Given the weather in Auckland last Friday you would struggle to believe the above photos were taken over the weekend. I escaped the Principality of Devonport early Saturday morning & headed down to Waikehe Island. Did not even stop on-route to the marina for supplies. The forecast said variable so I was planning on dining ashore.
Well for once all the forecasters got it right – Saturday was a stunner. After a few months of cleaning oil out of the bilge several times & numerous repairs I was very much in the “bugger this old boat gig” mode. We are a shallow lot – one good day / night & I had the bug again J
If you do not like crowds – winter cruising is the way to go.
Coming back on Sunday afternoon I rubbed shoulders with the magnificent ship Felicitare & the 1927, Colin Wild built, Lady Margaret – both looking stunning & doing the same as me i.e. slopping off for some R&R. I was sure Felicitare had featured on ww before but my search showed nothing – what do we know about her?
I own several dinghy’s from classic clinkers to what Harold Kidd once called a ‘Baby Riviera’ – he was referring to my American built Walker Bay dinghy. I bought her 2nd hand & have owned her for 10 years – towed behind a woody, she is pig ugly but without a doubt the most stable tender I have come across.
She was looking very sad & the inflatable tube patches were out numbering the good areas. So had to make the big decision – take the tubes off & just have a normal dinghy or order replacement tubes from the USA (US$850). Enter Terminator Boats (Kevin Tomlin) in Albany. They said they could manufacture a new set of replacement tubes, I was a little hesitant about the final look, but went with it & as you’ll see in the photos below, they have done a brilliant job, in fact better than new. I highly recommend them https://www.terminatorboats.co.nz
Aoma was launched in May 1963 & was build # 1185 for the Halvorsen company, in fact the last special built.
Aoma is in fact unlike most of these Australian woodys in that her hull was splined & the helm was on the starboard side rather than port.
The photos above of Aoma are ex Peter Arnold & show case the classic Halvorsen design, you either love or dislike these Australian classics, me ? I love them. They have a very strong class association & most are presented in a similar standard to Aoma. Most do not see much blue water, to be found cruising the inner & protected upper harbours. I believe the A-Cup man Iain Murray owns the largest Halvorsen built.
They represent good value for money on the market – but I’m not sure on the Aussie laws re exporting them ?
UPDATE: The photo below is of Iain Murray’s 60′ Halvorsen – Tooronga. Her designer Carl Halvorsen spec exported Tooronga to the States in 1949. The story goes that Carl was lunching in the Newport Yacht Club & a fellow diner saw Tooronga tied up outside – he immediately called a club steward & sent a blank cheque across the room to Carl on a silver tray. Carl returned the keys on the same tray – sale made 🙂
Ian Murray bought Tooronga in 1992 & returned her to Australian waters & commissioned a magnificent restoration.
You can read, see more on the boats here http://www.halvorsenclub.com.au/
I have had the above photos that are both taggged ‘Hirere’ in my ‘upcoming ww stories’ file for a long time, hoping that at some stage I would uncover more (some) details on the name & determine if they are the same launch & if not which one is Hirere. To date nothing – so I put her out there today to she if we can answer my mystery.
Input from John Blundell
“The photos today came to you from a group I sent to Harold Kidd a couple of years back. The top photo is Poaka which was built about 1959 for my father Stan Blundell by Snow Waters. She was featured by Sea Spray magazine not long after as a”quart in a pint pot”.He sold her to Athol Mellars a couple of years later and his son John later took her to Gt Barrier where he lives. The other photo is the 29foot Vindex built also for my father about 1963 by Jim Young in his shed at Birkenhead wharf.Dad wanted to keep the engine out of the main cabin so it was installed further aft and fitted with a vee drive. Re the dinghy it was one of Phil Bartons 8footers and was the best of the bunch that were around at that time. The wooden one in the photo was used as a mould to produce fibreglass versions not long after.That is another story.”
I headed out on Sunday afternoon for a few hours to give Raindance’s batteries a charge & when coming back into Bayswater I spotted what appeared to be classic wooden launch on the Mercury Mover barge. Closer inspection revealed a 26>28′ straight stem tram topper.
The name Ngawini was on her side & she had quite significant damage to her bow & underwater bow area. Looked as if she had ran into some submerged item. Aside from the damage she appears to be very original. Hopefully insured & repairable.
Any woodys know more about her past & what happened to her?
UPDATE – she has been on ww before – see below & also link to more details.
“Aaron here from The Recycle Shop at the Waitakere Transfer station. Hey we’ve seen the photos of the lovely boat Ngawini on your site. We’ve got the boat sitting here on our yard and wondered if you might be able to help us find it a new home?
We’ve had a couple of people offer advice on what some of the fittings are worth and we’d like to offer the whole boat for $2000 if the buyer takes it away, or $2300 if they want to strip parts and leave the rest here (leaving us to pay approx $300 to dump it).”
I have been contacted by Aaron at the Waitakere Refuse & Recycling Centre & told that they have listed Ngawini on trademe (link below) as a ‘parts’ listing. Bidding is set to start at $1,200, it will be interesting, some cool pieces but what the market is prepared to pay is any ones guess.
Alan Sexton was recently hauled out at Robertson’s Yard, Warkworth & snapped this interesting collection of boats. Alan reported that the ‘Jane Gifford’ was also up for a bottom paint and the Harland’s ‘Plain Jane’ (designed and built by Chris Robertson) was in the shed for a top to bottom refurbishment.
Now Lady Rere is an interesting launch, she started off as a bare shell of a hull, reputed to be ~100yrs old, Alan believes Robertson’s built the new superstructure and interior and engineering. Do we know any more about her?
The centre-boarder ‘Tirranna’ pictured is a Hartley at around 28’& in a moment of weakness (on my behalf) sneaks into todays ww post . Alan commented it was good to see a boat of her type in immaculate condition.
Given the recent debate on ww as to what constitutes a bridge-decker, today’s boat has the potential to have a major identity crisis 🙂 But if we park the owners trademe description & just take the boat on face value, she a pretty looking classic wooden launch.
Built by Lanes Boatbuilders in 1915, she is 30′ in length & built with carvel kauri planks & her decks are plyed / glassed.
Her owner has had her for 20 years & uses her regularly. Back in 2000>2003 she had a total refit (refer above photos).
Zoom zoom is via a Standard 23C engine, which is an early (1958) 35hp Massey Fergusson 4 cylinder, 2200cc. This easily sees her cruising at her hull speed & 7 knots is a comfortable speed without pushing anything too hard.
I like this classic & at $26k she would make a very affordable entry into classic wooden boating. Spend a few dollars & she could be made very special.
Sorry no name – so the question, as always 😉 woodys is, who is she & what do we know about her?