Happy Days






Back in July 2017 I ran a story on a ‘barn find’ 1928 woody that Lake Rotoiti boat builder Alan Craig at Craig Marine, was about to start work on.

Now Alan & his team do not muck around, last week he sent me the above photos, with a note saying that he had collected the rebuilt 1938 Osco marine flathead V8  engine. The term rebuilt is somewhat of an understatement 🙂
I told Alan that HDK would have kittens when he saw the photo of the engine. The engine work was done by Rob Cowley in Hamilton at Robs Rods and Restos.
The plan is to have her in the water this Christmas. And I’m pleased to advise that Lake Rotoiti will be her home 🙂
Photos below to remind you what she looked like. You can see & read more here.      https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/07/31/lake-rotoiti-barn-find-restoration/
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I was contacted by Kelly Ellis back in May 2018 – looking for some intel on her launch Arima. Kelly bought Arima in Oct 2017 and is aware that Arima had a remake around 1970 when a Ford D-series was installed along with a lot of brown Formica. When purchased both are showing their age. In Kelly’s words – the Ford was a filthy glutton and the downstairs helm station was virtually unchanged from 1970 and was a bit crowded.
Since taking over the custodianship Arima has had a new head, new electronics, new autopilot, been re-upholstered and had a back-to-bare bum job.
Kelly has also commissioned an internal revamp with the old Ford D series being replaced with a Cummins 6B. The plan is to relocate Arima from Whangarei to her new home in Havelock. 
Kelly commented that Whangarei boat builder Jon Jones is responsible for the lovely work.
In a previous story on WW there has been some confusion as to when & who built her – 1953 or 1955 and possibly by Salthouse. As always I revert to Harold Kidd – HDK’s view is below:

“As I understand it, ARIMA was designed and built by Colin Wild in 1953, one of his last designs. Bob Salthouse was an apprentice at the time working on the boat. The first owner was Joe Dent and subsequent owners included Noel Kitchen, Ken Archer (1974 ish), T Whillans (1977) and David Campbell-Morrison (1989). Her original engine was a 4 cylinder Ford, replaced by a 6 cylinder Trader.
So her pedigree is superb.
John Salthouse built several near-clones of course.”

You can see photos for Arima here, before Kelly bought her

Hidden Agenda




I have been contacted by Alan Craig from Craig Marine about the the Lake Rotoiti launch Hidden Agenda, which is currently at Alan’s yard for a serious re-fit.
The Hidden Agenda was the boat that’s been at the Lake Rotoiti hot pools for some years, Alan thinks the Cameron’s brought it to the lake from Whakatane, where it was a bit of a patrol boat or similar. She crossed the Whakatane bar regularly. Power was from an old Volvo diesel – 2cylinder 20hp.
While it has different cabin additions over the years, Alan believes the hull is quite old and guesses it was a flush decker with small dodger originally. Where the cabin companion way is now, the deck beams are short which is where a louvered hatch would have been. And on the house sides there are opening port holes that have been filled and covered. She’s not very long, 22′ 7″ x 6’6″. Was possibly used up rivers, lakes for carting goods?
She has been living a good retired life on Rotoiti, and now getting a birthday so it can continue in good health. The tired Volvo is being replaced with an outboard hidden in the back (sorry but traditional has been beaten by practical this time)  and new cabin and seating etc.
Alan would love to know the age of the hull? Any suggestion or does anyone know the boat?


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Magic is a rare boat in NZ coming from the Havorsen stable in Australia, these craft have a big cult following in Australia & normally sport a lot of varnish.
Just how & when Magic made the trip to NZ I don’t know. What I do know is that she was built in 1976, is 43’in length & powered by a single 120hp Ford diesel (her original). This set up sees her burning just 8 -9 litres an hour at a cruise speed of 7-8 knots.
She is well set up for extended cruising & currently listed on trademe (but sold subject to survey) for $129k ono, in my eyes not a bad price for a lot of boat. A serious sessions with a sander & a tin of varnish & she would be a very smart spirit of tradition classic launch. Current home port is Whitianga.
Read / view the story of the Havorsen boating building empire here


Ondine 004

Ondine 011

Thursdays story on Almda (Almida?) prompted Alastair Scott to send in details on another Jack Cropp woody. Alastair’s family owned Ondine for 57 years until he sold her to a new home in Wellington in 2017. The gallery of photos below the many propulsion configurations Ondine went thru. The photos also to me demonstrate how varnish can ‘lift’ a boat to another level of WoW factor 🙂 
I’ll let Alastair tell the family story:
“Jack built Ondine for my father – Laurie Scott  – in 1959. The construction consisted on long lengths of 1.1/2” cedar strips that were shaped over an internal frame that was removed when the hull was complete . These cedar strip incorporated a bevel and these were glued and nailed together with copper nails every 4”. This  method of construction produced some lovely lines along with the tumblehome shape at the transom. 
Whilst Ondine was used extensively in Akaroa harbour and the Marlborough Sounds over holiday periods, she has had an assortment of power units over the years.  Initially it was a pair of 30HP Evinrudes, then a pair of 35HP Gale outboards, then a Volvo 120HP inboard/outboard unit and lastly a single Honda 75 HP outboard. The Volvo was the most successful but we lost a lot of internal space thus the appeal of the outboards. Ondine was a very safe boat and one that would plane easily. My father always reckoned she was at her best when one of the kids sat on the edge of the bow at speed. Probably not a good H & S example in today’s PC world.”
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Myrtle (White Heather) was launched in 1914 as a fishing trawler. Her original engine was a 10hp ‘Oil Motor’ so her main power was via a ketch rig.
In the late 1960’s she was re-powered with a freshwater cooled Fordson D92 , her ketch rig was discarded at this time.
Her trademe listing (thanks Ian McDonald) states she is approx. 46’ in length & designed/built? by Miller. Over the years a larger wheelhouse & saloon have been added.
Myrtle’s 65hp engine sees her cruising at 5.8knots.
Given her age, there must a lot of history around Myrtle – can anyone enlighten us more on her past?
Harold Kidd Input – MYRTLE appears to have been built as WHITE HEATHER in October/November 1913. She was 39ft loa, 9ft beam, 10hp engine. That’s 10 rated hp not 10 bhp so it was her main propulsion.She was for sale in Port Chalmers in April 1914. As for builder, the choice is between Knewstubb Bros, William MacDougall, Miller & Tunnage or Miller Bros. From then on there are so many MYRTLES and WHITE HEATHERS that it’s hard to pick her out.

ALMDA – A Classic Jack Cropp Designed Motor Launch 

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ALMDA – A Classic Jack Cropp Designed Motor Launch 

The 20’ motor boat, Almda was built in McCormicks Bay Christchurch in 1965 with African Meranti marine laminated ply riveted & glued clinker plank. 
For sale on trademe, she is in totally original condition, with according to her listing, absolutely no rot. 
Powered by a Palmer & Doak marinised 1500cc Ford GT engine rated at 78 BHP driving through a stern drive. 

Included is a folder with a log from day one plus a letter from Jack Cropp about its construction etc. he comments on the fact that the engine has plenty of power to get on the plane. 
Jack was an Olympic yachtsman and won a gold medal at the 1956 games in Melbourne and well known for building quality well designed wooden boats. 
The boat is light and easy to tow, has been in dry storage all its life. Currently residing near Ashburton, Canterbury, South Island.

Sorry about the standard of some of the photos.


I have to question deciding to cancel an event, based on a weather forecast, in Auckland, 4 days before the event…………….. 😦

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