Lidgard 42′ – Tuarangi >Silver Fin

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LIDGARD LAUNCH – Tuarangi > Silver Fin

We are told (trademe) the above boat was launched in approximately 1950. Her specs are 42’ x 12’1” beam with a 2’11”draft. She is powered by twin 110hp Hino’s. She is well set up for recreational diving with a compressor in the cockpit bilge for dive bottle refilling & customized multi dive bottle storage in the cockpit. As with most broker listings they have omitted to include the vessel’s name…… so I omit to include theirs:-)

Any one able to put a name to the launch & provide more details on her?

Lots of details in the comments section + some history at the link below. A little sad that she has ended up looking like the above😦






Now while the vessel in todays story is a woody, the location is certainly not the Waitemata:-)
The motorboat in the above photo is another from the Auckland Museum, Tudor Collins collection & was emailed to me by Ken Ricketts.

Are any of the woodys able to ID the location, date etc & possibly ID the vessel? Coconut palms in the background, islanders* helping with the loading – could be Suva, Nukualofa, Avatiu, Apia.

* not sure that islanders is a PC word, maybe I should have used ‘PI’ (Pacific Islander)

Yesterdays Survey
ww ran a survey yesterday around what classic wooden boat activities would appeal to you. Many thanks to everyone that completed the survey- BUT it’s not too late to do the survey, only takes a minute, so go on, just do it. Its anonymous 😉
Scroll down to find it.
Many thanks. Alan

Which classic wooden boat activities would you like to see more of ?

The Building of Ngarunui

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ngarunui1955 (2)





ngarunui1956 (3)




ngarunui1956 (1)



Ngarunui & Fierycross 1962

ngarunui1959 (2)


ngarunui 1964 (8)


The Building of Ngarunui

I was recently contacted by Frank Young, son of Jim Young, who designed & built Ngarunui in 1954 > 1955 for a Mr. Burrell, a strawberry farmer in Birkdale.
Ian had read the Ngarunui story on ww & wanted to record the facts not guesswork surrounding the vessels early days. The below is based on personal experience and knowledge as Jim Young’s son.
“Ngarunui was originally designed for regular trans-tasman trips with a high economical cruising speed, heavy weather capability, long range, and reliability. Power was to be an 8 cylinder Gardner diesel and she was designed around that with regular crossings to Sydney intended. The smaller auxiliary was not part of the original design or construction as can be seen in the photographs at the time. It was apparently added later with the change in main engine plans.
Construction started in 1955 at the J H Young Boats Ltd Little Shoal Bay boat shed using kauri planking and ribs, and pohutukawa knees.  When the hull had been completed and closed in she was launched without machinery or interior work done. On launching she immediately listed 45 degrees due to no ballast or internal engineering. That caused some trepidation among those attending the launching party. Interior work continued with the boat in a cradle next to the slipway but there were increasing problems with payments. The strawberry crop that year was apparently very poor and the money ran out. The partially finished vessel was then sold by Mr. Burrell to a company he had taken a stake in and the building contract revised. Northern Hygienic Fishing Supplies was to use her as a fishing “Mother ship” towing a number of 16 foot dories from which gill netting or long-lining could be done. Design details were changed and work commenced on installing large ice boxes in the hull and two 16 foot flat bottom punts were built as part of the fishing dory plan, with more to follow. One of those dories became the “Nancy Barbara” owned by the Hayman family at Great Barrier Island for many years. Then the money dried up again and Northern Hygienic Fishing Supplies was liquidated. With no money coming in, Jim Young in serious financial straits as a result, and an uncertain future outcome for Ngarunui in a part finished condition she was left in the cradle by the slipway at the Little Shoal Bay boat shed where the interior work had been continuing. Holes were drilled in her bottom to allow the tide to flow into the hull so it could not potentially be removed or stolen while legal and financial issues took their tedious course. She languished there untouched for about a year.  She was the subject of an arson attempt during that period but perhaps due to the wet interior the fire did not take hold. 

Eventually the Auckland Official Assignee (coincidentally Jim Young’s father)  who was responsible for the liquidation of Northern Hygienic Fishing Supplies sold Ngarunui in as is/where is condition to Messrs Spicer and Pollard. Henderson and Pollard was a well known Auckland timber merchant company and Ngarunui was then completed using their resources. The originally intended Gardner diesel was never installed. At a price then of around  3600 pounds it was far more than the price of the rest of the boat (or even the price of a house) so the much cheaper, and lower power, option of a (single) 175hp GM diesel went in.

Ngarunui finally became a well appointed Auckland launch in 1957 or early 1958 after a somewhat difficult early life. Messrs Spicer and Pollard put Ngarunui to great use and they were active supporters of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. Ngarunui became well known for her role in various high profile activities of the RNZYS, and acted as flagship for many events with the Governor General or other notables aboard.”

2016 photos of Ngarunui can be viewed here

4 Classic Yachts – Sailing Sunday

4 classic yachts #

4 Classic Yachts – Sailing Sunday

How many of the above can we ID ? they are all still afloat. Photo is from the Mac Taylor collection.


And if you need some motivation to get the sandpaper & varnish out – click the link below & check out this line up of 33 beautiful classic yachts at Les Voiles de St Tropez. My eldest daughter (23) is currently in St Tropez, leaving on Tuesday for Sardinia on a 260’+ monster super ‘yacht’. Oh to be young & carefree again:-)

Lidgard Run-About



Lidgard Run-About

The photos of the above Lidgard run-about were emailed to me by John Pryor, a friend of whose is hoping to uncover some details on the boat. She measures 14’3″, with a 5′ beam. All her new owner knows is that she came up to Mt Albert from the Coromandel in the condition you see her in above & the trailer was built back from army surplus and the coil springs are apparently from an Indian motorcycle.
She’s in need of quite a restore but given her Lidgard pedigree is worth saving. The bonus is she’s small enough to be tucked in the garage & worked on i.e. no expensive yard fees

So woodys what do we know about these small Lidguard run-abouts – the year(1940’s?) model, possible owners, copies of the plans etc. Anything would help / encourage her owner to commence the project:-)

Mirella – bugger!


Mirella – bugger!

Now I do not like to make fun of someone else’s misfortune but the above & below photos ex the Auckland Museum, Tudor Collins collection & emailed to me by Ken Ricketts was taken a long time ago – so woodys today we will have a little competition –  I’ll give a waitematawoodys tote bag (see below) to the woody that comes up with the best caption:-)

The photo file gave the location as Gart Island, but that draws a blank with me – can anyone help here, the vessel is listed as being ‘Jewack‘. Since ID’ed as Mirella .

Entries close 12pm 19-08-2016. You can enter as many times as you like, the judge will be Nathan Herbert – why? because he already has a ww tote bag😉


Input from Harold Kidd  – the vessel is MIRELLA (photo ex Paperspast ex NZ Herald 27 May 1932)

VALUABLE AUCKLAND FISHING LAUNCH SUNK AFTER STRIKING A SUBMERGED ROCK. Owned by Mr. J. Wilson, of Auckland, this 32ft. launch Mirella sank afte% striking a rock off Goat Island, near Cape Rodney, on Tuesday evening. The three members of the crew made their escape in the dinghy. Little hope of salvaging the craft is entertained.

Mirella sinking off Goat Island