Four Winds

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C1975

Below Photos c1977

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FOUR WINDS
I was recently contacted by Stuart Windross in regard to the 30′ launch Four Winds, built c.1936 by Dick Lang. At the time Stuart promised to send in a selection of photos from the 1970’s, when they  owned her. I have to say I was blown over when I received the email – what an amazing history of the woody. Its a great tale – I’ll let Stuart tell it. Enjoy 🙂

My Mum and Dad and I  (Shirley and Alistair – now both decesased- and Stuart Windross) owned Four Winds from 1975 to 1979. We bought it in close to sinking condition from the previous owner who we understand had a very rough trip back from Barrier and pretty much walked off her.  There were dirty dishes in the sink and a healthy dose of mould on all surfaces when we purchased her.  There was water up to our knees in the forward cabin.  She was very close to both sinking and having water through the engine.  Luckily we got to her just in time.  When we towed her off her pile moorings in Panmure she left a health dust trail from nearly a metre of trailing mussels etc.  
Once restored she was a lovely sea worthy vessel with its original Dick Lang – built dinghy that fitted the davits exactly.  The Mk3 Ford Zodiac petrol engine (shudder) was reliable and cruised at 2000rpm at 2.5 gallons per hour.  The rumble of her exhaust was fairly noisy though!.
Her layout was original except for the galley and a superb use of space (see pics) with: 
  • copper fuel tank across the stern
  • helm to  port aft at the front end of a seat/locker (with its excellent horizontal wheel well placed to rest feet on when sitting on the hatch edge). The steering worked via the vertical shaft, heavy duty rack and pinion, and two rods connected by a idler quadrant in the aft quarter.
  • Galley with fridge and cooker starboard aft.  Remarkable were the ‘Rovers Return’ style hand pumps that supplied water to both the sink and the handbasin forward. They delivered a pint at a time as the brass and porcelain handle was pulled to 45 degrees. 
  • Saloon with full length berths/seating ea side that could be converted to bunks (canvas and steel pole to support the back squab). Forward of each bunk was a cupboard/locker. The starboard one was for crockery, etc with captain’s locker underneath. The port one housed exhaust, header tank, tools, spares etc. Water tanks were under the bunks. The decorative panels around the port holes in the cabin sides were a burgundy style textured type of linoleum in a pebble motif. The squabs initially had their soft brown leather covers but need replacing due to water and mould damage.
  • Engine forward centre in the saloon with tilt-up sides creating a table. The engine was a Lees Marine conversion cooled by both keel tubes and a large brass heat exchanger fed by a Jabsco sea water pump. The pulley for this was corroded away to shaft level when we got her indicating the level of the bilge water. The gearbox activated by a hefty lever at the helm was a 2:1 reduction ‘Paragon’. 
  • The forward cabin was separated by a sliding door forward of the engine and had full headroom for the first metre or so. It housed a double berth to port and a beautiful kauri dresser and wardrobe to starboard. The chrome fiddle rail can be seen in the pics. Under the berth were batteries, switchboard, and massive storage. A chart rack was above between the deck beams with a fascinating range of charts showing the Four Winds had travelled far afield in her heyday.
  • In the bow were an anchor locker aft of which was the heads (copper funnel with outlet to starboard – no holding tanks then) and a handbasin tucked port side (again with porcelain pint pump). Flush (and deck washdown via the overhead hatch) was by a water puppy pump and hose, very effective. The windlass was powered by what I believe was a Spitfire starter motor and a massive reduction box. I recall lifting the stern well clear of the water when trying to free a stuck anchor off the Needles in Onetangi. The head/basin was closed off from the other cabins by yet another Dick Lang masterpiece, a three panel folding kauri panel door similar to that between the cockpit and saloon.
  • The four large chromed ventilators (supplemented by a sliding window in the front of the tram-top, gave the vessel both good airflow and a classy look. The dodger on the rear cabintop was both a fine back rest for those topsides and great shelter from spray for the helmsman in heavier conditions. The flair on the bow was such that Four Winds was a very dry boat.
  • The original mast (which took a steadying sail) and railings added to its balanced look.
For a 30 footer she offered more usable and functional space than many much larger vessels..
We sold her pending my marriage in November 1979; house purchase beckoning.
We re-discovered her in the Weiti River about five years ago. Sadly she was minus her original dodger and railings (replaced by unflattering stainless ones) and was sporting ugly square windows cut into her cabin sides in place of her aft (saloon) portholes. She then appeared on trademe for sale and last time we checked was not visible at Stillwater.
No doubt she is still around and hopefully receiving the care and use she deserves.
Incidentally my Aunt (Valmai Windross – nee Strongman and brother of Merv) took me as a child to visit the elderly Dick Lang in Palm Beach Waiheke. He also built a 12 foot dinghy for my Grandad c1956 which the family used for many years at Onetangi and Howick.
I am happy to be contacted should you have any further questions.  Somewhere I have a log that covers off some of Maughan’s use of her.  If that would be useful I can hunt it out.
Regards Stuart Windross
I love these old sale & purchase agreement 🙂
Four Winds Sale Jordan to Maughan

Leda A26

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LEDA A26
I was recently tipped off by the new CYA chairperson – James Mortimer, about a great tale that was unfolding on the CYA forum. It involves a gent by the name of Russ Senkovich, who owns the 54’ kiwi built, 1949, yacht Leda. Russ & his wife are thinking of bringing Leda back to NZ & ultimately selling her here. Leda left NZ in 1953 & has been off shore ever since – there is an amazing weblog on her travels & maintenance over the years, check it out here   svleda.com
You can also follow the story on the CYAF – link here    https://classicyacht.org.nz/cyaforum/topic/leda-a26/ 
But let me set the scene for you on Leda, it starts with a Christopher Gordon Wilson, better known as Dooley and his brother Alexander, better known as Sandy who were both home from WWII and had a dream of racing the Fastnet.  However, the war had left the NZ dollar devalued and buying a yacht was out of the question.  So, of course, they decided to build one.  They had in their possession a book by Uffa Fox of noteworthy yacht designs.  One of the boats featured in that book was Ragna R.
Ragna R, launched in 1938, was built by Gustav Plym in Stockholm for a British client.  She is a Knud Reimers a design. The Wilson brothers admired the yacht and showed the book to a fellow named Jack Taylor, whom its believed worked for Lidgards.  Jack Taylor developed a full set of construction plans, including the dimensions of all the timbers needed for the project.

So, Dooley and Sandy, had their plan.  Now they just needed to build their boat. The line drawings below are dated June, of 1947.  Sandy would have been 25 and Dooley, 27-years old.  Remarkably Leda would be sailing 29 months later. She is double-planked kauri over mangeao frames with pohutakawa knees and copper rivets.  Leda’s deck is double planked kauri, her cabin is Douglas fir (Oregon pine) and pine.

Thats all you’ll get here today on WW – use the link above to read / view the full story – its a great read.
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22-10-2018 Input from Neil Chalmers – Neil commented to me that the Leda post reminded Neil of a story Con Morley told him about his admiration of Knud Reimers yacht designs . 

Con owned and raced ‘Freya’, a 32 foot double ender built in the 1950’s. ‘Freya’ was very similar to  Reimers ‘Stor Tumlaren’ design made famous by the well known British yachtsman / author K Adlard Coles and his yacht ‘Cohoe’.
During a visit to Stockholm, Con called at  the Reimers design office and met the great man himself. Reimers was very polite and formal . He mentioned to Con that he was aware several of his designs had been built in NZ , however he had never sold any plans to NZ !

Lady Ellen Restoration Update

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LADY ELLEN  Restoration Update

Just had an update on Bruce Mitchinson’s Lady Ellen restoration project, I wish everyone was a s good as Bruce is in sending in work-in-progress reports 🙂

Bruces words – “Strut and rudder all back in place, below waterline fairing is going on at the moment.

Fairing done on the topsides, final fill and longboard, all over, will happen over the next few weeks.
Toe rails and beltings have been repaired and reinstalled.
Looking to undercoat topsides, deck, and below waterline early next month.
Inside we have stripped the paint off the underside of the cabin top and the decks, ready to be sprayed, along with the rest of the interior, as we move from aft, for’ard.
Cockpit complete with draining floor and seating, plenty of locker space, and gas bottle enclosure.
The existing rod steering, that used to be buried under the old water tanks, has been refurbished and can now be accessed through the new lockers.
Galley and saloon trim underway this week.
Painting inside the hull, to get ready for fitting out below deck.
Keeping the original layout apart from opening up the hanging locker into the for’ard cabin with a McGeady style window opening through the bulkhead.
No guesses as to what I will be doing this Labour weekend.”
Remember – click on photos to enlarge 😉

Champion / Iona

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CHAMPION / Iona

This Wellington woody, is a little the worse for wear – 2 options – bite the bullet & bring her back to life, there is a pretty workboat hull there & she looks like she wouldn’t be afraid of the open sea. 2nd option – as a donor for someone looking for 40hp Gardner L3W to restore. 
 
She started life helping to build flood gates in Taupo for a power station.  
I have had 4 people bring her trademe list to my attention, so there is some interest already. Asking price is $2k.
Her 32’8” hull is kauri & its claimed she is around 100 years old. Not 100% sure her name is Champion, anyone able to confirm?
 
So woodys – project or donor ?

Input ex Tony Brown – I bought the boat as a wreck in 1985 and re-ribbed it and replaced about a third of the planks. Also fitted the 3LW engine. I shifted to Kapiti on 2003 and sold the boat to John Luke. Before Taupo, the boat was at Napier and got stranded on the flats in the 1929 earthquake (where the airport is now) and then got taken to Taupo. There is info in both Napier and Taupo museums. 

John, the present owner has all the historic info as I gave it to him.
I have a spare 3LW and 2UC g/box if any one is interested.. never used in the boat as the installed one was too reliable.
Input from Paul Drake – Built as IONA by Bailey and Lowe for J A McFarlane of Napier (year not known). Named after the island off the West Coast of Scotland where his family came from. Relocated to Taupo after the 1931 Napier earthquake. Name changed to CHAMPION in 1944 when bought by Jack Taylor and put into survey. Left Taupo in late 1950’s. At Porirua harbour in 1970’s and re modeled over a long period of time to her current configuration. Located at Even’s Bay Wellington for some time. Re-named but pleased to see she has reverted to CHAMPION. Unrecognizable now from early days.
Update2 from Paul Drake – photos below of CHAMPION ex IONA. The1st one (b/w) shows her as a charter boat at Taupo under Jack Taylor’s ownership. She was of course built as a flush decker, Paul thinks about 1912, when the raised focsle was becoming the thing. Jack raised the cabin. Later, a wheelhouse was added.
The 2 colour photos show her at the early stage of her long 1980’s transformation when owned by Tony Brown.
Paul also commented that the Taupo Museum has a great photo of IONA being launched at Taupo c.1935, as evidenced by the steamer shed on he Government Wharf in the background of the photo. This shed was replaced by the present wharf offices in 1937. IONA sported the large letter ‘I’ on each side of the bow and a quirky and distinctive gable roofed ‘conning tower’ for the helmsman, which could have passed for a fish safe.
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Harold Kidd Input –  Macfarlane bought her from H H Tocker of Napier and had her trucked to Taupo in April 1935. He changed her name to IONA. The photo below is of IONA on the truck from the NZ Herald on 16/4/1935. She certainly looks very Bailey & Lowe of the period 1912. They built a couple of launches for Napier around this time, one for Davis & Boyd of Hastings in April 1911 and a 30 footer for an unknown owner which was in frame in July 1912.
Most of the Hawkes Bay newspapers’ archives perished in the 1931 earthquake so you have to rely on secondary sources for the period before that. Makes it hard.
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Aries

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ARIES

Aries is a 26’ Roy Parris launch, launched in 1962. She has a kauri hull & mahogany topsides.

Her zoom zoom comes via a Perkins 4-108 diesel.
She is listed on trademe (thanks Ian McDonald) & while she has recently had some TCL to the cabin sides she stills require finishing off.
Her reserve (starting bid) is $500, so there could be a bargain entry level woody to be had here 🙂

Mavis

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MAVIS

Chris Manning sent in the top photo of Mavis, as built by Ernie Lane in Picton in 1919 & advised she is still alive & living in Havelock.

Greg Noble also sent me the above photos of Mavis on a ‘buck’s’ cruise (love that description of a boys trip), the photos come from Greg’s grandad, Perceval Noble, journal. 

In a previous WW story on the launch Maxie, in the WW comments section – Gavin Pascoe question if Mavis was the motor launch that took part in the early days racing at the Evans Bay Yacht & Motor Boat Club (1919 onwards),  can anyone comment / confirm this?

Check out the below flyer – cool woody events like this are why if you aren’t already, you need to join the Classic Yacht Association. As the Irish say “the craic will be mighty”

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Napier

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NAPIER

The above motorboat is captioned ‘August 1905, new motor yacht for Mr. E Logan & comes to WW via Lew Redwood’s fb. The original photo was taken H Winkelmann.
The vessel was the 1st of its kind in NZ to be fitted with a Napier engine (no prizes for how she got her name). The engine ran at the high speed (in those days) of 800rpm & was good for 12 knots & was reported to have practically no noise or vibration.
Her cockpit / canopy setup was the norm back then, before the advent of the ‘doghouse’.
Does anyone know the designer / builder & what became of her?
The count down is on for the start of the 2018 Rudder Cup Launch race – the banter has started, scroll down to yesterdays story & click on the comments section 🙂
But as they say – talk is cheap – if you are thinking of doing the race, give the race committee* a heads up – entry is by invitation 😉
* I’m one of the committee.
Harold Kidd Input – She was designed and built in 1904 by Robert Logan Sr who is seen conducting his boat.
She was smashed to pieces in Freemans Bay in a gale in March 1908. T H Steadman of Whangarei owned her briefly in 1907.