Memories of Ariki – A3


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Memories of Ariki A3

I was sent the great story below by Mark Newcomb via woody Brian Fulton, Mark wrote it for a recent Ariki (the 1904 Logan Brothers gaffer) reunion. Enjoy the read, it’s a great peek back into yachting in the 1960’s, so many familiar names & locations. Thank god the claret & lemonade early morning eye-opener drink did not make it into the 21st century. (photo above ex Mac Taylor collection)

“I started crewing on Ariki around 1963, aged 19, and sailed with the team for some 15 years, continuing through to the Northerner with them.

Hugh Littler worked as a valuer for Neville Newcomb Ltd., and dad (Pat) of course knew Arthur Angel well through RNZYS, as did my uncle Hal.

The crew then was going through a bit of a change as the friends of Hugh were getting married, children, etc.  Arthur and Hugh shared ownership I think.  Cove Littler had own Kitenui at that stage.

Regular crew when I joined were Jim (Boom Boom) Bailey, Ted Grey (plumber Devonport), John Downer, Dr Ray Talbot, Bill Donovan, Bob Fenwick, young Bruce McKay, Peter Svenson, Peter Cooper, and I introduced John Compton, Laurie Gubb, and Tom Taylor. John Denley sometimes crewed.  Also some others, can’t remember! Warwick Jones (subsequent owner) joined the crew a little later. 

The yacht was moored at Devonport near the RNZN dockyards.

There was keen competition between Bruce, Peter, and myself to become the main topmast hand, as we saw this as a glamour job.  I loved coming into a bay with all rag flying, and showing off my skill at whipping up the mast and letting fly the gaff topsail.  Peter, Bruce, and I became the main foredeck hands.  Hugh was sailing master, Arthur main helm, Jim B on main and spinnaker, John D and Bill D on headsail trim.  Foredeck was pretty dangerous with wildly flapping wooden blocks on clew strops and stiff canvas, big sails.  No winches at all. Bob was enthusiastic steward.

A racing crew of around 13.  Sometimes full 12 hands on main sheet, stretched out along leeward deck, up to your knees in rushing water.

Double purchase ‘handybillies’, rove to advantage, were used to get the last few feet in on the sheets.  New set of Rattray(?) sails a big deal. 4500 sq. foot sail, huge spinnaker, and newfangled genoa/gennaker. Heavy gear.

Seamanship was necessary. The most wonderful powerful yacht, a sailing delight.

Winter haul out at Devonport Yacht Club, old winch, and dangerous shunting of 19 ton ‘Rik on ways greased with mutton fat and timber jacks.  Old local guy always took charge of this, a big day.

Masonic Hotel was very close and ‪6am opening was a constant attraction for crew when we were supposed to be scrubbing down, sanding, varnishing, Singapore Copper antifoul, etc.  Pin line on hull was picked out in gold leaf, but this was changed to gold paint in later years.

After winter make over, trip down to ‘Drunks Bay’, (Islington) under motor, with minimal rig, then the big task of stringing up the running rig.  Ropes everywhere, but fun.  Ropes to be spliced, whipped, wormed/parceled/served/, and riven through the many blocks etc.

Another young man’s job was releasing the fixed prop and shaft prior to racing.  One of us young bucks would dive over and dive down with the heavy bronze 3 blade prop and 2 meter shaft (secured with a lanyard to the top), insert the shaft into the A Bracket, push it home into the stern gland, knocking out the internal wooden bung, to be attached to the engine drive. Then untangle the lanyard, and surface.  The test was to do this in one breath!  A whiskey/milk was usually the reward.  The process was reversed at the end of the race, often in a crowded anchorage, much to the astonishment of the observers.  Another glamour job!  Unbelievably, a few years earlier this job was done by Hugh, who not being a diver, was strapped into a diving bell made of a kerosene can with a glass window puttied into it.  This was put over his head, he sat in the Bosun’s Chair with some chain wrapped around him for weight, then was lowered over the side from the swung out main boom.  A rope slung under the stern pulled him under the counter to line up the shaft with the A Bracket etc.  It had some sort of bicycle air pump, and I think a speaking tube up to Cove on deck.  I saw this contraption under their Vauxhall Road home, and now wish I had saved it! (Mark, later discovered that this tale was an urban legend, created to motivate junior crew members (i.e. Mark) to go over the side)

Having no prop power meant a lot of our manoeuvring was under sail only, often including back winding and stern boards, highlighted the skills of these sailormen,.

Our competition included Ranger, Rawhiti, Ta Aroa, Kahurangi, Achernar, Moana, Thelma, Fidelis, and another dozen or so.

With our gaff rig, no winches, heavy boat, we struggled to take line honours, but did OK on handicap. After a few years the light displacement yachts started to appear- Innnesmara, Infidel and Buccaneer, Neville Price’s Volante, etc.  We expected these new wonders to fall apart, but usually just saw them zoom past us.

The fleet was littered with strong personalities, Joe Kissen, Tom Clark, Lew Tercel, the Duder’s, Bressen Thompson, Jim Davern, Andy Donovan. Fraters, Arnold Baldwin, Peter Cornes, Gordon Pollard, Bill Endean, Roy McDell, Wilf Beckett, Cove Littler,  ……. the list goes on, and on.  Of course there was our own Arthur Angel, Hugh Littler, Ray Talbot, Jim Bailey. Kahurangi under Willie Wilson always seemed to have a team of female followers, as did Arohia with Speed Alan and Pussy Catlow coming to mind.

We had many notable visitors on board- Lord Cobham, Francis Chichester, Adlard Coles (Heavy Weather Sailing), etc.

Cake days, normally a Sunday, were always great fun.  Long Christmas cruises to Bay of Islands very special- my uncle Hal based at Opunga keenly awaiting his play mates Bob, Arthur and Hugh.  Cruises up to Whangaroa wonderful.  Te Kouma race and Squadron Weekend at Kawau.  Somehow, being another era before the cell phone, we all stayed away on endless adventures without a thought, or the means, of rushing home.

Gordons Gin and water was the tipple of the senior members, beer for us- and plenty of it.  A strange drink, Claret and Lemonade, was often our early morning eye opener.

There was a strong sense of heritage, ceremony and formality amongst the merriment.  Flags, watch keeping, dress, respect of senior members, nautical customs, shipshape and Bristol fashion! – not strongly enforced, just understood and expected.  Arthur an ex Commodore, and Hugh a Flag Officer- later Commodore on Northerner- so expectations high.

These are just some random memories- there are many others.”  

2017 Centreboard Cup – Herne Bay Yacht Club – TODAY  9th Dec –  @ Sloanes Beach, Herne Bay

Starting at midday today, the Herne Bay Crusing Club are hosting their legendary Centreboard Cup Regatta. Its one of the coolest sailing events in town & the venue is rather special.

Details here   http://hbcc.net.nz/centreboardcup2017/

And check out my photos from a previous regatta. https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/12/20/whats-the-coolest-yacht-club-10-minutes-from-queen-st/

 

CYA Patio Bay Weekend – 2017 – 50+ Photos


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CYA Patio Bay Weekend – 2017

The photos show that 2017 was another cracker Patio Bay year, but what photos don’t get across is what a great group of woodys were there. The numbers were down a little on previous years but those that made the trip will remember it as one of the best. Plenty of room to walk around & mingle without standing on someones dinner plate.

Several Riviera owners, did they bit to re-confirm that they all have big egos & small brains – motoring thru the race finish line at 25+ knots & creating wakes you could surf on. A little exciting if you are sitting in an 8’ dinghy taking photos & wondering if the Riviera is on autopilot & the skippers playing with his small willy 😦

One of the Patio Bay race traditions is the winning skipper of the A Division has to fill the trophy barrel with rum for the following years party. Last year Prize was the winner & based on dock chatter, a sample was drawn off for analyse at the Mount Gay distillery –  purity & alcohol content results to follow 😉

(remember to click on photos to enlarge)

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Merlin – Sailing Sunday


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MERLIN – Sailing Sunday

I recently received a note from Andrew Hewitt from Ashburton, concerning his 22’ yacht Merlin. Andrew became custodian of her three years ago, when she was put up for sale by a broker on behalf of her former owner’s widow (Peter Beaven, a notable Christchurch architect and heritage advocate).

Peter had had her hull restored professionally in Christchurch some time previously, but the earthquakes and his ultimate death intervened. Andrew completed the job, rigged her and commissioned a trailer for her locally. So she’s now, home from the sea in her retirement – converted for use as a ‘trailer-sailor’ and lives protected from the elements in a boat shed at Lake Hood (just east of Ashburton) – where Andrew sails her when time allows.

Andrew commented that Harold Kidd kindly supplied a little history on her and Les McBean (Dunedin) also did a quite an extensive one (link here Les McBean Merlin), but unfortunately they contradict each other J According to Les, it seems she dates from around 1902 by Mr Derwent Aitcheson of Waikouaiti, where she was originally a fishing boat fitted with an engine. She appears to have been based there and Moeraki, moving about in the general Otago area. At some time mid-century she was converted to a yacht, and was well known in Otago Harbour for some decades, prior to becoming derelict and ultimate salvation by Peter Beaven.

The registration number seems original (V9) – it is on an old cotton sail that came with her.

Like all woodys, Merlin’s restoration is an ongoing thing….. the photos above ange from the fitting out/rigging stage at Andrew’s home to an early pic of Andrew under sail at Lake Hood.

Andrew is keen to discover more on Merlin past, to date he has made one or two connections through the Canterbury Classic Boat meets and tried both the Port Chalmers Maritime Museum and the two yacht clubs down there for info, but nothing forthcoming. The Museum at Waikouaiti knew of the builder, but didn’t supply any info when requested.

2017 Centreboard Cup – Herne Bay Yacht Club – Sat 9th Dec – Sloanes Beach, Herne Bay

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Pencil midday on Saturday the 9th of December into the diary, the Herne Bay Crusing Club are hosting their legendary Centreboard Cup Regatta. Its one of the coolest sailing events in town & the venue is rather special.

Details here   http://hbcc.net.nz/centreboardcup2017/

And check out my photos from a previous regatta. https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/12/20/whats-the-coolest-yacht-club-10-minutes-from-queen-st/

Anyone Looking For a Wooden Mast?

The Herne Bay Cruising Club have a 31’6″ laminated, hollow wooden mast that needs a home, the price will be very attractive if its for a classic yacht, if you want it as a flag pole expect to pay more 🙂 email Andrew Mason at    a.mason@auckland.ac.nz

 

 

What Happened to Calypso?


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What Happened to Calypso?

Firstly woodys, I love this story, way too many woodys have had a false start on a wooden boat project & just walked away & given up on old wooden boats forever. Well folks I can tell you Nick Davidson, who sent me the above photos, is not one of them, he bounced back, but more on that later – the main focus of this story is to try & uncover the mystery of Calypso. I have re-produced Nicks letter to me below – enjoy 🙂
Hi there Alan, have been thinking about an old kauri launch that I used to own back in the 1990’s, wondered what became of her and thought that perhaps one of your readers might have some information.
It is a story of hope turning to despair, however without the tough stories and the failures I suppose you don’t end up learning much!
As I am sure with many of your readership I was one of those guys that wanted to get into a wooden launch, however at the time had not much in the way of cash. It was mid 1999 and I was looking at boats for sale on ‘trademe’ as you do and there was an advertisement for an old 40’ kauri launch that was sitting in a shed in Avondale, Auckland and urgently looking for a new home, so I went along and had a look.

Basically the deal was that the owner of the shed wanted the building back and there had been veiled threats of chainsaws at dawn. As you can see from the photos of Calypso (very unlikely to be her original name) she was in a sorry state. The diesel was gone and there was a fair bit of rot in the house, but the hull looked sound enough and I could not help but fall for the straight stem (made of Pohutukawa) and fantail stern. The information about her provenance was next to nothing, no numbers, or name plates to be found anywhere. I was told that she was used as a ‘long-liner’ working out of the Viaduct for some years and had a build year of 1905 but have never had that corroborated. The diesel disappeared by way of a chainsaw through the cabin roof and she had then been hauled and transported to a storage unit in Avondale.
As it happened I had access to the old Education Department’s disused central stores warehouses that used to back on to the Avondale College, perfect I thought. I arranged for Calypso to be moved there, paid the princely sum of $300 to the owner (no recollection of the name of the chap) and now owned a 40’ launch that needed a bit of work!
Unfortunately, the arrangement to use the old stores warehouse fell through after a few months and I had her moved out to the Marine Haulage yard in Te Atatu where she stayed for a year or two. During that time I went into a boat partnership with a mate and with unbridled optimism we started stripping her out and removing what was left of the paint on her hull. When the cost of keeping her in Te Atatu became a bit too much for our shallow pockets I managed to find an old vegetable storage shed out in Bombay close to the Pukekohe turnoff and away she went again.

With the assistance of an old boat builder (again I cannot recollect his name, but he lived in Tairua, was involved in relocating the old Ngoiro ferry there, drove an old red van and had a cat that used to accompany him around the country!) we removed all the caulking, over many months slowly jacked up the hull to remove the hog in the keel, splined and glassed her to the gunwale with 10 weight triaxial glass. This was all done over a long period as time and money permitted.

As with many of these sorts of projects, in spite my best intentions and a fair degree of bloody mindedness we found ourselves some 6 years on with a sound hull but a long way from ever getting her back in the water. We had by now removed the cabin and decking which was in a much poorer state than first thought, my circumstances had changed and I no longer had the time or the financial resources to take her any further. We also had to move her again and by about 2005 she was now residing in a factory unit off Mahunga Drive in Mangere.

After a great deal of soul searching the decision was made to put her on ‘trademe’ and eventually she was purchased by a chap who described himself as a boat builder and if my recollection serves me correctly was looking to move her up to the Kaipara Harbour where he had a property and complete the re-fit there. Although disappointed that I hadn’t ever seen her in the water, I consoled myself that we had moved her along and that with the new owner’s intention to complete her she would be saved.
That was the last I saw of her!

Whilst owning Calypso had not dampened my desire to own a wooden launch I was certainly much wiser to the challenges, the cost of such an enterprise and in fact promised myself that if I ever did buy another boat she would have to be floating, have good provenance, and be at least structurally sound.

As it happens my wife and I now own the 1951, 32′ Allan Williams sedan launch Juanita (she has been well covered in Waitemata Woodies), she is a joy to own, gets plenty of use and after a fair bit of work is in great trim. The lessons learned from Calypso although painful have served me well, but I do sometimes wonder what became of her and whether the chainsaw got her in the end?

The photos above of Calypso in the water and being hauled were given to me by the previous owner.
There are a couple of her showing where I got to before having to sell (as you can see she was basically back to a bare hull) and a couple of a scale model that I made of her when I was looking to see how a new cabin would look.

Well woodys, as you have read, Nick & family are re-born woodys, we like that – so can we help Nick sleep better at night 🙂 & confirm what happened to Calypso. Good time for our resident Kaipara woody, Zac Matich, to chip in ………………..

Photos below of Juanita leaving Greg Lees (Sandspit) boat shed after a serious spot of TLC. Link below her time in Greg’s shed.
https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/03/21/the-rebirth-of-juanita/

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Seabird


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SEABIRD

Steve Thomas, the owner of the classic launch Seabird, that won line honors in the 2008 Centennial Rudder Cup, has just sent me the above collection of photos of Seabird hauled out at Nelson for a repaint.

Seabird was built in 1908 by James Reid & now looks set for another 100+ years.

Steve commented that he needed to redraw the waterline, after years of paint build up & “quick in and out jobs” done in the last few years.

Her old 6 Cyl Ford is still running sweetly & with a clean bum & new prop speed she cruises at about 10.5 knots.

Great to see what she looks like out of the water, with that shape, you would think she could really fly with a bigger power plant……… 😉

 

Pirate – Sailing Sunday


Pirate being built at Little Barrier Is.

Under construction c.1903 at Little Barrier Island

Pirate Port Fitzroy GBI

Port Fitzroy GBI – May 1903

Pirate in cave

Big cave – NE Coast – April 1904

 

Ilex & Pirate Port Fitzroy

Ilex & Pirate at anchor – Port Fitzroy GBI – May 1903

Pirate Ashore

June 27 1907

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Pirate wrecked & final resting place

Final resting place

PIRATE – Sailing Sunday

Pirate was built by Robert H. Shakespear in a shed alongside his house on Little Barrier Island c1903.

Shakespear was a talented boat builder & worked for the Logan Bros and was involved in Ilex (seen in the above photos) and built Frances at Logans’ yard as a close twin to Victory.

He also had the Logan built clinker keeler Pandora to service his little farm on Little Barrier where he was custodian for a while.

Sadly, Little Barrier was not a friendly home to Pirate & she was ‘wrecked’ twice, the first time during a hard SW gale in June 1907, she was repaired but the second in July 1908 was fatal & she was winched ashore & put to rest under the tress on the Island.

(Photo credits & details – J Russell via the Hocken Collection, University of Otago, Nathan Herbert & Harold Kidd)

The 1895 C&W Bailey Yacht IDA For Sale

Ida resides in Australia these days & her owners have advised that they are interested to hear from anyone that would consider purchasing her (& hopefully repatriating her home).

Harold Kidd has commented on WW that IDA was built by C. & W. Bailey for the Jagger brothers and Frater and launched on 21 December 1895. She was a contemporary and competitor to the other 5 rater of that season, the Logan Bros’ MOANA. You can also view/read an excellent article on Ida by Harold in the November issue of Boating NZ (pages 148>151), on sale now.

Interested parties can contact Catherine Shirley  cathshirley@gmail.com

You can read more about Ida here.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/05/15/ida-sailing-sunday-more/

UPDATE: Photos below ex Harold Kidd of IDA hauled out at Noakes yard in Sydney last week.

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INONIE (Enone, Aenone) > India


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INONIE (ENONE, AENONE) > INDIA

I have had a request for information on the wee ship Inonie, seen above. Firstly, some background, Inonie was built by Robert H. Shakespear in Auckland in the early 1900’s. He built her in his stable loft, after hours, mostly by candle light. The carving on the bow was done by his wife, Elsie.

When complete the Shakespear’s used Enone to get to & from Little Barrier Island, & also to transport produce and farming goods between Little Barrier, Tiri & Auckland.

At some stage her name was changed to India.

These days she is owned by Rick Osborne who lives in Renwick, near Blenheim, in the Marlborough region, & possibly has been re-powered with a steam engine. I’m sure Russell Ward will be able to confirm this & even maybe supply a photo.

She was also owned at some stage of her life (perhaps a long time?) by Grant Tylden who was Robert Shakespear’s nephew (on his wifes side).

So woodys – can we flush out more info on Enone’s past?, particularly mid > old life.

(Photo credits & details – J Russell via the Hocken Collection, University of Otago and Nathan Herbert)

Now Robert Shakespear had a great eye & pair of hands – the clinker below, Maire, he built at Little Barrier Island.

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Input from Russell Ward

I first came across (I’m sure it wasn’t Enone. Ionone? Maybe Inone?) when Neil Cox -an electrician at Ngunguru had not long bought her from Jim Francis (Lady Margaret). He also got what was reputed to be her original engine -or at least an early one- a single cylinder Zealandia. Hoyland and Gillett made a lot of them from their works at the bottom of Stanley Street -just opposite the pub. They ceased production around WW1 and Gillett took up selling cars while Chas Hoyland went to live and make boats at Clarks Beach on the Kaipara. He was quite a racer at their regattas around WW1 and is worth an article in himself HAROLD!

But I digress.

Neil was obsessed with making her into a steamer -he probably got infected like many others by my 17′ steamer Gypsy. He made up a 4″ x 3″ O B Bolton design single cylinder engine from patterns sold by Winters in NSW. He also had made a fine coal fired, vertical fire tube boiler to Stuart design updated to pass NZ Marine Dept specs. Same as I have in Romany -I paid him a portion of the design and certification fees for the rights to use the design.

I didn’t think that Neil got a lot of joy out of her and I don’t recall him using her much. Captain Percy Ginders would confirm. A lot of his problems were that he had a grate or thick steep plate in the firebox that was perforated by well spaced 3/4″ holes. It was insufficient to let enough air through to get a good fire going, but Neil was selling up and off.

I bought the Zealandia from him about the time I launched Romany and Neil -departing for Oz- sold off Ionone to an antique dealer at Sanson (I think) late ’90s.

I didn’t see much of her until she appeared at one of the early Lake Rotoiti (St Arnauds) events. She was called India by then but again, she didn’t see to be steaming.

Rick Osborne bought her a few years back and at last she has a worthy enthusiastic owner. He has done her the honours and has also ditched the Bolton engine for a twin cylinder engine that will be much easier to live with.

Input from Harold Kidd

Neil Cox was a good auto-electrician and a member of the Vintage Car Club with Jim Francis, vintagesteamer and yrs truly. I visited him in 1990 when he moved up to Ngunguru to discuss the rewinding of a magneto. Even then such people were becoming thin on the ground. I was very taken by this craft (and more by the Zealandia than the steam plant, with which things were not going well).

Her name was spelt INONIE. When I knew him, Bob Shakespear had a garage at Gills Road Albany where he had a collection of interesting cars including a Stutz Straight 8. He sold INONIE to Jim Francis about 1960 when she had an Australian Simplex engine. In fact, her first engine was a 3hp Kapai, not a Zealandia, and she was first launched in March 1910.

The inter-related Hobbs/Shakespear famiilies had used her at Whangaparaoa to take produce out to their Logan keel yacht FRANCES to take to Auckland markets.

Shakespear worked for the Logan Bros and was involved in ILEX and built FRANCES at Logans’ yard as a close twin to VICTORY. He also built the clinker keeler PANDORA to service his little farm on Little Barrier where he was custodian for a while….big story.

Further Input From Russell Ward – photo below of India at Lake Rotoiti (Sth Is.) 2011. Also photo of the wee Zealandia engine that Jim Francis said was in her when new.

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