Some Days Are Just Made For a Wheel-house




Some Days Are Just Made For a Wheel-house

Far north woody – Dean Wright was recently going thru a pile of his old images & came across the above shots from the 2012 Bay of Islands – Tall Ships Race. Dean reports that it was bucketing down and a 3 meter swell, the 3 above do not appear phased by the conditions 🙂
From the top the 3 photos show:

1. Bram Cone’s Meola coming around Tapeka in a trough
2. Cal Crook’s Donna Maree
3. Jim Ashby’s Olga

Meloa has been well covered on ww before – can any woodys tell us more about Donna Maree & Olga?

Update from Dean – below is the beautiful Nina, she was later lost in the Tasman with the loss of all crew.
Bob Van Pierce’s Cora
Spray behind a swell.




7 thoughts on “Some Days Are Just Made For a Wheel-house

  1. Pingback: Woody on tour at Opua, BOI | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

  2. Reminds me of going from Kawau to the Barrier, LARGE swell, Anchorite Rock breaking and that’s all we saw of a yacht- the tip of the mast.




  3. Was sailing the shortest entrant that day and had great fun as always in the tall ships, watching some large local ketches roar past us on the reach then get pressed down till their cockpits filled and they pulled out one by one while we pushed on into the building breeze then a nice reach home is a great memory , I remember the Nina from that day in particular smoking along with Ross Harold driving.
    The Olga is indeed a rare ship to be built in modern times, with the best equipment and timber going into her as she progressed between jobs in the yard, at least a few Americans have been very pleased to see her haul into sight to tow them into the bay…


  4. Donna Maree was built by Jorgensens at Waikawa Picton For Charlie Hebberley of Tory Channel.
    Named after his two daughters. Charlies son, Joe had Heather built by Doug Robb which was similar but not the same


  5. As Gavin said, Jim Ashby built Olga. Jim served his time with Alan Orams at Whangarei. I once asked Jim about the design of Olga and he told me she is a combination of Charles Bailey and the South Island boats build by the likes of Miller & Tonnage and Roger Carey. Olga is built on traditional methods but Jim has employed a lot of modern boat building practices for good reason. She is powered by a 6L3 Gardiner (that is the older 900 rpm engine ex locomotive) with a 3:1 reduction. She steams very fast for a big boat only having 114 hp. Goes to show you the efficiency of a big slow rpm high torque engine with a big prop. A lovely work/pleasure boat indeed.


  6. I was working at Ashbys yard as a marine painter when Olga was being built. I know bugger all about it….other than it is built like a bloody icebreaker! A good friend of mine spent many years building it for Jim, from the drawings on the shed floor to launching day, he was there. He is still local and must be one of the youngest guys around at 46 who did a full wooden boat building apprenticeship?


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