Restoration of the 1936 X-Class dinghy Huia – X22

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Restoration of the 1936 X-Class dinghy Huia – X22

 
I have been contacted by Charles Pope who has begun work on the restoration of Huia. Charles is aiming to have the boat on the water in January at the Mahurangi regatta.
Huia has impeccable pedigree having won the Sanders Cup in 1939.
I have reproduced what Charles knows below. Charles is hoping to fill in the missing information between her Sanders Cup success in 1939 and the recent history I got from her previous owner, Rex, who sailed her at Mahurangi around 1998.That’s nearly 60 years missing
 

The photos above show her on the water in Torbay after Charles tightened up her planks and gave her a paint job. 

 
Any woodys able to help Charles out? I’m a little concerned use of the words – epoxy & glass fibre……………….
 
“Last year I spotted an old 1936 classic wooden boat for sale. Her name was Huia and she was one of the original X-Class dinghies that were sailed by very competitive teams vying for the Sanders Cup in the 1930’s. Huia and her Canterbury crew won the cup in 1939. 
 
Now she was on a rotting and rusting trailer, not under cover, damage from rain water and rotting leaves and badly in need of TLC. She needed someone with more passion than sense to save her from the landfill and that’s where I came in. I took her home, fixed her trailer and began the journey to get her back on the water. 
 
First I had to learn about clinker (or lapstrake) boat construction and I procured copper nails and roves and suitable pieces of kauri timber to match her original construction. After months of working every weekend I was ready to launch her on the local beach. It only took a couple of hours sailing her for me to see that Huia was a beautiful boat. Stable and forgiving, well balanced and stately in appearance – despite sails that had seen better days and gushing leaks between the planks that kept the bailing bucket busy, she was worth spending more time and money on to get her into top shape for a new life. 

I decided to bite the bullet and apply modern technology to give the old girl a new life. West Systems epoxy and glass fibre cloth will seal and protect the old kauri planks and some rigid framing will strengthen the structure so the epoxy won’t crack.”
And as a bonus, below, a mystery yacht, ex Ross Griffin’s post on Historic BOL photos page
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Input from Robin Elliott

“The Canterbury Huia was built by R. Tredennick in 1932, probably off moulds by Fred Dobby. She did little of note until Trdennick sold her around 1936 to R. Hendry and, with Fred Tissiman as skipper she won the 1939 Sander Cup at Bluff.

After 1939 she was sold to Bill Poole of Akaroa and he still owned her in 1947 racing with the Akaroa Sailing Club. My Canterbury contacts seem to recall that she was converted to a runabout.

However …. way up in Northland in 1952 an X-class boat named Huia owned by K. Bradley from Dargaville appeared at Paihia to race in the Northland Sanders Cup Trials. She was quite good and raced in Whangarei and at the northern regional regattas for the next 2-3 years. I have not seen any photos to see if she carried a sail number. Many regional yacht owners bought sails but never bothered registering.
Sea Spray Oct 1953, in mentioning the 1953 Northland trials, made a note that “Huia from Dargaville will be worth watching.”

At the Whangarei Cruising Club the X-class Huia won the Wilkinson Shield in 1953 and 1954.

Interestingly enough. The ex-Auckland yacht Tuoma (built for Bob Greenwell in 1946) in April 1952 was owned by R. Long of Taumarere, was racing at the Northland Inter-Port Yachting regatta up at Paihia.

Her sail number was X-22. She vanished soon after that 1952 regatta.

Perhaps Mr. Bradley of Dargaville got hold of Tuoma’s sails? OR… perhaps he bought Tuoma and renamed her Huia?”

Zora – A71 – Workboat Wednesday

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ZORA – A71 – Workboat Wednesday
The above photos show Ron & Joy Olds woody – Zora, hauled out at Opua for some below the waterline TLC, sent in by Baden Pascoe. Baden commented that she was built by Lidgard Bros in 1937/8 for Mr Delich & Yuich as a seine boat. Originally powered by a 80hp HMG diesel. She carried the fishing reg AK 71.
And if you want some proof that these old girls can be converted into wow woodys – check out the photo below 😉
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Harold Kidd Input – ZORA helped MELODEON refloat ST VINCENT at Parengarenga in 1940. MELODEON has been bought by Dick Fisher (as probably everyone knows already).
The above mention of Melodeon prompted Russell Ward to send me the two photos below that feature Melodeon. Russell took the first one in the 1960’s. The second one shows Melodeon and some mates, with the bows of Aorangi and Shenandoah and Clematis in the foreground.

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Mystery Launch & Location

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Mystery Launch & Location

Todays photo is another from the fb page of Lew Redwood, & show a very fine looking launch nudged into the shoreline. The caption stated that the gent standing on the left is Richard Edgar Williams* & possible date is 1930.
The name on the bow could be Joan. There is an impressive number of people on-board, I counted 18, including children.
As to the location – I’m not sure, it looks very Whangaroa Harbour, but the ladder on the bow is a very lake set up. I’m sure someone will be able to shed some light on the name & location.
* from a quick google search – Williams was a Southern man, born in Dunedin in 1891. He had a keen interest I photography & mountaineering. So maybe the photo is located in Milford Sound?

Workboat Wednesday – Moata

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Work Boat Wednesday – Moata

Baden Pascoe sent me the photos above of the 1937 WG Lowe built Moata, owned by Fin Horder, who is doing some nice work on her. Baden commented that its nice to see a classic work boat still doing her stuff and being understood.

Extra cool to see the problem solved by not nailing ply over her decks.

Moata made a cameo appearance on WW back in April, click the link below to see a great b/w photo of her c.1960 on the Clevedon River.  https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/04/04/moata/

Any One Heard of ‘France Craft’, or better still own one?

The bronze bow fitting / boatbuilder’s plate below, is for sale on trademe – thanks to Peter Thorpy for the listing heads up.

What’s Happening With The Percy Vos Shed?

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What’s Happening With The Percy Vos Shed?

If I had $20 for ever time I have been asked that question, I’d be buying the Ngapipi Rd boat shed that appeared on WW yesterday.
It would be an understatement to say that the shed is a project that has had a few false starts, in fact a well known waterfront identity is on record as saying he would walk naked up Queen St if it was ever completed. In fairness to them – I think they were referring to it being a working classic wooden boat yard.
So woodys I was a little relieved the other day to come across an article by Vicki Holder on the Ray White weblog, its dated February 2018 so hopefully what was reported is still on track.
I was even more upbeat when I saw name Rod Marler popping up early in the article – Rod is one of good guys, calls a spade a spade & does what he says he will. The man comes to us from an impeccable yachting bloodline, with his family having owned one of our finest classic yachts – the 1905 Arch Logan – Rawhiti. Rod himself has owned & raced the 1934 Arch Logan designed yacht – Little Jim & these days skippers one of the smartest classic motor launches on the Waitemata. An ex chairman of the NZ Classic Yacht Association & a true waitematawoodys fan (see photo below).
Nine to Five (more like 7>7) Rod is director of design & place at Panuku Development, now that is a fancy sounding title & I can hear going “whats he actually do?” – well the answer is a hell of a lot, lets just say that if it involves Auckland’s waterfront, Rod will have rubbed up against it.
Back to the Vos shed, owned by Panuku – now one person can’t deliver a project the size of the Vos Shed but Marler has what it takes to pull together the many interested parties & funding streams to make it happen – there is talk about a summer of 2019 completion date, fingers crossed that this time it happens – I’m sure at some stage there will be the opportunity to contribute to the funding, I’ll let you know when.
Read the article at the link below + some great photos.
Woody, Baden Pascoe has published a great book, titled ‘Launching Dreams – Percy Vos & His Boys, its a must have / read if you are a true waitematawoody. Check it out here   https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/11/20/percy-vos-the-boats-his-boys/ . I think you can still buy copies – Baden can you confirm & if so – where & how?
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Mystery Woodys at Kawau Island

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Mystery Woodys at Kawau Island

The caption on the above Tudor Collins photo, ex Auckland Museum (via Lew Redwood fb) states that the photo is dated 1936 & possibly / probably Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island.
Interested in ID’ing the closest launch to the shore. At first glance I thought Tasman, then Rehia but the shape & number of portholes is all wrong – what say the Woodys?
The dark hulled vessel behind, could be one of the early pilot boats – Ferro?
And any clever yachties able to ID the small yachts – mullet boats?
Input from Robin Elliott

NOT Mullet boats but 18-foot V-class. See endless posts and publications over the last 20 years (puts hobby horse back in stable)

From what I can make of the name on her transom, the light coloured hull looks to be Vaalele, V-78, built by Charlie Hardman to a Ralph Goodwin design in 1936.She was one of the four Auckland 18-footers that travelled to Sydney for the first World’s 18-footer championship in 1938. Charlie Hardman kept Vaalele until 1939 when he sold her to S.H. Bailey.

The darker boat is a bit later and looks to be quite new. She’s marconi rigged and could possibly be another Charlie Hardman / Ralph Goodwin boat, Vindex, V-35 built in 1939. Marconi rigs were not common in the V-class but by 1939 the more competitive yachtsmen were moving away from gaff.

From other photos I have seen, she was painted a dark colour, either black or royal blue and was marconi rigged. Vindex was laid up in 1940 and In 1944 he sold Vindex to Keith Atkinson who was working at Lidgards with Hardman.

If this is the case then that would date the photo to the summer of 1939/40, with the two Hardman boats cruising in company, and also explain the patriotic display of the Union Jack from the wharf,

15-07-2018 Update from Steve Pople (current owner)

Steve sent me the 2 b/w photos below (ex NZ Herald) of RF as launched – what a stunner, just about perfect from any angle. Steve confirmed Ken Rickets comments re being lengthened (by 6′). RF is currently in the very capable hands of Dave Patterson of Leader Boats in Pakuranga undergoing a total refit. I will updated the restoration story with new photos.

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Working Waterfront Boatbuilders Shed – 50 photos

 

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Working Waterfront Boatbuilders Shed – 50 photos

As I’ve send many times before, if your want a stunning day weather wise, schedule a Classic Yacht Association event – the hit rate must be 9/10.

Over 100 CYA members & friends made the trip north to Lees Boatbuilders at Sandspit – our host for the day, Greg Lees, turned on a brilliant woody event – we had everything – woody projects underway, the best collection of 1/2 models I seen outside of the RNZYS walls, a photo montage recording the history of the yard & the vessels built over the years.

 Center stage was Jenny & Angus Rogers – Mahanui, in the shed for a new deck, alongside her was a very original Chris Craft that was getting a restoration. 

The varnish guru Dale has already applied 23 coats, with 6 more to come. Compared to our old girls, these American woodys are very lightly built, amazing that so many have survived.

Outside we had Anna & Nic Davidson’s – Juanita, on one slip & Barbara & David Cooke’s woody flagship – Trinidad, alongside the wharf. In midstream was Yvonne, waiting her turn in the shed.

On the hard was a selection of small craft built by either Greg, his father Tim or other local craftsman. Not woodys but certainly classic were Greg’s two English built, aluminium Albatross runabouts – the very rare 4 seater is next on Greg’s to-do list. Included are a few photos of other woodys in or out of the water.

Greg gave an articulate talk on his families boatbuilding history & how they came to be situated on the Sandspit foreshore. At the end he announced the official launch of the 2018 Rudder Cup launch race to be run on Friday 14th December to Sail Rock & back. See flyer below, I encourage all woody owners to consider participating. At this stage we (I’m on the race committee, along with Jason Prew, Nathan Herbert, Baden Pascoe & Barbara & David Cooke) are calling for expressions of interest in racing – entry to the race is by invitation, as per the original race format in 1908.

 Big ups to Greg & family + staff for turning on the day, including BBQ. Special thanks also to the CYA committee members that pulled it all together. 

Lastly a little something below for the petrol heads – Greg had on display his Jesser BSA 500cc twin, hill climb racer. Built in 1962 by Les Jesser, she is a 2 time Australian  class champion. 

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CYA Rudder Cup 2018 flyer