Mystery Launch + Woodys Stillwater Picnic New Date

Jack Brooke Mystery Launch

Todays woody is only a mystery because the seller didn’t disclose the vessels name 😦

What we know is she is 36’ in length, with a 10’ beam. Built in kauri utilising carvel construction and launched in 1962.

Powered by twin Ford 65hp Diesel engines, cruises comfortably at 8>9 knots.

Anyone able to tell us more about the boat – name, builder, history etc 🙂


Woodys On Tour – Hobart – Australian Wooden Boat Festival – Day 3

Woodys On Tour – Hobart – Australian Wooden Boat Festival – Day 3

Morning Woodys – a stunning day today on the weather front – clear blue skies and not to warm, perfect. The docks today were a Zoo, just so many people and a high % of rubber neckers. Hats off to the boat owners for answering all the ‘blonde’ questions e.g. “is it made of wood, or has it got a special paint effect” etc etc. On the advice of a seasoned festival attendee I hit the docks very early in the morning and again early evening.

Lots of chat with owners and good awareness of WW. I decided today to engage the right side of the brain and caught the ferry to MONA (Museum Old New Art) its like nothing I or probably you have been to – check out the website

In todays WW story we focus on some of the smaller craft at the festival , with a leaning on steam propelled. Enjoy – if you don’t like it blame Russell Ward, his side of our movement needs a leg up 🙂

The Boat Of The Day   – TAMARESK

And a wee sea shanty for aboard the Tall Ship – ENTERPRIZE – enjoy


And lunch was X12 fresh Australian prawns – never seen the inside of a freezer, soooo good 🙂

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 🙂

History of Arahi


Recently the owner of Arahi, Gordon Lane, dropped me a note and when Gordon said he had been doing some research on her provenance, he wasn’t joking – of course I replied – ‘email it to me’, turns out to be quite a tome 🙂

So I‘ll hand over to Gordon to tell you about Arahi – the 32’ 10’6” beam, 4’ draft ex work boat, powdered by a 4LW Gardner with a Gardner 2UC Gearbox.

Links below to previous WW stories, lots of details, chat and photos.




MV Arahi’s recorded history starts with her purchase by the then Auckland Harbour Board in 1940.

While it has been suggested that, from her design, she is older than 1940 I can find no record of a previous life or a builder. In any event, she was built very ruggedly, as a workboat, if not with finesse.

She was “strengthened” by the Board and had massive echo sounding equipment fitted. She was then employed as a hydrographic vessel for the next thirty-eight years. She carried out extensive shallow water survey work throughout the Waitemata Harbour as well as on the Manukau Harbour and its bar which needed regular surveys. It is probable that she had various other duties as well. The large transducer equipment installed is still in place today and I am too nervous to attempt its removal!

In the early 1950’s she provided hydrographic information necessary prior to and during the construction of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. 

In the New Zealand Herald of 29/06/1971 an article appears regarding a near miss she had while working, nearly being run down by a fishing boat whose whole crew were down aft filleting the catch. Although she had the right of way, flying a keep clear flag, she was forced to take action to avoid being run down.

She was under the command of Lieutenant Commander John Reith in a civilian capacity as the AHB hydrographer.

A Mr Colin Tubbs is recorded as his assistant and Mr Alan Hammond also formed part of the crew at that time. It is probable that she had at least one additional crew member when doing hydrographic work.

This was during a period in the early 1970’s when the Auckland Harbour Board was investigating the possibility of port development in the upper Waitemata Harbour in that area between the Point Chevalier peninsula and Te Atatu. To establish the position and type of wharf structures, and the dredging required, the extent of the soft marine deposits between the seabed and a depth of 25 metres had to be determined over the whole area. To do this equipment capable of “seeing” through layers of mud and soft rock strata was required.

She was fitted with a state-of-the-art Precision Depth Recorder (PDR), 10 kilowatt transceiver and a towed transducer assembly (the “fish”). Much of this work could only be done on a rising tide often in water less than 2m deep requiring the “fish” to be tied alongside the port quarter to keep it off the seabed.

Clearly the science precluded the practicality of the development, as we know it never happened.

An engine logbook exists covering the period 27/04/1967 up until her sale by tender 04/05/1978. 

This gives her run hours, rpm, bunkering, operating temperatures and pressures.

During the period April 1967 to November 1968, from the logbook, work included Soundings, Yard Work, Manukau Harbour, Manukau Bar, Bridge Barge, Pilot Duties, Tug for the moorings punt, docking the Daldy and Hikinui, as well as picnic trips on Anniversary Day. 

After November 1968 the skippers rarely recorded duties in this log and kept to fuel and oil usage etc..  

Maintenance history prior to April 1967 is unknown but it seems probable that sometime between 1955 and 1967 the engine was changed to the current Gardner 4LW (Engine No. 103459 – 1955). (The writer would like to know what engine predated the Gardner)

Following Harbour Board protocol regular servicing, slipping and routine repairs were carried out throughout the period.

To Private Ownership:

Arahi was put up for tender in early 1978 and when tenders closed and she had a new owner on 4th May 1978.

She was immediately slipped at Baileys yard on 26th June for belting repairs and extensive new fitout and maintenance was carried out at the time. Of special note was the comment that a hull inspection found it to be “First Class – Very Sound”!

At this time her name was changed to Te Rama-Roa.

She was intended for fishing by the new owner and much work was carried out to this end including a “1000lb winch and 60A Alternator”.

However, for unknown reasons she never went fishing and was sold to a Mr Ken Morris of Tauranga and later Tryphena. (Ken, a knowledgeable engineer, has been of great assistance to me putting these notes together.)

She sailed from Auckland to Tauranga on 30th November 1978 to start her new life.

Ken Morris’s Boat:

Ken promptly renamed her Omatere after an earlier launch he’d owned but later decided to change her name back to the original Arahi.

He did many fishing and pleasure trips from Tauranga to Mayor Island, White Island etc. but Arahi’s working days were by no means over!

Ken had decided to move to Tryphena and build himself a house and to do this substantial materials and house structures had to be shipped from Tauranga and Auckland to the island.

Ken acquired a 40ft wooden barge and Arahi, a harbour hydrographic boat, commenced a new career as a coastal tug. She made many trips backward and forward between Tauranga, Auckland and Tryphena before the project was finished.

Her last trip as a tug was a “grand finale” towing a 50ft steel barge with a village hall on board from Tauranga to Tryphena.

Notwithstanding when the serious work was finished, Arahi was still both the Auckland shopping transport and family launch making several hundred Colville Channel crossings to Auckland.

Notwithstanding when the serious work was finished, Arahi was still both the Auckland shopping transport and family launch making several hundred Colville Channel crossings to Auckland.

Over the years Ken did much work updating and improving on Arahi’s equipment and accommodation most of which is still in place today. Notably major works were carried out over two months ending in March 1981.

These included re-siting the dry exhaust as you hit your head on the muffler every time you entered the engine room. Ken placed it centrally and later made a very special stainless steel funnel with a Gardner approved venturi exhaust system.

Other works were extending the cockpit roof and glassing the fore cabin roof.

During another refit the cabin sides were completely replaced with ply as the island kauri with which they were originally built developed extensive rot. At that time the Gardner was removed from the boat and given a top end rebuild, the bottom end according to Ken just didn’t need anything. (The Gardner had completed its first 10,000 hours in January 1975 and its second during Kens time and is sitting on 3,648 today and still running like a clock).

The years rolled by until Ken decided his boating days were over and it was time to move Arahi on.

So, in 2019, after 41 years a tired Arahi, in need of some worm repair work in the stem and general TLC was given to Merv Young of Auckland.

Arahi to Auckland and Wanganui:

She left Tryphena in 2019 and was assisted back to Auckland by Alistair Reynolds beautiful charter launch Felicitare.

She was taken up the Tamaki River and then trucked to Merv’s Otahuhu premisses for a seven month clean and tidy up.

After relaunch and a short time at Westhaven, Merv sold her on to a young chap from Wanganui and she was trucked down in late 2019.

She received plenty of attention on her arrival as the new boat on the river but unfortunately, she wasn’t to remain a river boat for long. Her owner, with changed circumstances, decided to sell her and this writer purchased her in February 2022 and trucked her back to Auckland and his Gulf Harbour marina berth.

After her time tied to the riverbank in Wanganui, she needed a thorough boatyard session and to this end she was placed in a shed at Te Atatu Boat Club from April to July 2022.

Back in Auckland: 

Boatbuilder Mr Wayne Deacon together with shipwright Mr Terry King worked on her repairs, with me getting in their way.

Arahi is exceptionally strongly built; her scantlings may be considered considerably more than those expected in a vessel of this size. 

Stripping and inspection showed all the heart kauri 1 ¼” planking was in exceptional condition. 

However, six full athwartship ribs and four half ribs plus two floors in the cockpit area needed replacement. It is thought that entry of fresh water over many years and the tight turn of the bilge in this area were responsible. These ribs were removed and replaced with epoxy laminated hardwood ribs spot glued and fastened with 3” silicon bronze screws in the same frequency as the original copper nails. This work provided a very strong construction, truing up the quarters planking, and in keeping with the rest of the vessel.

The exterior underwater hull was stripped to the timber, old putty removed, additional caulking carried out where required, puttying, priming and antifouling.

There are no below waterline skin fittings in use except the engine keel cooling. Where older through hull fittings existed, they were plugged on the outside and capped internally.

The rudder including stock and bearings were replaced with a new replica of the original.

The propellor has been replaced with a new one.

The original strut white-metal bearing has been replaced with a modern cutlass bearing in the same housing.

Topsides required some timber replacement around the port bow sponson and re-glassing. A small strip of the cabin roof was also re-glassed. Otherwise decks and cabin were a sound and waterproof.

A new anchor winch has been fitted on the foredeck to allow remote anchor operation in due course.

Inspection of the engine, a Gardner Diesel 4LW with a Gardner 2UC gearbox, situated in its own engine room forward of the helm station was satisfactory. Preventative maintenance was carried out on the engine “ram” type coolant pump and the identical bilge pump by Mr Dave Shaw of Shaw Diesels, New Zealand Gardner agents.

A new 70A alternator is fitted to replace the c. 20A dynamo as a first step toward a full electrical upgrade.

Bilge pumps, fuel systems and instruments have all been replaced.

As at the date of writing (December 2022) she is back at her new home at Gulf Harbour, and I am working hard to complete a full rewire prior to some summer cruising.


If anybody can add factual information to the Arahi story I would really appreciate hearing from them, please feel free to contact me on either 0274 316 196

Haunui Restoration Update #5

Haunui Restoration Update #5

Well woodys 4 months have slipped by since I last popped my head into the tented shed that is currently home to the 1948 Colin Wild built launch – Haunui. To master boatbuilder Paul Tingey and his team it probably seems longer, always does on the down hill run – but wow, I was gobsmacked – without doubt NZ’s grandest restoration. 

There is enough electrical systems on board to do an AirBus A350 proud, but tastefully hidden away. On the subject of being hidden away – the s/s mast/tower set up that you can see in one of the photos will be encased in a discreet ’ships’ funnel.

As I left the team were getting ready to start the topside painting – lots of love on the end of a long board for some poor soul 🙂

Enjoy the photo gallery – as always click on photos to enlarge.

Links To Previous Haunui Restoration Updates Below



When I saw Perano, a 16’clinker kauri built double ender – my immediate thought was lake boat. Built in the 1960’s by Bernie Perano (of the whale chaser family) she is a very cool little ship. The negative of being f/glass encased is off set by the positive of being able to be stored out of the water on her trailer and not needing to ‘take up’ when launched.

Perano it is powered by a super reliable 5 hp single cylinder diesel engine. Made by Yanmar the NTS 70 engine is started by hand it is a slow turning engine with a 2:1 reduction gearbox with shaft drive swinging a bronze 3 blade 13×12 prop. The hull speed of 5.4 knots is easily achieved with fuel consumption of 1 litre per hour. Fuel tank is 10 litres – plenty for a full day out and then some. Thanks to Rob Watt for the tme heads up.

AND ON THE SUBJECT OF LAKE BOATS – Put A big circle around February 5th 2023 

That is the date of the uber cool Lake Rotoiti (Nth Island) Classic & Wooden Boat Parade. If you are a woody boat owner and have your craft on a trailer – consider doing the trip to Lake Rotoiti – its a blast. Details belowFull details at 5th Feb 2023 (Waitangi Weekend). There is a dinner the night before and a picnic after the parade. Normally well over 100 boats in different styles form the parade.

AND LASTLY – WOODY CLASSIC PICNIC ON TOMORROW AT MOTUIHE ISLAND 1PM – which side decided by weather on the day

MV Tauranga


Recently I was contacted by Darren and Toni Anger, the owners of the ex workboat – MV Tauranga – below is Darren’s note to WW

“We have owned Tauranga for a couple of years now and we would love to hear any stories out there about her. The above photos of her show the different cabin configurations from her original to now.

Tauranga was built 1957 by Miller and Tunnage, Timaru for the Tauranga Harbour Boards pilot vessel.  During her time in April 1982 she was stolen and run aground at Matakana Island, Tauranga Harbour Board completed a major refit and refastening of the hull, she continued her pilot duties until around 1990.

When sold to private ownership she was sailed to Havelock Marlborough Sounds for her pleasure vessel refit which was completed approximately 2004, this is when we first saw her in Havelock Marina at the start of our own world circumnavigation.  

2020 we returned to Havelock to settle and saw Tauranga for sale, she now spends her days cruising the Sounds or on her mooring in Kaiuma Bay.

Tauranga is still powered by her original 8 cylinder Gardner.”

So woodys, can we help out with any tales from the workboat days and then the period starting 2004 > 2020 when Darren and Toni bought her.


“When I joined the Bay of Plenty Harbour Board as harbour pilot in 1982, Tauranga was in the middle of her major refit at the port slipway at Sulphur Point. She was outside but under a temporary cover while the 8 cylinder Gardiner was in one corner of the adjacent shed and the wheelhouse in the other corner. The relief pilot boat in use was the chartered Whitianga based fishing boat Defender. When Defender had to be returned to her owner after Tauranga’s refurbishment was prolonged the Mount Maunganui based fishing boat Sea Bee was chartered and used until Tauranga was ready for service again.

When built in 1959 by Doug Robb in Timaru Tauranga was fitted with a towing hook just aft of the forward mounted wheelhouse. The port did not own a tug at that time so some towing and ship assist duties would have been necessary in her early days. The arrival of the ports first tug Mount Maunganui in 1960 would have alleviated this requirement somewhat.

The refurbishment in 1982 followed the theft from her berth and subsequent beaching on the sea side of Matakana Island in 1979, I don’t think they had turned on the fuel. This second refurbishment following the incident gave the opportunity to move the wheelhouse from forward to aft now that towing requirements had long gone. This was a great success resulting in a large clear area of deck for the pilot and deck hand to operate in when alongside a ship always under the watchful eye of the launch master. The decision was also made to paint the hull and wheelhouse top rescue orange to aid in the easier identification of the boat by ships masters. This was a little controversial and non traditional but proved very successful and it is now normal for pilot boats world wide to have strong colour recognition.

The growing port saw the 9 knot displacement speed of Tauranga to be somewhat of a disadvantage and in 1985 the 18 knot Tauranga 11 arrived. An alloy Striker design built by the then Wanganui Engineering, now QWest, she relogated Tauranga to standby pilot boat. She enjoyed a somewhat sedate life in this role until being replaced in 1999 by a newly built 12m Naiad hydrographic survey launch which was also set up for piloting duties.
Tauranga was put up for sale and departed under new ownership for Doves Bay in Kerikeri, Bay of Islands.

This ended 40 years of very successful service at the port in Tauranga.”

Ngarunui 1970s > 1980s

Half Moon Bay Marina Jan 1978
Pre purchase travel lift haul out at Half Moon Bay – Jan 1978
Pre purchase inspection at Half Moon Bay – Jan 1978
Leigh – Aug 1978
A permeant roof being built over the cockpit – Oct 1978
Flying bridge being built at Half Moon Bay – Dec 1978
Flying bridge being built at Half Moon Bay – Dec 1978

Ngarunui 1970s > 1980s

Back in 2015 when Ngarunui  first appeared on WW Robin Elliott commented that to his mind she is the best looking boat in the Bay (Bay of Islands). Since then Ngarunui has mad numerous WW appearances – links below. The 2016 one gives a great insight into the building of Ngarunui and the 2022 give us a look down below.

Last week Mike Mulligan sent in the gallery of photos above from when his family owned her, they purchased her after selling the launch – Patina, approx. time line of ownership is late 1970’s > 1987.

During this period Mike’s father fitted the Yammer auxiliary engine and fly bridge.

Ngarunui  was designed and built by Jim Young in 1955 for J.A.K. Spicer and C.R. (Russ) Pollard. She is 48’x46’x11’8″x4’3″ and was originally powered with twin GM 165hp diesels of 1942 vintage (ex-USN) + an 11hp Coventry Cub. These days the engines are a 200hp Doosan and a Yanmer auxiliary. 





Marlin Munroe


The 19’ Sutton and Mason 1966 built Marlin Marauder – Marlin Monroe made a very brief appearance recently on tme, probably brief because the asking price was $10k.

On face value that is a lot of classic boat for the money.

Built with double diagonal kauri and powered by Mercruiser inboard + stern leg that sees her topping out at 35mph.

The matching dinghy is a nice touch.



On Thursday one of the Lake Waikaremoana launches we featured was – Idalia, we enquired about her whereabouts and sadly Toni Metz informed us that she was abandoned and subsequently broken up and removed from the lake front. Toni spent some time yesterday trolling thru his photo album and uncovered the above collection of Idalia when she was well cared for.

The b/w photo above was from her early days on the lake.

Toni has also search the launch on the Papers Past site and uncovered two interesting mentions – the first is from the Poverty Bay Herald, 23 Feb 1925 and covers a wee (actually not so wee) oops while Idalia was in Gisborne. You have to love the terms they used back then – no steering = “she did not answer to the helm” and taking on water = “she commenced to fill up”. Press clipping below

The second mention is also in the Poverty Bay Herald, this time dated 13th October 1933 and covers Idalia’s overland journey from Gisborne to Lake Waikaremoana. Lots of background on the boat ownership in the press clippings below. She was 36’ x 10’ x 3’6” and powered by a 40hp Thorneycroft engine, recently installed in 1933.