Barbarella – A Riva Reborn

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BARBARELLA – A Riva Reborn 
 
As promised Iast week, I visited Marco Scuderi’s Helensville boat yard – MCN Shipwrights with the sole purpose of catching up with the re-build / restoration of Barbarella, the 1969 Riva Superaquarama .
Barbarella is a visitor from Australia, and has been in the country for 7 years for a total re-build. She started life (built) in Sarnic, then was delivered to her 1st owner in Monaco, from there she was sold to an American and moved to Lake Tahoe. Then sold to a Norwegian and kept at his summer house on a fjord in Norway. Then in 2005 her current Australian owner bought her and kept her in Hong Kong till 2011, when thankfully a very rundown Barbarella was rescued and shipped to NZ for Marco to restore.
 
The journey to return this beautiful speed boat to better than as launched condition has been long and challenging – these Riva’s are handmade thoroughbreds and obtaining parts is near impossible + she has a history of repairs that were not always true to her heritage.
 
As she sits today in the MCN Shipwrights shed, all that is required to complete the restoration is mainly reassembling the interior and commissioning the engines – twin 454 cubic inch, 350 hp Chev V8’s. 
 
I jumped at the opportunity to photograph her hull, but the situation – light, location (plastic ceiling etc) made for less than perfect photography conditions, but you will see from the photo gallery above that Marco and this team have done an amazing job. You could shave in the reflection of the 20+ coats of varnish. You can view more on the restoration journey at this link https://www.mcnshipwrights.com/barbarella—hull.html   make sure you check out the other links to see the total work.
 
Also in the shed are two very lucky K-class yachts, Sapphire and Jenanne, photo below. Sapphire is getting new oak ribs and Jeananne an interior and deck refresh. The two yachts are owned by the Mence Brothers. Check out the work to Peter’s Jenanne in more detail at the link below.
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Maitai – A Peek Down Below

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MAITAI –  A Peek Down Below

A year ago the 1928 Collings and Bell kauri launch Maitai appeared on WW (link below) now thanks to Ian McDonald and her trade listing we get a look down below. Maitai measures 29’ 6” and is of single carvel plank construction, powered by a 36hp Bukh diesel engine.
Her owner commented that after 11 years of ownership the reason for the sale is that he is buying a yacht…………. It doesn’t happen that way often, normally its selling yacht to buy a launch. He will be back 🙂

Ocean Queen – A Peek Down Below

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OCEAN QUEEN – A Peek Down Below

Mid last month I ran a story on the Taupo based woody – Ocean Queen, most likely built by Joe Slattery in 1920. Nathan Herbert had spotted her at Lake Taupo with a 4-sale sign on her and commented on how stunning she looked.
I have since been contacted by her owner Paul Stewart and given a collection of photos of her interior. In Paul’s words – “she’s had a real spruce up, new Autex paint inside and out, anti-fouled, new varnish to the mast and boom, new duckboard, new raw water impeller, filters and oil. Polished up all the stainless fittings, removed and resealed some of the windows, new carpet, water tank clean and new hoses. new clears and covers. Last job is to make a new sail cover and then the boom can go back on”.
Paul commented that they use the sail often, it does a beautiful job of holding her steady on the wind and gives you another knot.
Paul still has the spare engine that came with the boat when he bought her.
As I mentioned previously at around $36k, if you are looking for an early 1900’s classic wooden launch – this woody has to be the buy of the year. So woodys, someone needs to buy Ocean Queen > then call Boat Haulage and arrange a pick up > then plonk her back in the Waitemata where she belongs 🙂
Read and see more of Ocean Queen at the links below.
 

Judges Bay + YC Italiano

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JUDGES BAY

This stunning photo of woodys hauled out at Judges Bay, Parnell, Auckland comes to us from Lew Redwood’s fb. While the year is unknown, given the quality of the photograph, we must be able to ID some of the woodys?
YACHT CLUB ITALIANO 
My youngest daughter is living the life in Europe at the moment and has instructions to send in boating photos, there are not a lot of woodys in this lot but OMG check out the location (Portofino)
They have just done what’s called ’Sail Croatia Week’, the photo of her on the wheel is the only one without a glass in her hand 🙂 Six females and two Aussies blokes on their yacht, how do you get odds like that?
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Three years b4 this, the middle child was in the same spot, but not staying in a hostel 🙂

Ocean Queen

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OCEAN QUEEN

The photos above of Ocean Queen were sent to me by Nathan Herbert and show her berthed on Lake Taupo.

Obliviously from the sign on her, she is for sale. From the photos and Nathans comments she is presented in mint condition and at $36k given her engine is all good, must be a steal. Someone needs to buy her and bring her to the Waitemata.
Harold Kidd has previously commented on WW that OCEAN QUEEN was most likely built by Joe Slattery in July 1920 for J.R. Blackwell of Tryphena. She was 29’x7’6″ and was finished off by Blackwell, rigged as a lug schooner and usually made passage backwards and forwards to the Barrier under sail and power. She was built very full for load carrying. HDK doesn’t know when the Blackwells sold her but thinks it was post WW2. J.R. died in 1941.
She was featured in the newspapers in July 1935 when she brought a badly injured Kauri Timber Co employee back to Auckland in a full SE gale, the worst conditions Blackwell had ever seen in 45 years’ experience of the Gulf.
You can see more photos of her here.   https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/01/14/10467/
Can anyone tell us more about the launch?
13-07-2019 Input below from Jonathon Aston
“Ocean queen was our family launch in the late 90’s, we use her almost every weekend for about 3 years going all over the gulf. We purchased her from pine harbour marina where she had been for sale for a couple of years, her long time owners had spend many years restoring her including re-fastnering the hull & fibreglassing the cabin sides & top but not long after she was relaunched the wife died & the husband couldn’t bring himself to use her due to all the memories they shared on Ocean Queen. We replace the original Fordson engine with a low hours 40hp replacement, reconditioned the injector pump & adjusted the amount of diesel so it became 60hp as the cylinder size was identical between the 40 & 60hp Fordson’s. We also replaced the cutlass bearings, installed a new s/s shaft & had the Paragon manual gearbox rebuild.
She was keep in the Tamaki river just beside the old panmure bridge marina but after a couple of incidents with kids throwing rock through a cabin window during the school holidays we moved her down to a swing mooring off the Panmure yacht & boating club. A year or so after that we sold her to Paul & his wife who moved her to Lake Taupo.
Regards the Aston Family.”
An Evening With John Street
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I went last night to the Auckland Maritime Museum to a very special evening hosted by John Street and MC’ed by Larry Paul. It was a night of conversation and Q&A set amongst the ‘One Man’s Treasures’ Fosters Collection. Brilliant evening, if you missed it you only have yourself to blame. I did however video most of it and will do a WW story/s soon.
COMING SOON – WW Caps
Product testing is underway 😉
Peek size appears about right i.e. keeping sun out of the keys.
Dark blue, 100% soft cotton, 6 panels, full adjustable sizing, WW logo triple stick embroidered.
WW JP

PIKO – A peek down below

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PIKO – A peek down below
Piko was built in 1924 by Collings & Bell and is 28’ in length, with a 6’ beam and she draws 2’.
Power is from a 2002, 18hp Volvo diesel.
Her current home is on Lake Rotoiti (Nth Is.) She has made numerous appearances on WW before as part of the annual Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Parade.
She has just popped up on trademe with a very realistic price of $15k, needs some TLC to the interior but nothing most of us couldn’t do.
Interested in hearing more about her past life i.e. has she always been on the lake and if not where has she been over the years.
Harold Kidd Input – PIKO was built in Parnell in September 1927, designed by and built under the supervision of H.N. Burgess, formerly boatbuilding in Judges Bay. Her first owner was J Bates. She had a Briscoe heavy duty engine. Bates kept her at Judges Bay. Not Collings & Bell.

Murray Deeble Input – She was on a mooring off Akarana prior to being transported to Tauranga/Rotoiti in the early 90’s

Istalena

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Can any one tell us about Istalena and what became of her?

Ken Rickett’s believes she may have been around 30’ in length and possibly a Carl Augustin design, possibly built in the late 1940’s > early 1950’s. And he recalls when he knew the boat it was powered by a Perkins Diesel. I know thats a lot of possibles & maybes – but thats how Ken rolls.
 
Below are Ken’s memories of Istalena from the 1950’s > !970’s  (edited a lot by AH) 
During this period, Istalena was owned by Gloria and Gordon Spencer, who lived aboard her much of the time in this period at Gt., Barrier Island.
They were very dedicated game fishing people and caught many game fish. Gloria had some record catches through the years.
Sadly Gordon passed away but she remained living on the boat. During this period she met Johnny Wray, who was living on his boat  the Waihape and they used to cruise in company in their respective boats.
The Spencer’s owned a Burmese cat that lived aboard and loved swimming and would jump into the water to try and catch sprats when a light was put over the side in the evening. They had a sugar sack hanging permanently over the stern of the boat, touching the water and the cat would simply jump in climb and out on the sack as it saw fit, and if they dared to go visiting on another boat without the cat, it would simply swim over. NOTE FOR RICK McCAY – you need this 😉
Apologises for the crappy photo – I suspect its a transfer from old movie footage.
NOTE: READ COMMENTS SECTION – LOTS OF DISCUSSION