I headed out on Sunday afternoon for a few hours to give Raindance’s batteries a charge & when coming back into Bayswater I spotted what appeared to be classic wooden launch on the Mercury Mover barge. Closer inspection revealed a 26>28′ straight stem tram topper.
The name Ngawini was on her side & she had quite significant damage to her bow & underwater bow area. Looked as if she had ran into some submerged item. Aside from the damage she appears to be very original. Hopefully insured & repairable.
Any woodys know more about her past & what happened to her?
Kawhiti – A Peek Down Below
Kawhiti, the 42′, 1952 Collings & Bell bridgedecker has appeared on ww before – check out the link below for details on her past. Today’s post, thanks to her trademe listing, gives us a look down below.
KOTITI – Sailing Sunday
The above photos are of the schooner Kotiti & were sent in by Lesley Brennan, whose father, Dudley (Lex) Dowling, owned her from November 1963 until 1968. Lesley was a teenager at that time and their family and various crew spent their summers cruising the Hauraki Gulf and the Bay of Islands and Far North. It was then sold to John Wicks who took the yacht to the South Island. Lex, kept copies of everything and Lesley has inherited two files relating to Kotiti & to other boating matters (purchasers, receipts, logs, etc) at that time in the ’60’s.
The yacht had quite a history, having once been stolen before Lex bought it. Later, while under his ownership, a crew from the Navy in Auckland raced it in the Whangarei to Noumea race in April 1964 and in the same year, Lex sailed it with a crew to Fiji (a lifetime ambition).
For many years Lex taught navigation based on a system he devised himself specifically for sailors of small ocean going boats. He also self published a related textbook on navigation (long before the internet and the electronic age!) and this textbook was in much demand at the time and sold well in NZ and throughout the Pacific.
Lesley last spotted Kotiti up on the hard at Sumner in 1994 & she would love to know who the current owner is. They may be interested in having the two folders of information about their boat during the 1960’s.
So woodys – do we know who owns her today & what became of her post Lex selling her. I’m sure if the John Wicks mentioned above is the JW that comments on ww, we will find out a lot more.
Input below from John Wicks
I sold her in ’78 or ’79 to Jim Wood who I think still has her. There was a recent pic on WW of a boat in Havelock Marina with Kotiti in the background and looking well cared for.
As noted above, I bought her from Lex Dowling in ’68 and took her back to the South island; specifically to Waikawa, Picton . Cruised her extensively in the Sounds, D’Urville Island and across Tasman Bay to Nelson, Torrent Bay etc., and we did several Cook Strait races.
Her genesis is interesting. She was built by Peter Lamb, a science(?) teacher at Christchurch Boys High School; I met his son at one stage, who was adamant his father designed her, but when I first owned Kotiti she had amongst her documents two pieces of blueprint, one of her body section and one of her backbone structure, both of them bearing Eric Cox’s name. I have already seen Cox’s “Dancing Feather” design, the interior layout of which was very similar to Kotiti’s, and years later came across Howard I> Chapelle’s “Corsair” designed for ‘Popular Mechanix’ magazine which closely resembled Kotiti in hull form. “Corsair” was designed for inside ballast; “Kotiti” had 2/3 of her ballast on the keel and 1/3 inside. (Quite a story there)
I have also been told that noted ChCh boat builder Cliff Mahan bought a set of “Corsair” plans with a view to building one for himself, but never did.
There is a photo in an old “SeaSpray” of Peter Lamb standing under the coutner of soon-to-be-launched “Kotiti” showing a model of her to Ian Treleaven. To my eye at least, the model looks more like “Corsair” than “Kotiti”. My conjecture (and it is only conjecture!) is that Peter Lamb looked at both designs, took what he wanted from both, made the model then went to Eric Cox to take off the lines and draw the actual plans.
At any rate, she was (still is, I hope) fast and weatherly for her type, comfortable and sea kindly. I have very fond memories of her.
A Wee Woody Double Ender
Today’s boat is a double ender made with cold molded double diagonal Kauri planks. Built in 1960 by Hal Atkinson at York Bay Wellington. It is 4.5m long and 1.8m wide. She was treated to a new 3.5hp Petter diesel engine in 1980.
For sale on trademe – do we know any more about her?. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the Tme heads up J
LAKE TAUPO WOODYS QUIZ
Woody Paul Drake sent in the above never before published photo, showing lots of woodys, before the arrival of the fibreglass brigade, at Taupo. The boat sheds have recently been removed, and the Drake family is preparing to put to ‘sea’ in their launch – Sir Francis (Collings & Bell 1916).
Of the 5 launches in the background 4 have appeared on ww before, so ID’ing them should be do able. The first woody to name the launches – left > right in the photo wins a ww t-shirt.
Entries via the ww Comments section. If no one gets all 5 in the right order, I’ll work down e.g. 1st with 4 etc.
Other than her name & that I took the photos in early Jan 2017 at Waiheke Island, today’s launch – White Heron, is a total mystery to me, but I’m sure we will be able to uncover more on her.
Input from Michael Goldfinch (owner)
I am currently White Heron’s “custodian”… for the last 3 years anyway. Harold, you’re quite correct: she’s a 1967 Brin Wilson that I bought in Tauranga. A lovely boat I’ve already had a lot of enjoyment out of, including 3 trips to the Barrier. Power from the original Ford 100 HP which pushes her along at about 8.5 knts. Never missed a beat. Had an major make over externally about a year before I acquired her, and I’m currently in the process of doing a major repaint / re-varnish internally. Resides at the OBC.
I’ve made a few changes – and still am – including new canvas and going for more subtle signage.
Update & Photos ex Michael Goldfinch (owner)
Photos below of White Heron that Michael recently took, showing new interior paint / varnish job, as well as the Brin Wilson plaque of authenticity.
A Woodys 104th Birthday Party
We don’t normally do Happy Birthday stories on ww but today is a little special – Keith Dawson is celebrating his 104th birthday. Keith these days resides in Port Macquarie, Australia but 82 years ago he skippered the 34’ ketch Seaward.
Below is a NZ Herald article of 5/10/1935 written by Leslie Crago about a day trip down harbour on Seaward. This article was sent to me by Ross Dawson, Keith’s ‘younger’ brother.
In the article Les Crago refers to himself as the ‘mate’ & while the skipper is not named Ross is confident it’s his brother Keith. Life was a lot harder back then without a motor J
The ‘girls’ onboard may have included the brother’s sister, who turns 101 next month. Good genes in the Dawson family.
Speaking with Harold Kidd he mentioned that he had Leslie Crago’s photograph album that included photos of Seaward on this trip or one similar, these are the b/w ones above.
So Keith Dawson Happy Birthday from all us woodys & I’m sure you will be pleased to see the old girl is still sailing the Waitemata J
Input from Neil Chalmers – The same Keith Dawson who along with his mate Dick Wellington sailed the 26 foot ‘Roxane ‘ (built by Lou Tercel and his brothers) from Auckland to Sydney in 1937.
Neil tells me Keith’s book about this voyage -‘Voyage of the Roxane’ is a good read, I must hunt a copy down.