TURONGO – Once In A Lifetime Opportunity 

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TURONGO – Once In A Lifetime Opportunity 

Turongo has had a very low profile on the classic boating scene, as she spends most summers in the Bay of Islands.
Turongo is the biggest of the 5 Colin Wild inspired, John Salthouse built motor-yachts. The term ‘launch’ just doesn’t fit a vessel of her elegance and bearing, she is the Bentley of the wooden boating world.
Her vital specs are – built 1966, one year after Trinidad, 56’ in length with a 14’6” beam, she draws 5′ but unlike Trinidad and the earlier launched Lady Crossley, she was the recipient of at the time, some radical design which sees her only drawing 18”at the stern, this along with her twin CAT 3208 diesels results in Turongo being able to do up to 18 knots under power.
Turongo is a very lucky boat, she has been in the same family for the last 25+ years and been very well maintained thru-out this period. She was originally built for JR Butcher and after launching sat on a mooring for a period of time waiting for her two 200hp Cummins V8’s to arrive from the States both of which had been extracted from a tractor unit. They were installed and fitted out by John Butcher and his son Tony,  both gents were in the engineering business. Even back then with the smaller motors, she had an impressive turn of speed..
In recent times she has received the Uroxsys ‘varnish’ finish.
Well woodys, the headline kind of gave the game away – Turongo is for sale and it really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own one of the best classic motor-yachts in NZ. Her owner has made the decision to hand the keys to the next custodian – so who will it be?
Whoever it is had better act quickly, her owner is very realistic in terms of price and after making the difficult decision to let her go, wants a sale. Take my word for it, Turongo will not be on the market for long.
Initially expressions of interest should be directed to  waitematawoodys@gmail.com
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Happy Hours V13

 

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Photo below taken when Happy Hours was collected ready to transport to Alan Craig’s shed.

 

HAPPY HOURS V13
 
I have been contacted by Alan Craig from Craig Marine looking for he next owner of the18’ mullet boat – Happy Hours V13. 
Built by Billy Rogers in 1949 to an earlier Logan design, she was a copy of Secret  (V3) but is a much fuller boat so must have been modified during building. She was first owned by Billy Rogers’ brother in-law and then by Lieutenant Commander J. Lennox-King.
 
Happy Hours is currently sitting in one of Alan’s sheds waiting to be finished. But Alan commented that he has not been near it in a couple of years, he is a very in demand wooden boat builder and the current work schedule is very motor-boat focussed.
The yacht was acquired from the NZ Traditional Boatbuilding School before being passed on to Alan. 
I understand that Alan’s exceptions in terms of a price are not great, he is more interested in Happy Hours going to a good home.
Alan has the mast and rudder plus fittings etc for it too.
 
So woodys – anyone looking for a classic wooden boat project?
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23-09-2019 Input from Robin Elliott

Owners:
N.C. Wensor 1949?/52+?; F. Simkins 1955?/56+?; Peter & Frederick Boyle 1958+?; R.D. Wood 1959?/60+?; Lt.Cdr J. Lennox-King 1961?/68+? ; Dean Herbison 2007/16+?; Alan Craig ?/2019+?

Happy Hours was built for Noel Wensor (billy’s Bro’ in law) in 1949. Lennox-King did not own her until the early 1960’s. Dean Herbison bought her in 2007 when she was hauled out at Okahu Bay.

Maree Anne

 

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MAREE ANNE 
Anne Maree was built in 1950, kauri planked, 26’ in length and powered by a 3 cylinder Lister18hp Lister diesel engine.
Home port is Dargaville, Northland.
Thanks to Ian McDonald for the heads up on this woody.
That folks is all me know – anyone able to expand on her provenience ?

Patina

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PATINA
Patina’s trademe listing states she was built in 1906 from double plank kauri, measures 39’ in length and is powered but 54hp Yanmar diesel engine. Cruise speed is 8>9 knots.
Home port is Chaffers Marina, Wellington.
The photos do not show it but she has a torpedo shaped stern.
Can anyone expand on what we know about this woody?
A lot of windows to clean 🙂
Harold Kidd Input –  PATINA was built by Ernie Lane at Picton in 1913, not 1906, as LA REINE (“The Queen”) for C.W. Philpotts of the Sounds Motor Launch Company as a passenger vessel. She was originally fitted with a 20hp Bolinder semi-diesel reversing engine. Later she went fishing out of New Plymouth with a Fairbanks-Morse and spent time recently in Tauranga too.

Des Townson  – A Sailing Legacy

 

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Des Townson  – A Sailing Legacy

Back in July Brian Peet contacted me about his latest book publishing project, Des Townson – A Sailing Legacy. Brian asked if I would like to attend the launch night, a smallish gathering in the dinghy locker at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron – of course I said yes and a few days later an advance copy of the book arrived via courier. Well that buggered my plans for that day 🙂
I later asked Brian if I could sneak a couple more onto the invite list, which happened. Then Brian lets me know that things have snow balled and the launch was now in the main ballroom at the RNZYS, things had stepped up a few notches.
Fast forward to last night and the who’s who of yachting is crammed into the Squadron. My guess would be 400+ people. Speakers were the Squadron Commodore Ian Cook, Des’s younger brother – Bill Townson and Brian Peet. Ian built six Zephyrs under Des Townson’s supervision, won the National Champs in 1980. Bill Townson is a skilled boatbuilder, yacht designer and amphibian aircraft designer/builder.
I sneaked in early any took a few photos and videos of some of the exhibits, which included a Starling, Zephyr, Mistral and a 1956 replica of Des Townson’s first commercial design Nimble. What most caught my eye, was the Townson 2.4m dinghy on display that had just been built by Allan Hooper at the NZ Traditional Boatbuilding School. Its for his own use, but if you ask me it should be should be on display somewhere. Talking to Allan I understand the school will have ‘build your own’ kits and how to classes – perfect opportunity to own a Townson.
I later filmed Brian’s talk / presentation, see below – it is a wonderful insight into how the book came about and challenges Brian had over the 10 years it took to complete it.
 
As I have said before – its a great read, buy it, you won’t be sorry – as Brian said last night – it is a “sailing book, about a sailor, written by a sailor”.
 
Enjoy the video, then buy the book – either via the website https://destownson.co.nz  or if you prefer to do a bank transfer, email Brian with your name and postal address and he will reply with bank account details – its that easy  brian@destownson.co.nz 
 
Oops nearly forgot –  Details on how to win a copy of the book on WW, later in the week.

 

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The Story of Marguerite

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The Story of Marguerite

Some boats are very lucky and others seem to have a hex on them – Marguerite was one of those boats.
 
On Sunday I posted a black & white photo of the 1948, 42’ Des Donovan built launch – Marguerite on WW as a ‘Mystery Launch’ tease. Surprisingly no one ID’s the boat, she did appear on WW back in 2014 (link below). In this story we read about how she was effectively ’skuttled’ at the back of Rangitoto Island and the subsequent insurance claim / prosecution. Ken Rickets also told us about an oops just prior to her launching, details in the link.
 
Over the weekend I was contacted by Christoph  Hoessly who relayed ex his mother – Margaret Cooper (nee McLeod) – the story of a grounding off Motuhue Island in 1949 – I’ll let Christoph’s mother tell the story in her words, below.
But the questions today are:
 
1. Can anyone tell us the name of the culprit that sank her? and what became of them. Was Tom the Torch around back then?
2. Was the boat re-floated and if so what became of her?
 
Margaret’s story below
 

“The motor launch Marguerite (named after the owner’s wife) was built in the Ponsonby boatyard of builder Des Donovan in 1948. She was commissioned by my father Ken McLeod of Rotorua and was 42 feet long and built of solid Kauri without a single join.

Usually, the boat was moored at Tauranga but from time to time Ken sailed it up the coast to Auckland.  It was on one of these trips, I believe it was in 1949 that he decided to take it to Motuhue Island because I had a friend who was a young naval officer stationed at the base there and it was decided to take him out for the day. 

On board were Ken’s wife, myself and an old friend of Ken’s, Mick Fahey, his wife Zelda and daughter Robin. On the way Ken decided to investigate a minor problem in an engine so he gave the helm to Mick with instructions to head for a certain headland. Within about 10 minutes there was a terrible thud. Mick had misinterpreted Ken’s instructions and the boat had hit a rock. 

It started taking on water and Ken hunted in vain for what was obviously a hole in the hull. It eventually transpired that it was under a locker in the bow and almost impossible to reach. Meanwhile the situation required removing all but the two men from the boat to the island and seeking help as fast as possible.

All the others were put in the dinghy and I rowed them ashore. The rocks all over the beach were hard to navigate in bare feet but eventually I reached the naval station where I found the captain hoeing his vegetable garden! He was immediately galvanised into action to try at least to tow the boat to safety.

Meanwhile Ken had managed to reverse the boat off the rock on which it was stuck and had almost beached it nearby. The captain rallied his young naval trainees who completed the beaching task with a couple of lifeboats.

Next day, the Marguerite was repaired sufficiently by Des Donovan to be towed to his boat yard and eventually repaired both inside and out. The tide had gone through the hull overnight and a good deal of the interior had to be replaced. 

Mercifully, the insurance company paid for the entire cost of the repairs.

The McLeod family subsequently had many wonderful holidays on the Marguerite not withstanding Rita’s low tolerance of rough seas!

Eventually after Ken retired he felt that he could no longer manage the boat safely on his own (the real Marguerite got terribly sea sick and did her best to be enthusiastic about boating) so it was sold to someone who assured Ken that he would take good care of it.

Within a year or so this owner had on sold it to another person, now unknown. Their motive for buying it is still a mystery but within a short time the Marguerite was reported sunk at the back of Rangitoto Island.

The insurance company “smelled a rat” and did a thorough investigation which revealed that the boat had been deliberately scuttled in order to claim the insurance. Anything of any value such as the compass and other nautical gear of any value was gone.

I do not know whether the hull was ever returned to Auckland but the whole dreadful history was heart breaking for Ken.”

Des Townson – A Sailing Legacy 
I’m a little excited today (it doesn’t take much – I’m a country boy at heart) because tonight is the launch of Brian Peet’s brilliant Des Townson book at the RNZYS. I was privileged to get a preview copy and have been devouring it for the last 3 weeks – its a monster, 343 pages and packed with insights, intel, line drawings and photos. Post the launch I will do a WW review on the book, but Woodys, save your pennies this is a must have.
And even better news for the those of Scottish descent – I will be giving a copy away on WW, but with the daily WW followers/readers being so big these days – best you buy a copy 🙂 More details tomorrow 😉
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Mystery Launch at Clevedon

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Mystery Launch at Clevedon

I feel that ID’ing the above photo, dated c1912,  will be a big ask, but hopefully Harold Kidd will come to the rescue 🙂
An overnight trip up the Clevedon River is on the cards for a Woodys Classics Weekend in 2020. I missed the last trip up the river so really looking forward to this one.
No one was able to ID Sundays mystery launch, so all will be revealed on Wednesday, which will include an interesting twist 😉
I saw this & being a dog owner it rang my bell – so true 🙂
DOG T Ball