EMERALD – 1970’s
Recently I was contacted by Peter Grant in regard to the launch Emerald which he owned in the late 1970’s. Emerald was owned by a Kawau Island resident and Peter swapped an MGB roadster for her. I’ll let Peter tell us the story.
“Emerald was twin engined with small Yanmars of either 8 or 12 HP, I can’t remember exactly, but do recall they were both hand start and noisy with in built diesel tanks on top, much enjoyment was had with her and even ventured right up to the Matakana wharf, quite a feat those days as it was almost all choked up though the old concrete wharf was fine.
Some time after that I has the misfortune to tie her up at Milford Creek and was unable to retrieve her as I was away on board and could not get back on time due to the tide.
When I did get her back to Auckland I had her out on the hard outside the old Westend rowing club where we proceeded to give her new decks and cabin top, but this work was discontinued half way through, as I went back to working away and she was stored on my parents section in Henderson courtesy of Bob Wylie.
After two or three years my parents, now sick and tired of the launch in their backyard back yard wanted to sell the section and up came a deal with Mr Davern, who provided them with a solution, he bought the section for one of his houses, and in turn would transport the boat away, (my father later told me he was sick and tired of people wanting to buy her) that was the last time I heard of her until an advertisement popped up on Trade Me recently.
She is much altered and now powered by a single cylinder engine and is reputed to now be built in the fifties or so.
Can anyone shed some light on her provenance, I have sent in some very old scans of negatives of the time and how she looked at the time in the old Westhaven Marina and alongside the old cleaning piles, now long gone af course, mores the pity.
I have to say I’m impressed with Peters taste in cars – the Mercedes pillar-less coupe would have been a great investment if he had kept her for 44 years 🙂
Keen to learn more about Emerald’s days before and after Peters ownership.
EMERALD – 2019
Below are a selection of photos from the current trademe listing for Emerald, as Peter stated above, its certainly a ‘different’ look / style.
The listing states she is 32’, with a kauri hull (now glassed). Power is via a marinised Ford Trader Diesel engine that gets her along at 7>8 knots.
Screen Shot 2019-09-14 at 4.31.40 PM

Screen Shot 2019-09-14 at 4.32.31 PM




Screen Shot 2019-09-05 at 9.19.53 AM

Screen Shot 2019-09-05 at 9.18.36 AM


Aurora was built in Johnsons Boat Shed Nelson in approx. 1935, measures 20’ in length and clinker built. For several years Aurora was used to tender explosives from the magazine on the Boulder Bank to the construction crew building Rocks Road. Subsequently she was then used a pleasure boat for fishing and family excursions.

The history from then on is unknown until her owner discovered Aurora in a barn in rural Nelson in February 2011. Aurora was purchased and transported to Redwood Valley where the restoration began. Aurora remained upside down for quite a few years whilst numerous planks were repaired using mainly recycled Kauri, a new keel was laminated out of Macrocarpa, the transom rebuilt and many of the copper fastenings replaced. The hull was then faired/sanded and repainted. Eventually Aurora was turned upright and the interior work began. Many hours were spent scrapping away years of old paint before several coats of primer and top coat paint were applied. The floor frames were shaped and fitted, a new Bronze shaft log and engine mounts fitted. A new rudder and duck board floors were constructed. Whilst the deck appeared to be in reasonable condition it was decided to remove the entire decking back to the frames. Three layers of 4mm Plywood were laminated together as the base and 6mm Kauri strips steamed [where needed]and glued onto the base. An overhauled c.1950, Stewart Turner P55M 8hp petrol motor was fitted.

When Aurora was purchased the trailer was simply a beach launching trailer, i.e. no suspension.The trailer was extensively modified and galv. coated to suit the refurbished Aurora, was the 2019 winner of the Jens Hansen Cup at the Antique and Classic Boat show, Lake Rotoiti, Nelson. I was there and can vouch for the standard of workmanship that has gone into her, simply stunning. Home is Nelson in the South Island and she is currently for sale on trademe (thanks Ian McDonald).

Aurora would be the perfect day boat for this Sundays Woody Classics Weekend cruise to the Riverhead Tavern 🙂
Sundays Woody Classics Weekend – Riverhead Tavern Cruise
Later today I’m emailing details to the people that have rsvp’ed for Sunday’s cruise, if you forgot to reply or are just one of those people that like to turn up on the day – no problem click on the email link below & I’ll send you the plan for the day. Remember if your boatless, come by car, its only 30mins from downtown Auckland.
WCW WW Poster

Caroma / W1



Caroma / W1

Recently I was contacted by Peter Grant who had just discovered the story of W1 on waitematawoodys and remembered he was involved in a pre-purchase inspection of her in November 2000 for a client. The client did not purchase the vessel as it was deemed not suitable, but Peter dug out the old report which included the photos of her above, as she was then lying alongside the Panmure River.


Below is a photo of the 70′ vessel as she is today, post a wonderful restoration to return her to a style that while not matching her early day war time look, certainly turns a few heads on the Waitemata when she zips past at 22 knots. WW links to the restoration below:
Screen Shot 2019-09-03 at 8.54.04 AM


Screen Shot 2019-08-30 at 2.05.51 PM

The response to the Woody Classics Weekend cruise to the Riverhead Tavern on Sunday 8th September, has been amazing and we predict a record turn out of classic wooden boats and crew.
If you have already RSVP’ed to Barbara Cooke – thank you for being so polite, to the rest of you that forgot – do it today. A simple email to the address below with your name, boat name and approx. number of passengers (if you know).
In the poster above I have highlighted for you the important times for the afternoon.
Later, next week I’ll come back to the confirmed attendees  via email with details on dining options, where to drop anchor etc.
Have a great weekend and I look forward to catching up with you all, in particular the Creek Virgins i.e. first time up the creek 🙂
Ps remember if you are boat less, come by car.
Will You Be There? The Brothers Did Dummy Run A Few Days Ago

Donald Sutherland

Screen Shot 2019-07-28 at 9.33.49 PM


The Collings & Bell launch Donald Sutherland is seen in the above photo on her launch day in January 1936.
Harold Kidd advised previously that DS was very similar to the C&B launch Miss Picton (later named Mitre Peek) that was launch early(07/12/1933).
Do we know what became of Donald Sutherland and is she still afloat?
In my eyes –  rather a pretty boat, but did Collings & Bell ever build an ugly one? 🙂
WCW Riverhead2019


Screen Shot 2019-08-28 at 5.29.51 PM

Screen Shot 2019-08-28 at 5.29.29 PM

Screen Shot 2019-08-28 at 5.29.16 PM

Screen Shot 2019-08-28 at 5.30.28 PM

Screen Shot 2019-08-28 at 5.30.39 PM

Screen Shot 2019-08-28 at 5.30.18 PM

Screen Shot 2019-08-28 at 5.31.13 PM

Screen Shot 2019-08-28 at 5.29.02 PM


Kotuku was designed and built by Milford boat builder Alan Williams in 1960. She measures 32’ with a 9’ beam. Power is from a BMC Commodore diesel that was new when launched.
The bridge decker is kauri carvel built and has recently changed hands after a lengthy period on trademe. New owner’s Todd and Catherine sent in the photos above of her recent TLC.
Can anyone tell us more about Kotuku’s history.

Input from Mark Erskine‘Reviewing the above photos, in particular the ‘work in progress’ one, I see a note on the engine photo that the owner has used 5W 30 synthetic oil in the engine and gearbox.

Generally, older diesel engines have larger internal clearances than modern engines and (generally), a 5W 30 synthetic engine oil is used in a modern, close tolerance, high revving petrol engine. 

Older diesel engines have piston ring, cylinder liner and bearing materials that require a basic, heavier viscosity, mineral oil, such as a heavy duty, high detergent / dispersant / SAE30, SAE40, 15W 40 or 20W 50 grade.

I recommend the owner contacts either Castrol or Shell technical services for their lubricant recommendation for that particular engine and the gearbox.Tthere are a lot of old diesel and petrol engines in older boats and using the wrong oil can damage the engine.’




Fiddlers Green

Screen Shot 2019-08-24 at 2.02.13 PM

Screen Shot 2019-08-24 at 2.01.41 PM

Screen Shot 2019-08-24 at 2.03.57 PM

Screen Shot 2019-08-24 at 2.04.08 PM


It is believed that Fiddlers Green was built c.1930/40’s and probably started life as a motor launch used for fishing and accessing the holiday homes in the Abel Tasman area. In 1976 she was rescued and converted to a sailing ketch and given the name Fiddlers Green

She measures 14’ in length, has a 5’8” beam and draws 2’6”. Her hull is kauri and the deck, cabin-top and framing timbers were replaced in 1990. She is a regular attendee at the Antique Classic Boat Show at Lake Rotoiti (Nelson Lakes) and in 2018 won the award for best sail boat.

She is for sale on trademe and comes with a custom built (2012) galvanised trailer.

Looking For A Clinker Dinghy?

Chatting with boat builder Greg Lee he told Dale, the yard foreman is currently building a clinker dinghy to a Roy Pariss pattern. So far, Dale has glued all the lands  and just put in the surfboard clear epoxy risen because it is UV stable (photos below)Another coat or two and he will start on the ribs. When finished the intention is to sell her. Knowing Dale and his work she will be a stunner.



Adrian Pawson is mid-way thru a re-fit on his Frostbite – Kiteroa, 1st coat of gloss went on yesterday – looking very smart 🙂

Kiteroa 1