Woody Lake Taupo Boat Tour + Woody Event Details

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WOODY LAKE TAUPO BOAT TOUR + WOODY EVENT DETAILS
One of WW’s most local supporters is Bay of Islands woody, Dean Wright – today Dean takes us on a recent mooch around Lake Taupo’s shoreline, click photos to enlarge –  Enjoy 🙂
WAIROA RIVER – WOODY OVERNIGHT CRUISE
Back in November 2019 we had an amazing woody weekend at the Clevedon Cruising Club. At the time everyone expressed a desire to repeat the trip up the Wairoa River asap, then CV-19 popped up, so we pulled the hand-brake.
Well folks the cruise is back on and for now there are two things to do:
1. Circle August 8-9 in the diary
The CCC is a brilliant venue, with dock-side berthing, undercover BBQ / dining facilities and a great group of members that make the trip so special.
And its dog friendly ! – so fido gets to come along.
Woody Classics Weekend Clevedon #2 copy

Classic Wooden Boat Riverhead Cruise

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Classic Wooden Boat Riverhead Cruise

Yesterday’s creek (river) cruise to the Riverhead Tavern was another successful gig on the Woodys Classics Weekend calendar. 14 boats made the trip up the creek and with no ferries working, we had the wharf to ourselves. Always nice to be greeted at the wharf by the publican and woody boater – Stephen Pepperell. We enjoyed brilliant support and service from the rest of the team at the tavern insured the day went like clockwork and 85+people enjoyed a great catch up, chat and lunch. The sun shone at the right times (most of the day) so a good times was had by all. Wonderful to see the support from the people that made the trip by car.
Details on the next event soon 🙂
MORE PHOTO’S @ link below
My crew for the day Chris Miller has posted some great photos on his weblog, I was concentrating on helming the ship and given CM is a pro photographer I left the camera work to Chris. Enjoy 🙂

Mystery Launches – Mansion House Bay

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Mystery Launches – Mansion House Bay

Today’s photo of Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island comes to us via Lew Redwood’s fb and is tagged 1920 – 1939 so that date spread isn’t much use to us.
An unusual photo given that no yachts are seen.
Any eagle eyed woodys able or brave enough to ID any of the boats?
Ken Ricketts was probably there (in nappies) and will remember the sound of each boats engine 🙂
WCW Riverhead June2020
RSVP  waitematawoodys@gmail.com

An Epic Tale of Whalers, Fishermen,  Farmers & Commercial Launch Masters

Prima Donna built by Lanes 1911 for Herman & Darcey Baldick 001

Primadonna built by Lanes for Ernie & Darcey Baldick 001

Primadonna and One of Bob Swansons boats 001

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An Epic Tale of Whalers, Fishermen,  Farmers & Commercial Launch Masters
 

The story below without doubt is the best to appear on WW, author Pete Beech talks at one stage about writing a book – he needs to. Surely there is a funding channel available – what’s the literary equivalent of ‘NZ On Air’?

The story came about via the recent WW story on the ex whaler chaser – Primmadona and her relocation from the South to Aucklands Waitemata waters. I will let Pete tell you his story, as he told me – its a cracker – enjoy
 
As an aside I spotted Pete’s ‘work’ boat – Tutanekai, mentioned in the story in Queen Charlotte Sound two years ago, I admired her then, sadly I was too busy pushing bacon and eggs down the gullet at the rather swanky, Bay of Many Coves resort, to say hi – my loss, but I’ll be back. Photos of her at the WW link below:
 
Previous WW Primadonna stories:
PART ONE
Kia Ora Alan,
Thanks for making contact, I was sent a link to your site by my sister who lives on her yacht in an Auckland marina. She thought I’d be interested in your story on our old waka, Primadonna.
You and I obviously have a lot in common, 40 yrs ago there were a lot of old Sounds launches coming to the end of their days, my old dad worked for Ernie Lane as a young man then for Jack Morgan and Rodger Carey.
He and his old mates had been Sounds farmers, whalers , fishermen and commercial launch masters, when ever they got together conversation would always revert to “Boats ! “
We lived in a bay down the Sounds, old pa could identify the older boats by the sound of their exhausts, before they rounded the points and came into view. The old guys would tell you who built them, what year, how much they cost, what they were planked out of, some were sister ships (2 keels cut out of the same log) where the logs were sourced from for the planking, what timber they used for the ribs, what make of engine they used, how much it cost, what horse power they developed and how many GPH they burnt and  what revs  they run at.
They took pride in knowing the whole whakapapa of all the old waka, how many hours the engines did until they were worn out and rebuilt or replaced, in those days after 5/ 10 yrs they would replace with bigger more powerful engines, they would also tell you how the engine was taken out of one boat and put into another and so on.
I grew up hearing all these oral histories and like a couple of your writers mentioned the accuracy of some of these stories was lost in the telling, then my old dad passed on and I got to thinking that if someone doesn’t write down these oral histories within 50 years, they will pass from living memory and be lost to time.
So I went around and interviewed a number of the old timers and collected all the photos I could, so pleased I did because those old boys are all gone now and their kids tossed out their photos.
It was funny, they just loved to talk about their boats, often their wives used to ring me up and say “could you come back and talk to dad again, hes driving me mad ! “
For years I have fostered an ambition to compile a book using this material and feel a bit precious about it, however no one has a monopoly over history and it should be shared, who knows the millennials may have no interested in our nautical treasures .
I have been a mechanic, a marine engineer, a fisherman, a commercial launchmaster a boat builder and for the last 30 years have run an eco tour with our old waka the near 90 yr old Tutanekai. I used to think that the day would come when people would regard the old classics like they do vintage cars and would restore them.
However it hasn’t really happened here and sadly many of our old classics have  been sold out of the area many finding their way to Auckland, I will miss seeing the beautiful counter stern of the old Primmadonna on the Sound, she is so much part of our local history.
I’m so pleased to see the resurgence of traditional boats in Auckland and sure a lot of credit should go to you for the sparking peoples interest in the classic wooden boats.
I remember when she was sold to a feller up on the Foxton River, he eventually put her up for sale but no one wanted her, so he rang me up and said “I’ll sell it to you for bugger all, if you don’t I’m going to cut the side out of her with a chainsaw and turn it into a road side stall. 
I contacted Ian Baldick, nephew of the original owner and said that old girl is your family heritage, you should buy her back, he said OK boy , you’re right, I’ll do it on one condition, that you come with me to bring her back home.
So away we went, made the deal, checked out the old Lister, changed the oil and fuel filters and set off for home, when we got down close to the bar there was a big swell and old Ian said theres something wrong, she’s not lifting to the swell, he said pull her up, he went down into the front cabin, lifted up the bunk swabs and found that the whole forward section was full of river boulders, (this had been done because when you run the old lady on full throttle the stern would suck right down until the water was level with the deck and if you were steering from inside the cabin you couldn’t see over the bow).
We tossed all the boulders overboard and charged out over the bar, there were 3 very big waves, she rode up over the first then put her head down and dove under the second and in what seemed like an eternity finally lifted, rose over the third and burst out into the open sea, old Baldy said if we hadn’t thrown those boulders out she would of gone straight to the bottom !!!
He told me that she had been build too fine with not enough buoyancy in the bow, straight stemmed with no flare, he said that one time they we steaming out around Cape Jackson when they went thru the big rip where the Pacific and the Tasman seas meet there are often half a dozen big waves, he said that she responded the same way a stick does when you throw it into the water. He said you had to shut the throttle off and pull her out of gear,   she went down by the head and kept going down until her buoyancy finally made her shoot back out back wards just like a stick !  He said that on this occasion one of their mates was standing on the foredeck, he said that when this occurred he wrapped himself around the mast and held on for grim death, he said that when she popped out they went forward and couldn’t get their mate to let go of the mast, he said he had squeezed it that hard he ‘d squeezed all the sap out of it and they needed a screw driver to prize his finger nails out of the mast !
I also owned the old Fleetwing at one time, but that’s another story.
The old waka in my shed is a true classic launch, is just the bare hull and is in beautiful condition for its age, has been in my shed for 30 years waiting for attention, I’ll never get around to it , I only rescued it because I knew her history and wanted to see her preserved, she had a 5 HP Frisco Standard in her for years, shes only 6 ft beam, they didn’t start building them with 8ft beam until the twin cyl 8 hp Friscos came out in the 1920’s.
The Baldicks said that they flush decked her for gropher fishing and that when they were steaming around Dieffenbach Point in a strong southerly she would roll over that far that your shoulders would be in the water.!
What I could do is send you the story of her builder Ernest Berg who  was a real character, was bankrupted 3 times but kept reinventing himself, a real conman but he built beautiful boats, back at the turn of the century, 3 of them left that I know of.
That’s enough for now, Keep up your good work mate.
PART TWO
Kia Ora Alan,
My pleasure, always interesting to look at a series of photos taken of a wooden boat that shows how their superstructures  were changed to suit their roles and how their engines got bigger and bigger with advances in technology.
My old waka “Tutanekai originally had an 18 hp twin cyl Regal, that was replaced by a 40 hp 4 cyl sterling, then a 60hp, 6 cyl Hercules, a 110 hp  471 GM during the war, currently has a 120 hp GM and have a 6 cyl 340 hp Yanma  in the shed to replace the GM, ( but it refuses to die.)
My apologies, but I don’t know (or don’t remember )  what the original engines were in the Primadonna,  most of the early launches back in the 1920’s had 5 hp single cylinder Frisco standards when they wore out were replaced by 2 cylinder 8 hp Friscos, they were replaced in the 1940’s with car engines then in the 1950s with truck or tractor diesel engines like 4 cyl Fords or GM’s , (lucky ones had Gardners ! )
When Alf Baldick finished whaling he used the Primmadonna as a farm boat and for transport to and from town, there were no roads in the Sounds.
He sold to a guy McManaway who was a gropher fisherman, he did away with the rear wheel house to give him more deck space and fish hold, he built a pilot house over rear of front cabin. He sold to Rex Baldick, Alfs nephew, he was farming in East Bay and spent a lot of time hunting, you would often see her at the Picton wharf with stern deck covered with carcasses of pigs and deer.
Rex sold to Ken MacArther who fished her out of the Wairau Bar, she caught fire on him, he took the 4 cyl Ford out that Rex had put in and replaced with a three cylinder Lister.
That was the end of her commercial fishing era, she had several owners and more changes to her superstructure, they replaced the rear wheelhouse, when I had it she had a coal scuttle that stuck up above the cabin top so you didn’t have to duck , getting in and out of the cabin. Before Ian Baldick bought her back into family ownership he threw the Lister out and put a reconditioned 4 cly Ford back in her, cut the coal scuttle off and replaced with a sliding hatch, put a new S/S shaft in her and did a great job of tidying her up. When he retired he put a line hauler on her for gropher fishing and spent a lot of time out fishing and deer shooting, when he past on she was sold but a couple of owners latter his son in law bought her back again for running the whanau to and fro to their bach.
Sad that she has been sold out of the Sounds, but who knows some day she may find her way home, it has happened before !
Nga Mihi,
Pete.
Woody Classics Weekend #5 Riverhead
RSVP waitematawoodys@gmail.com

Pal O Mine

Pal O Mine

PAL O MINE
 
One of WW’s more loyal followers is Barrie Abel, owner of the c.1912 classic woody – Matira. Barrie lives in Kawakawa Bay and approx. 7 years ago on a visit to his neighbours property he spotted a cool photo of a wooden boat on the neighbours wall. Barrie recalled launch was named Pal O Mine. Being a shy, reserved type (yeah right) Barrie didn’t ask more about the boat. Fast forward 7 years and Barrie recalled the photo and asked his neighbour, Tosy Joyce  about it. Turns out that Pal O Mine was owned by Tosy’s fathers.
Barrie learned that Pal O Mine had spent some time down in Kawakawa Bay,  but Tosy’s not sure when. He is confident that in the photo above its the father at the helm.
 
Pal O Mine has appeared on WW before, primarily for two reasons
1. She was* a looker
2. In her day she was a seriously quick boat – you just have to look at the above photo is see that
 
* in point (1) above I say ‘was’, this is because sadly Pal O Mine was washed a shore in a storm and wrecked on the rocks near OBC, Tamaki Drive, Auckland.
Built in 1924 by the Tercel brother, famous for the builders of the stunningly fast yacht – Ranger. Pal O Mine has a 125hp engine – rather large for those days – thence the zoom zoom.
Link below to view more photo 
 
 
 
GREAT RESPONSE TO THE UPCOMING RIVERHEAD LAUNCH CRUISE – FLYER BELOW. Could I ask if you haven’t RSVP’ed that you do, makes planning re anchoring and catering easier 😉 FYI – this isn’t  CYA organised gig so any woody owner / lover is welcome to come along. Its always a great day and lots of catching up / chat.
RSVP (boat name and approx. numbers)      waitematawoodys@gmail.com
 
Woody Classics Weekend #5 Riverhead

Tall Ships Regatta – Bay of Islands 2013/14

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Ranui

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Undine

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Colonist

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TALL SHIPS REGATTA – Bay of Islands 2013/14

 
Today’s photos come to us from professional photographer Dean Wright’s sailing archives and show a selection of woodys partaking in the annual BOI event.
Nice to see Ranui with all the washing on the line 🙂 , these days she tends to motor sail around the Hauraki Gulf.
 
There are not a lot of yachts these days that look even better out of the water – one such beauty is hauled out at Pier 21 in Auckland at the moment – Waitangi , designed and built in 1894 by Robert Logan Snr. Like most of these old girls, a killer for marina fees i.e. 36’ waterline but 58’ on deck – with a 74’ sailing carrying length. Photos below ex Larry Paul
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Valerie

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VALERIE 

In the above 1963 photo we see the launch Valerie towing an ex Whangarei Harbour Board shed to Port Whangarei, at the time river transport was judged to be the best option.

Input from Robin Elliott and Harold Kidd (previous WW story) – Valerie was designed and built by the  Lane Motor Boat Co. in 1929. She is 35’ in length with a 9’ beam. For many years she was owned by the Reynolds family, close friends of the Pickmeres, who owned her up until the late 1960’s. Apart from a short period in Auckland during the 1960’s she has spent almost all her life in Whangarei and the far North. It is believed Valerie was sometimes used by H. Pickmere when he was charting the far north.
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Launch day 29 August 1929 & Whangaroa 2013

I spotted her in December 2019 hauled out at the Opua marina getting a serious refit that included being re-powered with a Yanmar 115hp. Read / see more here
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Shenandoah

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SHENANDOAH 
 
I was recently sent the top photo of the 1929 Chas Bailey & Son built launch Shenandoah, moored at Parua Bay, Northland. 
Sadly she appears to not be getting the TLC that an old lady of her pedigree deserves.
The last I heard of her she was still moored in the creek opposite the Te Atatu Boating Club,as seen in the 2nd photo above.
To remind us of how majestic she was back in the 1930’s I have attached a few photos below.
Message to the owner – if you want to move her on – I’ll find a buyer 🙂
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Duchess

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DUCHESS
Another story ex the CV-19 lock-down. This time Kerry Alexander was having a cleaning out of old photos and came across the above ones of Duchess, the 1920 Bailey & Lowe built launch.
Location of the top two photos is Browns Bay beach and we see Duchess being hauled out. Kerry commented that he recalls that the photos are from the late 1960’s, when you were allowed to launch and haul out from the beach. Can you imagine the fuss if you tried doing that these days.
At the time Duchess was owned by Kerry’s boss, boatbuilder Keith Atikinson, Kerry can not recall how Keith ‘acquired’ her.
The haulage was being done by Alan Reid but the Atikinson yard used to use Ron Hogan and sometimes Winstones.
In the bottom photo Duchess is sitting outside the Atikinson shed at 25 Bute Road, Browns Bay, Auckland – she later moved into the shed.
In the photo below from a WW post back in June 2016 (link below), we see Duchess when owned by Graham (Snow) Steven – the photo was sent in by Graham’s nephew – Geoff Steven, who took the photo.
So woodys – is Geoff Steven’s photo pre or post Kerry’s?
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Milford Creek 1940/50’s – My Girl’s Old Home

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My Girl was moored opposite white on road (top right of photo), Walter had a shed there

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Elva and Trevor Bowman

Milford Cruising Club Yard

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MY GIRL’S OLD HOME – MILFORD CREEK IN THE LATE 1940’s> EARLY 1950’s

As I touched on the other day in relation to my own woody – RainDance, its very special when out of the blue you are contacted by someone with details and photos on your boat. It was woody Jason Prew’s turn recently to get the call regarding his 1925, Dick Lang built launch – My Girl.

As I’m sure you are aware WW has rather extensively followed the restoration > launch > cruising log of My Girl so all the exposure has rattled a few memories – this time from Greg Bowman whose grandfather, Walter Brunton used to own My Girl at end of the 1940’s to 1960.
Walter Brunton lived in Castor Bay, Auckland and moved to Russell, in the Bay of Islands in 1950, after Greg’s mother, Elva, married his Dad Trevor Bowman. Like all good relationships in those days – they meet on the water.

When Walter moved north he turned My Girl into a fishing boat (now I know where that smell is from – just kidding Jason). Walter sold fish to the open market and to feed guests in his guesthouse in Russell, named – Arcade Lodge.
Back in those days My Girl had a Gray marine engine, and most years she won the New Year launch race out of Russell.

Greg sent Jason the collection of b/w photos above of My Girl and the Milford Creek, where she was kept in the late 1940’s. The top photo gives you an idea of the amount of dredging required to accommodate the marina that exists today.

It’s a bit cheeky (excuse the pun) but the photo below shows the on-board sanitation methods on My Girl, before inbuilt heads. I know the bucket and chuck it was around but the old rope did the trick – off course helped by the lack of duckboards back then 🙂

WW link below to show the journey My Girl has been on in terms of apperance and the extent of Jason’s restoration. And a photo of her post re-launch heading into Milford Creek or as some of the MCC woodys call it – Wairau Cove 😉

https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/08/08/the-restoration-of-my-girl/

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Lady Gay (Raindance)

Lady Gay Whangarei Harbour 1960s CM

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Lady Gay Whangarei Harbour 1960s final

LADY GAY (Raindance)

I spend a large chunk of my leisure time, pulling together the waitematawoodys stories that you all get to enjoy each day. One of the coolest parts is connecting people and boats, more often than not – it’s a grandchild looking for grandads old wooden classic or someone who used to crew on a boat and wants to contact with the long lost woodys they boated with. There have been some amazing link-ups, some taking years to surface, a common situation is someone sends in an old photo of a boat, it appears on WW, we generate some intel on the boat, then the story goes into hibernation for a while, sometimes years. Then someone does a google search on an old boats name and bang – up pops the WW story and we are away, they supply more details + photos and then that generates more – its called self populating. With over 5,500,000 views the WW site rates very well with google, also people tend to spend a lot of time on the site so that tells google the site is valued by people, so the boffins at google ‘assist’ the search functionality.

Anyway starting to get boring – yesterday was my day, my turn to be wowed by waitematawoodys. I received an email that stopped the clock. After 13 years of looking for more intel on my boat – Raindance, a gent named William Brown reached out to WW asking for assistance in tracking down a launch named Lady Gay that his father owned in the late 1960’s. Bill’s parents were Correen and James Brown and were lifetime boaties with a flotilla of craft over the years – James was also a former Commodore of the Onerahi Yacht Club and a member of the Whangarei Cruising Club.

One glance at Bill’s photos told me it was Raindance. Bill’s email is below

“It’s been fun during the lockdown to still have the consistency of your regular Waitemata Woodys posts. Thanks for that.

Back at the beginning of March, I won one of your Waitemata Woody T shirts on the Townson 28 quiz and I have been proudly wearing it around my neighbourhood during lockdown. I’ll send a picture in at some stage with perhaps a different story/email to today’s one. 

Ok, so I was I digging into my old photos recently and uncovered a couple of pictures (sorry about the quality),  of our family’s launch that we owned for about 5 or 6 years in the late 1960s. We knew her then as Lady Gay, but as a youngster I never knew much about her provenance. I am not actually sure my dad knew much of her design or year built either.  We used her extensively in the Whangarei harbour for family holidays and fishing trips. The coloured picture has me on the stern, while anchored at Tamaterau and the black and white photo is outside the old quarry in the top of McLeods Bay. I did see her once on the hard at Orakei, so believe she was in Auckland in the 1980s at some stage. She was about 27′ long, narrow and rolled around a bit. Dad fitted stabilizing chocks to her, closed in the canvas in the cockpit and added a decent sized mast, so we could run a stabilizing sail on her. She had a big old Ruston diesel if I remember right, which was incredibly reliable and economical. Those big saloon windows were pretty recognizable, functional, but ugly!

I would be most interested to find out  more of the history of this “Lady Gay” ( i realize there are other more famous Lady Gay’s around and not even sure if she was originally given this name or indeed kept it after our ownership. I wonder if she is still going strong today and if so where she is based? Some good family memories were had on her for sure!”

Post lock-down Bill will be visiting his mother (lives in Northland still) and hopefully will obtain more details and photos.

As a  result of Bill’s email I have filled in some of the missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle – but I would love to uncover details from her launch date (c.1928) to the early 1960’s. Hopefully the above photos and details on her owner might jog some memories. 

Below I have reproduced what I had previously been able to piece together on the boats past – if I’ve got my wires crossed, please let me know:-)

Lady Gay > Lady Gai > Nona C > Raindance (as at June 2015)

When I purchased the boat in August 2007 she was named ‘Nona C’, after the then owners (Craig Colven, a Auckland Harbour Board pilot boat skipper) daughter. He told me the boat was previously called ‘Lady Gay’. I did not like the name Nona C so was in the process of reverting back to Lady Gay when I was advised of another launch called Lady Gay (owned by Graham Wilson of the Wilson & Horton publishing family), not wanting to confuse things & on the advice of several marine historians I decided to chose a new name & went with ‘RainDance’. Interestingly Graham Wilson was prepared to add II (2) to his launches name.

I was not aware that ‘Gay’ had been changed to the Irish spelling ‘Gai’ until when I was given a copy of the Dunsford Marine Surveyors Ltd pre-purchase survey commissioned in March 2003 by a Dr. Rex Ferris. Had I known about the Gai/Gay I would have retained the Lady Gai name. I obtained Rex Ferris’s address from the survey & did a Google search which resulted in an Auckland District Health Board employment link & I contacted Rex Ferris. Like myself he knew little about her past, there are still huge gaps e.g. the 1930’s > early 1980’s but below is some history I have gained.

I have also spoke in Jan 2010 to Blair Cole (boat builder) refer below.

Peter & Ann Gill, the motoring journalist, bought the boat in c.1987 & at the time had a waterfront property in the Upper Harbour (near Paremoremo wharf) with a mooring put down. He saw the boat advertised in ‘Boat Trader’, she was moored in the Tamaki Estuary & he purchased her for about $7,000. He can’t remember the name of the owner but was told the boat was built by Lane Motor Boats in 1928, there is however some discussion that she may have been built by ‘Collings & Bell’. She had a single cylinder Bukh diesel engine, which was started via a decompression lever & hand cranking. The owner told Peter that she had been based at Great Barrier Island as a ‘long-liner’ fishing boat for many years prior to him buying her. When she was moored off Peters house, she took on quite a bit of water, and it was necessary for him to go out as often as twice a week and operate the manual bilge pump. He hired a tradesman who specialized in old boats and he decided that it was the stern gland that was the problem. Peter her hauled out and they filled the stern gland with tallow. It was not a one hundred percent fix & she continued to take on water. Peter was never very comfortable with the boat & to use his words ‘we never went far in her’. She was not a pretty boat in those days with a cabin top that looked like it had been made from a ply-wood car case. (Photos below)

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I have spoken to Peter several times & while he is very friendly & chatty about the boat he is very elusive about when & to whom he sold her. The reason for this is that either Peter or the next owner (?) let her sink on her mooring in the upper harbour & she remain submerged for several weeks. Given the swallow, sheltered tidal nature of the mooring this had no major negative effect on the boat.

The next chapter is amusing – the mast only of the boat was visible from the Salthouse Boat Builders yard at Greenhite & the tradesman there were running a sweep-stake as to how long she would remain submerged before the owner rescued her. During this period two of the Salthouse apprentices – Blair Cole & Kelly Archer (who both went on to become well respected boat builders in their own right) hatched a plan to buy the boat. They tracked down the owner & both approached him independently, Kelly advised it would cost $3,000 to re-float the boat. Blair then approached the owner & offered an as-is-where-is price of $2,000. The owner accepted Blair’s offer. The boat was hauled out at Salthouse’s yard, she later moved to Blair’s house where he undertook a major restoration (John Salthouse told me at a CYA function once that he had a ‘guiding’ hand in the process).

Between 1988>89 Blair spent in excess of 1800 hours on the restoration – the work involved replacing the ply wood box cabin top with a more sympathetic tram top & doghouse. The two bronze port holes were added to the front of the cabin, along with the bronze mushroom deck vents, new twin plastic fuel tanks, a reconditioned 58hp Ford engine, new shaft, new 2 blade prop, new hydraulic steering (since replaced), anchor winch (since replaced). Extensive new ribs & sister ribs where fitted & her seams were re-caulked. All windows where replaced & new bunks fitted. He also removed her alloy mast & built & fitted the current oregon pine mast. The duck-board was also added. The s/s rod holders on her stern (since removed) came off the old Salvation Army launch.

Blair & his wife cruised the Gulf extensively in the boat in the 1990’s. Blair is a little hazy on whom & when he sold the boat to but thinks it was to someone who lived in Kumeu & they only keep the boat for less than 2 years. They probably sold it Dr. Rex & Sharron Ferris.

In 2003 Rex Ferris purchased her post the Dunstan marine survey (photo below during survey) but it appears he did not address any of the ‘faults’ identified in the survey. Rex Ferris spoke to Blair Cole (Cole Marine Services) in June 2003 & Blair confirmed the restoration work he undertook. Blair also confirmed that she was named Lady Gai.

 

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(Unknown ownership / date photos)

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In 2005 the boat was for sale on the hard at Bayswater Marina, I looked at her but she would have been too much of a burden for me at the time. The boat was purchased by Craig Colven who undertook hull work (replaced some planking, caulking, ribs, floors & keel bolts, as identified in the 2003 survey) & installed a new 45hp 4-cylinder Daidong diesel motor & replacement of all major machinery, electrics and plumbing. Including a freezer, new 3-blade prop, shaft bearings, bilge pumps. Devonport craftsmen’s Robbie Robertson (deceased) & Charlie Webley undertook the work.

Craig, over a 2 year period commissioned this work but never completed her, his wife did not share his passion for the sea & I purchased her in August 2007 for what I considered a bargain given what Craig Colven had spent on her in time & money. (Photo below when I purchased her)

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I then undertook over the next few years what is called a rolling restoration i.e. I used the boat each summer but hauled her out in winter & continued the project. I retained the services of then Milford based wooden boat builder Geoff Bagnall for the big stuff, there were several areas (stem, cockpit decks, doghouse windows) of rot that needed to be removed plus we made her more ‘comfortable’ in terms of helm seat, doghouse hatch layout etc. New auto anchor winch & bow launcher were installed along with forward hatch porthole to improve light in forward cabin. I rolled my sleeves up on the rest.

I’m thankful for the care bestowed on the boat over the years – everyone that has rubbed up to her has helped get her thru the last 92 years.

(Recent – AH ownership photos)

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And one of the two Lady Gay’s 🙂

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Woodys On Tour – Halls Boat Yard, New York

Woodys On Tour – Halls Boat Yard, New York

A few years ago, woodys Jim and Karin Lott were ‘parked up’ with the masts on deck in their kauri ketch – Victoria, on the Hudson River. More specifically in the middle of New York State in a city called Albany. The Lott’s waited there for three weeks for the Erie Canal to open. Jim commented that Albany definitely does not feature on anyone’s ‘place to go’ list. They were not alone as Wellington old salt Richard Watt and his wife Enid anchored alongside them in their launch (photo below of both boats), as well as dozens of other impatient US and Canadian sailors.

To while away the time they hired a car and headed to Lake George to look at woodies at Halls Boatyard, one of the many inland homes of wooden boats in New York. Jim commented  that floating boat garages are common in North America and they spent several hours admiring a sea of varnished ash, cedar, spruce and mahogany. There was a slipway and boatyard all under cover inside the shed complex. The yard specialises in rebuilding and restoring classic motor-launches but a few yachts were getting the same TLC.

After the long wait, the canal stayed closed so they had to forgo the Great Lakes and continued up the Hudson. Eventually they locked into Lake Champlain and down the Richelieu River to the St Lawrence near Montreal in Canada.

01 Kiwis up the creek

Otago Yachting & Motor Boat Club – 100 years ago

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Otago Yachting & Motor Boat Club – 100 years ago

I was recently sent a link to an article in the Otago Daily Times by Lindsay Grenfell. The original article ran in the ODT 100 years ago (24/03/1920. The photo above was captioned – ‘A launch load of children from orphanages leaving Dunedin wharf for the annual picnic given by the Otago Yachting and Motor Launch Club.. The launch has no markings / name board. Can anyone ID the vessel?

Auckland boaties used to run a similar gig  – link here to a WW story from back in August 2015 https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/08/12/orphans-day/

Input from Harold Kidd – INNISFREE which A C Hanlon sold to the Otago Harbour about this time when she was renamed PILOT.

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WW Needs Help Navigating The Next 4 Weeks

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Duchess – 1920 Bailey & Lowe – parked off Cowes Bay, Waiheke Island

WW Needs Help Navigating The Next 4 Weeks
 
Hello Woodys
We all knew ‘Lock-Down’ was going to happen but Level 4 status so soon was a surprise, I thought we had a few more days before that. But it is the right call for the country. 
The last few days have been surreal, driving around Auckland the traffic / parking has been brilliant and almost every thing is on-sale. But no people in cafes and high street shops, so the buzz of a big city is missing – its a bit like walking down the main street in Whangarei at 2.30pm on a Saturday afternoon.
So woodys whats the next 4 weeks looking like?
• There will continue to be a daily WW story
• I’d encourage you to visit some of the WW stories from upwards of 6 years ago – there are approx. 3000 stories and over 20,000 photos on the site. Use the Search Box to find a particular boat, or a builder, year of launching etc.
• Always read the comments section on a story, there have been over 500,000 visitors to the site and 5,300,000 views, so the feedback sometimes is better reading than the story 🙂
 
I Would Love Some Help
If you have some spare time over the next few weeks during the enforced stay at home, have a look in the bottom draw for any old photos, log books and memories of you and your families boating life. Do not play god and try to decide if its of interest to WW readers, let myself and my helper – Flora McKenzie  do that 🙂
 

WOODY WATCH

I have had a cool idea – a lot of us live close to marinas. As part of your ‘allowed to do’ exercise, we could walk to the marina and check WW friends boats. Only applies to those marinas with open gates.
I’ll be strolling (its a good walk) to Bayswater once a week, so let me know if you want a txt confirming the love of your life is still afloat etc
These May Save My Marriage 🙂
Recently I purchased a pair of Bose bluetooth sunglasses that allow you to listen to music and take phone calls – there is nothing in or over your ears, so you can hear and interact with things around you. In the enforced close quarters we will find ourselves in being able to listen to your own music, shows and take mobile phone calls will be cool – I suspect there would be a murder if we were all listening to something different at the same time. Plus – perfect on the boat, last trip I listened to a whole day of cricket and could still hear the engine purring.
One of the coolest features is the gesture control for volume – to turn the volume up/down, you press and hold a button and look left or right to adjust the volume 🙂
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Ngaio – A Peek Down Below

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NGAIO – A Peek Down Below

Last weekend a few woodys gathered in Islington Bay, Rangitoto Island, one of my all time favourites was there – Ngaio the 1921, Arch Logan built, 36‘ launch owned by Jan Barraclough.
Ngaio is such a stunner she couldn’t be from any other designer / builder than Arch Logan. I got to have a peek below – enjoy 🙂
She has made several appearances on WW, links below – her restoration is well documented here.
19-03-2020 Harold Kidd Input – How interesting to see the Logan Bros’ builders’ plate on NGAIO. I assume it was put there by Arch? If so, he was keeping the LOGAN BROS name alive. Of course he would still have had a stock of their builders’ plates but I can’t quite work out his motivation in using one on NGAIO. Robin might care to comment too?
20-03-20 Robin Elliot Input –Sorry I missed this. I have been self-isolating for the past 15 years or so and now it seems the world has caught up with how peaceful it can be.

The Logan plate is Interesting. From the photos in the earlier WW posts, that plate has been there on Ngaio for some time but whether it was there at the time of launching is impossible to say. Doubtful.

I’m not sure if there is one on Doreen/Coquette – I don’t think so – but as you say why would he put one on Ngaio in 1921? He was very ‘proper’ and it just would not have been right.

I suspect that rascally his son Jack was flinging them out when he cleared out the house in Bayswater in the 1950’s and passed one over to the then owner of Ngaio; probably on the grounds that Ngaio was an Arch tweak of a general hull shape developed at Logan Bros?

Interesting that there are 4 small screw holes in the plate around its edge but some philistine has drilled two big boofy holes in the centre for a couple of bog-standard slotted screws. The two empty holes in the timber above the plate lead me to believe there was another item (a different plate?) there before the Logan plate.

It’s not strictly correct but hey, its a nice addition.

RC Yacht Racing
Yesterday while waiting to pick up a family member from the medical centres near North Shore Hosp. I wandered down to Lake Pupuke and spied a group of gents sailing their yachts in the Quarry Lake.
A very pleasant way to fill in 1/2 hr – nearly forgot about the patient 🙂

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2020 New Zealand Classic Yacht Regatta Photo Gallery – 100+ photos and videos

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2020 New Zealand Classic Yacht Regatta Photo Gallery – 100+ photos and videos

As I have mentioned in the last two WW stories, the Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand have over the last 3 days been running its annual classic yachting event on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.
The near perfect conditions on all three days made for happy skippers and a relieved race organisers. I was on the water for two of the three days and had a blast. The gallery above is a mix of Races 1/2/3. If your boat doesn’t make an appearance, I apologize, I was only a passenger, so captured those that were within range.
On the second day, James Dreyer and myself hosted the world acclaimed marine photographer Benjamin Mendlowitz onboard Jame’s motorboat – Laughing Lady, the perfect platform for recording the on the water activities.
For me it was a master class in boat positioning and photography angles, I tried to keep out of Ben’s way and took the above photos / videos when I could without being in Ben’s line of sight.
These days the CYA run the regatta using the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron as Race HQ and entertainment hub, it is the perfect venue and as always the service and staff were 10/10.
 Scroll down for the official regatta results below
As always – click on photos to enlarge.
Race Course Videos Below (Races 2/3)
RANGER

PRIZE

A DIVISION

ARIKI

RAWHITI

CORONA

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Mystery Launch At Waiheke Island

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Mystery Launch At Waiheke Island

Mooching around Sandy Bay I spotted the above woody – it looks familiar. Not anchored, on a mooring so maybe she is an Island boat.
I’m sure someone smarter than me can ID her.
Woodys Classics Waiheke BBQ & Pizza Lunch – Trip Report
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Another great turn out for Saturdays gathering at Little Oneroa – I counted 16 woodys in the bay, rowing past a couple I may have detected a whiff of PVC but they were lookers and all had a healthy mix of timber and bronze. Attending boats tagged in the story.
Most people decided to order lunch from the wood-fired pizza caravan and were not disappointed – very yum.
The timing seemed to work for everyone – several boat travelled long distances to participate and 1/2 the fleet were just there for the day. Also dog friendly venues are appreciated – again 1/2 the boats had pooches aboard. Perfect weather and very low numbers of what the islanders call ‘day trippers’.
As proof that all you need to be welcomed at a Woody Classics event, is a passion for wooden boats – my boat of the day was Allan and Pam Hooper’s – Katherine. Her dinghy (built by Allan) gets her a 10/10 tick in my book.   You can read more about Katherine here https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/02/03/katherine/
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Katherine

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Little Oneroa – Waiheke Island

I spotted Allan’s dinghy ashore on Sunday morning  at Oneroa – now Allan is a perfectionist, so his score drops to 9.9/10 – he left the stickers on the oars 🙂
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My Girl Mini Me

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MY GIRL MINI ME

The WW poster woody (for almost too long) just won’t go away.
On Monday, master model boat builder craftsman – Murray White called into The Slipway at Milford Marina to show My Girl’s owner Jason Prew the amazing model he has build of My Girl.
In the photos above thats Murray holding the model with My Girl in the background. That boat speeds more time out of the water than in, the perks of running a marine railway slip 🙂
Now woodys Murray just doesn’t build pieces of maritime art – his models are the real deal – this one is powered by an electric drill motor. Check out the video below to see her in action.
And just when you thought we have seen enough of My Girl – she is the cover boat on the 2020 edition of the CYA Classic Register 🙂   🙂     🙂
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Liberty

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LIBERTY

Last year on the Woody Classics weekend cruise up the Clevedon River I spotted the launch – Liberty on a pile mooring. Recently her owner contacted WW and advised that he has owned her for 30 years and believes she was built c.1928.

As you move from the bow to the stern there is an interesting ‘gallery’ of styles on show – nothing that a sharp skill-saw  couldn’t correct 😉

Currently powered by a BMW 35hp engine.
And woodys – she’s for sale.
Any woodys able to tell us more about Liberty?
17-02-2020 Update ex Philip Goddard

Philip has advised that his father has emailed him the photos below of Liberty. Probably taken late 1960’s when the family had purchased her.
His father recalls that she had no pulpit when purchased, so he had one made. He is certain it looks like the same one in today’s photos.
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Harold Kidd Input – I have always thought she was the LIBERTY built by F & S Shaw in Devonport in 1919 when both brothers got back from WW1. She had a 12hp Regal originally. I suspect she’s been lengthened as well as had a couple of tophamper additions. L.R. Matthews had her in 1947 when Commodore of PCC and Noel Mitchell owned her in the 1960s.
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2020 Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade – 150+ photos

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THE PARADE

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THE PICNIC

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2020 LAKE ROTOITI CLASSIC & WOODEN BOAT PARADE – 150+ Photos

From my eyes, this years parade was the best I have been to – brilliant on-the-water marshalling in terms of herding the ducklings into the right order and the skippers kept the boats moving thru at the right speed + an entertaining and informative commentary from ex commodore Grant Cossey. As always the event would grind to a halt without the services of Rachel Jamieson, to call her the club secretary would be a joke, everyone one involved with the parade that excels in their individual roles does so because of Rachel – well done again.
For most of the parade the sun and the clouds behaved, so only a few ‘average’ photos.
Several new boats and a lot had been given some TLC over winter.
Enjoy the gallery of photos from the day, it was a cracker and made the 7 hours of driving yesterday worth while.
As always, if you like on a photo, click on it and it will enlarge, if you are a boat owner and would like a high res copy of your boat photo, just drop me an email and I’ll send it to you.   waitematawoodys@gmail.com
Below are the links that allows you to view a summary of the boats participating in this years parade – check out the number card displayed on the boat and look it up for details 😉

 

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Woody Waitangi Day Picnic – Photos

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Scott Colville

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My Girl & Pacific

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Monterey

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Centaurus

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Mana

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Ann Michelle

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Trinidad

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Arohanui

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Eileen Patricia

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Sybil Frances

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Tusk

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Shango (Ani)

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Awatere

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Sea Fever

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Ngaio

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Silvery Main

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Tuna

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Wirihana

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Very smart new mast on Pacific 🙂

WOODY CLASSICS WAITANGI DAY PICNIC  PHOTOS

Another great Woody Classics Woody event yesterday, we had 20+ classic woodys anchored  in Wakalabubu Bay, Motutapu Island. Most came ashore for the picnic and while the camera stayed in the bag, I can report that these casual events are a winner, so nice to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Youngest age would have been around 6/7 years and the oldest was 92 !
If I missed getting a photo of your woody, I apologise, but with people coming and going all afternoon I suspect someone missed out.
 
The breeze picked up later in the day and so most had the old wind against the tide coming home – but it was worth it.
Big thanks to everyone the rocked up – see you all at our next event – details soon 😉
Off to Lake Rotoiti (Nth Island) on Saturday  for the Classic & Wooden Boat Parade – Monday’s WW story should be a goody 🙂
 
Oops nearly forgot anyone know the launch below, we crossed paths of Rangitoto – terrible photo, grab the phone and unfortunately had it set on some weird setting. Name is something like Tautai ??
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Auckland Anniversary Day – Classic Launch Race – 26 Wooden Boat Photos

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Auckland Anniversary Day – Classic Launch Race

Over the long weekend we had a smorgasbord of boating events to chose from, one being a ‘classic’ launch race on the Monday, as part of the 2020 Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta. The format is a handicapped race around a set inner harbour course, effectively a drag race. Handicapping for these races is a challenge, there are so many variables that come into play.
Reviewing the results, the handicapping appears to have done a good job.
The day was near perfect and a delayed start meant that I was able to take the above photos. I was heading back for Mahurangi and was not planning to be at the event.
As you would expect, there were numerous mechanical problems and a few DNF’s.
Photos a little ‘hairy’ – long lens.
Results:
1st:   Ngaio
2nd: Sterling
3rd:  Fancy Free
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WINNER – NGAIO

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RUNNER UP – STERLING

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THIRD PLACE – FANCY FREE

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