Olive Rose

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Ian McDonald gave me a nudge yesterday about the 50′ Olive Rose being 4sale on trademe, my initial reaction was that I was sure I had covered her story previously but a quick WW search, said no.

She has just popped up on tme & if you believe the story – must be sold in the next 2 weeks. Reviewing the above photos & the bidding to date, she would have to be the cheapest waterfront accommodation packages in Auckland. Her owner has spent a lot to money on her, $30k alone on the 6LX Gardner 127hp engine.

Built in 1910 she must have had a good life as a commercial boat but her current configuration is all about cruising / live-a-board. She is built like the proverbially brick out-house & she should be able to do laps of NZ.

Check out the listing for more details.

Anyone able to comment on her previous life?




Old & & Even Older


Old & & Even Older

Great photo above of the 1929, Riley 9 twin cam that Baden Pascoe recently finished restoring. The Riley is parked in front of Aumoe, the 1913 Tom Le Huguet built classic launch owned by Andrew Pollard.

Streaming Planks

The above link to the very cool youtube clip on steaming Huon Pine planks onto Ian Smith’s (new build) 24’ Ranger class gaff rigged sloop, was sent to me by Robin Elliott


Looking for Scorpio – Sail # 1025

I was recently contacted by John McIntosh who is endeavoring to locate the current owner of ‘Scorpio’, a Californian Bear design about 23’ loa.  Built in Milford about the 1950s by a professional boat builder (Gladden?) I’ll let John tell the story – read below.

The story is that she was built for Rush Clark snr who was the Auckland Pan Am representative, and as a young boy I went out for a picnic sail on her.  I was calibrating new Raymarine instruments on Monday 30th Oct. on my boat, when I noticed a small keeler doing leads off Princess wharf.  Later we past close by her transom and I noticed the word Scorpio carved on her stern.  I immediately looked up at the mainsail and noticed a black bear on all four paws was near the peak, together with the registration number 1025.  Because we were out “on business” I couldn’t go back and check on anything.  Needless to say she was much smaller than I recalled.

When I got home I checked my old 1977 NZYF register, and the name and number were in there, but no owner.  I got in touch with a friend who remained in touch with Rush Clark jnr in Atlanta Georgia. What must have amounted to reply the same day, I got an enthusiastic reply from Rush jnr, telling me “Scorpio” was only 23’ long and had been built in Milford.  He went on to say that it was a testament to NZ Kauri and the skill of Kiwi boat builders that “Scorpio” was still sailing. 

Rush is intending to come out to NZ early in the New Year and says he would love to see her again and would I please do my best to track “Scorpio” down.

I have rung all the marinas, most recognised yacht clubs, & Yachting New Zealand, but none could help me.  The Harbour Master’s office promised to ring back, but haven’t done so.  I have been to Gladden’s workshop, but John has been gone for decades, and workmen having a beer after work suggested that I contact your site.  

There is a nice story about the name “Scorpio”.  Rush snr and his wife Anne were captured by the Japs in the Philippines and in the prison camp they would look at the stars and think that somewhere in the world people were still free and one day, if they survived, they would also be free.

My father occasionally raced on “Scorpio” with the Squadron and said it was the slowest boat in the fleet.  Sometimes when they crossed the finish line at Orakei wharf, they could see that the tower was all closed up and the race management had gone home.


So woodys hopefully we can locate the where abouts of Scorpio for John.

Once again WW delivers

Just received an email from Neil Chalmers, with the below photo of Scorpio. Neil was sent the photo by Dan Ranall back in June 2016. Dan had been mooching around Okahu Bay & snapped the photo, then sent it to Neil to see if Neil could ID the yacht. Boom connection made 🙂

Neil commented that he thought there was another Bear Class in Auckland (sail #577), called Little Bear. Anyone able to confirm?


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Mystery Launch   08-11-2017


Mystery Launch   08-11-2017

Long overdue for a good b/w photo & a mystery launch story. The above photo is ex Lew Redwood’s fb page, where Len commented that it was taken in 1916 & that the launch has BJB on the bow.

Using my enlarging capabilities on my computer, I think it actually says BJ6 – if that helps anyone ID the vessel?

Input from Harold Kidd – 

BJB was a 24 footer owned by Fred Brown of Ponsonby. My guess is that “B.J.B.” was his wife’s initials and that she had a previous name too. Haven’t had time to research that….Fred Brown is a hard name to track.
This image was taken at the Ponsonby Cruising Club’s Regatta of March 1916.
In July 1916 Brown sold her to C. Humphrey of the Hokianga and she was “railed up”. Odd that, because the railhead to the north was at Te Hana in 1916 and she might as well have been railed to Helensville. Surely she didn’t negotiate the Kaipara and the Hokianga bars. Both were pretty evil even then.
Any clues on what happened to her on the Hokianga apart from an obvious name-change?



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Jeanette was built in 1914 by Lane & Brown, she measures 30’ LOA , with a beam of 7’9” & draft 2’6”. Power comes from a 73hp Nissan SD23 diesel engine, that allows her to cruise at 7-8 knots.
Presently moored at Sandspit / Kawau, her trademe listing states that she is a part of Northland History. What that means we do not know, hopefully some of the woodys & supply more intel on her past.

Harold Kidd Input – Well she was at Tutukaka for years then at Taipa. She may have been built by T.M. Lane & Sons at Mechanics Bay but not by Lane & Brown at Whangaroa who dissolved their partnership around 1902. T.M. Lane & Sons transferred their launch-building to Mechanics Bay in 1905 after they built SLIM JIM.

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.


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.







Classic Yacht & Launch Exhibition 2017 – The NZ Clinker Boat – 50+ Photos




Tony Stevenson


Robert Brooke


Baden Pascoe



Classic Yacht & Launch Exhibition 2017 – The NZ Clinker Boat

Over the weekend the Tino Rawa Trust hosted the 10th Classic Yacht & Launch Exhibition at Karanga Plaza on Auckland waterfront Wynyard Quarter. If you missed the event, you really did miss something special. The feature this year was the New Zealand Clinker Boat.

I went to the opening commemorative (Tony Stevenson, likes flash words) morning tea on Friday, if you were looking for a wooden boat builder or a fountain of knowledge on wooden boats, you would have been stunned at the guest list, it was the who’s who of NZ classic wooden boat movement. If you weren’t there you must have done something really bad in a past life to not be invited 😉

Above is a selection of the boats on display, taken on Friday when the crowds were light. Enjoy 🙂

Talking to Tony Stevenson, Jason Prew & Baden Pascoe last night & this years event was hands down the most successful in terms of attendee numbers, Saturday being huge. Well done guys. 


Port Townsend Classic Wooden Boat Festival 2017 – 80+ photos


Port Townsend Classic Wooden Boat Festival 2017 – 80+ photos
Kiwi woodys Jenny and Malcolm McNicol sent me the below photo essay from the Port Townsend 41st Classic Wooden Boat Festival from The Puget Sounds in Washington State USA. They were holidaying in the Sounds and got to enjoy the festival.
The McNico’s are members of The Rotoiti Wooden Boat Association and are the proud owners of Tauraka, which has featured on WW.

Enjoy the collection – sorry if I have ruined your day ……… 🙂

Remember to click on photos to enlarge 😉