Maka Maile

Not sure of builder, originally had 1 engine of unknown make replaced with 2 x Ford V8 flat head petrol engines in about 1948 at Westhaven & Ken Ricketts remembers viewing the work in progress. Owned c.1947 by a very quiet reserved couple named Lennox-King.

Harold Kidd Update

MAKA MAILE (correct spelling) was built by Sam Ford at Ellerslie in 1937 for R.E. Farrell of Titirangi and named after his father Percy’s one rater centreboarder built by James Clare in 1898 with which Farrell had dominated racing on the Manukau. She originally had a Chrysler Crown plus an Adams but they were replaced by twin Scripps Ford V8s. Later gain she had a BMC Commodore and a Ford. She is now back in the Farrell family.

Update from Ken Ricketts post meeting the current owner on 19/05/13
She is now owned by a Mr & Mrs Nick & Raeleen Prentis, & kept at the moment, at West Harbour Marina. They bought her in April 2004 off Mr Ken Farrell, who had stored her for over 25 years in dry storage, initially in the Glendene area, & then he moved her to McLeod Rd Te Atatu, where she was, when bought by the Prentises. They bought her more or less as an empty shell with no engines or interior, & he believes she may have had two unmatched engines, he thought perhaps a Fordson diesel & maybe a petrol engine.
He has now fitted 2 x 4 cyl Nissan Diesels. & has spent since April 2004 working on her, & making her ready for the water again, having amongst other things recalked the bottom, & resurfaced the topsides, & has been rebuilding in the interior, which is still not quite finished. She has only been back in the water for a month, after all those years, (as at 19.5.2013), & I think it’s really great that she’s back with us again — a lovely boat restored, & saved for posterity, and an important part of the Sam Ford history, & our boating heritage as a whole. Long may she be with us.

9 thoughts on “Maka Maile

  1. Pingback: Maka Maile – A Peek Down Below | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news – updated daily

  2. As I remember back in 1970-71, we purchased a Scripps V8 from Maka Maile, the second engine removed. The previous two years she was running a new 6cylinder Ford diesel with the V8 alongside.
    I remember the owner didn’t want fresh water cooling, so the new Ford was salt water cooled.
    We purchased the V8 up a long drive, one road back from the waterfront at St Heliers.
    I remember the owner had a nice customline ute. There was a write up in maybe Sea Spray around maybe 1984.
    She was on a mooring in Okahu Bay for many years. At that time she had a raised wheelhouse aft as pictured.


  3. Pingback: Maka Maile + Waitematawoodys Hits 3,000,000 Views | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

  4. I will email 10 or so photos of my grandfather-in-law Eric Clay cruising on Maka Maile. I suspect he may have been the friend who stored parts in his garage.


  5. Gilbert Lennox-King owned WAIRUAMA not MAKA MAILE. Sorry about the Titirangi, that’s where you live, I think, Ken.
    Interesting what you say about her design. It makes sense because she’s unlike the “standard cruisers” that Sam Ford advertised so well in the late ‘thirties.
    Sam Ford had an interesting ethnic make-up, not a Cook Islander. His father was half European and half Maori and had served his time with Lane & Brown at Whangaroa. His mother was all or part Tongan. He was born in Tonga where his father had gone to do boatbuilding work, like Jas Clare and others. He came to Auckland early in his life and served in the Engineers in WW1,


  6. A couple of corrections…Harold Kid’s update is correct except for the fact that my father (R E Farrell) lived at Royal Oak, not Titirangi. She was never owned by Lennox-King and never left the family until I sold her to Nick Prentis. Maka Maile was never stored at Glendene. Instead the hull and decks were both restored at the Vos & Brijs yard in Westhaven by both the boatbuilders at Vos and Brijs, and myself. Harold Kidds update concerning the successive engines in Maka Maile is also quite correct.

    At the outbreak of WW2 my father volunteered for coastal patrol work aboard Maka Maile. Instead the government officials informed him that he was being transferred to Wigram with the airforce, but that his vessel would be taken from him for coastal patrol work anyway. On receiving the letter my father put Maka Maile on a floating cradle and secured her to trees at Judges Bay, Parnell. He then removed all the electrics from Maka Maile (starter motor, gauges, generator etc), wrapped them in grease proof paper and hid them in a mate’s garage in Mount Roskill. When the government officials came around to pick up the keys for Maka Maile he obligingly handed them over. As a consequence Maka Maile was never used for coastal patrol and spent the war safe on her floating cradle at Judges bay. My father was later transferred to Wellington and served aboard W1 (also featured in Woodys)

    I also remember him saying that while Sam Ford was the boat builder he did not design her. Sam was a northern cook islander I believe he cut the keel from Totara with an adze. My father told me that he actually sent away to America for the plans for Maka Maile in 1935, which he gave to Sam Ford. In my opinion her design and those that followed her bear a striking resemblance to American Elco designs, in particular the two portholes midships between the belting and the waterline.


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