THE LAUNCHING OF THE CLASSIC WOODEN MOTOR BOAT – EILEEN PATRICA
It was an early (8.30am) start yesterday morning for the classic woodys that gathered to witness Jenni & Peter Mence re-launching Eileen Patrica at The Milford Slipway (ex Geoff Bagnall yard).
The 1933 Arnold Couldrey designed and built motor launch has just undergone a 4+ year restoration at Marco Scuderi’s – MCN Shipwrights yard.
WW has followed the restoration and the links below will take you back to her early days (as launched) and as ‘rescued / saved’ by Peter, thru to leaving Marco’s yard.
The weather forecast didn’t look good, but as always for classic woody events, the sun shone at the right moments and Eileen Patrica was launched in a style befitting a 86 year old lady – Jazz band + Champagne and scones.
Several guests arrived in period costume and the ‘Best In Show’ ribbon would have to go to Paul Powney who sported an original Auckland Motor Yacht Club blazer (photos below).
A special touch was the attendance of several descendants of Eileen Patrica’s builder A. Couldrey.
Pleased to announce that the restoration of 45’ C & W Bailey built (1896) Te Uira has finally begun in Australia.
During the week I was contacted by Colin Grazules with the news – I’ll let Colin tell you the story.
“We have constructed a new wee shed to house the old girl and the steel and iron keel has been removed.
At this stage we are envisioning that the restoration back to her original condition should take 2 to 3 years all going well.
The owners wish is to return her to as close to her launch configuration as possible.
We will begin by removing the ribs that were added to stop her leaking in 1898.
But we need your help.
We need if possible a detailed plan of where the original stringers were installed and the triangular beam that sat on top of the floors?
A plan or photos of what the original keel would have looked like would be greatly appreciated.
I have a copy of Robert Brooke’s book ‘Beautiful Boats’ but unfortunately the plans in the book have little detail on this.
A deck plan would also be of great assistance including including where the original mast step would have been installed etc.
Well this is just the start and I’m hoping this will become an ongoing conversation to ensure that we can do justice to Te Uira and her heritage!!
I intend to post the restoration on the NZ Classic Yacht Forum and on the Cygnet Wooden Boats FB page and will keep you appraised of the progress.”
Below are two videos of the keel removal.
Previous Input From Harold Kidd
TE UIRA (usually shortened in Oz to UIRA) was built by C.& W. Bailey and launched on 17th October 1896 for Gidgeon Palmer of Melbourne as a 5 rater.
She was taken across by the steamer TARAWERA with Chas. Bailey Jr going with her to settle her in.
She was quite successful in Melbourne but came up against SAYONARA, the bigger Fife-designed cutter.
She raced in Melbourne with the St. Kilda club for many years, converted to a Marconi rig in 1925.
You can also eat / see more here https://wordpress.com/post/waitematawoodys.com/13298
Today’s wooden started life back in 1952, named Miss Betty and built by Lidgard as a purpose built work boat for Rope Shipping to tow timber barges on the Kaipara Harbour.
She was sold c.1970 to a doctor who renamed her Kalua and had her converted into a pleasure launch. She was then sold approx 17 years later to Jock McKenzie from Clevedon who had her for 10 years until the current owners father (Mike) brought her. Mike went everywhere in her. She was a great sea boat and approx. 12 years ago Mike gave her a birthday which was a major makeover by boat builder Peter Reynolds.
Kalua is 2 skin kauri, measures 42’, 11’ beam and a 4’ draft. Power comes from a Ford 180hp turbo, that sees her cruising at 8-9 knots.
As a result of her trade listing (thanks Ian McDonald) the seller, Todd (son of Mike) was contacted by Steve Parker those uncle Gordon Brown (still alive at 103) was the second owner. He purchased her from their uncle Dick Rope & brought her over from the Kaipara. He owned her for 21 years. Steve was an apprentice mechanic & helped install the 120 hp Ford. Kalua featured on TV in an ad for Farmers Trading Co. His daughter Lynette featured in the ad. Gordon sold the boat to the doctor, Gordon changed the name to Kalua, not the doctor.
FYI re the name Miss Betty – Betty was Dick Rope’s wife.
Another visual case study in the evolution of an old woody as styles and usage changed over the year.
Input from Harold Kidd – For what it’s worth, the APYMBA records show her builder as “Rope/Warmington”, date of build 1950 (perhaps a Lidgard design?). Owner in 1964 was G.W. Brown of 35 London St Ponsonby with a Fordson then W. Curtis, 28 Cornwall Park Ave in 1966 and then back to G.W. Brown by 1973. Query, is this the KAHLUA that was pinched from Shoal Bay by a bank robber in 1982?
Ok, Phantom isn’t a Kiwi woody, in fact lives in Newport Beach, California , but she sure is a looker. And she is / was for sale, and I know I leave myself open to criticism, but I don’t care 🙂 she has to be bargain at around NZD $190k it would be a great buy.
Phantom is no old woody that has been allowed to deteriorate at its marina – she is in magnificent shape and is powered by twin 2006 Yanmar 240hp diesels that have only done 430 hrs. She cruises at 14 knots, with a max of 21.
Built in 1936 by Astoria Marine and measures LOA = 52’. Beam = 12’. Draft = 3’8″
She is a well maintained e.g. new fuel tanks 2011, new inverter & batteries in 2017, new covers 2017, new heating system 2017.
So Woodys – have a look a Phantom, getting her to NZ might rule buying her out, but she is a wonderful example of a 1930’s classic wooden motorboat. (Thanks to Andrew Christie for the heads up the listing.
More input below (click link) from Andrew Christie on her history and WW2 war service + photos
The caption on the photo / press clipping (ex Lew Redwood) reads “A new fishing launch takes the water from the builder’s shed. Mr W. Mason Bayly is the owner”
It was also tagged “Early preparations for the forthcoming dee-sea fishing season at Russell, North Auckland”
The date is August 1926.
Can we put a name to the boat, designer/builder, location?
Harold Kidd Input – She is MASON B, designed and built for W. Mason Bayly by Leon Warne and launched in August 1926 from Warne’s shed at Russell. She was30′ x 8’6″ and had a 30/40 hp Kermath. She replaced Bayly’s GISPA (ex-GLADYS).
Any one have a base like the one circled below, tucked away anywhere? Or something similar. A woody friend has a spotlight but no matching base. Any condition ok.
John Wright’s woody – Jeunesse, built in 1919 (most likely) by Dick Lang has hit the ton, she turns 100 this year and John is in the process of giving her a wee tart up, which any old girl of this age deserves.
John is a master craftsman’s who has the eye and skills to turn a woody from a good looking woody launch into a stunning classic launch.
Jeunesse measures 39’, with a beam of 11’ and draws 3’. Tucked away down below is a 180hp Hino so when asked she can lift her skirt and dance 😊