The R. Tucker Thompson Sail Training Trust

The R. Tucker Thompson is operated by a not-for-profit charitable trust. All income derived from our tourism sailing activities are used for her maintenance, as well as providing a contribution to help Northland youth access the sail training voyages. In this way, the ship can continue to provide pleasure and learning to people of all ages; young and old, Māori and Pākehā, visitors and Northlanders alike.

The ship was originally owned in partnership by Tod Thompson, Greta Simmonds and Russell Harris until 1992, when Russell purchased Tod and Greta’s shares in the ship. On reaching retirement, Russell wanted to protect the future of this Northland icon and on 4 June 2006, transferred her into a Trust for the benefit of the people of Te Taitokerau Northland. Russell still remains involved on the Board of Trustees along with 7 others who contribute their time willingly so support the Trust.

Our Mission

The mission of the R. Tucker Thompson Sail Training Trust is:

Learning for Life through the Sea

Through embracing the values of Kaitiakitanga GuardianShip, we wish to:

  • Preserve the tradition of tall ship sailing and specifically the R. Tucker Thompson
  • Allow those who sail in her to learn more about who we are, where we come from and where we are going
  • Make a positive difference to the lives of those who come on board, whether for a day, a week or longer

Our Vision

  • To maintain the ship in top condition to therefore preserve the tradition of tall ship sailing and marlinspike skills
  • To provide a variety of activities and opportunities to enable and inspire as many people as possible to share in the R. Tucker Thompson
  • To promote local employment and the vocational growth of our community
  • To optimize trading (commercial) results in order to foster and promote training results
  • That the R.Tucker Thompson will be an iconic product in the Bay of Island, New Zealand
  • To create a secure financial base from which to expand the influence of the R.Tucker Thompson

Learning for Life through the Sea

Learning: about yourself, about your crew, colleagues and friends; about your environment, your history and your culture

Life skills: To have fun, to communicate, to be part of a team; to push yourself to new challenges and not be frightened of failure; to know who you are

Learning for life To use these skills to be a worthy member of your family or whanau, in your work as a supportive team member and trustworthy employee, with your friends as a good mate.



Youth Development voyages

Our Youth Development voyages will provide the opportunity for:

  • Building confidence
  • Learning about the environment
  • Learning about Northland and New Zealand history
  • Learning about sailing, navigation and safety at sea
  • Acquiring social skills
  • Cooking and nutritional skills
  • Gaining understanding between cultures
  • And above all, having fun!

Tourism Sailings

Our tourism sailings will allow:

  • Visitors to Northland to experience our beautiful Bay of Islands
  • Experience the tradition of tall ship sailing
  • Challenge themselves, if they wish, to try new things
  • The opportunity for young Northlanders to gain work experience
  • Young people to learn about the tourism and hospitality industry
  • The opportunity for crew to progress towards their Masters Ticket

Special sailings

Our Specialty sailings will allow for:

  • Learning about Taitokerau Northland and New Zealand history
  • Learning about our environment and Project Island Song’s restoration initiatives
  • Supporting partnerships that benefit the Bay of Islands and Taitokerau generally
  • Providing greater understanding of both Maori and Pakeha cultures generally
  • Learning about tall ship sailing and their traditions
  • Meeting new friends and learning about each other