Sister Dora



Just when you think you have heard of all the classic woodys – one drops out of cyber space. Sister Dora is a newbie to me, I discovered her on Lew Redwood’s FB page (ex Akl Museum – Winkelman).

At this stage all I know is that the above photo was dated 7th March 1914 & was taken during a NZPBA race to Cowes Bay, Waiheke Island.

So woodys – the questions of the day – who built her, owned her & where is she today? A Google search only tells me about an Anglican nun 🙂

Input from Harold Kidd – I’ve done a bit more research on this boat since making (slightly erroneous) comments on Lew Redwood’s site.
There were actually four SISTER DORAs, all built for A.H. Bentley, Rear Commodore of the NZ Power Boat Ass around this time. #1 a 26 footer was built in 1909 (probably by Tom Le Huquet) as HALMAX with a HALMAX engine. That must have proved so unsatisfactory that it was pulled out and replaced with a Holliday 10hp 6 months later and the launch’s name changed to SISTER DORA.
#2 was a 32 footer built by Tom Le Huquet for J. Gillett to replace his current ZEALANDIA, and fitted with the Holliday out of HALMAX/SISTER DORA(1). Obviously Bentley didn’t want the Hoiland & Gillett-built Zealandia engine.
#3 was this boat, built by Tom Le Huquet in November 1913 and fitted with a 2 cylinder 8hp Westman engine for which W R Twigg was the agent. Bentley sold her in late 1916 to the Piman brothers of Whangarei. She now had a 12hp Morton engine. They renamed her WILDTHYME.
#4 was built by Collings & Bell in 1916, a 32 footer with (probably) a Doman engine. Bentley sold her to Alan Donald who was badly injured fighting a fire aboard in November 1919 when she was totally destroyed.
#3 soldiered on as WILDTHYME for many years in Whangarei. Selwyn Blake owned her for a while.
I saw the hull of a WILDTHYME at Te Atatu some years ago, but it may have been the 1921 WILDTHYME built by Joe Slattery for the Schneidemann brothers.
What a tangled web we weave……………..

SISTER DORA #4 had a 14hp Westman engine. Bentley and Twigg must have been good mates.

Doreen > Haku > Coquette




The top photo above (ex Lew Redwood fb > Winkeman – Akl Museum) shows the 1912 Arch Logan built launch Doreen, named after Arch’s sister, later to became Haku & then Coquette (as she is today).

Coquette was the ‘base’ for the Logan 33 f/glass production boats.  In the second photo (ex Alan Good), we see her c.1945, sporting her WWII reporting number – 201. Also of interest in this photo is the addition of the dodger fitted in the summer of 1926/27 during Fred Cooper’s ownership period. Fred also installed a 25/40 sleeve-valve Loew-Knight engine at the same time. (details ex Harold Kidd)

You can see & read more at the links below


Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 6.04.39 pm


Anyone looking for a bargain classic woody? Kingfish is listed on trademe (thanks Ian McDonald) with a $1 reserve & an oh to familiar tale “its leaking and sinking and due to a marriage breakup its not getting the love it needs” 

I can tell you she was built in 1914, is double skinned kauri, measures approx. 33’ in length, & powered by a 120hp diesel.

The owner is after a quick sale as the bilge pumps are shot. Listing details here

Sorry about the quality of the interior photos – but thats all that was available.

Interested to learn more about Kingfish – anyone able to help?

Input from Harold Kidd & photos below from Cameron Pollard

I’m certain KINGFISH has been on here before. She was built by H.N. Burgess at Judges Bay in 1914 as a hybrid yacht/launch, expressly for game fishing and spent her early life based in Gisborne and Tauranga. Unrecognizable from her original configuration with quite a big rig.



27-05-2018 Input from Dave Butler – Kingfish was owned by Jack Peat from Te Puna who had it moored in Tauranga harbour in the 60’s. He was a member of the Tauranga game fishing club and I have numerous photos of him and crew with marlin, makos, and threshers caught near mayor island. Kingfish was powered by a Gadyver engine? which Jack replaced. He gave me the old prop because the new engine revolved the drive shaft in the opposite direction. Jack sold her in 1972 and she was moored at the new marina in Tauranga harbour for several years after that.

11-06-2018 – Update. I can report that Kingfish has joined the Pollard fleet & has already been given some TLC , refer photos below hauled out + photos of her being retrieved for the trip ‘home’.



Moata & Caprice





Todays photos are from Bruno Redwood’s facebook page & show the 1937 Moata anchored in the Clevedon River c.1965, the river was ‘in flood’ at the time. The 2nd photo also shows the 34’ launch Caprice, built in 1916 by the Grandisin Bros. 

The last photo, just of Caprice c.1966, again on the Clevedon. 

You can view / read more on Caprice here

And Moata here

A Visit to Colin Brown’s Omaha Boat Shed 


Susan Paul

Anita > Maharitia







A Visit to Colin Brown’s Omaha Boat Shed 

A coupe of weeks ago I gave mate a hand to take his clinker dinghy to Colin Brown’s yard at Omaha. Steve inherited the dinghy from his father-in-law & she was in need of a little TLC. I intro’ed Steve to Colin & as they say the rest is history 🙂 Forgot to say – Colin originally built the clinker.

While at the yard we had a look around the numerous projects under way. The c.1950, Chris Robertson built yacht Susan Jane is nearing completion & you can view the project at the link

In numerious sheds/shelters were:

Anita > Maharitia – the biggest Lidgard built at Kawau Island. A lot of work happening to her & a very OTT re power, check out those Gardiners.

The vessel in the shed is Andromeda, a Townsend yacht that has been stripped for conversion by Dave Walker to a launch.

Of most interst to me was Josh Hawke’s 26′ carvel launch, Waiere. Built in c.1913 Josh restored her over a 6 year period that saw the replacement of her ribs, keel, stem, hood ends, interior, decks, cabin top & re-caulking. 

All Josh knows about her past is at one stage she was on the Kaipara as an open flounder boat. 

A 21hp DaeDong pushes her along very nicely. Any one know more about her past? You can see more photos here

Vixen > Water Beetle – Akaroa


Vixen > Water Beetle – Akaroa

Another photo ex Lew Redwood’s fb page, this time we have a yacht anchored at Akaroa, the photo is dated 1911. It’s a great photo

Any of the woodys able to ID this gaffer?

07-05-2018 Input from Harold Kidd – 

She’s the little half-rater WATER BEETLE designed by Prof Scott and built for Wardrop of Wellington by Robert Logan Sr in 1895 as VIXEN. MASCOTTE (53ft) and YVONNE (42ft) were big gaffers. Scott later bought her, renamed her WATER BEETLE and raced her at Lyttelton. He sold her in 1901.

VIXEN/WATER BEETLE had a lugsail like most of the Wellington half-raters which raced with the Arawa Sailing Club and was 24ft loa. She was owned at the time of this photograph by J.L. Vangioni of Akaroa. Prof Scott had owned YVONNE for many years at this time.


Good Things Take Time

Greg Fenwick sent me the photo below that he took last November on a trip to Oban, Stewart Island. Pretty well sums up wooden boat building 🙂


And a wee bonus today – check out this Facebook movie of dinghy sailing back in 1955, at Plymouth, Devon, UK. Link via Wooden Boat fb – enjoy

Classic Yacht Association – ANZAC DAY REGATTA 2018- 30+ photos



Raindance was overdue a run so I decided to head out yesterday afternoon & catch the start of the CYA / PCC ANZAC Day Regatta. The photos are from the pre-start > start & a wee bit of racing. A used a long lens, as I wanted to stay out of the start area.

A stunning day for woody boating, but I have to say – excluding the A Division, the turn out was a little RS. 

The day had every thing going for it – late start, sun, wind & a good post race gig at PCC, seems some people most be suffering the boating equivalent of cabin fever.

Enjoy the photos – remember to click photos to enlarge 😉

The yacht below – Time, is a marina neibour of mine – a very salty vessel, & equally stunning down below.