Manaia – Launch Day + Volvo Race Start






MANAIA – Launch Day

The above photos of Manaia were sent to me by Paul Drake – I’ll let Paul tell the story behind them.

“The first four I took on launching day. I was 15 and in the midst of School Certificate. No exam that day, so off I went on my bike from home in Balmoral, camera in my bag. 

In the second pic, Capt. Warwick Dunsford can be seen in charge on the foredeck (white boiler suit and black beret). 

In the third pic, Percy Vos himself is clearly recognizable just by the fore foot. 

The last two photos I have had since the 1960’s & most likely come from the camera of TW Collins. Great photos, especially the one from the port quarter, and show MANAIA at work.

MANAIA is certainly very original, but note that the stem now has an unattractive (to me) hook near the top. Much better straight in my view.  Also note unusual chine aft. Double ender but hard chine aft. That’s why she can do 15 knots if required!

MANAIA was about the last of the large wooden pilot vessels built for New Zealand ports. About the same time as AKARANA and 10 years after TIAKINA (Wellington – and also a Collings design). TIAKINA of course built in England and steamed out via Suez Canal.”

You can see photos of Manaia today, looking very smart & read extensive details on her past here


Volvo Round-the-World Yacht Race -Auckland Start








Photos Below In The Order They Passed North Head








And a couple of Woodys amongst the sea of plastic boats


Peter Boardman – Lady Margaret


Angus Rogers – Mahanui

An Update on the Lady Ellen Restoration



An Update on Lady Ellen’ Restoration

I have just received an update from Bruce Mitchinson that details the amazing work being undertaken on Lady Ellen – My comment to Bruce was the she was a very lucky lady – not many launches get this amount to TLC – I’ll let Bruce tell you about the work. Photos below:

“Bilge cleanup done and engine beds re-built to remove rotten sections. New laminated floor at the back to help spread the load of the engine and gearbox, where there was very little support previously. Damaged frame ends removed and new laminated sections spliced in, to run continuous across the keelson. Foredeck re-fastened and fibreglassed to make watertight and to take out the springiness. Bulkhead linings all stripped and new plywood lining has been pre-primed and undercoated ready for installation next week. Rod steering system has been modified, using all the existing components, so that all the workings now sit below the floor, and the wheel lowered to suit the new steering position. New fuel tank beds are being fitted to support the new tanks. Only another 250 copper nails and rooves to replace and we can start painting the inside of the hull.”

You can see & read details on the past work here




Yesterday there was some confusion around vessels with name/s – Kaiwaka / Kaiwhaka, thanks to Harold Kidd this has been resolved & today’s story is on the seine boat named Kaiwaka.

Kaiwaka was launched with a 36hp 3 cylinder National diesel and went to Fiji for towing in 1942 as W54. Her length is 45’ & she is most likely the boat that Colin Silby did the recent restoration work on (featured above in Andy Winters photos).

Andy Winter (The Engine Room) has advised that she is owned by Vianney Jones & is powered by a magnificent 8 cyl Gardner – photos below.

What more can we uncover on her?



23-02-2018. Pre-restoration photos ex Colin Silby. I have to say that this was one major project well done Colin & also the owner Vinney Jones for having the vision & deep pockets 🙂







I have been approached by Ted Bosch asking about the vessel Crescent, that twenty years ago he restored for a client. She is a Miller & Tunnage double ender. Ted renewed nearly everything from the hull upwards and a new reconditioned 6 cylinder Gardner was installed, new bulkheads, engine beds, deck and wheelhouse, rig. From the photo above taken at her re-launching in 1988, she appears to be lovely little boat.

Ted understands she was even used as the mother radio ship for the 1990 Noumea race, but soon afterwards the owner sold her to some people in Tauranga and Ted has never seen her again.

Ted commented that Crescent was always very dear to him and wonders what came of her and would like to know her whereabouts.











Greg Noble sent me the above stunning photos of Maxie; Logan Bros built the launch in 1903. These photos mostly show her in The Sounds. Greg’s granddad owned Maxie through the 1920’s. In recent times, Greg has seen her on Lake Taupo, with topsides reworked by Bruce Askew.

Now here is where the story gets a little unusual – Greg’s interest these days in the launch, is only as a working boat, not a cruiser. He has set his sights on building her anew, with original hull and sheerline, open fore and aft of a small doghouse, somewhere between what she had and that of Matareka 1 (her sister). None of the mod cons, oiled timbers rather than varnished, a tiller rather than a wheel and an electric power train and batteries stored in-line with her keel below waterline. He wants to build her on the grass 10m from the shore and in a very traditional and economic way. He has native timbers at hand: pohutakawa for her prow, keel, stern and gunwales and kauri for her splashboard and fore and aft decks, doghouse and floorboards.

However, Greg wants to have her hull delivered in two pre-made fiberglass pieces which he will fit either side of her spine. The whole job done in 3 months start to finish for two (older) men – Greg, a very hands on architect and his brother, a life long sailor.

Greg is seeking help / advice from the WW brains trust – he would like to talk this built concept through with some of your wiser members. He is thinking of guys who know the timbers well but in particular, needs help in confirming the exact dimensions of her hull – could any original drawings exist? He has sent a message to Bruce Askew who might have measured and drawn her in the early 1990’s. Any advice & leads would be much appreciated.

Input from Greg Noble“Yes, two boats appeared in Alan’s original article – both sets of photos are from my grand dad’s journal and I thought it opportune to share with WW at the same time. Of the two, the Maxie was my grand dad’s boat (Perceval Noble), my dad often talked of her and my aunt most recently recalled her being mored in the lower reaches of the Hutt River, close to Percy’s home, so she must have crossed the straight many times. Maxie is the sister to Matareka 1, both Logan, 1903. I have looked at her in Taupo and am delighted to see her alive and loved, but also frustrated that she has moved on and gone “up in the world” and is beyond any possibility of a return to her routes a working boat. By way of explanation for what might seem to most – madness, I believe the world is losing control of growth and that we all need to step back and refocus on a what is immediately around us. I find that I cant discuss this without an overwhelming negativity descending on both preacher and listener. So, I have set my mind to doing it – using traditional processes, local materials and skills together with the appropriate modern technologies in a creative and positive way that will serve a regenerating local environment and need. So, for anybody who dares to open the discussion with me, I promise to focus entirely on the creative task ahead, and I will spare you the drudgery of knowing the reasons why. Fingers crossed and thank you the air time”.

16-02-2018 Input from Ray Morey

MAXIE got an 8 page write-up in the “Wooden boat magazine” August 1995 no.125 story by Peter Freeman. There are some beautiful photo’s in there too.
Greg Noble, your concept has been done here where I live in Sth.East Queensland Australia. The boat concerned was built around 1900 and used to tow log rafts and later, log barges before becoming a fishing boat. The owner built an outside skeleton then stripped the inside, all ribs framing and such then used the hull as a female mold and layered up a fibre glass skin. He retained the original backbone, stem-keel deadwood and stern post. The power unit is a 110 hp. Iveco Fiat with 2:1 red. She is ready to go in the water now but the owner has health issues and probably won’t finish her. Photos below

Brick Smit House

Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 4.13.34 pm

Brick Smit House

The 31’ Cauldrey launch above really is built like a brick smit house. Built in 1972, she has a triple skin kauri glassed hull, the decks & cabin are ply glassed. And to top it off there is a 4cyl 60hp Gardner dsl (Model LK) engine shoe horned in. With 350L fuel tank, she could go a long time between drinks.

She was built by a retired boat builder. Her current owner has had her for 23 years. Anyone know the vessel’s name?

Thanks to Ian McDonald for the trademe listing heads up





Have been asked by woody Chris Leech, to help dig up some more intel on the John Woollcott designed, John Gladden built (Milford) launch – Tamure, pictured above.

All we know is whats on the builders plate e.g. the above + a build date of 1974. Anyone able to help out with details?


Input & photo (of Tom & Phyllis Williams) from Baden Pascoe

Built for family friend Tom Williams who moved to Whitianga in the mid 1970’s. Dad (John Dory) and Tom fished in tandem at the inner Mercury Islands, Hole in the Wall passage. Before Tom died he gave me a video of her launching. Built from recycled kauri from an old church. I did a profile on Tom’s life in professional skipper if any one is interested. From memory she was designed by Woollacott.
When Tom retired he sold her to Tony Boyce who used her for game fishing.
Tom spent his life in the industry, he was partner in the Scow Lena, then bought Beverley (Dafodil) has skipped for Sanford and Sealord.


15-02-2018. Photo below ex Baden Pascoe. Who commented “She is a remarkable little boat, carried a big laod, fantastic sea boat. Where dad and Tom fished would not be for the faint hearted. I hope the new owner cleans her up , would be nice to see Tom’s fishing reg still on her.”