Awarua has made several ‘cameo’ appearances on ww & been mentioned in other stories but due to the fact that her owner (for the last 20 years) keeps her moored at Clevedon we do not see her at CYA events or this end of the Waitemata Harbour. Thanks to the CYA launch captain, Angus Rogers, we now have some great photos of her.

Awarua is 37′, a Roy Lidgard, all kauri launch, built in 1947. Angus was aboard her this week & commented to me that Awarua is kept in wonderful condition with no shortage of TLC.  In the 2nd photo above, you can see Angus’s launch Manhanui anchored behind Awarua.

Click this link to view a c1947 photo of Awarua, taken not long after she was launched

15 thoughts on “Awarua

  1. Hi Geoff, Its been a very long time since we met you up at Kawau just after i brought her up from Picton. I would have loved you to have had a look over her before I sold her but I lost track of where you were. Your Dad and Roy Lidgard sure as hell designed and built a beautiful boat, still a beautiful sound hull admired by boat builders in regard to the workmanship and as a result the present condition of the hull. Regards Ross Mason


  2. After the war Dad did get his Kauri timber back and was able to build a bigger boat,and was able to work on her throughout the time she was built.I remember playing in the shavings age 3 or 4.—-Geoff Cooper.


  3. Owner Ross, has advised he sold AWARUA last week & she is now based at Whangarei, which will be her permanent home from now on.
    I hope the new owners keep as wonderfully as Ross did, for the last 20+ years — KEN R


  4. Pingback: Awarua – Gets  A Make Over | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

  5. Pingback: Awarua – A Peek Down Below | SEA WALKER

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

  7. Hi Ross – I’d absolutely love that, it would be really wonderful, — she has always had special memories, as I have said, which I could develop more, personally. My email is; or mobile 021 988 919. If you care to drop me an email or ring, would love to hear from you.
    Best Regards Ken


  8. Reply to Ken As the present owner of Awarua I suggest Ken, you might like to contact me and have a look over her perhaps your opinion of the bigger flybridge might change when you see how functional it is. I was very conscious of keeping the flybridge as aesthetically pleasing as I could when I built it.The last thing I wanted to do was spoil a very pretty boat. But importantly it had to be functional which the original one wasn’t. Steering by my feet with my head stuck above the cabin top was not my idea of comfort and pleasure.The tent you refer to is not what I originally told the upholsterer (plus photo) to make and I was hugely disappointed with the end result. Having said that it can be lowered, it was only there for bad weather. Still has the Ford Mk 1 which starts well and goes like a dream. Have the original hand made sails. Come have a look at her sometime, she is in Pine Harbour not Clevedon Chrs Ross Mason


  9. As I said below, in the earlier comment, the Petrol engine was branded “Redwing,” (& painted red), but the Hesselman was Waukesha. — It was the first time I had ever heard the name “Waukesha” ( I was only about 12 or 13), that’s why I’m confident in the recall – I knew Hesselmans had been fitted to various commercial type craft, but only, as I said, 2 pleasure craft I knew of. — I saw some little petrol 4 cyl engines shortly after, which were used in all in Certified Concrete Ltd Commer concrete trucks at that time, who used them for turning the mixer units — Cheers Harold — KEN R


  10. I think you’ll find that the engines referred to were branded REDWING of which the blocks originated from truck engine manufacturer Waukesha. REDWING HESSELMANS were fitted to several craft impressed into or built for the RNZAF after Pearl Harbour, including the Bay of Islands workboat DORIS. Most US Marine engines were based on truck blocks from e.g. Continental, Hercules, Hall-Scott, Waukesha, Lycoming or were marinised car engines, especially Ford V8s and the various Dodge/Chrysler units.


  11. Ross told me that it was meant to be built earlier but the 2nd World War intervened and the government requisitioned all the kauri at Lidgards that had been set aside for the build. Happy ending, a year after the end of the war Lidgards were phoned to advise the timber had not been used and they should come and collect it. They sent their biggest truck and were shown where a pile of timber was. There was no supervision of the uplift so one can only assume a bit extra was taken as “interest” for the requisition!


  12. The Waukesha Hesselman diesels as referred to above were only fitted to 2 pleasure craft I know of, the AWARUA & GALA LASS, which had one from new, & they are described by the Waukesha history site, as follows;
    In 1935, an 8.5 x 8.5, 6 cylinder Waukesha Hesselman oil engine known as the 6LRH was introduced. The Hesselman was a low compression, fuel injected, spark ignited, multi-fuel engine that could run on just about any kind of fuel! The Hesselman engine’s success was tied directly to unavailability of quality fuel around the world. — KEN R


  13. Ted Cooper was a radio ham, which entitled him to have a special unmodified ZC1 Radio Telephone, unlike the normal controlled set frequency transmission, modification, required for boaties, for standard pleasure craft use.
    Also he had a very special call sign — “ZL1FO Marine Portable”, — the only call sign of this type I ever knew of on a boat. KEN R


  14. The AWARUA is named after the street in which members the Cooper family, (starting with Ted & his wife,) lived, for many years, from the1940s until around 2000. — It is Awarua Crescent Orakei. — KEN R


  15. AWARUA was a special part of my life in her very early days, her history, as told to me at that time by the Cooper family, was that she was built, by Ted Cooper himself, in Lidgards Auckland shed, with help & support from Roy Lidgards. Her frames were later borrowed by Bill Waters to build GAY DAWN & whilst GAY DAWN was shortened to 34 feet, inevitably looks quite different side view, stern on, they are almost identical.
    Recall is she originally had a Redwing c.90hp petrol engine, (which engines were made by Waukesha), replaced by a Waukesha Hesselman low compression spark ignited diesel later replaced by a 6cyl Ford Diesel.
    It is wonderful to see her still virtually original apart for the cabin top “tent,” & the increasing of the size of her original little “flying bridge” when built.
    She was a “trend setter,” in her time with Lidgards building the TAWHIRI (II), more or less in her image, a little later.

    Long may she live, so beautifully — KEN R (edited by Alan H)


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