Restoration of the 1936 X-Class dinghy Huia – X22
I have been contacted by Charles Pope who has begun work on the restoration of Huia. Charles is aiming to have the boat on the water in January at the Mahurangi regatta.
Huia has impeccable pedigree having won the Sanders Cup in 1939.
I have reproduced what Charles knows below. Charles is hoping to fill in the missing information between her Sanders Cup success in 1939 and the recent history I got from her previous owner, Rex, who sailed her at Mahurangi around 1998.That’s nearly 60 years missing
The photos above show her on the water in Torbay after Charles tightened up her planks and gave her a paint job.
Any woodys able to help Charles out? I’m a little concerned use of the words – epoxy & glass fibre……………….
“Last year I spotted an old 1936 classic wooden boat for sale. Her name was Huia and she was one of the original X-Class dinghies that were sailed by very competitive teams vying for the Sanders Cup in the 1930’s. Huia and her Canterbury crew won the cup in 1939.
Now she was on a rotting and rusting trailer, not under cover, damage from rain water and rotting leaves and badly in need of TLC. She needed someone with more passion than sense to save her from the landfill and that’s where I came in. I took her home, fixed her trailer and began the journey to get her back on the water.
First I had to learn about clinker (or lapstrake) boat construction and I procured copper nails and roves and suitable pieces of kauri timber to match her original construction. After months of working every weekend I was ready to launch her on the local beach. It only took a couple of hours sailing her for me to see that Huia was a beautiful boat. Stable and forgiving, well balanced and stately in appearance – despite sails that had seen better days and gushing leaks between the planks that kept the bailing bucket busy, she was worth spending more time and money on to get her into top shape for a new life.
I decided to bite the bullet and apply modern technology to give the old girl a new life. West Systems epoxy and glass fibre cloth will seal and protect the old kauri planks and some rigid framing will strengthen the structure so the epoxy won’t crack.”
And as a bonus, below, a mystery yacht, ex Ross Griffin’s post on Historic BOL photos page
Input from Robin Elliott
“The Canterbury Huia was built by R. Tredennick in 1932, probably off moulds by Fred Dobby. She did little of note until Trdennick sold her around 1936 to R. Hendry and, with Fred Tissiman as skipper she won the 1939 Sander Cup at Bluff.
After 1939 she was sold to Bill Poole of Akaroa and he still owned her in 1947 racing with the Akaroa Sailing Club. My Canterbury contacts seem to recall that she was converted to a runabout.
However …. way up in Northland in 1952 an X-class boat named Huia owned by K. Bradley from Dargaville appeared at Paihia to race in the Northland Sanders Cup Trials. She was quite good and raced in Whangarei and at the northern regional regattas for the next 2-3 years. I have not seen any photos to see if she carried a sail number. Many regional yacht owners bought sails but never bothered registering.
Sea Spray Oct 1953, in mentioning the 1953 Northland trials, made a note that “Huia from Dargaville will be worth watching.”
At the Whangarei Cruising Club the X-class Huia won the Wilkinson Shield in 1953 and 1954.
Interestingly enough. The ex-Auckland yacht Tuoma (built for Bob Greenwell in 1946) in April 1952 was owned by R. Long of Taumarere, was racing at the Northland Inter-Port Yachting regatta up at Paihia.
Her sail number was X-22. She vanished soon after that 1952 regatta.
Perhaps Mr. Bradley of Dargaville got hold of Tuoma’s sails? OR… perhaps he bought Tuoma and renamed her Huia?”