MANUKURA – Restoration Update

MANUKURA – Restoration Update

During my frequent visits to Thames I used to see Manukura the 50’ c.1960 Shipbuilders built launch on the hard stand at the Thames marina, always looking a little sad. Then in 2021 we got the good news she had a new owner and work had recommenced on her restoration, and that the plan was to transport Manukura to Whangamata where the work would be finished. Link here to her history and time in Thames.

I was contacted earlier in the week by owner Allen Watson who advised that Manukura is in the process of a major refit. All new wiring, plumbing, gear boxes, shafts, engine mounts for the Ford 120hp 6 cyl diesel engines plus a new lay out inside. The photo gallery above gives us a peek into the work.

Photo below is dated July 2021 

Clevedon Woody Mooching

Lady Gazelle
Mystery Couldrey

Clevedon Wood Mooching

Had a good excuse to point the car south yesterday so took a side trip to Clevedon and mooched around one of the ‘private’ docks.

Very pleased to see that work is underway of Lady Gazelle, you may recall back in March she came to grief during Cyclone Gabrille (WW story link below) – a new owner has stepped up and we look forward to her relaunch.

The mystery Couldrey has been put out graze but is all rugged up for winter. Last appeared on WW back in August 2022 – link below

I spotted the 36’  c.1950’s launch – Antares , one of the better looking launches to come out of the Supreme Craft factory. More on her a future story. Previous WW story and lots of photos here

Also a few boats, below, looking unlikely to see the ocean again.

TEMPEST – A Peek Down Below

TEMPEST – A Peek Down Below

Back in May 2020 on a road trip to Kerikeri I spotted the 30’ 1964 McGeady built launch – Tempest moored at the Dove Bay Marina, link below to that story. At the time she was looking a little un-loved.

Prior to the 2020 story she made an appearance in October 2014, back then she was a well maintained woody. Link below, lots of detail there .

Fast forward to earlier this year she popped up on tme, so today we get a peek down below. 

Forward motion is via a 95 hp 6 cylinder Ford diesel.


TARANUI – A Peek Down Below

TARANUI – A Peek Down Below Taranui

The 1965 John Gladden ketch motor-sailer is one of those rare vessels that you have an immediate attachment to – it has everything it needs, in the right place and proportionally correct, which is hard for a designer to get right on a 36’ vessel. Her designer was a UK resident named Francis James. Her first owner Gordon Robertson, an engineer by trade and a very skilled amateur boatbuilder, had input in the finishing. All the cast bronze fittings throughout Taranui are impressive. 

Built from kauri, carvel planked , Taranui has a 9’ beam and draws 5’. When the wind drops there is a 62hp Nanni Diesel engine, installed new in 2000 by the Salthouse yard.  The eagle eyed will note that her name (big tern in maori) appears on her bow with a hyphen, this is a songwriters oops – its Taranui.

Stepping on board is a treat, she is a boat that you could easily call home for extended periods of time – in fact her owner of 26 years has been off shore 3 times (in Cat1 each time) – destinations being Tonga and New Caledonia. I’ll let Richard tell us about the trips.

“Our first trip to Tonga in 2000 was a wonderful family experience. We were there for 3 months with out 3 young children. Sailing back to NZ from Tonga was my first solo ocean trip, and Taranui proved herself to be a very easy boat to manage solo. I also sailed solo to New Caledonia and back to NZ twice. On one of these trips we spent many months living aboard with family and friends flying over to join us aboard. Taranui has also taken me on a solo 3 month trip around NZ, including Stewart Island were I was joined again by family and friends and got to explore most of the fiords. Other family cruises have been to the Marlborough Sounds and numerous excursions exploring the Northland coast and islands including Great Barrier and Coromandel. Taranui’s most recent voyage was a cruise from Auckland to the Bay of Islands and on to Whangaroa – skippered by my daughter and partner. We’ve had great fun with Taranui and been so lucky to own such a safe and comfortable ship”

Guess what woodys – after 27 wonderful years of love and attention – Taranui is for sale. She presents in suburb condition fully retaining her original character and pedigree and what’s special about Taranui is that she’s ready to use, now, sail away.

If a wooden craft like Taranui is on your bucket list – drop a line for more details

Dream Girl – Project Boat

DREAM GIRL – Project Boat

Todays woody while based in NZ started life on the other side of the world – at the Merritt boat yard in Fort Lauderdale, USA. Built in the early 1960’s she was originally named  – Tuna Teaser. Fast forward to the mid 2000’s and she is now named Dream Girl and pops up in Pago Pago (American Samoa) and then in Rarotonga. Sadly while in Rarotonga she sunk on her mooring in Feb 2006, fast forward again and she was freighted to New Zealand. Not sure of the timing between sinking and transport to NZ but before the sinking Dream Girl was powered by 2x 320hp Cummins giving her a reputed cruise speed of around 15knots and a top speed of 25knots.

Home these days is in West Auckland where she has been stripped back, damage repaired and is currently a hull and deck + a few original fittings.

What we know about her is that she is 40’ in length and appears to be strip planked and glassed.

Top photo and below from her ‘off-shore’ days.

While lacking the kiwi classic woody looks, if a fast classic sport-fisher appeals, Dream Girl could be a good entry point. You’ll find her on tme, if not already sold.


HAPARANDA – A Peek Down Below

HAPARANDA – A Peek Down Below

Well if you believe the NZ Classic Yacht Association constitution – steel construction gets the tick as being eligible to fly the CYA burgee.

So today we feature the 70’ steel schooner – Haparanda, designed and built by John Lundmark in 1960. She under went a refit in 2008. Haparanda is in charter, based in the Viaduct in Auckland so could be a nice retirement business for an old salt. The asking price ($1.3million) might narrow the list of buyers.

With a beam of nearly 15’ she is a fulsome lass and can sleep >12 people. When the sails are all stowed away a 95hp Gardner gets her along at 9+ knots.

Haparanda is a boat that I have walked past many times berthed in the city, now we get to see below decks. Buy a Lotto ticket 😉



The John Lidgard built launch – Kingfisher* was built c.1965, her owners Noel / Thora and son Gary Sparnon finished the boat off at the Lidgard shed in Glen Eden. With Noel being a cabinetmaker the fit out was to a very high standard. When launched she was 43’, with a beam of 13’6” and drew 3’6”. Her hull is 3 skins kauri with the 2 inner skins on opposite diagonals and the outer skin full length fore and aft + f/glass. 

As launched she was named Avenger and kept at Te Atatu.The Sparnon family did not keep her long because by 1968, the family were living in Paihia, Bay of Islands.

Prior to Avenger there was Olympia II, also built to hull & decks stage by John Lidgard c.1962-63, with Noel S again fitting out the interior – link to previous WW story below.

Noel S also built the Avenger II after her, having bought a 42′ molded Cookson hull, onto which he added & completed all the varnished teak coamings & interior himself, at his daughter’s property in Avondale, Avenger II was later sold.

Noel S never actually kept any of his boats very long after they went in the water. Kingfisher was quite unique  when launched having a fly-bridge styled in to her coamings making it visually part of the boat i.e. not appearing to be an add on or afterthought.

There are still some gaps in her ownership records, Ken Rickets has established that she was bought c.2015 off a policeman who had been living aboard her for an unknown length of time up to 2015, at Westpark Marina, by Richard & Bernadette Schofield. During their ownership they re-conditioned her Ford 120hp diesel engine and Borg Warner gearbox. 
 She was sold c.2018 to her present owner, then Mangonui resident Brett Walford. Now retired Brett has moved to Great Barrier Island and has the boat for sale, still based at Mangonui. 

Brett W also changed her name to Kingfisher*, he commented to KR he made the change because as she cruises around 8 knots and this is an ideal trolling speed to catch kingfish.

Both of the last 2 owners have spent collectively large sums on maintenance and upgrading of the interior and equipment, hence she is in very good condition and more or less just as KR remembers her when launched.  Keen to fill in any ownership gaps, in particular Noel Sparnon’s son, Garry Sparnon, who may still be in NZ and hopefully he gets to view this story and might be able to embellish it more. (Update – have been in touch with Gary Sparnon , he is still in NZ, father Noel died 3 years ago aged 96. Gary was very happy to read todays story, but has nothing to add. He will however keep a look out for any old photos. AH)

(Thanks to Richard and Bernadette Schofield, and Brett Walford and wife for providing access to the data and images and Ken Ricketts for pulling this story together – edited a lot by Alan H)

Photos below are pre March 2017

WANDERER II – A Peek Down Below

WANDERER II – A Peek Down Below

The 39’ launch Wanderer II was built in 1965 by Owen Woolley in his boatyard on the Tamaki River.

Powered by a 100hp Ford diesel, she cruises at 8 knots. Current home is the Bay of Islands and thanks to Ian McDonald spotting her tme story we get to have a gander below.

More details and photos at the link below to a Oct 2020 WW story

At the risk of ruffling Cam Pollard’s feathers – I include the two photos below to show / support my personal view on varnished coamings and the addition of a fly bridge 🙂

Athena – A Peek Down Below

Athena – A Peek Down Below

Todays woody is the 1962, Des Donovan designed / built motor sailer – Athena. She last appeared on WW back in Feb 2019 – link below to that very informative story. Lots of photos, history and comments there.

Thanks to a tme listing we get a look down below. A snap shot – specs – 48’/12’11”/5’5” and powered by a Gardner 127hp diesel.                                                                                          

Her listing fails to mention that she is member of the ‘Submariners Club’ i.e. she has spent time below the waves. She also spent time in the ownership of one Alan Johnson, one of very few people 100% banned from the WW site, but that is another story…..

(photos ex M. Skinner ex trademe)

WW 2019 Story

Captaur – A Peek Down Below

CAPTAURA Peek Down Below

The 30’ launch – Captor previously made a brief appearance on WW back in January 2016,  at the time we learnt from her then owner that she was built in Taupo in 1967. Planked cedar with glass top sides. Link to that WW story here

Now thanks to the eagle eye of Ian McDonald we get a look down below from her recent tme listing.

Captor is 30’ in length and has a beam of 10’ and draws 3’.  Forward motion is via a 110hp Nissan SD33T that sees her topping out at 8 knots.

As you can see from the photos she is well fitted out and with 450L fuel and water tanks able to do some serious cruising.

Can we ID her designer and uncover some of her past.

10-04-2023 INPUT ex PAUL DRAKE – “When at Taupo, CAPTAUR was on a mooring just outside SIR FRANCIS’s boat shed. She had no visible name so we called her THIRTY FOOTER. We must have been told that she was thirty feet long. I believe that we thought she had been amateur built by her doctor owner.

She appeared well before 1967 (the supposed build date) as evidenced by the boat sheds which were removed in 1963.

The first photo below, which I took, has appeared before on ww and is dated May 1963 or 64 (boat sheds recently gone).

The second photo shows her with a bit of bright work which enhances her in my view. The date on this photo is pre ’63 . SIR FRANCIS’s boat shed far left.

So CAPTAUR is 60 plus years old and has been well looked after.  As you would say – ‘we like that’.”