Siesta – The Old Days – Part 2






While yesterday’s story focused on the launch Siesta, the photos were all from her later years. Due to a technology glitch I did not receive the above b/w photos till late yesterday, so decided to do a separate post with the new/old photos.

Scroll down to compare the ‘as launched’ pre-fly-bridge days with the later addition. I know what I prefer put still a pretty woody.

(photos ex the original owners- via Ken Ricketts)

Siesta – Part 1




Siesta was launched in 1949, built by the owner A.H.L. (Harry) Maddaford (a saw miller) with the help of a professional boat builder & his staff (see below for detail), at his Penrose factory. She measured 40’.

Below is an account from Maddaford’s daughter Valerie Holbrook, on the building & launch of Siesta.

“Dad had always wanted a good-sized new launch so he had Kitson (one of his staff at his sawmill) pull two kauris out of Ness Valley bush, one green one and one old and dry with the sap rotted off but the solid heart left and the other one was forty-five feet long, there was at least fifteen feet hanging out behind the GMC trailer.  The idea being the planks, at least up to the waterline would be in one length.  The logs were milled and stacked out to air dry for 12 to eighteen months with dad hosing the timber most nights to wash the sap out.

Charlie Hardman laid the boat out as he had been a boat builder and Reg, my brother-in-law who worked for him assisted   Charlie soon went back to his house building but Reg stayed on to work for Jack Taylor, a boat builder. We all assisted at times including Rex.

Dad put the engine in and other mechanical bits and pieces.   A friend of Bill Blacklock did some French polishing, and a builder friend of dad’s made the helmsman’s seat, with a liquor cabinet in the back.

It was eventually finished and loaded on a low solid-tyred trailer that dad had borrowed.   At five o’clock one morning I slowly towed it to Panmure wharf with the GMC, and dad followed close in his car to see that nothing moved. We put it beside the wharf to float off as the tide came in.

That was the forty-foot Siesta, launched close to Christmas 1949″.

Input from Ken Ricketts below (edited by Alan H)

By 1960 she belonged to Ewen Marmont. Ken was aboard over the Christmas 1960 period; she had painted coamings & had acquired a dodger by then & Ken recalls she had the Perkins diesel at that time. Marmont had her for a number of years.

Subsequent history is hard to unravel because of the existence of two/three boats with the same name, but it’s possible that her owner in 1973 was H.V. Woodcock of Murray’s Bay, Auckland.

The present owners have been in contact with a Brian Sinclair of Whangarei, who advised that he owned her for a number of years in the c.1970s & he most likely bought her off the Woodcocks.

Stephen Smith a boat broker of Whangarei & Grant Cardno owned her for several years from c.1991 > 1994, they bought from Eric Burger, a friend of Kens. It is believed the Burger only owned her for a short period, during which he upgraded the interior.

Smith & Cardo kept her at Gulf Harbour. They sold her c.1994/95 to Barry Galbraith in Kerikeri & he kept her at Dove Bay, B.O.I. for the next 20 years.

Galbraith told Ken that when he was away cruising on one occasion, a gentleman in another boat came up alongside, & told him he used to own Siesta & his name was Brian Sinclair, (as referred to above,) & he told Galbraith that she had had a trip to Fiji, to act as mark boat, for the Auckland to Fiji race, on one occasion (this is not corroborated at his stage, so can only be anecdotal)

She is presently moored at Kissing Point in Whangarei, owned by Laurie & Jill White. She was still moored at Doves Bay B.O.I. when they bought her approx. 2 ½ years ago.

Ken understands that she is in quite good condition & still looking very original. Her original engine was a 6 cyl. Hercules petrol WWII war surplus tank engine & fairly shortly after, this was replaced with a slanting 6-354 Perkins diesel, (so it would go under the floor), which she still has today.

(photos ex Valerie Holbrook, Dean Wright, Laurie & Jill White & Brian Galbraith)



Tasman Star – A Peek Down Below

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Tasman Star – A Peek Down Below

Built in 1935 by Dick Lang, she started life as a commercial fishing boat – Danish seine netting. She measures 42’6” & is powered by a 150hp LXW Gardner. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the trademe listing heads up.

You can read about her colour-full life on this WW link


Matareka II




Recently I was contacted by Chris Laird on behalf of Mavis and Louis Fenelon who own the Logan launch Matareka II (46 years) The Fenelon’s rescued and rebuilt the cabin and interior some years ago.

Due to advancing years & the requirement for some structural repairs beyond their capabilities, they have reluctantly decided to find a good home for Matareka.

Matareka is an iconic classic vessel, I have looked over her personally while hauled out in 2014 & I can vouch for her build quality & presentation. She is an absolutely superb launch, built with safety in mind. A Logan, so say no more.

The Fenelon’s are passionate woody owners & do not want to see Matareka II lost.

Any buyer needs to demonstrate that they have the resources / ability to undertake the work and return Matareka II to the lovely vessel that the Fenelons created.

They are very negotiable on price and want the boat to go to a good home. Anyone interested can contact Chris in the first instance (email address below) & he will put them in touch with Mavis and Louis.

NOTE: there is an estimate of $20K for the commercial repair of the hull issues, given the overall condition of the vessel & her provenance, this is not an excess figure. Someone with the skills could reduce this figure substantially

Further reading:

During 2014 we began a major refurbishment of Matareka, which cost $25,000.  She had a complete and thorough repainting – antifouling, and all surfaces above the water-line. Complete interior painting and varnishing. Re-sealing of windows etc. where required. New water piping (input and distribution pipes) for the two 55 gal stainless steel water tanks. Servicing of water taps. Replacement of old winch with fully automatic anchor winch. New  Supreme anchor. Replacement of anchor rope with 60 metres of 3/8ths anchor chain. New teak bowsprit and bow roller. Cleaning and re-painting of underside of engine gear box. Four x 6 volt new engine batteries (arranged in two banks).

After all this work, on her third run in January 2015, we had the incident at the Ngapipi Road Bridge and she was repaired under Insurance during 2015.  We also decided, at our expense, to completely repaint the hull again – both white and anti-fouling.

Her inventory also includes the following:

A 371 Detroit diesel 90HP engine complete with a hydraulic 3:1 Allison forward/reverse gear box  (replacement cost $25,000-00, though Detroit agent has said our engine will go forever).

• Large (original) bronze rudder.

• 1 ¾ inch dia. bronze prop shaft driving a 26 inch X 32 inch bronze propeller

• Hydraulically operated steering from a (unique) five spoke ship’s steering wheel

• Auxiliary emergency steel hand tiller

• Heavy duty towing bollard (so far used only for towing dinghy)

• 12 volt high capacity bilge pump

• 2 x 75 gal black steel diesel tanks

• All main cabin glazing is ¼ inch toughened glass

• Canvas double-zipped cock-pit cover

• Head with s.s. basin and chemical toilet

• 6 bunk x Dunlop sponge rubber Dralon-covered squabs in very good condition.



Tamahere – A Peek Down Below

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TAMAHERE – A Peek Down Below

Tamahere last appeared on WW back in 2014 (link below), now thanks to a trademe listing we get to see down below.
She is 40′ long & powered by a 85hp Isuzu diesel that pushes her along at 6>8 knots. Its claimed she was built in 1903.

Back in 2014 we were unable to uncover any details on her, there lots of thousands of more WW readers these days, so hopefully we can unearth more on her.
Thanks to Ian McDonald for the listing heads up.

See / read more here

PRESTO – Is She Or Isn’t She?

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PRESTO – Is She Or Isn’t She?

If you believe the trademe listing, this is a very old lady – it says Presto was born 1898. Built by Charles Bailey, 42’ in length, 3 skin kauri. Originally powered by a steam engine but now powered by a 1950 100hp, 471 Detroit diesel.

Our resident Bailey guru HDK should be able to confirm or destroy this woodys birth details. Builder aside – what more do we know about her?. Current home is Taurangi. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the listing heads-up 🙂

28-07-2017 Comments ex Russell Ward
Port Doctor’s Boat. General workboat around the place when I was a kid at school. Had a boxy wheelbase with control position atop. Always scuttling round Hobson Wharf. Eventually retired.
She lay at Barry Brickell’s Diving Creek property in Coromandel for many years and was sold to a man who did the honours and but put the rakish upper works on her. Painted her green which is what I always remembered her as. Her old wheelhouse may still be at Driving Creek.


Comments below ex Ray Morey
1st an aft view of PRESTO under steam, that cut from the pic of Lady Vie and pan-am flying boat at mechanics bay
2nd is part of the blue boats dated 1973 from left is RANGI-SPRAY-unknown and just showing on the right is PRESTO after rebuild. This when Subritzky owned her.

Photo below from Dave Stanaway from when he knew her in the 1960’s when Bryce Subritzky was her master.


Input from Harold Kidd – below is a clipping from the Auckland Star, 30 March 1898 – covering the launching.

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Read lots more on the Comments Section

Maka Maile + Waitematawoodys Hits 3,000,000 Views

Maka Maile-7

Drunken (Isslington) Bay Dec1938>Jan1939 – Aft hand = Eric Clay

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Drunken Bay 1938 – Speed = 10 knots

Maka Maile-11

Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island

Maka Maile + Waitematawoodys Hits 3,000,000 Views

Today’s photo essay on the 1937, Sam Ford built, Maka Maile to me is what makes WW so special – out of the blue a comment gets posted on WW by Perrin Reilly advising that he has a collection of photos of Maka Maile that belonged to his Grandfather-in-law, one Eric Clay. Eric crewed on Maka Maile in the late 1930’s. When launched Maka Maile was 41’ in length, with a 10’5” beam & powered by a Chrysler 77 petrol engine that pushed her along at 12 knots.

Perrin emailed the above photos to me & now instead of gathering dust in some one’s bottom draw, they can be shared with the classic wooden boating community. You can read more about Maka Maile’s past on this link Milestone – 3 Million Views

When I started this weblog I never imagined that it would grow into the site that it is today, with just over 2,000 stories & followers/viewers from almost every corner of the world. Obviously NZ tops the list with the USA & Australia 2nd & 3rd, after that its everywhere. As always with sites like WW, it would be nothing without the input of people like Perrin Reilly who take the time to send in their stories & photos, so to all of you –  many thanks for sharing. And on that topic, please keep sending in content – whether it’s old photos / stories, restoration projects or just you enjoying your woody.

I would like to slip an apology in – in the first 6>12mths of WW, I only really had 6>8 people who sent me content, I can tell you it was a real challenge doing a daily story back them, now I get over 100 emails a day. So the apology is for not always being able to answer your emails, it’s not that I’m lazy or rude – just busy working on the tomorrows story 🙂

Enjoy today’s WW story & remember there are over 2,000 more in the back library 😉

Alan Houghton