Breeze is a square rigged brigantine

Breeze is a traditional wooden sailing ship similar to vessels used for New Zealand coastal and inter-Dominion trades in the 19th and early 20th centuries. A brigantine, she has a square-rigged foremast and fore-and-aft rigged mainmast.

Launched in 1981, designer and builder Ralph Sewell intended to recreate a replica coastal trader built in the traditions of 19th century shipwrighting techniques, materials and construction. In time-honoured fashion, she is built of one diagonal and one fore and aft skin of kauri on sawn kauri stringers. The deck is two skins, one of kauri, one of totara. She is copper fastened and stiffened with carefully selected pohutukawa knees and sawn kauri floors. For modern conditions she is fitted with an auxiliary engine, and the main hold is fitted out as a cabin. Measuring 60 feet with a maximum beam of sixteen foot six and a draft of water of six foot she is neither a large or small boat.

Her powerful brigantine rig spreads up to 11 sails, seen at her best when she won the 1991 Tall Ships Race. Before coming to the Maritime Museum, Breeze was involved in sail training with the Breeze Sailing Club. In 1985 she sailed to Mururoa to protest French nuclear testing taking the place of Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior which had been sunk by French agents in Auckland.

Breeze is lovingly maintained and sailed by Museum volunteers. She undertakes annual journeys to the Bay of Islands and the Mahurangi Regatta, and her heritage features have been required for filming a number of historical television shows.