Mystery Lake Okataina Launch – Can We Now Confirm Her ID
Back in February 2022 we ran a story, link below, on an unknown launch (2nd photo above) at an unknown location. At the time the location was ID’ed as Lake Okataina, Rotorua. The was a couple of potential ID’d on the launch from the two of the WW wise men 🙂
Harold Kidd suggested it may have been the bridgedecker – Merlin, owned by Beamish-White, that later went to Kawhia
Paul Drake was keen on her being the launch – Karina, that was in commercial service at Taupo in the 1960’s, owned by Jim Story.
Today thanks to Greg Philpott uncovering the top photo from the Archive NZ collection – taken by JG Duncan, we get a much better view of the launch, which was tagged 1951, Lake Okataina – so hopefully we can confirm her name and builder etc
Back in late October 2022 Dean Wright was in Blenheim attending John Gander’s significant birthday, all birthdays are significant but the ones with ‘0’s’ in them are more significant.
While down south Dean did some marina mooching and todays photo gallery comes to us from the Havelock marina. Nice to see a couple of our bigger northern woodys now safely tucked way down south – Turongo and Durville. Sad to lose them from the Waitemata but if we were keeping score I think we win more than we lose 🙂
A lot of craft unknown to WW and will probably morph into WW stories in their own right. As always click on photos to enlarge.
One of my southern woody spies – John Burland, has just has returned to NZ after summering over in Germany (he lives there, well at least in the northern summer).
Not long after unpacking the bags he was heading down to the Riwaka riverside marina, close to Motueka, Tasman. As the photos show the area is seriously tidal and John’s visit was at low water.
While John commented that the photos were of the usual suspects, it always good to see what’s normally hidden.
In the photos we see Varlene getting some TLC, as an aside looking at the finish on Varlene’s rail and the tin – it looks like at last Cetol is an ok finish – used to be a horrendous orange/yellow colour, similar to what actor George Hamilton used to use as fake tan (photo below)
Todays woody was built by L C Coulthard, Onehunga in 1931 for the New Plymouth Harbour Board. Not sure of her name, possibly still called – ‘Pilot’ 36’ in length, these days she resides in Houhora, at the top of the North Island.
Interested to learn more about her and what powers her these days, looks like she could get along with that hull.
Photo below as launched. The photos come to us from John Dawson ex Graeme Kearney fb.
INPUT ex Paul Nattrass –
“Launch Pilot ” was her surveyed name but even more simply “Pilot ^ call sign. Back in the early to mid 90s I was working for Sea-Tow Ltd barging coal into New Plymouth and said to the senior pilot that I would like to buy her he said that I would never get the opportunity, someone from the port would get her. however couple years later in a tender I made sure that I did just to prove him wrong. The late Graeme Wigg and I steamed her round the top to Houhora Had a 4 cylinder ford that I later changed to a 6. The Capital Gbox 2:1 bolted straight on. Has been a great predictable little work vessel that has taken on the new role of game boat with distinction that “Sucks up the fish”
A TEASE RE SOME OF SATURDAYS TREASURE SHOWING UP AT THE SLIPWAY MILFORD WOODY BOAT BOOT SALE – 10AM @ 5 OMANA ROAD MILFORD – CASH ONLY
If we believe her tme listing todays woody ws built in 1936 by Miller and Tunnage.
36’ in length she has a 60hp BMC diesel that gets her along at a top speed of 11.5 knots.
Home is Whangarei in the north and that woodys is all me know about her – can we put a name to her and expand on her past.
Heads up on Saturdays Woody Boat Boot Sale at The Slipway Milford yard – we have some serious collectors of marine ‘stuff’ dusting off their lockers so should be some treasure up for sale – remember CASH ONLY.
INPUT ex Paul Drake – The boat is TUATEA. Photos below of her on the Paremata Harbour in the 1980’s. I was told that she was Miller and Tunnage, about 1925. She was a Lyttelton boat, and went to Picton after I photographed her. Subsequently, while on her Ivy Bay (Paremata) mooring, she was struck by lightning and required extensive rebuilding. Whoever rebuilt her did a magnificent job. She re appeared at Seaview Marina, Wellington. Interesting that she is now in Whangarei. She appeals to me because she is a straight stemmer (nearly), has a full length sweeping belting, is low wooded, has port holes, and has a mast! What more could you want. Note that she is clearly not a double ender.
25-11-2022 INPUT ex Harold Kidd – TUATEA was designed and built by Jas. McPhersoin of Dunedin for Jack Hudson of Cadbury, Fry, Hudson chocolate manufacturers in late 1930.Hudson moved to Christchurch and took TUATEA with him, basing TUATEA at Lyttelton. There were various statements that she was built by Miller & Tunnage and even by J. Miller Ltd of Lyttelton, but not so. Original engine a 30hp Thornycroft. In NAPS as Z124 1942-4 skipper Magnus Smith.
A slightly worrying trend that is occurring on trademe is the number of wooden craft that are being offered up in ‘as-is-where-is’ condition with a short time window before they are disposed of. Probably a sign of the times in terms of storage costs and rebuild costs.
Todays wooody was saved, sold for less than $1,000 – lets hope the new owner has plans to restore her and not harvesting for parts / fittings.
Potiki II is 28’ in length, built by JH Young – thats all her tme listing told us. Thanks to Lan McDonald for the heads up.
Just a reminder we have the 38’ Robertson built classic – Katherine at Westhaven this weekend for viewing – 100% turn-key purchase – you’ll be boating this Christmas / NY. + W/haven marina also for sale. Email below for a viewing time.
On Sunday we held a woodys gathering ashore on Motuihe Island – trip down was commonly described as ‘lumpy’, except for the large woodys skippers who just smiled.
The bonus of a lumpy passage was almost zero trailer craft or pwc’s, so had the beach to ourselves. Very sheltered and sunny afternoon – always good to catch up with other woody owners and swap tales. Trip home was perfect with wind and tide assisting.
Nice to see both Lady Crossley and Pirate after there winter hibernation / haul outs.
My boat of the day was John Wright’s latest project the uber cool double-ender – Kiwa. That man has a wonderful eye for bringing the best out of any classic craft. Photo below when she was at Te Atatu Boating Club + links to previous WW stories on her
For all the wrong reasons I didn’t do a lot of boating (on my boat) this past winter, so the looming long Labour weekend was always going to see me leaving the dock even if the weather was ‘inclement’. Luckily it wasn’t and I slid away early Friday afternoon with the ultimate destination being Kawau Island. The boredom of mostly straight line motoring was broken up by Team NZ cutting up the gulf in their AC40, so so quick.
Decided to spend Friday night anchored at Moturekareka Island, the resting place of the wreck REWA (unsuccessfully scuttled as a breakwater) , not the most settled of spots but the sunset and the bird song made up for it.
Moved on earlier Saturday to Smelting House Bay and picked up a pre-booked mooring, now before you all call me a softy, we had the new dog onboard for its 1st trip and wanted to be close to shore – didn’t want an oops on board. I can report she was an angel – woke me at 5.30am for a row ashore. Sadly she also seems to think the #1 bunk is hers 🙂 The bonus of the dog pee row ashore is catching the sunrise, almost as fine as the sunset.
Mostly just relaxed mooching around, had a drink and dinner catch up with the crews off Meloa, Ngaio, Lady Adelaide and Golandrina at the Kawau Boating Club, which had just taken the shutters down after the annual winter hibernation. Food and service was first rate – if you are not a member – join, they need good support to keep doing what they do so well. The next day we dropped the pick in Vivian Bay – very quiet and later in the day several woodys arrived – seems to be the go-to destination for the Sandspit marina crowd.
I spied a stunning villa on the waterfront in Vivian Bay – photos below, will need to keep buying Lotto 🙂
Trip home on Monday was just about perfect for a straight stemmer e.g. wind and tide on the nose – 3 hours 45 min from KBC > Bayswater, that’s a good clip for my 94 year old girl.
UPDATE 03-11-2022 – Photo below of Rewa as scuttled (incorrectly). Comes to us from Auckland War Memorial Museum libray via Maurice Sharp fb.
SUNDAYS MYSTERY LAUNCH QUIZ WINNER
Well done Ken Ricketts, the winner from the many woodys that correctly ID’ed the launch as Sobrine. The pool was reduced significantly by a large number spelling the boats name – Sabrine. Link to a previous WW Sobrine story below https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/05/31/sobrine/
Have had a request from Jackson Lidgard for intel on the 38’ 1955 Lidgard built motor-sailer he and his father are currently doing a major refit/restoration on.
Jackson commented that she was originally named Lazy Days but renamed to Amokura sometime in the 1970’s or 80’s by the second owner. The story goes that the second owner was a Safe Air pilot from Picton who sailed her down from Auckland.
Jackson’s family bought her 2 years ago after she had deteriorated living on a swing mooring in Havelock Sound for the last 20 years or so. When purchased they were told it was a John Alden design but have been unable to confirm this.
Currently 4 months or so into her restoration in a shrink wrap shed on the Waikawa handstand. The top photo above was before the current project commenced.
Any information on the yacht would be greatly appreciated. For those woodys using Instagram there are regularly updates under the blog handle of @todothingsblog A random selection of photos from the blog below.
And for those wondering around the surnames of the builder and the restorer – yes there is a link but very distant.
Today’s story is another example of the effectiveness of WW – Grant Parker yesterday posted a comment on a WW story that appeared back in Oct 2014 – the 2014 story was on the c.1962 McGeady built launch – Challenger.
I have reproduced Grant’s comments below,
“The 38ft ” Challenger built by McGeady. was owned by my family in Tauranga in the late 1970’s > early 1980’s. After the Bradshaw family of Rotorua owned her she was sold to the Finn family also from Rotorua.
My father Bert Parker from Rotorua purchased the Challenger from Ray Finn. When he sold her she went to Havelock in the Marlborough Sounds where an older couple lived on her for a number of years.
The next owner was the owner of a trucking company in Nelson, he went bankrupt and she was sold again. The last I heard was she ended up North, maybe Bay of Islands, possibly the Opua area.
Our family had some great memories, the photos above of – Challenger, show her in her former glory with varnished coamings etc.
The photos show Challenger in : downtown Tauranga, Whale Island off Whakatane and South East Bay Mayor Island.”
Grant maintained an interest in the whereabouts of Challenger and once tracked her down in Havelock, then the ship broker in Nelson supplied the copy of her 4sale listing.
Purely from reference as to how our classics can morph over time and owners – I know which one I’d like to own 🙂