Kuri – A Peek Down Below

KURI – A Peek Down Below
The 44’ Kuri has made a guest appearance on WW back late December 2015, WW link below. Now thanks to her tme listing (thanks Ian McDonald) we get to have a peek below.https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/12/30/kuri/


Kuri was designed by Herbert Levi and built in 1929 by WG Lowe, she has had an honest life as a workboat and now resides in Picton snd converted to pleasure boating / live-aboard. Powered by a 115hp Gardner 6L3, she is very well fitted out (as are most southern boats). Depending on her condition its a lot of boat for $83k

Tamaroa

The History Of Tamaroa – as told by Eric Stevens

“I am writing this as the owner of Tamaroa from early 1994 to the middle of 2010. She was in a sad state when I bought her and it was only the quality of the original hull construction which warranted her restoration.

Tamaroa was built by Collings and Bell Ltd for A.E. Fisher of Whangarei. at a date which I have not been able to confirm. At the time of sale I was told that she was the last boat made by Collings and Bell. “They sent her down the slip and closed their doors after her”.  When I tried to confirm this story I found that there were quite a number of ‘last boats built by Collings and Bell’ And whatever Tamaroa might be, she was not that. I have been told she was built in 1953 but my enquiries suggested she may have been built in the late 1940s. She certainly was built at a time when Kauri was short and all the larger timbers in the cabin sole above the engines and the cabin sole planking in the stern cabin were Southland Beech. So too were many of the finishing timbers.

In the time I owned her I measured her up and made extensive CAD drawings to aid with her reconstruction. These show her as being 12.8 meters (42′) between perpendiculars and 3.3 meters (11′-10″) beam. By the time one took into account the strongman for the anchor and the boarding platform at the stern she was in modern NZMIA parlance 13.77 meters (45′) over all. Further, substantial strakes had been added to increase the width of the decks and these brought her overall beam up to a little over 4 metres (13′-1″).

When she was built she was fitted with what was reported to be a large Austin diesel engine. Irrespective of what the exact date of build might be, as far as I can tell, Austin were not at that period making diesel engines suitable for a boat of that size but they were using Perkins P6 engines. Also Perkins were supplying engine exchange kits to enable the fitting of the P6 engine to Austin trucks. The Perkins P6 was commonly used in larger boats at that time and it is most likely that this is what was actually used. Alternatively it could have been the almost contemporaneous and slightly more powerful S6.

At some stage Tamaroa was sold to a Mr Jeeves. Mr Jeeves was allergic to diesel fumes and had the original engine removed and two Scripps engines (marine conversion of the old flat head Ford V8) installed. This entailed fitting new shaft, tubes and logs to the hull. The engines were fitted with identical Borg Warner gear boxes with the results that both shafts turned in the same direction.

Tamaroa then passed through various hands until an Allan Brown bought her from a truck sales man whose name he can no longer recall. Allan Browne did not like the petrol engines and he started to convert Tamaroa back to the original diesel by replacing the port engine with a Nissan SD33 diesel engine. The Nissans come in a variety of configurations and this one was configured for industrial use in a forklift truck. For a time he ran Tamaroa with one engine diesel and the other petrol but not long before he sold it to me in 1998 he installed a second industrial SD33 identical to the first except that it had a slightly different flywheel housing.

When I bought her the interior was in a rather sad stripped-out and crudely rehashed state. However I had her surveyed by Jack Taylor and he gave a good report on the condition of her hull. The strength of the construction of the hull impressed him and was such that he took a lot of convincing that it was not a prewar boat. The cabin was a different matter: he kept repeating that they had left it to the apprentices. When I later got to replacing the glass in the cabin I found that the port side bore only a passing resemblance to the starboard with various nominally equal dimensions varying by several inches from one side of the cabin to another.

By the time I bought her most of the original furniture had gone and been replaced by a mish-mash of all kinds of strange things. There was a large armchair in one corner of the wheelhouse which in fact was a refrigeration cabinet. And when it rained the cabin leaked like a sieve.

I started the long process of fitting her out. When I removed what was not wanted I was left with a large empty space with a flush dunny on one side.  The engine changes over her life had caused the structural beams for the deck in the wheel house to be badly chopped around and I decided to replace the whole structure. This included the cabin sole in the wheelhouse. There was so little of the original left that I decided to refit the interior from scratch with a clean sheet of paper. It’s not original but it incorporate most mod cons and it works.

The aft cabin sole was planked and screwed down with immovable bronze screws. We had not been able to lift this for the survey. After I had bought her, all had to be laboriously cut out to give access to the hull. The completion of this work revealed a dreadful state of affairs. When the new shafts were installed for the twin screws. no sealant (tallow, pitch) had been run to fill the gap between the shaft tubes and the logs. The result was that over the years sea water had been seeping in past the stern bearing housing and evaporating through the timber of the adjacent planking and the shaft logs. The concentration of salt had given the timber the consistency of Weetbix and in places the sound planking was only 3mm thick. Nevertheless, as we had found at the time of survey, what remained was so hard that attacking it with large knife from the outside revealed no weakness. In the end more than 4 square meters of the bottom had to be replaced. This entailed new shaft logs, GRP tubes and shafts. Needless to say all this was sealed with copious quantities of epoxy resin.

The original central rudder had been retained when the two Scripps engines were fitted. At the same time two wing rudders were installed in the propellor streams in order to give better low speed steering. The rudder shafts and glands were in a sad state and the only reason they had not sunk Tamaroa at her moorings was that the glands were about 5cm above water. The general design and condition of all this was such that I decided to remove the original rudder and fit two new rudders to suit the new installation. Propellor calculations had suggested the original propellers were too small and spinning rather too fast for the Nissan engines. After much searching I decided to replace the original gear boxes with a pair of ZF which gave me a deeper reduction and allowed the use of larger propellers.

The evidence of the transom was that when Tamaroa had been first built the exhaust discharged through the transom on the port side. There was also evidence of a smaller exhaust along side the main exhaust suggesting she may have been fitted with a small auxiliary ‘popper’ engine of some kind. The original exhaust system was discarded when the two Scripps engines were installed. Instead each engine was equipped with its own ‘North Sea’ exhaust which discharged on both sides of the vessel at the water line. These employed large thin-walled bronze tubes fitted into the hull. I did not like these as they were old, had screw threads for securing nuts cut into them and most importantly, they had no seacocks.

I removed these and blocked one of the two holes on each side. Too the remaining hole I fitted a large bronze skin fitting with a gate valve for use as a sea cock. The two Nissans had been fitted with wet exhausts, the risers for which were just underneath the cabin sole which had become charred by radiated heat. Accordingly I had made for each engine a water cooled riser which discharged into a large rubber silencer.

The Scripps installation had required two additional outboard engine bearers which I thought were rather short. I had these extended to pick up the major framing bulkheads ahead and aft of the engines. The original water tanks were four, by now, battered 30 gallon hot water cylinders mounted in cradles underneath the wheelhouse. I found drinking warm, slightly green, tainted water to be unpalatable so I replaced these with stainless steel tanks to each side of the aft cabin. At the same time I had two aluminium 520 litre fuel tanks constructed which sat in the engine space on top of the forward end of the engine bearers.

Before Allan Brown had bought Tamaroa an attempt had been made to install an external steering and control station on top of the aft cabin. This used cable steering and holes were bored through whatever part of the vessel got in the way of the cable’s passage. Allan Brown had replaced this with hydraulic steering with a rather crude linkage at the rudders. A windscreen and dodger had also been fitted. I totally rebuilt all of this during the refit. I also installed dual Simrad navigation, radar and plotter control stations.

The refrigerated armchair was replaced with an electrically powered refrigerator and freezer. There was only one working alternator between the two engines and this was charging a very large lead-acid battery which tests showed was down to about 12% of its original storage capacity. With the increased electrical load had to totally rebuild the electrical system. I installed separate engine and house batteries charged by two alternators, one of which was of high capacity for the house battery, and installed two large solar panels on the roof of the cabin.

The galley was relocated from forward to the aft cabin. Two LPG cylinders were installed in a properly ventilated locker in the transom. A gas hot water heater was fitted to the aft cabin bulkhead and used to supply pressurised hot water to both the galley and toilet/shower area which now resides forward in the place where the galley had been.

Apart from up in the bows, all of the furniture is new. It was all designed to be held in place by screws so that it could be removed without any cutting and hacking. I had most of this work done by freelance boat builders.

The electrical side of the refit is a story on its own. There are literally kilometers of wiring throughout the hull and concealing this was a major task. I probably spent as much time on this as I did on everything else combined. Be warned, if you want mod cons in an old boat, there is a downside”.

Most of the photographs above of Tamaroa show her as she was when Eric sold her.

Centaurus Has A Birthday

Centaurus Has A Birthday

WW readers will recall that in late 2019 Angus Rogers purchased the 1967 Bailey & Sons built bridge-decker Centaurus. After an extended summer cruise she was hauled out at Okahu Bay for a serious overhaul of her systems and to bring her presentation up to the Rogers standard. Last Friday she was eased back into the water (got to love that tractor unit) looking very sharp. One of the additions was a bow and stern water jet thruster set-up, very impressive piece of kits and remarkably quiet. More photos of the project soon.

It will be a shoes off inspection for those woodys doing the Stillwater Woody picnic cruise next Saturday (26th) – I’d better ensure she gets a prime spot on the wharf 😉

Out With The Old – In With The New

Out With The Old In With The New

Nathan Herbert’s 1917 Joe Slattery built launch – Pacific, had a serious Jenny Craig session yesterday at Milford – out came the 2758 Ib. Lister (Freedom range) diesel engine, to be replaced with a brand new 992 Ib. 100hp FPT / Iveco (Italian) 4 cylinder diesel. That is a saving of over 800kg, thats like asking the All Black forward pack to get off your boat. I suspect the waterline will need an adjustment 🙂 

As always Jason Prew and The Slipway gang were on hand to help, with expertise and the loan of their Hiab truck to collect the new engine. We look forward to seeing the completed installation and relaid wheelhouse. I suspect we will not see Pacific at the Woody Stillwater picnic next Saturday (26th).

Marline Gets A Top Chop

MARLINE – Gets A Top Chop


Back in September 2019 I spotted the launch – Marline coming up Milford Creek on-route to The Slipway yard. As it turns out she was being hauled for a heart transplant – a wonderful new Yanmar 120hp was being installed. The top two photos above show here in the ‘creek’. At the time I thought – very nice woody, but ……….. pity about the low rise block of flats on top.

So you can image how pleased I was last Thursday to walk in to The Slipway shed and see a team in the process of demolishing the flats. Marline was built in 1950 by Leon Warne in St. Marys Bay, for his own use. Son Ken gave me a guided tour of the boat and detailed the work in-hand. And she will be returning to a more traditional configuration 🙂 Marline is approx 35’ x 11’ 4’ and draws 3’6”. She had a reputation as ’the party boat’ and once aboard its easy to see way – an 11’+ beam on a 35’ boat makes for a lot of living space.I love the original cabin lights – Leon Warne cast them, son Ken still has the mould……….. now that has got me thinking 😉


The gallery of photos below, ex Ken, give us a peek into her past, as you will see, she was successfully used for Game Fishing for many years, out of Tauranga

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.

Menai – 4sale

MENAI – A Peek Down Below


Menai is one of those launches that no matter what angle you approach her from, she looks stunning. She’s a superb example of her type from a boat builder, Sam Ford, at the peak of their craft, restored by an owner with an exacting attitude to authenticity and originality. Menai was built in 1937 from full length since skin kauri, overall length is 38’, with a beam of 10’, drawing 3’.

She underwent a refit in 1983 and then got very lucky when she was purchased in 2007 by the late Peter Smith, who undertook an extensive restoration that returned her to her former glory of one of Auckland’s smartest classic wooden launches. She looks bigger than 38’ and whilst a bridge-decker, her configuration makes her a very relaxing vessel. The wheelhouse even has a wine cellar 🙂 Powered by a very economical 60hp Lees Marine Ford.


Now if this is starting to sound like a advertisement – that is because it is. Due to unforeseen family circumstances, her owner reluctantly has decided that the time has come to pass Menai on to her next custodian. Menai would be the most / best documented classic launch I have been on, makes wonderful reading. It sounds corny – but she will not be on the market for long – woodys like Menai only pop up ‘once in a blue moon’ 😉
Initial expressions of interest to waitematawoodys@gmail.com

1940’s

Waimea

WAIMEA
The launch Waimea popped up recently on trademe (thanks Ian McDonald). Very light of details around her designer / build / past but hopefully we can update this.What we do know is – she is 29’ , built from kauri (twin skin planking) and powered by a 65hp Perkins diesel engine. Current home is Waiheke Island.So woodys – anyone able to expand on her details.

Harold Kidd Input – It’s an early hull with rather large raised foredeck added. If I said “preposterous”, there would be an outcry on WW, so I won’t say it. There are several WAIMEAs, but this one is likely the WAIMEA owned in Howick by Withers pre-1914 and later was on the Manukau for many years. But there are so many WAIMEAs and with the probability of random name changes it is impossible to be certain of her provenance.


Yesterdays WW T-Shirt Winner = Jason Davies (MV Lucinda) . The correct names were left > right on the wharf – Leilani / Mairie / St Clair.


RIVERHEAD TAVERN WOODYS LUNCH CRUISE – PUT A CIRCLE IN THE DIARY FOR NOVEMBER 8TH. NO NEED TO RSVP FOR NOW – I’LL SEND A FLYER OUT AFTER THE STILLWATER EVENT

Huia

HUIA


Recently WW was contacted by Simon Truebridge the current custodian (Simon’s word) of the 48’ wooden ketch-rigged motor sailer – Huia. Huia was built / launched c.1951>1953 and was the first vessel built by the founders of Gough Engineering in Invercargill. Huia is planked with Australian tallow wood and apparently Joe Gough was friendly with the workers who had worked at the Prices’s Inlet Norwegian whale boat maintenance facility on Stewart Island, hence Huia’s strong Scandinavian influence. Powered by a Gardner 6lw that is rumoured to be perhaps 25 years older than the boat, the thinking is that it started life on standby genset duty in the basement of the British Admiralty Headquarters. The rumour goes on to say that two of these engines, along with transmissions, a hydraulic windlass that sounds remarkably similar to Huia’s, & various other equipment mysteriously arrived in Invercargill soon after the end of World War II, fortuitously just as Huia was taking shape….. 

Simon believes he is her 5th keeper, the Goughs having kept her in Bluff until 1972. The boat still raises great interest whenever she returns to Bluff.

Any woodys able to tell us more about Huia’s past?


Almost Had To Excommunicated My Daughter

Currently holidaying at Lake Como in Italy, they hired a runabout for the day, now you would think the woody DNA would kick in, but nope – they hire a plastic boat 😦 She saved herself by sporting a WW shirt 🙂

The white villa in the background is George Clooney’s – I’m told that sadly he wasn’t home 🙂
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Arethusa’s New Woody Wheelhouse

ARETHUSA’s NEW WOODY WHEELHOUSE


Back in late 2019 Arethusa’s Bay of Islands owner Dean Wright, a professional photographer by trade, and well known to WW readers gave me the heads up that the 1917, 33’ Bob Brown built, ex gaff rigged cutter, was in for a treat – a new wheelhouse. Since then I have been pestering Dean on a regular basis for photos, even threatened to drive up and take them myself 🙂 Problem was, the mans a perfectionist and didn’t want to send anything in to WW until it was all shipshape. Well woodys as you can see from the above, its very shipshape, in fact in my eyes – perfect. Well done to the team. I asked Dean to tell use about the project, so I’ll hand over to him. Remember you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them – Enjoy 🙂


“Over the years we’ve got keen on changing Arethusa’s wheelhouse to be more in keeping with her age, so at 102 she’s undergone some cosmetic surgery 🙂

We lost 8″ inches of headroom in wheelhouse when we installed the Gardner, so we’ve gone up in height 6 inches and forward 8 inches and gone for more traditional upright windows fw’d.

Boat builder John Gander did the job in his Waipiro Bay workshop. He started by taking patterns off the existing wheelhouse and fw’d cabin top. He replicated the curve of the fw’d cabin top in ply and built the new wheelhouse around that in six sections. He also laminated the new wheelhouse roof, allowing for a good eyebrow fw’d and a smaller one aft.

John learned his trade at Roger Carey’s yard in Picton in the 60’s and 70’s, where beautiful work boats with great looking wheelhouses were the order of the day. John built one of my favorite Carey designs, Hinewai for his own boat and we’ve replicated her fw’d opening half window on Arethusa. 

Once the wheelhouse was complete, we hauled Arethusa at Ashby’s in Opua and got to work with the skill-saw. In no time we’d reduced her to a convertible. We were lucky for Northland’s drought everything stayed reasonably dry and also that we got everything closed in and back in the water before Covid shut the yard down.

I’m in awe of how boat builders can build something like this away from the boat, then fit the pieces with a minimum of shaping. Fitting and gluing the six sections to the existing house went really smoothly.

The wheelhouse is built from 2″ Iroko. This is the first outside varnish we’ve had on Arethusa, we hand brushed 2 coats of Cetol as a base and six coats of Schooner Yacht Varnish.

Over lock-down, the apprentice made new interior joinery, gone are the Warehouse plastic drawers and chipboard frame 🙂 Moved the batteries under the new bench unit so we can now stand at the wheel. John laminated me up some lovely curved trim for the front of the oven unit. Our old manky plywood dash got an upgrade to kauri and the old wheel got a fright with a good scrub and a varnish.

Outside we made nav light boxes and dorade boxes.  We had to move the aluminium framed front hatch fw’d, a more traditional looking one in Iroko is on the to-do list. The liferings also got a birthday.

Here’s some before and after pics and also some that I hope will give some idea of the process. Thanks John for all your incredibly skilled design and build work, we’re really stoked with it.

We’re always keen to learn more of Arethusa’s history, especially the 1955-2000 period in the South Island. If you have any stories we’d love to hear them.”

Links to previous WW stories on Arethusa
https://waitematawoodys.com/2019/12/11/arethusa-new-wheelhouse-project/
https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/12/31/restoring-installing-a-gardner-in-arethusa-revisited/
https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/11/01/arethusa-winsome/

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