Centaurus Under Goes Open Heart Surgery

Centaurus Under Goes Open Heart Surgery

Now we all know what the weather was like in Auckland last Friday (27th), pretty bloody evil – But if you have managed to co-ordinate all the experts needed to remove a massive lump of iron – her original Cummins V6 215hp (photo below) from your boat, you have to push the green button no mater what the weather.

So woody Angus Rogers the owner of the 1967/8 42’, Bailey & Son built bridgedecker – Centaurus pulled out the chainsaw and under the watchful eye of  Tim Strange and his team + the crew from Raven Transport cut out a section of the roof and effortlessly removed the old Cummins engine. Any bolt-on sections / parts that could be removed before hand were. 

Angus has built sister beams and bearers which will get glued to the removed part of the roof and then screwed back onto the beams and bearers and fibreglass taped on top once the new John Deere 175hp (@2400 rpm) engine is installed so as to create a soft closure that will only require cutting the fibreglass and removing screws in future.

Angus has promised to document the re-power, so we look forward to regular updates 🙂

Mystery Motueka Launch – Awarere


This ones going to be a long shot – the photo above of a newly built launch being transported to Port Motueka comes to us from the Transport (Nelson) Holdings fb site via Brian Mchaffe via Maurice Sharp.

Brian commented that it was from back in the days when the job just got done i.e. no pilot vehicle, no flags. No flashing lights and certainly no cones or a certified trailer.

So woodys anyone able to put a name to the launch and its builder?

UPDATE ex JOHN BURLAND – the boats named Awatere and was built by Keith Calder. Photo below of the launching – the photo comes to us from the Motueka Historical Association via Colin Starnes via Brian McHaffie.

UPDATE EX COLIN STARNES – Awarere built by Keith Calder to his own design. Launched early 1960s originally powered by a Perkins which was swapped out for a 4 cylinder Ford not long after launching. Awarere last noted on Picton Waikawa area. Keith was brother of Don whose launch Graham John recently featured on WW after her fine makeover in Napier – link here https://waitematawoodys.com/2022/11/10/william-steer-graham-john-william-steer/


Below as of last night – I understand MCC will be making a decision tonight (Thursday). Dockside chat is that the shore based activities have already been cancelled – TBC

UPDATE 26-01-2023 9.30AM

Amakura II Re-launched


Seems its the time of the year for relaunches, recently we had Haunui back in after a 2+ year rebuild and yesterday it was the turn of Amakura II.

The 52’ Colin Wild designed and built woody was launched in 1936 and excluding a few minor additions has remained very original. I have been aboard several times and was always impressed with her presentation.

Nearly (maybe longer) 3 years ago her owners made the call to haul her out and engaged maestro boat builder / restorer Peter Brookes and his team to intake a complete refit. 

Regular followers of the WW site will know that work at the Brookes yard is a bit like the breeding of elephants, whose gestation period is > 2 years but the workmanship is second to none. Supported by the fact that numerous classic owners have returned to the yard with other craft.

Fast forward to yesterday and Amakura II was gently set afloat again at the Hobsonville Marina in West Auckland.

As we have come to expect from anything that comes out of the Peters Waimauku yard she is a work of art – well done to Yvonne and Chris for this amazing restoration. 

Below are links to previous WW stories on Amakura II – the first one, shows the extent of the refit.

Nov 2020. https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/11/02/wooden-boat-yard-visit-50-photos/

May 2018 https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/05/05/amakura-ii-in-the-old-days/

April 2017 https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/04/01/amakura-ii-a-great-story/

Ngaro Gets A Trip To The Beauty Parlour

Ngaro Gets A Trip To The Beauty Parlour

Woody Olaf Wiig resides off shore these days but as the owner of the rather imposing 1953,Lidgard built 48′ woody – Ngaro as often as he can he hops on the big silver bird and returns home. Then slips the lines and heads out to enjoy the Hauraki Gulf and beyond.

Over winter Ngaro spent a couple of months in the shed at Robertsons yard having her cabin tops and varnish redone. It wasn’t all lipstick – a new water tank was installed + a major engine service and a full new suit of canvas.As I have commented before Bgaio is one of th few woodys that no matter what angel you approach her from, she looks perfect. Well done Olaf and Emma for the custodianship of Ngaro.

See / read more on Ngaro here https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/06/25/ngaro-a-sneak-peek-before-she-sells/

Waitematawoodys Burgee Poll Results

Short, clear message here – 92% Say Yes I need to get production underway. More details soon 😉

Johnny Wray’s Essentials Cruising List

Johnny Wray’s Essentials Cruising List

I’m sure all of you are aware of Johnny Wray’s book – ’South Sea Vagabonds’ , if you aren’t – where have you been 🙂

In the December 1949 issue of Seaspray magazine there was an article on Johnny’s 2nd boat – the 1946 launched – 44’ Waihape. As part of the story Johnny lists his 6 key essentials for extended cruising.

Link below for more details on Waihape ex previous WW story https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/12/15/waihape-johnny-wray/

Mason Clipper – Alibi

Mason Clipper – Alibi

Just prior to Christmas the owners of Alibi, a rather elegant Mason Clipper, quietly slipped her into Greg Lees shed at Sandspit. I understand that she’s in for a minimum of 3 months for a ‘makeover’ – we have seen some stunning makeovers from the shed in recent times. – Trinidad, Mahanui, Arohanui – so we look forward to following with interest – nudge nudge Greg Lees, photos please 🙂

(Photos ex Mason Marine Clippers fb)

Photo below Oct 1979 – Sea Trial on the Waitemata Harbour ex fb via K Ricketts

INPUT EX ALAN SEXTON – Copy of original Sea Spray article below + more photos from her recent haul out at the Sandspit yard.

You will note the she still has her original engines twin straight 6 Chrysler Mitsubishis.



Woody John Dawson recently saw the launch – Wakaiti advertised on tme and she popped on a search on fb and John sent in the above photos.John commented that he believes she was built c.1922 by Dick Lang. The look of her hull supports this, but in the photos above ex Mark Powell we see her being relaunched post a rebuild at the Chas Bailey & Son yard in Auckland. The work was done for Mark’s father Bill Powell.

Rumour has it she may have started life as a work boat in the Mahurangi area, would like confirmation of this and if anyone can add to her life story that would be great.

Make Sure You Grab A Copy Of NZ Life & Leisure magazine (Jan/Feb issue) Impressive 8 page article on the 1935, Arch Logan / Colin Wild built classic yacht – TAWERA.

Stunning photos and stellar words from Mike Mahoney e.g. ’There’s a joy and purity in sailing these boats that is hard to explain. Perhaps it is being at one with nature , on the water, driven just by the wind.’ At $12.50 it will be the most inexpensive, feel good moment you have this summer 🙂

Shipwright Boat Builder Yachtsman – Woody Summer Reading Suggestions


#1 Summer Woody Read

I was contacted by Chris McMullen during the week with a suggestion that I make contact with noted kiwi yachtie and boat builder – Gilbert (Gil) Littler. Now when Mr McMuMullen ’suggests’ something I normally respond pretty quickly, second only to suggestions from Robert Brooke 🙂 24hrs later I’m having coffee with Gil and his wife Susan – why am I telling you this? Because Gil has just penned an amazing book titled – SHIPWRIGHT BOAT BUILDER YACHTSMAN 1962-1992. The 100+ page book is split into 3 sections:

Part One – A brief history of the Bailey Family 

Part Two – My Apprenticeship Years

Part Three – My Yacht Racing Years

I have squirreled away a copy for summer boat reading but I did do a quick dive into some of the pages and its a wonderfully refreshing read, more like sitting in a comfortable spot afloat and listening to Gil entertain you with his life story. Lots of photos and illustrations also to view. In CMcM’s words – This book is a gold mine of history and information. Written by a guy on the floor in the boatshop and a foredeck hand on a very famous Kiwi Yacht. By winning the One Ton Cup put New Zealand on the yachting map.

The $40 – + P&P – 100+ page book is self published so obtaining a copy is not as easy as walking down to your nearest book store but it is worth the effort. So to order a copy:

Email Gil at gil@littlerfamilyresearch.com or go to www.littlerfamilyresearch.com (the website is being set up, so if you are in a hurry – use email) 

Gil & Susan are currently traveling so do not expect an instant reply 🙂

My 2nd Pick Is The Mahurangi Cruising Club Year Book

Now the title may sound a little boring but the contents certainly are not. Always a fantastic publication pulled together by design guru Steve Horsley. This year the theme is restorations and of interest to all woody boaties is an article on electrolysis. Plus a 16 page photo gallery of the 2022 regatta – all that for $20. As we speak its at the printers – so to secure / order a copy either email BOAT BOOKS   crew@boatbooks.co.nz or call 09 358 5691 (Boot Books 22 Westhaven Drive)

Copies will be available at the normal random outlets but BB is the safest bet.

Trevassa – AWBF ‘Boat Folk’ Film


Another short video from our friends at the Australian Wood Boat Festival has just been released under the ‘Boat Folk’ series.

Todays one features the 1971 Tasmanian built 48′ yacht – Trevassa 

Trevassa was designed and built by noted Tasmanian boat builder – Jock Muir. They is a great tale about delivering the boat to Sydney across the Bass Straight. After many years in Sydney she was acquired by Jock’s three sons and returned home to Tasmania in 2013. Jock’s son John took over his fathers business – Muir’s Boat Yard and Trevassa is a regular sight in Hobart.

Enjoy the video , I did 🙂

Remember – the next festival is this coming February 10>13th more details here:  https://australianwoodenboatfestival.com.au

Carvel Planking – Caulking The Hull at Smithy’s Boat Shed 

Carvel Planking – Caulking The Hull at Smithy’s Boat Shed 

Have been a regular follower of Ian Smiths fb posting from the Sydney Wooden Boat School, where Ian is principal. The level of work going into the (new build) carvel-planked ranger class gaff-rigged woody he is building is amazing. The two most asked questions on WW are #1 Electro-chemical damage in wooden boats and #2 Advice on caulking a carvel planked hull. Well woodys todays WW story goes a long way to helping answer the #2 question. BUT remember as Ian says numerous times in the video “To do whatever the best shipwrights in your local area do”.

In the video Ian gives us a different look at traditional caulking from an Australian perspective and discusses the tools, materials and methods of traditionally caulking a hull with cotton and oakum. He shows how the Australian way of doing it follows the English tradition and differs from the way it’s done in the USA and Canada. The video is full of tips Ian can pass on after a long career in wooden boat building and boat building education. He also pays the seams (fills them with seam compound) using traditional linseed oil putty.

Enjoy the video and file the link away 😉