Sixty Six Wooden Launches Assemble Off Westhaven

Sixty Six Wooden Launches Assemble Off Westhaven

In early 1961 Auckland hosted the British Medical Association conference, with attendees from all over the Commonwealth attending. Included in the conference was a ‘break’ day where the delegates and wives were taken on a picnic to Motuihe Island.

In the photo above we see the launches that were transporting everyone to the island, assembling off Westhaven. At the time it was one of the biggest organised gatherings of pleasure craft seen in New Zealand with over 66  laid on.The weather gods smiled on the day and Arnold Baldwin’s launch – Valsan was the convoy flagship.

There are a lot of woodys in the photo that still grace the Waitemata today. The photo and details come to us from the April 1961 Sea Spray magazine via Angus Rogers.

Lady Pamela – A Big Woody for not a lot of money

LADY PAMELA – A Big Woody for not a lot of money
When I mooching around the marina scooping out the launch – Pirate, I noticed a small 4sale sign of the rather king-sized woody – Lady Pamela. Now I know its outside of the ‘classic’ category but its wood – triple skin kauri. Lady Pamela is 60’ in length with a beam of 17’+. Power comes from twin Ford 150hp diesels, giving her a top speed of 11 knots. With a fuel capacity of 5000L (tbc) she is a serious long range cruiser.

Set up with eight berths LP would either be a perfect large family boat, a live-aboard base or maybe a group of serious fisher-persons could buy her as a syndicated floating man (oops can’t say that) bach.


You will see from the photos that the last owner of LP liked the colour mint green – now just close your eyes and imagine all that painted off-white, the boat would increase in value overnight. The owners want her sold, so all offers will be considered.  If you are on the lookout for a boat like Lady Pamela – call David Cooke 027 478 1877 for a chat 😉

Nereides – Gets A Facelift

NEREIDES – Gets A Facelift


In fact a tad more than a facelift- its a total refit 🙂


A couple of weeks ago I was moodching around the Tauranga / Mount Maunganui area and took Doug Owens up on his longstanding offer to view Nereides in her ’shed’. The timing was perfect as I also meet son Mohi, who is project managing the refit. Click photos to enlarge.


Nereides has always been a rather special woody – as are most boats built by Colin Wild. She slipped out of the CW shed in 1937 and her specs where 55’x15’x6’5″ and powered by a 200hp John Deere. The photos above are a combination of the ones I took on the day and others shared by Doug and Mohi, as you can see its a mammoth undertaking but is very close to re-launch. 
WW will kept you in the loop on this project.

Pre – Refit

RSVP – BOAT NAME & # ATTENDING TO waitematawoodys@gmail.com

Tern II

TERN II

Several weeks ago we run a story on WW about the fate of the Stow & Son – UK yacht – Imatra, that is dining a slow death up the Tamaki River in Auckland. At the time xxx pointed out that there was another Stow & Son yacht (built in 1899) – the 52’,  gaff, yawl – Tern II in New Zealand. She is for sale on the UK yacht brokers website – Sandeman Yacht Company – I have taken the  of reproducing the background story on how she ended up in NZ.This link will take you to their site to see over 40 photos and read more about her   http://www.sandemanyachtcompany.co.uk/yacht/467/stow-and-sons-39-ft-gaff-yawl-1899-project-completion Thanks to Mark Erskine for the heads up on this hidden gem.

Tern II was launched as White Kitten in 1899, from the yard of Stow and Son, in Shoreham, UK. In early 1910 she was purchased by Claude Worth, who owned her for a couple of years and made several changes to her; documented in his book “Yacht Cruising.” Meanwhile all the ironwork he had made at this time is still with the vessel. 

After numerous owners over the next few decades, she came into the hands of Ben Pester, a New Zealand naval officer who had finished a period of service in the U.K. and was keen to return to NZ under sail. This passage, in 1951-52, was written about in his book “Just Sea and Sky”, published in 2010.  

Tern II changed hands again a few times, until she was found abandoned and a somewhat worse for wear in a mud berth near Thames North Island NZ, by Bill Cunningham. Going aboard with a mate unsure if she was worth saving; after downing the bottle of whisky found below it was decided she was indeed worthy – and thus began a 9 year period that she spent hauled out in his back yard in Cambridge not far away, replacing the deck with the addition of a cabin and all her spars, and a new interior. Her counter had been removed sometime before this and the rig changed to a cutter. She was re launched in April 1981.

Bill parted with her in 1991 and she was owned for a time by Mick Reynolds, and then Lyn Avatar, who had planned to sail her to Hawaii but cut the journey short after a 24 day passage to Tonga from the Bay of Islands. She then lay on a mooring there until the current owners came across her on their way to New Zealand. For a sum including coverage of outstanding mooring fees, a bottle of rum, and a kiss, they secured ownership and arranged shipping back to New Zealand. She is currently being stored undercover in a yard in Whangarei, Northland and undergoing restoration.