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.

Mystery Boats October 1939

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Mystery Boats October 1939

The above photo is tagged ‘Auckland’s Fine Holiday Week-End’ and is dated October 1939.
And interesting mix of craft hauled out, given the stated date, I would have thought it was a little late in the year to have that number of yachts with their rigs out.
Any one behave enough to name them?
Des Townson Book
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The postman/lady delivered a special parcel today, I have been sent one of ten review copies of the book ‘Des Townson – A Sailing Legacy’ by Brian Peet. It is a big read (both in size and weight – 1.8kg) with 340+ pages loaded with tales, details and hundreds of photos and line drawings.
The Foreword is written by our own Harold Kidd and I’m sure Harold and author Brian Peet won’t mind me quoting from it.
“It is without doubt, the most intimate and accurate portrayal that we will ever see of Des Townson and his yachts, but it also provides insight into that vibrant network of highly skilled people – yachtsman and yachtswoman, yacht designers and yacht builders – who have made the last 75 years of the sport in New Zealand so amazingly successful home, and on the world stage.” HKD
The on-sale date is 18th September  – I will do a review before then.  BUT GOOD NEWS waitematawoodys have two copies on offer as prizes – details to follow 🙂

Mystic

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MYSTIC
 
Back in April 2015, we ran a story on the Swanson designed launch Mystic, refer WW link below. At the time Simon Manning commented that Mystic was owned by Colin and Lorraine Davis of Blenheim. Simon recalls that the Davis’s bought her in Lyttleton, a few years prior.  Colin’s son Carl, who is an Auckland-based teacher and also a quaified boatbuilder, has done some maintenance jobs and also some work around the transom areas during his various school holiday trips south. Simon observed that despite being on a mooring in Waikawa Bay, Marlborough, Mystic gets plenty of use. https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/04/11/mystic/
 
Owner Colin Davis advised that she was built / launched in Picton in 1965. Her hull is double diagonal kahikatea and power is via a Toyota HD turbo 140hp diesel.
 
Fast forward to late January 2019 and a comment appears on WW from Kylie Curry, the daughter of the original owner, Graham Wilkinson – I have reprinted it below 
 
“Mystic was originally my dads (Graham Wilkinson)..he purchased the hull and finished the rest of her in the backyard himself. (We even have pics of her in the backyard).
He then went on to do the same with Shalimar. Dad was also the pilot of 25 + Cook Strait marathon swims and search and rescue for the police.
He often talked about Mystic and we (my dad, mum, four brothers and I) had amazing holidays down the sounds every year (first on Mystic – pre my time) and then on Shalimar.”
Sadly Kylie also advised that Graham died in early January 2019. 
 
I contacted Kylie and asked if she would share the early days photos of Mystic and these are what you see above. 
Again another example of the reach and power of waitematawoodys  – with one colour photo (below) in 2015, we were able to 3 1/2 years later to flush out more on Mystic.
Special thanks to Kylie for sharing these family photos with us.
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21-08-2019 Input from Graham Taylor –  “Graham Wilkinson had many skills, one of which was an expert prop tuner. He made many a fast prop for us when we were racing speedboats and chasing NZ speed records. One particular propeller did set a new record for its engine class with a two way run over the measured mile. On that occasion the slip factor was just 6.7%, amazing when the “norm” is often around 33% !

We even flew to Australia when he lived there to collect a new prop and carry it home carefully so it would not get dinged when freighted normally.”

 

Colleen

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COLLEEN MYSTERY LAUNCH 20-08-2019

Today’s featured launch has been keeping both Nathan Herbert and myself awake at night, we are both positive we have seen it before – either on WW or the CYA forum or trademe – but just can not find it nor remember her name / details.
The photo comes to us from Andy Donovan’s boat broking photo collection.
On face value she would most likely (oops starting to sound like Ken R) be from the drawing board / shed of A. Couldrey.
Can anyone ID her for us?. A 100% positive ID (the first one recorded in the WW comments section) wins a waitematawoodys cap, these are new to the WW gear locker and are not on sale yet.
21-08-2019 Input From Harold Kidd – The launch is Colleen, built by Charles Aspden. Link below to previous WW story and photos – make sure you read the comments section.
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WCW Riverhead2019

Barbarella – A Riva Reborn

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BARBARELLA – A Riva Reborn 
 
As promised Iast week, I visited Marco Scuderi’s Helensville boat yard – MCN Shipwrights with the sole purpose of catching up with the re-build / restoration of Barbarella, the 1969 Riva Superaquarama .
Barbarella is a visitor from Australia, and has been in the country for 7 years for a total re-build. She started life (built) in Sarnic, then was delivered to her 1st owner in Monaco, from there she was sold to an American and moved to Lake Tahoe. Then sold to a Norwegian and kept at his summer house on a fjord in Norway. Then in 2005 her current Australian owner bought her and kept her in Hong Kong till 2011, when thankfully a very rundown Barbarella was rescued and shipped to NZ for Marco to restore.
 
The journey to return this beautiful speed boat to better than as launched condition has been long and challenging – these Riva’s are handmade thoroughbreds and obtaining parts is near impossible + she has a history of repairs that were not always true to her heritage.
 
As she sits today in the MCN Shipwrights shed, all that is required to complete the restoration is mainly reassembling the interior and commissioning the engines – twin 454 cubic inch, 350 hp Chev V8’s. 
 
I jumped at the opportunity to photograph her hull, but the situation – light, location (plastic ceiling etc) made for less than perfect photography conditions, but you will see from the photo gallery above that Marco and this team have done an amazing job. You could shave in the reflection of the 20+ coats of varnish. You can view more on the restoration journey at this link https://www.mcnshipwrights.com/barbarella—hull.html   make sure you check out the other links to see the total work.
 
Also in the shed are two very lucky K-class yachts, Sapphire and Jenanne, photo below. Sapphire is getting new oak ribs and Jeananne an interior and deck refresh. The two yachts are owned by the Mence Brothers. Check out the work to Peter’s Jenanne in more detail at the link below.
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Christina O

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CHRISTINA O 

A very long way from the Waitemata and made of steel but OMG, this legendary super-yacht is drop dead stunning.

Christina O has a very impressive heritage – built in 1943, she served in WWII at the D-Day Landings and later witnessed some iconic events. President John F. Kennedy first met Sir Winston Churchill aboard in the bar, and you will see from the photos on board the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy (later married to Onassis) have called it home.
She started life as a Canadian anti-submarine frigate and Aristotle Onassis in 1954 converted her into a luxury yacht. In 2016/17 she was totally refurbished to what you see above , but retains her ‘old world’ class and opulence. Today she is available for charter, with 17 cabins.The mosaic swimming is original and can be raised & lowered.
At 325’ Christina O is not the worlds largest or most expensive super-yacht but it would have to be the most famous.
INPUT FROM Russell Ward 

“Converting a warship to a private yacht showed that Onassis had a lot of style. They were a fine shape. Mind you he got a bargain –a well made ship that had not had a lot of use $34K. All the engineering systems were designed to be literally bomb proof and no expense spared. 
The River Class  were similar specs to the Loch Class (the RNZN had five ‘50s – 70s) but were traditionally built with fine lines and did not have the sheer broken into three straight lines as the later Loch class which were designed to be built in modules off site and taken to the slip for assembly. Most were steam powered with four cylinder triple expansion engines and oil fired water tube boilers. These engines made the ships amazingly manoeuvrable since a precipitating engine can be slammed from full ahead to full astern if the needs (like hunting and killing submargarines) arise. Also unlike turbines (some were so powered) they required comparatively unsophisticated spanner work to keep them going. Also turbines don’t reverse so easily.
I am not sure whether Christina O was diseaseled (I seem to think he kept her steam. Even if only originally). Unfortunately the media these days concentrate on the Jackie Kennedy, Christina Onassis herself, guests and the solid gold bidets marble bathtubs etc rather than mundane things like the engine rooms.
Oh by the way, the NZ Navy had one of these –the Lachlan- -a river class frigate built by Morts Dock in Sydney. She was our surveying vessel and frequently used to be seen when we were out cruising. Did a hellava lot of work updating our charts some of which died from Capt Cook’s work. She’d stooge in and anchor off the bay practically unheard and then shoot through in the morning. Not the drama, bells and on deck announcements with a real navy ship. I remember once she anchored off Stanmore Bay in the early ‘60s and we steamed off over to have a look as fast as Milli ll’s Stuart Turner would take her. But Lachlan evidently saw us coming and weighed and steamed off at a real old clip –she’d do 20 knots easy. Gone in a flash.
The Navy decommissioned her in ’74 and used her for accommodation for a few years. Her engines were removed in 1975 and Marie wouldn’t let me have one sadly. I got an admiralty pattern angle poise type light off her bridge (won’t tell you how!) and the desk from the sickbay (of course) when she was stripped prior to being knackered in the Philippines in 1993. I use the desk in my Mancave and always thought I’d put the lamp on one of my boats but never did as yet.
The Aussies had a sister ship Diamantina similarly deployed on surveying she had a similar lifespan.”
Lachlan

Silver Dollar

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SILVER DOLLAR

Silver Dollar was recently on trademe, she is a Bob Swanson design / build,  her distinctive look is seen in Nov 2017 WW story where we featured a smaller Swanson boat – Link below
Built in 1952, Silver Dollar has a kauri, carvel planked hull and measures 36’. Powering her is a Detroit 271, 60hp diesel.
In a pervious 2014 WW story John Wicks and  Paul Stichbury tell us some of the history of Swanson’s boatbuilding days and provide photos of her launching. What is impressive is she still has the original 2 cylinder ‘Jimmy’ engine (photo below)
Home port is Whangarei, Northland.
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Farewell Bud Nalder, Craftsman Sailmaker & Bagmaker
Farewell event to be held :  
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron –  Quarterdeck Restaurant
Thursday – 22nd August  2019   – 6pm – 8pm
All welcome
To Bud Nalder who passed away on the 31st July 2019
 
But to every sailor comes a time to drop anchor
Haul up the sails and make lines fast
You deep water dreamer, your journey is over
You’re safe in the harbour at last
You’re safe in the harbour at last
WCW Riverhead2019

Mystery Launch 16-08-2019

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Mystery Launch 16-08-2019

Another mystery launch photo from Andy Donovan’s boat broking days – that distinctive stern hopeful will ring a bell with one of the woodys.
Kiwi’s On The World Stage
Marco Scuderi and his yard – MCN Shipwrights – are making noises in the world of classic boating with a double page feature in the August 2019 edition of UK Classic Boating magazine.
Well done Marco. And just by coincidence I’m at the yard later today to check out the 1969 Riva Superaquarama restoration, before it heads back to its owner across the Tasman. Twin 454 V8’s so cool zoom zoom  photos soon 😉
UK Classic Boat August2019