Lady Gillian – Flashback

Lady Gillian – Flashback 

The launch – Lady Gillian (Gillian) has made numerous appearances on WW, starting back in 2014 when we were trying to track down her whereabouts and lasting in 2020 when she had just undergone some enhancements to her appearance – see 2nd photo.

The b/w photo above comes to us from Gillian Lander who contacted WW regarding the vessel. I have reproduced Gillian’s note below :- 

“I have just discovered a whole lot of pics online of what was my grandfather’s launch c.1942ish  ‘Lady Gillian’ – named after me, born 1942.  My grandfather, Augustus [Gus] Seymour Henshaw was an Auckland business man. There was also the Lady Sarah…. I think belonging to the Heard family [Heards Sweets] The boat was sold in ? 1960s and went to Wellington I understand. Presumed it long gone. I see it is now painted white and in the South Island. Many years at Westhaven. Somewhere I have a photo of her with its numbering required during WWII. Wonderful childhood memories. Its’ previous life I understand was as a trader in the islands, the old girl has certainly been about”

In the photo of Lady Gillian with her wartime ID lettering – the location is the Waitemata Harbour.  Possibly somewhere near the Birkenhead headland, with the Chelsea Sugar Works in the distance. No Harbour Bridge in those days.

WW 2014

WW 2016

WW 2020

NZ Antique & Classic Boat Show 2023 (Nelson Lakes)

NZ Antique & Classic Boat Show 2023 (Nelson Lakes) 

Today thanks to the camera of Michael Brownee we get to take in the amazing woody craft and spectacular scenery at Lake Rotoiti, South Island for the 2023 NZ Antique & Classic Boat Show that was recently held (March 4>5)

Michael has captured the essence and spirit of the event beautifully , if he not a professional photographer , he should be 🙂

I attended the show 3>4 years ago and it should be on every woodys bucket list.

As always – click on photos to enlarge 😉



Earlier in the week a nugget of gold dropped into my inbox – Mark Newcomb sent in a copy of his families yacht – TAMATEA A20 log book (refer PDF file link below to read)

The log book covers the background to the building of the yacht and her first race + some wonderful insights into life in the WWII period.

Tamatea was designed by A.C. Robb and built by A. Couldrey, launched in Jan 1937.

Amazingly the yacht was built from one kauri log, grown on the owners property in Waitakere (note: log was from a ‘dead’ tree)

Click on the blue text below to open the PDF file, the original of the log book is in the hands of the Maritime Museum, so probably this file is the only record, given the Museum’s track record with ‘losing’ things 😦

Venture – Where Is She

VENTURE – WHERE IS SHE – WW cap Up For Grabs

Todays WW story started last week – I’m standing in the queue to catch the Waiheke Island > Devonport ferry and the lady (Penny Ericson)  behind me asks if I’m from Tasmania, now it was Friday afternoon and I had been to lunch so the brain took a few milli seconds to engage. I was wearing an Aust. Wooden Boat Festival t-shirt and the logo was plastered over the back of the shirt. I explain no I’m not, and then Penny tells me she is off to Tasmania in 7 days time for a holiday, so being the nice person I am I give her my ’Things you must do / see in Hobart’ speech. I then open the photo gallery on my iPhone and back the story up with photos. She comments that there are a lot of boat photos and I explain why and tell the waitematawoodys story. 

Snap – she knows the site and was in fact about to email me concerning her grandfather > fathers launch named Venture.

After that long led in I’ll let Penny tell her story – 

“This is Penny , I met you on the Waiheke ferry the other day and we discussed the fact that I would love to know what happened to my father and grandfathers boat that he used on the lakes in Rotorua as a charter fishing launch . 
I think that it operated out of the fishing camp on the Ohau channel , and the Harvey family lived in a house on Lake Rotorua on the other side of the channel .
As you will see from the above photos the launch was called Venture, and the Log book below begins in 1937 and finishes in 1941. 

No one in the family knows what happened to the boat but I had a feeling someone thought it may have been sold to someone in Auckland .
I was delighted to meet you and you sounded so positive that you may be able to find the boat for me .
In the bottom photo my father John or “Jack” Harvey is on the left . He was distinctive as he had a wooden peg leg having lost a leg on the western front in WW1. All his life despite his disability he was a marvellous fisherman and boatman. I grew up in Torbay so was always in boats as a kid, Dad building many dinghy’s for us .

Thank you Alan , I would greatly appreciate finding the boat and maybe the original logbook needs to be reunited with the boat”

So woodys can we help Penny in her search for the launch Venture and along the way learn more about her and what became of her.

17-03-2023 INPUT ex HAROLD KIDD – VENTURE was bought by K H Wilson of Rotorua in 1947 and fitted with a 52hp Graymarine engine. He kept her until at least 1955.

I’ll reward the woody that is the most helpful with a WW cap.

VENTURE LOG – Might be a familiar name featured

Three Minutes Of Wooden Boat Porn

3 Minutes Of Wooden Boat Porn

Last month I bombarded you with a several photo galleries of the 2023 Australian Wooden Boat Festival.  As part of the wrap up of the festival, the organising crew have pulled together a 3min short film that utilises a lot of aerial film footage. The video gives us a wonderful overview of the festival, the Hobart harbour and waterfront – if there is any saw dust in your blood – Hobart February 2025 needs to be circled on your calendar. As festival director – Paul Stephanus says “This festival is one of a kind” . And its the largest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and surprise surprise woodys – its free, no charge – we like that.

Find a comfortable chair and prepare to be wowed.  

TIP: To enlarge screen size – scroll over the screen above and click on the icon I have highlighted below

RSVP (boat name & approx crew #) TO

Santa Maria – A Peek Down Below

Santa Maria – A Peek Down Below

Todays trawler style woody is the 42’ 1955 ex workboat – Santa Marie, built in Nelson by Curnow and Wilton for the ‘Italians’, fishing hapuka and crays in Cook Strait. She subsequently worked various roles around much of the rest of the country. Powered by a Gardner 127hp engine she was converted to leisure use around 20 years ago.

I was aboard a couple of years ago in Kerikeri and she truely is a magnificent craft. One could easily spend extended periods aboard.

Thanks Ian McDonald for the heads up on this woody.

INPUT ex Brian Kidson – Santa Maria was launched 7th Sept 1949, Curnow and Wilton’s, Nelson. Built for Mr Basile of Island Bay, Wellington for fishing around Cook Strait.

Full details on this Saturdays woodys picnic at Stillwater have been emailed out – if you didn’t get the email let me know and I’ll add you to the mailing list. (email link below)

Woodys On Tour – Hobart – Australian Wooden Boat Festival – 50’ HALVORSEN MOTOR LAUNCH

Woodys On Tour – Hobart – Australian Wooden Boat Festival – 50’ HALVORSEN MOTOR LAUNCH

Hello Woodys

While the Australian Wooden Boat Festival is done and dusted the woody camera is loaded with photos – today we feature the 1947 built, 50’ Halvorsen motor launch – Minocqua. Designed and built by famous Australian boat builder Lars Halvorsen, she was one of seven built in the late 1940’s. If my memory is working, the Australian Americas Cup legend – Ian Murray owns one (possibly this one).

76 years later she is still a very imposing vessel and stands out anywhere.

Something for the petrol heads – check out the video below of a 1945 Tasman Marine engine, two stroke, 3hp, single cylinder. Built by the Tasman Engineering Company. 


And Then They Were Gone 😦

Woodys On Tour – Hobart – Australian Wooden Boat Festival – Day 5

Woodys On Tour – Hobart – Australian Wooden Boat Festival – Day 5

Hello Again Woodys  Felt slightly guilty this morning when I called home to advise Air NZ had cancelled my Hobart > AKL flight. Next available – 7 days away…. A little bit of online work and I found a flight out of Sydney on Thursday night. So 2 more days in Hobart 🙂

One big plus – I get to see the very cool kiwi singer- Marlon Williams live in concert. 

Anyway back to the boats – today is an extension of yesterdays gallery – there is just so many woodys to see. 

FYI – WW viewing numbers spike when the weather is bad and people are at home, so yesterdays numbers were approaching an all time high. Today (Tuesday will be another bumper day)

Boat Of The Day – HEATHER BELLE, a 24’6” gaff rigged pilot cutter, built in 1990 by Andrew Wilson to a Lyle Hess design. She is a sister-ship to Larry Pardey’s – SERAFFYN.

And compulsory food shot – lunch = seafood chowder 🙂