Marne (Marie)

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MARNE (Marie)
Today’s woody popped up on Lew Redwood’s fb, the photo is tagged Waitangi River, Bay of Islands and dated 07-01-1924. Those with 20/20 vision will note her bow displays the name Marie, but Harold Kidd has advised that when launched by Collings & Bell in 1919 she was named Marne.
She made a brief appearance on WW back in August 2013. Link below
Do we know any more about her?
Harold Kidd Input – She was built by Collings &Bell in 1919 as MARNE (although God knows why anyone who had been there would name a boat after that French battleground) for J Goodwill. No details of first engine but probably a Doman. That was replaced with a 4 cylinder (Doman?) when J Parker bought her in 1921. In Parker’s ownership she became MARIE and was fitted with a 40hp Fay & Bowen in 1923. The name MARNE stuck however through later owners. She was pretty well set-up and was valued at 675 pounds, a colossal amount at the time.
Alex Stewart bought her in the 1930s and called her MARGARET S.
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1985 Chas Bailey Gaffer – Ida – Invitation To View

Our greatest champion of classic wooden boating – John Street, has asked that I pass on an open invitation to all woody lovers to attend the official ‘christening’ of Ida, the 1895 Chas Bailey designed gaffer. The occasion will held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron on Sunday 19th July between 4 and 6pm.
The location provides a perfect platform to get up close to Ida and view the outstanding restoration by Wayne Olsen and the team at Horizon Yachts.
Ida is the latest addition to the majestic fleet of classic wooden craft under the guardianship of The Classic Yacht Charitable Trust.
Ida Invite
Woody Classics Weekend Clevedon #2 copy
RSVP waitematawoodys@gmail.com

Matatua & Floss – Sailing Sunday

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MATATUA

Picton boat builder Mike Coutts is doing a shout out to see if anyone would be interested in getting involved in the restoration of the 1938, Jim Lidgard built, 32’9″ yacht Matatua that he has taken over. Any help, advice or information would be welcome. I’ll let Mike tell the story.
Anyone able to help out – contact Mike via email at kootamac@gmail.com
 
“I have been given Matatua to restore , i can do anything given the time and money but both are in short supply here at present ! she has a lot of history in Wellington with Port Nick and has sailed to all corners of the Pacific several times that i know of. I served my time with John Lidgard and i have asked him and he said she was one of Jim Lidgard’s designs and built at Kauwau Island but he cant recall much more . Some one bolted a steel rudder and skeg , mounted a Coventry engine on steel engine beds, put an alloy mast on a steel mast step and extended the hull by about a meter . As you can imagine the dilignafication in some of these areas is quite severe, I told 2 previous owners that they had to get the steel out of her to no avail 25 years ago ! i have her on the hard at $150 a week and have got the steel rudder skeg off and working on the engine beds, mast out next and remove the steel mast step, chainplates etc . I would like to restore her but at this stage just trying to preserve whats left , which is surprisingly good, another testiment to Kiwi boat building and heart kauri” 
02-07-2020 Input from Robin Elliott and Harold Kidd

Harold and I have finally sorted the mystery of Matatua (well it was only a mystery to us, the rest of the world couldn’t care less 🙂 ).

Matatua was built as a 33-foot ketch by Roy Lidgard in 1938 at their yard in Freemans Bay Auckland for C.T. Jonas who originally named her Landfall.
NZ Herald 13/8/1938 has a photo of her on page 12 being built ‘for C.T. Jonas’.
Landfall was launched 19/11/1938 and described as an ‘auxilliary ketch’ 33ft overall, 26ft on the waterline with 9ft 6in beam. She carried 600 sq ft of sail and it was reported that her owner intended making a cruise to the islands at the end of the 1938-39 season.

From then on, no more mention of Landfall and it appears that C.T. Jonas and his co-owner Harry Gillard, renamed her Matatua quite soon after launching.

The ketch Matatua first appears in print in February 1939 racing with other boats in the Lidgard employees picnic from the Freemans Bay slipway to Motuihe. She raced regularly with RNZYS and RAYC for the rest of the season. Her registration number was B-9.

The ketch rig clearly wasn’t a success because in September 1939 the NZH 26/9/39 reports ‘aux yacht Landfall owned by C.T. Jonas which made an appearance last year under ketch rig has been converted into a cutter’. This reference to Landfall is odd because she had been named Matatua since at least the beginning of 1939, but maybe they were just making the connection back their earlier articles.

In the winter of 1940, yet more improvements.
NZH 2/7/40: B-class yacht Matatua owned by C. Jonas has had 2ft 6in added to her counter by Lidgard Bros. OA length now 35ft 6in and will enable carrying a permanent backstay,
NZH 9/12/40: Photo of Matatua with her new cutter rig, B-9 on the sail.

The war intervenes and Matatua ceases racing.

During this time the Auckland yacht registration records, probably having been moved about or in storage during the war, had fallen into disarray. By the time a new list is published in July 1946, Matatua has been registered twice, first by Harry Gillard, who retained B-9, and again by C.T. Jonas who got a new number B-24. The error was picked up and B-24 lapsed but it remained in the official lists for a couple of seasons until another purge of obsolete registrations in 1948.

Clarrie Irvine raced Matatua, as B-9, for the next couple of seasons and sold her in 1949 to R. Campbell of Wellington. The trip to Wellington under delivery skipper Terry Hammond was hard and they were missing for several days after hitting a nor’westerly gale just off Cape Palliser that blew them as far south as Kaikoura. After getting back to almost the same spot, they ran into a westerly gale that blew them back out to sea. Eventually Matatua got to Wellington, her crew had been battered for 84 hours.

Matatua remained in Wellington (registered as Wellington A-10) for the next 12 years or so. She was purchased by K. Stutter in 1957, and in 1962 was sold to D. Fletcher of Epsom who brought her back to Auckland where she picked up her old number of B-9. Fletcher didn’t appear to do any racing but in 1968 he sold her to George Retter of the Richmond Yacht Club who owned and raced her until 1981.

Matatua has had no registered owners since then. Her NZYF number is 109

One major confusion with Matatua has been the Bob Stewart design Mata-a-tua built for George Gresham of Tauranga in 1947. When Matatua was sold to Wellington, her B-9 registration became vacant and was issued to Gresham’s Mata-a-tua thus beginning a series of tortured confusions in boating magazines and newspapers between the two boats.

This was continued when Mata-a-tua was also sold to Wellington in 1958 where she became Wellington A-9. Her owner Brian Millar brought her to Auckland in 1964 and she entered the 1965 Anniversary Regatta under her Wellington number A-9. (A-9?.. A-9??.. That’s Moana and We can’t have that!!) In February she was re-registered as B-47.

Another tedious ‘golly gee’ point. Both Clarrie Irvine and George Retter owned the Bailey built C-class Matua C-54. Both of them sold Matua to buy Matatua

I have been told to ‘get a life’ by many people.

 

FLOSS – 4sale
Recently Baden Pascoe sent me details on Floss – the sailing dinghy below. Baden’s father Howard, built the glued ply dinghy which is now for sale. Owner Jock Speedy is only the second owner. I understand Jock is open to reasonable offers. Contact via email at jmspeedy55@gmail.com
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An Epic Tale of Whalers, Fishermen,  Farmers & Commercial Launch Masters

Prima Donna built by Lanes 1911 for Herman & Darcey Baldick 001

Primadonna built by Lanes for Ernie & Darcey Baldick 001

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An Epic Tale of Whalers, Fishermen,  Farmers & Commercial Launch Masters
 

The story below without doubt is the best to appear on WW, author Pete Beech talks at one stage about writing a book – he needs to. Surely there is a funding channel available – what’s the literary equivalent of ‘NZ On Air’?

The story came about via the recent WW story on the ex whaler chaser – Primmadona and her relocation from the South to Aucklands Waitemata waters. I will let Pete tell you his story, as he told me – its a cracker – enjoy
 
As an aside I spotted Pete’s ‘work’ boat – Tutanekai, mentioned in the story in Queen Charlotte Sound two years ago, I admired her then, sadly I was too busy pushing bacon and eggs down the gullet at the rather swanky, Bay of Many Coves resort, to say hi – my loss, but I’ll be back. Photos of her at the WW link below:
 
Previous WW Primadonna stories:
PART ONE
Kia Ora Alan,
Thanks for making contact, I was sent a link to your site by my sister who lives on her yacht in an Auckland marina. She thought I’d be interested in your story on our old waka, Primadonna.
You and I obviously have a lot in common, 40 yrs ago there were a lot of old Sounds launches coming to the end of their days, my old dad worked for Ernie Lane as a young man then for Jack Morgan and Rodger Carey.
He and his old mates had been Sounds farmers, whalers , fishermen and commercial launch masters, when ever they got together conversation would always revert to “Boats ! “
We lived in a bay down the Sounds, old pa could identify the older boats by the sound of their exhausts, before they rounded the points and came into view. The old guys would tell you who built them, what year, how much they cost, what they were planked out of, some were sister ships (2 keels cut out of the same log) where the logs were sourced from for the planking, what timber they used for the ribs, what make of engine they used, how much it cost, what horse power they developed and how many GPH they burnt and  what revs  they run at.
They took pride in knowing the whole whakapapa of all the old waka, how many hours the engines did until they were worn out and rebuilt or replaced, in those days after 5/ 10 yrs they would replace with bigger more powerful engines, they would also tell you how the engine was taken out of one boat and put into another and so on.
I grew up hearing all these oral histories and like a couple of your writers mentioned the accuracy of some of these stories was lost in the telling, then my old dad passed on and I got to thinking that if someone doesn’t write down these oral histories within 50 years, they will pass from living memory and be lost to time.
So I went around and interviewed a number of the old timers and collected all the photos I could, so pleased I did because those old boys are all gone now and their kids tossed out their photos.
It was funny, they just loved to talk about their boats, often their wives used to ring me up and say “could you come back and talk to dad again, hes driving me mad ! “
For years I have fostered an ambition to compile a book using this material and feel a bit precious about it, however no one has a monopoly over history and it should be shared, who knows the millennials may have no interested in our nautical treasures .
I have been a mechanic, a marine engineer, a fisherman, a commercial launchmaster a boat builder and for the last 30 years have run an eco tour with our old waka the near 90 yr old Tutanekai. I used to think that the day would come when people would regard the old classics like they do vintage cars and would restore them.
However it hasn’t really happened here and sadly many of our old classics have  been sold out of the area many finding their way to Auckland, I will miss seeing the beautiful counter stern of the old Primmadonna on the Sound, she is so much part of our local history.
I’m so pleased to see the resurgence of traditional boats in Auckland and sure a lot of credit should go to you for the sparking peoples interest in the classic wooden boats.
I remember when she was sold to a feller up on the Foxton River, he eventually put her up for sale but no one wanted her, so he rang me up and said “I’ll sell it to you for bugger all, if you don’t I’m going to cut the side out of her with a chainsaw and turn it into a road side stall. 
I contacted Ian Baldick, nephew of the original owner and said that old girl is your family heritage, you should buy her back, he said OK boy , you’re right, I’ll do it on one condition, that you come with me to bring her back home.
So away we went, made the deal, checked out the old Lister, changed the oil and fuel filters and set off for home, when we got down close to the bar there was a big swell and old Ian said theres something wrong, she’s not lifting to the swell, he said pull her up, he went down into the front cabin, lifted up the bunk swabs and found that the whole forward section was full of river boulders, (this had been done because when you run the old lady on full throttle the stern would suck right down until the water was level with the deck and if you were steering from inside the cabin you couldn’t see over the bow).
We tossed all the boulders overboard and charged out over the bar, there were 3 very big waves, she rode up over the first then put her head down and dove under the second and in what seemed like an eternity finally lifted, rose over the third and burst out into the open sea, old Baldy said if we hadn’t thrown those boulders out she would of gone straight to the bottom !!!
He told me that she had been build too fine with not enough buoyancy in the bow, straight stemmed with no flare, he said that one time they we steaming out around Cape Jackson when they went thru the big rip where the Pacific and the Tasman seas meet there are often half a dozen big waves, he said that she responded the same way a stick does when you throw it into the water. He said you had to shut the throttle off and pull her out of gear,   she went down by the head and kept going down until her buoyancy finally made her shoot back out back wards just like a stick !  He said that on this occasion one of their mates was standing on the foredeck, he said that when this occurred he wrapped himself around the mast and held on for grim death, he said that when she popped out they went forward and couldn’t get their mate to let go of the mast, he said he had squeezed it that hard he ‘d squeezed all the sap out of it and they needed a screw driver to prize his finger nails out of the mast !
I also owned the old Fleetwing at one time, but that’s another story.
The old waka in my shed is a true classic launch, is just the bare hull and is in beautiful condition for its age, has been in my shed for 30 years waiting for attention, I’ll never get around to it , I only rescued it because I knew her history and wanted to see her preserved, she had a 5 HP Frisco Standard in her for years, shes only 6 ft beam, they didn’t start building them with 8ft beam until the twin cyl 8 hp Friscos came out in the 1920’s.
The Baldicks said that they flush decked her for gropher fishing and that when they were steaming around Dieffenbach Point in a strong southerly she would roll over that far that your shoulders would be in the water.!
What I could do is send you the story of her builder Ernest Berg who  was a real character, was bankrupted 3 times but kept reinventing himself, a real conman but he built beautiful boats, back at the turn of the century, 3 of them left that I know of.
That’s enough for now, Keep up your good work mate.
PART TWO
Kia Ora Alan,
My pleasure, always interesting to look at a series of photos taken of a wooden boat that shows how their superstructures  were changed to suit their roles and how their engines got bigger and bigger with advances in technology.
My old waka “Tutanekai originally had an 18 hp twin cyl Regal, that was replaced by a 40 hp 4 cyl sterling, then a 60hp, 6 cyl Hercules, a 110 hp  471 GM during the war, currently has a 120 hp GM and have a 6 cyl 340 hp Yanma  in the shed to replace the GM, ( but it refuses to die.)
My apologies, but I don’t know (or don’t remember )  what the original engines were in the Primadonna,  most of the early launches back in the 1920’s had 5 hp single cylinder Frisco standards when they wore out were replaced by 2 cylinder 8 hp Friscos, they were replaced in the 1940’s with car engines then in the 1950s with truck or tractor diesel engines like 4 cyl Fords or GM’s , (lucky ones had Gardners ! )
When Alf Baldick finished whaling he used the Primmadonna as a farm boat and for transport to and from town, there were no roads in the Sounds.
He sold to a guy McManaway who was a gropher fisherman, he did away with the rear wheel house to give him more deck space and fish hold, he built a pilot house over rear of front cabin. He sold to Rex Baldick, Alfs nephew, he was farming in East Bay and spent a lot of time hunting, you would often see her at the Picton wharf with stern deck covered with carcasses of pigs and deer.
Rex sold to Ken MacArther who fished her out of the Wairau Bar, she caught fire on him, he took the 4 cyl Ford out that Rex had put in and replaced with a three cylinder Lister.
That was the end of her commercial fishing era, she had several owners and more changes to her superstructure, they replaced the rear wheelhouse, when I had it she had a coal scuttle that stuck up above the cabin top so you didn’t have to duck , getting in and out of the cabin. Before Ian Baldick bought her back into family ownership he threw the Lister out and put a reconditioned 4 cly Ford back in her, cut the coal scuttle off and replaced with a sliding hatch, put a new S/S shaft in her and did a great job of tidying her up. When he retired he put a line hauler on her for gropher fishing and spent a lot of time out fishing and deer shooting, when he past on she was sold but a couple of owners latter his son in law bought her back again for running the whanau to and fro to their bach.
Sad that she has been sold out of the Sounds, but who knows some day she may find her way home, it has happened before !
Nga Mihi,
Pete.
Woody Classics Weekend #5 Riverhead
RSVP waitematawoodys@gmail.com

Aquarius – Restoration Update

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AQUARIUS – RESTORATION UPDATE
I have done two previous WW stories on the 38’ Supreme Craft, 1955 built launch Aquarius. In September 2018 it was an SOS reaching out for someone to save her and bring her back from Waiheke Island where she had been hauled out for approx. 6 years. Then in April 2019 we reported that she was being trucked / ferried back to the mainland. WW links to those stories below.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/09/01/aquarius-sos/

Today I’m rapt to share the above work-in-progress photos ex Dave Brown and John Wright, who are restoring Aquarius. These boys are light on chat, they just get on with the work, which is impressive – we will continue to follow this project with great interest – well done guys 🙂
Photos below – first one is from 2018 and the bottom two are from the island ‘extraction’ in 2019.
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Royal Falcon Restoration – Update June 2020

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Royal Falcon Restoration Update June 2020

I had a reason to be pointing the car towards what used to be called ‘Nappy Valley’ (Pakuranga) so decided to call into the Panmure River boat shed where Steve & Colette Pople are having the 38’, 1934 Cox & Filmer built bridge-decker – Royal Falcon restored, ‘having’ isn’t the best word because both are actively involved in the project.
As you will see in the above photo gallery, the team are working at an impressive pace. The Commer TS3 engine is back in and looking very shinny. Very impressed to see the team re-purposing as much timber as possible – we like that 🙂
While there I dropped off an age appropriate search light that I had promised Steve, it didn’t suit Raindance so – ‘spread the love’. Thank you Jason Prew who gifted it to me originally 🙂
You can read / view Royal Falocn’s past at the link below + earlier project photos
Below is a video walk by/thru that I did. Have to say it is so cool to see a real, working, waterfront boat shed. Anyone remember something called ‘Heritage Landing’ aka the Vos Shed………….

Time – For Sale

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TIME – 4 Sale

Several years ago Bay of Islands woody Dean Wright shared with me a gallery of photos of a yacht built by his friend John Gander. At the time the photos were just for my eyes only, so they have been burning whole in the back-pocket ever since. Then one day out of the blue a marina buddy, mentions he has just bought a yacht that will ‘blow-my-mind’, tells me its called Time and he was a little disappointed to learn that I knew as much (if not more, at that stage) about her as he did.
Some background – the yacht Time was launched in 2001, having been built and designed by John Gander. John felled and milled the kauri for her planking in the Far North (photos below). John’s a very modest man and would want me to mention that a very large cast of helpers and trades people helped with the project and woodys it was a very large project – because John built two boats, the sister ship, Whisper is still owned by John.
Time’s specs are 38 ’x 12’ x 5’8” and she displaces 12 tonnes. Power is via a Yanmar 30hp diesel.
The standard of workmanship and design ergonomics are 2nd to none, you won’t here me say this many times but I could easily go to the dark-side (sail) with a boat like Time. On the water she is a knockout / head turner and down below just gorgeous.
After several years of ownership, a change in circumstances has bought Time on to the market. For anyone looking for a once in-a-life-time classic woody – Time deserves your inspection. Expressions of interest to waitematawoodys@gmail.com
Her owner is realistic in his sale exceptions, so Time will sell rather quickly.

A Peek Into The New England Marine Scene

A Peek Into The New England Marine Scene
 
If you are a follower / reader of Wooden Boat magazine, you will be familiar with the work of photographer – Tyler Fields, again thanks to the world-wide lock-down, life has been given to another previously ‘stalled’ project, which we now get to enjoy 🙂
I’ll let Tyler tell the story – 
“More than a year ago, Woody Metzger of First Light Boatworks and I started a video project introducing some of the people behind New England’s marine industry. The small network of boat builders, sailmakers and artists that make up what we do are the best in the world. Woody and I wanted to provide an quick introduction to the people behind these brands with the hope that getting to know us might encourage boaters to support the locals when buying new, restoring old or just keeping our lives on the water going. Our idea was simple; ask our friends four questions. 1 -Why has your business survived and where do you see it going? 2- What would you do if you weren’t doing this? 3- Would you like to see your kids do this? 4- Do you love your job? The responses we filmed were a mix of the expected, unexpected, humorous and a little sobering. After a handful of interviews, life caught up and we set our big idea on the back burner. Woody and his crew started building and launching boats one after another, after another and my schedule of chasing boats around New England ate up any free time we had. Well, the world has a habit of keeping us on our toes. At the moment, we all have found some extra time. So, last week I started digging through the footage and decided to start putting the interviews together. Oddly enough, the questions seem more fitting now than they did when we first asked them. We want to send out a huge thank you to each of the people and businesses who gave the time and let Woody and I into your shops. For the rest of us, it’s more important now than ever to support these small business. They are not just logos, they’re friends and family right here in our local communities.”
 
TOUGH DAY AT THE OFFICE
Popped down to Waiheke Island yesterday to show a potential buyer over Kailua, stunning day, stunning boat. More details at the link below:

Tradition

Tradition @ Mahurangi Regatta 2016

Tradition at the Mahurangi Regatta 2017

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The 'Bar'

The Bar

TRADITION

The 44’ launch Tradition slips comfortably into the woody ’Spirit of Tradition’ (excuse the pun) category – designed by Bo Birdsail and built by Geoff Bagnall, she was launched in 1990 for Rhys & Dick Boyd. Today’s WW story is a first for WW in that the format is an interview by Keith Busch (a former owner) with Rhys and Dick. Make yourself a cup of something and find a comfortable chair – its a cracker read and really showcases what a talented boat builder Geoff Bagnall is. Special thanks to Keith for pulling this story together – simply brilliant.  Full specs and ownership summary on the vessel at the end.

Keith : What do ‘Tradition’ and the Auckland pilot boat – Akarana, (designed by A. J. Collings & built by W. G. Lowe in 1960) have in common?*

Dick : I went into the fishing industry in the seventies. By 1985 I had a quota of my own and a purpose built long-liner – Kerama. Then the new owners of the company I worked for (Polar Seafood Co.) wanted me to come ashore and be fleet manager for all their trawlers.

Rhys : Anyway, one day he had just unloaded a catch and we were on our way home to our place near the Tamaki Bridge and he told me just how much he’d got per kilo for the fish he’d landed, and it was astronomical! Then he slipped in that he wanted to build a launch.

 Keith : So what year was this?

Dick : I would say it was 1985.

Rhys: So I said, ‘We’re not building a launch!’, and he said, ‘But I’ve got everything for it’, and I said,  ‘I don’t care, we’re going to buy another fishing boat, with prices like that we’re going to be loaded!’ So next day I go to work and on the way home I thought, ‘Oh that was a bit mean’. So he comes home that night and I said, ‘We need to have a talk’, and he said, ‘I’m going first. I’m building a launch!’, and I said, ‘I was just going to say that!’ So that was the beginning, it was like, ‘Oh I can’t do that to him, he wants it too much’. So we didn’t get rich, but we did get Tradition.

Keith : So where did you start, did you go for a builder or a designer first?

Dick : Well the designer was Bo Birdsall. I went to see John Lidgard first and I asked him to draw me a boat, but after a few sketches I wasn’t getting what I wanted. Then somebody, oh Roy Rimmer, said to me try Birdsall. So we met with Bo and he drew it up. We were real happy with his hull, it was great. But I still had a few questions about his topsides. Anyway, when we got Geoff onboard we thought we could start from Bo’s drawings and go from there, so that was the beginning of it. Bo was a real nice guy and extremely clever. He was good to work with.

Keith : So you were happy with the hull, how’d you end up with that beautiful topside?

Dick : Well what happened was, Bo drew it up and he didn’t include the sedan roof on the fore deck, so it was just the main cabin sitting on the deck. But when Geoff was building the boat the radius that had to go into the forward area to give head room, well it just didn’t work. Anyway Geoff came up with the idea to put a sedan roof on the forward deck and just that small addition balanced out the main cabin nicely. It’s one of those things with a good builder, he just put up some false frames, then let us have a look at it and it worked. He’s got a great eye for those things you know, always looking as he goes.

Rhys : We didn’t get a drawing of it and say, ‘Yes that all works’. All of us looked at her as we went.

Dick : Of course Geoff would have put a little more sheer on it, because that’s just Geoff, but I liked Bo’s idea of the hull. It’s very hard during a build, a lot of the time you don’t know what you’re going to end up with. We had ladders all over the show. You’d be climbing up and down and looking along the boat and trying to imagine what it was going to look like in the water. Later we were down the side of Waiheke and this guy passes and yells out ‘Geez someone made a great job of that!’, so I think it in the end she works.

Keith : So going back a bit, how did you get Geoff Bagnall as your boat builder?

Dick : Well okay, first we started talking with Brin Wilson’s boys Richard and Bob Wilson, because Bo’s wife was related to the Wilson’s. Bo said ‘it would be good if you got the Wilson’s to build it. I’d had nothing to do with them so I got a price from them and I though ‘Well we’ve struck a bit of a wall here!’. So I talked to Bo and he said ‘Okay, then try young Bagnall’. So I contacted him and he was interested at a price we could manage and we went from there.

Keith : ‘Young’ Bagnall! He’s just retired! How old was Geoff at this time?

Dick : Just around forty or something about that, because he had built – Nazareth and the yacht. He’d already built several boats, oh and he’d built the one that hit the bricks going over to Barrier (Onetunga?), oh and Katoa. He would have built about 8 or 9 boats by then and he designed some as well, I think he designed Katoa. His boats are a little hard edged to my eye. More ‘solid’ compared to Bo’s lines I think.

Keith : So where was she built then. Was Geoff off on his own?

Dick :  When he did Tradition he built it in the old Harbour Board timber mill. The Harbour Board had just been privatised and they weren’t using their mill building at Westhaven, so Jack Fagan organised for us to use an area in the mill shed. That was real handy because all the woodworking equipment was in there so we could use it to deal with the timbers. All her timber work was done there in that mill building, except we sent the kauri out to a joker who did timber dressing in Rosedale Road and he did the whole lot. So it went out in flitches and it came back in nice dressed planks ready to go on the boat. The planks for the hull are inch and three-quarter by inch and a quarter heart kauri.

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Work on Tradition commences in the Auckland Harbour Board Timber Mill building 1989

Keith : So where did the wood come from?

Dick : It came from Noel Mitchell who was the foreman at the Ports of Auckland slipway. When Akarana*, which was Auckland’s biggest pilot boat in those days, was being built, Noel had decided that a pilot boat could get smashed up real easy, so he bought enough kauri and teak for extensive repairs and put that aside to repair Akarana if she got crunched. There was talk of them selling this timber for houses but Noel said ‘No, it’s for boat building so we’re selling it for that. So that’s where we got the timber. We got all her heart kauri and the teak there.

Keith : So where exactly was the Harbour Board timber mill located?

Dick : Well, to the best of my memory, it was just past where ‘Sailors Corner’ is nowadays. On the left hand side of the road, well that was all Harbour Board land. Its where McMullen and Wing’s haul-out is now. The Harbour Board had three or four slipways there and they used to do all the work for us on the trawlers. They were close by so the company could keep the trawler crews employed by doing all the cleaning and paint-work and chip rust off the boats instead of spending all their time in the pub. So I knew Noel and it worked out pretty well.

Keith : So you got hold of Geoff and he was keen to take it on?

Dick : Oh yes. He had this old mate called Bert who used to sweep the floor and mix the glue and make the tea. Of course Bert has passed away now but he was a hell of a nice old guy and he worked on her as well.

Keith : Who else was involved in the build?

Dick : The wiring was Peter Galley, the painting was Mark Binney, plumbing was Alan Kemp, who was a Harbour Board guy. There was a lot of input from the slipway workers off and on and in their own time. Of course, I supplied them with fish non-stop so it was give and take, a bit of barter. The engineering was, oh well we did most of that stuff ourselves.

Keith : And the Ford engine was from Lees?

Dick : No, the engine was from Don Bernand,  Don is Mr Ford, he’s brilliant. I think we bought the engine in Tradition from Newlove in Whangarei and Don did the marinisation. He served his time with the Lane Motorboat Co. on the Tamaki River and when Lees got out of Ford he bought everything off them, all the patterns, moulds, that sort of stuff and set himself up at home. Don bought the new engine for me. It has a Newage Coventry 2:1 gearbox and the ‘get-home’ kit in it. At the time it was hard to find the gearbox we wanted but Don eventually found it and we fitted it. I can’t think who did the hydraulics, but it was all fitted by us.

Tradition Engine Room

Keith : So you gathered all her bits and pieces together. When did the build start?

Dick : It took me 6 years to put everything together before I got to the point where I could say, okay I’ve got enough to go and do it. During that time I had all the timber stored at home. At my son’s 21st we had the filches on sawhorses under the marquee so all the guests were sitting around on the kauri filches. They hung around for years reminding me to keep collecting stuff. The brass portholes in the cabin doors come from an old fish ‘n chip shop in Howick, while the ship’s bell is from the ill-fated ferro fishing vessel the – Trident.

Rhys : We’ll he’d been collecting things for a long time. He had some things ready to go. He’d probably told me he’d bought stuff for a boat but I hadn’t listened or realised it was enough to build a complete boat.

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Boat builder Geoff Bagnall begins work, July 1989

Dick : The photo above is the laying out of the frames internally. You’ve got them all standing up there. That’s Geoff in his younger days. Geez he looks different there doesn’t he!

Keith : So the date on that photo is July 26th 1989, is that about the date she was started?

Dick : Would’ve been pretty close to it. Maybe a month before perhaps.

Rhys : Lucky the cameras had the dates on them in those days.

Keith : So tell us about all the effort of the construction.

Dick : Well we could lay 8 planks per day. So all the frames were stood up and we had the steam box ready for the planks there at the mill.

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Original owner Dick Boyd sanding plugs on the hull, 1989

Keith : So you were coming down each day and helping Geoff?

Dick : I used to come in at night after work and do all the plugging. So Bert, cuppa tea maker and floor sweeper, he used to help Geoff during the day. They used to put the timber in the steamer and the following morning they’d come in and put those 8 planks up and then put another 8 in the steam box. So it was pretty slow going. I’d come in after work and do the plugs. But they were always in front of me because you couldn’t work on the planks that they had just put up that day because you’re driving the plugs in, so I was always a bit behind them plugging and sanding.

Rhys : Don’t forget you had to make all those plugs yourself too.

Keith : So how many were there? Did you count?

Rhys : He wouldn’t be brave enough to count, that would have been tear-jerking.

Dick : No, it was slow work. But the reason I plugged it was that sometimes you wake-up in the morning and you’re able to see every bit of bog that’s gone into a boat and you shouldn’t be able to see that with proper plugging.

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Geoff Bagnall and assistant Bert working on the hull, 1989

Dick : Roy Rimmer used to pop in to make sure we were doing everything right. There was a lot of interest in the boat, because it was very handy to everybody in the harbour area.

Rhys : A lot of people would pop in after work and see how we were getting on.

Keith : So why did you choose to build her in wood?

Dick : Well you’re right, wooden boats were not being built at the beginning of the 90’s and a lot of people said ‘What are you bloody well building a launch that big in wood for?’ But, you know, it was what we both wanted. If I go back to the days of the old ‘Golden Kiwi’ tickets, my nom-de-plume was always 44’x14’, that’s because I was determined I was going to build a wooden launch that was 44’ long with a beam of 14’. Ha ha, I never won the Golden Kiwi did I! But even way back then I was thinking of her, I suppose it was my dream. And I’d always said I’d love a boat with proper teak coamings, teak decks and a hull of kauri.

Rhys : With a wife to varnish and look after it!

Dick : Yeah, I was lucky I had one of those!

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Geoff Bagnall turns the hull, September 1989

Keith : What were some of the comments you got when you were building her.

Dick : Well it was the materials of the build that attracted people. It’s a kauri strip planked boat, but the availability of kauri was getting very tight, even in those days. You just couldn’t go out and buy it. If you did happen to find some stacked up somewhere, it was really expensive. But because we knew the blokes at the Harbour Board and had feed them a lot of fish over the years, we got lucky with the source of the kauri we used. They gave it to us at a reasonable cost and there was also teak there that was meant to repair the old pilot boats, but they were being retired and the new ones were steel.  Colin Clare might know how old the wood itself was. I can’t honestly say, but it was already old when we bought it. I think it was milled on Great Barrier. Anyway, they were happy to see it go to build a boat and not end up in a kitchen cupboard.

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‘Bagnall’s work of art’.  Dick’s son Adam finishing the inside of the hull, October 1989

When I took Geoff in to have a look at the timber, there were stacks and stacks of 3’’x 2’’ kauri, but the sap wood was all full of borer. So we set those bits aside and all the stuff we bought were filches of heart kauri. The teak there was all 3’’, so Geoff split them and I think the cabin is inch and three-eights. Anyway, there’s a lot of teak in her topsides and a hell of a lot of kauri in the hull! What else? Well, there’s some totara in the keel, that came from the Salvation Army place down at Rotoroa Island. The guy who ran the ‘Kahino’ was a mate of Geoff’s and he provided that for us. Most of the keel and the engine bearers are Australian brushbox which is quite a hard, heavy, red coloured wood, but you have to watch it because it will get worm, that’s why it’s glassed over.

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Topsides taking shape, March 1990

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Dick Boyd checking proportions.

Keith : So how long was the build time.

Dick : Well what did we say, from mid1989 and it was launched at the end of 1990.

Keith : So all your mates and friends came and gave you a hand at some stage?

Rhys : Only Mary Smith came to help, the others came to drink! But Jack Fagan did some work on it, he was good.

Dick : It’s amazing how hard helpers are to find. The minute you mention sandpaper, they’re off, outta here! But Jack was one of the supporters of the whole project, he helped make things happen sometimes when we hit a wall.

Rhys : By the time we had the launching we were so exhausted from months and months of work we didn’t want her! We launched it and then everybody got so full of wine and drink that the next morning we had a shocking hang-over. We dragged ourselves out of bed and went round for breakfast at Westhaven and I said to Tich, ‘Do you want the boat’ and he said ‘Na’. Of course we didn’t really mean that, but oh it had just been such a big job and she wasn’t finished by a long shot. We didn’t have a stove or a fridge. We didn’t have squabs. We had a toilet and a shower, that was it! To top it all off we’d run out of money!

Dick : We had to follow Chris and Mary Smith around, because they had a launch called ‘Hukarere’ and they had a nice cooker onboard, so we used to follow them.

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‘Looking for the Smiths’ – maiden voyage to Rangitoto, November 1990. Dick and Rhys Boyd on the flybridge.

Rhys : They also had a fridge so we kept our cold stuff in there.

Dick : Paul Nolan had a big Salthouse 53’ ‘Blitzen’ and he had a whole lot of squabs because he was replacing his so I said ‘don’t throw them out, we’ll be round to pick them up’.

Rhys : So we slept on those squabs and wherever Chris and Mary were, we were there. We couldn’t even make a cup of coffee! So they spent their time trying to lose us and we spent our time trying to find them. ‘Would you two like to come over?’ they would say, and we’d already be in the dingy heading towards them. And then after a while it was like, ‘gosh, can we even afford to finish her?’.

Dick : Anyway, over a few years we slowly pieced the rest of her together.

Rhys : Yes, there was still a lot to do. All the sanding inside is mine, every single inch!! You know I was a kindergarten teacher, so every school holidays, for two weeks in May and three weeks in August, and most weekends, we were on the boat doing something. I’d row out, hop on the boat outside our place in the Tamaki River and I’d get going on something. Lots of sanding, lots of varnishing.

Keith : So where did you take her on the first trips.

Dick : Well I liked the bottom end of Waiheke and over at Coromandel, Te Kuma.

Rhys : And we never managed to get to the Bay of Islands because we were working too much.

Dick : Also Waiheke. Oneroa was always popular because the Smiths were there. They still tell us when Tradition is in the bay. We have our spies! And she’s a notable boat anywhere you go, people respond to her and row over to have a yarn. Yeah, Geoff did a great job on her. One of his best.

Rhys & Dick Boyd on Tradition

Original owners – Dick & Rhys Boyd, Mahurangi Regatta, January 2017.

Owners of M.V. Tradition since Dick and Rhys Boyd 

1990-1996 > Dick and Rhys Boyd  – Moored in Tamaki River

1996-?        > Dave ? [clue – owned a pub in Mangere?]

19?? – 1998  > ?? Two guys bought it from Dave via a broker [information from Rod Middleton (Sailors Corner) They wished to take her south by truck to Mana Marina but after talking with Geoff they sailed her down the coast.

1998-2006 > Sold to Peter and Jenny Standish from Wellington and berthed at Mana. Cruised in the Marlborough Sounds.

2006-2007 > Sold to a Picton local. Moved to Waikawa Marina, Picton

2007-2011 > Sold back to Peter and Jenny Standish. Berthed in Waikawa Marina. Had a major refit at Frankins Boat Yard, Waikawa in 2009.

• Varnish stripped inside and two pot urethane used.

• New navigation electronics, TVs, sound system, stove, leather upholstery, carpets, covers and bow thrusters added.

• Bunks in forward V-berth removed, double bed built in.

2011-2019 > Sold to Keith Busch & Wiesje Geldof of Wellington. 3 years berthed at Waikawa Marina. Vessel trucked north to Tauranga from Mana Marina 2013. 3 years berthed at Bridge Marina, Tauranga. Hutchinson’s Boat Yard, Tauranga work :

• Stripped outside varnish and replaced with 16 coats of ‘All-wood’ urethane

• New teak plank deck installed. Boot topping strip repainted in light green.

• Fly-bridge helm station repainted. Holding tank and generator added.

3 years berthed at Hobsonville Marina, Auckland

Accepted into Classic Yacht Association in 2016 as ‘modern classic’.

2020 > Sold to Chris and Rae Collins of the RNZYS

Lower Helm Station

Lower helm station

'Tradition'. BOI 2016

Bay of Islands 2014

Specifications of M.V. Tradition

Type : Saloon Launch

Designer : Bowden ‘Bo’ Birdsall

Builder :Geoff Bagnall, built at Auckland Harbour Board mill building, Westhaven

Launched : November 1990

Commissioned : Dick and Rhys Boyd of Tamaki, Auckland

Dimensions : LOA 44 feet, beam 14’ 3”, draft 4’6”, displacement 11.5 t

Engine : 1990 Ford 145hp ‘Marko’, cruises at 9 kts, max speed 11kts

Gearbox : Newage Coventry 2:1 gearbox

Construction : Kauri planked hull (inch and three-quarter by one inch, glassed-over), strip-teak deck, teak topsides, white hull with light green boot-topping, polished wooden topsides, white fly-deck.

Mechanical : Side-Power bow thrusters, Pugaro diesel generator, anchor winch

Electrical : 12V and 240V systems, auto-helm, radar, Garmin gps chart plotter, TV, stereo system, VHF (x2), 3 x house batteries, 2x start batteries, inverter

Accommodation : 2 cabins, Master (double) and Guest (2 single)

Galley : 4 burner gas stove, microwave, gas hot water system, fridge, freezer

Tanks : Diesel – 1 x 650 litres; water 2x 350 litres (700 litres) both stainless steel. Black water holding tank 300 litres in welded plastic

NOTE: Boat builder Geoff Bagnall is not retired, just no longer has the shed in Milford Creek.

 

 

SS Duke of Marlborough

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SS DUKE of MARLBOROUGH

I recently stumbled across the above photo of the steam ship – Duke of Marlborough and knowing nothing about her put a call into Russell Ward aka Mr Steam. The man is never embarrassed to speak so – take it away Russell, WW is all yours…..

“Once, 30+ years ago, I built up a steamboat called “Gypsy”. So pull up a chair, warm yourselves by the fire and I’ll tell you a story which isn’t about “Gypsy” at all, it’s about the “James Torrey” which became the “Duke of Marlborough”.

But, through “Gypsy”, I met one Lloyd Lewis of Lake Tarawera. He was an ardent enthusiast for steamy things (who wouldn’t be – living on Lake Tarawera.) Lloyd had made a steamer up out of a hull I had sold him a year or so previously and really had the steamboat bug badly. As the late Pete Culler (he wrote a lot about boats and he was a wise man) said “It’s awful, don’t go near it or you are hooked.” And you can’t argue with facts like that, folks. Suffice to say Lloyd got steam enginitis in a big way.

He had Wellington naval architect Bruce Askew design a hull for a 36’ steam vessel following the style of the early 1900 steam boats The steel hull was built in 1987 by Gordon Clark and Brian Starrock in New Plymouth and shipped to Rotorua for Lloyd to complete. He did a fine aesthetic job. She was launched as “James Torrey” and he used her to take fishing tours on the lake. The lads appreciated the warmth from the boiler at times.

Lloyd built the engine – an English design by A.A. Leake and a dashed good looker it is -a traditional open compound, driving a 28” by 42” propeller giving a service speed of 6 knots. A piston valve is fitted to the high pressure cylinder and a balanced slide valve on the low pressure one. It has cross-head driven twin feed pumps and air pump. Exhaust is through a feed-water heater to a keel condenser. There you feel a lot better for knowing that.

But to sum up, working on salt water, you have to condense the exhaust steam or you run out of feedwater real quick. Besides, condensing gives you a useful addition to the power through the vacuum created which, in essence, sucks the piston while the steam pushes.

The steam is provided by a Kingdon type boiler (1900’s Simpson Strickland design) built by Langley Engineering in the U.K and, since you didn’t really want to know, It is a vertical fire-tube type, 34 inches high by 30 inches diameter over lagging, has 3.4 square feet of grate area and has 84 square feet of heating surface. She burns coal and there is nothing better.

Lloyd had quite job actually getting Ed Langley to dispatch the finished boiler although it had been long since paid for. Ed had had his delivery problems over the years…. Legend has it that, in frustration (remember communication was all letters and phone calls that had to be booked well ahead in those prehistoric times); Lloyd flew over to the UK and turned up at the works just ahead of the receiver. Seeing the likelihood of his investment coming to nothing, he took matters into his own hands and loaded the boiler up himself. Lloyd just wasn’t the sort of man to argue with and got his boiler. It is a very handsome job.

Anyway after a number of years, Lloyd tired of his steamboat and Roger Frazer took her to Picton. He renamed her “Duke of Marlborough” and did a lot of restoration which is a credit to him. He has been taking passengers out of Picton for some time. I’m sure the passengers appreciate the boiler’s warmth even more that the Lake Tarawera types.”

I understand she may be for sale………

WoodenBoat Magazine Interview #3 

This week WB editor Matt Murphy interviews Harold Burnham in a live discussion of how, for nearly three decades, he has been instrumental in revitalizing the shipbuilding and maritime culture of his region by designing, building, and rehabilitating traditional vessels for cultural tourism. Harold is an 11th-generation shipwright, and has, at various times, also been a sawyer, mariner, model maker, and sail maker.

Seriously Cool Steam Boat

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Seriously Cool Steam Boat

The above steam boat, owned by Hamilton engineer, Chris Cooper recently popped up on a fb post of Geoff Lewis’s.
All I know, but I can hear Russell Ward duping as you read this, is that Chris rebuilt the boat from a wreck. It has a tripe-expansion engine, in my ignorance I hope it is coal or wood fired and not diesel – I would love this as a retirement boat on a lake…………..
Hopefully we will find out more about her.
AND WOODYS WE CAN GO BOATING AGAIN – NO PRIZE FOR GUESSING WHAT I WILL BE DOING THIS AFTERNOON
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Duchess

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DUCHESS
Another story ex the CV-19 lock-down. This time Kerry Alexander was having a cleaning out of old photos and came across the above ones of Duchess, the 1920 Bailey & Lowe built launch.
Location of the top two photos is Browns Bay beach and we see Duchess being hauled out. Kerry commented that he recalls that the photos are from the late 1960’s, when you were allowed to launch and haul out from the beach. Can you imagine the fuss if you tried doing that these days.
At the time Duchess was owned by Kerry’s boss, boatbuilder Keith Atikinson, Kerry can not recall how Keith ‘acquired’ her.
The haulage was being done by Alan Reid but the Atikinson yard used to use Ron Hogan and sometimes Winstones.
In the bottom photo Duchess is sitting outside the Atikinson shed at 25 Bute Road, Browns Bay, Auckland – she later moved into the shed.
In the photo below from a WW post back in June 2016 (link below), we see Duchess when owned by Graham (Snow) Steven – the photo was sent in by Graham’s nephew – Geoff Steven, who took the photo.
So woodys – is Geoff Steven’s photo pre or post Kerry’s?
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Tangmere Finds Her Way Home

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TANGMERE FINDS HER WAY HOME

Back in May 2017, WW helped two woodys uncover some of the history on a launch that they were about to start a restoration on. The vessel was the 1949, Shipbuilders built launch Tangmere. 

You can read that story and see a great collection of photos from Tangmere’s past at this link. https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/05/23/tangmere-2/
Read the comments section – lots of chat. The boat changed hands several times in the period 2018 > early 2019 and I can now report she is back with its original owners family, the Endean’s  –  we like that 🙂
 
Today’Cs story is another that comes to us as a result of the lock-down we have all been in for the last 6 weeks. Via Harold Kidd I received a note from Bill Endean advising that his brother Richard had used the lock-down for good purpose and uncovered the above photos of Tangmere. Chatting with Bill he commented that the hull of Tangmere now sits at their farm shed in Warkworth, about to be restored. 
Bill is a past commodore of the RNZYS with a lot of salt in his veins from sailing, so its especially good to welcome another yachtie to the bright-side (launches) 😉 Brother Richard was also Commodore at the RNZYS.
 
The photo taken inside the cabin shows Bill’s father standing, eating a pie (as are his mother nearest camera and friend Jean Foster), that woodys was fine dinning afloat back then – no salad in sight. Bill is not sure who the fourth person is. Bill suspects the photo was taken by fathers best friend, Owen Foster, an accountant who spent most of his career as right hand man to Sir Robert Kerridge
Bill commented that his dad returned from the war to discover his father has decided to sell his yacht “Prize” … it seems he decided to go power boating instead. Endean snr. was very able with his hands and established a furniture manufacturing business, hence the high level of finish. Not very PC these days but note the ash trays fitted to cabinetry. He loved gadgets and “Hi Fi”, reflected in the impressive radiogram fixed to main bulkhead.
The Perspex dome harks back to his familiarity with same as a Lancaster bomber pilot during WW2.
The photo taken of her stern looks like anchored at Home Bay, Motutapu or nearby, the 2 boys in the cockpit are Bill and older brother Richard.
We will follow this project with interest, Bill has promised to keep WW updated.

Herald – Sailing Sunday

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HERALD – Sailing Sunday
Recently I was sent the  above gallery of photos of the small yacht – Herald, from kiwi Fred Lomas, who lives/works in Australia. The photos are from an album given to him by his ex (deceased) Omapere (near Opononi, Northland) neighbour – Aubrey Bracey.  Aubrey was a farmer / carpenter who built a couple of small boats, Herald being one of them.
How lucky were these kids to have a boat of their own at their age, these days we are just too PC.
I love the combination of paint colours – a perfect example of the old principle of only using 3 colours max on a boat. Also looks like as the kids got taller, they raised the cabin top 🙂
Devonport Yacht Club – Duder Cup – On The World Stage
Check out the link below to read / view a great story by Rob Peake, editor of the ‘Classic Boat’ magazine in the UK, on this years running of the Duder Cup race.

Ida Dips Her Toes

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IDA DIPS HER TOES

After a full restoration and a Covid19 lock down delay, the 1895 Chas Bailey designed and built by C&W Bailey, Ida finally left Horizon Boats shed on the 1st May 2020 and headed to the water (Stillwater) to be rigged. Yesterday she was lowered into the water with all sails and equipment on board so that the team could determine her water line ready for anti-fouling. At 7050kg and with her slender lines she is going to be a slippery challenge for the rest of Auckland’s A class fleet. Check out the gaff collar – talk about bling 🙂

Next steps: anti-foul coating > final rigging detail > a tidy up ready for a formal launch celebration. Bring It On!!
Well done to the whole team behind getting Ida back from Australia and restoring her – an amazing feat given Ida arrived back in New Zealand in December 2018. It goes without saying that none of this would have happened without John Street, the classic wooden boating movement owes so much to this man.
WW will have more on Ida post the official launch.
(details & photos ex The Classic Yacht Charitable Trust)
Read more on Ida at the links below
23-05-2020 – First sail
IDA 1st sail 2020

Waitanguru

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WAITANGURU

In the top photo we see Waitanguru in the Milford Creek, just off the AW Williams boatyard* in Omana Road, Milford. Waitanguru was a ‘Banshee’ design built by Williams. At the time of the photo the launch was owned by Gerry Dawson, he purchased her off Peter Peterson.
The November 1965 photos come to us from Lew Redwood’s fb and were taken by Dawn Heathwaite.. In the 2nd photo the kids on the jetty are Bill and Ian Heathwaite. Bill Heathwaite has commented that the photos were taken post a successful game fishing trip to Great Barrier Island. Bill’s father is holding the tail of a record breaking yellow-fin tuna he had caught. From recalls it was 135lb on a 30lb line.
The crew are L>R – skipper Gerry Dawson, Roy Heathwaite, Scotty, Alan Odell, Jim and Bruce Woods.
Do we know what became of Waitanguru?
* yard later became Geoff Bagnall’s and is now The Slipway – Milford. Interesting to view the area on the right of the shed that would be developed at the Milford Crusing Club haul-out yard.
CORRECTION : The yard is John Gladdens yard, the Allan Williams original yard was against the road and slip by the bridge. (thanks readers)
DOUBLE CORRECTION: Thanks to Nathan Herbert we learn the the spelling was wrong, the boat is Waitanguru and has featured on WW b4, link below
FYI – the WW section box only works on perfect spelling, so we did not pick this up 😉

Milford Creek 1940/50’s – My Girl’s Old Home

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My Girl was moored opposite white on road (top right of photo), Walter had a shed there

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Elva and Trevor Bowman

Milford Cruising Club Yard

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MY GIRL’S OLD HOME – MILFORD CREEK IN THE LATE 1940’s> EARLY 1950’s

As I touched on the other day in relation to my own woody – RainDance, its very special when out of the blue you are contacted by someone with details and photos on your boat. It was woody Jason Prew’s turn recently to get the call regarding his 1925, Dick Lang built launch – My Girl.

As I’m sure you are aware WW has rather extensively followed the restoration > launch > cruising log of My Girl so all the exposure has rattled a few memories – this time from Greg Bowman whose grandfather, Walter Brunton used to own My Girl at end of the 1940’s to 1960.
Walter Brunton lived in Castor Bay, Auckland and moved to Russell, in the Bay of Islands in 1950, after Greg’s mother, Elva, married his Dad Trevor Bowman. Like all good relationships in those days – they meet on the water.

When Walter moved north he turned My Girl into a fishing boat (now I know where that smell is from – just kidding Jason). Walter sold fish to the open market and to feed guests in his guesthouse in Russell, named – Arcade Lodge.
Back in those days My Girl had a Gray marine engine, and most years she won the New Year launch race out of Russell.

Greg sent Jason the collection of b/w photos above of My Girl and the Milford Creek, where she was kept in the late 1940’s. The top photo gives you an idea of the amount of dredging required to accommodate the marina that exists today.

It’s a bit cheeky (excuse the pun) but the photo below shows the on-board sanitation methods on My Girl, before inbuilt heads. I know the bucket and chuck it was around but the old rope did the trick – off course helped by the lack of duckboards back then 🙂

WW link below to show the journey My Girl has been on in terms of apperance and the extent of Jason’s restoration. And a photo of her post re-launch heading into Milford Creek or as some of the MCC woodys call it – Wairau Cove 😉

https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/08/08/the-restoration-of-my-girl/

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Lady Gay (Raindance)

Lady Gay Whangarei Harbour 1960s CM

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Lady Gay Whangarei Harbour 1960s final

LADY GAY (Raindance)

I spend a large chunk of my leisure time, pulling together the waitematawoodys stories that you all get to enjoy each day. One of the coolest parts is connecting people and boats, more often than not – it’s a grandchild looking for grandads old wooden classic or someone who used to crew on a boat and wants to contact with the long lost woodys they boated with. There have been some amazing link-ups, some taking years to surface, a common situation is someone sends in an old photo of a boat, it appears on WW, we generate some intel on the boat, then the story goes into hibernation for a while, sometimes years. Then someone does a google search on an old boats name and bang – up pops the WW story and we are away, they supply more details + photos and then that generates more – its called self populating. With over 5,500,000 views the WW site rates very well with google, also people tend to spend a lot of time on the site so that tells google the site is valued by people, so the boffins at google ‘assist’ the search functionality.

Anyway starting to get boring – yesterday was my day, my turn to be wowed by waitematawoodys. I received an email that stopped the clock. After 13 years of looking for more intel on my boat – Raindance, a gent named William Brown reached out to WW asking for assistance in tracking down a launch named Lady Gay that his father owned in the late 1960’s. Bill’s parents were Correen and James Brown and were lifetime boaties with a flotilla of craft over the years – James was also a former Commodore of the Onerahi Yacht Club and a member of the Whangarei Cruising Club.

One glance at Bill’s photos told me it was Raindance. Bill’s email is below

“It’s been fun during the lockdown to still have the consistency of your regular Waitemata Woodys posts. Thanks for that.

Back at the beginning of March, I won one of your Waitemata Woody T shirts on the Townson 28 quiz and I have been proudly wearing it around my neighbourhood during lockdown. I’ll send a picture in at some stage with perhaps a different story/email to today’s one. 

Ok, so I was I digging into my old photos recently and uncovered a couple of pictures (sorry about the quality),  of our family’s launch that we owned for about 5 or 6 years in the late 1960s. We knew her then as Lady Gay, but as a youngster I never knew much about her provenance. I am not actually sure my dad knew much of her design or year built either.  We used her extensively in the Whangarei harbour for family holidays and fishing trips. The coloured picture has me on the stern, while anchored at Tamaterau and the black and white photo is outside the old quarry in the top of McLeods Bay. I did see her once on the hard at Orakei, so believe she was in Auckland in the 1980s at some stage. She was about 27′ long, narrow and rolled around a bit. Dad fitted stabilizing chocks to her, closed in the canvas in the cockpit and added a decent sized mast, so we could run a stabilizing sail on her. She had a big old Ruston diesel if I remember right, which was incredibly reliable and economical. Those big saloon windows were pretty recognizable, functional, but ugly!

I would be most interested to find out  more of the history of this “Lady Gay” ( i realize there are other more famous Lady Gay’s around and not even sure if she was originally given this name or indeed kept it after our ownership. I wonder if she is still going strong today and if so where she is based? Some good family memories were had on her for sure!”

Post lock-down Bill will be visiting his mother (lives in Northland still) and hopefully will obtain more details and photos.

As a  result of Bill’s email I have filled in some of the missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle – but I would love to uncover details from her launch date (c.1928) to the early 1960’s. Hopefully the above photos and details on her owner might jog some memories. 

Below I have reproduced what I had previously been able to piece together on the boats past – if I’ve got my wires crossed, please let me know:-)

Lady Gay > Lady Gai > Nona C > Raindance (as at June 2015)

When I purchased the boat in August 2007 she was named ‘Nona C’, after the then owners (Craig Colven, a Auckland Harbour Board pilot boat skipper) daughter. He told me the boat was previously called ‘Lady Gay’. I did not like the name Nona C so was in the process of reverting back to Lady Gay when I was advised of another launch called Lady Gay (owned by Graham Wilson of the Wilson & Horton publishing family), not wanting to confuse things & on the advice of several marine historians I decided to chose a new name & went with ‘RainDance’. Interestingly Graham Wilson was prepared to add II (2) to his launches name.

I was not aware that ‘Gay’ had been changed to the Irish spelling ‘Gai’ until when I was given a copy of the Dunsford Marine Surveyors Ltd pre-purchase survey commissioned in March 2003 by a Dr. Rex Ferris. Had I known about the Gai/Gay I would have retained the Lady Gai name. I obtained Rex Ferris’s address from the survey & did a Google search which resulted in an Auckland District Health Board employment link & I contacted Rex Ferris. Like myself he knew little about her past, there are still huge gaps e.g. the 1930’s > early 1980’s but below is some history I have gained.

I have also spoke in Jan 2010 to Blair Cole (boat builder) refer below.

Peter & Ann Gill, the motoring journalist, bought the boat in c.1987 & at the time had a waterfront property in the Upper Harbour (near Paremoremo wharf) with a mooring put down. He saw the boat advertised in ‘Boat Trader’, she was moored in the Tamaki Estuary & he purchased her for about $7,000. He can’t remember the name of the owner but was told the boat was built by Lane Motor Boats in 1928, there is however some discussion that she may have been built by ‘Collings & Bell’. She had a single cylinder Bukh diesel engine, which was started via a decompression lever & hand cranking. The owner told Peter that she had been based at Great Barrier Island as a ‘long-liner’ fishing boat for many years prior to him buying her. When she was moored off Peters house, she took on quite a bit of water, and it was necessary for him to go out as often as twice a week and operate the manual bilge pump. He hired a tradesman who specialized in old boats and he decided that it was the stern gland that was the problem. Peter her hauled out and they filled the stern gland with tallow. It was not a one hundred percent fix & she continued to take on water. Peter was never very comfortable with the boat & to use his words ‘we never went far in her’. She was not a pretty boat in those days with a cabin top that looked like it had been made from a ply-wood car case. (Photos below)

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I have spoken to Peter several times & while he is very friendly & chatty about the boat he is very elusive about when & to whom he sold her. The reason for this is that either Peter or the next owner (?) let her sink on her mooring in the upper harbour & she remain submerged for several weeks. Given the swallow, sheltered tidal nature of the mooring this had no major negative effect on the boat.

The next chapter is amusing – the mast only of the boat was visible from the Salthouse Boat Builders yard at Greenhite & the tradesman there were running a sweep-stake as to how long she would remain submerged before the owner rescued her. During this period two of the Salthouse apprentices – Blair Cole & Kelly Archer (who both went on to become well respected boat builders in their own right) hatched a plan to buy the boat. They tracked down the owner & both approached him independently, Kelly advised it would cost $3,000 to re-float the boat. Blair then approached the owner & offered an as-is-where-is price of $2,000. The owner accepted Blair’s offer. The boat was hauled out at Salthouse’s yard, she later moved to Blair’s house where he undertook a major restoration (John Salthouse told me at a CYA function once that he had a ‘guiding’ hand in the process).

Between 1988>89 Blair spent in excess of 1800 hours on the restoration – the work involved replacing the ply wood box cabin top with a more sympathetic tram top & doghouse. The two bronze port holes were added to the front of the cabin, along with the bronze mushroom deck vents, new twin plastic fuel tanks, a reconditioned 58hp Ford engine, new shaft, new 2 blade prop, new hydraulic steering (since replaced), anchor winch (since replaced). Extensive new ribs & sister ribs where fitted & her seams were re-caulked. All windows where replaced & new bunks fitted. He also removed her alloy mast & built & fitted the current oregon pine mast. The duck-board was also added. The s/s rod holders on her stern (since removed) came off the old Salvation Army launch.

Blair & his wife cruised the Gulf extensively in the boat in the 1990’s. Blair is a little hazy on whom & when he sold the boat to but thinks it was to someone who lived in Kumeu & they only keep the boat for less than 2 years. They probably sold it Dr. Rex & Sharron Ferris.

In 2003 Rex Ferris purchased her post the Dunstan marine survey (photo below during survey) but it appears he did not address any of the ‘faults’ identified in the survey. Rex Ferris spoke to Blair Cole (Cole Marine Services) in June 2003 & Blair confirmed the restoration work he undertook. Blair also confirmed that she was named Lady Gai.

 

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(Unknown ownership / date photos)

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In 2005 the boat was for sale on the hard at Bayswater Marina, I looked at her but she would have been too much of a burden for me at the time. The boat was purchased by Craig Colven who undertook hull work (replaced some planking, caulking, ribs, floors & keel bolts, as identified in the 2003 survey) & installed a new 45hp 4-cylinder Daidong diesel motor & replacement of all major machinery, electrics and plumbing. Including a freezer, new 3-blade prop, shaft bearings, bilge pumps. Devonport craftsmen’s Robbie Robertson (deceased) & Charlie Webley undertook the work.

Craig, over a 2 year period commissioned this work but never completed her, his wife did not share his passion for the sea & I purchased her in August 2007 for what I considered a bargain given what Craig Colven had spent on her in time & money. (Photo below when I purchased her)

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I then undertook over the next few years what is called a rolling restoration i.e. I used the boat each summer but hauled her out in winter & continued the project. I retained the services of then Milford based wooden boat builder Geoff Bagnall for the big stuff, there were several areas (stem, cockpit decks, doghouse windows) of rot that needed to be removed plus we made her more ‘comfortable’ in terms of helm seat, doghouse hatch layout etc. New auto anchor winch & bow launcher were installed along with forward hatch porthole to improve light in forward cabin. I rolled my sleeves up on the rest.

I’m thankful for the care bestowed on the boat over the years – everyone that has rubbed up to her has helped get her thru the last 92 years.

(Recent – AH ownership photos)

Raindance PB2012 TerryJeffries

Version 2

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And one of the two Lady Gay’s 🙂

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Woodys On Tour – Halls Boat Yard, New York

Woodys On Tour – Halls Boat Yard, New York

A few years ago, woodys Jim and Karin Lott were ‘parked up’ with the masts on deck in their kauri ketch – Victoria, on the Hudson River. More specifically in the middle of New York State in a city called Albany. The Lott’s waited there for three weeks for the Erie Canal to open. Jim commented that Albany definitely does not feature on anyone’s ‘place to go’ list. They were not alone as Wellington old salt Richard Watt and his wife Enid anchored alongside them in their launch (photo below of both boats), as well as dozens of other impatient US and Canadian sailors.

To while away the time they hired a car and headed to Lake George to look at woodies at Halls Boatyard, one of the many inland homes of wooden boats in New York. Jim commented  that floating boat garages are common in North America and they spent several hours admiring a sea of varnished ash, cedar, spruce and mahogany. There was a slipway and boatyard all under cover inside the shed complex. The yard specialises in rebuilding and restoring classic motor-launches but a few yachts were getting the same TLC.

After the long wait, the canal stayed closed so they had to forgo the Great Lakes and continued up the Hudson. Eventually they locked into Lake Champlain and down the Richelieu River to the St Lawrence near Montreal in Canada.

01 Kiwis up the creek

Woody Photo Gallery

Duke of Marlborough

Antares 3

Arima

Moana

Shalom

Woody Photo Gallery
The selection of woody photos above was sent in by Bryce Strong, details and links to previous WW stories below. I hate Digital dates on photos but it is a very simple way to record when the photo was taken – two are dated 2013, interesting to see how the vessels have faired in the last 13 years.
The top photo of the steamboat – Duke of Marlborough, is a newbie to me. I’m looking forward to Russell Ward chipping in with her history 😉
Antares – built in the 1950’s by Supreme Craft. At the time the above photo was taken she was owned by Bryce’s brother-in-law, Ron Phillips
Arima – built in1953 by Colin Wild

https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/12/08/arima/

Moana – built in c.1939 by Sam Ford
Shalom – built in 1973 by TK Atkinson
Anyone Recall Sutton MalcolSham & Co
I have been contacted by Richard Winthrop looking for information on a boat builder named Sutton Malcolm & Co. Ltd of Mt Roskill, Auckland. Many years ago Richard had a Mason Clipper that had the sticker below on it.
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Sea Bee – Part 2

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E taking the strain

E Umm, back a bit

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J12 June 2016

SEA BEE Part 2

In early March 2020 I ventured north with David Cooke to sniff out woodys that we never see in or around the Waitemata. One of the most impressive we came across in the Whangarei Town Basin was the 1965 ex workboat – Sea Bee, designed and built by Harold Sanders. When launched she was named CB (after her 1 st owners George Cornwall and Dave Baker). Now converted for pleasure use by Brett and Linda Stanaway. I featured her on WW – see link, great historical photos
Chatting with Brett he promised to send in photos of the rebuild, which we get to view today. Brett and Linda live aboard Sea Bee and are currently isolating so when they get to better internet coverage there will be more photos (i.e. Part 3). I’ll let Brett tell us more about the project:-
“The rebuild was a massive undertaking in time, money and hard work – the budget blowout was huge but we have no regrets Linda and I both love the boat, we live aboard full time and go out on her every chance we get . We’ve still got lots to do but Seabee is what we wanted a comfortable live aboard cruiser. If you or anyone else in WW is interested you’re welcome to come aboard and have a look around and if anyone else is contemplating converting a fishing boat we would be happy to talk about our experiences with them. Hope you’re well and getting through the lock-down okay”

Antique & Wooden Boat Festival – Contact Less Home Delivery of 70 photos

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Antique & Wooden Boat Festival – Contact Less Home Delivery of 70 photos 🙂
 
Today woodys you get to go to a antique & wooden boat festival without leaving your couch.
In 2019 Alan Sexton visited the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St Michaels, Maryland and has shared his photo collection from the trip.
Enjoy.
 
You can see / read more on the museum here.  http://cbmm.org

 
Interesting input below from a woody in regard to the BOI woody that was intercepted by the boys in blue rowing the 100 yards to check on his boat.
 
“Security is listed as an essential service. There seems to be no restrictions on who can undertake the service, and the ‘premises’ being provided with security services do not have to be part of an essential activity.

Question is – can a boat be considered to be a premise?

Checking the mooring strop, flapping halyards, bilge pumps etc is part of normal boat security, particularly when grumpy weather is forecast or has just been.”

Arch Logan Dinghy – Silver Fern 

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Arch Logan Sailing Dinghy – Silver Fern 
 

Chatting with Tinopai (2hrs north of Auckland) based woody Greg Schultz he tells me advancing old age has forced him to make the reluctant decision to pass on one of my most prized possessions.
Greg built this boat about 10 yrs ago off the original 1905 Arch Logan plans (modified by Chapman1921). Construction is clinker lapstrake using 6mm ply with epoxy glued laps which gives a good lightweight watertight hull (originals leaked like sieves and weighed a ton). All other timbers are kauri and totara. He also added 3 buoyancy compartments for added safety (2 side seats & forward compartment all epoxy sealed inside). Greg commented that she has only been sailed approx. a dozen times.

The Silver Fern class (12’6″) was designed as a training boat for teenagers before they moved on to the bigger M class and is therefore almost a miniature ‘Emmie’.
Spars and rigging are s/s and sails by Fife. Pivoting centerboard and rudder for shallow water sailing. Permanent reef lines for shortening sail without coming ashore.

Woodys this is a stunning boat to both look at and sail so if you are frustrated with paying big marina fees and the hassles of organizing crew – maybe now is the time to add a woody to the fleet so that you can sail single handed or take the grand kids for a sail.

Given the lockdown if you are interested it might be best to contact Greg direct at itzgreg@yahoo.com
UPDATE – Read comments section for feedback on the boats provenance.

Hukarere – P Vos

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Hukarere 2010

HUKARERE – P VOS
The above photo of the 1936 Percy Vos built 40’ launch – Hukarere was sent to me by Baden Pascoe. Baden recently uncovered a letter he received back in December 2018 from a Mrs McCormack, the daughter of Stephen Menzies, the original owner of Hukarere. Mrs McCormack wrote the letter following reading Baden’s book ‘Launching Dreams – Percy Vos – The Boats & His Boys’ . The letter provides a time line of what happened to the boat during and after her fathers ownership.
 
Sadly she mentions in the letter that all her notes and photos of Hukarere where given to the Auckland Maritime Museum – the biggest black hole in the land. It would be safe to assume they will never see that light of day again – most likely in a land fill somewhere……….. 😦
 
Interested to her from anyone that can confirm, and contribute more to the story – in particular photos.
Input from Dave Stanaway -photo below of Hukarere when involved in the Auckland harbour bridge construction
Hukarere

A Gift From WoodenBoat Magazine

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YOUR OWN COPY OF WOODENBOAT MAGAZINE

In response to the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, and to help ease your time while practicing social distancing, the publishers of WoodenBoat have very generously decided to make the digital edition of WoodenBoat No. 274 (May/June 2020) free for all to read and enjoy. Please share this digital edition with all friends and family you think might enjoy, or need, a fun distraction. With the forecast for long overdue rain for most of NZ later today – this is perfect timing for a lazy afternoon on the couch 🙂 Enjoy

Link Below

https://woodenboat.advanced-pub.com/Vizion5/viewer.aspx?shareKey=rOFucb

 

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Mananui

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MANANUI

The above boat popped recently on Lew Redwood’s fb, the caption had a possible date of 1956>61 and an unconfirmed location of Northland. The photo was credited to a Frank Lomas, if that helps.
I know it’s a big ask – but can anyone ID the boat / location ?
Input from Dean Wright – Dean sent in the photo below of Mana Nui, taken in the Bay of Islands on 27 Jan, 2017. This backed up by Brian Worthington’s advice that the mystery boat is Mana Nui. Kerry Alexander has also suggested she was owned by Capt. Fred Young and the location is Rawene. 
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OOPS its not the boat that Dean sent in. Photo below ex Paul Drake and shows Mananui at Tauranga (Sulphur Point Marina).

She is already featured on woodys – see WW Link. A rather smart woody https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/0
Mananui
Manunui
Update 15-04-2020 Photos below ex Aubrey Bracey via Frank Lomas and show ManaNui at Hokianga c.1956-61
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The Restoration Of Melodeon

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The Restoration Of Melodeon

Now woodys if you know Dick Fisher you  will know that Dick likes BIG things – big classic boats, big projects, big (zoom zoom) cars. Chatting with Dick recently he informed me he had a project on the go, his words “something to keep me out of trouble” so of course I said ’send me some details – givens Dicks other two boats – Akarana, the 60’ 1960 AJ Collings designed and built by WG Lowe, ex Auckland Harbour Board pilot boat and Hamal, the 1975 purpose built exploration ship – I suspected the project would be a doozy. Photos of Akarana & Hamal below.
Dick and Colleen have a stunning track record of converting ex work boats into the most amazing classic cruisers so WW looks forward to following this project, we will be giving Dick a friendly nudge for updates.
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I’ll let Dick tell us what he is up to, remember click in photos to enlarge 😉

 
“The story so far goes a bit like this……
We purchased Melodeon from Greg Hayes in April 2018. Greg had owned & fished with her for the past 25 years. 
One of the photos above shows her at her semi-permanent berth at the Whangarei Town Basin prior to our buying her.
After the successful negotiation of price with Greg, who had expressed the wish for Melodeon to only be purchased by someone prepared to restore her.
We lifted her out at Dockland 5 in Whangarei, her estimated weight at this point was in excess of 50 ton. We removed as much equipment as were able which included 9 ton of lead balast. This would explain why when blasting the paint from the hull we uncovered seven (7) waterlines this made her draft aft at 7 ft. 
 
With the assistance of Boat Haulage Ltd we moved her to our workshop at Kamo & then commenced dismantling decks, bulwarks, wheelhouse & removed the engine & fuel tanks etc. She was then high pressure water blasted & garnet blasted all of the paint off inside & out.  She was then moved inside the same shed where Akarana had been for 5 years during her restoration.
 
The hull was copper fastened of 3 skin construction.. unfortunately the 2 inch Kauri decks were iron fastened & unable to be saved.
 
To date we have treated with preservatives the inside of the hull & currently has a holding undercoat.
 
The last few month I have been focused  on restoring the T8 Kelvin engine which was in reasonable condition. Main items needing replacing were a set of 8 exhaust valves , a complete gasket set plus other small items. I was able to purchase these from  Kelvin Diesels in Glasgow, a subsidiary of British Polar Engines. We have found this company & their staff most helpful in procuring parts. The engine is now complete & running very nicely. 
 
Up to date the work has been carried out mostly by myself & my son Richard when he had time. The engineering side of the restoration we can manage ourselves.  We now realise we need a skilled boat builder to assist us with the woodworking aspect.
It is our intention not to alter the overall design, with the exception being the wheelhouse which needs to be a little bigger.  
 
We are fortunate in that Greg Hayes has passed on to me the Marine Dept files dating back to October 1934.
Some salient points for you:
Plans, specs & building was carried out for Melodeon by Chas Bailey & Son in Auckland.
Original engine was a German Deutz/110BHP / 2 cycle diesel/ @ 450RPM this was replaced by the current T8 Kelvin.
Propeller:  4 blades /59 inch dia x 48 inch pitch – 3.3 to 1 reduction
Dimensions: Overall 57ft Beam 15ft6in draft 7ft
The existing T8 Kelvin was installed new in 1960 & the estimate from info we have, is that she has run well in excess of 100,000 hours.
Melodeon fished using different methods all around NZ, during the 1939/45 war the US Navy commandeered her for service in the Pacific.
  
This is an ongoing project for me in my dotage & its keeping me out of trouble.. in fact it’s a pretty big job….as the TV Ad goes…”
 
A Heads Up
Two cool things you may have overlooked in the last week
1. Do check out the link that Hylton Edmonds posted in the WW comments section. Its to a National Film Unit movie that features the then police launch Lady Shirley going about its duties on the Waitemata Harbour – fast forward to the 5:10 mark to catch the start, its a great watch and lots of our woodys make appearances – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mlqfwtybXE
2. Put your hand in your pocket and spend NZ$5 to subscribe for two months to the very informative and entertaining Vblog – OFF CENTER HARBOR. The guys at OCH have offered up this deal to WW readers so you can get your classic boating fix during the lockdown – details here  OCH $5 Deal
Akarana (L) – Hamal (R)

IDA – All Dressed Up & No Where To Go

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IDA – All Dressed Up & No Where To Go
Last night this 125 year old A-Class classic yacht was going to be the leading lady at the RNZYS for a party to celebrate her relaunch – but CV-19 put a stop to that 😦
So woodys today you get a peek at her tucked away in Wayne Olsen’s shed waiting for the green light to step out.
It seems unbelievable  that it was only July 2019 that I Iast visited the yard and now she is all set to splash (see link below for photos + details on her history and how she came home after ‘migrating’ to the Big Island.
Ida was designed by Charles Bailey Jnr and built / launched in 1895 by C&W Bailey gaff rigger
She is 58’ LOA, with a beam of 8’ – LOW = 45’ so there is a lot of bits hanging off her when she is in racing mode
Once again the classic yachting movement is indebted to John Street and his Classic Yacht Charitable Trust, they restore and maintain the cream of New Zealand’s A-Class fleet, and race the pants off every other woody in the fleet. Well done.
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