Korowai – A Feel Good Story

2021 November – Below

KOROWAI – A Feel Good Story

In the last few days I received several messages about the 34’ Woollacott yacht – Korowai, that had popped up on tme with an asking price of $1,000. One of the woodys that contacted me was Alistair Rowe, who commented that he remember Korowai being at Shelly Park Cruising Club in the mid 1970s owned by Eric Roberts. In those days she was powered by a Ford 10 petrol engine and had no reverse gear, so was a bit of a beast to maneuver in tight places. Quite a few years after Eric’s death, and her sale to new owners, Alistair saw her on the hard at Okahu Bay being given a major birthday.

In the tme listing it stated she had great bones for a restoration – well that she does.
She was being sold as-is-where-is as she had had a few problems eg a leak in the hull that a bilge pump with a float switch was keeping up with. But she had, had a bilge pump malfunction and there has been water inside. The water level went part way up the motor, touching the motor, however the dipstick hole on the motor remained well above water level. It was stated that the engine was in not running condition. But the sails were described as ‘good sails’. Korowai appears to be a really solid kiwi built yacht and a perfect opportunity for the keen handy person to restore her back to her prime at the right price. The seller was very clear about the sale process eg. 

(1) The yacht needs to be out of the marina berth ASAP

(2) The successful purchaser will not be the first person to offer the money but the best and quickest plan for the removal of the yacht from the marina berth

(3) All enquiries must explain how they will remove the yacht and when- if the answer is unsatisfactory then no further time will be spent on the enquire – no time wasters.

Well woodys – must have been a record listing time for a classic yacht – sold to a great new owner and removed from her West Harbour berth and relocated to her new home, last night. Tow boat was Jason Prew’s My Girl – but he assures me he is not the new owner – 2 classic launches and mullet boat yacht is more than enough 🙂

In my travels yesterday I acquired a very dinky 2-1/4″caulking iron – light clean up and it joins the WW global HQ, desktop paperweight collection.

3 thoughts on “Korowai – A Feel Good Story

  1. Hi, does anyone know who the current owner is or the yachts location?
    This yacht once belonged to my great grandfather Eric Roberts. Our family has been trying to find it’s whereabouts for some time.


  2. Not much has been in print about Korowai, but here is what I have.

    Her first owner Rolphe (Ralph?) R. Judd of Herne Bay, was a prominent Auckland yachtsman who had owned a string of mullet boats, centre-boarders and keel yachts from the 1920’s to the 1940’s. I am not sure who built Korowai but Judd’s previous boats tended toward a professional build.

    Korowai was registered as F-62 in the 1949/50 AYMBA register, probably prior to being launched. She still has this number in the 1950/51 season AYMBA register but makes her appearance in the 1950 Anniversary Regatta (January 1950) as F-8, which had been become vacant and was a much more desirable number to have on your sail.

    Her known owners were: R.R. Judd 1949/53+?; W. Ogden 1955/60+?; Roy Burkitt (New Plymouth) 1961+?; S. Stuart 1963/64+?

    Known trophies:.
    Devonport YC: Gloaming Cup 1964; Barometer trophy 1964
    Richmond YC: Bellve Cup 1960; Collinson Cup 1960

    Korowai appears to have been cruised most seasons and did little regular racing after Judd sold her. She vanishes from record after 1964 and by 1966 has dropped off the Auckland F-class register. She does not appear to have ever registered with NZYF. In 1969 her new NZYF number would/should have been 708 but this was left unallocated and was issued to the Stewart 34 Patiko late in 1969. There is no current YNZ number for her.

    Korowai popped up on TradeMe Dec 2011: For sale $25000

    The Woollacott Assn website has her as a Mayfly design, current owner Brian Shields (no dates given)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s