Whitianga Cruise Launch



Today’s photo (ex Lew Redwood via NZ Cars, Boats etc etc Pre 1975 FB page) is captioned saying ‘Cruise Launch, Whitianga. No doubt Baden Pascoe will jump & tell us the name of the vessels.

The white & blue run-about is rather smart, if Baden was really good – he would be able to give us the owners name. 🙂

Baden Pascoe Input – Merv Stockley might have to correct me with this one. I am sure the blue boat is the Three Kings or Three Springs as the locals call her as she always had pumps running. She belonged to Mr. Reigns (spelling) and from what I remember she showed the signs of a very hard life and he did very little to make her right. My father Howard Pascoe gave her a “wide berth” whenever he was approached to repair her. The little run-a-bout is a Sea Craft and that belonged to either Jack Crawford or Jack Matthews. I can remember it had a twin cylinder Norman motor. I am sure Don Ross Merv’s father-in-law will know all about this scene.

Don Ross (via Merv Stockley) Input – Don said straight away `Three Springs’ also, actually `Three Kings’ usually just serviceable but  in need of care as Baden said. The owner was Les Rides. Ron Raines was a local wheeler /dealer in mostly Cars and Trucks but we don’t remember him owning `Three Kings’. The clinker motorboat belonged to Squib Jones.

Harold Kidd Input – Hardly a “Cruise Launch”! Les Rydes owned the fishing boat THREE KINGS which had a 150hp Hercules diesel. She was affected by the tsunami/tidal waves at Whitianga of 23rd May 1960.





Manaia – Launch Day + Volvo Race Start






MANAIA – Launch Day

The above photos of Manaia were sent to me by Paul Drake – I’ll let Paul tell the story behind them.

“The first four I took on launching day. I was 15 and in the midst of School Certificate. No exam that day, so off I went on my bike from home in Balmoral, camera in my bag. 

In the second pic, Capt. Warwick Dunsford can be seen in charge on the foredeck (white boiler suit and black beret). 

In the third pic, Percy Vos himself is clearly recognizable just by the fore foot. 

The last two photos I have had since the 1960’s & most likely come from the camera of TW Collins. Great photos, especially the one from the port quarter, and show MANAIA at work.

MANAIA is certainly very original, but note that the stem now has an unattractive (to me) hook near the top. Much better straight in my view.  Also note unusual chine aft. Double ender but hard chine aft. That’s why she can do 15 knots if required!

MANAIA was about the last of the large wooden pilot vessels built for New Zealand ports. About the same time as AKARANA and 10 years after TIAKINA (Wellington – and also a Collings design). TIAKINA of course built in England and steamed out via Suez Canal.”

You can see photos of Manaia today, looking very smart & read extensive details on her past here https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/01/26/manaia/


Volvo Round-the-World Yacht Race -Auckland Start








Photos Below In The Order They Passed North Head








And a couple of Woodys amongst the sea of plastic boats


Peter Boardman – Lady Margaret


Angus Rogers – Mahanui

Yachts at Kawau Island – Sailing Sunday – Win A WW T-Shirt


Yachts at Kawau Island – Sailing Sunday – Win A WW T-Shirt

This Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island photo from the ‘NZ Car, Boats, >>> Utes Pre’75’ FB page shows a great collection of classic yachts (& a few launches).

I’ll put up a WW t-shirt to the woody that can ID the most yachts – given my launch angle – I’ll get a yachty to verify the answers. To stop copy-catting, entries ONLY via email to




The 97th Lipton Cup race is set to take place on the 17th of March. 22 miles of blood, sweat and tears is to be raced by the 22ft L Class ‘mullet boats’ to see who will triumph as the winner of the esteemed Lipton Cup trophy. This is a highlight of the yachting calendar and this year it appears there will be fierce competition with a number of the mullet boats performing exceptionally well in recent racing. With only 3 years to go until the 100th you can expect there to be a lot more competition and boats coming out of the wood work to compete in following years. Previous crew and owners are always welcome to come down and watch with the club open all day with food and refreshments (with a lift for the weathered yachties).

The days events are as follows:

7am – Hot cooked breakfast (Prebooked)

9am – Race briefing

11am – Race commences

3pm approx – Race finishes

6pm approx – Prize giving and after party

Watch Video footage from last years race here https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=LAZotynoqiA


My Big Woody Adventure


My Big Woody Adventure 

Several months ago David Cooke tapped me on the shoulder & asked if I would like to join Barbara & himself aboard their 1965 Salthouse built classic motor-yacht, Trinidad, on the first leg of their circumnavigation of New Zealand – Bay of Islands (East Coast of the North Island) > down the West Coast to Picton (top of the South Island). The short answer was hell yes.

Fast forward to Saturday January 20th 2018 & the Cooke’s, myself & Jamie Hudson (owner of near sister ship – Lady Crossley) are having our last land based dinner at the Whangaroa Sport Fishing Club. Very appropriate that it was fish & chips. An early night was called & we woke at 5.30am Sunday morning to prepare for departure – photos & trip details below – read on & enjoy the journey – I did 🙂

A slightly different format today – magazine style i.e. photos & copy to support them, have also captioned some. When you are doing 3 hours on 3 hours off watches, food plays a big part of the day – so there are a few food shots. When Barbara deemed I needed to be punished for some misdemeanor she would not tell my what was for dinner & keep me guessing all day. To a serious foodie, that was cruel.


Dinner at Whangaroa Sports Fishing Club

We left Whangaroa early on Sunday (21/01) – approx. 515 nautical miles ahead of us. Conditions were a little damp & a combination of sea mist & low cloud meant we saw little of the Northland coast. In fact North Cape / Cape Regina was only an outline.


We crossed the top of the North Island mid afternoon. Gave the Pandora Bank a very wide berth & pointed Trinny in a straight line to the South Island. The rain and drizzle continue into the first night but after that it was a dry run. We had a 10>15 knot breeze from NE most of the way & a 2>3m swell. The combination of a steadying sail & a wee headsail worked a treat, not for speed but simply to help steady the rolling motion. When both are set the wheel can be left and Trinny will hold her course.

They say an army marches on its stomach – well the Trinny crew certainly had no complaints with the gallery – we dined well 🙂


Stunning sunset


Stunning dawn, off Taranaki

The clock on the GPS says 3:58am & we were just off New Plymouth, the gas well / rig lights being the first thing we had seen other than H2O. Mount Egmont poking thru the clouds / mist. This was the view most days – same > same but very wow.

Lots of dolphins (& the odd shark)


The crew – Barbara, David, Jamie & myself below


Closing in on Stephens island at the northern end of the Marlborough sounds, the weather gods smiled on us for the trip across Cook Straight & with the GPS reading 9.6 knots it was a happy crew. It had been a dry trip, so we were hanging out for a cold beer once we had dropped anchor in Queen Charlotte Sound.

We arrived in Resolution Bay at approx. 6pm, a total travel time of close to 60 hrs. And immediately rafted up with friends of Barbara & David’s –  Rob and Mandy Carpenter who own the Warwick designed launch Pandanoosa. When the engine was killed it was so peaceful, but saying that the faultless beat of the 6LX Gardner was quite hypnotic.

I lost the bet on how long the trip would take (only by 45mins) & was forced to wear a bar napkin, take orders and serve drinks while displaying my best manners……….

We had a great night & a superb meal of Blue Cod aboard Pandanoosa.


Captain Cooke – peeling the potatoes for dinner


Bay Of Many Coves Resort



The Crew, brunch & bubbles

We awoke after a great sleep – we had been doing watches of 3 hours on / 3 hours, to the magnificent beauty of The Sounds. It’s just so big & so stunning. The next 2 days were spent mooching around the bays & coves sucking up the scenery(Pickersgill Island, Blumine Island, Endevour Inlet, Anapawa Island). Brunch at the Bay of Many Coves resort was a special treat, as were drinks at Furneaux Lodge.


This is my pick of the waterfront properties we saw. I will do another WW story soon on the boat sheds – some stunners.


Cabin boy Jamie doing his morning chores


A little sad when we had to berth Trinny at the Waikawa Bay marina & clean / pack up. End of the line for Jamie & myself but just the start for the Cooke’s – you can follow their cruise on the Trinidad Travels facebook page – link below


The return journey – I had always wanted to do the Wellington > Auckland scenic train trip, so suggested to Jamie that we took the overnight ferry from Picton > Wellington & caught the train home. A great plan, just had to kill 5 hours in the middle of the night in Wellington. I think Jamie thought Mermaids was a seafood restaurant………..

Train was very cool, a few issues with brakes overheating that extended the travel time – but I would do the trip again.


  1. The crew – Barbara, David & Jamie – perfect mix & just outright 100% nice people
  2. Trinidad – anytime aboard her is a treat, she is such stunning old lady, who has lapped NZ before, crossed the Tasman to Sydney & cruised the Pacific Islands.
  3. The food
  4. The sunsets & dawns off the West Coast of the North Island
  5. Queen Charlotte Sound & Picton town, very cool place to own a woody – I’ll be back.

For the overseas viewers I have included below a few photos of Trinidad, a rather magnificent ship – looking as always very regal. You can see / read more about her here






KAIWHAKA – Work Boat Wednesday

Kaiwhaka was launched in 1937, by W G Lowe, Auckland & was used as a lighter to overseas ships at the port of Wanganui. She was taken over in March 1941 after the last meat loading at the port, which with other smaller ports was closed to overseas shipping as a wartime measure. She sailed to Auckland with a naval crew, converted to a Danlayer, with some mine sweeping gear fitted & commissioned 21/5/41 & given the pennant No T14.

She went to Fiji in March 1942 & worked with the flotilla there laying defensive minefields, until returning to Auckland six weeks later. She made several visits to Wellington, working as a Danlayer there till June 1941, then worked as a minesweeper in Hauraki Gulf to May 1944 when clearing the defensive fields began. Her war service as a Danlayer ended in Sept 1945.

She was handed back to the Marine Department in Nov 1945 & refitted, completing this in March 1946. There were wrangles over compensation as it was claimed substandard kauri was used in her construction and she had a poor hull condition. The matter went to Cabinet and a payment of 50,000 pounds in full settlement was approved July 1947 & she did not return to Wanganui, instead becoming a lighter at Gisborne in 1949, but not sold to them till Oct 1953. The new port there made her redundant in 1967, sold in March 1968 to Tauranga for private use. Sold again, had a helicopter pad fitted at the stern and used in Fiordland venison recovery 1973. To Oamaru in 1974, Auckland 1977, and last heard of in Matauwhi Bay, Bay of Islands in 1986.

Ken Ricketts feels the photo above was taken off Bon Accord Harbour, Kawau Island. The wartime minesweeping fleet regularly used the island as an anchorage.

Geoff Brebner commented that In the latter part of the 1970’s, she was moored in the upper Tamaki River, with her mast drastically shortened in order to navigate the Panmure Bridges. She was later taken north, and he believes she may have been taken to sea and scuttled.

Can anyone confirm the fate of Kaiwaka?

Thanks to Geoff Brebner, Chris Rabey & Ken Ricketts for the detailed intel & photo

CYA Classic Yacht Regatta 2018 – 50+ Photos





















CYA Classic Yacht Regatta 2018 – Day Two – Race 2 – 50+ Photos

Popped out early on Raindance to catch the start of the regatta – not much of a day for photos, overcast………. but the stick & rag boys would have been happy with the breeze.

If there appears to be a high degree of repetition with the photos – thats because there were not a lot of classics competing. A-division had a good turn out but you could count the rest with out having to take our shoes & socks off.

Maybe everyone sleep in & they turned up for the afternoons race ?

Numbers aside – bloody impressive sight when they are all powered up. Things got a little tense at the start – some very un- corthinthian yachting language was heard, more often then not, the worst culprits always seem to flying a small blue burgee…… 😦

Below – My Pick For Best Photo (not mine, ex Jason Prew’s FB page)

When you arrive 5 mins late for the start you have to do whatever it takes to get into the race – it’s not often you see Jason out of the cockpit, let alone on Wairiki’s rail 🙂


Mahurangi Regatta 2018 – Classic Woodys Weekend – 100+ photos



Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 5.42.04 pm










Mahurangi Regatta 2018 – Classic Woodys Weekend – 100+ photos

For the first time in yonks I missed the regatta, my excuse – I was boating elsewhere. Today’s photo gallery comes to you from numerous sources – but special mention to Jason Prew, Peter Loughlin & Nathan Herbert for sharing their cameras with us. Stunning photos guys. Mixed in with their photos are ones from – James Dreyer, Nick Davidson, Ken Ricketts, & John Bertenshaw.

The Classic Launch Parade had a great mix of familiar favourites & some new CYA members & a few who have not seen the light & joined the CYA yet 🙂 . From all reports, the sailing on Saturday was a challenge with wind / no wind / wind & very hot conditions – but as always with Mahurangi a good time was had by all.

As always – click photos to enlarge 😉

Great Video Footage below – the launch parade starts at approx. the 3min stage.