Getting Hooked

Getting Hooked


Below is a tale by Phil Parks that I’m sure a lot of us can relate to, sounds very familiar. AH

I have been a lover all things to do with the ocean and boats since being pushed off Howick Beach as a 5 year old in my first P class.

As my life has evolved boats have always figured but my love of surfing was foremost until recently.

Living on the west coast is not that conducive to owning boats although I do have a purpose built tinny to go fishing out here when the swell is small enough.

About 15 years ago I bought a place at Ti Point near Leigh and have had a nice fizz boat up there. This has rekindled my love of boating and as age is now making surfing harder all the time I am spending more time boating.

I have dreamed about owning a classic launch for years and always troll the for sale columns looking at everything for sale. Funny how that gives you a good sense of values of various vessels.

The only thing that has stopped me “going for it” has been the lack of some where to keep a launch.

I had applied for a mooring 12 years ago with the Rodney council but it soon became apparent the whole process was an absolute wrought as I never proceeded to get any where near the top the list although new boats seemed to be appearing all the time.

I had always called the mooring administrators annually to whine about the process and to keep my name on the books.

When I did that in 2011 I was now dealing with the new Auckland Council and I was flabbergasted when a very helpful lady heard my cause and replied “well there are a couple of sites available do you want one?”

Did I what!!!! I paid the money and secured a mooring site that could be viewed from my bach lounge. Fan bloody tastic! Now every time I looked at boats a wave of excitement came over me!

Xmas 2011 and looking at trade me I spied a nice looking old launch that seemed to be at a good price. Problem it was at Hohorua. Made a few calls to the owner but never got around to getting up there to have a look.

I could not get her out of my mind and when another boat that was at Kohukohu came on the market I thought I would do a road trip. Arranged to look at 8 boats, jumped in the car and took off.

There were only 2 boats that interested me mainly because I was fussy about the “look”. It just had to look right. Most did not.

Anyway one thing led to another, time passed but I eventually became the owner of the 28′ Wainui.

It was the originally boat that I saw on trade me 5 months before and was smitten with. As it was a deceased estate and the family were finding it a real hassel to keep I ended up getting her for a very good price and the whole deal had a good feeling to it. Very co-operative vendors.

It now meant there was pressure on to get the mooring established and that is another whole story in itself.

My best friend and I sailed her down from Hohorua to Ti Point and that was a fantastic trip and again another good story.

She now sits in Ti Point Harbour with a few other classics. I will soon move her up to the bach for a full restoration.

Probably have to sell the fizzer to afford it but worth it.

Its all about the journey………….Phil Parks

27-02-2017 Photo below by (ex Colin Brown) of Wainui at a Mangawhai property. Most likely the bach mentioned in the story above.


16 thoughts on “Getting Hooked

  1. I had a brief contact with Jimmy Osbourne and “Saga” when he was sailing her north. They called into Tutukaka for fuel and refreshments and flattened the batteries while laying at anchor. I took them home and recharged them up, my only interest was in the little “Leyland” engine because it was the first overhead camshaft model I had seen then. It did not appear to be very powerful but did trudge along at modest speed.


  2. WAINUI is now on a property at Mangawhai as at the above date — must be where the bach is I would think – KEN R
    Photo added to main story. Alan H


  3. Pingback: WAINUI (II) |

  4. He was still a much commented on legend of the school when I was there in the 80s. Fascinating link.


  5. Fantastic Harold — thank you so much for your wonderful input– I remember well him & dad having many conversations about their 2 identical diesel “babies.” — She was the only boat I ever knew, to have one of those exact engines, apart from our families boats. Such a small world, & wonderful for me too, to know of your multi faceted association with him personally, I never knew about the cars in the family. — Do you know where SAGA is now, any of her later life? Don’t suppose you have a pic of her. I remember her with 3 or 4 round chrome plated port holes along the length of the hull with the bridge deck sort of popped up in the middle, & a matching dodger at the stern. Very full bodied for her length.
    We also knew he was a brilliant teacher & very highly regarded at Kings, — obviously an outstanding “seagoing academic” — remember him as a very academic fairly studious looking type of gentleman, in my young days with clear or light rimmed spectacles as I recall. — cheers — KEN R


  6. That’s the same man. Val Maxwell designed and built SAGA in 1950 and installed a “59hp Leyland diesel”. SAGA was 33’x32’x10’x2’9″. He sold her to Jimmy Osborne in 1963. Jimmy took her to Mangonui in 1969, took out the Leyland Cub and replaced it with a Ford diesel.
    Oddly enough, Val’s son Peter Maxwell and John Harrison knew each other well. We three were members of the VIntage Car Club together for years. John had a 509A FIAT (called Luigi) and Peter a magnificent 1925 25hp Sunbeam touring car which Pauline and I later had the privilege of owning. Wish I still had it!
    Val was highly regarded as a man and as a teacher.


  7. There was a SAMBO of course, built by Tom Le Huquet. She was one of the “Blue Boats”, hire boats in Auckland, but, apart from being twice her size, was not really very like WAINUI II.


  8. I wonder if the Val Maxwell the Kings College teacher that owned WAINUI , could be the same Mr Maxwell that owned a 28/30 foot very high wooded straight sheer little bridgedecker, in the later 1940s & 5Os, called SAGA, which had a 6 cyl Leyland Cub Diesel engine fitted during that time.
    The SAGA’s Mr Maxwell, was also a Kings College teacher,. His engine was identical the one my father had fitted to the JULIANA, & he approached my father for advice re installation etc. — KEN RICKETTS


  9. Great,
    How do you obtain such information?
    I was a partner with John in 77 and cannot recall the name of the chap we bought her from.
    I re engined her with a Ford Thames Trader 57? Hp diesel
    c/w a Moon? Heat exchanger. We later had her on the Hard at Pakaranga and tidied her up ,resulting in a round of applause when she cruised into Abercrombie some months later.


  10. Joe Slattery, a very fine builder in Judges Bay, who served his time with Robert Logan and was Lanes’ foreman until he set up on his own in 1911, but died young in 1933. His launches were amongst the best built in Auckland.


  11. Sambo could be a myth ,but when you are new to “big ” boats, and someone tells you they recognise your old timer as Sambo you are green enough to want to believe it.
    Thank you for putting me right. Who was the builder? I appreciate your wealth of knowledge on wooden boats.


  12. A brief history of WAINUI II is as follows;
    1. Built by Joe Slattery c1924 for E.O. Ward.
    2. Wrecked on Rangitoto February 1936 and badly damaged.
    3. Ward sold to Val Maxwell, teacher at King’s College, as a wreck. Maxwell rebuilds probably close to present configuration.
    4. Maxwell sells 1939.
    5. Later owners include Sandy Searle 1967-72, then Dr. Ranginui Walker 1972, gap of 3 years then John Hobden 1977-81, Stan Bayer 1981-84, N Amos 1984-7, Ken Meyer 1987-90.
    6. Capt. John Harrison (ex-skipper of HMNZS TUI [I have fond memories of her wardroom!]) bought her at Sandspit 1990 in poor condition with 40hp Ford Ebro. Orams rebuilt her substantially 1991-2. John renamed her TILIKUM and kept her at Parua Bay then sold shortly after and went back to sail.


  13. WAINUI (strictly speaking WAINUI II) was built by Joe Slattery in 1924. I have a large dossier on her, prepared by my good friend Capt. John Harrison who had her rebuilt to her present configuration by Orams in Whangarei in 1992. I’ll post a selection of images of her over the years tomorrow. SAMBO is a myth.


  14. Nice to see Wainui once more, my friend and I owned her from the 70,s to early 80,s
    We purchased her from a chap in Mt Wellinton and and she was moored just outside the Panmure Basin.
    From all accounts she was a Chas Bailey and originally was named Sambo !!! She had a Chrysler Crown 6 cyl petrol engine


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s