A Woody 100th Birthday


A Woody 100th Birthday

I mentioned last Friday that on Sunday, Sierra the 1917 Joseph Fell designed & built motorboat would be celebrating her 100th birthday at the Panmure Motor Boat & Yacht Club.
Sierra’s owner Dennis Christopher (photo above) must have bribed the weather gods because the weekend was probably the best this year for classic motor boats. We made the decision to head to the Waiheke Island area on Saturday & then head over to Panmure on Sunday afternoon for the birthday party. Never made the party – see below.
Thanks to Baden Pascoe for the above photos & after speaking with Baden I can report that nearly 100 people turned up to celebrate the occasion, including members of the Fell family & the Andrews family (previous owners).
Its great to see these old work boats still being actively used & presented so well – I love the ‘beard’ on Sierra in the photo above.

Now the reason I didn’t make the party was Raindance had a mechanical oops, the 1st in 10 years that I have not been able to fix & we had to call Coast Guard for a tow. Hats off to the CC crew from Matiatia, Waiheke Island – they were on the scene pronto & had us back at Bayswater faster than I could have under her on steam 🙂 In fact the bottom probably got a good clean 😉
I spent Sunday morning cleaning 10+L of oil from the bilge – not my idea of a fun day.
A call to James Mobberley at Moon Engines will be top of the to-do list today.

(too many other classics out on the harbour to keep this below the radar – thanks guys for the txt’s 🙂  )



There is always a silver lining – after we got home, decided to have a bbq & put a match to the lounge fire, first of the year.

9 thoughts on “A Woody 100th Birthday

  1. Hello to All, As an owner, restorer and skipper of the Sierra on the Hokianga and Waitemata for over 12 years from 1988, I was saddened to not be invited to this auspicious event. We brought her back to the Hokianga from Auckland after an extensive refit in Whangarei. She was blessed and re-launched at Opononi 29 Oct. 1988. I have the logbooks from many an excursion as we carried several thousand passengers over the years, including all the school children from the surrounding district. A mural at Opononi captures those days. A storm badly damaged her in 1998. She was trucked to Whangarei for repairs and improvements before going to the viaduct basin. Mr Christopher subsequently bought her and took her to the next level of restoration! Well done.


  2. So great to see the Sierra still going strong. I Grew up in the 80/90’s overlooking her out the window of my house on the Hokianga harbour and spent many days crossing the harbour on her to the sand dunes and going on school trips up the harbour to Rawene, Kohukohu and Horeke where we would stay on marae and research local history. My brothers even helped clean her hull and paint her once. I still remember the day storm that came through just and took her off her mooring at Opo which she never returned to and the confusion i had as a kid that she was then sold and taken to Auckland. I always wondered what happened to her as do a lot of people i imagine. Happy she’s in good hands and i’m sure the locals up in Hoki would love to know about her new life.


  3. Absolutely — that’s what they’re there for, & they do a wonderful job — I was part of it for many years, back in the 60s/70s, so speak a little from experience.


  4. On the bow of Sierra known as a pudding, not just classics saw you on the end of a towline -some racing yachts as well….


  5. Must say I admire you for being so absolutely up front about the tow. So sad, because she looked so lovely when she glided passed us so silently, when I was on board W1 at the marina on Saturday morning.
    Must say although I never had the misfortune to have to be towed, in my 53 years of boating, (although I came home on 1 engine once or twice), but I would have done my very best to keep it quiet, — (to much ego probably). — Hope it is all fixed quickly & easily & sympathy to you both for ruining your weekend– keep smiling — KEN R


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