Amuri + Mahurangi Regatta


One of the woody spotters sent in the above photos of the launch – Amuri, hauled out at Gulf Harbour for some TLC. She falls into to the ‘great unknown’ category to me, and I’m told isn’t a local GH boat. Can anyone tell us more about Amuri?


Each year the amazing club behind the biggest one day wooden boating event in New Zealand – the Mahurangi Cruising Club, publish a year book, which is eagerly awaited by anyone with sawdust in their veins. Chatting with the editor and design guru – Steve Horsley, the 2022 edition was a challenge to pull together, little things like CV-19 got the way. But if you know Steve, you will know he is not one to let a wee flu bug stop the MCC producing the booklet. Always a great read and good value for money at $20.  If you are Auckland based, grab a copy at Boat Books in Westhaven – or for the out-of-towners contact Victor at ngairehopwood@waitematawoodys

Reading the programme for the 2022 event I see that CV-19 has been the death of the shore / beach based activity at Sullivans Bay – with no audience there, the Classic Woody Launch Parade would be a fizzer – might have to create something else for us woodys to do. Unfortunately the tide is all wrong for a trip up the river to Warkworth. Will put the thinking cap on. But do put a pencil around Sunday (30th) night in the diary – a gathering at the Kawau Boating Club is always popular.



The classic launch – Maybelle recently appeared on tme, so  thanks to the listing and Ian McDonald we get to have a good look at Maybelle.  Her tme listing has her from the Collings and Bell stable and 32’ 10” in length. She is powered by a Ford Lees 6 cyl. diesel engine that gets her along at 7>8 knots. Appears to be very well maintained and appointed. 
Can anyone confirm the parentage and where she has been  for the last 70+ years?

Help Wanted Locating A Vire Inboard Engine

Woody, Simon Smith has asked for help locating a Vire 7 hp, petrol, single cylinder inboard engine similar to the photograph below. The engines are made in Finland. Any help, even a suggestion as to where to look on line would be greatly appreciated.


Peter Flood


The launch Eldon was built in 1971 by Tauranga Boat Builders, so slips into the spirit of tradition woody category. The original owner was Eldon Jepson – thence the name.

Her specs are 48’ long and built with single skin kauri. It is believed that during construction, Tauranga boat builder Ted Gilpin, was often on hand, to assist in various ways, adding, the ”Gilpin touch,” which is very evident in her design & styling. When launched she was powered with twin Perkins 6-354 6 cyl. 130hp diesels.

Jepson sold her to an unknown person, not too long after she was built, who in turn, sold her to John Mayson, around the mid 1980’s. During John Mayson’s stewardship, of around 20+years, she was kept at Pine Harbour and used extensively for game fishing, from Tutukaka, up to North Cape, as well as general cruising, around the Hauraki Gulf.

She changed  hands again (06-05-2008), to Dean Pollock, who continued to keep her at Pine Harbour and later sold her (22-07-2010) to her present owner, Peter Flood. She was transported by road to the Kaipara Harbour, where she was initially moored at Pahi, but they had a major bird mess problem there, so she was moved to Tinopai, where she presently lives. 

In 2015 Peter Flood replaced the original 6-354 Perkins,130 hp with 2 x 6-354T, artificially aspirated 6 cyl. 1978 model Perkins, rated at 185 hp each. These had come out of 2 Commer fire engines, which had only done around 50,000Km., & having been in fire engines, had naturally been fastidiously maintained. Being a farmer and very handy, Peter marinized them himself. The engines were matched to the original Borg Warner gearboxes and heat exchangers off the original engines. He left the new engines with uncooled exhaust manifolds, which whilst they get warm, have created, no problems, in any way, as her engine room, under the bridge-deck floor, is apparently very well ventilated. The engines are mated up with a truck type silencer on each exhaust, with wet stainless steel exhausts for the last 4 feet, before they reached the hull skin fittings, so they are almost completely silent. 

Peter Flood commented to Ken Ricketts that Eldon is an important part of his family and she is used all the time. In the last photo above of Peter at her helm, on the Kaipara Harbour that Eldon appears to be in excellent condition.

Thanks to Ken Ricketts for pulling the core of this story together and special thanks to the following gents for sharing details and photos – Harold Kidd, Brian Worthington, John Mayson, Dean Pollock and Peter Flood.