Leaving ‘Freighter’s Bay’ (Opunga Cove) Dad with his Dad. Photo by Doug Gallagher from ‘Milady’
Stella at Anchor, Otehei Bay perhaps
Early days, platform added but still has mast
Stella – On the hard at BOIYC

Approx. 4 weeks ago on WW we ran a story on  Iorana > Stella, she is now sitting on a paddock in Northland – crying out for restoration. As tends to happen on WW that story and photos (link ) flushed out a previous owner / family connection. I was contacted by Dave and Pat Cochran who supplied the above photos and the story below – I’ll let Dave tell you about the family link to Stella.

“My father Max Cochran (John Maxwell Cochran,) bought her together with Eric Berry when I was about 15, so about 1961.   I believe she was sitting in the Tamaki River then, pretty scruffy but caught dad’s eye.    We lived in Northland, dad was Head Teacher of the Ohaeawai Maori School and Eric owned the Northern News in Kaikohe.  So the boat came up to Waitangi in the Bay of Islands and we set about cleaning her up.   River stones covered in diesel and oil as ballast under the floor, so she stank of that for a long time, even after the stones were all dumped into the Waitangi river !  She was moored above the bridge at Waitangi, initially on a mooring then onto the piles when they came.   She had a 4cyl Fordson in her, a mast and steadying headsail, and a long deep keelson running all the way to the bow.  Made her hard to turn in tight manoeuvres, but supposedly was to assist a previous life long-lining.     I was aware she had had a Maori name but could not have told you what it was.We took the mast away after a year or two of in and out under the Waitangi bridge and we cut away the deep forefoot to the keel line you now see.   Originally the belting along the side was lower, as you can see in the other photos, but the subsequent owner, Peter Sharp, modified it to give more width to that lower side-deck.   Unfortunately, to my eye at least, it really spoilt her lines.Dad and Mum retired to Paihia, and bought Eric out of the boat after a few years.    He subsequently owned her for I believe 26 years.   I did a hell of a lot of work on her from all the usual grinding off thick old paint and antifouling to quite a lot of wood work in later years.   Replaced/doubled up damaged ribs, quite a bit of planking, a new starboard belting, etc.She was a boat that became well known in the Bay, dad was a stalwart of the Bay of Islands Yacht Club from it’s beginnings, and she was hauled out every year at the club slipway.He sold her to Peter Sharp about 1986?  Peter was the Acting Harbour Master at Opua, and put her in the powder sheds there for about a year to give her another ‘birthday’.  She was in need of new garboard planks, they were tired and couldn’t be properly caulked, plus things like moving the beltings, as I mentioned.I noticed in the recent WW photo’s of her in the paddock, the port side-deck hatch-way has been taken out of the aft dodger, I’m not sure if Peter did that when he added the beltings to the lower side-decks or whether it was later. It was quite a neat, and relatively unique feature.”

Below I have included a reproduction of the original ‘For Sale’ listing that Dave’s father wrote for Stella when he was selling her. Dave commented that at that time Peter had left Paihia and moved to Whangarei and the maintenance was looming a bit large for his father. She really needed some refastening in the bottom by then, and Dave thinks Peter Sharp had that done when he put her into the shed when he first bought her, about 1986. 


I wonder if anyone in the last 4 weeks has grown some gonads and will front the elephant in the room e.g. clarification of the 40 berth Heritage Basin sub-committees intent i.e. will the classic vessels berthed there be a true representation of the CYA’s Classic Yacht Policy, as per the constitution – “New Zealand or foreign designed yachts, launches, dinghies, boats, vessels of all sizes, description, ages, whether powered by wind, steam, combustion or otherwise’. OR woodys – a parking lot for what I understand the sub-committee openly refers to as ’The Heritage Sailing Fleet’. Read more by clicking the Tui banner above.

The original conceptual sketch*, below, of the CYA’s current marina (Heritage Landing) certainty portrayed a fair mix of craft 🙂 *david barker

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