Three Taupo Boats


Unknown-3

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

Unknown-4

Unknown

PIRI PONO at her final resting place (Maritime Museum)

Unknown-8

LUYVON awaiting restoration at Taupo Oct 2017

Unknown-9

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.   

Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 12.38.57 pm    

 

 

Echo – A Peek Down Below


Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 1.51.53 pm

Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 1.52.58 pm

Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 1.53.45 pm

ECHO – A Peek Down Below

I have rowed past Echo numerous times at Mahurangi Regatta weekends & admired her. She is a very smart classic woody & the workmanship on her is 2nd to none.

She has appeared on WW before but yesterday she popped up on trademe, so we can enjoy a peek down below.

Echo is a kauri carvel launch built by Les Coulthard in 1935 at Onehunga. She measures 31.81’ & is powered by a Perkins 75hp diesel engine, this allows her to cruise along at approx 7.5 knots.
For the last 17 years Echo has been owned & maintained by a professional boat builder. During this time, she has been recaulked below the waterline & had her topsides kauri splined, the cockpit area has been rebuilt &the bow re-worked to give her a proper anchor bowsprit.
You will see from the photos that Echo is beautifully maintained & presented –  Echo is an amazing buy & would see you cruising in a classic woody this summer.

Someone needs to buy her & quick J

14-11-2017 Update: Someone did buy her – a gent named Mark Dixon

 

MV CLEMATIS – An ideal floating bach


profile

birthday cruise 019

Unknown-6

Unknown-3

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 4.27.23 pm

MV CLEMATIS – An ideal floating bach

WW readers will be familiar with my views on how compared to the price of waterfront property these days, you can buy a classic wooden vessel for a fraction of the cost, that offers the same benefits + more.

Clematis at 45’ is one such vessel, launched in 1939 & built of kauri by Miller and Tonnage Ship Builders in Port Chalmers for J. Falconer & Sons of Timaru.

Her past has seen her serve with the New Zealand Maritime Department, initially in the NZ Navy during WWII & with the various other ad hoc parties until 1995. She was the only vessel still attached to the navy, serving from WWII until c.1995. She was seconded to the US Navy during WWII & during this period she was refitted on three occasions and even given a copper bottom by the Americans for her use in the Pacific Islands. She was later a training boat for the Maritime Department and Ministry of Fisheries.

She was eventually sold to Christchurch businessman, Bryan Mullaly, in 1995, who based her in Picton. Later use saw her working for a time in Lyttleton as a whale watch boat. Back then (c.1995) she was powered by an Isuzu truck / bus engine, converted to marine use, this replaced a Gardner diesel.

Mullaly sold her to her present owner, Pam Holt in 2003 & Pam brought her up to Coromandel & Gt. Barrier, where Clematis became her floating home. Her large saloon, galley, 2 cabins and spacious covered deck made her ideal for enjoying the spectacular scenery and sea life.

With lots of blue ocean miles under her belt, Clematis is a proven seaworthy boat. Having been in MSA survey (expired) for 18 passengers, 10 to Great Barrier Island.

Pam’s days afloat are over & she is looking for a new custodian for Clematis, whether as a floating bach or a fabulous event venue or for sightseeing cruises.

You will see in the photos that she has recently had a lot of TCL applied & is now offered for sale. Interested parties can contact Pam direct at pamclem@hotmail.com

B/W photos below from launch day.

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 4.24.13 pm

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 4.24.41 pm

Input from Russell Ward

Below are two photos, the colour one is a shot of her on Otago Harbour set to Russell by Ian Mclean –she spent a lot of time in Dunedin –Sea Cadets boat.

The b/w photo shows Clematis on the right in working rig. To her starboard is Aorangi’s bow, Shenendoah and over astern a smattering of the pride of the Auckland fleet. Centre stage, wearing her original funnel in pride is Melodeon.

This pic would be in the ’50s or early ‘60s. A view of the viaduct before it became a eating and watering and posh boat hole 🙂

Unknown

Unknown-1

Input from Peter Marshall

Actually, Brian Mullaly sold CLEMATIS to me around ’95 and I took her to Lyttelton. She was put into survey as a commercial boat in 2001 but was almost immediately involved in the destruction of the marina at Magazine Bay and was out for the 2001-2002 summer season.
Expertly and comprehensively repaired by Stark Bros., CLEMATIS then operated as Godley Head Dolphin Company watch out of Dampier Bay and around the Banks Peninsula until ’95 when I gave up the cause of making Lyttelton a reasonable environment for chartering and she was bought by a young woodworker from Auckland.
As an added note, she was lent to the Yanks during WW II, who took her up into the Pacific and clad her hull in copper to protect her from worm and used her as shallow water picket duty. The Navy League had her on Otago Harbour for around 30 years, and scads of harbour-dwellers knew the sound of her old Gardner.

Wairuru & Lady Jocelyn


Wairuru ex Baden P

Wairuru at Waitakaruru

Lady Jocelyn + stern of Wairuru

WAIRURU & LADY JOCELYN

Last Sunday I posted a copy of a 1947 trip diary from aboard the vessel Wairuru on its passage to Apia, Samoa. We had no photos of the boat & reading the diary the author (unknown) had made her sound like a yacht / motorsailer, HDK very quickly corrected me on that J

Now thanks to Baden Pascoe & Geoff Brebner we have photos of Wairuru. Baden describes her as a small motor coaster, a friend of Baden’s, Keith Penny, was her skipper for a while. She was powered by a Kelvin K3. Wairuru was designed by Erine Bailey of Charles Bailey in 1937.

In Geoff’s photos, Wairuru is alongside at Waitakaruru, on the Firth of Thames. Geoff lives less than 1 kilometer from the spot. Geoff’s 2nd photo is of the Lady Jocelyn with Wairuru lying ahead of her at Hobson Wharf c.1946. Both ships were almost sister ships, Wairuru was 52’ & Lady Jocelyn being 60’.

Link to the diary mentioned above here https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/10/08/wairuru-auckland-to-suva-1947/

 

 

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


P1250327

P1250324

P1250379

Tony Stevenson

P1250384

Robert Brooke

P1250386

Baden Pascoe

P1250382

P1250376

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. 

 

Wairuru – Auckland to Suva, 1947


Waruru Cover

Wairuru – Auckland to Suva, 1947

I was recently contacted by Steph Mellors who advised she had a short diary written aboard the 1937, Charles Bailey & Sons built motorsailer Wairuru, during a passage from Auckland to Apia, Samoa in  June 1947.

On the cover (see above) is written in pencil Capt. Robt. Patterson, given the content of the diary, Steph does not think he wrote it. (I agree)

The NZ Maritime Index, records that Wairuru, owned by A G Bertram was sold in 1947 to O. F. Nelson & Co. Ltd., Apia, Western Samoa – who renamed her – Gaualofa. The records also sadly record that she was wrecked on 22 November 1953, on the South coast of Savai’i Island, near Sala’ihua.

Steph is unsure how she acquired the diary, thinks “probably rescued it from someone’s wastepaper basket in a fit of – it could be of interest to someone”.

Thankfully she saved it & now over 70 years later we get to share it. Enjoy the read, I did.

Any guesses as to who the author was?

Wairuru 1

Wairuru 2>3

Wairuru 4>5

Wairuru 6>7

Wairuru 8>9

Wairuru 10>11

Wairuru 12

I couldn’t do a WW post without a boat photo – my clinker dinghy Peg at Patio Bay. Which is a good excuse to remind you that today is the last day of the Classic Launch & Yacht – Clinker Boats Exhibition – details below – AND ITS FREE TO GET IN.

P1220362

Clinker Event Ad

Lady Helen – Flash Back Friday


Lady Helen @ Russell 1939

Lady Helen – Flash Back Friday
Today’s photo shows the 1930 Colin Wild built, stunning launch Lady Helen in Russell c.1939 & comes from the Tudor Collins Auckland Museum collection, emailed to me by Ken Ricketts.

To view the magnificently restored Lady Helen & read Harold Kidd’s article on her provenance – click this link https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/02/22/miss-helen-2/