Working Waterfront Boatbuilders Shed – 50 photos













Working Waterfront Boatbuilders Shed – 50 photos

As I’ve send many times before, if your want a stunning day weather wise, schedule a Classic Yacht Association event – the hit rate must be 9/10.

Over 100 CYA members & friends made the trip north to Lees Boatbuilders at Sandspit – our host for the day, Greg Lees, turned on a brilliant woody event – we had everything – woody projects underway, the best collection of 1/2 models I seen outside of the RNZYS walls, a photo montage recording the history of the yard & the vessels built over the years.

 Center stage was Jenny & Angus Rogers – Mahanui, in the shed for a new deck, alongside her was a very original Chris Craft that was getting a restoration. 

The varnish guru Dale has already applied 23 coats, with 6 more to come. Compared to our old girls, these American woodys are very lightly built, amazing that so many have survived.

Outside we had Anna & Nic Davidson’s – Juanita, on one slip & Barbara & David Cooke’s woody flagship – Trinidad, alongside the wharf. In midstream was Yvonne, waiting her turn in the shed.

On the hard was a selection of small craft built by either Greg, his father Tim or other local craftsman. Not woodys but certainly classic were Greg’s two English built, aluminium Albatross runabouts – the very rare 4 seater is next on Greg’s to-do list. Included are a few photos of other woodys in or out of the water.

Greg gave an articulate talk on his families boatbuilding history & how they came to be situated on the Sandspit foreshore. At the end he announced the official launch of the 2018 Rudder Cup launch race to be run on Friday 14th December to Sail Rock & back. See flyer below, I encourage all woody owners to consider participating. At this stage we (I’m on the race committee, along with Jason Prew, Nathan Herbert, Baden Pascoe & Barbara & David Cooke) are calling for expressions of interest in racing – entry to the race is by invitation, as per the original race format in 1908.

 Big ups to Greg & family + staff for turning on the day, including BBQ. Special thanks also to the CYA committee members that pulled it all together. 

Lastly a little something below for the petrol heads – Greg had on display his Jesser BSA 500cc twin, hill climb racer. Built in 1962 by Les Jesser, she is a 2 time Australian  class champion. 



CYA Rudder Cup 2018 flyer

7 thoughts on “Working Waterfront Boatbuilders Shed – 50 photos

  1. The “Barrel Boat” was built in Whangarei by Capt E Williams in 1906 as DORA. She was theoretically built to sail to the Christchurch Exhibition and then around the world but was sailed to Auckland and auctioned when only 3 weeks old. She was rechristened KAHO = CASK and later NANCY LEE.
    She sailed very well but was broken up at Waiheke in 1916.


  2. Very happy to look at those photos twice…. Was a great day and thanks to Greg Lees and his team who really went out of their way to give folk an insight into the history of the business and hope for the continuation of this great traditional boatyard.


  3. Very interested to see the Barrel Mooring bouy…………..wonder if its one of the ones my dad made back in the 50s…….he was one of NZs last working coopers back then and I recall him making several of these for boating friends in his Ponsonby Cooperage which was actually operating from under our family home right up until his retirement .
    I also remember him talking of a ‘Barrel Boat’ that from memory was quite large (20-30Ft?) and I think built up somewhere close to Whanagrei. I do know this existed as I recall seeing a photo of it on the wall of one of the local drinking holes in up there a few years back when I had called in for a cup of tea!
    Wonder if any woodies have any knowledge of either of these interesting snippets!
    Greg Schultz


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