Siesta – The Old Days – Part 2






While yesterday’s story focused on the launch Siesta, the photos were all from her later years. Due to a technology glitch I did not receive the above b/w photos till late yesterday, so decided to do a separate post with the new/old photos.

Scroll down to compare the ‘as launched’ pre-fly-bridge days with the later addition. I know what I prefer put still a pretty woody.

(photos ex the original owners- via Ken Ricketts)

Siesta – Part 1




Siesta was launched in 1949, built by the owner A.H.L. (Harry) Maddaford (a saw miller) with the help of a professional boat builder & his staff (see below for detail), at his Penrose factory. She measured 40’.

Below is an account from Maddaford’s daughter Valerie Holbrook, on the building & launch of Siesta.

“Dad had always wanted a good-sized new launch so he had Kitson (one of his staff at his sawmill) pull two kauris out of Ness Valley bush, one green one and one old and dry with the sap rotted off but the solid heart left and the other one was forty-five feet long, there was at least fifteen feet hanging out behind the GMC trailer.  The idea being the planks, at least up to the waterline would be in one length.  The logs were milled and stacked out to air dry for 12 to eighteen months with dad hosing the timber most nights to wash the sap out.

Charlie Hardman laid the boat out as he had been a boat builder and Reg, my brother-in-law who worked for him assisted   Charlie soon went back to his house building but Reg stayed on to work for Jack Taylor, a boat builder. We all assisted at times including Rex.

Dad put the engine in and other mechanical bits and pieces.   A friend of Bill Blacklock did some French polishing, and a builder friend of dad’s made the helmsman’s seat, with a liquor cabinet in the back.

It was eventually finished and loaded on a low solid-tyred trailer that dad had borrowed.   At five o’clock one morning I slowly towed it to Panmure wharf with the GMC, and dad followed close in his car to see that nothing moved. We put it beside the wharf to float off as the tide came in.

That was the forty-foot Siesta, launched close to Christmas 1949″.

Input from Ken Ricketts below (edited by Alan H)

By 1960 she belonged to Ewen Marmont. Ken was aboard over the Christmas 1960 period; she had painted coamings & had acquired a dodger by then & Ken recalls she had the Perkins diesel at that time. Marmont had her for a number of years.

Subsequent history is hard to unravel because of the existence of two/three boats with the same name, but it’s possible that her owner in 1973 was H.V. Woodcock of Murray’s Bay, Auckland.

The present owners have been in contact with a Brian Sinclair of Whangarei, who advised that he owned her for a number of years in the c.1970s & he most likely bought her off the Woodcocks.

Stephen Smith a boat broker of Whangarei & Grant Cardno owned her for several years from c.1991 > 1994, they bought from Eric Burger, a friend of Kens. It is believed the Burger only owned her for a short period, during which he upgraded the interior.

Smith & Cardo kept her at Gulf Harbour. They sold her c.1994/95 to Barry Galbraith in Kerikeri & he kept her at Dove Bay, B.O.I. for the next 20 years.

Galbraith told Ken that when he was away cruising on one occasion, a gentleman in another boat came up alongside, & told him he used to own Siesta & his name was Brian Sinclair, (as referred to above,) & he told Galbraith that she had had a trip to Fiji, to act as mark boat, for the Auckland to Fiji race, on one occasion (this is not corroborated at his stage, so can only be anecdotal)

She is presently moored at Kissing Point in Whangarei, owned by Laurie & Jill White. She was still moored at Doves Bay B.O.I. when they bought her approx. 2 ½ years ago.

Ken understands that she is in quite good condition & still looking very original. Her original engine was a 6 cyl. Hercules petrol WWII war surplus tank engine & fairly shortly after, this was replaced with a slanting 6-354 Perkins diesel, (so it would go under the floor), which she still has today.

(photos ex Valerie Holbrook, Dean Wright, Laurie & Jill White & Brian Galbraith)



Haerere – Sailing Sunday


HAERERE – Sailing Sunday

Todays post has a long tale, its been bouncing around the classic wooden community & ended up in my inbox.

The photo is of the yacht Haerere that was once owned by Roger Welch’s late father – Henry Welch. Henry owned Harrere, a 32’ cutter that he believes was built by J. Lidgard at Bayswater in the 1930’s. Henry told Roger that she was built for an enthusiast for ocean cruising but the guy did not get very far. Roger remembers there were pegs to set the tiller so she would self-steer.

In the late 1950’s Henry sold her to a couple that cherished her for many years.

Roger is keen to discover what happened to Haerere, so woodys – can we help?

Harold Kidd Input

Fred Lidgard built HAERERE in late 1934 at Bayswater for Gordon Kells of Takapuna when he grew out of the 22 footer MARIE. Gordon sold her to H Kasper.
I sailed with Gordon and his son Bill in TEMPTRESS when I was at school in the early1950s but don’t recall any story about building HAERERE for offshore work. However, Gordon did have a lot to do with the Emtages of Motuora and the Lidgards all his life and was in that circle of Depression-era offshore yachties who were typified by Johnny Wray and Dick Wellington.

Russell Ward Input

Haerere was indeed Lidgard built -though without that doghouse (which isn’t bad).
I first met her at anchor in the lee of Takangaroa Island (I’m sure we called it Goat Is) in Kawau Bay early ’60s. In the ownership of Trevor (Charlie) and Deslea Conway of Remuera -a delightful couple -she was very forthright and called him “Good Time Charlie”. They were round the corner and we couldn’t see her at anchor this time, but this man came swimming past us and came back sometime later with a sizeable mullet in tow. He ventured that he had herded it inshore and just grabbed it. We bet that he found it in a rock pool.
Trevor kept Haerere very well -out every winter. Flap Martinengo told him if he sanded the mast much more there’d be no wood left. I see that she has an alloy mast now. He had been an active sailor in Auckland circles but he never sailed Haerere -I flatted with their nephew in Dunedin and we often laughed about his activities. David Jackson will know I am sure.
Most summer weekends, they’d just motor down to Drunken Bay and tuck up round the corner -we called him the Harbourmaster. All these characters -long gone.
She’s in the creek at Whangateau awaiting Pam’s pleasure

How that’s just showing off 🙂

I went yesterday to the first of the New Zealand Traditional Boatbuilding School’s workshops, Saturday’s topic was Boat Maintenance & a very talented & knowledgeable group of speakers presented to the class of 25, lots of Q&A time which I think was the primary reason a lot attended.

There will be regular workshops on a range of topics so please do support the school. More details here

The photo below shows one of the speakers Frank Warnock demonstrating his splicing skills (behind his back !!!)

Frank W





Todays featured launch is Tuatea, in the photos above we see her weighing in a fish at Russell in 1984. At the time she was skippered by Hilton Polkinghorne.
She was previously owned by Morrie Mitchell of Russell for many years.
Photo from Dean Wright’s collection. The stubbie shorts are a blast from the past 🙂

Do we know any details on her design / build & where she is today?





I was sent (in fact 10 times….) the above photo of the launch Parani by Gary Chaplin who is trying to track down the where-abouts of this motor launch.

All Gary knows is that she was originally based in Lyttelton.

Gary commented that Parani was once owned by his bosses (Alan Martin , of Martin Hydrulics. CHCH) father. I have asked Alan for the fathers name – if I get it I will add to the story, in the meantime do we know anything about the launch Parani?




The photos above show the charter game fishing boat, Susan-Rose back in 1984 when she was owned by Gavin Cross & operated out of Paihia.

Photo ex Dean Wright. Do we know anything about her & where she is today?

Chris Craft in Canada


Chris Craft in Canada

I have been sent the above photos from Kiwi woody Alan Sexton, who is working in Canada. Alan keeps an eye open for any interesting boats & commented that it seems wooden Chris Craft are the flavour of the month in Vancouver.

The two b/w photos are from a book on the Chris Craft factory, that Alan found in the marine section in the Vancouver Central.