Manaia – Launch Day + Volvo Race Start






MANAIA – Launch Day

The above photos of Manaia were sent to me by Paul Drake – I’ll let Paul tell the story behind them.

“The first four I took on launching day. I was 15 and in the midst of School Certificate. No exam that day, so off I went on my bike from home in Balmoral, camera in my bag. 

In the second pic, Capt. Warwick Dunsford can be seen in charge on the foredeck (white boiler suit and black beret). 

In the third pic, Percy Vos himself is clearly recognizable just by the fore foot. 

The last two photos I have had since the 1960’s & most likely come from the camera of TW Collins. Great photos, especially the one from the port quarter, and show MANAIA at work.

MANAIA is certainly very original, but note that the stem now has an unattractive (to me) hook near the top. Much better straight in my view.  Also note unusual chine aft. Double ender but hard chine aft. That’s why she can do 15 knots if required!

MANAIA was about the last of the large wooden pilot vessels built for New Zealand ports. About the same time as AKARANA and 10 years after TIAKINA (Wellington – and also a Collings design). TIAKINA of course built in England and steamed out via Suez Canal.”

You can see photos of Manaia today, looking very smart & read extensive details on her past here


Volvo Round-the-World Yacht Race -Auckland Start








Photos Below In The Order They Passed North Head








And a couple of Woodys amongst the sea of plastic boats


Peter Boardman – Lady Margaret


Angus Rogers – Mahanui

My Big Woody Adventure


My Big Woody Adventure 

Several months ago David Cooke tapped me on the shoulder & asked if I would like to join Barbara & himself aboard their 1965 Salthouse built classic motor-yacht, Trinidad, on the first leg of their circumnavigation of New Zealand – Bay of Islands (East Coast of the North Island) > down the West Coast to Picton (top of the South Island). The short answer was hell yes.

Fast forward to Saturday January 20th 2018 & the Cooke’s, myself & Jamie Hudson (owner of near sister ship – Lady Crossley) are having our last land based dinner at the Whangaroa Sport Fishing Club. Very appropriate that it was fish & chips. An early night was called & we woke at 5.30am Sunday morning to prepare for departure – photos & trip details below – read on & enjoy the journey – I did 🙂

A slightly different format today – magazine style i.e. photos & copy to support them, have also captioned some. When you are doing 3 hours on 3 hours off watches, food plays a big part of the day – so there are a few food shots. When Barbara deemed I needed to be punished for some misdemeanor she would not tell my what was for dinner & keep me guessing all day. To a serious foodie, that was cruel.


Dinner at Whangaroa Sports Fishing Club

We left Whangaroa early on Sunday (21/01) – approx. 515 nautical miles ahead of us. Conditions were a little damp & a combination of sea mist & low cloud meant we saw little of the Northland coast. In fact North Cape / Cape Regina was only an outline.


We crossed the top of the North Island mid afternoon. Gave the Pandora Bank a very wide berth & pointed Trinny in a straight line to the South Island. The rain and drizzle continue into the first night but after that it was a dry run. We had a 10>15 knot breeze from NE most of the way & a 2>3m swell. The combination of a steadying sail & a wee headsail worked a treat, not for speed but simply to help steady the rolling motion. When both are set the wheel can be left and Trinny will hold her course.

They say an army marches on its stomach – well the Trinny crew certainly had no complaints with the gallery – we dined well 🙂


Stunning sunset


Stunning dawn, off Taranaki

The clock on the GPS says 3:58am & we were just off New Plymouth, the gas well / rig lights being the first thing we had seen other than H2O. Mount Egmont poking thru the clouds / mist. This was the view most days – same > same but very wow.

Lots of dolphins (& the odd shark)


The crew – Barbara, David, Jamie & myself below


Closing in on Stephens island at the northern end of the Marlborough sounds, the weather gods smiled on us for the trip across Cook Straight & with the GPS reading 9.6 knots it was a happy crew. It had been a dry trip, so we were hanging out for a cold beer once we had dropped anchor in Queen Charlotte Sound.

We arrived in Resolution Bay at approx. 6pm, a total travel time of close to 60 hrs. And immediately rafted up with friends of Barbara & David’s –  Rob and Mandy Carpenter who own the Warwick designed launch Pandanoosa. When the engine was killed it was so peaceful, but saying that the faultless beat of the 6LX Gardner was quite hypnotic.

I lost the bet on how long the trip would take (only by 45mins) & was forced to wear a bar napkin, take orders and serve drinks while displaying my best manners……….

We had a great night & a superb meal of Blue Cod aboard Pandanoosa.


Captain Cooke – peeling the potatoes for dinner


Bay Of Many Coves Resort



The Crew, brunch & bubbles

We awoke after a great sleep – we had been doing watches of 3 hours on / 3 hours, to the magnificent beauty of The Sounds. It’s just so big & so stunning. The next 2 days were spent mooching around the bays & coves sucking up the scenery(Pickersgill Island, Blumine Island, Endevour Inlet, Anapawa Island). Brunch at the Bay of Many Coves resort was a special treat, as were drinks at Furneaux Lodge.


This is my pick of the waterfront properties we saw. I will do another WW story soon on the boat sheds – some stunners.


Cabin boy Jamie doing his morning chores


A little sad when we had to berth Trinny at the Waikawa Bay marina & clean / pack up. End of the line for Jamie & myself but just the start for the Cooke’s – you can follow their cruise on the Trinidad Travels facebook page – link below

The return journey – I had always wanted to do the Wellington > Auckland scenic train trip, so suggested to Jamie that we took the overnight ferry from Picton > Wellington & caught the train home. A great plan, just had to kill 5 hours in the middle of the night in Wellington. I think Jamie thought Mermaids was a seafood restaurant………..

Train was very cool, a few issues with brakes overheating that extended the travel time – but I would do the trip again.


  1. The crew – Barbara, David & Jamie – perfect mix & just outright 100% nice people
  2. Trinidad – anytime aboard her is a treat, she is such stunning old lady, who has lapped NZ before, crossed the Tasman to Sydney & cruised the Pacific Islands.
  3. The food
  4. The sunsets & dawns off the West Coast of the North Island
  5. Queen Charlotte Sound & Picton town, very cool place to own a woody – I’ll be back.

For the overseas viewers I have included below a few photos of Trinidad, a rather magnificent ship – looking as always very regal. You can see / read more about her here



CYA Classic Yacht Regatta 2018 – 50+ Photos





















CYA Classic Yacht Regatta 2018 – Day Two – Race 2 – 50+ Photos

Popped out early on Raindance to catch the start of the regatta – not much of a day for photos, overcast………. but the stick & rag boys would have been happy with the breeze.

If there appears to be a high degree of repetition with the photos – thats because there were not a lot of classics competing. A-division had a good turn out but you could count the rest with out having to take our shoes & socks off.

Maybe everyone sleep in & they turned up for the afternoons race ?

Numbers aside – bloody impressive sight when they are all powered up. Things got a little tense at the start – some very un- corthinthian yachting language was heard, more often then not, the worst culprits always seem to flying a small blue burgee…… 😦

Below – My Pick For Best Photo (not mine, ex Jason Prew’s FB page)

When you arrive 5 mins late for the start you have to do whatever it takes to get into the race – it’s not often you see Jason out of the cockpit, let alone on Wairiki’s rail 🙂


Lake Rotoiti 2018 Classic & Wooden Boat Parade – 240+ photos















Lake Rotoiti 2018 Classic & Wooden Boat Parade – 240+ photos

Last weekend marked the 21st birthday of the Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade.

The parade is one of the icon wooden boating events in New Zealand, with each year between 70 & 100+ classics on display. The LRC&WB Association are very active & hold many events thru-out the year, but the parade is the highlight. You would struggle to find a more inclusive, welcoming group of people that each year open the parade & picnic to anyone with a classic or woody boat – sail, power, big, small.

On the day we ‘enjoyed’ a mix of weather from fine > light drizzle > rain > fine, this didn’t stop everyone having a blast but taking photos was a challenge at times – a little bit of editing hopefully has help out 🙂 The photos of the ‘speed’ boats doing a demonstration run (health & safety red tape means it can not be called a race) were shot with a very long lens, so a little soft focus.

Post the picnic, several boats headed off to the Manupirua thermal pools, which are only accessible via boat. To an Auckland boaty the concept of pulling up at a jetty, tying up, & enjoying a soak in a hot thermal pool is rather special + its licensed, so one can enjoy a refreshing beverage, very civilised. 

I would like to thank LRC&WB Association past commodore – Fraser Wilson, for the generous loan of his RIB, sure makes getting around & taking photos easy. 

Each year my LRC&WBP experience is extended & 2018 saw Robyn & I hosted at Florence & Rod Prosser’s waterfront property. Berthed at Rod’s jetty is the 1882, 25’ counter stern day launch – Firefly, which now has a playmate in the recently acquired 1930, 23’ Chas Robinson built motor-launch – Rainbow. There are several more boats in the stable but I won’t out Rob on the exact number 🙂 

In addition to their holiday home, Rod & Florence run a very funky, cool lakeside bach called ‘The Love Shack’ – its available for rent (via BookaBach, see link below). If you a ever looking for accommodation in the Rotorua area I would highly recommend it – see photos below – AND its got WiFi !!!!!

I hope you enjoy the photo gallery as much as I do attending the event. 



Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 10.26.27 am

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 10.26.15 am



Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 4.33.11 pm

Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 4.35.11 pm


Kairaki was built in 1964 to an Athol Burns design.  She is best described as a 25’ Marlborough Sounds overnight launch. You will see from the photos that she has been completely restored after extensive refurbish, all done by a boat builder.
Carvel planked in Kahikatea and fully treated with Metalex. She sat in a shed for 5 years & then was completely stripped to bare boat. Fiberglass sheathed above deck from gunnel to gunnel, new cockpit, also glassed.

The get up & go comes via a 35hp Isuzu diesel that sees her cruising at 7 kts with max of 8.5kt. Being trailer-able is another big bonus, so if there are any Lake Rotoiti woodys looking for a perfect lake boat – check her out on trademe. Again thanks to Ian McDonald for the heads up.







I was contacted recently by Louis Jensen from Christchurch who owns the beautifully restored Mason Marlin classic runabout, Lasanta. Very pretty classic. Louis has promised to send more details & photos (nudge nudge) but I could not resist putting these ones up on WW today. It was the perfect excuse to give this coming weekends Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade a plug.  You will find full details here

It’s an amazing event, so if you are anywhere around the central North Island, make an effort to attend. I’ll be there, so look out early next week for another big classic woody photo gallery. Might even buy a boat……………………….

Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 4.50.50 pm



Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 4.54.45 pm

The annual Waitangi Day CYA picnic at Motuihe is always a great boating day out & with most of us sliding away on the Monday, its a perfect stop off on the way home. Location will depend on the wind i.e. whichever side is most protected from the  breeze/sea. Look out for the big CYA burgee on a pole in the sand and that will be meeting spot, bring your picnic and introduce yourself. Motuihe gets busy on a sunny day but there’s always room 🙂


Mahurangi Regatta 2018 – Classic Woodys Weekend – 100+ photos



Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 5.42.04 pm










Mahurangi Regatta 2018 – Classic Woodys Weekend – 100+ photos

For the first time in yonks I missed the regatta, my excuse – I was boating elsewhere. Today’s photo gallery comes to you from numerous sources – but special mention to Jason Prew, Peter Loughlin & Nathan Herbert for sharing their cameras with us. Stunning photos guys. Mixed in with their photos are ones from – James Dreyer, Nick Davidson, Ken Ricketts, & John Bertenshaw.

The Classic Launch Parade had a great mix of familiar favourites & some new CYA members & a few who have not seen the light & joined the CYA yet 🙂 . From all reports, the sailing on Saturday was a challenge with wind / no wind / wind & very hot conditions – but as always with Mahurangi a good time was had by all.

As always – click photos to enlarge 😉

Great Video Footage below – the launch parade starts at approx. the 3min stage.