LAKE ROTOITI 2023 PARADE OF CLASSIC & WOODEN BOATS – 150+ PHOTOS
As has become my norm for Waitangi holiday weekend early on Saturday morning I pointed the car south and made my way to Lake Rotoiti in the middle of NZ’s North Island.
2023 marked the 26th anniversary of the event and after a horror week of ‘once in a 100 years’ rain storms I had concerns that the parade might be postponed or cancelled. Well woodys as you’ll see from the above photo gallery, my fears were redundant.
The day started overcast with some light drizzle but this passed thru before the parade kicked off at 11am. Numbers were down a little from last year but conditions were perfect on the lake.
Enjoy the gallery above – if you’re craft is featured above and you want a high res copy of the photo, drop me an email at the address below. Apologise if I missed your boat or if the odd photo is a little out of focus – just me in a run-about jiggling the throttle, looking out for other boats and holding the camera 🙂
My pick of the boat I’d most like tied up at my imaginary lake jetty is – ELLEN (#14), 26’ in length, built in 2004 in strip planked cedar from a plug taken off an old abandoned hull found in Kopu. Thought to be a ‘Milkmaid’ design by Bailey & Lowe. Powered by a 29hp diesel. In my eyes just perfect. Photo below
Special thanks again to Dave and Glenys Wilson for the loan of a boat to get me out on the lake.
As always – click on photos to enlarge.
Lastly I never tire of the sound of big V8 (5.7L) water exhausts. Shawn Vennell, the owner of Judy H, was lining me up for a prop shower – a few words of warning as to what my reaction would be, made him change his mind 😉
Todays woody mystery launch is a goody – quite distinctive looking but no name.
The photo is dates is tagged Rangitoto Island, c.1930’s and is from the Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections and comes to us via Nathan Herbert. So woodys can we ID her.
07-02-2023 INPUT EX NATHAN HERBERT -The boat is the Rangitoto (II) Designed and built by Couldrey and Reg. Noble; caretaker at Rangitoto. She has had 4 iterations of style in her life-
Bridge deck replaced and raised
Whole coamings replaced with more modern sedan style perhaps 1950’s
Sheerline step moved forward
On Saturday I did a down and back in one day trip to Lake Rotoiti (Nth Is.) for the annual Classic and Wooden Boat Parade – forecast was average but the sun made an appearance so managed to take some great photos. Check out WW tomorrow (Tuesday) for 150+ photos. The lake level was so high, just wasn’t Auckland getting a soak last week.
Seems its the time of the year for relaunches, recently we had Haunui back in after a 2+ year rebuild and yesterday it was the turn of Amakura II.
The 52’ Colin Wild designed and built woody was launched in 1936 and excluding a few minor additions has remained very original. I have been aboard several times and was always impressed with her presentation.
Nearly (maybe longer) 3 years ago her owners made the call to haul her out and engaged maestro boat builder / restorer Peter Brookes and his team to intake a complete refit.
Regular followers of the WW site will know that work at the Brookes yard is a bit like the breeding of elephants, whose gestation period is > 2 years but the workmanship is second to none. Supported by the fact that numerous classic owners have returned to the yard with other craft.
Fast forward to yesterday and Amakura II was gently set afloat again at the Hobsonville Marina in West Auckland.
As we have come to expect from anything that comes out of the Peters Waimauku yard she is a work of art – well done to Yvonne and Chris for this amazing restoration.
Below are links to previous WW stories on Amakura II – the first one, shows the extent of the refit.
The passage of life sometimes is a tad scary – recently I have been doing several stories based around Whangaroa Harbour in the Far North and yesterday the phone rings and one of the last standing relatives has passed on – and where is the funeral – Whangaroa, so tomorrow the car will be pointing north. These events are never good but in her mid 90’s, it will be a celebration of life.
Anyway moving on to todays story – thanks to a Lew Redwood fb post we get to see a c.1931 photo gallery of the launch – Ethel in / around Whangaroa Harbour, in her big game fishing heyday. Regular WW readers will known my personal views on this heinous practice – one photo is tagged ‘Mako shark being killed with a spade’. Ok its not a spade, but seriously how barbaric is that.
(Photos ex The British Museum collection)
Get a Wee Bit Excited About The Upcoming Mahurangi Regatta – next weekend – Jan 28th.
Classic Woody Summer Cruising – A Game Of Two Halves
Happy New Year Woodys – WW is back ‘live’ so no more oops boating photos 🙂
On Saturday when I was reviewing and editing the above photos I struggled to believe that we had a xmas/ny cruise, but as they say the truth is in the photos 🙂
I decided to break todays story into two parts:
1. Raindance related
2. Woodys Out & About
Mostly from my camera but assisted by Barbara Cooke (Bay of Islands), Mark Edmonds (Waiheke), Russell Ward, Jason Prew (upper harbour) and Alan Gilder (Woody Bay Rakino)
Raindance’s cruise / tiki tour mainly consisted of bouncing between Rakino Island and Waiheke Island. Left on 27 Dec and the weather was just stunning with crystal clear, warm water. On 01 Jan the forecast was starting to look very average and most concerning was all 3 weather platforms that I follow were saying the same thing. So early morning on 02 Jan we made the call to up anchor and head home. Turns out that was a good call because for the next 5+ days if it wasn’t raining it was drizzling non-stop + ugly seas and high winds.
So woodys the second half of our planned cruise was sent at home enjoying good food, wine, movies and watching almost every wooden / classic boating video on YouTube.
Very grateful we had 6 days of great weather before we pulled the pin. As an old salt told me once – when it comes to happy family boating – better to have a handful of fabulous days than an abundance of average days – very sage advise.
Enjoy the gallery.
UPCOMING ON-THE-WATER WOODY EVENTS
Circle the calendar:
28 January – Mahurangi Regatta launch parade – more details closer to the day
25 February – Stillwater Picnic + Dockside Raft-Up – more details closer to the day
Sometimes its faith based, sometimes its via loved ones and other times its from friends – what ever activated the aha moment, let’s just be grateful it happened.
The 1930, LC Coulthard built launch Lucinda was recently hauled out at the Slipway Milford for some annual TLC, which included a new paint colour for the coamings. I was asked by the owner last week for my view of the colour – I was honest and polite and relied
1. It’s your boat, paint it what ever colour you want
2. Its only paint, change it next time if you go off it
3. Are you prepared to be that boat e.g. when someone asks another boatie where in the bay they are moored , the answer will always be ‘ to the left of that red boat and 2 back’.
Well there was an intervention and we have another colour scheme – each to their own opinion but it gets my tick 😉
Well done Jason D for making the decision to order more paint 🙂
Woody John Dawson recently saw the launch – Wakaiti advertised on tme and she popped on a search on fb and John sent in the above photos.John commented that he believes she was built c.1922 by Dick Lang. The look of her hull supports this, but in the photos above ex Mark Powell we see her being relaunched post a rebuild at the Chas Bailey & Son yard in Auckland. The work was done for Mark’s father Bill Powell.
Rumour has it she may have started life as a work boat in the Mahurangi area, would like confirmation of this and if anyone can add to her life story that would be great.
Make Sure You Grab A Copy Of NZ Life & Leisure magazine (Jan/Feb issue) Impressive 8 page article on the 1935, Arch Logan / Colin Wild built classic yacht – TAWERA.
Stunning photos and stellar words from Mike Mahoney e.g. ’There’s a joy and purity in sailing these boats that is hard to explain. Perhaps it is being at one with nature , on the water, driven just by the wind.’ At $12.50 it will be the most inexpensive, feel good moment you have this summer 🙂
Todays woody story features the Dick Lang built launch – Lady Margaret. And comes to us from Bruce Papworth – I’ll let Bruce tell the story (minor edits) The photos are from the Ted Clark photo album, taken by Tudor Collins
“I was a personal friend of William A Clark (Ted ). Ted had this boat built in 1938 at a cost of 13,000 Pounds, a lot of money in those days. I have written this to fill in a number of gaps in the history of the Lady Margaret named after his wife.
Like Johnny Birch I had a number of trips away on this boat with his grandfather Joe Birch and Ted and can still remember them well. Up until Ted sold the boat due to poor health at the time to Jim & Nancy Francises. Nancy France as young girl and pre marriage to Jimmy would also go away for weekend with Ted & Margaret as they had no children of their own, they enjoyed having young people aboard. Even though more than once the odd tea pot got lost over board when helping out.
Lady Margaret was loaned to Navy (NAPS # Q08) for the duration of the war and Ted joined the Navy as its Captain. Margaret his wife ran his business, Clark Potteries, which manufactured earthenware Clay pipes for sewage systems. He told me that they never refused an order to sail even though other boats did due to the weather. Not every day was a calm day over that period you just go. Based In Whangarei they would cover the area between Whangarei and Leigh out as far as Great barrier with trips often to the radar station on the Mokohinau Islands he told me.
The boat had two Fairbanks morse engines fitted when new, later being replaced by two Foden’s in the early 1960’s. She was armed with a Bren gun on pedestal on the roof of the wheel house and on the stern where two depth charges. The Bren gun was often test fired at the goats on the cliffs of miner’s head Great Barrier. Ted said he had the fuses for the depth charges set to maximum as if we rolled one off the stern we would not be far enough away if it went off.
At the end of the war the Navy returned the Lady Margaret having restored her back to her pre war state. New paint and varnish job top and bottom as its colour was a grey colour like Many of the Navy vessels of the time.
The interior of the boat has changed since the sale from Jimmy Frances – in the bow were 4 bunks, then a bulk head to a toilet and wash room (no shower ) either side and another bulk head up a couple of steps to the wheel house beneath where the twin Foden’s and to one side a Stewart Turner generator.
Lady Margaret was fitted in those days with an auto- pilot (Bendix brand), around the spokes of the helm, Ted had fitted a stainless band around the outside of wheel, this was to stop you getting thrown to the floor when the auto pilot was engaged as if a spoke grabbed you in the pocket of your pants you would end up on the floor. In those days the helm had an electric motor driving the chain to the shaft of the rudder
From the bulk head of the wheel house you went down two steps and the galley on one side where the sink and small oven sat. Across from the galley on the opposite side was a large heat absorption refrigerator then another bulk head into the main cabin and in the middle of the main cabin sat a folding island table, underneath the table were the biscuit tins. The seating either side could sleep four, moving towards the stern two cupboards one either side that contained the wet weather gear and the outboard motor for the dinghy, on the stern there where two davits .
There was no landing tuck on the stern in those day Jimmy Frances added that in his time .
Memories are made from the people you have known and the things you do together.”
Recent photos below of Lady Margaret – looking very regal