Mystery Launch 22-01-2018

mystery launch 22-01

MYSTERY LAUNCH. 22-01-2019

The above photo was sent in by Harold Kidd – the questions for Woodys today are:
1. Location
2. Name of the boat
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If you are heading up to the regatta this weekend, drop Joyce Talbot (email address below) at the CYA a quick note to confirm that you will be participating in the Classic Launch Parade on Saturday morning. The crew ’try’ to pull together a listing of boats for the parade. Only takes a minute to click the email link & confirm your boat name, year, designer/builder.
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Tooroorong > St. Helena


As purchased 4 years ago


mocking up the new house 1

getting closer.




Moreton Bay Video – Dec 2017



Hello woodys – today’s WW story is a goody, it started off with an order from Australia for some WW t-shirts, several emails later I discover that the recipient of the t-shirts, Andrew Christie is a serious woody. I will let Andrew tell the story of his acquisition of the classic launch Tooroorong (later to be re-named St. Helena), read below. Enjoy – I did 🙂
ps check out the cockpit canopy ‘wings’, new to me but with the hours of sunshine they get in Australia, they are a great idea.
“St Helena is a 32 foot long timber cruiser.  Her hull is Queensland Beech glued with resorcinol and clenched with copper nails. Her decks are ply sheathed in dynel and her cabin top is made from Australian Red Cedar.  Her hull is also dynel sheathed below the waterline.  She is powered by a Yanmar 4JH3-HTE turbo diesel. When built she had a petrol Chrysler.  She has a two burner Force 10 stove in her galley, and two refrigerators, one forty and one eighty litres which run permanently from four solar panels on the roof.  Her electronics are built around a Raymarine 12 inch Axiom pro.  I have hunted the internet for classic fittings like the half mile ray on the roof a new old stock genuine morse controller.  Many of the brass fitting were cast on patterns I had made or from old ones I found in boat yards or boot trunk sales.
I believe she was designed by Clem Masters (RIP) a prolific designer and builder from Sandgate, but the builder is unknown.  Her registration papers say she was built in 1968.  Although I don’t know the builder, she is however built to a very high standard and was completely rot free and sound when I bought her.  It is better to be lucky than smart.  The long term owner before me, Mort Hudson, sadly had developed alzheimers which meant he had to sell her, but this also meant he could not recite her history.  Mort had named her Tooroorong after his wife’s peanut farm. It seemed to be a tactic that had worked for him and a theme which would follow.
Her original name might have been Venetra.  Mort’s wife Barbara mistakenly recalled her name was Helena during the restoration which resulted in the decision to change it back. My wife was keen to go back to the original name before we learned of the error but we decided on St Helena as many classic Moreton Bay boats bear the names of local places and by that time we thought of her as Helena.  It is important to keep your wife happy as we see below.  
I believe St Helena was a southern boat as before I spent two years restoring her she was enclosed and had a small trunk cabin aft which was pretty difficult to live with and not suitable for a sub tropical climate.  The restoration is a whole other story.  We had planned some quick work and a $15,000 ceiling.  I should run a government with my ability to blow out a budget. Two years later in an enclosed slipway on Breakfast Creek is proof enough of that …
As it turned out, brother in law loved wooden boats.  He is an intellectual but also an artisan.  He had a peculiar wooden shoal draft sailing boat to I think an Ian Gartside design which he kept in Cabbage Tree Creek.  He had also built a beautiful strip plank canoe of cedar which was bright finished.  And he collected Wooden Boat Magazine.
Anyway, my wife’s sister, who, what shall I say, might be viewed by some as a hard hard woman, took a dislike to his boat.  She was embarrassed because the purist in him would not use an engine and crunched into the jetty on docking and she found the sailing experience uncomfortable. This whole boating business was a folly and an annoyance. She started speaking at family gatherings about how it made good financial sense to be rid of the boat.  Whatever (said slowly and with bitterness) I thought. More noise.  
I did however become concerned when I heard Johnny start parroting her narrative.  While she wore the pants he told me that he was not worried it would sell because it was such a peculiar boat that it would appeal to very few people. Who knew that the only other person in Australia who would be interested was looking for such a boat to try an experimental junk rig on.  I said to him after the event, “why wouldn’t you just have made a typo with your phone number in the advertisement – your wife would never realise”.  We are all wise after the event.
Shortly after it was advertised my wife came to me, “Jimmy’s sold the boat”.  “That’s not good”, I said. “You watch, this will be the end of them”.  Well within months they had separated and the blood letting began.  As part of his punishment boxes of Wooden Boat Magazines were hidden under my house.  
And so I came to stand on the top of that very slippery slope.  I read those magazines.  One by one. Then religiously.  The 18 foot catamaran I had in my late teens whispered in my ear.  My favourite book as a boy was The Dove.  This was going to be bad.
I started looking at sailing yachts.  I wanted a Herreschoff. It had to have a bright mahogany house, teak decks and brass, brass, brass.  Anyway, as I stood on the most lovely one in Sydney Harbour about to make my dream a reality I remembered just in time the lesson above.  In my family a sailing boat is a divorce. I decided a cruiser would be more likely to keep me in the family business.  God bless my wife. She put up with the restoration while I told her outrageous lies about how much it was costing. But despite this now she suggests we use the boat more than I do. Provided we take the dogs.  Those damned dogs and their hair.  On my beautiful boat.  Never mind, happy wife.  Happy life.  I think I got the good sister.
She doesn’t know I am still looking for a yacht.  I saw a lovely Dark Harbour 20 in England the other day.  The quote to freight it out here wasn’t that unreasonable.  Surely the house renovations can wait a little longer.  What could possibly go wrong?”

Beatnik + Mahurangi Regatta Reminder + Details On Sunday River Cruise + Auckland Anniversary Regatta Launch Race




Woody Colin Pawson sent in the above photo of the sloop Beatnik that he snapped during the week at Great Barrier Island. She is flying a CYA burgee, but doesn’t ring any bells with me, maybe a name change or a very new member?

Her ‘cockle shell’ clinker dinghy is rather cute.

Any of the woodys able to tell us more about Beatnik?


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If you’re a serious woody you will have already made plans to be at Mahurangi this coming weekend. As I have told you b4 it is the single biggest gathering of classic wooden boats in New Zealand. Lots to do & see for both yachts & launches + Saturday nights BBQ / dance ashore at Scotts Landing is huge.

You can find out more details at the link below. But for the launches, the classic launch parade meets off Scotts Landing at 10.15am, with a parade start time of 10.30am.

On Sunday at around midday there is a trip up the Mahurangi River to Warkworth – the Jane Gifford will lead the way, so we effectively have a pilot 🙂 It is a great trip & the event is being run to demonstrate support for the dredging / improvements to the basin. Details below.

I’ll post more during the week.


Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta – Classic Launch Race

If Mahurangi was not your scene or you get back early from the Mahurangi, this event is a must do to the ‘petrol-heads’ amongst us. After 100+ years the organisers of the AADR have resuscitated the regatta classic motorboat race. Details below ex Joyce Talbot

“It’s been 100 years or more since a race for power craft was part of the Auckland Anniversary Regatta. But this year, for the first time since the early 1900s, the regatta will feature a classic launch race – and we’d love for you to be part of this historic revival.

This “new” (old) event is the perfect opportunity to show off these wonderful vessels in front of a huge audience of spectators, and a chance to prove once and for all – who has the fastest launch of them all.

Time’s running out to enter the Ports of Auckland Anniversary Regatta and put yourself in the running to win cash, a huge pool of spot prizes including a holiday in Hawaii, and your name on our historic trophy collection.

Entries cost just $30, and every entry received will go in the draw to win a holiday in Hawaii plus loads more.”

Enter now at

Enquiries: 0800-REGATTA   Email:


Is This The Future Of Woody Boating?



Is This The Future Of Woody Boating?

Normally on Boxing Day you would expect a boatbuilders yard to be very quiet – but if your were anywhere near Greg Salthouse’s Greenhite yard on the 26th Dec you would have witnessed a very special event. The yard launched two sister 10m weekender boats – ARIHI and GRACE.
Below is the story behind these two stunning launches, as told to me by Delayne Salthouse –
“Nick Peal has been with Salthouse Boatbuilders for over 38 years, and in that time construction methods have morphed and developed to achieve better this, faster that, lighter these or more efficient those. While those improvements are important and incorporated where needed, for the likes of Nick there is nothing better than getting back to the beautiful basics of a traditional build.
You can imagine the excitement when the yard received a brief to design & build two traditional looking 10m craft  that would reclaim some of the classic lines and charm of New Zealand’s coastal cruiser. This is in sharp contrast to the imported ‘plastic creations’ we see so many of in New Zealand boating in these days.
The concept plans and line drawings were done by Chris Salthouse, from these Nick has crafted Arihi & Grace utilising double skin ply, with solid timber keelson and gunwale, The boats were then heavily sheathed with double bias glass to make a robust, strong and lightweight boat.”
They are powered by a Hyundai 270hp stern leg, will cruise at 25-30 knts, and top out at around 37 knts. There is a huge super king front island berth + quarter berth with ample saloon seating that can also be a berth. Head, shower, simple cooker, fridge, large cockpit. PLUS Trailerable !!!
The boats are very easy on the eye and I have already had people asking me – who, what, where in terms of the designer / builder.
Well done Greg, Delayne, Chris, Nick & the team at Salthouses – I think you are onto a winner here.

The Launching

Arihi Splashes

Grace Splashes

Photo below sent in by Steve Finnigan – lots of zoom used on the camera/phone




hautonga warkworth river dec2018 - 1

hautonga warkworth river dec2018 - 2


Todays woody is the launch Hautonga, pictured above at Warkworth, on the Mahurangi River. photos ex Ken Rickets.

Can anyone help out & supply more info on her? I have to say that her ‘upper level’ (I’m trying to be polite) looks like is was designed for Cook Strait crossings 🙂

Harold Kidd Input: “Hautonga” = South Wind (actually South was up to the Polynesians/Maoris so was “North Wind”).
No comments on her aesthetics but there was a HAUTONGA in Auckland in 1966 owned by R C Weaver of Matai Road Green Lane and in 1973 by E W Barnard of Waiata Ave.

Riwaka Channel – Marina



Now I used to think the channel up the creek to Auckland’s Riverhead Hotel was narrow and shallow. Well the photos above of the Riwaka Channel take things to another level (low). To quote John Burland who took the photos – “the channel is narrow, winding and mobile”. That is an understatement.
John has pulled together a collection of photos showcasing some of the woody craft at Riwaka Marina, for those not familiar with the area, Riwaka is located between Motueka and Kaiteriteri , in NZ’s upper South Island.
John’s is very talented with a phone/camera and they will make woody Cameron Pollard’s day i.e. a lot of very practical vessels and very little varnish on display 🙂

Rakanoa + Reminder Re Cool Woody Event

rakanoa jan2019


Today’s WW post features one drop dead gorgeous woody. The photo above is of the 56’ Rakanoa, sent in by Peter Loughlin & is the perfect photo to showcase the recent TLC she has received. Rakanoa was built in 1946 by Shipbuilders.

You can see > read more on Rakanoa here.
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Big reminder / nudge that one of the coolest woody events of the year is fast approaching & if you are thinking of attending with your boat you need to get your A-into-G & register now.
If you are boat less & around the centre of the North Island that weekend – check out the Parade on Saturday – there will be between 70 & 100 woodys on display.
I have featured the Parade on WW for the last 4 years – so just enter Lake Rotoiti in the WW search box & you will be blown away with the boats. Or  be lazy & just click the link below to view last years event
Link below for more details on the Parade & the Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Association


Mechanical Advice Needed Re Bearings

I have been contacted by Bruce Flintoff looking for some advise on his my stern bering. Refer photos below. The bearing needs replacing. Does anyone know who supplies these bearings and what bearing would be the best replacement?

Bruces boat is Norma built around 1920 and featured in Waitemata Woody’s a couple of years back. Link below