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.

Valsan and Endeavour Update

Valsan Re-Launched

Big day at the Milford Slipway yesterday – the 46’ 1938 built Lidgard launch – Valsan slid down the railway slip after being out for nearly 5 months. Lots of deferred maintenance was adhered to and she received a Jason Prew Paint Job (JPPJ). WW link below to previous Valsan stories.https://waitematawoodys.com/2022/10/01/a-woody-stranger-hauled-out-valsan/

Endeavour – the 1958 A Couldrey designed, Brin Wilson built launch, is part way thru her re-fresh. Fingers crossed the coamings get the Uroxsys treatment 🙂

Love the helm wheel. Read more on her here https://waitematawoodys.com/2023/01/27/endeavour-gets-a-birthday/

Auckland To Get A Wooden Boat Festival


Well woodys it’s been a long time in the cooking pot but at last it’s a happening thing. Circle 24th Feb > 24th March 2024 in the diary. Bankrolled by Auckland Council’s Unlimited Major Events division, the Wooden Boat Festival will be part of a month long Ocean Festival.

Having previously spoken to the brains trusts behind both the Australian Wooden Boat Festival and the Port Townson – USA, Wooden Boat Festival their advice was start small and grow organically. Also it’s not all about old large gaff rigged yachts, the home built wooden canoe needs to be also front and centre. Public access also needs to free.

The fact the event name has BOAT in it and not YACHT is a positive sign 😉


In reply to my question what’s happening with the Vos Shed ? –  I got “we have a paying tenant , a film crew are currently using it” WTF….. every time I see / hear that the Maritime Museum are involved in anything, it’s the kiss of death. We live in hope, but if I had $10 for every time I have been told “I shouldn’t tell you this, but it’s happening, an announcement soon” I would be a wealthy man. 


Went to the boat show yesterday – lots of on-the-water vessels, most with a price tag on them. The ’trade’ exhibits were down in numbers but still good to catch up with the normal crew. Zero woodys to be seen – but if I suffered a bang-on-the-head and had a desire for a plastic boat, I’d be looking at a Sasga Yachts – Menorquin 42’ HT – lots of wood on show and built in Spain.

Thetis – Shed Visit

THETIS – Shed Visit

The 45’ classic launch – Thetis, built / launched in 1955 by Lanes is currently tucked up in a shed in Opua getting serious TCL.

One of the better looking big classic, she always looks fast even when at anchor.

Read / view more on her at this WW link https://waitematawoodys.com/2022/06/20/mv-thetis-4sale/

Pre haul out / TLC

The Classic Yachting World Has Gone Doolally

Reading the latest issue of ClassicBoat magazine, I see they are reporting that glassfibre classics will soon be seen on the Mediterranean classic yacht racing circuit.

The CIM (Comite International de la Mediterranee du Yachting Classique) have made the call to accept glassfibre classics on the racecourse. Refer below extract from CB for more details.

Given the size of the yacht fleets turning up for NZ Classic Yacht Association races these days, they will be following suit and probably let 8Y8’s into the fold 🙂

RSVP – boat name and approx crew # to waitematawoodys@gmail.com

Southern Woodys at Motueka + Bulldozed Boat Yard

Southern Woodys at Motueka

Earlier in the month, Kenny West was visiting the South Island for the Lake Rotoiti 2023 Antique & Classic Boat Show and ventured up to Motueka and had a mooch around the marina. The above two woodys caught his eye and today we get to share them.


By now I’m sure most of you will have caught up with the ‘developments’ taking place at what these days is known as ’The Landing’ on Aucklands Waterfront. One of our cities few remaining marine haul out / hard stand areas, will be closed and bulldozed. I encourage you to read the ‘STUFF” article that appeared in the weekends newspaper. You would think it was about a project in Colombia, thats how underhand things are. Link Below https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300820274/bulldozed-boatyard-yachties-face-off-with-wealthy-club-over-axing-of-public-hardstand

Sadly I think its too late to change things but lets record our frustration with the people that supported the project. Firstly the commodore and committee at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club should hang their heads in shame. On the RAYC website there is no individual contact details but they do have a Facebook page – so please go on there and record your anger – link below

Lastly one of driving forces from the Auckland Council / Local Board is a weasel named – Scott Milne, his DNA is all over this project. FB link below, record your anger and promise not to vote for him again if he is in your local board (Orakei). Now if he has blocked new comments, just add you comment to one of his exisiting unrelated stories 😉


Or try email scott.milne@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Lastly the Spencer family (Howard Spencer) – a bad smell will follow you around for a long time after this – lets vote with our wallet and not support their new haul out venture – Tamaki Maine Park in Mt Wellington.

Levanter > Vinaka Update

Levanter > Vinaka Update

The 1962, 37’ bridge decker – Vinaka first appeared on WW in Sept 2020 and the story was added to by new content from Mark McLaughlin in Nov 2021. Link below to that story. https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/09/29/mystery-launch-29-09-2020/

First forward to last week and Mark contacted me to say the boat had just turned up on trademe in Motueka looking a tad tired, but recoverable. Mark commented that she seems to have had a few names along the way – in the tme listing they say she was previously known as – The Hattersly. The Master-Craft builders plaque is clearly visible in one of the photos.

Forward motion is via a Ford D series 120hp engine.Probably best described a

s a project but in the right hands she could be returned to her former self 🙂

KOTARE  Re-launched

KOTARE  Re-launched
Todays woody is the 28’ launch – Kotare, built and launched in 1961 by Frank Wilkins to a 1960 design of A N (Bill) Couldrey. Kotare first appeared on WW back in 2014. Over time we uncovered an amazing amount of history on the vessel. The 2022 WW story when wooden boat builder Alan Craig gave us a shed tour on restoration / rebuilding of Kotare has all the references, photos and links to her past – link to the 2022 story below https://waitematawoodys.com/2022/10/10/kotare-restoration-boat-shed-tour/

Last week Alan Craig advised they had just relaunched Kotare at Lake Rotoiti. Her owner had just finished the interior refit in his shed inTe Puke since Alan and the team at Craig Marine finished painting Kotare last year.  Alan commented that she looked pretty sharp. The work had been done in a pretty confined space and they hadn’t really been able to stand back and look at it till now. A new 35hp Beta diesel has been put in to replace the BMC.

As we have come to expect of anything that slides out of the Craig Marine shed Kotare is a stunner.



Todays woody is the 40’ yacht – Restless built by the Tercel Bros in 1920 to a Alden/Tercel design. Now to save you having to do the maths, that makes her an impressive 104 years old. Constructed of kauri, her beam is 11’3” and she draws 6’ (lead keel).

During her life Restless has seen a lot of the South Pacific and back home is a regular contestant in the Bay of Islands Tall Ships Race.

Any boat to survive a decade needs to have been in the hands of caring wooden boat lovers – Restless has been lucky, her owner of 55 years Tim Beattie is one such gentleman and Restless is always presents in beautiful condition.

Her sail wardrobe, mast and rigging reflect her ocean cruising life. Her second means of forward propulsion is a 58hp Fordson diesel (1965), overhauled in 1990 – that gives her a comfortable 6 knots.

If you haven’t already guessed it – yes Restless is for sale. Classic wooden craft of her pedigree and condition rarely come on the market. There are several options for her next owner in terms of her interior – the one I would favour would be retaining the period layout and just treat her to a refresh e.g. upgrade the hardware – stove, head etc.and refresh the upholstery. Or you could just sail away and enjoy her as Tim and family have.

Initial expressions of interest to  waitematawoodys@gmail.com

LOVING YOUR BOAT TO DEATH – Electro-chemical Destruction / Underwater Rot

LOVING YOUR BOAT TO DEATH – Electro-chemical Destruction / Underwater Rot

The subject of electrochemical destruction and wooden boats has been covered extensively on WW – in fact the Chris McMullen articles are the most referenced stories on the site. At the end of todays story I have listed links to these stories.

Today thanks to Chris McMullen and Baden Pascoe we get to share an article they penned for the 2023 Mahurangi Cruising Club Year Book*, this article succinctly backgrounds the topic and suggests what as a wooden boat owner you should be looking out for and what to do to protect your wooden boat. READ IT. But if you are lazy – let me spell stout for you – DO NOT FIT ANODES or BOND YOUR WOODEN BOAT.

Note: PDF version below for easier viewing for the visually challenged – i.e. most of us 🙂

(*Article reproduction with the permission of the Mahurangi Cruising Club©️)








During the week WW was contacted by Stuart Myers in regard to the whereabouts of the 36’ bridge decker – Marietta. 

Marietta was built c.1920>1930’s by Collings and Bell, her beam is 9, she is semi-chine and had full length kauri planks. 

Marietta was used by the NZ Navy during WWII as a look-out boat.

Marietta was owned by the Myers family from the late 1950s’ until the late 1970’s and was moored during this time in Little Shoal Bay. During this time she still had her original Chrysler Crown 6 cylinder, side valve, petrol motor. In the late 1970’s she broke her mooring and ended up on the rocks in Little Shoal Bay and after repairs (some re-fastening of planks by Baileys) she was sold, re-powered with a diesel motor and converted to a fishing boat. 

Marietta was last seen about 8 years ago at Milford Marina moored outside the Milford Cruising Club and was painted a light green colour and had returned to being a pleasure boat.

The above photos are from the 1960’s, one of her on the old grid at Needle’s Eye in Little Shoal Bay.

So woodys – can anyone update us on what has become of Marietta.

17-03-2023 INPUT ex HAROLD KIDD – According to APYMBA records MARIETTA was built by Collings & Bell in 1934 for G A McKendrick who had a property at Rocky Bay. He sold her to B Kissin of Takapuna in September 1938 when she had an extensive overhaul at Percy Vos’ yard. I have zero information on the launch being used by the Navy during the war and doubt that it happened. The Hert brothers bought her in April 1947 and it was then that she was fitted with a Chrysler Crown. J S Richards owned her from 1952 to 1962 when Athol Myers of Queen ST Northcote bought her. Frank Cooper bought her in 2001 and kept her in Milford Creek. Dave Nicholson has brought you up to date.

21-03-2023 INPUT ex NATHAN HERBERT – I believe that she was built for Casey in 1927 as the Imanota, with a 70hp (50-75hp) redwing motor, steered from the aft dodger hence the hatch, with the bridge deck having been added later on. She was Marietta by the late 1930’s when owned by McKendrick.
Notes from when she was new include various speeds claimed from 10 to 15 knots, 15 electric lighting points, all mod cons including sink, an unusually flared bow ‘like a destroyer’ and topsides which are so rounded that she appears to be of the ‘old fashioned’ round bilge type.

Waratah Needs A New Home


Back in Oct 2014 the launch – Waratah popped up on WW, at the time she was 4sale on trademe and the WW story generate a lot of chat in the comments section – link below https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/10/06/waratah/

We learnt that she was 28’9” in length, built in c.1924 by Alf Bell and was named All Bell when launched. Amusing story around the name in the 2014 story.

Back in 2014 Waratah was needing some serious interior fit out and TLC but afloat, photos below.

Fast forward to 2023 and she has become a restoration that started but came to an abrupt halt. Waratah is currently stored near Kerikeri, Northland and her owner Kevin O’Donnell would like to move her on, at no cost, to someone that will take on the project. The time frame is ‘quick smart’ as Waratah is resting in the exact spot as to where a house is going.

Interested parties can contact Kevin at kevinodonnell496@gmail.com


Boat name and approx crew numbers – waitematawoodys@gmail.com