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.

Steam Tug Hipi

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Steam Tug Hipi

Today’s story features the Chas Bailey built steam tug Hipi and comes to us from Mick Kelly via Harold Kidd. Mick was prompted to write by a recent article by HDK in Boating New Zealand.

Mick commented that Hipi ran aground just south of Whangamata in the mid 1970s.  He used to own the farm adjoining the beach where this occurred.  The previous owner of the farm was called in the middle of the night to rescue the crew.  For his efforts he was presented with the ship’s wheel, which he attached to the bar in his house.

The story as Mick remembers it was that she was towing a barge with a digger to pinch sand off the beaches in the area, and it all went a bit pear shaped.  A local bought the wreck, and bulldozed a track down onto the beach.  He cut off the metal superstructure and towed the hull up to where he could salvage the engine/s which Mick imagines had replaced the original steam engine.

Mick salvaged a few brass fittings, and some bits of Kauri decking which he incorporated into the first launch he built.  He also used the hardwood keel timber for a beam in the shed he built on the farm.

Update from John Bullivant – ‘newer’ photo below, she was built by Baileys in 1909 and was converted to twin Gardner 8L3s at some stage (apparently)

HIPI LATER

Input from Baden Pascoe – Hipi was built in 1909 for Nelson Bros who owned the Tomoana Freezing Works as a lighter tug. In these days Gisborne had no deep water port so the frozen sheep carcases were loaded into insulated lighters and towed out to the roadstead. Initially she had two Simpson Strickland triple expansion steam engines and later replaced with a set of compound engines. The photo above with a wheel house fitted was after a major refit at WG Lowe & Son in 1933. The steam engines were removed and two Petter Atomic T25/2m diesel engines of 50 hp each were fitted. She then returned to Gisborne to carry out the same duties. By this time Nelson Bros had bought into the Kaiti Freezing Works and formed Gisborne Lightering and Stevedoring Co Ltd and their tugs and lighters assets transferred over. During the WWII she came back to Auckland as she was loaned/sold to the NZ Navy to work the submarine nets protecting the Auckland Harbour and based at Islington Bay. After the war she was sold by tender to Parry Bros, a well-known local owner of scows and the tug Glyn Bird. They phased out their scow fleet and replaced them with tugs and barges. Their early tugs were, Glyn Bird, Lady Eva, Hipi, Sibyl (now owned by the Pollards). They removed the Petters and replace them with two Kelvin K4’s of 88 hp each. As the old wooden barges become too small or became too hard to maintain they replaced them with steel barges. Hipi’s barge was Onewaka with a capacity of about 500 ton. She was employed on the sand run to Parengarenga and sometimes carried superphosphate to Te Paki Station with a supply landing at Parengarenga Harbour. The Kelvins were replaced with twin 8L3 Gardners of 150 hp making her the fastest tug on that run and their flag ship. I first saw Hipi in about 1964 while she was delivering super from Tauranga. My father knew one of the crew and I can remember boarding her and stepping over the very high wheel house combing. While she was returning to Tauranga from unloading at Whitianga in March 1976 she went aground below the cliffs at Papakura Bay as mentioned by Mick. The boys had spent the afternoon in the pub, had too much to drink and after a few hours bunked down and put the youngest crew member on the wheel. He too eventually fell asleep and was woken when she drove her self between a rock ledge with the Onewaka trailing behind. At this stage she was not making any water and was basically uninjured. Before they could get her off the wind came up and she became a total loss. They went ashore phoned Buster (Norman) Parry to inform him of the grounding. The farmer looked after the crew until the next day when Buster and Keith Penney the operations manager arrived. I understand her skipper George Little was already in Buster & Keith’s bad book and he was sacked on the spot. Ask any of the old school tug masters and crew and they will tell you about Hipi. She was the superstar wooden tug. Mick, have you a photo of her wheel?

The painting below artist is unknow and was gifted to Baden Pascoe by Keith Penney

Hipi Painting

Hipi on slip 72

24-03-2019 Update  –  via Mick Kelly – The wheel from Hipi resides  in Featherston, Wairarapa, with Teena Pettitt, the daughter of the farm owner (Dave Pettitt) at the time of the incident mentioned above. Photos below.

Mick also sent in the photo of a door in his house that features recycled skin fitting and nails from the wreck of Hipi.
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A Mystery Launch – Arcturus

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A Mystery Launch – Arcturus

If you believe her trade listing the above 33’ launch is a McGeedy design and built in 1956. McGeedy’s a new name to me, spelling maybe? Or maybe I’m slow off the mark.
Typical broker listing e.g. no mention of the vessel’s name and no details on the motor. 
All that aside a nice boat.
Update: Ken Ricketts has advised the launch is Arcturus built by Supreme Craft, (Mac McGeady) in the late 1940s or early 1950s (refer below) for Mr & Mrs John Warren.
She was originally powered by a 4 cyl Buda diesel which he replaced, by approx. 3>4 years later, by a 6 cyl Ford diesel. The Buda had been installed by Tracey Nelson,  as were the majority of the McGeady boats.
She was however built several years before 1956, as John Warren sold the Buda to Ken’s father in 1956, who put it in the Juliana that year, when he sold her, which replaced a 6 cyl Leyland diesel. (edited by Alan H)
Input from Harold Kidd
The name is ARCTURUS. She was partly built by McGeady’s company Supreme Craft in November 1950 for John Warren of Mission Bay who finished her off at home and eventually launched her in late 1952 (Sea Sprays of November 1950 and March 1953). Her lines were in the November 1950 issue. Named amend AH

Building Fritha – Sailing Sunday

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Building Fritha –  Sailing Sunday

Following on from the stunning WW post on the McMullen & Wing built 74’ brigantine – Fritha, Chris McMullen has shared with us a gallery of photos from the build.
In Chris’s words – it shows a bunch of mainly young guys building a proper sailing ship. Chris commented how lucky they all were to have had that opportunity. The photos should be credited to M&W ex apprentice Grant Thomas who was the leading hand on Fritha.
 
The Fritha was built traditionally but certainly not by eye. You may notice the cabin trunks were well underway before the hull was planked. This was possible because M&W had a very experienced team. The workmanship got better every boat they built but the estimate of time was exceeded. (Chris stressed how lucky they were to have an understanding owner who appreciated what he got). Further, it became almost impossible to get good wood. Chris’s business partner Eric Wing was by then running their haul out yard at Westhaven.
Sadly “Fritha” was the last real boat M&W built. M&W was sold and became a ship yard rather than a boatyard.
While most people associate M&W as metal boat builders, Chris said that they did that, as we had to. There is nothing wrong with a wooden boat providing it is built properly of good timber. There was no wood left so it was metal or frozen snot. They chose to build metal boats but employed mainly woodworkers.
Chris would like to pass on thanks to the late owner of “Fritha” Mr JR Butland and the loyal team he had that built some beautiful yachts. 
 
View the previous WW story on Fritha here – lots of photos  https://waitematawoodys.com/2019/02/24/fritha/

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1962 Woody Ski Boat – Coastguard Wanaka Lakes Funding Help

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1962 Woody Ski Boat – Coastguard Wanaka Lakes Funding Help
As passionate boaties we are all very aware of the funding needs of the Coastguard, todays story is about a unique woody funding opportunity.
The Wanaka Lakes CG have been given a mint 1962 wooden ski boat, with original Mercury 2-stroke 50hp outboard. It is in very good condition and was supposedly the first ski boat on Lake Wanaka. It’s been stored very well for the last 20+ years and looking at the above photos appears ready to go boating.
I understand the owner has said that he would like GC to be able to sell the boat and have the proceeds as a donation. The family of the current owner had the boat built in Dunedin, but can’t remember the boatbuilder. He also said that there was an article on Whizz Ski Galore in a NZ boating magazine in the 1960’s or 1970’s.
If any woodys are looking for an easy manageable classic woody – contact David Balls on 027 517 6866 or email   david.balls@icloud.com

Launching of Centaurus

LAUNCHING OF CENTAURUS

Yesterdays story on Leilani and Centaurus, prompted Mark Powell to dig out the above photos from the launching of Centaurus at the Bailey & Sons yard in 1965.

Launchings back then had a little more pomp and ceremony than these days – seems there was always a spot for of a man of the cloth 😉
Comparing the above photos to the recent one below – she has survived the passage of time well – almost unchanged from launch day – we like that 🙂
As always, you can read / view more on Centaurus in past WW stories – links below 😉
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Leilani and Centaurus

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LEILANI & CENTAURUS

I recently received the above b/w photo of the launch Leilani, sent in by Graeme Varcoe. This photo was taken during the period of ownership by Alfred Sibun. Graeme comment that Sibum was so taken with the Leilani that he sold her and built a launch in the same style. This boat was the Centaurus and was one of the last to be built at the Baileys shipyard. The second photo above is of the Centaurus.
Harold Kidd has perviously supplied the following provenance on Leilani – she was built as FLORAE (Latin for “flowers”), but at times her name has appeared as Floray . Harold is of the belief that Lidgard’s built the hull and Major George Bailey finished her at his Wheturangi Road home. Percy Coutts owned her until he died in 1960. He bought Harold’s father’s business and renamed it Coutts Motors and was very successful importing fine cars, now part of the Giltrap empire on the same site in Great North Road.
As LEILANI she had numerous owners after Percy Coutts, including A.G. Sibun of Bleakhouse Road, Ken Archer who was active in Coastguard with her, followed by B.J. Craies, and finally a spell in Coromandel c.1999. 
 
The photo below (ex Ken Ricketts) was taken of Leilani c.2016 looking very sad in Thames, owned at the time by Jason Lockwood – can anyone update us on the current situation / status of the vessel ?
You can read more on her at the WW link below – check out the comments section – good banter around her name 🙂
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The Launching of Josephine

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Mike Mahoney brings her alongside

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Steve Cranch

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THE LAUNCHING OF JOSEPHINE

If you were out and about in the vicinity of Westhaven Marina on Sunday you would have heard an unusual sound coming from the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron – the sound of two Chev Corvette engines pumping out 800+hp warming up. Not an everyday sound for the RNZYS 🙂
The source of the noise was Mike & Tracy Mahoney’s latest additional to their fleet – Josephine, a NZ custom built 28’ Riva speedboat. Two of NZ’s most talented woody craftsman – Mark Robinson and Steve Cranch collaborated over 2 years to build Josephine for Mike. There is so much smart thinking gone into this build – check out the anchor, and Steve tells me it actually works as an anchor – it’s been well ‘road tested’ on Rainbird, Steve’s classic woody yacht. Most items have been designed and manufactured in NZ.
Even thou they have been fitted with mufflers – the very dignified sound of the Corvette V8’s at idle gives you a hint to the 50mph power lurking below. Open up the throttles a little and your ears experience a very retro cool sound – check out the video below to hear them (turn the sound up).