It’s Hard to Find the Perfect Wife….


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It’s Hard to Find the Perfect Wife….

……But woody Rod Prosser has. Over the last couple of years Rod has been acquiring a flotilla of classic woodys in various stages of restoration.

You may recall that he already owns ‘Firefly’ the 1882, 25’ counter stern day launch & the late 1950’s / 60’s Chev 327 V8 powered flat-bottom ski boat ‘Kiri Moana’.

Rod was doing a trademe troll & came across the old Lake Karapiro ski boat above, desperately looking for a new home. Given that Rod had a set of deck vents, step pads, windscreen supports, plus flags and other various other bits and pieces sitting on a shelf, in the garage, left over from when he was doing the Classic Craft boats way back & they would not suit the flat bottom ski boat – it seemed like a marriage made in heaven. Just needed wife Florence’s nod of approval & seeing that she had been asking what Rod was going to do with the bits, he suggested a family trip to Tauranga & surprise, surprise – came back owning the Karapiro boat.

As a bonus it came with a pretty rare Gray Marine AMC Rambler 327 Fireball V8 from the early sixties.

Even better news, Lake Rotoiti boat builder Alan Craig may have an old farm shed to store her until she gets her time in the sun.

So short, long story – Rod must have the perfect wife. 3 boats, that beats me.

 

 

Southern Isles


 

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SOUTHERN ISLES

The above photos were sent to me by Ross Ashby in response to a comment on WW about Southern Isles. These days she is based in Clevedon, Auckland & from the photos appears to be being very well looked after.

Ross commented that originally he understands she was fitted with a Lister engine but now has a Gardner 6LX ( a bit overpowered) & the original wheel house was added to, but not by Ross

What more do we know about Southern Isles?

Input from John Wicks:

“Ah! My teenage (and later) “sweetheart”.! Built by and for Tom Wells at Wakatahuri in Forsyth Bay, just outside Pelorus Sound.. Typical Wells shape and construction. Original (main) engine was a JP3, Lister which was hand started and fed from a 10 gallon tank abo ve it. The tank was topped up from the main fuel tanks by a semi-rotary hand pump – not much to go wrong there!
Originally she had a 2-cylinder Lister wing engine to port. Not many boats her size had a stand-up-and-around-in engine room.
Her original smaller wheelhouse had a swivel helm seat which came (IIRC) from the old Wellington-Nelson ferry “Matangi” which was wrecked at wakatahuri by the Wells’ Sounds Wrecking Company. The helmsman’s knees went under a horizontal tram-style wheel. Avery comfortable place to steer from.
Accommodation was under the raised foredeck, and was a step or two up from your usual fisherman’s “2-berth coffin” 🙂 with a small but well thought out galley (with one of those green and cream small gas ranges that used to be common) two settees and a table. The backs of the settees were pipe-cots which could swing up to make two more berths. I’d reckon it’d be a bit cramped with 4 aboard though.
There was a hold for gear under the aft deck, and the toilet was partially bulkheaded off in the port aft corner of the engine room.
Just about all the above has been changed over the years – sadly IMO.
Like most of the Wells family’s boats, Southern Isles was used for numerous commercial and pleasure purposes. Tom Wells took her on a cruise right around the South Island in (I think) the 1950s
As is probably obvious from the above screed, at the time she was my idea of what a launch should be!”

AND A REMINDER NUDGE – CYA XMAS PARTY TOMORROW AT PATIO BAY.

If you have not experienced the weekend before, you must, its hands down after Mahurangi weekend the biggest gathering of classic wooden boats in NZ & the Saturday BYO BBQ ashore is legendary. See you there. Photos below from last year in the bay + see more here   https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/12/05/a-woody-weekend-cya-patio-bay-invasion/

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W1 & W1 Junior Meet Up


W1 c.1942

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W1 & W1 Junior Meet Up

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

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

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

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

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

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Irwyn


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IRWYN

Looks can be deceiving, Irwyn falls into the ‘Spirit of Tradition’ category with her build date of 1997.

At 21.32’ & a beam of 7’6” she is wouldn’t be the biggest boat in the bay but she certainly has the salty look.

Planked construction & pushed along by a 24hp 3cyl Yanmar diesel, she has a leisurely cruising speed of 5 knots. Irwyn is currently for sale & with some TCL & a lick of paint she would make a very nice wee ship.

Thanks to Ian McDonald for the trademe listing heads up.

In Case You Missed The Advice – TODAYS CYA OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO FAIRWAY BAY, GULF HARBOUR HAS BEEN CANCELLED –  it was an early call to cancel but a peek at the below will tell you why 😉 But do not despair, I have a woodys event for you very soon, details in the next few days.

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Skagen


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SKAGEN

One for the workboat woodys today, Skagen is a 36’ Danish double ender, built by Salthouse in 1973. She has a beam of 10’7” & draws 4’11” with a carvel kauri hull. Powered by a mighty 5LW Gardner diesel, 4 berths in 2 cabins, toilet, gas cooker, radar, 2 x GPS chart plotters, depth/fish finder, autopilot, hyd. steering, electric capstan, easy walk round side decks, wheelhouse side doors, steadying sail.  A very salty ship that you would feel very safe in.

She spent over 10 years in commercial fishing on the East Coast & has recently been restored.

Look at the Kim Kardashian backside on her – that’s a work of art 😉

Thanks to Ian McDonald for the heads up on the trademe listing.

Input from David Glen –  Skagen’ was moored in the Whangapoua Harbour, off Matarangi Wharf, for the best part of the last 20 years. She was owned by a local resident who worked in the local forests. She caught my eye at Matarangi in 90’s and she appeared to be well maintained, but seldom used. She looks good in the pics.

Three Taupo Boats


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PIRI PONO on her slip at Two Mile Bay, Taupo, in the 1960’s

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PIRI PONO at her final resting place (Maritime Museum)

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LUYVON awaiting restoration at Taupo Oct 2017

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TUI at the Clinker Boat Exhibition

THREE TAUPO BOATS

Post a visit by Paul Drake & his brothers to the 2017 Classic Yacht & Launch Exhibition & a side trip to the Auckland Maritime Museum, Paul sent me the above photos & the story below – which I have re-produced unedited as its perfect as is. Read & enjoy J

 In the mid  1920’s, two gents and their families fell in love with Taupo. Both of them commissioned boats from Auckland builders. Hawke Bay’s Guy Rochfort had TUI (16 feet and clinker) built by Percy Vos. TUI was on display at the recent Classic Clinker Exhibition at the Viaduct in Auckland.  Auckland’s Robert Laidlaw had the 17 foot speedboat  SEAHORSE built by an unspecified builder. After a weather related fright on the lake in 1929, Robert approached Collings and Bell, and the 28 foot PIRI PONO (faithful friend) was the result. Honduras mahogany and bright finished, no expense was spared. PIRI PONO is on display at the Maritime Museum in Auckland.  With her 150 HP straight eight Niagara, she weighed just over a ton and could do about 30 knots. Housed in her boatshed at Two Mile Bay, alongside Laidlaw’s house ‘Monte Vista’, access to the water was via a slipway. A private jetty and offshore mooring completed the picture. 

PIRI PONO was the fastest boat on the lake.  But by 1935, she had a rival in the form of local man Stan Gillies’s  LUYVON, locally designed and built by Jack Taylor and measuring 22 feet. She was light (about half the weight of PIRI PONO) and powered with a Dodge, driving through an outboard drive.  Informal drag races indicated that the boats were very similar in speed.  A more formal test was required. Regatta Day 1936 (probably) was the day. PIRI PONO had her bottom waxed, new spark plugs fitted, all surplus gear removed, and half her fuel pumped out.  The day dawned fine and calm, to PIRI PONO’s disadvantage. LUYVON and PIRI PONO lined up for the 20 lap race. LUYVON had the edge because she cornered faster – PIRI PONO would catch her on the straights.  Robert Laidlaw ordered his crew (son Lincoln) to the aft cockpit to get the bow up a bit. Stan Gillies was still ahead. Back came Lincoln, returning aft with the anchor. This was enough. PIRI PONO won and Robert retained his title as fastest man on the lake.

PIRI PONO was commandeered by the Air Force during WW2 and was the Commodore’s launch at Hobsonville. They replaced the Niagara with a Chrysler (Crown?) and built a cabin over the forward cockpits. Having won the war, the Air Force returned PIRI PONO to Taupo.  She was re-engined with twin Gray’s which are in her to this day. There are conflicting stories as to how this came about. One source has it that she was returned by the Air Force without an engine. Another has it that Laidlaw was disappointed with the speed produced by the Chrysler. Yet another has it that the Air Force wrote off the Chrysler while trying to reverse PIRI PONO off her transporter and into the lake (overheating due to lack of cooling water).

Laidlaw was an enthusiast. He was the founder of Farmers Trading Company. He was a very active Christian, and his name lives on in Laidlaw College, formerly the Bible College of New Zealand, which trains people for Christian ministry. He also has a rock named after him, informally at least. During an early evening spin in PIRI PONO, with 23 POB (so it is said), PIRI PONO struck, at speed, the large flat rock in Mine Bay between the islets and the shore at the eastern end of the bay. The damage must have been enormous and she quickly sank in a few metres of water. Passengers, some of them not-so-young ladies in fur coats, were rescued by nearby launches.  Jack Taylor’s PONUI and VICTORY salvaged PIRI PONO the next day and she was repaired in time for the following summer. 

Meanwhile, TUI led an uneventful life, and lived afloat in a Taupo Boat Harbour boatshed. LUYVON lived in a boatshed nearby, but was kept dry (and light) by being lifted clear of the water on a cradle once in the shed. LUYVON also survives, still owned by the Gillies family, and has been awaiting restoration for some 30 years now. 

The book by Ian Hunter, ‘Robert Laidlaw – Man for our Time’ makes a very interesting read.

UPDATE 01-11-2017 Photo below showing TAMATI in the Lake Taupo Boat Harbour, with the fishing lodge (ex TONGARIRO) in the background, and the Collings and Bell PIRI PONO in the fore ground.   

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Airforce Patrol Craft + An Unusual Car


AIRFORCE PATROL CRAFT - CLIPPER AUGUST 1939 RNZAF - T COLLINS COLLECTION EX MUSEUM - I.D. PH-2013-7-TC-B731-03

Airforce Patrol Craft

The above photo is dated 1939 & is from the Tudor Collins collection. Only really posted it to have a boat in today story.

15-10-2017 Harold Kidd Input
The launch in the pic is one of the Hubert Scott-Paine 40 footers imported at the beginning of 1940 for TEAL and taken over by the Air Force. W6? Below is a photo of W2.

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But for some serious boat porn, check out James Dreyer’s latest photos of ‘Laughing Lady’ on his Seven Oceans Boatworks Facebook page – click link

The really story is the XK150 Jag below, It was owned by Mr Gardner of Gardner Engines in the UK), Thats him standing alongside it. He re-engined it with a Gardner diesel back in the late1950’s. Rumour has it while the acceleration was not great once off the line she was a flyer 😉 Probably priceless if still around today. Boat & Jag photos ex Ken Ricketts

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15-10-2017 Harold Kidd Input – Lyn Buchanan of John Chambers & Co put a 4 cylinder Gardner in his Packard about 1931. Photo below.

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