The Endless Summer


Peter Loughlin Photos Below

Lady Margaret

The Endless Summer 

I know I’m tempting fate with the headline, but who can remember when it last rained? Todays gallery of woodys comes to us from the camera of Nathan Herbert (Pacific) as he mooched around the Hauraki Gulf last week. The last 5, are from Peter Loughlin (Lady Margaret -CW) doing the same thing.

We see Tasman, Viveen, Pacific, Arihi, Escape, Chandos, Zoe, Motunau, Waiari, Juanita, Pacific, Lady Margaret (CW), Rehia, Ngaro and a few that I can’t put a name to.

A question – did Colin Wild ever design / build an ugly boat? 

It was a pretty wild and woolly weekend in some parts of the north and reviewing the news and photos, Tutukaka took the brunt of it – sad to see the carnage. Angus Rogers sent in the photo below from Russell last night – tagged ‘After the Wind’ showing the Russell ferry and the launch Miss Brett, bottom right closer in.

Olwen – Sailing Sunday

OLWEN – Sailing Sunday

The above yacht caught my eye recently on Lew Redwood’s fb. Olwen was designed by Claude Smith and built in 1960 by Smiths Boat Yard in Whangarei. At 33’ there is a lot of usable cabin and cockpit space, very few yacht designers manage to include good sized windows and retain a classic look.In the photo she looks like some TLC is overdue, but with those ‘good bones’ I’m sure Olwen will get the attention she deserves.

Do we know any more about Olwen?

Input ex Robin Elliott – Olwen won line honours in her first race, Dec 3 1960 in the Onerahi YC 100 mile Moko Hinau Ocean Race from a fleet of 13. Conditions were tough with a strong SE wind and gusts up to 35 knots, and set a new course record of 15 hours 15 minutes.

A HEADS UP – THE ADMINISTRATOR CONTROLLING THE WHANGTEAU TRADITIONAL BOATING CLUB facebook page HAS DECIDED THAT LINKS TO waitematawoody STORIES ARE NOT SUITABLE CONTENT. SO WW STORIES AND EVEN MYSELF ARE BARRED. This means that if you have linked a WTBC fb post to an existing WW story to provide more details on a vessel, your link has been deleted. Very narrow minded and introverted thinking – and clearly a low understanding of how social media communities co-exist and facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, and interests through virtual networks. I would have thought ‘holding hands’ with a site that has just passed 7,500,000 views would have been a good thing for WTBC. Never mind, we will find new friends to play with 🙂

The Origin of Callisto

Original interior
Original galley
Launch day – Waipu River

The Origin Of Callisto

Today woodys we get to go on a virtual trip back in time – to the early 1970’s and finish off in 2022.The hero of todays story is Callisto, the 50’ sport cruiser that Jack Barrott built in Waipu, Northland over 3 years in the late 1960’s > early 1970’s.
Firstly some background on Barrott – his family owned a saw mill and native forests in Northland (back in the days when you were allowed to do that). During this time the Ministry of Works had a wee problem – a giant kauri tree – named ‘Packwood’ was about to fall over and block the main road north, on the Brynderwyn Hills, so the decision was made to fell it – Barrott’s mill was the obvious choice. So this giant kauri and other trees from their private native forests provided the timber for the construction of Callisto.

In the early 1960’s well visiting the USA, Barrott came across the latest motorboat designs in Florida – known as Sportfishing boats – he liked what he saw and made a half-model and drawings, which he showed Whangarei boat builder Alan Orams, who then drew full plans and would help Barrott during the building process. The backbone and frames were in fact constructed at the Orams yard, then transported to Waipu for assembly in Barrott’s shed. Construction is very traditional, with kauri used for most of the structural members and exotic timbers else where. The 42’ keelson came from one solid kauri log, as did the floors, ribs, hull and deck beams.

The design of Callisto with its flybridge, as compared to the traditional sedan top launches of the time, was years ahead of the market and even today, 50 yrs later, she is still a looker amongst a marina of white plastic boats. Post launching Callisto spent approx. 15 years moored in and around Whangarei Harbour – her next owner was a Bob Doughty, who changed her name to – Challenger’ in c.1987. Fast forward to 2002 and she changed hands again – this time to Steve and Elizabeth Cowie – who quickly changed her name back to Callisto (fyi – Callisto is the 3rd moon of Jupiter). The Cowe’s undertook an extensive refit that included modernising her interior. A bonus was that Steve Cowie was fully expecting to have to remove the 30 yearly twin Caterpillar 3160 – 10.5L, 210hp, non-turbocharged engines, that had never had the heads off. When inspected by Cat technicians they were found to be in top condition and given a clean bill of health. In fact they remain in the boat today. Being semi-displacement Callisto cruises at 10>12 knots and tops out at 14. 

Callisto passed thru several sets of hands – the trial looks something like this (if I have it wrong, let me know) – Jack Barrott > Bob Doughty > Ken Carter > Steve Cowie > Kurt Settle and in 2018 ownership went to the 3 Forsyth brothers (Kent, Rhys and Tobias) and their families who share the use, costs and maintenance but mainly the love of being out on the water in Callisto, She gets used extensively around the gulf and most summers to the Bay of Islands but with more farther afield adventures definitely in the long term plans.

Callisto has just completed a 3 1/2 week full hull repaint in the shed Pine Harbour Boat painters, The result of the finish achieved being simply magnificent with the quality of workmanship second to none. Whilst in the shed the brothers made the most of things with an additional kauri knee fitted to the duck-board, teak cockpit re-caulk and tidy up and some new bronze rudders cast at the Foundry in Silverdale.
As I say often – some boats are lucky in they owners – Callisto is one of them 🙂

Do People Still Tune Into waitematawoodys Over The Holidays ?

Short answer – YES, in fact these holidays more than ever. On Jan 4th we hit a record for the highest number of individuals ever logging on in a 24hr period. Other than Xmas day, every day was bigger than the average (normal) daily viewing. Thanks for the support, seeing the above skyscapers makes the effort of doing a daily story worthwhile. Best Regards Alan Houghton 



During the week Hugh Gladwell gave me the heads up on a woody project that was nearing completion. The ex navy 3-in-1 whaler, Hauiti, also known as a motor sea-boat, was built at the Naval Dockyard in 1962 out of double diagonal kauri. She has been converted by Peter Thompson (who was the project manager on the Jane Gifford restoration) to a river boat to operate in survey on the Mahurangi River. Hauiti is powered by an Elco electric motor which will run for about 7 hours and is charged by a bank of solar panels on the cabin top with no shore charging. Peter Sewell has designed the propellor.
Hugh commented that the river is now dredged along 3 quarters of its length to a depth of 1.5 metres at low water and they have about a year to go to complete the project. Once complete, the upper basin area  will be a great overnight cruising destination for swallow(ish) vessels. Watch this space for a woodys weekend cruise.

Looking For Santa Sack Fillers

For what seems a very long time (25 years in fact), Rotorua woody – Ronald Wattam has been beavering away pulling together a book on the boat building dynasty  – C.J.and A.J. Collings. Ron is linked via marriage to the family. The book covers the period 1896 > 1967. Yesterday a package arrived with some advance copies –  I am so manic on the work front I haven’t had a chance to read, but at 153 pages its a very extensive collection of photos, data and insights into 70 years of New Zealand maritime history. I have two copies to give away – the question is – approximately how many boats did the Collings & Bell company build?. All close answers will go into the draw for one of two copies. Entry is by email only to closes 9pm 17-12-2021 If you miss the draw – copies are available at $55+p&p, direct from Ronald Watttam at