White Star – Part 2


 

 

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White Star Part 2

(photos from Glenn Martin, words ex Glenn & Ken Ricketts – edited by Alan Houghton)

White Star was originally built by Ken Turner, who built quite a number of boats in Coromandel. Her first owner was Neville Evans of Amodeo Bay & has been moored there on & off for quite a bit of her life & is presently moored there, alongside her sister ship the Dagma, which was built by Ken Turner’s father, Charlie Turner.

Present owner is Paul Baker, who has had her for about 8 years & bought her off Paul Desmond of Tauranga, & had kept her there, as did the precious owner Nigel Pippey. Paul D only had her for a few months, as he bought her, in order to acquire her marina berth.

She was frequently used as a mark boat for many yacht races at Tauranga, as Paul P was a very active member of the local yacht club.

Paul B was living at Waiheke when he bought her & she was initially moored there, but he has now moved to Coromandel..

Her engine was fitted by Strongmans of Coromandel. She is powered by the Gray Marine marinised version, of the GM Detroit 6-71 & at 190 hp., this is the spec of these engines back in the 50s 60s, when they were fitted to many HDMLs, & other pleasure boats in that era, like Linda, Wirihnana & Ruamano etc.

Her name was the result of her log being sawn & milled from the “White Star” mine property, in Coromandel, of that time. Glen, also commented that as a kid he saw White Star moored in Torehina Bay next to their bach at Waitete Bay – 20mins north of Coromandel town.  Glenn is pretty sure White Star was built using a single kauri log milled from the farm of the owner in Colville.

(the launching day & early day photos of White Star are from the original owners & the more recent of her at anchor at Coromandel Harbour, in 2016, are ex Glenn)

Click link to read Part 1 of this story    https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/11/10/1968-bridge-decker/#comment-37747

 

Merlin – Sailing Sunday


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MERLIN – Sailing Sunday

I recently received a note from Andrew Hewitt from Ashburton, concerning his 22’ yacht Merlin. Andrew became custodian of her three years ago, when she was put up for sale by a broker on behalf of her former owner’s widow (Peter Beaven, a notable Christchurch architect and heritage advocate).

Peter had had her hull restored professionally in Christchurch some time previously, but the earthquakes and his ultimate death intervened. Andrew completed the job, rigged her and commissioned a trailer for her locally. So she’s now, home from the sea in her retirement – converted for use as a ‘trailer-sailor’ and lives protected from the elements in a boat shed at Lake Hood (just east of Ashburton) – where Andrew sails her when time allows.

Andrew commented that Harold Kidd kindly supplied a little history on her and Les McBean (Dunedin) also did a quite an extensive one (link here Les McBean Merlin), but unfortunately they contradict each other J According to Les, it seems she dates from around 1902 by Mr Derwent Aitcheson of Waikouaiti, where she was originally a fishing boat fitted with an engine. She appears to have been based there and Moeraki, moving about in the general Otago area. At some time mid-century she was converted to a yacht, and was well known in Otago Harbour for some decades, prior to becoming derelict and ultimate salvation by Peter Beaven.

The registration number seems original (V9) – it is on an old cotton sail that came with her.

Like all woodys, Merlin’s restoration is an ongoing thing….. the photos above ange from the fitting out/rigging stage at Andrew’s home to an early pic of Andrew under sail at Lake Hood.

Andrew is keen to discover more on Merlin past, to date he has made one or two connections through the Canterbury Classic Boat meets and tried both the Port Chalmers Maritime Museum and the two yacht clubs down there for info, but nothing forthcoming. The Museum at Waikouaiti knew of the builder, but didn’t supply any info when requested.

2017 Centreboard Cup – Herne Bay Yacht Club – Sat 9th Dec – Sloanes Beach, Herne Bay

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Pencil midday on Saturday the 9th of December into the diary, the Herne Bay Crusing Club are hosting their legendary Centreboard Cup Regatta. Its one of the coolest sailing events in town & the venue is rather special.

Details here   http://hbcc.net.nz/centreboardcup2017/

And check out my photos from a previous regatta. https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/12/20/whats-the-coolest-yacht-club-10-minutes-from-queen-st/

Anyone Looking For a Wooden Mast?

The Herne Bay Cruising Club have a 31’6″ laminated, hollow wooden mast that needs a home, the price will be very attractive if its for a classic yacht, if you want it as a flag pole expect to pay more 🙂 email Andrew Mason at    a.mason@auckland.ac.nz

 

 

What Happened to Calypso?


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What Happened to Calypso?

Firstly woodys, I love this story, way too many woodys have had a false start on a wooden boat project & just walked away & given up on old wooden boats forever. Well folks I can tell you Nick Davidson, who sent me the above photos, is not one of them, he bounced back, but more on that later – the main focus of this story is to try & uncover the mystery of Calypso. I have re-produced Nicks letter to me below – enjoy 🙂
Hi there Alan, have been thinking about an old kauri launch that I used to own back in the 1990’s, wondered what became of her and thought that perhaps one of your readers might have some information.
It is a story of hope turning to despair, however without the tough stories and the failures I suppose you don’t end up learning much!
As I am sure with many of your readership I was one of those guys that wanted to get into a wooden launch, however at the time had not much in the way of cash. It was mid 1999 and I was looking at boats for sale on ‘trademe’ as you do and there was an advertisement for an old 40’ kauri launch that was sitting in a shed in Avondale, Auckland and urgently looking for a new home, so I went along and had a look.

Basically the deal was that the owner of the shed wanted the building back and there had been veiled threats of chainsaws at dawn. As you can see from the photos of Calypso (very unlikely to be her original name) she was in a sorry state. The diesel was gone and there was a fair bit of rot in the house, but the hull looked sound enough and I could not help but fall for the straight stem (made of Pohutukawa) and fantail stern. The information about her provenance was next to nothing, no numbers, or name plates to be found anywhere. I was told that she was used as a ‘long-liner’ working out of the Viaduct for some years and had a build year of 1905 but have never had that corroborated. The diesel disappeared by way of a chainsaw through the cabin roof and she had then been hauled and transported to a storage unit in Avondale.
As it happened I had access to the old Education Department’s disused central stores warehouses that used to back on to the Avondale College, perfect I thought. I arranged for Calypso to be moved there, paid the princely sum of $300 to the owner (no recollection of the name of the chap) and now owned a 40’ launch that needed a bit of work!
Unfortunately, the arrangement to use the old stores warehouse fell through after a few months and I had her moved out to the Marine Haulage yard in Te Atatu where she stayed for a year or two. During that time I went into a boat partnership with a mate and with unbridled optimism we started stripping her out and removing what was left of the paint on her hull. When the cost of keeping her in Te Atatu became a bit too much for our shallow pockets I managed to find an old vegetable storage shed out in Bombay close to the Pukekohe turnoff and away she went again.

With the assistance of an old boat builder (again I cannot recollect his name, but he lived in Tairua, was involved in relocating the old Ngoiro ferry there, drove an old red van and had a cat that used to accompany him around the country!) we removed all the caulking, over many months slowly jacked up the hull to remove the hog in the keel, splined and glassed her to the gunwale with 10 weight triaxial glass. This was all done over a long period as time and money permitted.

As with many of these sorts of projects, in spite my best intentions and a fair degree of bloody mindedness we found ourselves some 6 years on with a sound hull but a long way from ever getting her back in the water. We had by now removed the cabin and decking which was in a much poorer state than first thought, my circumstances had changed and I no longer had the time or the financial resources to take her any further. We also had to move her again and by about 2005 she was now residing in a factory unit off Mahunga Drive in Mangere.

After a great deal of soul searching the decision was made to put her on ‘trademe’ and eventually she was purchased by a chap who described himself as a boat builder and if my recollection serves me correctly was looking to move her up to the Kaipara Harbour where he had a property and complete the re-fit there. Although disappointed that I hadn’t ever seen her in the water, I consoled myself that we had moved her along and that with the new owner’s intention to complete her she would be saved.
That was the last I saw of her!

Whilst owning Calypso had not dampened my desire to own a wooden launch I was certainly much wiser to the challenges, the cost of such an enterprise and in fact promised myself that if I ever did buy another boat she would have to be floating, have good provenance, and be at least structurally sound.

As it happens my wife and I now own the 1951, 32′ Allan Williams sedan launch Juanita (she has been well covered in Waitemata Woodies), she is a joy to own, gets plenty of use and after a fair bit of work is in great trim. The lessons learned from Calypso although painful have served me well, but I do sometimes wonder what became of her and whether the chainsaw got her in the end?

The photos above of Calypso in the water and being hauled were given to me by the previous owner.
There are a couple of her showing where I got to before having to sell (as you can see she was basically back to a bare hull) and a couple of a scale model that I made of her when I was looking to see how a new cabin would look.

Well woodys, as you have read, Nick & family are re-born woodys, we like that – so can we help Nick sleep better at night 🙂 & confirm what happened to Calypso. Good time for our resident Kaipara woody, Zac Matich, to chip in ………………..

Photos below of Juanita leaving Greg Lees (Sandspit) boat shed after a serious spot of TLC. Link below her time in Greg’s shed.
https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/03/21/the-rebirth-of-juanita/

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The Continuing Issue of Electrochemical Damage To Our Wooden Boats – Lady Ellen


 

The Continuing Issue of Electrochemical Damage To Our Wooden Boats

 I recently received an update from Bruce Mitchinson on the restoration work underway on his 36’,  McGeady built (c.1950) classic launch, Lady Ellen. Unfortunately the old lady has a been struck with a dose of electrolysis.

You can see when the secondary shaft log was removed, electrolysis had destroyed the planking around the plate fastenings. The same problem around the main shaft log, and strut fixings, through structural members, which were all bonded together. The affected timber has been removed and new kauri blocks glued in and around the shaft log, keel bolts and floors.

The to-do list this week includes laminating up pilularis frames insitu, to replace the 15 broken, or electrolysis affected members that have been removed.This will complete the inside structural work, below the waterline, that had been put off until things dried out enough.

Other work has seen the old fuel tank removed and a clean up around the bilge in the engine bay Following this Bruce will be working his way forward with stripping and refastening on the outside of the hull.

The shaft, prop and drive couplings have gone down to Whangaparoa for adjustment, set up, and balancing.

Hats off to Bruce for doing the best of Lady Ellen. To read more on this problem, the causes & remedies – visit Chris McMullen’s WW story – link below. Its the most referenced story on WW.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/05/15/electrochemical-damage-to-wood-the-marine-version-of-leaky-homes/

Read more on her past & current restoration work at the links below.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/06/25/mystery-launch-25-06-2015/

https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/07/14/lady-ellen-restoration/

Three Taupo Boats


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PIRI PONO on her slip at Two Mile Bay, Taupo, in the 1960’s

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PIRI PONO at her final resting place (Maritime Museum)

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LUYVON awaiting restoration at Taupo Oct 2017

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TUI at the Clinker Boat Exhibition

THREE TAUPO BOATS

Post a visit by Paul Drake & his brothers to the 2017 Classic Yacht & Launch Exhibition & a side trip to the Auckland Maritime Museum, Paul sent me the above photos & the story below – which I have re-produced unedited as its perfect as is. Read & enjoy J

 In the mid  1920’s, two gents and their families fell in love with Taupo. Both of them commissioned boats from Auckland builders. Hawke Bay’s Guy Rochfort had TUI (16 feet and clinker) built by Percy Vos. TUI was on display at the recent Classic Clinker Exhibition at the Viaduct in Auckland.  Auckland’s Robert Laidlaw had the 17 foot speedboat  SEAHORSE built by an unspecified builder. After a weather related fright on the lake in 1929, Robert approached Collings and Bell, and the 28 foot PIRI PONO (faithful friend) was the result. Honduras mahogany and bright finished, no expense was spared. PIRI PONO is on display at the Maritime Museum in Auckland.  With her 150 HP straight eight Niagara, she weighed just over a ton and could do about 30 knots. Housed in her boatshed at Two Mile Bay, alongside Laidlaw’s house ‘Monte Vista’, access to the water was via a slipway. A private jetty and offshore mooring completed the picture. 

PIRI PONO was the fastest boat on the lake.  But by 1935, she had a rival in the form of local man Stan Gillies’s  LUYVON, locally designed and built by Jack Taylor and measuring 22 feet. She was light (about half the weight of PIRI PONO) and powered with a Dodge, driving through an outboard drive.  Informal drag races indicated that the boats were very similar in speed.  A more formal test was required. Regatta Day 1936 (probably) was the day. PIRI PONO had her bottom waxed, new spark plugs fitted, all surplus gear removed, and half her fuel pumped out.  The day dawned fine and calm, to PIRI PONO’s disadvantage. LUYVON and PIRI PONO lined up for the 20 lap race. LUYVON had the edge because she cornered faster – PIRI PONO would catch her on the straights.  Robert Laidlaw ordered his crew (son Lincoln) to the aft cockpit to get the bow up a bit. Stan Gillies was still ahead. Back came Lincoln, returning aft with the anchor. This was enough. PIRI PONO won and Robert retained his title as fastest man on the lake.

PIRI PONO was commandeered by the Air Force during WW2 and was the Commodore’s launch at Hobsonville. They replaced the Niagara with a Chrysler (Crown?) and built a cabin over the forward cockpits. Having won the war, the Air Force returned PIRI PONO to Taupo.  She was re-engined with twin Gray’s which are in her to this day. There are conflicting stories as to how this came about. One source has it that she was returned by the Air Force without an engine. Another has it that Laidlaw was disappointed with the speed produced by the Chrysler. Yet another has it that the Air Force wrote off the Chrysler while trying to reverse PIRI PONO off her transporter and into the lake (overheating due to lack of cooling water).

Laidlaw was an enthusiast. He was the founder of Farmers Trading Company. He was a very active Christian, and his name lives on in Laidlaw College, formerly the Bible College of New Zealand, which trains people for Christian ministry. He also has a rock named after him, informally at least. During an early evening spin in PIRI PONO, with 23 POB (so it is said), PIRI PONO struck, at speed, the large flat rock in Mine Bay between the islets and the shore at the eastern end of the bay. The damage must have been enormous and she quickly sank in a few metres of water. Passengers, some of them not-so-young ladies in fur coats, were rescued by nearby launches.  Jack Taylor’s PONUI and VICTORY salvaged PIRI PONO the next day and she was repaired in time for the following summer. 

Meanwhile, TUI led an uneventful life, and lived afloat in a Taupo Boat Harbour boatshed. LUYVON lived in a boatshed nearby, but was kept dry (and light) by being lifted clear of the water on a cradle once in the shed. LUYVON also survives, still owned by the Gillies family, and has been awaiting restoration for some 30 years now. 

The book by Ian Hunter, ‘Robert Laidlaw – Man for our Time’ makes a very interesting read.

UPDATE 01-11-2017 Photo below showing TAMATI in the Lake Taupo Boat Harbour, with the fishing lodge (ex TONGARIRO) in the background, and the Collings and Bell PIRI PONO in the fore ground.   

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Seabird


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SEABIRD

Steve Thomas, the owner of the classic launch Seabird, that won line honors in the 2008 Centennial Rudder Cup, has just sent me the above collection of photos of Seabird hauled out at Nelson for a repaint.

Seabird was built in 1908 by James Reid & now looks set for another 100+ years.

Steve commented that he needed to redraw the waterline, after years of paint build up & “quick in and out jobs” done in the last few years.

Her old 6 Cyl Ford is still running sweetly & with a clean bum & new prop speed she cruises at about 10.5 knots.

Great to see what she looks like out of the water, with that shape, you would think she could really fly with a bigger power plant……… 😉

 

Pirate – Sailing Sunday


Pirate being built at Little Barrier Is.

Under construction c.1903 at Little Barrier Island

Pirate Port Fitzroy GBI

Port Fitzroy GBI – May 1903

Pirate in cave

Big cave – NE Coast – April 1904

 

Ilex & Pirate Port Fitzroy

Ilex & Pirate at anchor – Port Fitzroy GBI – May 1903

Pirate Ashore

June 27 1907

Pirate wrecked again

 

Pirate wrecked & final resting place

Final resting place

PIRATE – Sailing Sunday

Pirate was built by Robert H. Shakespear in a shed alongside his house on Little Barrier Island c1903.

Shakespear was a talented boat builder & worked for the Logan Bros and was involved in Ilex (seen in the above photos) and built Frances at Logans’ yard as a close twin to Victory.

He also had the Logan built clinker keeler Pandora to service his little farm on Little Barrier where he was custodian for a while.

Sadly, Little Barrier was not a friendly home to Pirate & she was ‘wrecked’ twice, the first time during a hard SW gale in June 1907, she was repaired but the second in July 1908 was fatal & she was winched ashore & put to rest under the tress on the Island.

(Photo credits & details – J Russell via the Hocken Collection, University of Otago, Nathan Herbert & Harold Kidd)

The 1895 C&W Bailey Yacht IDA For Sale

Ida resides in Australia these days & her owners have advised that they are interested to hear from anyone that would consider purchasing her (& hopefully repatriating her home).

Harold Kidd has commented on WW that IDA was built by C. & W. Bailey for the Jagger brothers and Frater and launched on 21 December 1895. She was a contemporary and competitor to the other 5 rater of that season, the Logan Bros’ MOANA. You can also view/read an excellent article on Ida by Harold in the November issue of Boating NZ (pages 148>151), on sale now.

Interested parties can contact Catherine Shirley  cathshirley@gmail.com

You can read more about Ida here.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/05/15/ida-sailing-sunday-more/

UPDATE: Photos below ex Harold Kidd of IDA hauled out at Noakes yard in Sydney last week.

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