Total Wooden Boat Porn

Total Wooden Boat Porn

Over the last week I have had numerous woodys asking if I had seen the YouTube video on one of the UK’s stunning new motor boats – the Spirit P70. My answer was yes I had, so today I thought I had better share it with you. Built by Spirit Yachts to a very simple owner brief – it must be able to cover (non-stop) 1000nm at an average speed of 18 knots, she tops out at 23.5 knots. And budget? – somewhere between 4 and 5 million pounds. That woodys gets you are very swanky vessel, every single item is bespoke – check it out.

Koputai

KOPUTAI


Koputai was built in 1939 by Miller & Tunnage in Port Chalmers for use as a pilot vessel. Her specs are 56’ x 14’6” and she draws 6’5”.In the early 1990’s she returned to Miller & Tunnage to be converted to a pleasure boat. The WW link below takes you to her 2015 WW story for extensive details and photos, back then she was offered for sale.

Fast forward 5 years and I have been contacted by Keith Foster who purchased Koputai from Louey Sandiant (deceased). Keith sent in the above photos and like all of us is keen to uncover more on her past.
https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/05/03/koputai-sailing-sunday/

RSVP WAITEMATAWOODYS@GMAIL.COM

28 Days On Board Waitangi – Auckland > Sydney

28 Days On Board Waitangi – Auckland > Sydney


Hopefully today will be the last day of lockdown at L3 for Aucklanders, so should therefore be the last day of ‘staying-close-to-home’.

A perfect excuse to view this great video from the Royal Akarana Yacht Club, the club are approaching their 125th anniversary and have come up with a cool idea, under the umbrella ‘Club Conversations – Unplugged’- today we get to meet club member Peter Oldham QSM, and hear the story of his passage aboard the classic yacht Waitangi, on her 28 day journey from Auckland to Sydney in 1949 + a peek into his life story.
Enjoy 🙂

Peter Oldham QSM

RSVP via the form below

Classic Wooden Boat Cruise – 72 photos

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S/S Romany

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Arohanui

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Trinidad

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Matira

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Ann Michelle

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Lady Crossley

Raindance CCC trip Aug2020

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CLASSIC WOODEN BOAT WEEKEND CRUISE TO CLEVEDON  – 72 Photos 

Lets be honest, a large chunk of 2020 has been very average – locked marina’s, no on-the-water boating and cancelled events. After spending the weekend on-board Raindance, cruising up the Clevedon river and over-nighting with 12 other woody boats at the Clevedon Cruising Club, I realised what I had missed the most was the sense of fraternity that comes with being in a space shared with people who love the same things as I do – woody boats. 
 
The trip up the Wairoa River revolves around a tide window, so it was a very early start for some of us, helped by coffee on-route, the smart ones left on Friday and were enjoying breakfast in a bay as we were sliding down the Tamaki Strait. We were meet at the river entrance by CCC member Barrie Abel who ‘piloted’ us up the river – no opps, so thank you Barrie.
 
Awaiting for us at the CCC wharf was Russell Ward with his steam boat – Romany. The gent deserves a medal – all day Saturday and Sunday morning he was taking the CCC members and families + the woodys for rides. Romany is coal fired and as Russell tells everyone getting aboard – “if its metal – its hot, if its varnished – its dirty 🙂 . I’m a big fan of Romany, but the star was Cooper the English springer spaniel – I could have taken him home.
 
After some wonderful ‘air-traffic control’ we managed to get everyone either alongside the wharf or rafted to another boat that was alongside – soft bumper fenders along the entire wharf makes for very civilized berthing. However – no names, but one woody had to leave the Saturday night BBQ to check that their diesel fired on-board central heating outlet wasn’t roasting the fenders 😉
 
The day was very leisurely with most people enjoying a dockside lunch and CCC members dropping down to view the boats and people having steam boat rides. One woody took the opportunity to buy some fuel from the club’s dockside bowser, seems he forgot to check the level before departing, staring to become a habit……….
In addition to the activities afloat we were treated to some eye-candy in the car park – a stunning 1947 Ford Coupe and a replica 1945 Fairliner Torpedo speed boat.
 
Come 4pm we invaded the CCC club house for the main event – as always amazing hospitality from the club and to use that old saying “a good time was had by all”. It was announced that our visit will be a compulsory event on the club’s annual calendar – so woodys – no excuses for missing out next year. Date to be advised.
 
Check out the outdoor heater – a piece of kiwiana and it worked a treat.
 
Overnight it was a tad nippy, with several re-filling the boat water bottles in the early hours of the morning. But we woke to a stunning day and departed at 10am for the trip home.
 
And the Clevedon Coast Oysters were divine – photo below was my lunch – another set were dispatched as a appetizer – 8.5/10 – not Bluff but on the day as good 🙂
Special note of thanks to David Cook (Trinidad) who is my sidekick pulling these events together 🙂
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Tides Out 🙂  (photo ex Alan Good)

CCC tide out

Southern Woodys – Work Boat Wednesday

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Southern Woodys – Work Boat Wednesday
 

Iain Forsyth, owner of the 1961, 42’6″’, Miller & Tunnage built ex work boat – Meola, has recently returned from a trip to the other island. Ian commented that he stopped off at Carey’s Bay and saw Pakeha (recently featured on WW) on the slips after a large refit by Carey’s Marine and ready to launch.


Iain snapped the above gallery of workboats. It was opportune timing as the Bluff fleet were in port and getting ready for the season. Now I’m sure they aren’t all woodys but as per the NZ Classic Yacht Association rules (see below) metal is all good 🙂 
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Classic Yacht Porn – Mariquita

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CLASSIC YACHT PORN – MARIQUITA

In February the worldwide owners of classic wooden yachts held their breath as one of the worlds most stunning classics – the 125’, 1911 W. Fife III designed and built – Mariquita, went to a no-reserve auction in Paris. This auction would probably set the bench mark for future sails. 
On the day Mariquita sold for £357,000 – that just over NZD$700k, a bargain and I bet you could hear a pin drop in the members bar at the – New York YC, Yacht Club de Monaco, Royal Yacht Club and the Royal Thames Yacht Club. Not that long ago the asking price was £2,750,000.
I came across the YouTube video below – ‘Sailing Aboard Mariquita’ on the Classic Sail fb page. It is a tad sales promo but a great video, they had British sailing legend, Harold Ludmore, onboard calling the shots. Its well worth 12’ of your time to watch. Below also is a transcript.

TRANSCRIPT

Take a look at this boat… she’s one of the most beautiful boats ever built…

She’s Mariquita launched in 1911 and she’s a piece of maritime history – an antique – but very much afloat and being raced like she was new.

I once joined her for a week in Italy sailing aboard as regatta crew, and it’s one of the best experiences I’ve  ever had.

She’s sailed as she would have been in 1911 – no winches , everything is done with pulleys on the deck and she’s gaff rig so there’s lots of cordage.

She has 18 crew – six are permanent, six sign on for a season and then they take on six for each regatta.

She was restored to be sailed at these big classic regattas – especially in the Mediterranean.

She’s a big class yacht – with a length on deck or overall being 95ft – taken out to 125ft over her bowsprit and boom. She draws 12ft… so she’s no creek crawler!

She was rebuilt and relaunched in 2004, by Fairlie restorations, now sadly no more. The craftsmanship of her restoration was superlative, I saw her at the time and every feature about her was excellent. They’d recreated a dream-boat from another time and now instead of being in black and white here was the honey colour of her varnished hatches, the polished brass of her fittings and the lovely warm grey of her teak decks – which feel so good under bare feet.

She’s composite construction so she has a steel rib cage – or frame, over which wooden planks are fastened, and this was how she was built originally. It makes her very strong and she has been and she can… be raced hard.

Her first owner was Arthur Stothert, who was 49 when he had her built in 1911. Her designer was William Fife. She’s built to the 19 M rule – only four boats were built – all in 1911 and Fife built two of them, the other two were by Nicholson and Mylne…

They raced briefly before the first world war and then Mariquita was sold to Norway… she raced again in Britain between the wars – but there was no 19-M class by then, and then she ended up dismasted and de-rigged in a mud berth in WW2 first at the Deben and later on the Orwell at Pin Mill. There she lay as a houseboat, and that was where she was discovered in 1987 by William Collier who was scouting out such classics for the famous Ferrari collector Albert Obrist.

Obrist, who had sold most of his cars, had moved on to boats and had restored and just relaunched the 107ft (33m) 1931 Fife schooner Altair – often cited as the restoration that set the standards for all to follow.

In 1991 Obrist set up Fairlie Restorations, the high quality classic yacht specialist on the Hamble. Mariquita was acquired awaiting an owner and Ernst Klaus and Peter Livanos came to her rescue having a superb restoration completed at Fairlies between 2001 and 2004.

They kept and race Mariquita until her centenerary year – with Jim Thom as her captain… and then ten years later… with her new owners and skipper I got a chance to sail aboard.

This was at Porto Santo Stefano for the Argentario sailing week every June since 1998 in lovely Southern Tuscany.

I was to be one of the six regatta crew they take on for a week… First things first – you get assigned your personal water bottle – no single use plastic here… I met some old friends – Cornelius and Dickie.

The pros are up early, Billy the bosun coils ropes along with Robyn and Pippa, who are sailors as well as chief stewardess and cook

I meet George the captain, who was Jim Thom’s mate – talking to Matty the mate and then the helmsman – also the owner – Johnny Caulcutt came aboard…

Soon it was time to meet a sailing legend – Harold Cudmore who is our tactician for the week. The days start with warm up exercises which include a few stretches and we all get a bit hands on as well – this is a good idea and gets you ready for when you are going to do some pulley hauling… And it’s time to raise the sails.

Cudmore’s already counting down to the start and I’m up here on the foredeck, with Richard Sawle and the bowman Jérôme Collet – Jerome’s a relaxed kind of cat – until he needs to leap into the rigging. Matty the mate and Millie are also on the foredeck, and from my position at the end of the mainsheet I can see right back down the deck.

The sheet is called by Peter or Tubsy Brook. I help in hanking on the jib topsail… It’s good to be out on the bowsprit when you’re office bound… of course in my head I still think I’m the schoonerman of my youth!

Fully rigged she looks fully dressed – with a lot of sail area high up to catch the wind; note the jib topsl which is flaked and tied up in wool ready to be broken out by tugging it sheet when needed…

With an upwind sail area of more than 6,000 sq feet she’s capable of kicking up some sea dust – even in these light airs.

If people in Santo Stefano look out of their window they get a nice view today – we’re here with some other big boats –Shamrock and Cambria

Shamrock V was the first J Class to be built – in 1930 – for Thomas Lipton’s fifth attempt to win back the America’s Cup for Britain. She’s uncompetitive in the modern J Class but she just leaves us in her wake… she’s built of wood on steel frames as well.

Eleonora the replica Herreshoff schooner is the biggest vessel here…

Between tacks the crew lies on the weather deck, with Milly, forward, calling the trim on the jib with hand signals.

The folk of another Fife – Halloween, from 1926 and a Bermudan design are slowly overtaking us… The next boat to overtake us is Cambria and she takes about four minutes to haul ahead – hand over hand she’s the faster boat and although our gaff handicap will help she’s the one to beat – she won in our class the year before.

And has Cudmore got a plan? I like his look of concentration – and it turns out, the next day he does…  But we’re sailing well and the pros have taken us newbies in hand – hauling on ropes can be hard work – but my hands aren’t sore…

A few hours later we get to the end of the race and realise Cambria has missed a mark – she’s stopped and her sails are coming down. They get radioed and put them back up to carry on racing. Later Cudmore notes that it gave us 23 minutes on them, we have won… Day One. We have a beer with our debrief and there are tacit congratulations… Cudmore mentions the light airs are suiting us with Shamrock V as well – plus they left their big genoa behind.

Saturday’s a magic day – not just to be sailing in these waters, but we’re going to see a master tactician at work

The race is about 26 miles in a flat diamond course north of Porto Santo Stefano out into deeper water and then round a second mark in the bay of Talamoné  – the third mark is an inshore-ish mark

The wind forecast had the wind backing SW to SE – mainly light airs – which would suit us.

The race starts well and shortly after midday we’ve rounded the second mark – Cambria is ahead of us, and we can see her slowed right down with yachts around her pointing in different directions –

Away off to port on the shoreside the NY40 Chinook is hugging the shoreline and she has wind… Cudmore alters us to steer between Chinook and Cambria. And unbelievably there is enough air to carry us past them. We are literally 200 yards to Cambria‘s port… we hit the convergence ourselves about a couple of minutes later and Cudmore has everyone lying on deck with the sails sheeted amidships… we don’t dare breathe as we feel the 36 tons of lead carrying us forward with sheer silent momentum through the pellucid green waters below.

It was extraordinary thing to call  and even better to witness, especially sailing that close to the convergence zone which was caused by the meeting of an offshore and offshore breeze…

Later Harold told me: “There were two breezes today and we had three occasions – crossing back and forwards between them – to benefit from that. Picking where and how to do that was the race decider.

Cambria was clearly ahead of us but when she lost her wind we saw a smaller boat over on the shore side (Chinook) which had wind, so we could steer between the two and just keep our wind (and stay out of the convergence). Today was a day you would call a heads-out-of-the-boat day. We were all looking at what was happening around us – but there was also a lot of luck involved.

“I think it’s great that we are beginning to race these boats as they were raced 100 years ago and we have more and more respect for our forebears who raced them then. We have better materials now – better rope and so on – but otherwise the conditions are similar.”

It gave us another decisive win and Harold was rightly congratulated; when he comes into the Marco Polo restaurant later that evening he gets a round of applause.

After that a win the next day seems assured. We are on a high. Captain George says this is the first time since she was launched that Mariquita won three races in a row… It’s an auspicious season start – that year she wins the Panerai Trophy in the Big Class overall…

It was a shame to hear she was laid up in Lymington – under covers in 2015 and has been ever since – but there are a few of us who can’t afford to run boats at the moment… She remains a boat of dreams, a vessel that others flock to see. And I treasure that week, the fantastic sailing… and seeing Mr Cudmore’s genius at work.

Mariquita 1911, Designed by Wm Fife III

LOS 125ft (38m)
LOA 95ft 6in (29m)
LWL 66ft (19m)
beam  17ft 4in (5.3m)
Draught  12ft (3.7m)
Sail area Upwind  6,171 sqft (573m2)

1895 Bailey Gaff Cutter – IDA – Launch Celebration

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1895 Bailey Gaff Cutter – IDA – Launch Celebration
Yesterday (19th July 2020) afternoon John and Lorraine Street officially launched the latest addition to The Classic Yacht Charitable Trust fleet – Ida the 58’ (45’) gaff cutter. Designed by Chas Bailey and built in 1895 by C&W Bailey.
In December 2018 John and the CYCT shipped Ida back from Sydney where she had resided since c.1985. It would be fair to say that she wasn’t in the best of shape – but Wayne Olsen & Mike Smith at Horizon Boats did their magic and today we got to see the 125 year old woody centre stage at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
I have previously covered the restoration and rigging etc on WW, links below. Also below is a link to the Classic Yacht Charitable Trust website that tells the complete 125 year history of Ida. So I’ll let the photos above tell today’s story.
Below is a video clip of Johns speech – as always very informative and entertaining – turn the volume up and enjoy 🙂
Full History and Photo Gallery

http://www.classicyachtcharitabletrust.org.nz/trust_boats.htm?boat_id=16

Previous WW Stories

Classic Wooden Boat Riverhead Cruise

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Classic Wooden Boat Riverhead Cruise

Yesterday’s creek (river) cruise to the Riverhead Tavern was another successful gig on the Woodys Classics Weekend calendar. 14 boats made the trip up the creek and with no ferries working, we had the wharf to ourselves. Always nice to be greeted at the wharf by the publican and woody boater – Stephen Pepperell. We enjoyed brilliant support and service from the rest of the team at the tavern insured the day went like clockwork and 85+people enjoyed a great catch up, chat and lunch. The sun shone at the right times (most of the day) so a good times was had by all. Wonderful to see the support from the people that made the trip by car.
Details on the next event soon 🙂
MORE PHOTO’S @ link below
My crew for the day Chris Miller has posted some great photos on his weblog, I was concentrating on helming the ship and given CM is a pro photographer I left the camera work to Chris. Enjoy 🙂

The Evolution of Pleasure Craft Communication

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THE EVOLUTION OF PLEASURE CRAFT COMMUNICATION

Next time you pick up a mobile phone to chat to another boat or log a trip report via the Coastguard APP, spare a thought for the boats of days gone by that had only one option (other than flags) for communications at sea. As a child I was fascinated by all these strange random words Zulu Mike Bravo Lima etc – my father being an ex-army comms man, morse was his thing. On holidays, myself and brothers were ‘made’ to listen to ships at sea and try to record the message, the winner i.e. most accurate, would win a chocolate.

WW follower Ken Ricketts is of an age that he has seen and experienced the evolution of New Zealand maritime radio communications and recently he wrote a comprehensive chronicle on the subject, which you will find below. It is worth a read to either educate or refresh yourself on the huge advances that have been made in the field. The story is peppered with a few tales directly relating some of our woody fleet (scroll over photos to ID the woodys) so hopefully that will keep those of you with a short attention span –  awake 🙂 Enjoy

Maritime radio-telephony in Auckland pleasure craft, had its first & humble beginnings in 1946, at which time, Ken’s father, Ralph Ricketts, entered the fray, with the second ever such installation, in Auckland, (the original first one was on the REHIA owned by Bill & Phyl Ryan at that time — who told RR about it) RR immediately bought, (as ultimately almost everyone did, once they knew about them ), an ex WW II war assets double side band, (DSB),  ZC1 MK II R.T., for  20 pounds, & fitted it to the Rickett’s launch – JULIANA, after which RR had a visit from a Govt radio inspector, who took diagrams of aerial format & layout, made various notes on his file of the installation, checked RR’s ability to use the set, made a test call himself, to “ZLD Auckland Radio,” sited  at Musik Point at that time, on the entrance to the Tamaki Estuary, & made sure RR had a “Restricted Radio Operators License,” which was required in those days, by all radiotelephone operators, on all pleasure craft, – now long since discontinued, & he allocated JULIANA the call sign of ZMYP.

REHIA 1948

JULIANA & AOMA c1953

Originally, there was only one call frequency, & that was 2012Kh, in 1946, used for all purposes, but not too long after that, 2012  was reallocated exclusively for harbour control use, to the Auckland Harbour Board, & pleasure boaties were allocated 2182, the international distress frequency for initial calling to government shore stations, & 2162 for ship to shore working, & 2456 & 2638 for ship to ship gossiping. 

The 2162 working frequency, was later changed to a duplex frequency, with 2162 for listening to ZLD, & them receiving on 2207. 

The frequency of 2045, was allocated around 1950, for use for transmission between privately owned shore stations & boats, such has Port Charles Radio, (the legendary Jim Smith owner/operator ), Gt. Barrier radio , Awaroa Radio etc. 

These shore stations were used extensively, for many years, from around 1950, by many commercial fishing boats, working throughout the Gulf, many of whom, reported in daily their positions, usually around 6 pm. There were also many pleasure craft which used the service, & RR was one of them. He joined the Port Charles association for most of his boating life with legendary Jim Smith the owner/operator. RR or Ken would call Jim every evening at around 6pm & report in our position at that time. 

You paid a small annual fee usually, to join their non profit associations, to cover their running costs & they kept records of your locations, times of calls, assisted in any way they could, with any problems you may have had, etc., & these associations usually operated, for several set times, of about 15 to 30 minutes, each day. Ken thinks some may still exist on the VHF channels, possibly there is one on Gt. Barrier Island.  

Auckland Coastguard was also allocated the frequency of 2128, (from recall), for ship to Coastguard use. 

By the early 1950s ZLD had introduced a radio telegram service to land based recipients who had a telephone number available, as the address & the telegrams would be sent by ZLD to any entity via that phone number ( & later delivered in hard copy via normal post to the address of the phone number), & if a reply was quested, or anticipated, they would telephone it through immediately, whilst the ship waited on standby, & ZLD would call back with the reply ASAP. 

The cost, was fairly expensive for the era, & on a cost per word basis & the costs were charged to the landline phone number. This service stayed in place as far as Ken knows right through in to the VHF era.

Land based parties, could also send radio telegrams to boaties, with the address, via the P & T telegram phone number, which must include the call sign & was as follows; (as a example) Mr. Smith Vessel ZMYP JULIANA C/- ZLD AUCKLAND RADIO. 

ZLD at the end of its 3 or 4 hourly daily weather forecasts & shipping information, would give a list of all telegraphic traffic held for all vessels including of course, & very importantly, their call signs, & most would listen to these broadcasts, as often as possible, & advise friends on other boats, if they were near at the time, that  ZLD had a message for them.

By about 1983 this communication with the outside world was taken a step further, &  ZLD introduced a VHF radio telephone service, which many mature old time boaties may recall, where a ship could call ZLD, on channels 22 & 23, in the  Auckland region, give them a landline number, which they would dial & then patch your call to ZLD through, to enable you to talk direct, to the subscriber, which whilst it was a good service, it had its shortcomings & limitations, shall we say, as any boatie who by chance or otherwise, dialled into ch. 22 or 23 on his boat, would inevitably be privy to what were sometimes surprising, & very private conversations, also necessarily, only one party at a time in the conversation could speak, & the other had to listen, & one had to say “over,” at the end of each segment of conversation, to enable the other party to know when to respond, 

Calls to boaties from landlines could also be booked with ZLD & ZLD would call them back, when they were able to make contact the vessel, the land based party wished to contact.

There was one other form of radio communication which evolved & inevitably found its way in to the boating world for a period in the 1970s/80s & that was  Citizen Band (CB) radio transmitting communication equipment, for short distance communication, unrestricted in it use, & it could be used by any person, at any place for any lawful purpose, but it was restricted, to a very low aerial output power in all sets, which could be bought & licensed extremely cheaply, much more so, than proper marine  purpose built equipment, & this medium became popular for a period, in the  1970/80s, with some  boaties, mostly in the smaller cheaper craft range, where cost was a really important issue for some, but whilst it was cheap, it had many shortcomings, including its very short transmission range, & as there was no structured organisation of any type, either private or govt., monitoring it, one simply in event of distress, had to rely on someone within the range for your set, hearing your call, & helping as best they could, one way or another. So whist it was so very limited in its rescue value, nevertheless it was better than having no communication at all, if in need of help. 

These sets had a good number of preset channels  & operated on the HF 26.500 Mh band in NZ., which was a different frequency range to many other countries, including Australia, which used 27.500Mh), & call signs were allocated to owners on a regional basis, depending on where you lived.

Ken installed one on his 40′ launch TIARRI, when launched in 1979, in order to have maximum possibility of assisting boats, in times of distress or breakdown. TIARRI’S main call sign was ZM3199, which, along with the radio, Ken took from his first boat, FLYING SCUD, which was issued to F.S. in December 1953, when she was built & launched by Roy Lidgard, just after the advent of the letter number era – only 1100 numbers in to the new system.  

TIARRI

FLYING SCUD 1975

There were the very odd exceptions, to the above early days policy, & call signs, mostly around the 1940s era, almost all of which, were for boats, where they were owned by the owners of private islands, in the Hauraki Gulf & Northland, & perhaps the Sounds, where they had a licensed, private, island based set, on their island, & a special boat call sign allocated to their boats, for keeping in touch with their home bases, usually where these boats were their sole means of access, to the outside world, & these sometimes, were of a number letter combination, with just one or two numbers usually, & had just one specific frequency, to operate with.  

All transmitting in DSB & SSB sets was technically very accurately totally controlled, often by a plug in type internal “Chrystal Control unit,” or similar, for each frequency,& fitted to all sets for all transmitting frequencies. 

There were later several lower end of the High Frequency, (HF) band, frequencies added in the 3, 4, & 6, Mh bands, mostly used by off shore boats, out at sea. 

This cumbersome, & red tape process, of registration, continued for a good number of years, right through the initial era of “ Double side Band “ transmission, & in to the upgrading of that era, to “single side band” (SSB) transmission, circa 1970s

After single side band transmissions became compulsory, around the 1970s this required the purchase of a new set, & the only double side band frequency which was still legally usable, was the international distress frequency of 2182 Kh,  & this could only be used for calls to govt shore stations (ZLD for Auck)  or ZLW for Wellington, as examples),  for emergencies only, & craft which did not wish to outlay for a new SSB set, or alternatively still keep a 2182 set after they bought a VHF set after they were introduced, could modify & keep their old set, & were then reallocated a compulsory special “ZMX” based call sign, starting at ZMX2001.

These days ZLD has left Musik Point, & the government’s ZLD & ZLW (& ZLB in the South Island,) which all later came under the umbrella of Telecom, being the replacement that took over from the old P & T., which in turn, has now become a totally new entity, as “Maritime Radio,” & under the umbrella through various subsidiaries, to “Maritime NZ.,” being another different Govt Dept, with the  transfer becoming effective from midnight, & starting on the 1st October 1993 & the operators of which, are now all based in the Old Radio NZ Avalon building, in Avalon, Lower Hutt, Wellington, with transmission facilities, in Wellington & Taupo, plus a network of repeaters, scattered around the country monitoring the whole country, which is now all controlled from this one location.

In the later 1970s early 80s Very High Frequency, (VHF) maritime radio was introduced, which gave many benefits, with all its ongoing ever increasing refinements, & installation of shore based repeaters, on high ground, throughout the country, which  has now ultimately totally replaced the old Medium Frequency DSB & SSB sets, with many advantages to all users, for all local NZ & inshore boating, along with the discontinuation of licensing of individual operators, & inspections by govt inspectors, of all boats so fitted, with RT equipment. 

Also, Radio Spectrum Management, the govt department which these days controls allocates & administers all radio & TV transmissions, call signs & frequencies, has vested in NZ Coastguard, the authority to issue calls signs on its behalf, of a mixed letter number type, such as, (possible examples only), ZMQ 2947, ZMW4526, ZMR 2937, & so on, as a result of the huge demand for these, these days, & the time consuming process it used to be, for R.S.M.

Originally in 1946, this was all under the umbrella of the Post & Telegraph Department to later become Telecom, & remained so for many years, until 1987, when it all started to change & we have ended up, for a good number of years now, with RSM, as the entity in control.

The pleasure craft call sign evolution, & changes to it, are as follows;

As above, all craft up until c1953, were all 4 letters alone.

As they were beginning to run out of call signs, around 1953, the Govt. wrote to all pleasure craft owners, requesting they approve the replacement of their existing all letter call signs with a letter number combination, starting originally, with the first reissued call sign of ZM2001. 

It is important to note that the Govt., could not insist on this by law, & only request it, & if the owners did not consent to the allocation of a new call sign, the original then remained with the boat, & there are a few of boats that still have their original all letter call signs even today. 

Neither Ken’s father nor the owner/builder of GAY DAWN, Bill Waters, who RR bought the boat off in 1956, surrendered their original all letter call signs, for their respective boats, —  (see image above of GAY DAWN taken c1965, showing clearly, a typical DSB aerial set up as used for many of the DSB, SSB, medium frequency sets of that era), —  RR sold JULIANA in 1956 with ZMYP, (which was somewhere along the way, later either abandoned, or replaced, with letter number combo call sign), & now, as referred to below, is reinstated to her for life. RR bought in 1956 & sold in 1970, GAY DAWN, with ZMIV in place, which however, also later along the way, was replaced by persons unknown, with a letter number combo, at least once, note: ZMIV has now been reallocated to the Rickett’s family and used on the vessel ROSEANNE, which is owned by Ken’s daughter.

GAY DAWN C.1965

Such was the ever increasing size of the “snowball,” of pleasure craft sets, that it was not all that long, before the original issue of the ZM2001 to ZM9999 were all allocated, & we then saw the issue of  ZMA2001 to ZMA9999, followed by the final issue to the SSB era, which was ZMY2001 to ZMY9999. 

It is important to note, that all call sign issues right from ZM 4 letter, ZM+, ZMA, ZMY, & ZMX, & all Coastguard issued call signs are approved & provide for use of all VHF sets.    

All letter only call signs, which are all just 4 letters alone, must still be issued by R.S.M. direct, & are mostly reserved for all Govt vessels,(eg., all the Police DEODAR launches were & still are, all allocated ZMIH, during their term of service to the Police), also some very large off shore fishing vessels, & some NZ based pleasure boats, that cruise off shore, or are capable of cruising offshore have these call signs allocated as well. 

Other pleasure craft, that have some classic, historical, or other special significance, are also issued these, at the discretion of RSM.    

Ken has enjoyed a close & good relationship with RSM, for many years, & there are some interesting background stories relating to the issue of some of these special allocations of all letter call signs, which Ken has been associated with, & some of these are as follows. There are a tiny number of pleasure craft that were built prior to about 1953, where the owners did not approve replacing their original call sign, which the dept. would have requested, but could not insist upon in c1953. 

Two examples of this are as follows; 

One with its original 1946 issued call sign is RAKANOA, which still has her original call sign ZMTF as issued when new, & the other, is Owen Foster’s WAIRANGI, also with her original call sign of ZMTM.

RAKANOA c1948

WAIRANGI 2020

A fairly recent approval exception, is the issue of ZMPY, to Peter Loughlin’s Colin Wild built LADY MARGARET, which was first issued to her, in 1941, by the Navy, & is recorded as such on her British Ship registration, (see below), & as a classic craft, with this history of her call sign, Ken assisted Peter, to secure this for her for life, when he bought her.

LADY MARGARET

LADY MARGARET Registration certificate P1 (TOP) jpg

Likewise Francis Uren’s “W1”, was issued with ZMWI in 2014, which is another detective story. W1 was originally brought to NZ by the Royal New Zealand Air force in 1941, as their extremely fast, & prize patrol craft, & given in the circumstances, the logical Air force number of “W1”, which has now been reinstated to her, as her name, by present owner Francis, after a long period of being known as CARROMA.  

W1 c.1942

As she is now W1 again, Ken approached RSM, gave them her history, & they in turn, approached their counterparts in the military, to see if they could uncover her original WWII call sign, but unfortunately all those records have been lost, so as an alternative, RSM offered Francis the call sign ZMWI. – They could not offer ZMW1 as international radio spectrum law, prohibits that type of call sign, worldwide, so she now has ZMWI for life, free of charge.  

W1 2014 - 1

El Capitan is another interesting story, as she now has ZMEC. It goes like this; She was built c1961, by a farmer, in a shed on his farm, to a Chris Craft design, in Ohakea, & he carted her around on a big trailer, & used her at Taupo, & the Sounds, until 1976,  after which time, she sat in a shed on his farm, never to move again, until bought by Tony Mitchell, of Lake Rotoiti, off his estate, post 2000. When Tony bought her, she had a Coden 2+ Mh multi channel, medium frequency, marine RT,  which would have been fitted almost certainly, when she was new, which has now been replaced with a VHF, but for which, there had never been a marine call sign issued, as the original owner, was also a radio ham, with a “ZL#### ham radio licence & call sign, which automatically allowed him to use this call sign for his boat. Ken provided on Tony’s behalf, all relevant info to RSM, & requested, & they approved, ZMEC (El Capitan), which she also has for life.

EL CAPITAN 2012

Ralph Rickett’s JULIANA, now renamed MARJORIE ROSA, now also of Lake Rotoiti, has been reallocated for her life, her original call sign ZMYP, as issued to RR in 1946. Ken told RSM of her history, as the second ever pleasure craft in Auck., to have marine RT, in 1946, & they have approved the reissue to her of her original ZMYP, to Fraser Wilson, her present owner, for her life. 

Marjorie Rosa : Juliana 2019

Marjorie Rosa : Juliana 2018

Story told by Ken Ricketts, edited by Alan H.

Tall Ships Regatta – Bay of Islands 2013/14

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Ranui

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Undine

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Colonist

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TALL SHIPS REGATTA – Bay of Islands 2013/14

 
Today’s photos come to us from professional photographer Dean Wright’s sailing archives and show a selection of woodys partaking in the annual BOI event.
Nice to see Ranui with all the washing on the line 🙂 , these days she tends to motor sail around the Hauraki Gulf.
 
There are not a lot of yachts these days that look even better out of the water – one such beauty is hauled out at Pier 21 in Auckland at the moment – Waitangi , designed and built in 1894 by Robert Logan Snr. Like most of these old girls, a killer for marina fees i.e. 36’ waterline but 58’ on deck – with a 74’ sailing carrying length. Photos below ex Larry Paul
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