MATIRA – A Peek Down Below
At last weekends Woody Classics Weekend cruise to Clevedon I had a peek aboard Matira. I first spoke to owner Barrie Abel back in 2017 when he was looking for a classic sympathetic insurer to insure his recent purchase. I pointed him in the direction of David Cooke, who helped Barrie out. At the time the vessel was ’sitting’ on Barries front lawn while he addressed some mechanical issues.
I mentioned to Barrie that Matira was a bit of a mystery boat to me, my only exposure to her was seeing moored in the creek off the Te Atatu Boating Club. She was to my eye an unusual mix of styles.
Her builder and launch date are a little unclear – there is talk that she is a Lanes c.1912, but Harold Kidd has previously commented on WW that this is possible except that “Lanes” is usually just a default for ‘old boat’. HDK also commented that he thought she could be a bit earlier than 1912 by when there tended to be a built-up foredeck and a break in the sheer aft of that. She was certainly not built as MATIRA. Probably a well-known early launch whose provenance has been lost / blurred by one or more name-changes.
Fast forward to September (this year) and Barrie made the long haul from Clevedon to attend the inaugural Woody Classics Weekend event at the Riverhead Hotel, an impressive undertaking considering the weather on the day. During the lunch ashore, a group of us chatted about wanting to do the Wairoa River trip to Clevedon, as a member of the Clevedon Cruising Club, Barrie volunteered to be our liaison person – the rest is history, scroll down to Mondays WW story for the full trip report.
While tied up together at the CCC wharf, with Barries permission I popped aboard Matira with the camera, photos above. I have to say I was very impressed with the fit out done by Matira’s previous owner (ex Lidgards boatbuilder) Dan Kamphuis. Dan purchased the boat in c.1997 and as you can see in the photos below, totally rebuilt the boat. She was relaunched in 2004.
Everyone walking the dock over the weekend loved her, including my wife and she has high standards – well she married me after all 🙂
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