Woody Jet Boat

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Woody Jet Boat

Including the words ‘jet boat’ in the story headline could be slightly off putting to some, but today’s boat just ticks so many boxes it was an automatic Monday story.

The hull design is inspired by a picture on the workshop manual for the Hamilton Jet Rainbow unit, and is typical of the period of the unit (1956).
The jet unit has been completely rebuilt, including all new gaskets and bearings, and a freshly rebuilt impellor.
The engine is a 1956 Ford 100E Prefect (which the Rainbow unit was designed for). It has been professionally re-conditioned, was re-sleeved, and has new pistons, valves, bearings, oil pump, gaskets etc. All major parts that were re-used (block, head and crank) were crack tested before being re-machined. I.e. No expensive was spared.
The engine is cooled by a modern savage heat exchanger and runs a modern sand filter.
The 12’ hull has an aluminum planning surface (to aid longevity) but is otherwise constructed mainly of recycled kahikatea, rimu, Southland beech and kauri. The sides are Fijian kauri marine ply.
The Art Deco style trailer is a work of art, it was custom built by Ted Sagar of Rivercraft Marine exclusively for this boat.

She was launched in 2007. Her owner has another project planned, shed space is required, so now is the chance for someone else to own this little beauty.

You can view / read more on the original build at the Jet Boating NZ website – link below

And I want the truck – always had a soft spot for the Willys Wagons.




Yesterday there was some confusion around vessels with name/s – Kaiwaka / Kaiwhaka, thanks to Harold Kidd this has been resolved & today’s story is on the seine boat named Kaiwaka.

Kaiwaka was launched with a 36hp 3 cylinder National diesel and went to Fiji for towing in 1942 as W54. Her length is 45’ & she is most likely the boat that Colin Silby did the recent restoration work on (featured above in Andy Winters photos).

Andy Winter (The Engine Room) has advised that she is owned by Vianney Jones & is powered by a magnificent 8 cyl Gardner – photos below.

What more can we uncover on her?



23-02-2018. Pre-restoration photos ex Colin Silby. I have to say that this was one major project well done Colin & also the owner Vinney Jones for having the vision & deep pockets 🙂




Miss Kathleen




Miss Kathleen

I have been contacted by Lake Rotoiti boat builder Alan Craig in regard to the launch Miss Kathleen. Alan had her hauled out at his yard pre Christmas for a bit of repower. Barry Green had owned her for a number of years but unfortunately he passed away last year. He left the boat to his grandkids, so it was being given a bit of work by his son Ross to make it more use friendly for them.

Out came the old 50hp David Brown engine, from the 1940s? & in went a much smaller Nanni. Alan commented that Barry would be turning in his grave over it, he swore the motor never leaked a drop of oil 🙂

Miss Kathleen is going back in the water soon and will continue to be used on the lake.

If there’s anyone out there who wants a trusty old 50hp David Brown diesel engine and a Clae gear box, Alan says it is there for the taking, its only being used as a lawn ornament at the moment.

You can see other photos & details on MK at the link below – but note the claim it’s a 1902 Logan is under question & Haold Kidd has suggested that she is more likely to be built by David Reid 10>20 years later.



Restoring & Installing a Gardner in Arethusa – Revisited

Restoring & Installing a Gardner in Arethusa

story & photos ex Dean Wright

It not often I get sent info on a boat & it jumps the queue & appears on ww the next day. If you have been following on ww the rolling restoration Dean has been doing on Arethusa over the last few years you would know two things, Arethusa is in very good hands & Deans a very talented commercial photographer. So the links below to Deans latest project – the restoration of a Gardner 4LW & subsequent installation in Arethusa are well worth check out.

Restoration     http://deanwright.co.nz/arethusa/log-arethusa/152-gardner-4lw-diesel-restoration.html

Installation      http://deanwright.co.nz/arethusa/log-arethusa/154-installing-the-gardner.html

Some history below

Arethusa ticked over 96 this year. She started life as a gaff rigged cutter, built by Bob Brown (designer of the Z class) at Sulphur Beach, Northcote. She’s carvel planked kauri, 33′ 4″ LOA with a 12′ Beam. With the aid of a fair bit of ballast she weighs 10 tonnes. She’s had an interesting life, more details here http://deanwright.co.nz/history.html

Mystery Clinker & Engine

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In the latest Lake Rotoiti Wooden Boat Association newsletter, one of the members, Andy Hammond, was looking for help to ID the engine in his 14’ clinker run-about.

Andy commented that the engine was a proper marine unit with F & R gearbox, and almost certainly “Made in England” as it says so on the fuel filter housing. Also has A/F spanner sizes.

Any woodys able to help Andy out on the engine? & what do we think about the design of the boat?


It’s Hard to Find the Perfect Wife….



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






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!”


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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