Castaway was built in 1947 by boatbuilder Dick Lang as his own boat. A bridge decker she is 33’ in length, has a 10’ beam and draws 3’.
Over the years there have been several engines (Chrysler Crown > Fordson 6cyl,100hp), these days her power is via a 1984 65hp Mitsubishi diesel (marinised by Chris Moon) that sees her comfortably cruising at 7 knots with a top speed of 8.5.
As launched Castaway was named ‘Islander’ but this was changed c1973 to Castaway. I recall there was an interesting tale around this, along the lines of the word Islander not being very PC 🙂
In the period 1985>1989 she underwent an extensive re-fit that included the hull being re-fastened and a new oak timber interior.
Castaway has been owned for the last 20 years by well known woody – Chris Leech, and cruised extensively from the Bay of Islands to Coromandel and Great Barrier Island. Castaway is now on the market following a ‘consolidation’ of the Leech families fleet. She is a very well equiped classic woody and with her 10’ beam very liveable.
Can any one tell us about Istalena and what became of her?
Ken Rickett’s believes she may have been around 30’ in length and possibly a Carl Augustin design, possibly built in the late 1940’s > early 1950’s. And he recalls when he knew the boat it was powered by a Perkins Diesel. I know thats a lot of possibles & maybes – but thats how Ken rolls.
Below are Ken’s memories of Istalena from the 1950’s > !970’s (edited a lot by AH)
During this period, Istalena was owned by Gloria and Gordon Spencer, who lived aboard her much of the time in this period at Gt., Barrier Island.
They were very dedicated game fishing people and caught many game fish. Gloria had some record catches through the years.
Sadly Gordon passed away but she remained living on the boat. During this period she met Johnny Wray, who was living on his boat the Waihape and they used to cruise in company in their respective boats.
The Spencer’s owned a Burmese cat that lived aboard and loved swimming and would jump into the water to try and catch sprats when a light was put over the side in the evening. They had a sugar sack hanging permanently over the stern of the boat, touching the water and the cat would simply jump in climb and out on the sack as it saw fit, and if they dared to go visiting on another boat without the cat, it would simply swim over. NOTE FOR RICK McCAY – you need this 😉
Apologises for the crappy photo – I suspect its a transfer from old movie footage.
Rangi11 sailing past the oil rigg having a rest on its way to New Plymouth
RANGI RUA (Rangi II)
I was recently contacted by Terry Hall in regard to his ex yacht Ranginui Rua, Terry commented that when he bought her she was named Rangi II (as seen in the sailing photo above) but when he tried to register her with Lloyds – London the name was refused as there was a passenger ship with that name, Terry had a Maori friend, a chief in Northland who suggested trying Rangi Rua – Rua being #2 in Maori, he sent this off and it was accepted. Thence the ‘different’ name on the hauled out photos.
Rangi Rua was built by Mark Anthony in Freeman’s Bay and is a Woollacott 42′, Terry believes it was extended with extra frames. Her and a gaff rigged boat called Marpu were probably the last kauri boats to be built in Freemans Bay. Bad luck followed both yachts – Rangi Rua was lost in the Trans Tasman race in 1948 and Marpu was lost in the Pacific on its way home from Japan.
Terry owned Rangi Rua for many years and had her moored in the Town Basin in Whangarei in front of the wharf shed. He still has the log book which he kept when he sold her. In the photos of her on the slip, Terry is in the white overalls with his boatbuilder son, Frank and crew.
Yesterday Angus Rogers was doing what most of us were doing i.e. nothing 🙂 so he took an old photo out of its frame to clean the glass. Do we think Angus has ID’ed the yachts correctly ? Sail numbers starting with A17 Ngatoa on right working left are A11 Ida, A5 Rawene, A3? Ariki and A16? Little Jim. Some of the anoraks may be able to identify the last two from their sails and shape and the yacht on the right with no numbers showing.
Mahurangi Regatta 2019 – Classic Wooden Boat Movie
The weather forecast is for a very average day today so I decided to share some serious eye candy with you. The video above comes to us from the very talented Roger Mills via his drone camera.
Once again Roger was out and about over the regatta weekend and captured some amazing classic woody footage.
I have to comment that it was very pleasing to see the classic woody launches featured, thank you Roger. All to often people forget there are more wooden motorboats afloat on the day than the stick and rag boys 🙂
Enjoy the video – its a goodie.
To view a high res / quality version of the movie – us the link below.
Ranginui was built in 1947 and measures approx. 43’and is powered by a 120hp Ford Diesel engine. She has appeared twice before on WW (links to those stories below) but now thanks to her trade listing we get to see down below.
Details as to her actual builder have been debated before on WW. Her trademe listing states Percy Vos but I have checked that name out in Baden Pascoe’s excellent book ‘Launching Dreams – Percy Vos – The Boats & His Boys’ and there is no mention of her on the Vos listing of boats built. In one of the WW stories Harold Kidd commented that he had been told she may have been built by Chas. Bailey & Sons Ltd.
Ranginui has had the same owner for the last 24 years and despite her slightly worn appearance she has had a lot of mechanical and system look done to her. She is for sale with a Coromandel (Wyuna Bay) mooring included, so if you stripped this out of the price , she may have the bones of a good restoration project.
The photo of todays woody was sent in by Andrew Pollard and shows the launch William Whithell.
The photo was taken in Motueka, just after WW2, at the time she was owned by Kelvin Wilkinson.
AP commented that apparently she was a bit of a speed machine. She certainly looks it, even sitting on the transporter.
Can anyone tell us more about William Whithell?
Input from Brian Kidson
It was built in Motueka by a Sid Gilbertson as a fishing boat. Built of white pine and had a Redwing petrol engine at one stage. The boat was built out of Sids head, as in no plans. William Whithell bought the boat and changed the name and named it after himself. A Charlie Stade owned it in the 1950s. It did have a larger cockpit till the cabin was extended
I have been sent the above photos of Waitoa F10, by Mike McGehan. Mike’s father, Mervyn is seen in the 1st photo on launch day 1947.
Previously on WW there has been debate as to a photo and details supplied by Ken Ricketts around his experience of the yacht (WW link below) as a result of Mike sending me the above photo and details, we can now safely assume that Ken has his wires crossed. https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/03/26/waitoa-sailing-sunday/
Previously on WW the McGahan family and Harold Kidd have commented on Waitoa’s provenance (link below)