Rawene – A Peek Down Below


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RAWENE – A Peek Down Below

Woody John Wicks sent in the above photos of the launch Rawene. They came from a friend of John’s, who got them from his brother on Tauranga, so the details were a little light e.g.  only the name & the date 1926.

This Rawene (there have been a few) has appeared on WW before when she lived on Lake Waikaremoana, looks like she is being hauled after receiving some TLC, as mentioned below in the owner’s comments. Great to see below decks.

Link here to when she first appeared on WW, I in fact had suggested that she had to be a finalist for the 2016 Floating Bach Awards 😉 https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/05/21/2016-floating-bach-award/

Below I have reproduced Hendrik Metz’s WW comments on the vessel.

Keen to hear more about what happened to with her while she was out & if she did make it back to the Lake?

Rawene – as told by owner, Hendrik Metz

Built in 1928 by L.C. Coulthard, Boatbuilder of Onehunga, on a commission for a Mr Alexander Alexander of Napier, Rawene operated as a fishing boat out of Ahuriri.

After the Napier Earthquake in 1931, Rawene was left high and dry on the newly formed mudflats, caused by the earthquake.  Mr Thomas Holden of Gisborne, on a visit to Napier thought she would make a good lake boat and purchased her and brought her to Waikaremoana, in 1931.

The Holden and Heggarty families spent many happy holidays at Waikaremoana on board Rawene.  In 1960 following the death of Mr Holden the boat was sold to the Chapman Brothers of Frasertown, who owned her for the next eight years.  Phillip de Lautour, who was then farming at Ohuka, purchased Rawene from the Chapmans about 1968 and eventually sold her to Walmsley Canning of Porangahau, April 1970.  On 11th September 1976 she was purchased by a partnership of Jock Ross and Evert Metz.  The Metz/Ross families still own her today.

She is currently in Tauranga undergoing a refit but will be back at Waikaremoana early in 2017.

Mr Coulthard’s son, who helped with her construction says they built an identical boat at the same time but he cannot remember her name – if anyone knows of a similar shaped hull we would be keen to hear more.  Originally Rawene didn’t have the raised roof at the stern or the poop deck these were added in about 1978.

 

 

 

 

 

Swiftsure – Restoration Project In-Waiting


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Swiftsure – Restoration Project In-Waiting  

I was recently contacted by Harold Kidd in regard to Swiftsure the 1921 centreboarder that needs major restoration and to the right person –  is free for collection.

Harold supplied some history on the yacht below.

SWIFTSURE was built by George McLean of Birkenhead in 1920 a bit under 16ft and a bit over 14ft (about 4 inches) because of the available lengths of timber.

Her first race appears to have been in November 1921 with the Ponsonby Cruising Club in their “14ft handicap class” i.e. not square-bilge and not Jellicoe Class 14s, owned by G. McLean. She was on scratch which indicates a first race. She raced consistently much of her life. She was registered with the 14ft T Class when the AYMBA introduced its alpha-numeric system in 1922. She was allotted T38.

By the 1923 Anniversary Regatta her oversize had apparently been picked up and she was moved to the 16ft S Class as S62. She was then owned by George’s nephew Ted Fitzgerald. After a protest she had the offending bit sawn off her stern and was reregistered as T6 in 1934. Later he put the 4 inches back on and she raced with the 16 footers as S62.

After he retired her from racing as an open boat post WW2 Ted built on a raised foredeck and a bigger cuddy.He took her on an annual cruise to Great Barrier with his two little girls. Amazing!

Swiftsure is now stored under cover at Beachhaven and stabilized but needs a total restoration. The above photo shows her racing as an S Class. Harold commented that it was hard to photograph her under her current shelter (see below bottom). The 1st group of photos below were taken some years ago before she deteriorated but give a good idea of her final, “cruising” configuration under Ted Fitzgerald’s ownership.

Interested parties can contact Harold via WW  or Grant Firth at gfirth1955@gmail.com

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RECENT PHOTOS

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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Old & & Even Older


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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?

Scorpio

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Three Taupo Boats


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PIRI PONO on her slip at Two Mile Bay, Taupo, in the 1960’s

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PIRI PONO at her final resting place (Maritime Museum)

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LUYVON awaiting restoration at Taupo Oct 2017

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TUI at the Clinker Boat Exhibition

THREE TAUPO BOATS

Post a visit by Paul Drake & his brothers to the 2017 Classic Yacht & Launch Exhibition & a side trip to the Auckland Maritime Museum, Paul sent me the above photos & the story below – which I have re-produced unedited as its perfect as is. Read & enjoy J

 In the mid  1920’s, two gents and their families fell in love with Taupo. Both of them commissioned boats from Auckland builders. Hawke Bay’s Guy Rochfort had TUI (16 feet and clinker) built by Percy Vos. TUI was on display at the recent Classic Clinker Exhibition at the Viaduct in Auckland.  Auckland’s Robert Laidlaw had the 17 foot speedboat  SEAHORSE built by an unspecified builder. After a weather related fright on the lake in 1929, Robert approached Collings and Bell, and the 28 foot PIRI PONO (faithful friend) was the result. Honduras mahogany and bright finished, no expense was spared. PIRI PONO is on display at the Maritime Museum in Auckland.  With her 150 HP straight eight Niagara, she weighed just over a ton and could do about 30 knots. Housed in her boatshed at Two Mile Bay, alongside Laidlaw’s house ‘Monte Vista’, access to the water was via a slipway. A private jetty and offshore mooring completed the picture. 

PIRI PONO was the fastest boat on the lake.  But by 1935, she had a rival in the form of local man Stan Gillies’s  LUYVON, locally designed and built by Jack Taylor and measuring 22 feet. She was light (about half the weight of PIRI PONO) and powered with a Dodge, driving through an outboard drive.  Informal drag races indicated that the boats were very similar in speed.  A more formal test was required. Regatta Day 1936 (probably) was the day. PIRI PONO had her bottom waxed, new spark plugs fitted, all surplus gear removed, and half her fuel pumped out.  The day dawned fine and calm, to PIRI PONO’s disadvantage. LUYVON and PIRI PONO lined up for the 20 lap race. LUYVON had the edge because she cornered faster – PIRI PONO would catch her on the straights.  Robert Laidlaw ordered his crew (son Lincoln) to the aft cockpit to get the bow up a bit. Stan Gillies was still ahead. Back came Lincoln, returning aft with the anchor. This was enough. PIRI PONO won and Robert retained his title as fastest man on the lake.

PIRI PONO was commandeered by the Air Force during WW2 and was the Commodore’s launch at Hobsonville. They replaced the Niagara with a Chrysler (Crown?) and built a cabin over the forward cockpits. Having won the war, the Air Force returned PIRI PONO to Taupo.  She was re-engined with twin Gray’s which are in her to this day. There are conflicting stories as to how this came about. One source has it that she was returned by the Air Force without an engine. Another has it that Laidlaw was disappointed with the speed produced by the Chrysler. Yet another has it that the Air Force wrote off the Chrysler while trying to reverse PIRI PONO off her transporter and into the lake (overheating due to lack of cooling water).

Laidlaw was an enthusiast. He was the founder of Farmers Trading Company. He was a very active Christian, and his name lives on in Laidlaw College, formerly the Bible College of New Zealand, which trains people for Christian ministry. He also has a rock named after him, informally at least. During an early evening spin in PIRI PONO, with 23 POB (so it is said), PIRI PONO struck, at speed, the large flat rock in Mine Bay between the islets and the shore at the eastern end of the bay. The damage must have been enormous and she quickly sank in a few metres of water. Passengers, some of them not-so-young ladies in fur coats, were rescued by nearby launches.  Jack Taylor’s PONUI and VICTORY salvaged PIRI PONO the next day and she was repaired in time for the following summer. 

Meanwhile, TUI led an uneventful life, and lived afloat in a Taupo Boat Harbour boatshed. LUYVON lived in a boatshed nearby, but was kept dry (and light) by being lifted clear of the water on a cradle once in the shed. LUYVON also survives, still owned by the Gillies family, and has been awaiting restoration for some 30 years now. 

The book by Ian Hunter, ‘Robert Laidlaw – Man for our Time’ makes a very interesting read.

UPDATE 01-11-2017 Photo below showing TAMATI in the Lake Taupo Boat Harbour, with the fishing lodge (ex TONGARIRO) in the background, and the Collings and Bell PIRI PONO in the fore ground.   

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


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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. 

 

A Beautiful Clinker


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Vos Rockfort Skiff

A Beautiful Clinker

Baden Pascoe sent the above two photos of the Rockfort skiff that Percy Vos built in 1926. Baden commented that it has the most attractive planking of any boat he has ever seen – big call 😉

These days it is owned by the Percy Vos Charitable Trust & resides at the, maybe one day it will be restored – Vos Shed.

The real reason for today’s post is to remind you all about this weekend’s Clinker Boat exhibition at the waterfront / viaduct – details below

The Vos clinker will be on show, so you can check out if Baden is right re the planking 🙂

Clinker Event Ad