About Alan Houghton - waitematawoodys.com founder

What is Waitemata Woodys all about? We provide a meeting point for owners and devotees of classic wooden boat. We seek to capture the growing interest in old wooden boats and to encourage and bring together all those friendly people who are interested in the preservation of classic wooden vessels for whatever reason, be it their own lifestyle, passion for old boats or just their view of the world. We encourage the exchange of knowledge about the care and restoration of these old boats, and we facilitate gatherings of classic wooden boats via working together with traditionally-minded clubs and associations. Are you a Waitemata Woody? The Waitemata Woodies blog provides a virtual meeting point for lovers of classic and traditional wooden boats.
 If you are interested in our interests and activities become a follower to this blog. The Vessels Featured The boats on display here (yes there are some yachts included, some are just to drop dead stunning to over look) require patrons, people devoted to their care and up keep, financially and emotionally . The owners of these boats understand the importance of owning, restoring and keeping a part of the golden age of Kiwi boating alive. The boats are true Kiwi treasure to be preserved and appreciated.

SOUTHERN ISLES – A Peak Down Below

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SOUTHERN ISLES – A Peak Down Below

Thanks to her trademe listing (ex Ian McDonald) we get to have a peek down below on the 36’ Southern Isles.

Built by Tom Wells at Wakatahuri, Forsyth Bay, Pelorus Sound & launched in 1953 she has a beam of 10’6” & draws 5’.

Her zoom zoom is via a 127hhp Gardner 6LX.

She was featured on WW before in Dec 2017 – link below, where you will find lots of history from John Wicks.






The above photo is of the TEAL motorboat – Tasmanair on the Auckland Harbour & is dated January 1948. (photo ex Lew Redwood’s FB)

Do we know what became of the launch e.g. converted to pleasure craft ? renamed?

18-06-2018 Harold Kidd Input

TASMANAIR was built by Colin Wild for Tasman Empire Airways Ltd and launched on 24th July 1941. She was built to carry TEAL personnel at 20knots between Mechanics Bay and Hobsonville where overhaul work was done on TEAL’s Short flying boats. The Scott-Paine boats had been taken over by the RNZAF. TASMANAIR cost 2000 pounds, a small fortune in 1941.

She went to Lauthala Bay to service flying boats there, then to the Chathams to service the traffic there. Donaldson Bros of Owenga, Chatham Is, bought her and covered her in completely and then renamed her TASMANIA. She was 37’6″ x 9’4″ x 4′ and had a single 200hp Kermath. Don’t know what happened to her after the Donaldsons owned her.





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I’m hoping today is a wet, rainy day – why?  todays story on the restoration of the 67’ Canadian motor yacht – Fifer, is such a great read.

Fifer was built in 1928 by the Hoffa- Beeching Shipyard in Vancouver BC, the company went on to merge with the Boeing Company in 1929.

Her owners are passionate woody boaters with a long history of classic wooden boat ownership. She is powered by twin 102hp Gardener 6L3, which are over 40 years old & still going strong.

The owners & Fife’s story is told on their weblog – link below.  You will see from some of the photos above she has had a few ‘adventures’ – read her story it’s very addictive reading – Enjoy.




Te Anau



I was recently contacted by Mike O’Dwyer in regard to boat that is currently visiting Napier, Mike’s home town.

It is called Te Anau, currently owned by Mike and Julie Trewern from Port Chalmers.

Designed by Henry Miller (Miller and Tunnage) originally as a trawler, Te Anau has been converted to a  now a very comfortable live-aboard measuring just over 50’ with a 13’ beam and a 6’ 6” draft.

Te Anau was launched in 1956 after being built at Scotts boatyard in Invercargill from Tallowood, an Australian native timber belonging to the Ucalypt species. It is a naturally oily timber with a high tannin content.

Scotts boatyard mainly used Tallowwood for their boat construction.

The vessel is powered by a 170hp DAF 6 cylinder diesel motor. Originally powered by a GM this engine was replaced by a DAF which after 55,000 hours was replaced by the current engine.

Forty-eight of theses motors were imported in the sixties to power the Chatham Island crayfish boats.

Mike and Julie are currently on a prolonged cruise and after leaving NZ in Sept 2016 have visited Queensland, New Caladonia, Vanuatu and Fiji returning to NZ in November last year.

They plan to cruise for another 18 months which may include another offshore stint.





Sister Dora



Just when you think you have heard of all the classic woodys – one drops out of cyber space. Sister Dora is a newbie to me, I discovered her on Lew Redwood’s FB page (ex Akl Museum – Winkelman).

At this stage all I know is that the above photo was dated 7th March 1914 & was taken during a NZPBA race to Cowes Bay, Waiheke Island.

So woodys – the questions of the day – who built her, owned her & where is she today? A Google search only tells me about an Anglican nun 🙂

Input from Harold Kidd – I’ve done a bit more research on this boat since making (slightly erroneous) comments on Lew Redwood’s site.
There were actually four SISTER DORAs, all built for A.H. Bentley, Rear Commodore of the NZ Power Boat Ass around this time. #1 a 26 footer was built in 1909 (probably by Tom Le Huquet) as HALMAX with a HALMAX engine. That must have proved so unsatisfactory that it was pulled out and replaced with a Holliday 10hp 6 months later and the launch’s name changed to SISTER DORA.
#2 was a 32 footer built by Tom Le Huquet for J. Gillett to replace his current ZEALANDIA, and fitted with the Holliday out of HALMAX/SISTER DORA(1). Obviously Bentley didn’t want the Hoiland & Gillett-built Zealandia engine.
#3 was this boat, built by Tom Le Huquet in November 1913 and fitted with a 2 cylinder 8hp Westman engine for which W R Twigg was the agent. Bentley sold her in late 1916 to the Piman brothers of Whangarei. She now had a 12hp Morton engine. They renamed her WILDTHYME.
#4 was built by Collings & Bell in 1916, a 32 footer with (probably) a Doman engine. Bentley sold her to Alan Donald who was badly injured fighting a fire aboard in November 1919 when she was totally destroyed.
#3 soldiered on as WILDTHYME for many years in Whangarei. Selwyn Blake owned her for a while.
I saw the hull of a WILDTHYME at Te Atatu some years ago, but it may have been the 1921 WILDTHYME built by Joe Slattery for the Schneidemann brothers.
What a tangled web we weave……………..

SISTER DORA #4 had a 14hp Westman engine. Bentley and Twigg must have been good mates.

Doreen > Haku > Coquette




The top photo above (ex Lew Redwood fb > Winkeman – Akl Museum) shows the 1912 Arch Logan built launch Doreen, named after Arch’s sister, later to became Haku & then Coquette (as she is today).

Coquette was the ‘base’ for the Logan 33 f/glass production boats.  In the second photo (ex Alan Good), we see her c.1945, sporting her WWII reporting number – 201. Also of interest in this photo is the addition of the dodger fitted in the summer of 1926/27 during Fred Cooper’s ownership period. Fred also installed a 25/40 sleeve-valve Loew-Knight engine at the same time. (details ex Harold Kidd)

You can see & read more at the links below