MANOWAI – Gets A Visit To The Beauty Shop

MANOWAI – Gets A Visit To The Beauty Shop

The 32’ Lake Rotoiti based launch –  Manowai has been owned by a string of owners that have lavished time and $$ on her. That we know of, this started around 2003 when boat builder Colin Brown undertook major refit, including new interior. Fast forward to 2015 and Manowai has been relocated to Lake Rotoiti (Nth Island) and spends a year in Craig Marines shed where boat builder Alan Craig undertakes a 12 month refurbishment of her interior & exterior. At the same time she was re-powered with a 4 cyl. 40 hp Lombardini diesel.

Now in 2022 she has just emerged from Alan Craig’s shed after some serious TLC and addressed some issues with the steel screws used in her construction. Links below to previous WW stories – lots of photos and chat.

Manowai’s past is a little cloudy but she was possibly built in 1921 by Bailey & Lowe – would be nice to be able to confirm her provenance. 

2013 WW Story

2015 WW Story

Iona II


Todays woody hauled out at the Slipway Milford was a bit of a mystery to me, but a quick google search and – jackpot.

Designed by Bruce Askew and built in 1994 from strip planked wood (+ f/glass’ed) – 36’ x 9’2” x 3’3”. Powered by a 60hp Nissan TD23.

The teak wheelhouse is crying out for some love, I assume it was once oiled.

Calls Milford Creek marina home but a recent arrival from Nelson.

A Woody Stranger Hauled Out – Valsan

A Woody Stranger Hauled OutValsan

Down at the Milford Slipway Milford during the week and spotted a woodys that we do not see much of these days.

The 46’ 1948 Lidgard built launch – Valsan, in for some TLC, including a Jason Prew Paint Job. Valsan has been a regular woody on the site but in recent years with her owner, Ian Nicholson being based off shore we haven’t seen a lot of her. 

To my eyes the keel > shaft > prop > rudder set up is a tab unusual – interested in others thoughts.

Links below to WW past stories – the 1st (2013) has a lot of photos and intel.

More on Iona II next week 😉

WW 2013

WW 2013b

WW 2016

WW 2017



The launch Seaforth has made a couple of appearances on WW, links below to those stories – the 2015 one has lots of chat and photos.

Woody John Dawson sent in the above photos ex Gareth Dawson and commented that Seaforth had been recently hauled out at Stillwater Boating Club. Fingers crossed she receives the attention she deserves, having spent the last decade looking very sad, either hanging off a Orakei swing mooring or on the hard at Clevedon. Rumour has it she is also a member of the sub mariners club i.e. she sank once on her mooring 😦

Do we know what the plan is? SBC isn’t a yard that allows the ‘parking’ of old boats so she may have changes owners. The photo below is c.1986

Whakatakataka Bay (Orakei) 2015

Clevedon 2020




The 30’ kauri launch – Nerrida was built in1969 by Shipbuilders. Forward motion is via reconditioned Ford 110hp 6 cyl. diesel Ford 110hp 6cyl diesel As per a lot Shipbuilders craft she has a semi workboat look to her.

While the interior fit out looks like they used the same people that do the Fullers ferries, there has been a lot of recent work done. From the number and size of all the chilly bins, the seller must be a serious fisher-person.
(Thanks to Ian McDonald for the tme heads up)

Korawai – Getting The Treatment – Updates

KORAWAI – An Update

In late January 2022 I help relocate the 1962 Owen Woolley built 36′ sedan launch – Korawai to her new home in the Bay of Islands. Her new owners had big plans for her and it’s great to see that a refurbishment program is now under way. 

Korawai has recently been hauled and now tucked away in the shed at Ashby Boatbuilders in Opua. First item was to remove all the glass (to be replaced) and restore the varnished coamings. The owners have very good taste so I’m sure there will be more on the list 🙂 

We will keep you updated.

Relocation trip

A Peek Down Below Story

UPDATE 14-09-2022 Say goodbye to the old varnish

UPDATE 15-09-2022

UPDATE 24-09-2022 Primer & one coat.  7>9 to go 🙂

Happy Owner

Tern II – A Big Project

TERN II – A Big Project

On Friday I was contacted by Mike Lyon regarding the 52’ yacht Tern II, built by Stow and Son, in Shoreham, UK.- back in May 2021 we ran a wonderful story on the yacht and how it ultimately to be Mike’s care. It is a great read, full of insights and photos (link below)   

I’ll let Mike share todays story with you – 

“Hi there, we have a project boat that we are looking to find a new home for, her name is Tern II, and she was built in the UK in 1899, and briefly owned by Claude Worth, a well-known sailing writer of the time who included her in his book “Yacht Cruising”.

She was sailed out to New Zealand in the 1950’s by Ben Pester, a returning Naval officer who wrote about the voyage in his book “Just Sea and Sky”.

We came across her in Tonga in 2004, where she had been abandoned after a failed passage to Hawaii. I had worked as a shipwright in the UK restoring similar vessels and so we decided to take her on as a project.

We had her shipped to NZ in 2006 where we had her in storage for several years before moving her to Whangarei where she is now. 

We have replaced the old elm keel with greenheart, wrought iron floors with puriri and 1″ copper keel bolts. There is a large stock of puriri for the framing and the stem and sternpost, and the deck beams.

Due to other work and life commitments, we haven’t been able to work on her for the last few years.

It’s looking like the lease for the shed where she is currently being stored is coming to an end as the whole area is earmarked for development, and so we are looking into ways to secure her future and are putting the word out there to any interested parties who would be willing to take her on.”

Mike can be contacted via email



I was contacted during the week by Bob Phillips about the 1948 launch – Koanui. One of Bob’s customers in Orewa has a photo of Koanui on his garage wall and enquired if Bob knew what happened to Koanui. His Grandfather was Noel Meldrum and he built Koanui, with the help of a boat builder (name forgotten) in the paddock behind their current home in Puriri Ave, Orewa beside the old hall.

Bob found a recent photo ( see below) of Koanui in WW’s photo archives and emailed it to him. Bob commented that they, Pat and Terry Houghton, were very pleased to receive the photos and kindly sent back the above photos.

Koanui, to Bob’s eye, has a very Royal Falcon (original) look about her superstructure windows in the original photos. She is and was a good-looking bridge-decker.

Interestingly, she was launched (29th August 1948) in the Orewa estuary, which you would think today was barely possible. Terry told Bob they blasted the reef at the entrance just after WW2.

Previous WW story with more details, read the comments section 😉



When I was coming onto the Slipway at Milford the other day, this very smart launch  – Kotuku had just vacated the cradle I was heading for. Kotuku is a 26’ Pelin Mascot and has just had some serious TLC (9 weeks out). 

Powered by a 25hp Isuzu 2ab1, she would be very frugal on the fuel.

She wasn’t going far – she’s a river rat e.g. calls Milford Creek home.

Message For The Skippers That Did The Woody Trip Last Easter To Paeroa

Check your prop/s – seems there was a few solid items hiding in all that mud – Raindance’s prop was in need of some love from Dr. Cam at the Slipway Milford workshop. All 3 blades were similar to the one below 😦



Todays woody is the Bailey & Lowe 1915 built launch – Lapwing. Her specs are 26’ x 6’6” and in the above b/w photo she was powered by a 17-25hp Sterling engine that gave her a very impressive speed of 12 knots. Her original owner was Capt. J Davies and the photo comes to us from a supplement to The NZ Yachtsman – May 22, 1915 via Lew Redwood’s fb.

Lapwood is my marina ’neibour’ and I took the bottom photo on Sunday, sadly she very rarely leaves her berth.

Below is a link to a WW story on her from March 2013.

INPUT EX PAUL DRAKE – LAPWING was a Taupo ‘hire’ boat for a number of years from1929. She was brought to the lake from Rotorua by Englishman Donald Hunt, who had arrived in Taupo in the early 1920’s. He was a mechanic who also had dinghies for hire, and who became the agent for Johnson outboards – he supplied a Johnson Sea Horse to our grandfather in 1928, an outboard which we still have and which is still operational. Later he was also the agent for Gray Marine and supplied the engines for PIRI PONO when she was returned to Taupo with a damaged engine after WW2, when she saw service with the RNZAF at Hobsonville, Auckland. LAPWING was renamed PANDORA after an incident which left her reputation a little tarnished. With bow pushed up on a beach in typical Taupo style, a number of passengers proceeded to move towards the bow on the same side, whereupon LAPWING took a severe list and deposited said passengers overboard. Reputation being everything, LAPWING was no more, but PANDORA went on to be a popular hire boat! Donald Hunt eventually progressed to SUNBEAM (now in Tauranga as SEA BREEZE). PANDORA continued at Taupo for some years as a private boat, before disappearing from view.