W1 & W1 Junior Meet Up


W1 c.1942

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W1 & W1 Junior Meet Up

The restoration of the Scott Payne designed ex RNZAF, WWII, craft W1 has been well documented on WW, as has been the building of a junior version by master model maker John Bullivant, enter W1 in the WW search box to read > view their stories.

Earlier this year Ken Ricketts played match-maker & intro’ed Francis Uren, the owner  of W1 & John B. The venue was Bayswater Marina where Francis keeps W1. Details & photos ex Ken.

The story started 49 years ago, when John B, had by chance an opportunity to have a look aboard W1. John & a mate, were out & about on the Tamaki River, exploring & they came across W1 & the boys decided to have a good look inside her. John B was fascinated with what he saw & W1 made such a lasting impression that 44 years later, when he started to build a model of W1, he could recall every detail. The build took 5 years, but as can see in the photos, the attention to detail & build quality is amazing.

When Francis Uren, saw W1 Junior for the first time he was blown away,  the intricate detail in build, propulsion & equipment, which is even complete, with the sound of 2 diesel engines being started, when John fired her up, & with water flowing out the exhaust pipes each side, when the engines, (2 special marine tiny electric motors, see photo below), are running.

The meet up resulted in two very happy woodys, who both had huge mutual respect for the each others work.

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On-The-Water Woody Gathering


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ON-THE-WATER WOODY GATHERING

An invitation to all woodys that have finished their winter > spring haul-out – join fellow woodys for a cruise to the Riverhead Hotel for a long overdue catch up & refreshing beverage.

The date is Saturday 25th November. See below, I’ll post more details closer to the date. All I need now is a heads up on your attendance + boat name, email this to: waitematawoodys@gmail.com.

Note: this is just an informal on-the-water meet-up of people that share the same passion for classic wooden boats.

Do whatever you need to, to get there – even if that means hi-jacking the kitchen table

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Old & & Even Older


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Old & & Even Older

Great photo above of the 1929, Riley 9 twin cam that Baden Pascoe recently finished restoring. The Riley is parked in front of Aumoe, the 1913 Tom Le Huguet built classic launch owned by Andrew Pollard.

Streaming Planks

The above link to the very cool youtube clip on steaming Huon Pine planks onto Ian Smith’s (new build) 24’ Ranger class gaff rigged sloop, was sent to me by Robin Elliott

 

Looking for Scorpio – Sail # 1025

I was recently contacted by John McIntosh who is endeavoring to locate the current owner of ‘Scorpio’, a Californian Bear design about 23’ loa.  Built in Milford about the 1950s by a professional boat builder (Gladden?) I’ll let John tell the story – read below.

The story is that she was built for Rush Clark snr who was the Auckland Pan Am representative, and as a young boy I went out for a picnic sail on her.  I was calibrating new Raymarine instruments on Monday 30th Oct. on my boat, when I noticed a small keeler doing leads off Princess wharf.  Later we past close by her transom and I noticed the word Scorpio carved on her stern.  I immediately looked up at the mainsail and noticed a black bear on all four paws was near the peak, together with the registration number 1025.  Because we were out “on business” I couldn’t go back and check on anything.  Needless to say she was much smaller than I recalled.

When I got home I checked my old 1977 NZYF register, and the name and number were in there, but no owner.  I got in touch with a friend who remained in touch with Rush Clark jnr in Atlanta Georgia. What must have amounted to reply the same day, I got an enthusiastic reply from Rush jnr, telling me “Scorpio” was only 23’ long and had been built in Milford.  He went on to say that it was a testament to NZ Kauri and the skill of Kiwi boat builders that “Scorpio” was still sailing. 

Rush is intending to come out to NZ early in the New Year and says he would love to see her again and would I please do my best to track “Scorpio” down.

I have rung all the marinas, most recognised yacht clubs, & Yachting New Zealand, but none could help me.  The Harbour Master’s office promised to ring back, but haven’t done so.  I have been to Gladden’s workshop, but John has been gone for decades, and workmen having a beer after work suggested that I contact your site.  

There is a nice story about the name “Scorpio”.  Rush snr and his wife Anne were captured by the Japs in the Philippines and in the prison camp they would look at the stars and think that somewhere in the world people were still free and one day, if they survived, they would also be free.

My father occasionally raced on “Scorpio” with the Squadron and said it was the slowest boat in the fleet.  Sometimes when they crossed the finish line at Orakei wharf, they could see that the tower was all closed up and the race management had gone home.

 

So woodys hopefully we can locate the where abouts of Scorpio for John.

Once again WW delivers

Just received an email from Neil Chalmers, with the below photo of Scorpio. Neil was sent the photo by Dan Ranall back in June 2016. Dan had been mooching around Okahu Bay & snapped the photo, then sent it to Neil to see if Neil could ID the yacht. Boom connection made 🙂

Neil commented that he thought there was another Bear Class in Auckland (sail #577), called Little Bear. Anyone able to confirm?

Scorpio

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Out At Kopu


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OUT AT KOPU

Above are a couple of ex work boats hauled out at Kopu – Deodar & Patricia Jane. The photos were sent in by Baden Pascoe from a recent trip to the Coromandel.

Deodar we all know & has been featured on WW before but what do we know about Patricia Jane? she is a rather large old girl – Baden commented that she looks like a converted South Island fishing boat.

Great story tomorrow on a rather stunning yacht that has been brought back to life & now calls Lake Hood (just east of Ashburton, South Island) home.

 

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/

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……… 😉