Manunui

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MANUNUI

Todays’ story on Manunui comes to us from the ‘desk’ of Paul Drake – as always, well written so I’ll pass over to Paul.

 “Arriving at Taupo for our annual holiday one January in the late 1950’s, my brothers and I were intrigued to see a very unusual looking new commercial boat on the scene.   Before we knew her name, we kids called her ‘The Ugly Boat’.  She turned out to have a proper name – MANUNUI – after the saw milling town just out of Taumarunui.   It was there that she was built by the manager of said sawmill, Basil Maude.

Basil’s hobby was building boats, but he rarely got more than about three-quarters of the way through before losing interest.  MANUNUI was the exception.  He wished to see how big a boat he could build out of plywood.  He had the plywood made at his mill from selected timber.   Her bottom had two sheets of ply each twenty feet long , six feet wide, and one and a quarter inches thick. She measured 36 feet by 12 feet.

She had to be chunky and strong because Basil had two Allison Kittyhawk 12-cylinder aeroplane engines which he wanted to fit.   He designed and built the double gearbox himself.  It measured eight feet by three feet by two feet deep.   At the last minute the plan changed and the two gallons per minute Allisons were wisely ditched in favour of Ford V8s. But the gear box remained – larger than the two engines.   This most fascinating gearbox was mounted forward of the engines with the propeller shafts running back under the engines.   Chains were involved, and each propeller was operated independently of the other in the normal way.  MANUNUI was the first diesel powered launch on the lake (so it is said) and also the first commercial plywood boat to operate on the lake.

In the good old days when fishermen would club together and charter a launch for five day expeditions to Taupo’s Western Bay, MANUNUI was a very successful and busy charter launch under her very capable skipper Ron Houghton.

The original canvas arrangement over the aft end was eventually replaced with the rather functional effort shown in the second photo. In about 1970 a whole new cabin appeared.   Shortly afterwards MANUNUI was sold to New Plymouth.   I wonder if she survives?   Somehow I doubt it.

Much of this information is contained in ’Boats of Taupo’ by Charles Cox.

 

Lady Shirley

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LADY SHIRLEY (Catherine S)

The above b/w photos show the then police launch Lady Shirley, the ’ship’ in the background is the Rangitata. The photo is dated 1940-49 and most likely taken by D. Marsh. The 36’ bridge-decker, Lady Shirley was built by C. Bailey & Son in 1938.
The first photo below I took at the 2020 CYA Classic Yacht Regatta. In the second photo she is her moored  in Opito Bay, BOI – summer 2019/20.
You can read / view more at the WW links below
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Lady Shirley BOI Jan2019
02-04-2020 Update ex Greg Lees – Greg recently acquired this very cool ‘ship-in-a-bottle’ model of Rangitira
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Nigel Drake sent me the funny below – pretty well sums things up in our house.
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ISOLATION – Such stunning weather and no boating 😦
For a long time I have been ‘collecting’ old boat hooks, you can pick one up for $20>30. Normally the hook end is bronze and in good condition, a good polish and they look like new – to buy the head at Fosters would cost around $150. So today I started to give a few a make-cover. I have to say, what ever the old boys used to ‘varnish’ them with, is bloody hard to get off, lots of 80 grit did the trick.
I suspect this will be the last project before I get transferred to domestic duties e.g. working on the house 🙂

Wooden Boats @ Whangarei Town Basin

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Wooden Boats @ Whangarei Town Basin

Two weeks ago David Cooke and myself pointed the car north and did a day trip to Whangarei to view a few candidates for listing with the Wooden Boat Bureau. We were blessed with a stunning day, which made the quay side area at the Town Basin very pleasing to the eye. As we mooched around I snapped the above photos. With the boats shed owners taste in decorating you cant miss them 😉
A nice mix of sail and power, with a lot of live aboards.
I was pleased to see James Mobberley’s old classic – Falcon on a pile mooring, one day she will come back to her home – the Waitemata 🙂
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Alana – Where Is She

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ALANA – Where Is She
 
Recently I was contacted by Al Laslett regarding the launch – Alana, that his grandfather, Alan Laslett, owned in the 1950’s. Subsequent correspondence with Al’s mother, Anne Palmer (nee Laslett), has uncovered the above photos and intel on the vessel below.
 
Alana  was built in the 1950’s in the backyard at, Anne believes 54 Tarawera Tce., St Heliers or on a property nearby. Anne it not sure of the exact date she was launched, but believes it was before mid 1958. Anne believes that Alana was kauri planked and her mother once told her it was approx. 36’ > 40’ in length.
 
Anne’s father, Alan, was quarry manager for McCallum Bros. on Pakihi Island from approx. 1958 until his sudden death in May 1960 (heart attack). He had separated from his wife, and was waiting for the divorce to come through when he died.  Because he was still legally married, the launch passed to his wife Elsie and the family do not know what happened to her after that – presumably sold. The family has tried several times to find where she is now, but to no avail.  The only reference they know is a single mention in a Radio Hauraki news bulletin in the 1980’s about a cabin fire on a launch called Alana on the Waitemata Harbour.
The unusual cabin design was because Anne’s father was a very tall man and specifically built a cabin where he could not hit his head. She was rigged for deep sea fishing, but Alan never got the chance to do that. Alan died just before his 50th birthday, at the time Anne was only 19 months old and her sister was 6 weeks old. Sadly Anne has no memories of my father or the launch, only the old photos above.    
In the photo at the wharf at Pakihi Island, Alan is the tall, balding man at the back, is full name was Alan Edgar Laslett. He used to drive taxis in Auckland just before he and Anne’s mother went to Pakihi Island. 
 
So woodys – big call out today – Anne and her son Al, would love to find the Alana and if possible see her in person – I’ll give a WW t-shirt to the woody that provides the best intel.
30-03-2020 Update / Input from Anne Palmer

Anne was sent the photo below from her cousin David who lives in Australia. David commented that the boat was nearing completion in the backyard of Alan & Elsie’s property at Tarawera Terrace, St. Heliers, taken in December 1955.
David H and Alan's boat St Heliers Dec 1955
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Annalisa

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ANNALISA
Annalisa was launched in 1960 and is a 36’ Roy Parris built launch.
Powered by a Ford 120hp Lees diesel engine. Current home is Mangonui, Northland and that woodys is all we know about this woody.
Can anyone tell us more about Annalisa’s past?
(thanks to Ian MacDonald for the tme heads up)
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Ngaio – A Peek Down Below

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NGAIO – A Peek Down Below

Last weekend a few woodys gathered in Islington Bay, Rangitoto Island, one of my all time favourites was there – Ngaio the 1921, Arch Logan built, 36‘ launch owned by Jan Barraclough.
Ngaio is such a stunner she couldn’t be from any other designer / builder than Arch Logan. I got to have a peek below – enjoy 🙂
She has made several appearances on WW, links below – her restoration is well documented here.
19-03-2020 Harold Kidd Input – How interesting to see the Logan Bros’ builders’ plate on NGAIO. I assume it was put there by Arch? If so, he was keeping the LOGAN BROS name alive. Of course he would still have had a stock of their builders’ plates but I can’t quite work out his motivation in using one on NGAIO. Robin might care to comment too?
20-03-20 Robin Elliot Input –Sorry I missed this. I have been self-isolating for the past 15 years or so and now it seems the world has caught up with how peaceful it can be.

The Logan plate is Interesting. From the photos in the earlier WW posts, that plate has been there on Ngaio for some time but whether it was there at the time of launching is impossible to say. Doubtful.

I’m not sure if there is one on Doreen/Coquette – I don’t think so – but as you say why would he put one on Ngaio in 1921? He was very ‘proper’ and it just would not have been right.

I suspect that rascally his son Jack was flinging them out when he cleared out the house in Bayswater in the 1950’s and passed one over to the then owner of Ngaio; probably on the grounds that Ngaio was an Arch tweak of a general hull shape developed at Logan Bros?

Interesting that there are 4 small screw holes in the plate around its edge but some philistine has drilled two big boofy holes in the centre for a couple of bog-standard slotted screws. The two empty holes in the timber above the plate lead me to believe there was another item (a different plate?) there before the Logan plate.

It’s not strictly correct but hey, its a nice addition.

RC Yacht Racing
Yesterday while waiting to pick up a family member from the medical centres near North Shore Hosp. I wandered down to Lake Pupuke and spied a group of gents sailing their yachts in the Quarry Lake.
A very pleasant way to fill in 1/2 hr – nearly forgot about the patient 🙂

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Northern Star

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NORTHERN STAR
Its not often we see an Australian designed / built Halvorsen in NZ waters, they are the darlings of Sydney Harbour. Its even rarer to see an ex WW II one.
Northern Star was built in 1944 by Lars Halvorsen & Sons for the Royal Australian Air Force as a air-sea rescue boat.
She measures 38’x10’x4’. Current power is from a 306hp Volvo TAMD61A diesel that gets her along at 12>13 knots.
Her owner has had her for 45 years and she is  now 4sale on tme – a few rot issues to her plywood stern area and fore deck but I’m sure easily fixed. Rather a smart boat for the current price ($20+k)
Anyone know how she came to be in NZ ?
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