Old & & Even Older


Old & & Even Older

Great photo above of the 1929, Riley 9 twin cam that Baden Pascoe recently finished restoring. The Riley is parked in front of Aumoe, the 1913 Tom Le Huguet built classic launch owned by Andrew Pollard.

Streaming Planks

The above link to the very cool youtube clip on steaming Huon Pine planks onto Ian Smith’s (new build) 24’ Ranger class gaff rigged sloop, was sent to me by Robin Elliott


Looking for Scorpio – Sail # 1025

I was recently contacted by John McIntosh who is endeavoring to locate the current owner of ‘Scorpio’, a Californian Bear design about 23’ loa.  Built in Milford about the 1950s by a professional boat builder (Gladden?) I’ll let John tell the story – read below.

The story is that she was built for Rush Clark snr who was the Auckland Pan Am representative, and as a young boy I went out for a picnic sail on her.  I was calibrating new Raymarine instruments on Monday 30th Oct. on my boat, when I noticed a small keeler doing leads off Princess wharf.  Later we past close by her transom and I noticed the word Scorpio carved on her stern.  I immediately looked up at the mainsail and noticed a black bear on all four paws was near the peak, together with the registration number 1025.  Because we were out “on business” I couldn’t go back and check on anything.  Needless to say she was much smaller than I recalled.

When I got home I checked my old 1977 NZYF register, and the name and number were in there, but no owner.  I got in touch with a friend who remained in touch with Rush Clark jnr in Atlanta Georgia. What must have amounted to reply the same day, I got an enthusiastic reply from Rush jnr, telling me “Scorpio” was only 23’ long and had been built in Milford.  He went on to say that it was a testament to NZ Kauri and the skill of Kiwi boat builders that “Scorpio” was still sailing. 

Rush is intending to come out to NZ early in the New Year and says he would love to see her again and would I please do my best to track “Scorpio” down.

I have rung all the marinas, most recognised yacht clubs, & Yachting New Zealand, but none could help me.  The Harbour Master’s office promised to ring back, but haven’t done so.  I have been to Gladden’s workshop, but John has been gone for decades, and workmen having a beer after work suggested that I contact your site.  

There is a nice story about the name “Scorpio”.  Rush snr and his wife Anne were captured by the Japs in the Philippines and in the prison camp they would look at the stars and think that somewhere in the world people were still free and one day, if they survived, they would also be free.

My father occasionally raced on “Scorpio” with the Squadron and said it was the slowest boat in the fleet.  Sometimes when they crossed the finish line at Orakei wharf, they could see that the tower was all closed up and the race management had gone home.


So woodys hopefully we can locate the where abouts of Scorpio for John.

Once again WW delivers

Just received an email from Neil Chalmers, with the below photo of Scorpio. Neil was sent the photo by Dan Ranall back in June 2016. Dan had been mooching around Okahu Bay & snapped the photo, then sent it to Neil to see if Neil could ID the yacht. Boom connection made 🙂

Neil commented that he thought there was another Bear Class in Auckland (sail #577), called Little Bear. Anyone able to confirm?


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4 thoughts on “Old & & Even Older

  1. Little Bear was in the eighties moored near Watchmans island, and yes built by Lidgards had a small Kiwi doghouse style cabin, owned for a while by Max from the Barrier (Taree and Carol) and possibly more recently by a well known West Auckland vet.


  2. Scorpio was built by Alan Willliams in 1951 for Rush S. Clark and registered as F-60.
    In 1954 her dimensions were given as 23ft x 18ft 6in x ? x 3ft 6in Sail Area 268sqft
    She was up for sale in July through September 1959 “apply Allan Williams”.

    P.J. Sheehan entered her in the 1960 Anniversary regatta

    Rush Clarke was still her registered owner as late as 1968, but that doesn’t really mean much, the records are notoriously inaccurate.

    It looks like she was in Wellington from at least 1969 owned by W.B. McQueen of Roseneath with NZYF sail number 1025.

    By 1973 she is back in Auckland and registered with RAYC to H.W. Netten of Meadowbank, although McQueen of Roseneath remains her owner on the NZYF register until 1980.
    Listed by NZYF and YNZ but unregistered from 1980 to the present day.

    From http://www.bearboats.com/
    “The Bear Class Sloop is a living piece of San Francisco Bay’s maritime history. Conceived by Ernest Nunes and Marty Martinson, the first keel was laid late in 1931 by the Nunes Boat and Ways Company, Sausalito, California. By the summer 1932, the new boat was ready for its first sea trial. On lookers reported that Commodore Cliff Smith of the San Francisco Yacht Club praised the effort, telling young Ernest Nunes, “That is a bear of boat.” The name stuck and a unique class, indigenous to San Francisco Bay, was born.”

    Little Bear sail NZYF 577 is almost certainly another Bear design. She was built by Lidgards in 1959 but not registered until 1964 when she took sail number E-177

    Registered Owners were was C.G.S. Ellis 1964+?; R.D. Petty 1970/71+? (Still Registered as Owner NZYF 1978);

    Her registration Card gives her details as ” 22ft 11in x 19ft x 6ft 9in x 3ft 9in USA Design ”

    Sea spray Oct 1970: For Sale Built 1959, moored Napier.
    For sale on Trademe May 2006 – says built 1964


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