Colleen – Launch Day


Boat builder Alan Craig (Craig Marine) sent in todays’ gallery of photos of the Brin Wilson designed launch – Colleen owned by Bill Stevenson. We see her being launched at Lake Tarawera where she still resides today. Appears that there were a few challenges with the lake level.

Colleen is a near sister ship to the other Stevenson family launch – Jan, refer photos below. Jan is maintained in an as new condition, some credit for this goes to Alan who has repainted and varnished the whole boat at different stages.

Also keen to ID the launch that is helping drag her off.

INPUT ex Hamish MooreI have spoken with Mother on this, Jocelyn Stevenson. Seems you have amended some of the points already. – Typo, Spelling of the family name. ‘Stevenson’

Some info what what Jocelyn can recall;

Colleen was on Lake Rotoiti for a few years prior to been relocated to lake Tarawera, possibly up to 5yrs.

The launching of Colleen shown here could be at Lake Rotoiti and the little Tug boat could well be Sir Williams first boat on Lake Rotoiti, un-confirmed and details of the vessel unknown.

A notable mentioned needs to go to Norm Keane who was a local boat builder that Sir William employed to maintain all the boats, including Jocelyn in Auckland, and his property at Lake Rotoiti and I’d say Colleen while still in the family ownership. If I recall correctly one of your articles in the past may have mentioned Norm Keane.

Last I heard, Colleen has had some work done over the years and some of which was completed by Danny Pearce boatbuilding out of Rotorua. I’ve lost contact with Danny. However we had attempted to head down and cast an eye over Colleen but life just got to busy.

Jan remains in family ownership, by Sir Williams Grand daughter.

It would be fantastic to see some photos and and article on Colleen if you managed to shake down someone who has the knowledge and contact.”

Blue Seas


The above photo popped up in my ‘odds and sods’ file – it is dated late Jan 2022 so may have been from when I was helping deliver – Korawai to the BOI. But the photos code tells me it was taken on a Samsung device and I do not touch those, so maybe one of the other crew.

Anyway the launch is most likely named – Blue Seas, can anyone tell us if that is her name and any more intel about her.

INPUT ex Graham Hunter – She is still named BLUE SEAS Waiheke Island is also on the transom. She is now on a Mooring in Whakatakata Bay By OBC

25-07-2022 Input below from Chris Cotter (co-owner)


If you need more proof on why not to bond your wooden boat and attach anodes – have a look below – luckily it was very localised. Very scary, the rudder shaft and surrounding area was VERY close to just not being there and you can guess what would have happened.

And if you need more read the most referenced story on the WW site – link below

28-07-2022 UPDATE – Looking a lot healthier 🙂

30-07-2022 UPDATE – All fixed 🙂

Woody Classic Gatherings

Time to get the pencil out and circle a few dates in the calendar. Our 2022 > 2023 classic woody events focus equally on the boats and the people – its all about getting off the marina and meeting up with like minded people.
As always, some dates may change and the weather is always a factor – but as the dates approach we will be in touch with more details.

Please feel free to share the calendar with your classic friendly boating enthusiasts. Where tide and draft permits – woody cruising yachts are always welcome to join in, so also share with the stick and rag woodys 🙂

AND TO ENSURE YOU GET A WOODY FIX TODAY – CLICK THE LINK BELOW  Video footage from the 2022 Moreton Bay Classic (thank you Andrew Christie)



Todays double ender 36’ woody launch just popped up on tme (thank you Ian McDonald) and is just such a looker. Home is Waikawa Bay in the Marlborough Sounds. Currently only set up with two berths, she is crying out for a full conversion to pleasure use.

Power is via a 80hp Ford diesel, that according the the tme story has a wee oil leak.

Who ever choose the colour scheme and name font as a good eye. I hope I have the spelling right?

Can we learn more about the boat?

INPUT ex Dick Hall – Correct name ‘Bonita’. Built 1923 by Ernie Lane in Picton as a typical sounds passenger boat with two cockpits both forward and aft of the wheelhouse. Originally powered by a 12hp Kelvin benzine engine. Modified for fishing in 1959 for the Guard Brothers of Port Underwood. Lately used as a pleasure boat by various owners.

INPUT ex Richard Neighbour – Bonito (launched Bonita) 1926, sister ship to Mariner (Shakespeare Bay- Queen Charlotte Sounds) I have emailed the history up to 2016 as given to me by Beth Gordon (original owners daughter). Bonito is a lovely old girl. My wife and I hope to find a suitable owner that will maintain her for many years to come as we have moved from Marlborough and don’t get back as often as we hoped to. Bonito has many years left in her yet, with much credit to the Ruffles family (previous owners of 40 years).
Richard & Helen – current owners.