slide the yacht in through the open end of the building meant that the spectacle was at times less than riveting. The time-lapse video below adds a sense of drama to what was an undeniable feat of engineering precision.

It was the hull alone that was lifted into place that night; the keel, rudder, mast and rigging were all fitted once Black Magic was in place in the newly extended Maritime Museum. Due to its weight, the lead alloy keel bulb was replaced by a replica, and the mast on display cut short in order to fit into the building. One of NZL32’s original masts is also on display – albeit horizontally – spanning the length of the ceiling of the nearby yachting gallery.

Opening on 12 December 2009, Blue Water Black Magic A Tribute to Sir Peter Blake was developed in partnership between the New Zealand Maritime Museum and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. The exhibition fulfilled Sir Peter Blake’s wish that NZL32 – on loan to the Maritime Museum from Te Papa – be made more accessible to a wide New Zealand audience.



90% Concept Design, Blue Water Black Magic A Tribute to Sir Peter Blake, January 2005
New Zealand Maritime Museum Volunteer News, June & August 2009
New Zealand Maritime Museum Annual Report 2009-2010

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