Woody Classics Weekend – Stillwater Picnic – 26 Classic Wooden Boat Photos
A-Class Racing on the Waitemata
Today’s feature photo is from a photo essay that Mike McGehan sent in. If my eyes and memory are correct Left > Right
A15 Prize, A17 Ngatoa, A14 Ngataringa, A18 Tawera, A27 Arohia
Anyone able to put an approx. date on the photo?
Mondays WW story will be a goody – 30+ photos from the camera of Kere Kemp who has just returned from the 2019 Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival. Great photos from a gent with a good key for woody talent 🙂 A tease below
RSVP – you and your boats name + approx. numbers to email@example.com
The Story of Marguerite
“The motor launch Marguerite (named after the owner’s wife) was built in the Ponsonby boatyard of builder Des Donovan in 1948. She was commissioned by my father Ken McLeod of Rotorua and was 42 feet long and built of solid Kauri without a single join.
Usually, the boat was moored at Tauranga but from time to time Ken sailed it up the coast to Auckland. It was on one of these trips, I believe it was in 1949 that he decided to take it to Motuhue Island because I had a friend who was a young naval officer stationed at the base there and it was decided to take him out for the day.
On board were Ken’s wife, myself and an old friend of Ken’s, Mick Fahey, his wife Zelda and daughter Robin. On the way Ken decided to investigate a minor problem in an engine so he gave the helm to Mick with instructions to head for a certain headland. Within about 10 minutes there was a terrible thud. Mick had misinterpreted Ken’s instructions and the boat had hit a rock.
It started taking on water and Ken hunted in vain for what was obviously a hole in the hull. It eventually transpired that it was under a locker in the bow and almost impossible to reach. Meanwhile the situation required removing all but the two men from the boat to the island and seeking help as fast as possible.
All the others were put in the dinghy and I rowed them ashore. The rocks all over the beach were hard to navigate in bare feet but eventually I reached the naval station where I found the captain hoeing his vegetable garden! He was immediately galvanised into action to try at least to tow the boat to safety.
Meanwhile Ken had managed to reverse the boat off the rock on which it was stuck and had almost beached it nearby. The captain rallied his young naval trainees who completed the beaching task with a couple of lifeboats.
Next day, the Marguerite was repaired sufficiently by Des Donovan to be towed to his boat yard and eventually repaired both inside and out. The tide had gone through the hull overnight and a good deal of the interior had to be replaced.
Mercifully, the insurance company paid for the entire cost of the repairs.
The McLeod family subsequently had many wonderful holidays on the Marguerite not withstanding Rita’s low tolerance of rough seas!
Eventually after Ken retired he felt that he could no longer manage the boat safely on his own (the real Marguerite got terribly sea sick and did her best to be enthusiastic about boating) so it was sold to someone who assured Ken that he would take good care of it.
Within a year or so this owner had on sold it to another person, now unknown. Their motive for buying it is still a mystery but within a short time the Marguerite was reported sunk at the back of Rangitoto Island.
The insurance company “smelled a rat” and did a thorough investigation which revealed that the boat had been deliberately scuttled in order to claim the insurance. Anything of any value such as the compass and other nautical gear of any value was gone.
I do not know whether the hull was ever returned to Auckland but the whole dreadful history was heart breaking for Ken.”
Input from Martin Howson – Great story from John Street, for many years Te Hauraki was stored in a barn in Wellsford while owned by George and Alma Hansen, they bought her after she had languished on a mooring in Little Shoal Bay and motored her up to Mangawhai Harbour from there she put on a transporter and into their barn waiting for George to fit a new engine ,that never happened meanwhile she just sat surrounded by vintage cars and covered in bird droppings. After George died she was sold to the Kaipara Harbour where she had a powerful engine fitted and blew away the opposition at the next Pahi Regatta. The rest of the story we all know thanks to John.
Woody Classics Weekend Riverhead Trip Report
And more ex David Plummer and Geoff Steven
B/W photo below ex Mike Mahoney
Great view of Jason Prew’s – My Girl below. taken by Angus Rogers. Really shows off her lines, no wonder she is so quick 😉