Woody Lake Taupo Boat Tour + Woody Event Details

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WOODY LAKE TAUPO BOAT TOUR + WOODY EVENT DETAILS
One of WW’s most local supporters is Bay of Islands woody, Dean Wright – today Dean takes us on a recent mooch around Lake Taupo’s shoreline, click photos to enlarge –  Enjoy 🙂
WAIROA RIVER – WOODY OVERNIGHT CRUISE
Back in November 2019 we had an amazing woody weekend at the Clevedon Cruising Club. At the time everyone expressed a desire to repeat the trip up the Wairoa River asap, then CV-19 popped up, so we pulled the hand-brake.
Well folks the cruise is back on and for now there are two things to do:
1. Circle August 8-9 in the diary
The CCC is a brilliant venue, with dock-side berthing, undercover BBQ / dining facilities and a great group of members that make the trip so special.
And its dog friendly ! – so fido gets to come along.
Woody Classics Weekend Clevedon #2 copy

Lady Jane

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LADY JANE
The 32’10” Lady Jane was built in 1930, her builder is unknown, a previous owner believed it was built by Lidgards at Kawau Island but others have suggested Sam Ford. The black and white photo above is dated 1948.
Engine is a Ford 80hp diesel and LJ over the last 9 years has undergone a ‘rolling-restoration’ to see her in the condition she is presented in, on her tme listing.
I’m not sure which of the cabin window configuration I prefer – the x3 TV monitors eg  or the x3 ‘eyebrow’ version on the b/w photo.
FYI – there have several Lady Jane launches on WW, seems she was a popular lady 🙂
Would be nice if we could confirm the design / builder?
Harold Kidd Input – The LADY JANE in the black & white photo is clearly a built-up flush-decker of the period 1910-15. The arch-topped side windows are a dead giveaway. Sam Ford was at school at the time.

Classic Wooden Boat Riverhead Cruise

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Classic Wooden Boat Riverhead Cruise

Yesterday’s creek (river) cruise to the Riverhead Tavern was another successful gig on the Woodys Classics Weekend calendar. 14 boats made the trip up the creek and with no ferries working, we had the wharf to ourselves. Always nice to be greeted at the wharf by the publican and woody boater – Stephen Pepperell. We enjoyed brilliant support and service from the rest of the team at the tavern insured the day went like clockwork and 85+people enjoyed a great catch up, chat and lunch. The sun shone at the right times (most of the day) so a good times was had by all. Wonderful to see the support from the people that made the trip by car.
Details on the next event soon 🙂
MORE PHOTO’S @ link below
My crew for the day Chris Miller has posted some great photos on his weblog, I was concentrating on helming the ship and given CM is a pro photographer I left the camera work to Chris. Enjoy 🙂

Matatua & Floss – Sailing Sunday

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MATATUA

Picton boat builder Mike Coutts is doing a shout out to see if anyone would be interested in getting involved in the restoration of the 1938, Jim Lidgard built, 32’9″ yacht Matatua that he has taken over. Any help, advice or information would be welcome. I’ll let Mike tell the story.
Anyone able to help out – contact Mike via email at kootamac@gmail.com
 
“I have been given Matatua to restore , i can do anything given the time and money but both are in short supply here at present ! she has a lot of history in Wellington with Port Nick and has sailed to all corners of the Pacific several times that i know of. I served my time with John Lidgard and i have asked him and he said she was one of Jim Lidgard’s designs and built at Kauwau Island but he cant recall much more . Some one bolted a steel rudder and skeg , mounted a Coventry engine on steel engine beds, put an alloy mast on a steel mast step and extended the hull by about a meter . As you can imagine the dilignafication in some of these areas is quite severe, I told 2 previous owners that they had to get the steel out of her to no avail 25 years ago ! i have her on the hard at $150 a week and have got the steel rudder skeg off and working on the engine beds, mast out next and remove the steel mast step, chainplates etc . I would like to restore her but at this stage just trying to preserve whats left , which is surprisingly good, another testiment to Kiwi boat building and heart kauri” 
02-07-2020 Input from Robin Elliott and Harold Kidd

Harold and I have finally sorted the mystery of Matatua (well it was only a mystery to us, the rest of the world couldn’t care less 🙂 ).

Matatua was built as a 33-foot ketch by Roy Lidgard in 1938 at their yard in Freemans Bay Auckland for C.T. Jonas who originally named her Landfall.
NZ Herald 13/8/1938 has a photo of her on page 12 being built ‘for C.T. Jonas’.
Landfall was launched 19/11/1938 and described as an ‘auxilliary ketch’ 33ft overall, 26ft on the waterline with 9ft 6in beam. She carried 600 sq ft of sail and it was reported that her owner intended making a cruise to the islands at the end of the 1938-39 season.

From then on, no more mention of Landfall and it appears that C.T. Jonas and his co-owner Harry Gillard, renamed her Matatua quite soon after launching.

The ketch Matatua first appears in print in February 1939 racing with other boats in the Lidgard employees picnic from the Freemans Bay slipway to Motuihe. She raced regularly with RNZYS and RAYC for the rest of the season. Her registration number was B-9.

The ketch rig clearly wasn’t a success because in September 1939 the NZH 26/9/39 reports ‘aux yacht Landfall owned by C.T. Jonas which made an appearance last year under ketch rig has been converted into a cutter’. This reference to Landfall is odd because she had been named Matatua since at least the beginning of 1939, but maybe they were just making the connection back their earlier articles.

In the winter of 1940, yet more improvements.
NZH 2/7/40: B-class yacht Matatua owned by C. Jonas has had 2ft 6in added to her counter by Lidgard Bros. OA length now 35ft 6in and will enable carrying a permanent backstay,
NZH 9/12/40: Photo of Matatua with her new cutter rig, B-9 on the sail.

The war intervenes and Matatua ceases racing.

During this time the Auckland yacht registration records, probably having been moved about or in storage during the war, had fallen into disarray. By the time a new list is published in July 1946, Matatua has been registered twice, first by Harry Gillard, who retained B-9, and again by C.T. Jonas who got a new number B-24. The error was picked up and B-24 lapsed but it remained in the official lists for a couple of seasons until another purge of obsolete registrations in 1948.

Clarrie Irvine raced Matatua, as B-9, for the next couple of seasons and sold her in 1949 to R. Campbell of Wellington. The trip to Wellington under delivery skipper Terry Hammond was hard and they were missing for several days after hitting a nor’westerly gale just off Cape Palliser that blew them as far south as Kaikoura. After getting back to almost the same spot, they ran into a westerly gale that blew them back out to sea. Eventually Matatua got to Wellington, her crew had been battered for 84 hours.

Matatua remained in Wellington (registered as Wellington A-10) for the next 12 years or so. She was purchased by K. Stutter in 1957, and in 1962 was sold to D. Fletcher of Epsom who brought her back to Auckland where she picked up her old number of B-9. Fletcher didn’t appear to do any racing but in 1968 he sold her to George Retter of the Richmond Yacht Club who owned and raced her until 1981.

Matatua has had no registered owners since then. Her NZYF number is 109

One major confusion with Matatua has been the Bob Stewart design Mata-a-tua built for George Gresham of Tauranga in 1947. When Matatua was sold to Wellington, her B-9 registration became vacant and was issued to Gresham’s Mata-a-tua thus beginning a series of tortured confusions in boating magazines and newspapers between the two boats.

This was continued when Mata-a-tua was also sold to Wellington in 1958 where she became Wellington A-9. Her owner Brian Millar brought her to Auckland in 1964 and she entered the 1965 Anniversary Regatta under her Wellington number A-9. (A-9?.. A-9??.. That’s Moana and We can’t have that!!) In February she was re-registered as B-47.

Another tedious ‘golly gee’ point. Both Clarrie Irvine and George Retter owned the Bailey built C-class Matua C-54. Both of them sold Matua to buy Matatua

I have been told to ‘get a life’ by many people.

 

FLOSS – 4sale
Recently Baden Pascoe sent me details on Floss – the sailing dinghy below. Baden’s father Howard, built the glued ply dinghy which is now for sale. Owner Jock Speedy is only the second owner. I understand Jock is open to reasonable offers. Contact via email at jmspeedy55@gmail.com
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Mystery Launches – Mansion House Bay

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Mystery Launches – Mansion House Bay

Today’s photo of Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island comes to us via Lew Redwood’s fb and is tagged 1920 – 1939 so that date spread isn’t much use to us.
An unusual photo given that no yachts are seen.
Any eagle eyed woodys able or brave enough to ID any of the boats?
Ken Ricketts was probably there (in nappies) and will remember the sound of each boats engine 🙂
WCW Riverhead June2020
RSVP  waitematawoodys@gmail.com

An Epic Tale of Whalers, Fishermen,  Farmers & Commercial Launch Masters

Prima Donna built by Lanes 1911 for Herman & Darcey Baldick 001

Primadonna built by Lanes for Ernie & Darcey Baldick 001

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An Epic Tale of Whalers, Fishermen,  Farmers & Commercial Launch Masters
 

The story below without doubt is the best to appear on WW, author Pete Beech talks at one stage about writing a book – he needs to. Surely there is a funding channel available – what’s the literary equivalent of ‘NZ On Air’?

The story came about via the recent WW story on the ex whaler chaser – Primmadona and her relocation from the South to Aucklands Waitemata waters. I will let Pete tell you his story, as he told me – its a cracker – enjoy
 
As an aside I spotted Pete’s ‘work’ boat – Tutanekai, mentioned in the story in Queen Charlotte Sound two years ago, I admired her then, sadly I was too busy pushing bacon and eggs down the gullet at the rather swanky, Bay of Many Coves resort, to say hi – my loss, but I’ll be back. Photos of her at the WW link below:
 
Previous WW Primadonna stories:
PART ONE
Kia Ora Alan,
Thanks for making contact, I was sent a link to your site by my sister who lives on her yacht in an Auckland marina. She thought I’d be interested in your story on our old waka, Primadonna.
You and I obviously have a lot in common, 40 yrs ago there were a lot of old Sounds launches coming to the end of their days, my old dad worked for Ernie Lane as a young man then for Jack Morgan and Rodger Carey.
He and his old mates had been Sounds farmers, whalers , fishermen and commercial launch masters, when ever they got together conversation would always revert to “Boats ! “
We lived in a bay down the Sounds, old pa could identify the older boats by the sound of their exhausts, before they rounded the points and came into view. The old guys would tell you who built them, what year, how much they cost, what they were planked out of, some were sister ships (2 keels cut out of the same log) where the logs were sourced from for the planking, what timber they used for the ribs, what make of engine they used, how much it cost, what horse power they developed and how many GPH they burnt and  what revs  they run at.
They took pride in knowing the whole whakapapa of all the old waka, how many hours the engines did until they were worn out and rebuilt or replaced, in those days after 5/ 10 yrs they would replace with bigger more powerful engines, they would also tell you how the engine was taken out of one boat and put into another and so on.
I grew up hearing all these oral histories and like a couple of your writers mentioned the accuracy of some of these stories was lost in the telling, then my old dad passed on and I got to thinking that if someone doesn’t write down these oral histories within 50 years, they will pass from living memory and be lost to time.
So I went around and interviewed a number of the old timers and collected all the photos I could, so pleased I did because those old boys are all gone now and their kids tossed out their photos.
It was funny, they just loved to talk about their boats, often their wives used to ring me up and say “could you come back and talk to dad again, hes driving me mad ! “
For years I have fostered an ambition to compile a book using this material and feel a bit precious about it, however no one has a monopoly over history and it should be shared, who knows the millennials may have no interested in our nautical treasures .
I have been a mechanic, a marine engineer, a fisherman, a commercial launchmaster a boat builder and for the last 30 years have run an eco tour with our old waka the near 90 yr old Tutanekai. I used to think that the day would come when people would regard the old classics like they do vintage cars and would restore them.
However it hasn’t really happened here and sadly many of our old classics have  been sold out of the area many finding their way to Auckland, I will miss seeing the beautiful counter stern of the old Primmadonna on the Sound, she is so much part of our local history.
I’m so pleased to see the resurgence of traditional boats in Auckland and sure a lot of credit should go to you for the sparking peoples interest in the classic wooden boats.
I remember when she was sold to a feller up on the Foxton River, he eventually put her up for sale but no one wanted her, so he rang me up and said “I’ll sell it to you for bugger all, if you don’t I’m going to cut the side out of her with a chainsaw and turn it into a road side stall. 
I contacted Ian Baldick, nephew of the original owner and said that old girl is your family heritage, you should buy her back, he said OK boy , you’re right, I’ll do it on one condition, that you come with me to bring her back home.
So away we went, made the deal, checked out the old Lister, changed the oil and fuel filters and set off for home, when we got down close to the bar there was a big swell and old Ian said theres something wrong, she’s not lifting to the swell, he said pull her up, he went down into the front cabin, lifted up the bunk swabs and found that the whole forward section was full of river boulders, (this had been done because when you run the old lady on full throttle the stern would suck right down until the water was level with the deck and if you were steering from inside the cabin you couldn’t see over the bow).
We tossed all the boulders overboard and charged out over the bar, there were 3 very big waves, she rode up over the first then put her head down and dove under the second and in what seemed like an eternity finally lifted, rose over the third and burst out into the open sea, old Baldy said if we hadn’t thrown those boulders out she would of gone straight to the bottom !!!
He told me that she had been build too fine with not enough buoyancy in the bow, straight stemmed with no flare, he said that one time they we steaming out around Cape Jackson when they went thru the big rip where the Pacific and the Tasman seas meet there are often half a dozen big waves, he said that she responded the same way a stick does when you throw it into the water. He said you had to shut the throttle off and pull her out of gear,   she went down by the head and kept going down until her buoyancy finally made her shoot back out back wards just like a stick !  He said that on this occasion one of their mates was standing on the foredeck, he said that when this occurred he wrapped himself around the mast and held on for grim death, he said that when she popped out they went forward and couldn’t get their mate to let go of the mast, he said he had squeezed it that hard he ‘d squeezed all the sap out of it and they needed a screw driver to prize his finger nails out of the mast !
I also owned the old Fleetwing at one time, but that’s another story.
The old waka in my shed is a true classic launch, is just the bare hull and is in beautiful condition for its age, has been in my shed for 30 years waiting for attention, I’ll never get around to it , I only rescued it because I knew her history and wanted to see her preserved, she had a 5 HP Frisco Standard in her for years, shes only 6 ft beam, they didn’t start building them with 8ft beam until the twin cyl 8 hp Friscos came out in the 1920’s.
The Baldicks said that they flush decked her for gropher fishing and that when they were steaming around Dieffenbach Point in a strong southerly she would roll over that far that your shoulders would be in the water.!
What I could do is send you the story of her builder Ernest Berg who  was a real character, was bankrupted 3 times but kept reinventing himself, a real conman but he built beautiful boats, back at the turn of the century, 3 of them left that I know of.
That’s enough for now, Keep up your good work mate.
PART TWO
Kia Ora Alan,
My pleasure, always interesting to look at a series of photos taken of a wooden boat that shows how their superstructures  were changed to suit their roles and how their engines got bigger and bigger with advances in technology.
My old waka “Tutanekai originally had an 18 hp twin cyl Regal, that was replaced by a 40 hp 4 cyl sterling, then a 60hp, 6 cyl Hercules, a 110 hp  471 GM during the war, currently has a 120 hp GM and have a 6 cyl 340 hp Yanma  in the shed to replace the GM, ( but it refuses to die.)
My apologies, but I don’t know (or don’t remember )  what the original engines were in the Primadonna,  most of the early launches back in the 1920’s had 5 hp single cylinder Frisco standards when they wore out were replaced by 2 cylinder 8 hp Friscos, they were replaced in the 1940’s with car engines then in the 1950s with truck or tractor diesel engines like 4 cyl Fords or GM’s , (lucky ones had Gardners ! )
When Alf Baldick finished whaling he used the Primmadonna as a farm boat and for transport to and from town, there were no roads in the Sounds.
He sold to a guy McManaway who was a gropher fisherman, he did away with the rear wheel house to give him more deck space and fish hold, he built a pilot house over rear of front cabin. He sold to Rex Baldick, Alfs nephew, he was farming in East Bay and spent a lot of time hunting, you would often see her at the Picton wharf with stern deck covered with carcasses of pigs and deer.
Rex sold to Ken MacArther who fished her out of the Wairau Bar, she caught fire on him, he took the 4 cyl Ford out that Rex had put in and replaced with a three cylinder Lister.
That was the end of her commercial fishing era, she had several owners and more changes to her superstructure, they replaced the rear wheelhouse, when I had it she had a coal scuttle that stuck up above the cabin top so you didn’t have to duck , getting in and out of the cabin. Before Ian Baldick bought her back into family ownership he threw the Lister out and put a reconditioned 4 cly Ford back in her, cut the coal scuttle off and replaced with a sliding hatch, put a new S/S shaft in her and did a great job of tidying her up. When he retired he put a line hauler on her for gropher fishing and spent a lot of time out fishing and deer shooting, when he past on she was sold but a couple of owners latter his son in law bought her back again for running the whanau to and fro to their bach.
Sad that she has been sold out of the Sounds, but who knows some day she may find her way home, it has happened before !
Nga Mihi,
Pete.
Woody Classics Weekend #5 Riverhead
RSVP waitematawoodys@gmail.com

Lolita II – SOS

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LOLITA II (Wondabyne)
 
This fine old girl with a great provenance has put her hand up for help. 
The story goes like this – woody Keith Brady was visiting the Bay of Islands at the end of May and called in to see the owner of Lolita II, Peter Deeming as part of his research into boat builder Dick Lang and his boats.
You will have observed from the above photos that Lolita II is in a poor state, but in Keith’s opinion is in a condition that is able to be restored by an enthusiastic person/s with the skills and vision of restoring an old classic. There is a significant amount of work involved, but with time and funding the boat is able to be restored to its former days.
Keith commented that after talking to Peter Deeming he found him approachable and interested in the boat going to someone who will restore it.  
B/W photos ex Andy Donovan collection.
 
She made an appearance on WW last year, where we uncovered some of her past – WW link below.
 
Boat S/S Water Tank Advice

Asking for a friend (yeah right)……  are there any solutions to repairing small leak (seam) to a boats water tank without removing the tank?
There was talk of a bladder system / product that can be inserted into the existing tank – anyone come across it?
Feedback / suggestions to waitematawoodys@gmail.com.
Woody Classics Weekend #5 Riverhead
RSVP waitematawoodys@gmail.com

Herne Bay Yacht Club + Primadonna Update

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HERNE BAY YACHT CLUB

I love the above photo c.1930 of the Herne Bay Yacht Club, a lot of classes on show.
These days there is a better chance of seeing a helicopter taking off from that spot 🙂
15-06-2020 Input below from Robin Elliott

The photo of the boats from the Herne Bay JUNIOR Yacht Club (as it was known then) was taken probably 1933 not long after it was formed for boys under 18 and the location is the foot of George Dennes’s slipway at Sarsfield St, Herne bay.
George Dennes was the commodore and the only adult in the club. All other positions were held by the boys, who ran all the meetings. Vice Commodore Geoff Hodgson was 9, Rear Commodore Jim Faire, aged 13, Hon Sec Colin Dennes ages 16.

At first the boats were a mixed bag of local sailing dinks, the odd Zeddie, ‘anything with a sail’ and as you can see there in sail number 10, what looks to be a Zeddie with a bowsprit and jib.
In the winter of 1934, George Tyler built the 12-foot Silver Fern to an Arch Logan design for Colin Dennes. Others followed and the club consolidated around the new Silver Fern Class.

The administration experience gained from running their own affairs was put to good effect when many of the members, once they reached 18 years joined Richmond Yacht Club. By 1939, the RYC Commodore was Rupert Thorpe, Vice Comm Jim Frankham; Rear Comm Colin Dennes. All three HBJYC graduates and all under 21.

George Dennes died in 1942 and the Commodore’s role was taken over by Alf Thompson (Chad’s father) and continued until the Silver Fern’s demise around 1952, swept way by the new fangled Cherub, Moths and Pennant classes.

Notable yachtsmen, in no particular order, who came through the Silver Ferns were Laurie Davidson, John Lasher, Jim Faire, Des and Ray Hurley, Roy and Frank Dickson, Alan Barclay, Brian Woods, Des Townson, Murray White, Neville Thom, Shirley & Roy White, John Taylor, Roly Moreland, John Peet ….. and on and on…..

It was a very important club in its time and its unique structure actually trained young yacht club administrators. No other club did that.

 

PRIMADONNA – Comes North
These days most woodys that you see on the back of Boat Haulage’s rig are heading south, so its great to see one arriving in Auckland. The 1910 ex whale chaser – Primadonna, arrived Friday afternoon at Pier 21.
A few days of TLC from new owner James Hutchinson and then she will be back in the water. Hopefully another candidate for the Anniversary Day Tug/Work Boat race on the harbour 🙂
She came with a lot of documentation from pervious owners, so when I sight that, hopefully we can establish / confirm her provenance.
Read / view more at this previous WW story https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/04/19/primadonna/
16-06-2020 Input from Peter Beech (petethedeep)

“We had the pleasure of care taking the old Primadonna for a number of years over 40 yrs ago, we did a lot of cruising and have many wonderful memories of her.
 She was powered by a 3 cyl water cooled Lister about 30 hp, being long and skinny with a beautiful counter stern , she ran like a skinny hogget, was good for 9 kts and was miserable on fuel. (less than a Gallon per hr.)
I’d like to comment on the issue of “hearsay history”, I remember researching the whakapapa of the Primadonna by talking to the descendants of original owner, Alf Baldick who farmed in Onapua Bay in Tory Channel.
His nephew Ian Baldick told me that his uncle had her built in 1913 by Ernie Lane.
During the Great War they whaled out of Te awai iti, I have an old photo of her along side a beached whale in Tar White. 
From memory there were 4 Baldick brothers, Alf, Herman and Darcy (twins) both stood 6 ft 4″ in their stocking feet ! and Billy Baldick who farmed on Blumine Island,( another sister Ida lived with him, ) Billy was reputed to have built 200 clinker dinghys on the island, selling them to Sounds farmers.
One of their sisters married a Guard, a descendant of Jackie Guard, ( the famous whaler) and another married a Jackson, of the Jackson Bay whaling dynasty, so whaling was very much in their blood.
I was talking to Hermans daughter Grace one day about the Baldick boats, she said –
“The old people are dead and gone but their boats live on”
She also said that their lives revolved around their boats, they were their daily transport, their farm boats, their fishing boats, they built many of them themselves and repaired and modified them.
She said that once a year they would all gather at Maraetai Bay, line their boats up and have a regatta! Alf had the Primmadonna, Herman and Darcey had the Greyhound and the Daphnee,  Billy had the Waiata .
I dont know what become of the Daphnee, the Greyhound  with her beautiful clipper bow and counter stern eventually rotted away, the Dreadnaught was built by Herman and Darcey for their sister Emma Guard, very similar to the Greyhound but Emma wanted more beam and draft for stability so they could carry farm produce over Cook Strait to the Wellington markets.
Last time I saw her she was in Wellington, not sure where she is now. Gracey told me that when they were planking her, towards the end they ran out of copper rooves so used Halfpennies. 
I have Billies old Waiata  at home here in the shed, she would be one of the oldest boats in the Sounds, built by Ernest Berg around 1900′ ish..  she is a pretty, double diagonal, straight stemmed, with a lovely counter stern, she originally had a Glouster stern, or cut off counter, Billy took her to Ernie Lane and said “put a descent counter on her.” (she is a real classic and for sale to the right buyer, who wants a restoration project.
Local people in my fathers generation used to tell stories, like folk legends about The Guards and the Baldicks, they were probably illiterate, they spoke with a real south of England Cornish drawl that was so distinctive, they lived a very isolated but fascinating  lifestyle.
So these are local oral histories, they are not researched to see if we have got our facts straight, the old lady was right, the old people are dead and gone and now their boats are well over 100 yrs old and wooden boats no matter what their condition are all restorable.
Unfortunately the old people never wrote down their stories and when boats outlive living memories they become fairy tales.
30 yrs ago I went around alot of the old timers and wrote down alot of their memories about the old Sounds launches and collected a lot of old photos, I’m pleased that I did that because all those old boys are dead and gone now.
Waitamata Woodys is doing just that in digital formate which is wonderful and should be encouraged because it ensures that the stories and the spirits of our old people in these wonderful craft live on”
Primadonna heads north
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WCW Riverhead June2020

RSVP waitematawoodys@gmail.com

The Evolution of Pleasure Craft Communication

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THE EVOLUTION OF PLEASURE CRAFT COMMUNICATION

Next time you pick up a mobile phone to chat to another boat or log a trip report via the Coastguard APP, spare a thought for the boats of days gone by that had only one option (other than flags) for communications at sea. As a child I was fascinated by all these strange random words Zulu Mike Bravo Lima etc – my father being an ex-army comms man, morse was his thing. On holidays, myself and brothers were ‘made’ to listen to ships at sea and try to record the message, the winner i.e. most accurate, would win a chocolate.

WW follower Ken Ricketts is of an age that he has seen and experienced the evolution of New Zealand maritime radio communications and recently he wrote a comprehensive chronicle on the subject, which you will find below. It is worth a read to either educate or refresh yourself on the huge advances that have been made in the field. The story is peppered with a few tales directly relating some of our woody fleet (scroll over photos to ID the woodys) so hopefully that will keep those of you with a short attention span –  awake 🙂 Enjoy

Maritime radio-telephony in Auckland pleasure craft, had its first & humble beginnings in 1946, at which time, Ken’s father, Ralph Ricketts, entered the fray, with the second ever such installation, in Auckland, (the original first one was on the REHIA owned by Bill & Phyl Ryan at that time — who told RR about it) RR immediately bought, (as ultimately almost everyone did, once they knew about them ), an ex WW II war assets double side band, (DSB),  ZC1 MK II R.T., for  20 pounds, & fitted it to the Rickett’s launch – JULIANA, after which RR had a visit from a Govt radio inspector, who took diagrams of aerial format & layout, made various notes on his file of the installation, checked RR’s ability to use the set, made a test call himself, to “ZLD Auckland Radio,” sited  at Musik Point at that time, on the entrance to the Tamaki Estuary, & made sure RR had a “Restricted Radio Operators License,” which was required in those days, by all radiotelephone operators, on all pleasure craft, – now long since discontinued, & he allocated JULIANA the call sign of ZMYP.

REHIA 1948

JULIANA & AOMA c1953

Originally, there was only one call frequency, & that was 2012Kh, in 1946, used for all purposes, but not too long after that, 2012  was reallocated exclusively for harbour control use, to the Auckland Harbour Board, & pleasure boaties were allocated 2182, the international distress frequency for initial calling to government shore stations, & 2162 for ship to shore working, & 2456 & 2638 for ship to ship gossiping. 

The 2162 working frequency, was later changed to a duplex frequency, with 2162 for listening to ZLD, & them receiving on 2207. 

The frequency of 2045, was allocated around 1950, for use for transmission between privately owned shore stations & boats, such has Port Charles Radio, (the legendary Jim Smith owner/operator ), Gt. Barrier radio , Awaroa Radio etc. 

These shore stations were used extensively, for many years, from around 1950, by many commercial fishing boats, working throughout the Gulf, many of whom, reported in daily their positions, usually around 6 pm. There were also many pleasure craft which used the service, & RR was one of them. He joined the Port Charles association for most of his boating life with legendary Jim Smith the owner/operator. RR or Ken would call Jim every evening at around 6pm & report in our position at that time. 

You paid a small annual fee usually, to join their non profit associations, to cover their running costs & they kept records of your locations, times of calls, assisted in any way they could, with any problems you may have had, etc., & these associations usually operated, for several set times, of about 15 to 30 minutes, each day. Ken thinks some may still exist on the VHF channels, possibly there is one on Gt. Barrier Island.  

Auckland Coastguard was also allocated the frequency of 2128, (from recall), for ship to Coastguard use. 

By the early 1950s ZLD had introduced a radio telegram service to land based recipients who had a telephone number available, as the address & the telegrams would be sent by ZLD to any entity via that phone number ( & later delivered in hard copy via normal post to the address of the phone number), & if a reply was quested, or anticipated, they would telephone it through immediately, whilst the ship waited on standby, & ZLD would call back with the reply ASAP. 

The cost, was fairly expensive for the era, & on a cost per word basis & the costs were charged to the landline phone number. This service stayed in place as far as Ken knows right through in to the VHF era.

Land based parties, could also send radio telegrams to boaties, with the address, via the P & T telegram phone number, which must include the call sign & was as follows; (as a example) Mr. Smith Vessel ZMYP JULIANA C/- ZLD AUCKLAND RADIO. 

ZLD at the end of its 3 or 4 hourly daily weather forecasts & shipping information, would give a list of all telegraphic traffic held for all vessels including of course, & very importantly, their call signs, & most would listen to these broadcasts, as often as possible, & advise friends on other boats, if they were near at the time, that  ZLD had a message for them.

By about 1983 this communication with the outside world was taken a step further, &  ZLD introduced a VHF radio telephone service, which many mature old time boaties may recall, where a ship could call ZLD, on channels 22 & 23, in the  Auckland region, give them a landline number, which they would dial & then patch your call to ZLD through, to enable you to talk direct, to the subscriber, which whilst it was a good service, it had its shortcomings & limitations, shall we say, as any boatie who by chance or otherwise, dialled into ch. 22 or 23 on his boat, would inevitably be privy to what were sometimes surprising, & very private conversations, also necessarily, only one party at a time in the conversation could speak, & the other had to listen, & one had to say “over,” at the end of each segment of conversation, to enable the other party to know when to respond, 

Calls to boaties from landlines could also be booked with ZLD & ZLD would call them back, when they were able to make contact the vessel, the land based party wished to contact.

There was one other form of radio communication which evolved & inevitably found its way in to the boating world for a period in the 1970s/80s & that was  Citizen Band (CB) radio transmitting communication equipment, for short distance communication, unrestricted in it use, & it could be used by any person, at any place for any lawful purpose, but it was restricted, to a very low aerial output power in all sets, which could be bought & licensed extremely cheaply, much more so, than proper marine  purpose built equipment, & this medium became popular for a period, in the  1970/80s, with some  boaties, mostly in the smaller cheaper craft range, where cost was a really important issue for some, but whilst it was cheap, it had many shortcomings, including its very short transmission range, & as there was no structured organisation of any type, either private or govt., monitoring it, one simply in event of distress, had to rely on someone within the range for your set, hearing your call, & helping as best they could, one way or another. So whist it was so very limited in its rescue value, nevertheless it was better than having no communication at all, if in need of help. 

These sets had a good number of preset channels  & operated on the HF 26.500 Mh band in NZ., which was a different frequency range to many other countries, including Australia, which used 27.500Mh), & call signs were allocated to owners on a regional basis, depending on where you lived.

Ken installed one on his 40′ launch TIARRI, when launched in 1979, in order to have maximum possibility of assisting boats, in times of distress or breakdown. TIARRI’S main call sign was ZM3199, which, along with the radio, Ken took from his first boat, FLYING SCUD, which was issued to F.S. in December 1953, when she was built & launched by Roy Lidgard, just after the advent of the letter number era – only 1100 numbers in to the new system.  

TIARRI

FLYING SCUD 1975

There were the very odd exceptions, to the above early days policy, & call signs, mostly around the 1940s era, almost all of which, were for boats, where they were owned by the owners of private islands, in the Hauraki Gulf & Northland, & perhaps the Sounds, where they had a licensed, private, island based set, on their island, & a special boat call sign allocated to their boats, for keeping in touch with their home bases, usually where these boats were their sole means of access, to the outside world, & these sometimes, were of a number letter combination, with just one or two numbers usually, & had just one specific frequency, to operate with.  

All transmitting in DSB & SSB sets was technically very accurately totally controlled, often by a plug in type internal “Chrystal Control unit,” or similar, for each frequency,& fitted to all sets for all transmitting frequencies. 

There were later several lower end of the High Frequency, (HF) band, frequencies added in the 3, 4, & 6, Mh bands, mostly used by off shore boats, out at sea. 

This cumbersome, & red tape process, of registration, continued for a good number of years, right through the initial era of “ Double side Band “ transmission, & in to the upgrading of that era, to “single side band” (SSB) transmission, circa 1970s

After single side band transmissions became compulsory, around the 1970s this required the purchase of a new set, & the only double side band frequency which was still legally usable, was the international distress frequency of 2182 Kh,  & this could only be used for calls to govt shore stations (ZLD for Auck)  or ZLW for Wellington, as examples),  for emergencies only, & craft which did not wish to outlay for a new SSB set, or alternatively still keep a 2182 set after they bought a VHF set after they were introduced, could modify & keep their old set, & were then reallocated a compulsory special “ZMX” based call sign, starting at ZMX2001.

These days ZLD has left Musik Point, & the government’s ZLD & ZLW (& ZLB in the South Island,) which all later came under the umbrella of Telecom, being the replacement that took over from the old P & T., which in turn, has now become a totally new entity, as “Maritime Radio,” & under the umbrella through various subsidiaries, to “Maritime NZ.,” being another different Govt Dept, with the  transfer becoming effective from midnight, & starting on the 1st October 1993 & the operators of which, are now all based in the Old Radio NZ Avalon building, in Avalon, Lower Hutt, Wellington, with transmission facilities, in Wellington & Taupo, plus a network of repeaters, scattered around the country monitoring the whole country, which is now all controlled from this one location.

In the later 1970s early 80s Very High Frequency, (VHF) maritime radio was introduced, which gave many benefits, with all its ongoing ever increasing refinements, & installation of shore based repeaters, on high ground, throughout the country, which  has now ultimately totally replaced the old Medium Frequency DSB & SSB sets, with many advantages to all users, for all local NZ & inshore boating, along with the discontinuation of licensing of individual operators, & inspections by govt inspectors, of all boats so fitted, with RT equipment. 

Also, Radio Spectrum Management, the govt department which these days controls allocates & administers all radio & TV transmissions, call signs & frequencies, has vested in NZ Coastguard, the authority to issue calls signs on its behalf, of a mixed letter number type, such as, (possible examples only), ZMQ 2947, ZMW4526, ZMR 2937, & so on, as a result of the huge demand for these, these days, & the time consuming process it used to be, for R.S.M.

Originally in 1946, this was all under the umbrella of the Post & Telegraph Department to later become Telecom, & remained so for many years, until 1987, when it all started to change & we have ended up, for a good number of years now, with RSM, as the entity in control.

The pleasure craft call sign evolution, & changes to it, are as follows;

As above, all craft up until c1953, were all 4 letters alone.

As they were beginning to run out of call signs, around 1953, the Govt. wrote to all pleasure craft owners, requesting they approve the replacement of their existing all letter call signs with a letter number combination, starting originally, with the first reissued call sign of ZM2001. 

It is important to note that the Govt., could not insist on this by law, & only request it, & if the owners did not consent to the allocation of a new call sign, the original then remained with the boat, & there are a few of boats that still have their original all letter call signs even today. 

Neither Ken’s father nor the owner/builder of GAY DAWN, Bill Waters, who RR bought the boat off in 1956, surrendered their original all letter call signs, for their respective boats, —  (see image above of GAY DAWN taken c1965, showing clearly, a typical DSB aerial set up as used for many of the DSB, SSB, medium frequency sets of that era), —  RR sold JULIANA in 1956 with ZMYP, (which was somewhere along the way, later either abandoned, or replaced, with letter number combo call sign), & now, as referred to below, is reinstated to her for life. RR bought in 1956 & sold in 1970, GAY DAWN, with ZMIV in place, which however, also later along the way, was replaced by persons unknown, with a letter number combo, at least once, note: ZMIV has now been reallocated to the Rickett’s family and used on the vessel ROSEANNE, which is owned by Ken’s daughter.

GAY DAWN C.1965

Such was the ever increasing size of the “snowball,” of pleasure craft sets, that it was not all that long, before the original issue of the ZM2001 to ZM9999 were all allocated, & we then saw the issue of  ZMA2001 to ZMA9999, followed by the final issue to the SSB era, which was ZMY2001 to ZMY9999. 

It is important to note, that all call sign issues right from ZM 4 letter, ZM+, ZMA, ZMY, & ZMX, & all Coastguard issued call signs are approved & provide for use of all VHF sets.    

All letter only call signs, which are all just 4 letters alone, must still be issued by R.S.M. direct, & are mostly reserved for all Govt vessels,(eg., all the Police DEODAR launches were & still are, all allocated ZMIH, during their term of service to the Police), also some very large off shore fishing vessels, & some NZ based pleasure boats, that cruise off shore, or are capable of cruising offshore have these call signs allocated as well. 

Other pleasure craft, that have some classic, historical, or other special significance, are also issued these, at the discretion of RSM.    

Ken has enjoyed a close & good relationship with RSM, for many years, & there are some interesting background stories relating to the issue of some of these special allocations of all letter call signs, which Ken has been associated with, & some of these are as follows. There are a tiny number of pleasure craft that were built prior to about 1953, where the owners did not approve replacing their original call sign, which the dept. would have requested, but could not insist upon in c1953. 

Two examples of this are as follows; 

One with its original 1946 issued call sign is RAKANOA, which still has her original call sign ZMTF as issued when new, & the other, is Owen Foster’s WAIRANGI, also with her original call sign of ZMTM.

RAKANOA c1948

WAIRANGI 2020

A fairly recent approval exception, is the issue of ZMPY, to Peter Loughlin’s Colin Wild built LADY MARGARET, which was first issued to her, in 1941, by the Navy, & is recorded as such on her British Ship registration, (see below), & as a classic craft, with this history of her call sign, Ken assisted Peter, to secure this for her for life, when he bought her.

LADY MARGARET

LADY MARGARET Registration certificate P1 (TOP) jpg

Likewise Francis Uren’s “W1”, was issued with ZMWI in 2014, which is another detective story. W1 was originally brought to NZ by the Royal New Zealand Air force in 1941, as their extremely fast, & prize patrol craft, & given in the circumstances, the logical Air force number of “W1”, which has now been reinstated to her, as her name, by present owner Francis, after a long period of being known as CARROMA.  

W1 c.1942

As she is now W1 again, Ken approached RSM, gave them her history, & they in turn, approached their counterparts in the military, to see if they could uncover her original WWII call sign, but unfortunately all those records have been lost, so as an alternative, RSM offered Francis the call sign ZMWI. – They could not offer ZMW1 as international radio spectrum law, prohibits that type of call sign, worldwide, so she now has ZMWI for life, free of charge.  

W1 2014 - 1

El Capitan is another interesting story, as she now has ZMEC. It goes like this; She was built c1961, by a farmer, in a shed on his farm, to a Chris Craft design, in Ohakea, & he carted her around on a big trailer, & used her at Taupo, & the Sounds, until 1976,  after which time, she sat in a shed on his farm, never to move again, until bought by Tony Mitchell, of Lake Rotoiti, off his estate, post 2000. When Tony bought her, she had a Coden 2+ Mh multi channel, medium frequency, marine RT,  which would have been fitted almost certainly, when she was new, which has now been replaced with a VHF, but for which, there had never been a marine call sign issued, as the original owner, was also a radio ham, with a “ZL#### ham radio licence & call sign, which automatically allowed him to use this call sign for his boat. Ken provided on Tony’s behalf, all relevant info to RSM, & requested, & they approved, ZMEC (El Capitan), which she also has for life.

EL CAPITAN 2012

Ralph Rickett’s JULIANA, now renamed MARJORIE ROSA, now also of Lake Rotoiti, has been reallocated for her life, her original call sign ZMYP, as issued to RR in 1946. Ken told RSM of her history, as the second ever pleasure craft in Auck., to have marine RT, in 1946, & they have approved the reissue to her of her original ZMYP, to Fraser Wilson, her present owner, for her life. 

Marjorie Rosa : Juliana 2019

Marjorie Rosa : Juliana 2018

Story told by Ken Ricketts, edited by Alan H.

Parua Bay Woodys

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Waipeke

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Aveline

PARUA BAY WOODYS

Alistair McRae snapped the above woodys in mid May 2020 in Parua Bay, Whangarei.
The first photo is of Waipeke, once owned by Barbara and David Cooke. 30’ in length, built in 1963. Unsure of the builder.
The 2nd & 3rd are of the 23’, 1932, Ralph Shephard built launch – Mandalay. After a long period on the Clevedon River, Parua Bay is now her home.
The last photo is Aveline, the Roy Parris built launch. A new arrival in the Bay, owned by friends of Alistair’s.
Tomorrow on Woodys we have a great rescue story – a woody recovering from a near death experience 😉

Tall Ships Regatta – Bay of Islands 2013/14

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Ranui

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Undine

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Colonist

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TALL SHIPS REGATTA – Bay of Islands 2013/14

 
Today’s photos come to us from professional photographer Dean Wright’s sailing archives and show a selection of woodys partaking in the annual BOI event.
Nice to see Ranui with all the washing on the line 🙂 , these days she tends to motor sail around the Hauraki Gulf.
 
There are not a lot of yachts these days that look even better out of the water – one such beauty is hauled out at Pier 21 in Auckland at the moment – Waitangi , designed and built in 1894 by Robert Logan Snr. Like most of these old girls, a killer for marina fees i.e. 36’ waterline but 58’ on deck – with a 74’ sailing carrying length. Photos below ex Larry Paul
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Royal Falcon Restoration – Update June 2020

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Royal Falcon Restoration Update June 2020

I had a reason to be pointing the car towards what used to be called ‘Nappy Valley’ (Pakuranga) so decided to call into the Panmure River boat shed where Steve & Colette Pople are having the 38’, 1934 Cox & Filmer built bridge-decker – Royal Falcon restored, ‘having’ isn’t the best word because both are actively involved in the project.
As you will see in the above photo gallery, the team are working at an impressive pace. The Commer TS3 engine is back in and looking very shinny. Very impressed to see the team re-purposing as much timber as possible – we like that 🙂
While there I dropped off an age appropriate search light that I had promised Steve, it didn’t suit Raindance so – ‘spread the love’. Thank you Jason Prew who gifted it to me originally 🙂
You can read / view Royal Falocn’s past at the link below + earlier project photos
Below is a video walk by/thru that I did. Have to say it is so cool to see a real, working, waterfront boat shed. Anyone remember something called ‘Heritage Landing’ aka the Vos Shed………….

Alpheus – A Peek Down Below + Lady Ava In Trouble

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ALPHEUS – A Peek Down Below

Alpehus has previously made a brief WW apperance and today we get to have a peek down below. The 42’ carvel kauri planked Alpheus was built in 1962 and launched in 1963, thought to be a McGeady design, built by Ben Hipkins.
Power is via a 120hp Ford diesel that gets her along at 8>9 knots.
From the photos (thanks Ian McDonald for the tme heads up) she is very well fitted out, a little ‘dark’ for my taste but who am I to comment 🙂
LADY AVA
I have been advised by Cameron Pollard that Lady Ava has had a wee opps.  A fine ship in her day, good enough to have caught the eye of Harold Kidd. Lady Ava, built in 1931 by Ernie Lane (Picton) was once named Miss Ava has popped up on WW b4, links below. + recent photos below.
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2006 – Mahurangi – Jason Prew

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Auckland Harbour – John Wright

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John Wright

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2015 – Panmure River – Jason Prew

Update – photos below taken by John Bullivant in Feb 2019 of LA on the Tamaki River.

Isa Lei – What Is Happening

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ISA LEI – WHAT IS HAPPENING?
 
Isa Lei first popped up on WW back in July 2013, link below. Since then she has ghosted for view, so today is shout out for an update on her status.
We know the she was built by Lidgard Bros. and launched in 1939. When launched she was named Taiparu. Lots more details in the 2013 link.
Recently the top photo of Isa Lei surfaced on Lew Redwoods fb – in the photo she is seen hauled out in a paddock near Coromandel (photo ex Ann Hood)
Nathan Herbert supplied the 2nd photo, taken in the 1960’s from the family launch – Pacific. She certainly was easier on the eye before the block of flats was added 😉
In the montage of images below again ex Ann Hood we see various the various ’stages’ of the evolution of Isa Lei.
Bit down today – I was booked to be climbing on a big bird to Sydney for their Wooden Boat Festival this weekend – thanks CV-19 😦
 
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 Input from Glenn Martin – I drive past every few months hoping Lotto comes so she can be rescued…..
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Something For Stick & Rag Boys
The ‘Buchanan Collection’ at the Auckland Council Library is an amazing collection of approx. 750 black & white yachting photos – see pages 1>4 – I’m not sure if its new or old but the photos have just started popping up all over the web. 
Link below

Apache + Superb WoodenBoat Video

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APACHE
 
I was sent the above photos of the launch Apache by Bryce Strong. Apache has made numerous cameo appearances on WW but very little is known about her other than – being built in Te Papapa in 1939.
Bryce found the photos yesterday while sorting old photos, as you do when locked down. Bryce commented that the colour photo shows Apache with the dodger on and a steering wheel in the cockpit. The b/w photo shows her without the dodger, probably early in her life. 
We believe that Apache these days resides in Thames – any woody able to expand on what we know about Apache?
 
WOODENBOAT MAGAZINE VIDEO SERIES
 
Below is a very cool video where Matt Murphy the editor of WoodenBoat magazine has a conversation with Evelyn Ansel, Matt’s words :-). I won’t spoil the story but Evelyn is wooden boating blue blood, with both her father and late grandfather being at the forefront of the wooden boat movement in the USA. I first discovered Evelyn when she fronted a fb video on a project herself and a small team were working, the digitization of the Haffenreffer- Herreshoff collection at the MIT Museum of Cambridge, MA in 2016. Evelyn is currently on the curatorial team at the Herreshoff Marine Museum of Bristol, RI.
Make a cup of tea / coffee, then sit back and enjoy this insightful and entertaining video. It was recorded yesterday so is very current. Now I know its not being PC but I have to say that Evelyn is rather cute 🙂

Woodys On Tour – Halls Boat Yard, New York

Woodys On Tour – Halls Boat Yard, New York

A few years ago, woodys Jim and Karin Lott were ‘parked up’ with the masts on deck in their kauri ketch – Victoria, on the Hudson River. More specifically in the middle of New York State in a city called Albany. The Lott’s waited there for three weeks for the Erie Canal to open. Jim commented that Albany definitely does not feature on anyone’s ‘place to go’ list. They were not alone as Wellington old salt Richard Watt and his wife Enid anchored alongside them in their launch (photo below of both boats), as well as dozens of other impatient US and Canadian sailors.

To while away the time they hired a car and headed to Lake George to look at woodies at Halls Boatyard, one of the many inland homes of wooden boats in New York. Jim commented  that floating boat garages are common in North America and they spent several hours admiring a sea of varnished ash, cedar, spruce and mahogany. There was a slipway and boatyard all under cover inside the shed complex. The yard specialises in rebuilding and restoring classic motor-launches but a few yachts were getting the same TLC.

After the long wait, the canal stayed closed so they had to forgo the Great Lakes and continued up the Hudson. Eventually they locked into Lake Champlain and down the Richelieu River to the St Lawrence near Montreal in Canada.

01 Kiwis up the creek

Ngahere L34

Ngahere 5022

Ngahere 4021

Ngahere 2019

NGAHERE
 
The mullet boat Ngahere was built in 1938 by the Graham Bros. of Otahuhu. Baden Pascoe believes that she may possibly been named Zamira (L 34) when built or renamed. She was owned by Billy Matthews for many years. Baden’s father, Howard, bought her in a rundown state in the 1980’s and replaced several ribs and had her in very tidy condition. Her mast was cut down to its original length and Frank Warnock supplied new sails. Howard sailed her to Auckland for several Lipton Cups and AAR events.
Baden commented that Howard loved racing centre board boats and while Ngahere was never a champion boat, under Howard’s command she performed well at all of these events.
 
In the top photo we see – Howard Pascoe, Baden Pascoe, Owen Bray, Keven Pascoe, Puka (Les) Pascoe.
 
Any of the rag and stick woodys able to tell us more about Ngahere?
Update 1 ex Simon Smith – photo below of Ngahere (today 19-04-2020) at The Slipway, Milford.
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Update 2 – Photos below sent in by Jason Prew (The Slipway) and owner, Chris Harris
Update 3 – Harold Kidd Input – NGAHERE was built by J Graham at Otahuhu for his son Scott Graham in late 1939 as ZAMIRA the Russian for “peace”. Because of the war, she didn’t do much racing. Her first race appears to have been at the Tamaki Yacht Club on 13th December 1940 followed by the Lipton Cup representing the Otahuhu Sailing Club on 25th January 1941 (3rd) then the Anniversary Regatta when she was on scratch. It looks like Billy Matthews changed her name to NGAHERE around 1945.
21-04-2020 Input es Janet Watkins –With the 100th race for the Lipton Cup coming up I have been compiling a dossier on all the L Class and every Lipton Cup Race sailed over the century from old Club records, newspaper reports, magazines and sailors but there are still gaps.
Of Zamira / Ngahere I have this information. Zamira was built by Graham Bros Otahuhu and launched in 1938. She raced for the Lipton Cup in 1941-fin 3rd and in Jan 1946. Her name was changed in late 1946 to Ngahere and she raced as Ngahere for the Lipton Cup in Dec 1946, ’53,’54,’58,’61,’62,’63. (There were 2 Lipton Cup races in 1946 being of 2 seasons but none in 1947) She was still reg. with PCC 1966 & ’72. In the 1970’s she was reported to be at Coromandel. From WW I now know she was bought by Howard Pascoe in rundown state 1980’s, new ribs and rig fitted. Howard sailed her to AK for Lipton Cup race/s. I have yet to locate all the entry and race details for the 1970’s & 80’s – can anyone help?Now looking spruce in Milford Marina and owned by Chris Harris. (Thank you WW) Will she be joining us for the big Lipton Cup Centennial, hopefully, in March 2021? Unfortunately, the Lockdown stopped the sailing of the 99th Lipton Cup which the Ponsonby Cruising Club is waiting to reschedule!!Who was the original owner? When did Billy Matthews own her? Who were the owners and skippers during the Lipton Cup races?

21-04-2020 Harold Kidd Update – The 1938 date is a canard gleaned from “Mullet Boats ‘n Quotes” at page 46. Newspaper reports of the time say she was under construction by J. Graham of Otahuhu for his son Scott Graham in September 1939. Scott Graham was her original owner and raced her until the 1941 Lipton Cup when she was described as “new” and then in the Anniversary Regatta a week or so later.
Billy Matthews was shown as owner in the APYMBA records for 1946.
Graham Cole of Karaka Bay and L Good owned her in 1946. They sold to Ross Weaver of Whangarei c1948.S Hammond of Regina St Grey Lynn owned her in 1952. S Daniels of Webber St Grey Lynn in 1953. M Aitken of Mt Roskill in 1973. Ray Esdale Northcote c1980 followed by Howard Pascoe of course.

22-04-2020 – Robin Elliott Input – Ah … Mullet Boats N Quotes. Duck soup.

I don’t think she actually went into the water until some time in 1940, hence the ‘new’ tag in the 1941 Lipton Cup Report. I have an unconfirmed note that J. Graham and S. Graham were respectively the father and brother of Mark Graham the Kiwi rugby League Player – but he was not born until 1955, so I am not sure.

Regatta Programmes:
Billy Matthews entered her as Zamira in the 1946 Anniversary regatta, she came 6th across the line from 12 starters. He entered her as Ngahere in the 1947 Regatta so the name change was ‘possibly’ from the start of the 1946/47 season although he could have changed the name the day before the placed his regatta entry in January 1947. 🙂
Messrs Cole & Good enter her in the 1948 and 1949 Regattas, R. Weaver in the 1950 Regatta.

No regatta mentions until S. Hammond enters her in the 1953 and 1954 AAR
Nothing until 1961 AAR when entered by ‘Naylor, and then 1962, 1963 by N.E. ‘Taylor’

Other Registered owners were : K.W. Skinner, Wharf Rd, Herne Bay 1955+?; R.E.(N.E.?) Naylor, Hauraki St, Birkenhead 1960?/63+?; Munro 1966+?; M. O’Brien, Cameron St Ponsonby 1966+?; M.C. Chitty, East Coast Rd Browns Bay. 1968+?; H.L. Whitcombe, Onewa Rd Northcote 1970+?; M. Aitken, Tory St, Mt Roskill 1973+?

After that, darkness descends as the Auckland Yachting Assn stopped publishing their year books (or rather no one has given me anything after 1973.)

Woody Photo Gallery

Duke of Marlborough

Antares 3

Arima

Moana

Shalom

Woody Photo Gallery
The selection of woody photos above was sent in by Bryce Strong, details and links to previous WW stories below. I hate Digital dates on photos but it is a very simple way to record when the photo was taken – two are dated 2013, interesting to see how the vessels have faired in the last 13 years.
The top photo of the steamboat – Duke of Marlborough, is a newbie to me. I’m looking forward to Russell Ward chipping in with her history 😉
Antares – built in the 1950’s by Supreme Craft. At the time the above photo was taken she was owned by Bryce’s brother-in-law, Ron Phillips
Arima – built in1953 by Colin Wild

https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/12/08/arima/

Moana – built in c.1939 by Sam Ford
Shalom – built in 1973 by TK Atkinson
Anyone Recall Sutton MalcolSham & Co
I have been contacted by Richard Winthrop looking for information on a boat builder named Sutton Malcolm & Co. Ltd of Mt Roskill, Auckland. Many years ago Richard had a Mason Clipper that had the sticker below on it.
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Hukarere – P Vos

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Hukarere 2010

HUKARERE – P VOS
The above photo of the 1936 Percy Vos built 40’ launch – Hukarere was sent to me by Baden Pascoe. Baden recently uncovered a letter he received back in December 2018 from a Mrs McCormack, the daughter of Stephen Menzies, the original owner of Hukarere. Mrs McCormack wrote the letter following reading Baden’s book ‘Launching Dreams – Percy Vos – The Boats & His Boys’ . The letter provides a time line of what happened to the boat during and after her fathers ownership.
 
Sadly she mentions in the letter that all her notes and photos of Hukarere where given to the Auckland Maritime Museum – the biggest black hole in the land. It would be safe to assume they will never see that light of day again – most likely in a land fill somewhere……….. 😦
 
Interested to her from anyone that can confirm, and contribute more to the story – in particular photos.
Input from Dave Stanaway -photo below of Hukarere when involved in the Auckland harbour bridge construction
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The Restoration Of Melodeon

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The Restoration Of Melodeon

Now woodys if you know Dick Fisher you  will know that Dick likes BIG things – big classic boats, big projects, big (zoom zoom) cars. Chatting with Dick recently he informed me he had a project on the go, his words “something to keep me out of trouble” so of course I said ’send me some details – givens Dicks other two boats – Akarana, the 60’ 1960 AJ Collings designed and built by WG Lowe, ex Auckland Harbour Board pilot boat and Hamal, the 1975 purpose built exploration ship – I suspected the project would be a doozy. Photos of Akarana & Hamal below.
Dick and Colleen have a stunning track record of converting ex work boats into the most amazing classic cruisers so WW looks forward to following this project, we will be giving Dick a friendly nudge for updates.
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I’ll let Dick tell us what he is up to, remember click in photos to enlarge 😉

 
“The story so far goes a bit like this……
We purchased Melodeon from Greg Hayes in April 2018. Greg had owned & fished with her for the past 25 years. 
One of the photos above shows her at her semi-permanent berth at the Whangarei Town Basin prior to our buying her.
After the successful negotiation of price with Greg, who had expressed the wish for Melodeon to only be purchased by someone prepared to restore her.
We lifted her out at Dockland 5 in Whangarei, her estimated weight at this point was in excess of 50 ton. We removed as much equipment as were able which included 9 ton of lead balast. This would explain why when blasting the paint from the hull we uncovered seven (7) waterlines this made her draft aft at 7 ft. 
 
With the assistance of Boat Haulage Ltd we moved her to our workshop at Kamo & then commenced dismantling decks, bulwarks, wheelhouse & removed the engine & fuel tanks etc. She was then high pressure water blasted & garnet blasted all of the paint off inside & out.  She was then moved inside the same shed where Akarana had been for 5 years during her restoration.
 
The hull was copper fastened of 3 skin construction.. unfortunately the 2 inch Kauri decks were iron fastened & unable to be saved.
 
To date we have treated with preservatives the inside of the hull & currently has a holding undercoat.
 
The last few month I have been focused  on restoring the T8 Kelvin engine which was in reasonable condition. Main items needing replacing were a set of 8 exhaust valves , a complete gasket set plus other small items. I was able to purchase these from  Kelvin Diesels in Glasgow, a subsidiary of British Polar Engines. We have found this company & their staff most helpful in procuring parts. The engine is now complete & running very nicely. 
 
Up to date the work has been carried out mostly by myself & my son Richard when he had time. The engineering side of the restoration we can manage ourselves.  We now realise we need a skilled boat builder to assist us with the woodworking aspect.
It is our intention not to alter the overall design, with the exception being the wheelhouse which needs to be a little bigger.  
 
We are fortunate in that Greg Hayes has passed on to me the Marine Dept files dating back to October 1934.
Some salient points for you:
Plans, specs & building was carried out for Melodeon by Chas Bailey & Son in Auckland.
Original engine was a German Deutz/110BHP / 2 cycle diesel/ @ 450RPM this was replaced by the current T8 Kelvin.
Propeller:  4 blades /59 inch dia x 48 inch pitch – 3.3 to 1 reduction
Dimensions: Overall 57ft Beam 15ft6in draft 7ft
The existing T8 Kelvin was installed new in 1960 & the estimate from info we have, is that she has run well in excess of 100,000 hours.
Melodeon fished using different methods all around NZ, during the 1939/45 war the US Navy commandeered her for service in the Pacific.
  
This is an ongoing project for me in my dotage & its keeping me out of trouble.. in fact it’s a pretty big job….as the TV Ad goes…”
 
A Heads Up
Two cool things you may have overlooked in the last week
1. Do check out the link that Hylton Edmonds posted in the WW comments section. Its to a National Film Unit movie that features the then police launch Lady Shirley going about its duties on the Waitemata Harbour – fast forward to the 5:10 mark to catch the start, its a great watch and lots of our woodys make appearances – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mlqfwtybXE
2. Put your hand in your pocket and spend NZ$5 to subscribe for two months to the very informative and entertaining Vblog – OFF CENTER HARBOR. The guys at OCH have offered up this deal to WW readers so you can get your classic boating fix during the lockdown – details here  OCH $5 Deal
Akarana (L) – Hamal (R)

MV Friendship + The Solution To Boating Withdrawal

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MV Friendship

 
Friendship was built on 1936 by Ernie Lane in Picton, South Island, for Tracy Gough, founder of Gough Gough and Hamer.
She is 50’ in length from kauri. Has been re-powered with a 471 Detroit. As built had an unknown 40 hp engine. 
We are told that once she had masts and sails and plainly, obviously before all the ‘fruit’ was added on the top of the wheel house.
Current home port is Napier. Thanks to woody Andrew Christie for the heads up and researching the item and photos.
 
AMAZING OFFER TO HELP KEEP YOU SANE 
 
I have purposely have given the CV-19 situation a wide berth on WW, every news channel is saturated with it and I figured you needed somewhere to get a break from the doom and gloom each day.
But as we head into week 2 of a minimum of 4 weeks isolation I have something that will help you thru these boat-less days. 
Every time I’m asked a question that starts with “How do I……..” Or “Who should I talk to about…..” I point them in the direction of the world’s premier classic boat video website. It’s called ‘Off Center Harbor’ and is the coolest source of intel on how to build, paint, or restore a boat, they also take you aboard some of the best boats in the world (including in NZ) and hang out with the owners. There are over 1,000 videos and articles full of inspiration and know-how.
 
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Chatting with the guys at OCH Off Center Harbor they have come up with a special deal for Waitemata Woodys readers during this period of isolation and uncertainty.

They’ve created an 8-WEEK MEMBERSHIP with full access to the entire website at Off Center Harbor for just NZD$5.

So woodys if you haven’t already joined now’s definitely the time to jump aboard. You can CLICK HERE to get this membership now and enjoy full membership privileges for 8 weeks.

If you don’t enjoy it, you’re not serious about classic wooden boats, some videos I have watched 20+ times 🙂
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Lady Shirley

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LADY SHIRLEY (Catherine S)

The above b/w photos show the then police launch Lady Shirley, the ’ship’ in the background is the Rangitata. The photo is dated 1940-49 and most likely taken by D. Marsh. The 36’ bridge-decker, Lady Shirley was built by C. Bailey & Son in 1938.
The first photo below I took at the 2020 CYA Classic Yacht Regatta. In the second photo she is her moored  in Opito Bay, BOI – summer 2019/20.
You can read / view more at the WW links below
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Lady Shirley BOI Jan2019
02-04-2020 Update ex Greg Lees – Greg recently acquired this very cool ‘ship-in-a-bottle’ model of Rangitira
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Nigel Drake sent me the funny below – pretty well sums things up in our house.
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ISOLATION – Such stunning weather and no boating 😦
For a long time I have been ‘collecting’ old boat hooks, you can pick one up for $20>30. Normally the hook end is bronze and in good condition, a good polish and they look like new – to buy the head at Fosters would cost around $150. So today I started to give a few a make-cover. I have to say, what ever the old boys used to ‘varnish’ them with, is bloody hard to get off, lots of 80 grit did the trick.
I suspect this will be the last project before I get transferred to domestic duties e.g. working on the house 🙂

Moata

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MOATA
The above photo of Moata crossing the Grey River bar on Sunday (28-03-2020) was sent in by Dave Stanaways, Dave commented that they were luckily that both Grey and Westport are a lot shorter crossings than the likes of the Manukau or Kaipara bars.
The photo below ex Lew Redwoods fb is dated c.1940-1959 and shows Moata alongside the wharf in Auckland – Moata was built in 1937 by WG Lowe.
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For a work boat she has stunning lines 😉
See / read more on Moata at the WW links below
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Classico – Launch Day

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CLASSICO

A few weeks ago I was tipped off by Adrian Pawson that one of his buddies – James Ledingham, had ‘acquired’ a very special Frostbite named Classico, one of things that makes her special is that she was built but never launched, so effectively is a new boat. Adrian is the owner of – Kiteroa, the ex Brooke family boat, which Adrian has restored and ’tweaked’ a little, thats her in the photos with the orange hull.

I was onto James quick smart to get more details. But before that I have to say how cool it is to see these ‘young’ sailors getting into the classic wooden dinghy sailing scene. The guys sail out of Taikata Sailing Club in West Auckland (Te Atatu), on a good Sunday there are upwards of 15 Frostbites racing. Both Adrian and James would be too modest to say this – but both work at the very pointy (high tech) end of world sailing, which makes their passion for these woodys even more special 🙂

Adrian also supplied for our review (see below) a copy of Doug Sharp’s secret copy of the ‘Frostbite Go Fast Tips’ by Kevin Lidgard.

I’ll let James tell the story –

“Recently I was fortunate enough to purchase ‘Classico’ a wooden frostbite dinghy.

What made this boat unique, aside from her immaculate timber detailing, was that she was brand new and had never been sailed. Something of a rarity in the frostbite class these days.

‘Classico’ is the result of a labour of love by her builder and previous owner David Strickett (Brother in law of Rex Maddren – a well-known Frostbite sailor and champion in his day). Looking for a wooden boat project and with a love of the clinker style, the Frostbite dinghy was a natural choice for David to get stuck into. Having picked up his wooden boat building skills at Carrington Tech under the guidance of Robert Brooke (son of Jack Brooke, who designed the original frostbite back in 1937) he was certainly well equipped to tackle such a build. Robert helped him source some temporary frames from Wakatere Boating Club and he got stuck in.

The boat is built in kauri, the majority of which was sourced from a farmer in Mangamuka, just south of Kaitia. The exception was the single piece transom, which came from a kauri slab that David already had in his garage.

Many hands make light work and during the build David sought help with the planking and ribbing from Robin Dew, who had built several wooden Frostbites himself. Whangarei boat builder Nick Rodokal also lent a hand in constructing the gunwhale, having previously built David a Lotus 9.2 (Pursuit).

David kitted the boat out with modern aluminum spars, a Quantum Mylar sail, and the latest Harken deck gear. Adding a touch of performance to the classic kauri hull.   

It was a bittersweet moment to launch ‘Classico’ down at Taikata Sailing Club on the first Sunday of March 2020, ahead of the regular afternoon sailing. She would have been equally at home in a museum (or the lounge!) and once wet and raced, unlikely to ever be quite be as immaculate again. However, they are such great boats to sail I was looking forward to getting out and seeing what she could do. She was appropriately blessed by another frostbite legend, Doug Sharp, and champagne was poured. A successful first sail ensued with minimal leaking.

While the quality of the boat couldn’t be faulted her performance was an unknown. However, she certainly seems to be fast (when the skipper sends her in the right direction) so far grabbing a 2nd in the first race of the Taikata Sailing Club winter series held earlier in March.

I plan to race her regularly down at Taikata Sailing Club, where the Frostbite fleet is thriving – with 12+ boats on the start line every fortnight. Wooden boat enthusiasts are welcome to come down to the club and have a yarn. There are a good number of well-kept and restored timber Frostbites amongst the fleet, and no shortage of stories! 

The name ‘Classico’ stems from a holiday dinner in Tuscany where David and his wife were enjoying a bottle of traditional Chanti wine – Chianti ‘Classico’.”

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Choptank

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CHOPTANK

Todays WW story falls into the eye candy category and will spin the wheels of the workboat group.
The 62’ Choptank was brought to my attention by Australian woody – Andrew Christie, who spotted her on the WoodenBoat Forum.
Built in 1938 in Virginia, USA by O.W. Payne Palmer and named – Julian.
Later name changes were – Callis Brothers, then – Callis Brothers II.
She has just had a complete rebuild at the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where her name was changed to – Choptank.
Choptank is what they call a ‘Chesapeake Bay Buy-Boat’.
Make sure you check in tomorrow (Sunday) – great story coming u 😉
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2020 New Zealand Classic Yacht Regatta Photo Gallery – 100+ photos and videos

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2020 New Zealand Classic Yacht Regatta Photo Gallery – 100+ photos and videos

As I have mentioned in the last two WW stories, the Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand have over the last 3 days been running its annual classic yachting event on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.
The near perfect conditions on all three days made for happy skippers and a relieved race organisers. I was on the water for two of the three days and had a blast. The gallery above is a mix of Races 1/2/3. If your boat doesn’t make an appearance, I apologize, I was only a passenger, so captured those that were within range.
On the second day, James Dreyer and myself hosted the world acclaimed marine photographer Benjamin Mendlowitz onboard Jame’s motorboat – Laughing Lady, the perfect platform for recording the on the water activities.
For me it was a master class in boat positioning and photography angles, I tried to keep out of Ben’s way and took the above photos / videos when I could without being in Ben’s line of sight.
These days the CYA run the regatta using the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron as Race HQ and entertainment hub, it is the perfect venue and as always the service and staff were 10/10.
 Scroll down for the official regatta results below
As always – click on photos to enlarge.
Race Course Videos Below (Races 2/3)
RANGER

PRIZE

A DIVISION

ARIKI

RAWHITI

CORONA

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 Classic Wooden Launches + Classic Sailing Regatta Photos

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Help Needed Identifying Classic Wooden Launches

The above photo shows three launches (+ a peek on a 4th on the far left) moored in Hobson Bay, Auckland. The photo is from the Edward Double Collection (1930-1940), and comes to us via Maurice Sharp’s fb.
Can we ID the boats?
2020 CYA Classic Yacht Regatta
The annual 3 day sailing regatta is in progress and yesterday I crewed on Jason Prew’s 1904, Logan built gaffer – Wairiki in Race 1.
Now I have always heard dock chat that Wairiki was a wet boat, well folks I can confirm thats an understatement,
I think you would be dryer on a sail board 🙂 Water aside (it was warm) it was a great afternoon with nice people – Jason Prew, Steve Horsley, Micheal O’Dwyer and Joyce Talbot.
In-between waves and spray I managed to snap a few photos – a taste below – more tomorrow. Enjoy.
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Ariki – 1904 Logan

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Windhaven II – Colin Wild

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Wairiki – Onboard foot spa

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Jason Prew & Steve Horsley (L>R)

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Race HQ @ RNZYS

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Mike O’Dywer, Steve Horsley, Alan Houghton

Mystery Launch At Waiheke Island

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Mystery Launch At Waiheke Island

Mooching around Sandy Bay I spotted the above woody – it looks familiar. Not anchored, on a mooring so maybe she is an Island boat.
I’m sure someone smarter than me can ID her.
Woodys Classics Waiheke BBQ & Pizza Lunch – Trip Report
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Another great turn out for Saturdays gathering at Little Oneroa – I counted 16 woodys in the bay, rowing past a couple I may have detected a whiff of PVC but they were lookers and all had a healthy mix of timber and bronze. Attending boats tagged in the story.
Most people decided to order lunch from the wood-fired pizza caravan and were not disappointed – very yum.
The timing seemed to work for everyone – several boat travelled long distances to participate and 1/2 the fleet were just there for the day. Also dog friendly venues are appreciated – again 1/2 the boats had pooches aboard. Perfect weather and very low numbers of what the islanders call ‘day trippers’.
As proof that all you need to be welcomed at a Woody Classics event, is a passion for wooden boats – my boat of the day was Allan and Pam Hooper’s – Katherine. Her dinghy (built by Allan) gets her a 10/10 tick in my book.   You can read more about Katherine here https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/02/03/katherine/
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Katherine

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Little Oneroa – Waiheke Island

I spotted Allan’s dinghy ashore on Sunday morning  at Oneroa – now Allan is a perfectionist, so his score drops to 9.9/10 – he left the stickers on the oars 🙂
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Lady Karita – Restoration Update

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LADY KARITA – Restoration – A Very Late Update
Sometimes I’m bad ……. Looking for a photo in my rather large photo library last week, I stumbled across a group of photos I tool of Lady Karita almost a year ago while in Nelson. A quick check in the WW search box revealed that I had overlooked the photos, so apologies to owner Murray Shaw.
Hopefully today’s story will prompt Murray to send in an update, as I’m sure the restoration will have moved along considerably since early March 2019 🙂
The 43’ Lady Karita was built in1938 by Sam Ford and has made numerous appearances on WW, links below.
The photo below is an oldie but shows off the lady very well.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/06/18/lady-karita/

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Sally

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SALLY

Sally has just popped up on tme (thanks Ian McDonald) her listing is a tab light on details. We know that she is 26’ in length, has a 8′ beam and draws 3’6”. Power comes via Ford Dexter 36hp diesel engine. Built from single skin kauri.

Her owner believes that she was built c.1930’s in Wellington for the Harbour Company (Board?), probably as a work boat. Currently based in Picton.
Can anyone tell us anymore about Sally?
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