White Heron


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WHITE HERON

Other than her name & that I took the photos in early Jan 2017 at Waiheke Island, today’s launch – White Heron, is a total mystery to me, but I’m sure we will be able to uncover more on her.

Input from Michael Goldfinch (owner)

I am currently White Heron’s “custodian”… for the last 3 years anyway. Harold, you’re quite correct: she’s a 1967 Brin Wilson that I bought in Tauranga.  A lovely boat I’ve already had a lot of enjoyment out of, including 3 trips to the Barrier.  Power from the original Ford 100 HP which pushes her along at about 8.5 knts. Never missed a beat.  Had an major make over externally about a year before I acquired her, and I’m currently in the process of doing a major repaint / re-varnish internally.  Resides at the OBC.

I’ve made a few changes – and still am – including new canvas and going for more subtle signage. 

A Woodys 104th Birthday Party


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A Woodys 104th Birthday Party

We don’t normally do Happy Birthday stories on ww but today is a little special – Keith Dawson is celebrating his 104th birthday. Keith these days resides in Port Macquarie, Australia but 82 years ago he skippered the 34’ ketch Seaward.

Below is a NZ Herald article of 5/10/1935 written by Leslie Crago about a day trip down harbour on Seaward. This article was sent to me by Ross Dawson, Keith’s ‘younger’ brother.

In the article Les Crago refers to himself as the ‘mate’ & while the skipper is not named Ross is confident it’s his brother Keith. Life was a lot harder back then without a motor J

The ‘girls’ onboard may have included the brother’s sister, who turns 101 next month. Good genes in the Dawson family.

Speaking with Harold Kidd he mentioned that he had Leslie Crago’s photograph album that included photos of Seaward on this trip or one similar, these are the b/w ones above.

So Keith Dawson Happy Birthday from all us woodys & I’m sure you will be pleased to see the old girl is still sailing the Waitemata J

Input from Neil Chalmers – The same Keith Dawson who along with his mate Dick Wellington sailed  the 26 foot  ‘Roxane ‘ (built by Lou Tercel and his brothers) from Auckland to Sydney in 1937.
Neil tells me Keith’s  book about this voyage -‘Voyage of the Roxane’ is a good read, I must hunt a copy down.

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How Serious Are They About Selling?


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How Serious Are They About Selling?

The above 36′ gaff rigged motor sailer is powered by a 60hp Ford diesel & is made of wood – that is all her ad tells us. Now if that was enough to get you fizzing at the bung with ownership anticipation, the photos would surely close the deal – yeah right……………… A few hours with a bucket of warm water & some sugar soap + off loading all the cr_p would help sell this boat, but then maybe the owner doesn’t really want to sell her?

Tangmere


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TANGMERE

I was recently contacted by John Wicks who told me that Tangmere had been purchased by serial boat-restorer Dave Browne, who along with John Wright will be restoring the launch. With those twos credentials we can expect good things. ww will follow the project with great interest.
The guys we asking for any information on her origins and history – well gents thanks to ww & Harold Kidd we can help you, see below.
The photos of her moored off Te Atatu BC below are ex Nathan Herbert, the marina ones above are from John Wicks.

Input below from Harold Kidd ex Bill Endean, W.J. (Bill) Endean’s son & Tony Mason.
1. She was named after the RAF station in Sussex from which W.J. flew Lancasters in WW2.
2. The hull was built by Shipbuiilders Ltd. in 1949.
3. She had a 100hp Osco Mercury V8 conversion originally.
4. W.J. designed and built the cabin. Aeronautical influences are clear.
5. W.J. and Tony Mason were contemporary RNZAF officers and shared a common passion for planing hulls.
6. When W.J. sold TANGMERE to Ken Prangnell,most likely c.1958, he bought a Marlin 19 from Tony Mason and fitted a Ford V8. She was called HUBBLY BUBBLY after the exhaust noise at idle.
7. K. A. Prangnell still owned her in 1973. HDK photographed her hauled out at Te Atatu BC in 2009.

Any woodys able to expand on her ownership details?

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Norita


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NORITA

Norita started life in 199 as a replica steam launch but was later converted to diesel – a 29hp Yanmar 3YM30 diesel pushes her along. She measure 30′ with a 7’6″ beam.Their boiler is not functional but the rest of the steam engine is still fitted. She is 4sale on trademe, buy her & install a little dry ice > smoke generator in her funnel & use her to take unsuspecting tourists for waterfront cruises.

So the question of the day is direct at Russell Ward who will be able to tell us more about S.L. Norita

Input from Daniel Hicks

The story of Norita and her ‘sister ship’ Eliza Hobson is definitely an interesting one, and is a perfect demonstration of the romance of traditional boats overtaking reality. The story began in 1996, when Alan Brimblecombe was looking for somewhere to work on Swan. A local Warkworth boat building start up, Willis Glenn Marine offered him space in their Hudson Road shed. While working on Swan one afternoon, he invited the company owners for a ride on Zeltic, then his active steam launch. They were enthralled by it. Alan commented that a slightly bigger vessel, of about 30 feet could possibly be a saleable item. Amazingly, a few days later they came to him and suggested that they could start building steamboats, but they needed guidance. At this point Alan suggested that a slightly stretched version of Puke be built, 30 feet instead of 26 with a suitably sized compound engine running at low revs, and a cabin to allow for inclement weather. Alan drew up a profile view of the vessel, gave them Puke’s lines and got on with his work.

A few days later they popped the computer drawn design in front of him, but boy oh boy, it wasn’t what he’d suggested. Suddenly the boat had gained full headroom and had grown in beam by about a foot, but the real issue was below the waterline, Puke’s beautiful hull had been lost to something that more closely resembled a wineglass, ie the buoyancy was very high up, with a fine deep hull underneath. Despite protestations that it wasn’t a steamboat hull, they said they were going to build it! The hull design really bears very little resemblance to Puke, or any other steamboat for that matter. The plug was started, and Zeltic was brought into the workshop for a cosmetic refurbishment before being taken to the boat show. A lovely full colour brochure was produced, and Zeltic was set up at the boat show, providing steam to the steambox while the boat builders re-ribbed Alans longboat. Zeltic was awarded best in show display. At the show, three orders were placed (although I suspect there were only two actual orders, the third being a friend of Willis). Alfie Des Tombes ordered boat number one (Norita), and Alan Lambourne ordered boat number two (Eliza Hobson) for commercial use.

Work started on the boats with a planned delivery of boat number 1 on the 21st of December in Wellington (to be launched by the floating steam crane Hikitia) with Eliza Hobson to be commissioned on Boxing Day at the Maritime Museum in Auckland. Unfortunately reality was very different, and as December approached it was obvious that two boats weren’t going to be ready, one being a possibility. It was decided that the best publicity would be achieved by launching Eliza Hobson first, so Norita was sidelined and a huge push was made to get Eliza in action. With the boiler in place, and most of the engine mounted, the boat was lowered into the water at West Harbour Marina, where she promptly lay over on her beam ends! The computer calculations had said that she needed ballast, but the builders believed that she didn’t need it as the machinery would weigh her down (had they built a stretched Puke this would be the case). The engineers were dispatched to get plenty of pig iron and put it in the bilges. Two days later, and on an even keel, she was towed by John Hager in Matui into the museum for “commissioning”, the engineers having been unable to finish her in time. She was towed to Warkworth, finished off and put through Marine Department survey. With the correct amount of lead in the bilge, she passed her stability test. The only real issue was that the propeller designed for her by Henleys was totally wrong, and she could only do 4.5 knots. Later on a correct sized prop was made and fitted and she worked reasonably well, although the machinery space was made unnecessarily tight due to the proximity of the head compartment (which was right beside the boiler).

With Eliza Hobson delivered, Norita stood a chance of being finished, but then Willis Glenn Marine went into liquidation, building steamboats didn’t actually pay! About this time Eliza Hobson was put into a violent roll by a ferry off Browns Island, sufficient to rolls the drawers out and spill coal from her bunker. Despite the stability calculation, those who had no experience with tender vessels declared she was dangerous, and she was taken out of action and taken to the engineers to be rebuilt. A new hull was grafted onto the outside of the old hull, the head removed, the machinery moved forward and work headed towards a much fatter Eliza Hobson. The hull was subsequently moved to Kevin Johnstones yard in Devonport, and was replaced by Norita. Eliza Hobson re-entered survey with a much larger machinery space, but no forward cabin seating.

The engineers convinced Alfie to build a new set of machinery for Norita, a water tube boiler and smaller twin simple engine, the aim being to give her a lower centre of gravity and less machinery weight than Eliza Hobson, as Alan had convinced Alfie not to have the hull widened. Like Eliza, Norita lost her forward cabin accommodation, the space being taken up her large water tube boiler, with the engine now beside the still extent head compartment. The coal bunker was now located under the foredeck hatch. Norita was launched at Gulf Harbour in early 1999, and both she and Eliza Hobson were both together at Clevedon for that years Auckland Steam Engine Society Clevedon Steam Meet, along with Zeltic, the inspiration for them. Norita was subsequently shipped to Wellington, and used by Alfie for dignified day cruises in the inner harbour.

To finish the story off, Eliza underwent another rebuild of her machinery in Warkworth in about 2002, and we steamed her north to the Bay of Islands in an epic 26 hours of steaming over two days. Alan Lambourne eventually tired of her, and sold her on. She is I believe currently dead on the Waikato River, her new owner having run the boiler out of water. Norita eventually suffered from a few leaking boiler tubes due to corrosion (probably due to rain down her funnel), and the boiler was removed, the engine moved forward and the diesel fitted in its place. The boiler is at Steam and Machinery in Wanganui, and may be rebuild-able, Colonial Ironworks have a partly completed identical boiler. Of the original machinery partly built for Norita, the boiler is now in use in Puke, and the reversing gear from the engine is on the engine in Greenbank.

Norita could be put back into steam, and be a good steam launch, and Eliza with a new or rebuilt boiler would also be good. Both boats worked in their finished forms. I’m certain that Norita would have worked well with the original machinery, I very much doubt it was much heavier than what went into her (and I know the weights of Eliza’s machinery), and she would have been both fast and economical. Eliza definitely needed the bigger machinery in her final form, being a much heavier and less slippery hull.

Hopefully someone gets hold of Norita and does her justice, a few tweaks could make her a lot prettier, and if they don’t want the machinery, new homes could be found for it.

Sir Peter Blake & Bandit


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Sir Peter Blake & Bandit
When Sir Peter was 18 & living at the family home in Bayswater he built his first keeler, Bandit, on the front lawn, as people did in those days 🙂
Bandit was discovered recently in a shed at Warkworth & purchased by The Classic Yacht Charitable Trust who have restored her & she will shortly be on permanent display at Auckland’s Maritime Museum. The photo above shows Bruce Tantrum from the CYCT supervising the weighing of Bandit for the manufacture of the Museum installation brackets. Ian Cook & the Yachting Development (YDL) team have done a magnificent job on the restoration.

WW has been contacted by Shirley-Ann McCrystal, the CYCA’s secretary, asking for help joining the dots on Bandits past. The CYCA are producing a register of Bandits ownership, but have some blank slots, Sir Peter’s brother Tony and members of his family cannot recall who Sir Peter sold her to in 1968/69? so today’s ww story is a shout up to any woody that may have known any of Bandits previous owners.

KNOWN OWNERSHIP
CYCT – 2013 – present)
Viv Wyatt – (1999? – 2013)
Mike Sharp ? – 1999?

So woody’s can you put the thinking cap on – any input will be most appreciated, you can rely via the ww comments section or email me on waitematawoodys@gmail.com

Once Bandit is installed at the Maritime Museum ww will do a full story on the recovery & restoration of Bandit.
Below are some photos of the original build & 2013 recovery – you can view more here http://www.classicyachtcharitabletrust.org.nz/gallery.htm?gallery_id=53
If your interested to read / view more on The Classic Yacht Charitable Trust & their fleet – view here http://www.classicyachtcharitabletrust.org.nz/

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Input from Robin Elliott
Bandit was launched with sail number E-260 possibly late 1967 but more likely early 1968. Sea Spray October 1967 reported that Peter Blake had almost completed the hull of a 24ft Van de Stadt Buccaneer design.

I first see her racing ( in print) in Sea Spray December 1968 which reports her racing with RAYC’s JOG Donaghy’s Trophy series.

SS Apr 1969: Racing in RAYC’s J.O.G. class events.
SS May 1969: Racing DYC Regatta.
AAR 1970: Entered Channel Island Race
SS Mar 1970: Racing DYC Points series.
SS Apr 1970: Racing DYC 40 mile single handed. 1st place.

In 1969 she took NZYF number 660.
Peter Blake appears to sell her in 1970 to J.A Dunnett 527 Beach road Murrays Bay who entered her in the 1971 Anniversary Regatta.
Dunnett owns her until at least 1973/74 where he has her on the register of RAYC.
NZYF has her registered to Dunnett right up to 1980 but it’s anybody’s guess whether this is accurate or not.
After 1980 she vanishes and has no registered owners.

One more thing. I see from the NZCYT website that:
“Peter, Tony and Crawford won the New Zealand Junior Offshore Group Championship in the 1968-69 season.”
I believe this surfaced a few years back in Alan Sefton’s book on Peter Blake but might not be strictly accurate. Does a plaque or cup exist to confirm this?
According to Jack Potter, one of the founders of the JOG movement and member of  RAYC’s JOG Committee, the JOG scene was driven by a bunch of young enthusiasts centered around RAYC, and barely a season old when Bandit was launched. There was no recognised National or NZ competition. Everything was centered around RAYC and supplemented by other yacht clubs such as DYC that held long distance races.
What Bandit possibly did win that year was the RAYC JOG championship. It so, it was possibly the first such championship for JOG boats, but it was not as such ‘a New Zealand JOG championship’.
The RAYC trophy list records Bandit 1968/69 as winning the Satanita Rose Bowl, presented by Ron Wilkie 100 mile JOG Classic.
The Satanita Rose Bowl is the only RAYC trophy carrying Bandit’s name
Check with Jack Potter for clearer details. I can furnish his phone number if anyone is interested.

Sea Spray’s reporting for these events was rather minimal at the time, so everything is open to correction. Maybe someone has some Herald/Star cuttings that can expand things?

 

22-05-2017 Input from Craig Johnson

I sailed on Bandit for 2 season’s – maybe 3. The owner was John Dunnett(?) and I’m reasonably confident that he purchased her off Peter Blake. She was moored on a swing mooring in Bayswater. We had a sister ship called Yunta – owned by Richie Schofield that we had many a good time with racing and cruising. The toilet was a plastic bucket and to use it you had to sit on the bucket with your head out of the for’ard hatch. Was always a time of much humour when the Bandit or Yunta crew had that call of nature. Every yachtie in the bay knew what was going on. One Christmas John D, Keith Randle & myself sailed Bandit North for a couple of weeks cruising. We made it to Mangonui which was like a great adventure for us al on a 24 foot boat. The year would have been around 1973 -75. Would love to see Bandit again and John Dunnett. He worked for Gibson Patterson back then as a Sales Rep. His wife was Eleanor and they lived in Murrays Bay.

Blackfish


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BLACKFISH

Today’s woody has no name but was built to a set of plans, labelled ‘Blackwood’, ex the USA  ‘The Rudder’ magazine, refer below blueprints. It appears that her designer was A. Mason.
She was built in 1960 using kauri carvel planking & last year was re-corked & painted.
At nearly 23′ & with that hull shape, her 35hp diesel would push her along nicely.
Looking below everything just seems to proportionally fit & there is even a double berth, a rarity on a motorboat of this size.

While she would be a great over nighter anywhere, I can just see her on Lake Rotoiti, helped also by a 1’11” draft. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the trademe heads up.

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