Whangateau Traditional Boat Yard – A different view

Whangateau Traditional Boat Yard – A different view

photos ex Geoff Steven

At the recent CYA launch group visit / open day my good friend & CYA member Geoff Steven (Awatere) grabbed my camera off me & took a few photos of the yard. Geoff has lots of interesting business interests, most based around the world of film & photography, so it was interesting to see the yard from a pros eyes. Enjoy 🙂

As always, click photos to enlarge 😉

You can have a peek at Geoff’s work here


23 thoughts on “Whangateau Traditional Boat Yard – A different view

  1. It is a lovely little world at the top of the creek.
    At low tide the mud pops in the sunshine, a moody heron studies it’s own wrinkled stockings and boot prints draw dotted lines from boat to boat like some curious diagram of social behavior. There are no good reasons for people to plod and squelch; it is just that they can’t stay away from their boats. A boot- heavy car arrives,spades are unloaded,chain and an old lorry wheel filled with concrete. Three men jig their way into boiler suits watching the ebb as it bares the mud, knowing that if they dig flat-out they can bury the wheel and fill the hole again just as the, for once, raceing flood tide reaches it. First though they must get the wheel out there on a toboggan of corrugated iron, Fred’s idea. Sledging, No- thirty paces this way then thirty paces that, with bridle chains draped over bowed shoulders as if serving time for their precious folly. Fred is never to hear the last of this!!…


  2. The Estuary
    The wind has died, no motion now in the summers sleepy breath.
    Silver the sea-grass the shells and the drift wood,
    fixed in the moons vast crystal.
    Think: long after, when the walls of the small house have collapsed upon us,
    each alone, far gone the earths invasion
    the slow earth bedding and filling the bone,
    this water will still be crawling up the estuary,
    fingering its way among the channels, licking the stones;
    And the giant moon, still shoreward glide among the mangroves on the creeping tide.
    The noise of the gulls come through the shinning darkness over the dunes and the sea
    Now the clouded moon is warm in her nest of light.
    The worlds a shell where distant waves are murmuring of a time beyond this time.
    Give me the ghost of your hand : unreal,unreal the dunes the sea,
    the mangroves, and the moons white light,
    unreal, beneath our naked feet the sand.
    Rex Fairburn


  3. Yeep, tend to think the model is perhaps more of a motor sailer.
    She’s lacking the free board to be Awatere also.
    The model shows the shape of the hull and the keel could perhaps be considered after the half model is made. I’m certainly no expert.


  4. Hi Pam, can’t be sure but I don’t think that is Awatere. She flattens off quite a bit before the stern and has a pretty solid and long keel to the rudder shoe. I’ll post a photo…

    Photos below ex Geoff S. AlanH


  5. The half model does display some tumble home that the photo is not showing and some rake on the stern.
    I’m not sure, it looks like Awatere, in the real, may have a plumb stern.
    Similar do you think? I shan’t be offended.


  6. It was nice to see a photo of the Builders Plate on the Awatere Post.
    It would be neat to have a small one engraved and mounted with the half model if we can identify it.
    Dave J had suggested it would more than likely to have been Howard or Leone (Claude’s sons) that would have made the half models.
    In the book ” The Shape Of Speed ” biography of Bruce Far, there is a photo of the inside of the boat shed here where Awatere was built (previous to Awatere). You would find the black and white photo no doubt by googling Whangateau traditional boat yard – images.
    Named ‘ Smoko at Claude Greenwoods boat yard’ I realy like the image (1960 ) as it shows Jim, Bruce at aged 11 and Claude in the light of the slip way door. The gapping timber clad walls and the mess of discarded timbers and stuff, gives a neat impression of what it was like back then. In a lot of ways it hasn’t changed much 🙂


  7. Hi Alan, if you bump into Geoff again can you let him know we do have two half models that look much like his 32 ft Awatere and one that would step off correctly. He had probably funnily enough walked past the display on the wall.The half models have been donated back to the yard by Mrs Flay and some previously by Nick Oconor.
    We would be interested in any story’s or history from the yard if anyone has any.
    I could email him some photos but probably best to identify it in the real.


  8. Hi Pam, Geoff here. Thanks for your positive comments. It was a great privilege to visit your yard and was particularly interesting as the hull of my boat “Awatere”was built in that very shed in 1980. I have heard from the original owner that there is a half model of the hull around so if you ever stumble across it hidden in a corner somewhere, I’d love to hear about it!
    Cheers, Geoff


  9. James, Katy Happy New Year!!!!
    Haaa ha !!! Tis a bit grim when you get updated on a blog ( As cool as it is ) on the progress on your own boat. : )
    The weather is just superb, lots of folk on the beach and water and through the yard, all the doors are thrown open and Laughing Lady is reveling in a cool sea breeze, she’s even getting used to Yanni full blare!
    Planking repairs carried out so some short boarding and fresh undercoats going on. best I send some photos and update you ( not the world )
    A pleasant time being had : )
    Thanks James.


  10. We have had a couple of groups of w woodys through the yard today.
    The doors are open through the holiday season so do feel free to come and say hi.
    I am quite happy to be pleasantly interrupted. Laughing lady is haveing a few building coats of undercoat applied so bring a paint brush with you. : )


  11. Well done Geoff.
    A mix of degradation and heritage draws artists and photographers.
    I see every day how the yard and boats and sheds are revered by passer- byes.
    Happy youthful days recalled, fondness for a boat that leaked but gave the most joyfull ride.
    The aroma of a shed that smells as it ought to. A memory held with a father carrying out repairs or a new build on the saw stools and the strokes of a brush that held that same colour on the window sills of the batch.
    There’s a greater world than this but if you take two steps back, there’s nothing unusual about this place, take a look a fresh, a yard like this is deserving of the future.


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