Watch: 115-year-old Ariki, one of NZ's oldest sailing vessels, restored to its former beauty

A million-dollar face lift has seen one of NZ’s oldest sailing vessels restored to its former beauty.

The 115-year-old Ariki has been lovingly restored by her owner Andrew Barnes.

The vessel was the fastest boat on the Waitemata from 1905 right through to 1937.

However, when Mr Barnes took ownership she hadn't left the dock for the best part of a decade.

"She was very heavily waterlogged, not sinking, but deteriorating rapidly. Another 18 months and we'd have been doing salvage, not restoration," he told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp.

Master boatbuilder Robin Kenyon was then brought in to make her ship-shape again.

"It's all encompassing when you get involved in a refit like this.

"It's certainly the first thing you think about when you wake up and the last thing before you go to sleep," Mr Kenyon said.

Ariki's hull is solid kauri and she also features mahogany, teak and pohutakawa.

When asked how much the restoration cost him, Mr Barnes simply said, "A lot!"

Watch the video above to see the magnificent old vessel in action.

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Seven Sharp’s Carolyn Robinson went aboard the piece of salty Auckland history. Source: Seven Sharp