Classic Wooden Boats on the Waitemata

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Moana

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Quo Vadis

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Miss Helen

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My Girl

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Pleasure Lady

CLASSIC WOODEN BOATS ON THE WAITEMATA
Last weekend we decided to slipped away to Rakino Island, and in an almost unheard of event, we departed early and dropped the anchor in West Bay at 9.30am.
On route and in and around the Island we spotted a healthy collection of woodys. Some familiar faces and some newbies. Scroll over photos for captions
The sunset on Saturday night was a stunner. When I popped the head out of the hatch on Sunday morning, I did a double take – a very large cruise ship was sliding down the Rakino Channel, spotted again later in the day off Waiheke Island.
Enjoy the photos – can anyone tell us more about the launches – Asereht, Bon Voyage, Poco Lento ?
Input from Geoff Bagnall – Asereht was built by himself and Bon Voyage by Dave Jackson.
IMPORTANT DATES FOR THIS WEEKENDS WOODY ACTIVITY 
SATURDAY 25 JAN
Mahurangi Regatta Classic Launch Parade (meeting at 10.15am off Scotts Landing – parade will be in alpha order)
SUNDAY 26 JAN
Most likely mooching around Kawau Island area
MONDAY 27 JAN

Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta – Classic Launch Race

Lady Gillian

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Lady Gillian new bow rail

LADY GILLIAN

Last year I was in dialog with Andrew Beatson, the owner of the Nelson based launch – Lady Gillian, in regard to a a replacement bow rail. Andrew had made the decision to replace the existing rail (as seen the the top photo) with a something similar.
The middle photo shows the mocked up replacement, which AB had little say in the ‘design’. Andrew contacted me asking for advice, I won’t bore you with the details, unless you are contemplating something similar, in which case PM me.
Yesterday Andrew sent me the bottom photo, with lots of smiley faces – the new rail looks ace and will only get better after the timber has aged a little.
Small things can make a big difference to how a woody looks, sadly more often than not, people get it wrong. If you ever want advice / 2nd opinion, just drop WW an email – there are some very talent woodys who we can tap into 😉
There has been discussion on WW before regarding the provenance of Lady Gillian – back in 2014 Harold Kidd commented that she had most likely had a name change and could be from any builder in the 1910 >1930 period. Probably started life as a flush decker and with her row of even sized ports is characteristic of a southern build and could pass for an early Jukes of Balaena Bay.
Six years have passed since then and WW has a lot more readers – can anyone help ID the vessel?

A Woody Trip Up The Coast

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Lady Crossley @ home in the BOI

A Woody Trip Up The Coast

Just before Christmas I buddied up with Jamie Hudson to take Jamie’s classic launch – Lady Crossley to her summer home in the Bay of Islands.
Jamie and I have a great track record when it comes to long hauls and the weather, so once again we enjoyed perfect conditions. We were in no hurry so the trip was broken into – Kawau Island > Urquhart Bay (Whangarei Head) > BOI.
Above is a gallery of photos from the trip – as always food was a major component of the trip 🙂
Enjoy the photos – didn’t see a lot of other woodys, but there appears to be a good representation on the replica f/glass Logan 33 launches in the Bay.
Photo below of Russell’s waterfront – have not been there for a long time – I’ll be back, soon, its a great spot.
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Zircon

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ZIRCON
 
Zircon made her debut on WW back in November 2015, when she had been purchased by Kevin Peet. At the time Kevin knew very little about Zircon’s provenance, over the next 4 years with the help of several WW readers, mostly past owners, we have ‘unpeeled’ her past. You can read / view this at the WW link below, make sure you read the comments sections – lots of chat there. https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/11/04/zircon/
In a nut seal – she is 34’ in length, built by Phil Lange in 1964, carvel hull and is still powered by her original 130hp, Perkins 645 diesel engine.
 
Fast forward to last week (Jan. 2020) and I was contacted by Matt Fearnley whose 84 year old father, Don Fearnley, bought Zircon in the mid/late 1960’s and owner her until 1979. Matt lives in Perth and mentioned that he was catching up with his father and  would send in some details and photos from the Zircon’s past – I have reproduced Matt’s note to me below, enjoy the read 🙂
 
“Well I spent the afternoon reminiscing with Dad about the old boat – it almost brought a tear to his eye. Great stories that I’ve heard a million times before but never get tired of.
Anyway here’s what dad told me that may be of interest :
 
Dad bought the boat in 1965 from a bloke called Chamberlain from Chamberlains Island? (Probably Ponui from what I’ve read on your site). The boat was called ‘Bette’ after Chamberlain’s wife and had been used to pull the barge mentioned on your site, and also cart sheep to the island. According to Dad the boat had little use and was like new. He paid 4000 pound – and Mum didn’t know until a stranger knocked on her door to say Dad could have the boat! Those were the days. I’d be gelded if I tried that….
 
Dad renamed the boat Zircon for a simple reason – He was in the coast guard at the time and had a jet-boat he had built at night-school called ‘Zip’ (because it was fast! – photo below of Zip on the trailer behind the EH wagon). Dad had the only boat that started with ‘Z’ in the coast guard, and he liked that hence the new boat had to start with a ‘Z’ too. Hence the birth of Zircon. 
 
One of the photos shows ‘Bette’ at anchor on the Wade River just prior to purchase.
 
The boat was used for many search and rescues including one near Gt Barrier Island during a bad storm and some damage was sustained to the hull. The story goes that Dad and his mates secured Zircon to some trees at high tide and when the tide went out they were able to effect some running repairs – not bad considering it’s a 12 1/2 ton boat.
 
Dad had some mods done in Auckland (Milford) before we moved to the BOI where the boat became part of the family, used every weekend for family and the local dive club. More mods done around ’74- ’75 on Arthur Smith’s slip opposite Opua. Dad added the fore-deck and the faux flybridge (no steering or controls) plus some other general maintenance.
 
Mum and Dad bought a bach at Whangaruru in 1977 and after that the boat sat at the mooring in Opua to be used by seagulls only. It was a very sad day when it sold but we were glad to know it was being re-modeled at Ashby’s boatyard to be loved by a new family. 
 
Thanks for the site Alan. You’ve put a smile on Dads face and he loved looking at the new photos, and to know the new owners have kept the only ‘Z’ in the coast guard.
 
Hope the above answers some questions the new owners may have.
 
The photo below of Te Kouma, is a cracker – lots of woodys there, have asked Matt to check to see if a higher res version of the photo exists. 
If Kevin Peet still owns Zircon – sends us some photos 😉 
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Ghost

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GHOST –  Sailing Sunday
Today’s story is the result of a hunt for a long lost launch photo and I came across a file tagged ‘Ghost’. The above photos were sent to me by Peter Robinson back in late 2016 and somehow the file slipped between the cracks.
Peter wrote asking for help locating information on the history of Ghost.
Given the 3 year incubation period , it would be nice to think that we could help Peter out 😉

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Harold Kidd Input – Designed and built by Bert Woollacott in late 1938  for himself. Later owned by Ken Brown who did the 1948, 1951 and 1952 TransTasman races in her. Based on Bert’s Vectis design. I thought she had gone offshore?
Murray Deeble Input – Harold is right, the Ghost went offshore and was wrecked–the vessel pictured is Kehua wrongly advertised as the original Ghost in the 80’s and 90,s  Kehua has an unusual past herself featuring in one of the first Suva races -(washing ashore near Whakatane eventually.)
And more from HDK – KEHUA = GHOST in Maori. Built by Selwyn Matheson and Peter Ashcroft in Whangarei (?). Bert didn’t like the changes to his design.

The Folly of Buying A Fixer-Upper With Mates

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The Folly of Buying A Fixer-Upper With Mates

Click the link below to read / view this great tales from ABC News – Australia, about 6 mates that took on the restoration of  – Southwinds (previously named Valhalla), a 70 year old, 18m, Hueon pine built classic ketch.
Thanks to Andrew Christie for the heads up on the story.

Kingfish Lodge – Whangaroa – Old Movie

KINGFISH LODGE –  WHANGAROA – OLD MOVIE
 
I was sent todays movie by Sam Jaffe, whose grandparents Kevin (late) and Wendy Gilligan ran the Kingfish Lodge for several years in the 1970’s and owned the launch – Tuatahi. The movie is actually a 12 minute promotional movie for Marlin depth sounders, made in c.1975/76. Sam and his Nana (Wendy) had it converted from an old 16mm film earlier this year. As you’ll see, it’s set in Whangaroa and Sam is fairly certain their old launch Tuatahi is visible at 2:46 and at several other times – Sam also spotted – Margaret Anne and Lady Doreen.

At 3:26 Sam’s grandfather Kevin (known to most as Kev) is the guy who steps out of the plane and later is seen reeling in the ‘marlin’. The whole playing of the marlin was made up – Kev was just playing a bucket for the cameras according to Sam’s Nana because they didn’t catch anything the day they went out. Nana is visible at about 10:14 with Sam’s Mum pulling in a small fish on their speedboat. 
 
Its a great movie for a chilled out Boxing Day – enjoy 🙂