Wairiki – Yes, No, Maybe?



Wairiki – Yes, No, Maybe?

In early January Nathan Herbert was poking around the Te Atatu Boating Club haul out area & spotted the launch Wairiki. It sparked a wee moment of ‘could it be…………’ & Nathan dropped me a note with the 2 photos above – “I won’t put my life on it, but I doubt I’m wrong. Same flare, same forward sheer, same bridge location, same twin for’d portholes. Wairiki as original moved to Wellington I’m told, and I have seen a photo of the modified one in Wellington in say the 1960’s. Without dodger. Add to that the correct name, and far too many coincidences.”
So would what do you think – same boat?

27 thoughts on “Wairiki – Yes, No, Maybe?

  1. Pingback: WAIRIKI – A Peek Down Below | waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

  2. HDK, you mention WAIRIKI was sold to Picton during the war. In the late 40s & 50s, Les Kenny ran a WAIRIKI of about that size and general appearance (old photo, top left above) as part of his “Friendship Launches” fleet. From memory she did water taxi work rather than regular mail-launch/tourist launch stuff.
    I can’t say we’re definitely talking of the same boat, but it does seem likely.


  3. Sometimes spelt MacQueen. He served in the RNVR in the LONDON MOTOR BOAT SECTION 1916-17. Distinguished stuff alongside the large number of New Zealanders serving in MLs in the North Sea and Channel during WW1.


  4. W.R. Ingram had another WAIRIKI built by Bill Couldrey in 1938, a 30 footer. Ingram sold to Colin Dennes of Herne Bay. The US Army took her over in 1941 and sent her to Noumea. Colin got her back after the war with a Chrysler installed. I think her history has been on WW before.


  5. Thanks very much Gents!
    If anyone has any photos that would be great. I was going to put up a Chart in the Bridge but, some old photos would be far better. I’ll hunt for one of Mr McQueen now.
    Thanks again for your time.


  6. Leonard Ernest McQueen was a garage proprietor, born Dunedin 1889, died Auckland 1956. When WAIRIKI was built he lived in Wairiki St, Mt. Eden so I guess that’s where he got her name from. It’s possible that Wairiki St was in turn named after either Jason’s lovely yacht or the racehorse she was named after.


  7. Nathan has provided the guts of her history. She had an 8 cylinder 165hp Lycoming engine, basically the same as in the Cord and Auburn Speedster cars of the time. Reg Tappenden of Tappenden Motors bought her in 1937/8. He sold her to Picton and she was sailed down via Napier in November 1941. Must have had a clearance through the minefields. There was precious little fuel available to feed those big Yank horses so she had a gas producer set up and got there burning char!!
    I don’t know much about her Sounds history but Jack Barker owned her in Wellington in 1946. I photographed her in Evans Bay in February 1998 and will dig up the pic.


  8. She has come up now and then in my ferret-ings, be she in old photos of the Devonport Yacht Club haulout area, or moored in wellington in NatLib archives with brown coamings similar to today. Paperspast has a bit of info, if you use various combinations of search term including and sometimes excluding: 39ft, C. Wild, Wairiki, Macqueen, Mcqueen, Lycoming, Launch, cruiser etc etc

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A, unquestionably different boats,​ too many to list. B

    On Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at 1:08 AM, waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden bo


  10. PS Isn’t it odd that her provenance has shifted from Wild to Lanes. Underlines my theory that “Lanes” is the default builder for grisly old shellbacks in imparting their (often dubious) waterfront knowledge. Unless they are of the stature of Jack Taylor, take their wisdom cum grano salis.


  11. Good sleuthing, Nathan (yet again). You’ve got a good eye!
    She’s the Colin Wild WAIRIKI of October 1934 all right.
    Love the pic of TAHITIENNE. My father bought her after she had lain in Rotten Row for some months. One of my first memories is being aboard her and her masts seemed to reach the sky.


  12. I agree with Mark,
    I think there are too many differences, one of an usual nature, in respect of someone cutting a sweep in the deck — have never seen that done ever myself in a boat, on the “modern” WAIRIKI, the distance between the bow portholes, appears a little longer, the rear porthole is closer to the deckline a little, the rear of the 2 portholes on the “modern WAIRIRI is still in the curve of the flare a little, whereas in the original WAIRIKI the side of the boat has almost no flare at that point. — just a point of view– KEN R


  13. Yes, they are the same boat. I bought Wairiki from Shayne Young approx 9 years ago (I think). He and his wife had bought her from a Wellington family that were moving to OZ. I have subsequently found the old owners, looking for info on her, but missed the bloke by a few months – passed away. His wife was very happy to talk about what she knew of the boat. She sent me a video (early 80’s when video was new!) of the boat being hauled along the wellington waterfront and craned back into the briny. Also a few shots of her underway.
    Shayne stripped her down and splined and glassed the hull as well as doing the hull extention and adding the rear cabin (I know, I know… she needs some windows back there!). She is now 45′ plus my father and I built the boarding platform which adds another 3′. She didnt have a platform at all and as I am a diver I wanted a boarding platform wide enough to sit in my deck chair drinking beer and shucking scollops.
    She is powered by a 100hp Ford and with the new prop she scoots along at a genuine 10knots. Flat out in perfect conditions Ive had 11.9knots!
    If anyone has any info on her, I would be most grateful. I was told she is Lanes but then last time she was out an old bloke told me definitely not a Lane probably a Collings?
    I can seem to find the video but, when I do I’ll add some pics from it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The bow is right, not sure why you would cut the hull down- though we have seen much stranger things done ‘to modernise’ and if the wheelhouse had got a bit soft -then possibly other bits of deck as well and they took the opportunity to make her stepped like their friends launches,,,


  15. I can see it, the hull that far back is easily changed, they removed the beltings and cut the windows lower i’d hazzard. There’s certainly been more radical changes to boats.


  16. Its difficult comparing boats when one is out of the water and the other isnt, but I see an unlikely match in these two shots. The orig boat has a continuous sheer and the current day boat has a broken one with the front section and rear showing different curves. It seams unlikely to me that such a large part of the hull would have been removed but if it has, that could explain the differing curves. Also to me the stem appears to have some forward rake whereas the orig is straight.

    Mark Jarvis.


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