Kotiti – Sailing Sunday


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KOTITI – Sailing Sunday
The above photos are of the schooner Kotiti & were sent in by Lesley Brennan, whose father, Dudley (Lex) Dowling, owned her from November 1963 until 1968. Lesley was a teenager at that time and their family and various crew spent their summers cruising the Hauraki Gulf and the Bay of Islands and Far North. It was then sold to John Wicks who took the yacht to the South Island. Lex, kept copies of everything and Lesley has inherited two files relating to Kotiti & to other boating matters (purchasers, receipts, logs, etc) at that time in the ’60’s.
The yacht had quite a history, having once been stolen before Lex bought it. Later, while under his ownership, a crew from the Navy in Auckland raced it in the Whangarei to Noumea race in April 1964 and in the same year, Lex sailed it with a crew to Fiji (a lifetime ambition).
For many years Lex taught navigation based on a system he devised himself specifically for sailors of small ocean going boats. He also self published a related textbook on navigation (long before the internet and the electronic age!) and this textbook was in much demand at the time and sold well in NZ and throughout the Pacific.
Lesley last spotted Kotiti up on the hard at Sumner in 1994 & she would love to know who the current owner is. They may be interested in having the two folders of information about their boat during the 1960’s.
So woodys – do we know who owns her today & what became of her post Lex selling her. I’m sure if the John Wicks mentioned above is the JW that comments on ww, we will find out a lot more.

Input below from John Wicks

I sold her in ’78 or ’79 to Jim Wood who I think still has her. There was a recent pic on WW of a boat in Havelock Marina with Kotiti in the background and looking well cared for.
As noted above, I bought her from Lex Dowling in ’68 and took her back to the South island; specifically to Waikawa, Picton . Cruised her extensively in the Sounds, D’Urville Island and across Tasman Bay to Nelson, Torrent Bay etc., and we did several Cook Strait races.  
Her genesis is interesting. She was built by Peter Lamb, a science(?) teacher at Christchurch Boys High School; I met his son at one stage, who was adamant his father designed her, but when I first owned Kotiti she had amongst her documents two pieces of blueprint, one of her body section and one of her backbone structure, both of them bearing Eric Cox’s name. I have already seen Cox’s “Dancing Feather” design, the interior layout of which was very similar to Kotiti’s, and years later came across Howard I> Chapelle’s “Corsair” designed for ‘Popular Mechanix’ magazine which closely resembled Kotiti in hull form. “Corsair” was designed for inside ballast; “Kotiti” had 2/3 of her ballast on the keel and 1/3 inside. (Quite a story there)
I have also been told that noted ChCh boat builder Cliff Mahan bought a set of “Corsair” plans with a view to building one for himself, but never did.
There is a photo in an old “SeaSpray” of Peter Lamb standing under the coutner of soon-to-be-launched “Kotiti” showing a model of her to Ian Treleaven. To my eye at least, the model looks more like “Corsair” than “Kotiti”. My conjecture (and it is only conjecture!) is that Peter Lamb looked at both designs, took what he wanted from both, made the model then went to Eric Cox to take off the lines and draw the actual plans.
At any rate, she was (still is, I hope) fast and weatherly for her type, comfortable and sea kindly. I have very fond memories of her.

6 thoughts on “Kotiti – Sailing Sunday

  1. Jim Wood replies,
    Hello all,and thank you for the nice comments and memories of my beloved vessel “Kotiti”,at this point in time i am still the fortunate owner caretaker of her and when Boxing day arrives this year it will be an ownership of 40years exactly and ,a love affair of 40 yrs as i still enjoy the moments when i step aboard just the same as my first boarding.And yes she is a Howard Chappel 41 Cosair in the discussion i had with the late Cliff Mahan,he told me that he was going to build her but was in the process of setting up his marine shop so put it on hold,then Peter Lamb asked him if he could build her,so Cliff lent him the blue prints and Peter then copied them ,i imagine by tracing,(no photo copy in those days).the dog house was not part of the plans and as John Wicks has said conjecture has it that is where the Eric cox element came in as in the area where she was built there lived a lot of yachting people and over the years that i did my annual maintenance in Monks bay i heard many a story from the locals who remembered her well.The photo of Kotiti is one of my annual trips for painting etc.Incidently Kotiti was launched just about 100yards to the east of that photo in 1959,the gate way into the Christchurch Yacht Club is the point and is inscribed in the cement as the Kotiti gate.Lesley Brennan has made contact and we had a very nice chat and soon i will receive the folders that were mentioned to add to the history that i have.
    Kind regards to all
    jim and Kotiti

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  2. Thank you all for your help. I have now been able to contact the current owner, Jim Wood and have arranged to send him my father’s comprehensive information of the period that he owned Kotiti.
    Lesley

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  3. Jinny Wood now ownes Kotiti and the boat is in the Havelock Marina , I have passed info on to a John Howie who has Jims phone Number and email address . contact John on 03 3287459

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  4. We went passed Kotiti sitting in her berth at Havelock Marina on our way out this morning
    She looks very tidy and her owners obviously care for her a lot

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  5. I sold her in ’78 or ’79 to Jim Wood who I think still has her. There was a recent pic on WW of a boat in Havelock Marina with Kotiti in the background and looking well cared for.
    As noted above, I bought her from Lex Dowling in ’68 and took her back to the South island; specifically to Waikawa, Picton . Cruised her extensively in the Sounds, D’Urville Island and across Tasman Bay to Nelson, Torrent Bay etc., and we did several Cook Strait races.
    Her genesis is interesting. She was built by Peter Lamb, a science(?) teacher at Christchurch Boys High School; I met his son at one stage, who was adamant his father designed her, but when I first owned Kotiti she had amongst her documents two pieces of blueprint, one of her body section and one of her backbone structure, both of them bearing Eric Cox’s name. I hyad already seen Cox’s “Dancing Feather” design, the interior layout of which was very similar to Kotiti’s, and years later came across Howard I> Chapelle’s “Corsair” designed for ‘Popular Mechanix’ magazine which closely resembled Kotiti in hull form. “Corsair” was designed forn inside ballast; “Kotiti” had 2/3 of her ballast on the keel and 1/3 inside. (Quite a story there)
    I have also been told that noted Chch boat builder CLiff Mahan bought a set of “Corsair” plans with a view to building one for himself, but never did.
    There is a photo in an old “Seaspray” of Peter Lamb standing under the coutner of soon-to-be-launched “Kotiti” showing a model of her to Ian Treleaven. To my eye at least, the model looks more like “Corsair” than “Kotiti”. My conjecture (and it is only conjecture!) is that Peter Lamb looked at both designs, took what he wanted from both, made the model then went to Eric Cox to take off the lines and draw the actual plans.
    At any rate, she was (still is, I hope) fast and weatherly for her type, comfortable and seakindly. I have very foind memories of her.

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