Winter Woody Yard Report #1

Marjorie Rosa

Winter Woody Yard Report #1

Over the weekend Lake Rotoiti’s favourite boatbuilder – Alan Craig (Craig Marine) held an open day at his workshop in Paengaroa (Te Puke) , the first three photos above are from the day. The blue hulled launch in the first photo is the 1930 Sam Ford built launch – Marjorie Rosa in for deferred maintenance, will be looking shipshape again very soon.

Read / view more on her in the below WW links:

A new convert to the wooden boating world is Geoffrey Fiebig, who recently purchased off Jason Prew a Frostbite named Meteor, sail #13. Geoffrey as you will see has started the thank less job of stripping the interior planks. 10/10 for attire, the new WW cap completes the look 🙂

30-05-2023 UPDATE – a nameless woody drew to my attention that many (30+) years ago a Tauranga newspaper article appeared about a young man/teen named Jason Prew who dragged Meteor out of a derelict shed on a lake and restored her to go sailing. Note the miss spelling of the surname Brew -see below

Anyone else have a project underway – if so, share some photos – email to

A Recount Of Our Classic Wooden Craft DNA 

CLICK The Headline – Grace Under Sail to view

A Recount Of Our Classic Wooden Craft DNA 

Recently I was sent a link to an article that appeared in the New Zealand Geographic magazine back in 2000 – in fact issue 45 , Jan-March. The article was headlined – GRACE UNDER FIRE, written by Vaughan Yarwood with supporting photos from the late Henry Winkelmann and more recent photos ex Hamish Ross and Paul Gillbert.

The stars of the article is the 42’ 1908 Logan built gaff rigged cutter – Rawene, and her then skipper Russell Brooke.

This is a brilliant insight into the early days of boating in and around Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, I’m sure there will be some mix ups re dates, skipper/craft names but overall we get to see and read the history of these magnificent craft, a lot of which are still sailing today.

Have a read, its only 10>15 minutes, longer if if you linger over the photos 🙂  – even a die-hard motorboat owner like myself found it a fascinating read.

Havoc On The Water Front

Havoc On The Water Front

The recent stormy weather in Auckland claimed another woody at the end of last week. 

Young Luca Beachman was cycling home after completing his Herald paper round on Friday and spotted the 46’ launch Ussco ‘parked’ very precariously on the Tamaki Drive break water. 

Fingers crossed she was re floated with little damage, built of 4 skin kauri so should be able to withstand an oops. Can anyone update us.

Recently advertised for sale  – details here

INPUT EX BRETT KING – Ussco is hauled out at the hardstand at Half Moon Bay marina 

Raindance Gets Some Cosmetic Surgery

For the whole time that I have owned Raindance I have been faced with a do I / don’t I situation regarding the things attached to her hull – too short to be called bilge keels and questionable efficiency as anti-roll stabilizers. All the people whose opinion I value have said get rid of them. So in a weak moment last week at the Slipway Milford I said yes and wham-mo they were gone.

Will be interesting to see / experience the difference…………………

Looking even more like a greyhound 🙂

LADY AVA – Unseen Sinking Photo

LADY AVA – Unseen Sinking Photo

Back in June 2020 we ran 1/2 a story on the 1931 Ernie Lane (Picton) built launch – Lady Ava (once named Miss Ava). The original story was about her sinking but due to the then owners situation it was decided to ‘dilute’ the story e.g. no photo of her demise. Link to the 2020 story below.

Well three years have past so today you get to see her joining the submariners club. Last I heard she was secured near/alongside the Leader Boat Builders shed on the Panmure River. Photos below taken not long after her recovery.

Can we get an update on Lady Ava’s current situation.

Update: More photos below ex Mark Laughlin




Back in July 2019 we ran a story about Moose Lodge and the lake boats operated by the lodge, one in particular was named Miami and the story mentioned that she was replaced in 1939 by a 28’ launch built by Collings & Bell, named Moose.

Now thanks to Greg Philpott we have a 1954 photo of the boat and a press clipping from the NZ Herald dated 7th February 1939 – see below.

Todays woody question is – what became of Moose.

INPUT ex ALAN CRAIG – She has a Perkins now, still on the V drive. And still sound but in need of some loving. photos below

Pup LN 27 > Topaz


WW was recently contacted by Carol Jukes who is researching her late fathers fishing trawler – Pup, I’ll let Carol tell the story, below.

“My Father George Hemsley purchased the fishing trawler ‘PUP’ about 1933 from Akaroa, he fished out of  Lyttelton with his friend Peg Gillard. Her registration number was LN 27. Pup was 25’ x 7′ x 3’ 6”.  I have been able to follow the Pup’s life off and on to the present day, she is now on Stewart Island and has been so for the last few years.  Along the way she had a name change and is now known as ‘TOPAZ’.  At some time she was badly crushed by a boat in Dunedin, the damage was so severe that it must have been recorded at the time, unfortunately not having a date for this accident I have not been able to find a record of the event.  A few years later the sad state of this boat was seen by a sympathetic boatie who bought her, and over the years did a fantastic repair job on her.  Pup / Topaz was given a new lease on life. This boat must be around 100 years old. 

I have managed to get some information from Papers Past, but there are holes in that.  She was called into do a few heroic things so of course they are recorded.

I also have the name of the present owner and have spoken to the person who rebuilt her and have some photos of the rebuild, looking at the photos I think most people would have taken one look and run, I gather it had been sitting in it’s sad state for a few years before he bought it. I take my hat off for the rebuild. It’s actually a funny story, after my Dad died eleven years ago my brother took his ashes to Stewart Island, he decided to go for a ride on one of the boats there, he mentioned to the skipper about Dad’s boat, on the way back in this skipper pointed to a boat and said to David is this your Dads boat? As you can imagine David nearly fell overboard in shock because it was Dad’s boat, renamed Topaz.  

It is since this incident that I have followed up and tried to find more about her history because at the time we knew nothing other than Dad had owned her.  I am working away on a book on his life and this will be part of it.

Any information on this boat  Pup / Topaz would be very much appreciated.”

In the first photo we see Pup on the dry dock c.1934 with owner George Hemsley. Photo two is her then named Topaz, after repairs.

Annabella DN 87


Todays woody is the trawler Annabella and the photo comes to us from the Carey’s Bay Boat Builders via Lew Redwoods fb.

The photo was captioned  – ‘Beautiful trawler Annabella afloat at the builders sheds prior to being rigged with masts and sails in 1931. Otago’. In my eyes beautiful is an understatement 🙂

Can anyone enlighten us on what became of Annabella, hopefully still afloat.

UPDATE and photos below ex Cameron Pollard – Sadly Annabella broached on the Kawhia Bar during the 1970s and sunk. Russell Ward has also advised the year was 1977 and one crew member was lost.

Classic Launches at Kawau Island 1939

Classic Launches at Kawau Island 1939

Todays photo comes to us from the AKL Library Heritage Collection and is tagged ‘Colourised image – Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island, 1939′

Think I can confidently ID the three launches in the middle of the photo, being – Amakura II > Rehia > Atalanta. (correction – more likely to be Marguerite/Lady Una. Thanks Patrick O’Mera for the heads up)

Wonderful to see that Rehia has remained almost unaltered for the last 80+ years – we like that 🙂 Recent WW story on her here

The smaller launch to the left has me stumped. Anyone able to ID her .

MV USSCo – 4sale

MV USSCo 4sale

The 45’ launch – M.V. Ussco was launched in 1936 as the Donald Sutherland, built for the first Labour Govt. as a tourist / passenger vessel. She was also previously known as Sea Hawk.

She has spent time as a fishing vessel, and other unconfirmed duties maybe as a lighthouse tender before use as a private cruiser.

Built from 4 skin kauri she has a beam of 12’ and draws 4’, a Gardner 6L2 provides the forward motion and like most southern woodys she is fully spec’ed.

Her owner Pete Worsnap has recently placed her on the market – as architects say “she has good bones” and while she requires a little work, she is priced accordly eg offers around $25k. And that woodys is a lot of boat for the money.

We are a little light on photos, but in the first instance interested parties to contact Pete direct either or 021 998 159

Spec sheet downloadable below

REHIA – A Peek Down Below

Rehia Underway Apr2023

REHIA – A Peek Down Below

The 36’ launch – Rehia, designed and built in 1939 by none other than Colin Wild, our foremost wooden boat craftsman, has been undergoing a rolling restoration since changing ownership back in late 2021. 

Last Sunday at the Woodys lunch cruise to the Riverhead Tavern, Rehia was front and centre looking very majestic.

When purchased her interior was a tad tired and new owners Amanda and Joe have given Rehia a revamp and she is looking rather dapper. (As purchased photos below)

I’m told that the next project is renewing the varnished coamings.