Video shows a tour through the boat Sir Peter Blake died on

The boat sailing legend Sir Peter Blake died aboard has returned to New Zealand for the first time since his death 16 years ago, and Newshub has been given an exclusive tour on board.

Seamaster has since been renamed Tara, and has stopped in New Zealand halfway through a two-year voyage studying coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean.

During the tour, Tara's new captain Samuel Audrain told Newshub's Samantha Hayes the boat looks almost identical to when Sir Peter was on board.

And the memory of Sir Peter is always on board. A framed photo of him hanging below deck as the schooner continues the work he held so dear.

He died on board the boat at the mouth of the Amazon River in 2001 at age 53, shot while trying to defend his crew from pirates. They were one year into a five-year journey filming places of ecological significance, planning to make a documentary series.

At his widow Pippa, Lady Blake's request, the boat has gone on to continue the work Sir Peter started.

Tara will be officially welcomed back to New Zealand on Saturday, sailing into Auckland's Viaduct Harbour, back home for nine days.

Tara will then head back out to continue her scientific work.

Newshub