Alan Sexton contacted me the other day concerning Hinera, the Roy Steadman designed / Shipbuilders built 38’ launch. Alan believe that she may have been the last boat built by Shipbuilders. She appeared on the cover of ‘Boating World’ October 1971 edition – copy of article below.

Alan has commented that you can see her obvious lineage from Fiesta, Romany II et al. And maybe built to a budget as the rubber mouldings securing the windows, more appropriate for caravans and fizz boats, did not exactly enhance her.

As launched power was from twin T6 – 354 Perkins that gave her a top speed of approx. 20.5 knots and cruised at 17.9 knots. Alan recalls she was berthed on I pier at Half Moon Bay when first launched, all launches moored bow-in in those days, and her heavy stem and huge flare looked very imposing to an 11 yr old.

Hinera went off Alan’s radar round the 1970’s, do we know what became of the launch?

SS Dancer

During the recent Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat show I spotted the steam boat – Dancer, her owner and builder John Olsen supplied the following details. 

Dancer is a 30 foot long steam launch, designed by Peter Sewell and built by John and his wife Diana. The engine is a compound twin, designed by A.A Leak and built by John. The boiler is a 3 drum type.designed by Andre Pointon. (Colonial Iron Works) and also built by John apart from welding by a certified welder. In the top photo, the tender on the Aft deck is a folding dinghy, called Kahikitea and mostly built from that timber.

Dancer is equipped for sleeping aboard, with a head compartment and blackwater tank, a small galley with gas cooker, sink, and fridge, and solar panels on the cabin top to provide electric power. The boiler is fired with diesel. Myself I like wood/coal fired but her diesel set up must make life a lot simpler, and we like that 🙂



Tony Brewer contacted me regarding his recent purchase of – Monita a 17’ Mason Marlin which was built by Sutton Mason & Co. Ltd in Mt Roskill, Auckland sometime in the 1950’s.  She is powered by a 2003 90hp 4stroke Honda, which Tony feels maybe to heavy.  He is considering re-powering with a 2013 Mercury Mariner 50hp ELPTO 2stroke. Tony’s not interested in a high top speed but would like to be able to travel at between 15 to 18 knots.  Fuel economy is not an issue as they do not travel far and there would usually be only 2 people on board.

So woodys – the question of the day is – would the boat be under powered with the 50hp motor?

Pacific Sea Trial


Last Wednesday we saw the 1917 Joe Slattery classic launch – Pacific sliding back into the H2O after a 5 month refit (link to that story below). Over the weekend, owner Nathan Herbert took the 105 year old out to stretch her legs post the installations of a brand new 100hp FPT / Iveco N45A engine. The old Lister in her was a beast of an engine (1500kg v’s 450kg new engine) and mounted well forward, I would not be the only one to have commented previously that she had a certain “heading down hill” look to her – well as you can see in the top photo, she almost looks like she is about to pop up on the plane. Nathan says no, its just camera angle – but to the eye she sure looks smart.The installation project was not a simple – out with the old & bolt in the new procedure – you can see in the photos below it was a major, but the Nathan is an engineer (mouse in hand not spanner) so the attention to detail is certainly there 🙂 
She always was a looker – but she is now a stunner – well done Mr Herbert, your forebears , same family ownership since new, would be very happy to see her today. I’m told that the inflatable will be replaced with her original clinker – currently being restored at The Slipway Milford yard 🙂



“If anyone is wondering- a few notes about the re-engining process:

-The new engine was barely smaller than the old one due to the Lister having had many remotely mounted parts eg. heat exchangers, oil tanks etc.
-The engine beds had to be widened to accept the new motor
-In stripping the bridge and for’d cabin out completely I found around 24 completely broken ribs- some in a row which were very dangerous. New red beech ribs were fitted by Jason Prew. These ribs would have written her off in a survey as is so often the case these days when you see $1 reserve classics.
-The 4 cylinder engine vibrates much more at idle than the 6cyl Lister did with her large flywheel. The GPS does a dance as it shakes around.
-The tanks were unexpectedly difficult to replace. after the old copper ones were stolen I had two 4mm aluminum 170L units fabricated which to install necessitated disassembly of the cockpit seating area with a new stern ‘bulkhead’ built and so on and so forth.
-Steering is a little harder in a fresh/choppy seaway now but this may just be perception as I now have more power which I’m probably using where before I didn’t.
-The bow no longer pushes water like a bulldozer, and in a slight chop actually has positive buoyancy to lift over waves instead of submarine through them.
-Despite being beamier than other launches of her era, she is still as much of a pig when rolling at anchor. And please- enough with the comments about adding ballast- there is still a line of huge lead ‘AUSTRALIS’ ingots along each chine in the saloon which require two people to lift each ingot. The engine is not a lightweight, and there is over 100m of chain in the bow plus some pretty large anchors.
-Speed: 11.5 knots in the photos, cruise has gone up from about 8 knots, to about 8.7 knots. Higher speeds get a bit noisy.”

ID THE ENGINE QUIZ – The correct answers were

MAKE & HP: Stearns MDR 125hp

AGENTS: H. O. Wiles

BOAT FITTED TO & WHEN: Romance II – 1925
No one got all the answers correct – but Jason Prew and Nathan Herbert were tied at 3 correct elements (but not the same) so its a tie – they can decide what bits of the prize pool they each want 🙂


As you can see from the graph below – Mondays story (the pink skyscraper) on Mahurangi weekend was off the charts – so many people here and around the world logging in to view. No doubt helped by it being winter in a lot of the countries and the ongoing CV-19 lock-downs – I use that old Fred Dagg line – “We Don’t Know How Lucky We Are”  

The Big Woody Quiz – Lots of Prizes

The Big Woody Quiz
Todays story is really a quiz, it won’t be easy, they are three parts to the answer. If anyone gets all three right I’ll be very impressed, in fact entries will be weighted by the number of questions you get right e.g. one correct question = one entry, two = two etc. Entries are ONLY via email to waitematawoodys@gmail  I’ll let it run until 7pm Monday 1st Feb 2021 – lots of time to do some homework. 

The winner of the draw will get – WW t-shirt, WW cap, Off Centre Harbor cap, Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat 2021 Calendar. Now if no one gets even one answer right – all entries will go into the draw – so its worth entering 😉

1.       Name the make of engine and hp

2.       Who were the agents for the engine

3.       Which boat was it fitted to and when

ID THE ENGINE QUIZ – The correct answers were

MAKE & HP: Stearns MDR 125hp

AGENTS: H. O. Wiles

BOAT FITTED TO & WHEN: Romance II – 1925
No one got all the answers correct – but Jason Prew and Nathan Herbert were tied at 3 correct elements (but not the same) so its a tie – they can decide what bits of the prize pool they each want 🙂

Pacific – 105 Year Old Woody Get A New Heart

Pacific – The 105 Year Old Woody Get A New Heart

The 1917 Joe Slattery designed and built launch – Pacific, is a special boat – 105 years of one family ownership puts her into a very elite league.Now in the care of of Nathan Herbert, Pacific has sent the last 5 months hauled out getting a heart transplant i.e. a brand new FPT/ Iveco N45A 100hp diesel engine. The old green Lister sadly just didn’t provide the reliability and safety for a vessel that does the cruising miles that Pacific does.

Late yesterday afternoon Pacific had a ‘Claytons’ relaunch at the Milford Cruising Club’s slip. Not surprisingly after 5 months on the hard she had a big thirst, Jason Prew from The Slipway Milford was on hand with a large capacity extra bilge pump, but it wasn’t required. Fingers crossed the flow will abate when she goes back in again later today.

Whilst hauled out there was a serious dose of TLC done to Pacific, I’m looking forward to a better peek down below at the Mahurangi Regatta this weekend. Search PACIFIC in the WW Search Box to view / read more about Pacific past.

I spotted Fleetwing, below,  at The Slipway Milford yard getting prepped for Mondays Auckland Anniversary Day regatta launch race. 

La Rosa – Flashback


I just love opening the WW email inbox, particularly when out of the blue you get a treasure trove of photos on a boat that you know but do not have much content from her past.The other day Alan Duckworth contacted me to say he came across the WW site while searching for new photos of the 1923, Ernie Harvey built launch – La Rosa. Bob King, who owned the vessel for 50 odd years and significantly modified the ketch, was Alan’s grandfather. 

The above gallery of old photos are from Bob King’s ownership period. Alan recalls that the motor was a Lister, compression start, that could run for hours on bugger all fuel.

The current owner of La Rosa – Ward House will love the photos – hopefully his good friend Baden Pascoe will alert him to the story. You can see and read more about La Rosa at the WW links below:

Input below from Mark Erskine

“I was interested to read about La Rosa and what a wonderful antique engine she has.

I see “Graeme” posts the engine is a 26 HP Lister HW2, but it is a Lister JP2M.

The JP2M specs are: Capacity: 2,868cc. / HP: 21 @ 1,200rpm. / Weight: 2,576 lbs/1.168 tonnes


They were made from 1936 and 1954 apparently (haven’t been able to confirm), so it would be interesting to see if the owner knows the age of the engine.

Like all of the old Lister / Petter water cooled range of engines, the JP2M is built so big and heavy and runs so slowly that if properly serviced, maintained and used, it should never wear out in marine use 😁 “


Mystery Workboat Conversion

Mystery Workboat Conversion 
According to her tme listing (thanks Ian McDonald) the above woody is – 44’ in length, built of kauri, powered by a 1978 Detroit 150hp diesel and calls Waiheke Island home. And that woodys is all we know.

I’m sure we can uncover more details. The conversion looks very tidy and the wood stove would indicate she has spent time in the our southern waters.

Stunning weather afloat, photo below of Raindance in Garden Cove, Waiheke Island – we sneaked in before the fizz boats and SeaLegs arrived.

Ngapuhi (Waihou)


DOES ANYONE KNOW A ROSS DIXON (or Michael Adams) previous owners of the launch Menai – if so could you ask that they contact me on waitematawoodys@gmail.com

Ngapuhi was built by Brian Lane in 1952-3 as a towing launch for Lane & Sons (Timber Millers) at their premises in Totara North, Whangaoa Harbour. Originally named Waihou. Purchased by Northland Port Corporation in 1963 her name was changed to Ngapuhi & she served as the pilot boat for the Whangarei Harbour Board for 35 years.

During 1983-4 an extensive refit was carried out when a larger aluminium wheelhouse was added. The original 2x GM471 engines were replaced with new 6LXB Gardners, propshaft angles modified, and larger rudders made to suit the new engine installations.

Has been in current ownership since 1998 during which time was chartered back to Northland Port until 2000 & kept in SSM survey for 16 passengers until late 2013 when the SSM regulations were changed.

While based in Whangaroa her owners have completed numerous trips to the Three Kings, Waitemata, Gt Barrier, & also used to view the racing the last time Team NZ hosted the America’s Cup in Auckland.

Details below:

Length 13.84m Beam 3.70m. Draft 1.07m. Reg tons 22.

Engines 2x 6LXBM52 Gardner 1984. Diesel Engines governed to 1500RPM, 127 HP continuous rating.

Gear boxes Twin Disk 1.45-1

Fuel Capacity 1400 litres Water capacity 200 litres

Max speed 11 knots at governed rpm. . Cruising speed 8-11 knots. . Fuel consumption approx. 25 l/h @ 11 knots, approx. 18 l/h @ 8 knots.

Hull construction. Carvel plank Kauri over laminated frames of 70x40mm @ 250mm centres.

Other features. Icom VHF, Furuno GPS plotter/sounder, walk in engine room with fan forced ventilation. F’ward and aft cabins, galley, separate toilet with holding tank, wash down pump, 2x sets of fixed manual & electric bilge pumps & other safety equipment to meet previous survey requirements. Currently 3-4 berths, easily expandable to 6-8.

Thanks to Ian McDonald for bring the tme listing to the attention of WW.

MARINUS – Where Is She

MARINUS – Where Is She

The launch – Marinus was built in 1938 (apparently by Barr-Browns in Wellington) for commercial work in Cook Strait and was Lloyd’s registered to carry 5 tons. It is believed that Barr-Browns were cabinet and furniture makers in that era, rather than boat builders and in later years, Barr-Browns were machinery merchants selling the likes of forklifts and other industrial machinery.

Unconfirmed, but she probably was originally powered by twin Gray Marine inline 6-cylinder engines, and was re-powered in about 1965 with two 1956-ish Rootes TS3 2-strokes, which were located directly under the bridge floor. The gearboxes she had in 2001 were 26 spline Borg-Warner Velvet Drives.

The photo above was taken in January 2001 at Pine Harbour. Post this date she may have been moored at Great Barrier Island for an extended time frame. Rumour has it that she experienced several semi sinkings due to bilge pump issues. Marinus was taken over by a new owner who towed her to Whitianga and on-sold her to another individual who either towed or motored her Whangamata, where her engines were removed.

Nothing is known about the boat post being kept on a swing mooring at Whangamata. So woodys can anyone tell us what became of this woody, did she survive?

Update – photos below of – Marinus, which were taken in January 2015 at Gibbs Landing on the Barrier. She had been towed over to the wharf from her swing mooring after being pumped out the last time. Click to enlarge photos

Update #2  – Below are the as-was interior photos before being towed away from the Barrier in 2015. Over looking the untidy appearance and the need for much TLC, you can see how well designed the interior was for such an old girl. Very spacious and well appointed for her age and with twin TS3 engines, the floor in the bridge was flat (no engine boxes).
Note the Lloyd’s Reg Number on the bulkhead, in what was then the bathroom / shower / toilet area.
According to the Gt Barrier is. owner, she was apparently built in 1938 to an American design (which might account for the sloping windscreens), but wasn’t launched until after W.W.II.

UPDATE # 3 – I received a call from boat builder Geoff Bagnall today and Geoff pointed me in the direction as to where I could find Marinus. Geoff has been working on her and while in my eyes some areas are a tad modern looking – what a difference from the above Great Barrier photos. Just goes to prove that old saying “every dog has its day”. An amazing rescue job, who ever the owner is, they deserve to take a bow – well done 🙂

14-12-2020 Harold Kidd Input – MARINUS was owned for many years by Keith Lackey of Wellington.She was built by Barr-Brown, Owen and Stewart and launched in 1947. Her first engines were twin 6 cyl Gray petrol. According to Lloyds she was designed by A.M. Deeming.(an Opua Deeming??).