Wakaiti


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WAKAITI

Wakaiti is a 39’4″, kauri carvel launch built by Dick Lang in 1920, as a commercial tow boat. In today’s world having the same owner for the last 55 years is a very rare thing but all good things come to an end & as the sign on her bow say – Wakaiti is now for sale.

She was re-powered c.2001 with 120hp, 6 cyl. Ford diesel running a 2:1 PRM box and 24×16 3 blade prop. This set up pushes her nicely along at 8 > 10 knots, with a top speed of 12 knots. Her beam is 9’10” & draft is 5’10”. (the interior photos have had the benefit of what they call the real estate salesman’s best friend  – the wide angle lens 🙂  ) Thanks to Ian McDonald for the trademe heads up.

So woodys, what do we know about her past?

Harold Kidd Input (lots more in the Comments Section)

WAKAITI = “little ship” in Maori. Dick Lang built this 36 footer at his yard in St. Mary’s Bay in 1922. She was launched on 2nd September of that year for Parry Bros of the Mahurangi to carry cream on the river. By 1928 the Parrys were using her as a tow boat on the Waitemata. In 1936 they sold her to R.G. Brain of Coromandel. Eventually she ended up in the ownership of Ernie Seagar, marine engineer of wide repute in Auckland. Ernie’s not well and is obviously selling his beloved launch.
I was in the 5th Form at Takapuna Grammar with Ernie Seagar. He had been in that Form for 3 years, unable to get School Certificate because of distractions such as being the Captain of the First 15, Head Prefect (in the 5th Form!!) and an outstanding yachtsman and general sportsman.
Later he went on to get his Marine Engineer’s tickets at sea and then ran his engineering business at Sulphur Beach alongside Dave Jackson. An amazing character.

 

Rakanui >> Mona’s Isle II


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RAKANUI  >>  MONA’s ISLE II

Andrew Pollard recently sent me the above photos (ex Baden Pascoe & Russell Ward) of the 1926 motorboat Rakanui. I’m unaware of her history, which I’m sure the 2 previously mentioned woodys will supply. But I have to say – WoW what a stunning vessel.
Below is a photo of her later in life after she had been converted to a tug & named Mona’s Isle II.

Monastekopuru

Input from Russell Ward
Harold elicited that her ownership was as below (built by Bailey & Lowe):
1. W.R. Patterson (1926-1937)
2. J D Bell Ltd (1937-1939)
3. Winstones (1939+)
She had a Widdops semi diesel when new and hence the tall funnel to get the soot and smoke away. They were replaced soon after she was new. Ray Morey sent us a problem pic of her from Australia and I am hoping it will be posted because she was on a jolly with Capt Bell and passengers and we were not sure of the date or actual location in the harbour.
Superb tug and well praised by all those who served on her. When Patterson sold her to Bell pre WW2, she had to be renamed and Bell, being a Manxman, chose the name which was already in use by a Clyde ferry -hence she is the second of the name. Took us a while to fathom that one.
(Photo below taken when Bell owner her)

Input from Ray Morey
She also sported a pair of K4 Kelvins then Gardners before the Detroits which I am sure Keith Wright installed. I believe “Mona’s Isle” is the old gaelic name for The Isle of Man.

Input from Ken Rickets – Was run by the Julian family for a number of years as a tug, under ownership of Gulf Freighters Ltd, a joint Julian & Winstone company. She had 2 x 88 Hp Kelvin diesels, which they replaced with 2 x 95 hp 5 Cyl Gardners.
Input from Paul N. – In the ninetys she was owned by Sir Michael Fay and would tow a barge full of building materials from the Tamaki river down to the Merc’s. Later was sold to McManaways in the South Island and was used for towing a barge. Unfortunately the barge toppled over with the weight of two concrete trucks while loading, with the loss of two lives.

mona's isle II

Additional Input from Andrew Pollard
Julian used her extensively in the harbour bridge construction. The photos below are ex BadenPascoe / Russell Ward / Chris Robey

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Input from Robin Elliot (photo ex Russell Ward*)
In February 1945 Winstones loaned Mona’s Isle to Royal Akarana Yacht Club for use as their flagship at the club’s 50th Jubilee Regatta.
At RAYC’s centenary regatta in 1995, she was there again as flagship, now named Rakanoa and skippered by the redoubtable Peter Vandersloot who was tug-boat skipper for Sir Michael Fay.

*The photo is by Tinny Brown, who was a tug man of the times we speak of, and came to Russell via Tim Brown –a good steamer and ex Bailey’s man (hence a great craftsman). Now steaming in Whangarei with his steamer Clansman.

(Ron Trotter has advised she has been in Coromandel Harbour / wharf for the last year+)

moanasdressed

Scows On The Waitemata


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Scows On The Waitemata
Late last year I was sent the two photos above by Ian McDonald whose sister-in-law was clearing out and old deceased Uncle’s stuff & came
across these photos.

Scows sailing goose-winged has a caption of 1920 Auckland Anniversary Regatta and, the other one is captioned Auck Ann regatta, 1900. Both have NZ Herald – Wilson & Horton stamps on the back. Both are about 12″ x 8″  in size.

Any of the serious classic sailers out there able to ID some of the Scows?

And a launch bonus photo today of Miss Helen on the beach at Russell c1950’s (photo ex Nathan Herbert exEric Lee-Johnson, Te Papa collection)

Russell,Te Papa, Lee-Johnson, Eric 1950's

MATAROA (KENYA) – A Great Read


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Elaine aboard Mataroa

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MATAROA (KENYA)

The life story of the 1928 Joe Slattery built launch, Mataroa (formally Kenya) & her restoration has been very well documented on ww. It was however a pleasure to be contacted earlier in the week by Elaine Reynolds, whose parents – Maurice & Pauline Reynolds owned the launch from 1968 to 1994.
Elaine sent in a great collection of unseen photos from their ownership period & shared with me the story of Mataroa’s mishap & near sinking at Great Barrier Island in late Dec 1970 – its a great read, so I have published it as sent. Enjoy 🙂
For photos of the damage, beaching & repairs mentioned in the story – click this ww link     https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/10/31/mataroa-kenya-2/

“Hi Alan

You have posted several wonderful articles on M.V. Mataroa and also posted some of the many photos taken by my father, Maurice Reynolds (a mechanical engineer and jack-of-all-trades) who owned Mataroa 1968-1994.  The photos include those of when Mataroa was hit amidships at Great Barrier Island, between Christmas and New Year, I think it was 1970, about 29-30th December. It was the first week of our usual 3-week annual Christmas cruise.

I was on board Mataroa when she was hit, standing on the aft platform, looking foreward – I saw it all happen. At the time of the accident we were in 90 ft of water. It was a beautiful sunny day, almost flat calm with barely any wind. We were just idling along with the motor out of gear, the rest of the family were on deck or in the cockpit.

The boat that hit us was owned by my father’s best friend, Jack. His launch was of similar vintage to Mataroa, also with a straight stem. Jack was going to come alongside to pick up his daughter, Jenny, who’d been aboard Mataroa spending time with me. Unfortunately, Jack was on the wrong turn for his boat’s prop, but didn’t remember, and thought he’d just give a burst on the throttle to spin 90 deg to bring her alongside but instead, he slipped, hit the throttle hard and rammed Mataroa amidships at full speed. Horrified, I watched the wood smash and shatter inside the cabin and the “hole” that was created in Mataroa, through which we could now see daylight, went from the deck to 3-4 inches below the waterline

Jenny, my younger brother and I were ordered into the dinghy and cast off. Dad ripped up the floorboards, gave my older brother a bucket to bail with and had Mum stand with her thumb firmly on the electric bilge pump button which was on the instrument panel just inside the engine room. Dad steered for shore with Mataroa’s throttle full open, just heading for shallower water to start with but it was a rocky shore and would have torn Mataroa apart. Then he realised that the water ingress was slowing.

What Dad discovered was that when underway at full speed, the waterline wave fell away from the hull to below the waterline at the place where Mataroa had been hit, so he made a sharp turn to starboard and full throttled Mataroa (remembering that for this graceful lady, cruising speed was 7-7.5 knots, Dad’s orders!) to the other side of the harbour, going through the usual Christmas throng of anchored boats at Smokehouse Bay at a speed that drew many raised voices and eyebrows, and beached Mataroa on the sand, with people scattering out of the way.

Unfortunately, this was also at the peak of the highest tide – full moon, etc – and that caused problems in itself.

From there, the insurance assessor/shipwright was contacted and flew out to us on a sea plane and you can see from the photos Dad took that they stripped Mataroa out, used available materials and lots of willing helpers to patch and shore her up for the journey back to Auckland. They used sheep fat/lanolin to seal the ply to the hull. Due to the extreme high tide when Mataroa was beached, they had a difficult time launching her off the beach. Again, many hands and lots of Kiwi ingenuity.

It was a harrowing night-time journey back to Auckland on 30th-31st December, with my younger brother and I on Jack’s boat. I think Mum was on board with us, but my older brother, Kevin, was on board Mataroa. Jack’s boat couldn’t keep up with Mataroa, being smaller, slower and definitely not as sea-kindly, so Mataroa was an ever smaller and disappearing set of lights in a dark night.

Back at Auckland, Mataroa was slipped at Baileys in Westhaven and up there for about 6 weeks (I think) in their shed. During this time, Dad had the portholes enlarged, the dodger raised and changed the shape of the dodger windows. Mataroa was stripped back to bare wood. I’m not sure if this was when Dad removed the muntz metal that had been used to shield the hull from toredo worms while Mataroa was seconded by the Air Force up to Fiji during the war (another story there). With the paint stripped, we found the Air Force rings scribed into the bow. We also discovered that Mataroa had been made from single planks of kauri from stem to stern. Dad painted the sides of Mataroa around the new windows to look like varnished wood but was in fact painted-on wood graining, something he’d learnt to do from his father.

As a result of Mataroa being at Baileys for that time, my older brother, Kevin Reynolds, decided to become a shipwright, doing his apprenticeship with Baileys. Kevin was well known in the Auckland boating scene, and passed away in 2010 at the age of 55 from melanoma. Dad passed away in 2012. Both were old salts who’d enjoyed their lifetime on the ocean and mucking about in boats.

I have attached some photos of Mataroa that you won’t have, plus a photo of myself in the cockpit of Mataroa in about 1986. The group of 4 photos-in-1 are #1. Me/Hilda Reynolds (Dad’s mum)/Pauline Reynolds (my Mum). # 2. Mum & Dad waving bye to me from Mataroa in early 1979.  #3. Our cat Gidget on board Mataroa.

I’ll ask her the name of Jack’s boat another day – I remember it started with a ‘T’ possibly Tewara but Mum may remember the spelling. Of note, Tewara only lost a palm-sized chip of paint off the stem from the accident.

Thank you so much for posting about Mataroa. She was a very much-loved a part of my life and I was heart-broken when I saw the state of her when for sale the other year.  

Huge kudos to Rob and Sue Uivel (current owners) for the work done. It is so wonderful that Mataroa is being loved and looked after again.  Mataroa is amazingly comfortable in seas that most other boats would or could not handle.  Does Mataroa still have the boom with “gaff” steadying sail set-up that Dad rigged and can be seen in the photo below?  It was really worth putting up in a cross sea – Mataroa settled down and didn’t roll much at all.

Btw, the last photo shows Kevin putting the scrubbing brushes in the dinghy, with me at the oars.  It was our “pram” dinghy with which we spent many fun-filled hours, and that’s our old Seagull outboard on the back.”

A question for the woodys – can anyone name the other launch involved in the collision ?

HELP WANTED ON VALHALLA
Robert Brooke is trying to track down a copy of the plans for the Gladden built 1964 launch ‘Valhalla’, can anyone help?

Kenya (Mataroa) Ready For Launch


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Doorway Joe Slattery's Shed

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Launch Kenya

Kenya (Mataroa) Ready For Launch

I was contacted yesterday by Rob Ulvel, the owner of Mataroa, (Mataroa was previously named Kenya). Rob sent me the above amazing photos of Kenya outside the Judges Bay, Parnell, shed of her builder, Joe Slattery. The photos & details were sent to Rob by Peter Midgley, whose father Eric Midgley was an apprentice at the Slattery yard from 1923 to 1929, Eric along with Billy Rogers is pictured with Joe Slattery in the doorway of Joe’s shed. Billy is on the left & Eric on the right.
In the photo that shows two men inspecting the launch, they areprobably the Heards. Peter Midgley commented that these photos would have been taken late November 1928 as she was launched 1st December 1928.

To view photos of Mataroa being relaunched recently (Jan. 2017) in Wellington after a refit / make over, click this link’s https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/01/27/mataroa-re-launched/
Compare the 1928 & 2017 photos & see how remarkably original she is, from what I’ve seen of Rob’s work, I’m confident that when he moves onto Mataroa’s interior, he will ensure that the work is sympathetically done, commensurate with her vintage 😉 You can view & read a lot more about the boat by searching Mataroa in the ww search box.

Malolo


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MALOLO

I have been invited to some very swish boat launchings over the years but the best invite award would have to go to Max Cumming & R Tangaroa for the invite to the  re-splash of their c.1929 speed boat Malaolo.
Malolo was originally built in Russell, Bay of Island by Francis ‘Nipper’ Arlidge & that is where she will be officially re-launched after a 5 year restoration. The work looks amazing & she has already won the Jens Hansen trophy for best vessel overall at the 2017 NZ Antique & Classic Boat Show at Lake Rotoiti, South Island.
The 5.7m Malolo was originally built to act as a ‘water taxi’ for game fishermen in the B.O.I. There are no photos of the original boat, so the restoration was based on the memories of four old boaties who could remember going out on Malolo.
So woodys has anyone got an old photo album / collection from the B.O.I. that might contain a photo of Malolo?
Well done guys & good luck with the big day. Make sure someone has a camera handy & snaps some photos to share with the woodys.

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Malolo 2

Malolo 4

Comet Speedboat


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COMET Speedboat

I was recently contacted by Tim Dudek who had brought an old speedboat from the back of Makarau to the north of Auckland. Tim was told by the previous owner it was built in 1927 and goes by either the name or make of ‘Comet’ – unfortunately the previous owner knew little about her history.
She is made of kauri and Tim is currently restoring her & has his fingers crossed his father is gathering an interest 😉

Hopefully Tom will keep us in the loop on the rebuild, in the mean time, can any of the woodys help out with her history ?

18-03-2017 – Input from John Bullivant  –  I have the drawing below from the D.N.Goodchild  (Penn USA, website (no longer running it seems) of a boat which looks like it, the plan being named ‘Comet’. If it is a boat built from this 40s? plan it would be a pity as a plan could have been obtained for around $20 to work from. Not sure if the site is ever coming back as the chap who ran the company which reproduces these old plans has apparently been ill, sold his house and may have given it up. I bought a set of plans for my Schock 15ft day-sailer and a number of others from him a while back and they were very professionally done.

5090 COMET