Todays woody has just popped up on tme, thanks Ian McDonald, and no design / builder is mentioned – what we do know is that Puffin is 28’ in length, built in 1960 from kauri and powered by a Ford (Lees) 72hp diesel that gives her a 5>6 knot cruising speed.

Would be nice if we could ID the builder, the hull shape is quite ‘unique’.

Classic Launch Linda – A Birds Eye View

Classic Launch Linda – A Birds Eye View

The 1927 Colin Wild built launch – Linda, being one of the finest on the Waitemata has made numerous appearances on the WW site. One of the most engaging is at this link – https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/11/24/linda-3/

Today we get to see a view of Linda not often seen unless you are a seagull. Recently relaunch after a pre summer spruce up at The Slipway Milford prior to heading to the Bay of Islands for summer.

UPDATE – photo below ex Russell Brooke taken in Jan 2021 showing the two Colin Wild launches – Linda and Wirihana at anchor in the Bay of Islands

Manapouri Refit


Chatting last week with Mark Sorrenson, owner of the 43’ launch – Manapouri, that was built by Hector Parks, and he mentioned that he was part way thru a major refit of Manapouri. Obviously the request went out for photos, so today we get to have a peek at the work-in-progress. 

Manapouri has appeared several times before on WW – links below to those story. In the 1st link Marks gives us a great insight into her ownership history. The 2nd link is a doozy, if you scroll down Noel Fyfe (Parks) gives us a wonderful account of Manapouri’s backstory. 

In the gallery above we see Manapouri wrapped up in a tent / shelter that Mark helped build. A summary of the TO DO / DONE LIST below: 

• New fuel tanks and lines • Complete engine room paint • New bridge sole and beams • Reconfigured engine hatches• New sound proofing • Full rewire  • New dash • New gauges and chart plotter  • New auto pilot• Fibreglass decks • Extend cockpit roof • Full exterior repaint • new dorade boxes • new name plates • strip, repair & varnish bridge doors 

Marks words “Needless to say, I’m poor, tired and won’t be boating at Xmas” 🙂

Woody Boat Boot Sale – Report


The weather forecasters got it right on Saturday for the woody boat boot sale at The Slipway Milford – overcast / sunny till midday then showers – so perfect for the 14 vendors that set up shop at the yard to peddle / trade their wares. Best booty went to Russell Brooke and best result to Simon Smith who sold everything and most ever expensive items (when new) – he went away with a big smile and a fat wallet 🙂

Had a cool mix of vehicles – seems a lot of woodys either drive classic pickups or top of the range electric – Tesla.

Light on photos of stuff because it was just too busy to get near most tables.

Popped out the back of the shed to check out the woodys hauled out – Valsan getting the final prep b4 the Jason Prew paint job, Marline getting its annual TLC and a selection of smaller woody yachts – Ngahere and Maru.

A nice casual social catch up with the woody community + I personally picked up a few treasures for the glory box. And what am I going to do with one only bronze belay pin – the size of a pen ? It was too lonely and cute to not give a home to 🙂

And the pair of bronze good fortune stars were very quickly acquired  – to quote Davie & Co. in the UK – “A star on board encourages positive energy. It can make good things better and stops bad things getting worse’ I have in the past giftedthem to friends boats.

Classic Wooden Launch UHURU – Free (almost) To The Right Person

Classic Wooden Launch UHURU – Free (almost) To The Right Person

Now despite what CYA luminary Chad Thomson tells his toadies when they meet once a month in the telephone box in Myers Park – I’m actually a nice person and todays WW story is proof 🙂 Several weeks ago I as contacted by John (Jacky) McElwee who owns the launch Uhuru, John has reached a stage in life where owning a classic wooden boat is just too much of a challenge and he has asked me to help find the next custodian for his bridge decker – Uhuru.

The back story goes like this – built c.1900’s, using kauri planks and measuring 32’ x 9’ beam and a draft of 3’. She was built to do the cream run on Lake Rotorua, which she did for approx. 40 years, her next owners, 30 years, were the Nicol family and John has had her for 20 years – some impressive times there, must indicate she is a sea friendly boat. Nathan Herbert might be able to chip in and explain her special hull shape for shallow water running.  Current powered by a 1992 Nanni 43hp diesel. Obviously needs some TLC and possibly a few dollars spent here and there, but its afloat and the motor runs. 

Now woodys here is the deal – if your are a genuine straight up person and have a real passion for classic wooden boats – John will probably give you the boat, but I’d like to think that a ‘gift will ease the process of letting go of a 20 year relationship 🙂

Seriously interested parties in the first instance to contact John via email –   jackymcelwee0@gmail.com


Clinker Runabout – Seeke II

Clinker Runabout – Seeke II

You will have heard me in the past prattle on about the future growth of classic wooden boating being trailerable boats – something you can take home and tinker with. This growth is driven by two key factors – the cost of keeping a boat afloat (marina $) in any of our metropolitan cities and the maintenance of larger craft as the owners get older and less mobile.

Todays woody popped up on Lew Redwood’s fb and at the time the seller was looking for around $13k – try buying a classic car for those dollars.

Approx. 15’ in length and powered by a 25hp Evinrude.

Hopefully Seeke II sold and is now someones pride and joy 🙂


Ex 1930’s Pilot Boat

Ex 1930’s PILOT BOAT 

Todays woody was built by L C Coulthard, Onehunga in 1931 for the New Plymouth Harbour Board. Not sure of her name, possibly still called – ‘Pilot’ 36’ in length, these days she resides in Houhora, at the top of the North Island.

Interested to learn more about her and what powers her these days, looks like she could get along with that hull.

Photo below as launched. The photos come to us from John Dawson ex Graeme Kearney fb.

INPUT ex Paul Nattrass –

“Launch Pilot ” was her surveyed name but even more simply “Pilot ^ call sign.
Back in the early to mid 90s I was working for Sea-Tow Ltd barging coal into New Plymouth and said to the senior pilot that I would like to buy her he said that I would never get the opportunity, someone from the port would get her. however couple years later in a tender I made sure that I did just to prove him wrong.
The late Graeme Wigg and I steamed her round the top to Houhora
Had a 4 cylinder ford that I later changed to a 6.
The Capital Gbox 2:1 bolted straight on.
Has been a great predictable little work vessel that has taken on the new role of game boat with distinction that “Sucks up the fish”


Mystery Miller & Tunnage – Tuatea

TUATEA – Miller & Tunnage

If we believe her tme listing todays woody ws built in 1936 by Miller and Tunnage.

36’ in length she has a 60hp BMC diesel that gets her along at a top speed of 11.5 knots.

Home is Whangarei in the north and that woodys is all me know about her – can we put a name to her and expand on her past.

Heads up on Saturdays Woody Boat Boot Sale at The Slipway Milford yard – we have some serious collectors of marine ‘stuff’ dusting off their lockers so should be some treasure up for sale – remember CASH ONLY.

INPUT ex Paul Drake – The boat is TUATEA. Photos below of her on the Paremata Harbour in the 1980’s. I was told that she was Miller and Tunnage, about 1925. She was a Lyttelton boat, and went to Picton after I photographed her. Subsequently, while on her Ivy Bay (Paremata) mooring, she was struck by lightning and required extensive rebuilding. Whoever rebuilt her did a magnificent job. She re appeared at Seaview Marina, Wellington. Interesting that she is now in Whangarei.  She appeals to me because she is a straight stemmer (nearly), has a full length sweeping belting, is low wooded, has port holes, and has a mast! What more could you want. Note that she is clearly not a double ender.

25-11-2022 INPUT ex Harold Kidd – TUATEA was designed and built by Jas. McPhersoin of Dunedin for Jack Hudson of Cadbury, Fry, Hudson chocolate manufacturers in late 1930.Hudson moved to Christchurch and took TUATEA with him, basing TUATEA at Lyttelton. There were various statements that she was built by Miller & Tunnage and even by J. Miller Ltd of Lyttelton, but not so. Original engine a 30hp Thornycroft. In NAPS as Z124 1942-4 skipper Magnus Smith.

Westhaven Marina 1969 – Who Owned the RR

Westhaven Marina 1969 – Who Owned the RR

The above 1969 photo popped up on fb back in June of this year – it would appear that the photographer is G Riethmaier and its ’saved’ in Archives NZ.

Quite a few woody yachts hauled out at the long gone area thats now board-walk – to me the stand out is the Rolls Royce casually parked amongst the cradles and trestles.

Any guesses as to the owner and which yacht it was linked to?


Haunui Restoration Update #5

Haunui Restoration Update #5

Well woodys 4 months have slipped by since I last popped my head into the tented shed that is currently home to the 1948 Colin Wild built launch – Haunui. To master boatbuilder Paul Tingey and his team it probably seems longer, always does on the down hill run – but wow, I was gobsmacked – without doubt NZ’s grandest restoration. 

There is enough electrical systems on board to do an AirBus A350 proud, but tastefully hidden away. On the subject of being hidden away – the s/s mast/tower set up that you can see in one of the photos will be encased in a discreet ’ships’ funnel.

As I left the team were getting ready to start the topside painting – lots of love on the end of a long board for some poor soul 🙂

Enjoy the photo gallery – as always click on photos to enlarge.

Links To Previous Haunui Restoration Updates Below 

https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/11/13/haunui-restoration/ https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/04/28/haunui-restoration-update-2-woody-classic-event-dates/ https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/11/24/haunui-restoration-update-3/ https://waitematawoodys.com/2022/07/25/haunui-restoration-update-4/