Classic Wooden Boat Riverhead Cruise
The story below without doubt is the best to appear on WW, author Pete Beech talks at one stage about writing a book – he needs to. Surely there is a funding channel available – what’s the literary equivalent of ‘NZ On Air’?
HERNE BAY YACHT CLUB
The photo of the boats from the Herne Bay JUNIOR Yacht Club (as it was known then) was taken probably 1933 not long after it was formed for boys under 18 and the location is the foot of George Dennes’s slipway at Sarsfield St, Herne bay.
George Dennes was the commodore and the only adult in the club. All other positions were held by the boys, who ran all the meetings. Vice Commodore Geoff Hodgson was 9, Rear Commodore Jim Faire, aged 13, Hon Sec Colin Dennes ages 16.
At first the boats were a mixed bag of local sailing dinks, the odd Zeddie, ‘anything with a sail’ and as you can see there in sail number 10, what looks to be a Zeddie with a bowsprit and jib.
In the winter of 1934, George Tyler built the 12-foot Silver Fern to an Arch Logan design for Colin Dennes. Others followed and the club consolidated around the new Silver Fern Class.
The administration experience gained from running their own affairs was put to good effect when many of the members, once they reached 18 years joined Richmond Yacht Club. By 1939, the RYC Commodore was Rupert Thorpe, Vice Comm Jim Frankham; Rear Comm Colin Dennes. All three HBJYC graduates and all under 21.
George Dennes died in 1942 and the Commodore’s role was taken over by Alf Thompson (Chad’s father) and continued until the Silver Fern’s demise around 1952, swept way by the new fangled Cherub, Moths and Pennant classes.
Notable yachtsmen, in no particular order, who came through the Silver Ferns were Laurie Davidson, John Lasher, Jim Faire, Des and Ray Hurley, Roy and Frank Dickson, Alan Barclay, Brian Woods, Des Townson, Murray White, Neville Thom, Shirley & Roy White, John Taylor, Roly Moreland, John Peet ….. and on and on…..
It was a very important club in its time and its unique structure actually trained young yacht club administrators. No other club did that.
Royal Falcon Restoration Update June 2020
TIME – 4 Sale
Woodrow has owned Chinook for just over 5 years, having purchased her from a gent in Whangamata, who didn’t have a lot of detail about her history.
One of the many woodys that contacted WW for a copy of Chris McMullen’s docking tips was Mike Empson, owner of – Maureen II, a Matangi, built c1967-68 by Brin Wilson. Maureen II is 100% kauri, 36′ long and weighs approx. 9 tonnes.
As you know I’m a big fan of the website – Off Center Harbor, the site is probably best known for jaw dropping boat tours and in-depth how-to series, but the OCH lads also know how to slow down and soak up the scenery. Given the craziness of the last 5 weeks I have found myself trolling the OCH online library more than ever, looking to a cure to my boat less blues. I have some favourites that I would be embarrassed to say how many times I have viewed 🙂
Woodys On Tour – Halls Boat Yard, New York
A few years ago, woodys Jim and Karin Lott were ‘parked up’ with the masts on deck in their kauri ketch – Victoria, on the Hudson River. More specifically in the middle of New York State in a city called Albany. The Lott’s waited there for three weeks for the Erie Canal to open. Jim commented that Albany definitely does not feature on anyone’s ‘place to go’ list. They were not alone as Wellington old salt Richard Watt and his wife Enid anchored alongside them in their launch (photo below of both boats), as well as dozens of other impatient US and Canadian sailors.
To while away the time they hired a car and headed to Lake George to look at woodies at Halls Boatyard, one of the many inland homes of wooden boats in New York. Jim commented that floating boat garages are common in North America and they spent several hours admiring a sea of varnished ash, cedar, spruce and mahogany. There was a slipway and boatyard all under cover inside the shed complex. The yard specialises in rebuilding and restoring classic motor-launches but a few yachts were getting the same TLC.
After the long wait, the canal stayed closed so they had to forgo the Great Lakes and continued up the Hudson. Eventually they locked into Lake Champlain and down the Richelieu River to the St Lawrence near Montreal in Canada.
Todays photos come to us from Nathan Herbert and show a small flotilla of woodys that regularly cruised together – the boats being – Kudu, Lynmar, Kotanui, Haunui, and Valhalla. On this cruise Rakanoa was present also but had not made the trip up the river for provisions, she decided to ’stay out’ at anchor.
Question is – can a boat be considered to be a premise?
Checking the mooring strop, flapping halyards, bilge pumps etc is part of normal boat security, particularly when grumpy weather is forecast or has just been.”
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 (Catherine S)
Wooden Boats @ Whangarei Town Basin
NGAIO – A Peek Down Below
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.
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