Milford Mooching + Rudder Cup Launch Race – Come & See The Start – This Friday @ 7pm – In Front of the RNZYS.





Milford Mooching

I dropped in yesterday to catch-up with Geoff Bagnall at his Milford boat yard. I have talked on WW recently about the sale of the site & how Geoff is locking the door & heading North. The actual date is weeks, rather than months away & the woody owners are queuing up at the door to get work done b4 Geoff leaves the creek for the last time.
In the shed, on the hard & next door are a collection of woodys in various stages of repair. The one that interests me the most is the Roy Parris launch that Geoff is re-building for himself, the boat was originally his fathers (still alive, in-fact turns 90 soon). As you would expect the attention to detail is stunning. I will feature her on WW closer to the relaunch date.
Who can tell us more about Mata Hari , I have only ever seen her moored in front of a Milford Creek house, never seems to venture out – I understand (could be wrong) that her owner was the seller of Geoff’s yard.
The Rudder Cup Launch Race – This Friday – Start @ 7pm in front of the RNZYS – Be There – YOU COULD WIN A WW T-SHIRT – The best photo of the start, emailed to me at will receive a free waitematawoodys t-shirt.
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Happy Days






Back in July 2017 I ran a story on a ‘barn find’ 1928 woody that Lake Rotoiti boat builder Alan Craig at Craig Marine, was about to start work on.

Now Alan & his team do not muck around, last week he sent me the above photos, with a note saying that he had collected the rebuilt 1938 Osco marine flathead V8  engine. The term rebuilt is somewhat of an understatement 🙂
I told Alan that HDK would have kittens when he saw the photo of the engine. The engine work was done by Rob Cowley in Hamilton at Robs Rods and Restos.
The plan is to have her in the water this Christmas. And I’m pleased to advise that Lake Rotoiti will be her home 🙂
Photos below to remind you what she looked like. You can see & read more here.
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Blue Fin + An Old Sailor Dies


A few months ago Bay of Islands based woody Dean Wright, sent me the above photo of the 1948 Lane Motor Boat Co. launch Blue Fin, not sure when it happened but Harold Kidd comments on a previous WW story (link below) that originally she was 38’ but lengthened by 4’.
Dean found the photo on the wall of his neighbours garage – quite a stunning shot with BF in front of Percy Island, BOI.
Keith Dawson has ‘appeared’ numerous times on WW, along with his old yacht – Roxone – you can see & read more at the WW link below.
I was contacted yesterday by Keith’s brother Ross Dawson, who informed me that Keith had passed away. Ross also sent me the tale below

“Keith died in Port Macquarie, NSW, yesterday (Friday 7 Dec 2018) aged 105,…which must be something of a record for longevity for an Auckland yachtie?

Keith started boating (admittedly in a tin canoe bashed out of old corrugated roofing) circa 1920, graduating to a P class, and later Zeddie, sailed off Takapuna beach at the foot of Hauraki Road where his family lived.

I understand he was a foundation pupil of Takapuna Grammar School…albeit reluctantly….his sister says he was known to step through one door of the old steam tram, but dismount the other side to spend the day more productively at the beach! His first job was with John Burns, marine section.

He was a keen member of the RNZN volunteer reserve enjoying voyages on the cruisers HMS Dunedin & Diomede, based in NZ. He & mates often sailed the well known ketch “Seaward” on behalf of an absentee owner.

Together with his friend Dick Wellington, they purchased the Tercel yacht “Roxane” (ref. WW.) & sailed her across to Sydney, via Norfolk & Lord Howe Islands, and landfall at Newcastle At this time the Roxane at 26 foot overall was the smallest craft to complete the crossing…all this in the winter of 1937.

On his first night ashore at Sydney he met,…”a very attractive red head,  Betty”. The result, he later married her, Roxane was sold, and Keith spent the next 81 years “in” Australia, but remaining, emphatically, a “Kiwi”! For many years he worked among the Sydney yachting scene, mainly as a rigger.

In 1987, on his 74th birthday his family arranged a surprise visit to Cairns, where to his delight he went for a sail on old Roxane. He later lost touch with her various owners, but this sturdy Tercel built kauri vessels quite possibly remains in some Aussie anchorage?

“Home is the sailor, home from the sea” (R L Stevenson) Voyage on brother…”

I’m assuming that you / they already have a waitematawoodys t-shirt, so the next best thing has to be a pair of woody jandels.
Marketed / sold in NZ by a company named Moana Road – these are great, 100% rubber, ultra comfortable & only $24.95 (that is cheap for rubber jandels). They have a non-slip sole so great on the boat. I bought mine in Devonport, but if you go to you will find a stockist near you. Just remember – I’m only here to make you look good 🙂






I was contacted by Kelly Ellis back in May 2018 – looking for some intel on her launch Arima. Kelly bought Arima in Oct 2017 and is aware that Arima had a remake around 1970 when a Ford D-series was installed along with a lot of brown Formica. When purchased both are showing their age. In Kelly’s words – the Ford was a filthy glutton and the downstairs helm station was virtually unchanged from 1970 and was a bit crowded.
Since taking over the custodianship Arima has had a new head, new electronics, new autopilot, been re-upholstered and had a back-to-bare bum job.
Kelly has also commissioned an internal revamp with the old Ford D series being replaced with a Cummins 6B. The plan is to relocate Arima from Whangarei to her new home in Havelock. 
Kelly commented that Whangarei boat builder Jon Jones is responsible for the lovely work.
In a previous story on WW there has been some confusion as to when & who built her – 1953 or 1955 and possibly by Salthouse. As always I revert to Harold Kidd – HDK’s view is below:

“As I understand it, ARIMA was designed and built by Colin Wild in 1953, one of his last designs. Bob Salthouse was an apprentice at the time working on the boat. The first owner was Joe Dent and subsequent owners included Noel Kitchen, Ken Archer (1974 ish), T Whillans (1977) and David Campbell-Morrison (1989). Her original engine was a 4 cylinder Ford, replaced by a 6 cylinder Trader.
So her pedigree is superb.
John Salthouse built several near-clones of course.”

You can see photos for Arima here, before Kelly bought her

Mystery Launch at Omokoroa Boat Club



Woody Roger Guthrie sent me the above photos of this launch moored of the Omokoroa Boating Club. For the overseas WW readers Omokoroa is a small town in the Western Bay of Plenty – Tauranga, North Island. 
Roger commented that she was just too far away to view the name board – can anyone ID the launch?
I’m ahead of schedule on the despatch of the above, posted all the overseas & out of Auckland orders today, & if I can stay awake, will do the greater Auckland ones tonight. Was a mammoth session last night, finished at 3.30am. House looks like a courier post branch at the comment. 
BUT – have only shipped the orders that have been paid for – so if you haven’t done the funds transfer yet – get a move on.
And on the subject of payment – there are always a few that order but forget they have & don’t follow thru with the $$, so if you want a shirt & missed the cut off – let me know – in a few days, subject to size, I still might be able to fill the order 🙂
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Hidden Agenda




I have been contacted by Alan Craig from Craig Marine about the the Lake Rotoiti launch Hidden Agenda, which is currently at Alan’s yard for a serious re-fit.
The Hidden Agenda was the boat that’s been at the Lake Rotoiti hot pools for some years, Alan thinks the Cameron’s brought it to the lake from Whakatane, where it was a bit of a patrol boat or similar. She crossed the Whakatane bar regularly. Power was from an old Volvo diesel – 2cylinder 20hp.
While it has different cabin additions over the years, Alan believes the hull is quite old and guesses it was a flush decker with small dodger originally. Where the cabin companion way is now, the deck beams are short which is where a louvered hatch would have been. And on the house sides there are opening port holes that have been filled and covered. She’s not very long, 22′ 7″ x 6’6″. Was possibly used up rivers, lakes for carting goods?
She has been living a good retired life on Rotoiti, and now getting a birthday so it can continue in good health. The tired Volvo is being replaced with an outboard hidden in the back (sorry but traditional has been beaten by practical this time)  and new cabin and seating etc.
Alan would love to know the age of the hull? Any suggestion or does anyone know the boat?




Today’s b/w press clipping of the motor launch Matareke, seen here having just won the 1st race of the season at the RNZYS races on November 22. We don’t know the year, but the photo is credited to ‘BELL’. And photo comes to us via Lew Redwoods fb.
Can anyone tell us what became of this fine looking launch?
Harold Kidd Input – This is the first MATAREKA not MATAREKE, built by Logan Bros in November 1903 for W.S. Whitley of the Colonial Ammunition Company (which had just made heaps out of supplying .303 ammo for the Boer War). When MATAREKA (II) was built in 1907 (the boat owned by the Fenelons that now lives in Ngapipi Road) this launch was sold to Yerex in Tauranga as a hire launch then sold to Hayward and Wood also of Tauranga.By 1913 she was owned by J H Rigden of Opua. Lose track of her after that. Definitely a name-change but to what?
I was sent the note below by an ex classic wooden boat owner, who has owned several very smart Woodys  – I have deleted the boat names as I’m not sure he would want the exposure. 
My own boat is sometimes referred to by friends as the ‘floating man bach’ & in a lot of ways it is, so really related to this story. (I did steer him in the right direction to find his previous boat)
Am still alive and kicking but sadly, boatless.   I now know what a fish feels like out of water.
It was with considerable reluctance that I sold xxxxxxx  in fact I felt that way about all the boats I have sold.
That old saying about the two best days of boat ownership is a load of bollocks.
There is no doubt that a classic wooden boat is a big commitment especially if one wants everything to be as near perfect as possible. The rewards and the satisfaction though are priceless. ( perhaps not priceless)
My boat was my shed and I went down to the marina most days. As much as anything, I enjoyed the companionship of my fellow boaties.  Life however moves on and the garden at home has never looked better!
I still look at the boats that come up for sale and dream on and look with interest for the next WaitemataWoodies post.
Xxxxxxxxx was one of my favourites and I wonder where and how she is. Do you know anything about her and her owner? Doesn’t seem to feature in the CYA anymore?
I have often wondered why no one produces a TV series that features some of the boats that come up on WW and the many other boats out there. Tin and glass included.  I’m sure it would be of great interest to many people.  Could replace one of those fishing programmes which get a bit boring after seeing  a few. Same old same old.
Hope all is well with you,
Kind regards.”