A Northland charity could soon be giving disadvantaged kids a chance to experience sailing after comedian and mental health campaigner Mike King was inundated with offers of help to get a donated yacht shipshape.
On Tuesday evening King put up a post on his Facebook page appealing for help to get the 26-foot (8m) yacht anti-fouled, so it could be sailed to the Bay of Islands and handed over to ''a very worthy charity''.
The comedian explained the yacht's owner had died about six months ago and his family wanted to give his beloved boat, a Raven 26, to a group that works with disadvantaged kids rather than sell it.
The man's daughter contacted King, asking if he knew any suitable recipients, and sent him some photos of the yacht.
''To be honest I was expecting a dinghy but as you can see it is not a little rowboat, it's an actual yacht,'' King said.
''Anyway, we found a very worthy charity in Kerikeri who work with kids and are very excited by this unexpected gift, but before we can send the yacht to them we need to have it anti-fouled.''
In a little over 12 hours King's post had been shared more than 200 times and had attracted more than 250 comments with enough offers of help to make an entire flotilla of yachts shipshape.
Pine Harbour Marina in Auckland — not far from Panmure River, where the boat is currently moored — has offered to haul it out of the water and provide a hardstand without charge, while the Panmure Yacht and Boating Club also offered slip the yacht and rope in club members to do the work.
Other marine painters offered to do the anti-fouling in Auckland and Opua, while marine equipment suppliers said they would donate anti-foul paint and an Okaihau sparkie offered to check the electrics. Others offered cash to help cover the costs, a free engine service, transport to Kerikeri and more.
Andrew King, operations manager at Pine Harbour Marine Services, based at Pine Harbour Marina, said staff had brought Mike King's post to his attention late on Tuesday.
The comedian responded yesterday and the two Kings were now arranging a date for the work to begin.
''It just seems like a good cause. Everyone here has a lot of respect for Mike King, for what he does in the community around depression — so we were like, we'll jump on board.''
An engineer and an electrician based at the marina had also offered to make sure the yacht was in top condition when it was handed over, Andrew King said.
The identity of the charity set to receive the boat has yet to be revealed.