Winter Woody Yard Report #1

Marjorie Rosa

Winter Woody Yard Report #1

Over the weekend Lake Rotoiti’s favourite boatbuilder – Alan Craig (Craig Marine) held an open day at his workshop in Paengaroa (Te Puke) , the first three photos above are from the day. The blue hulled launch in the first photo is the 1930 Sam Ford built launch – Marjorie Rosa in for deferred maintenance, will be looking shipshape again very soon.

Read / view more on her in the below WW links:

A new convert to the wooden boating world is Geoffrey Fiebig, who recently purchased off Jason Prew a Frostbite named Meteor, sail #13. Geoffrey as you will see has started the thank less job of stripping the interior planks. 10/10 for attire, the new WW cap completes the look 🙂

30-05-2023 UPDATE – a nameless woody drew to my attention that many (30+) years ago a Tauranga newspaper article appeared about a young man/teen named Jason Prew who dragged Meteor out of a derelict shed on a lake and restored her to go sailing. Note the miss spelling of the surname Brew -see below

Anyone else have a project underway – if so, share some photos – email to

Feel Good Friday

Feel Good Friday

Sometimes even an old woody like myself is moved by music – this video titled – ‘Dip and Sway’ appeared on the Off Center Harbor v-blog and I dived into a google search to find a ‘free-to-air’ copy of it.

Visually and sonically it ticks all my boxes – Turn your sound up and have a listen / watch – you will enjoy it. The BBQ grill seen towards the end is a doozy 🙂

WW Caps – the new low profile, canvas cloth caps have been a winner – the new understated colour topped with the dark brown WW embroidered logo has a dash of understated style. I have reorder 3 times and stocks are getting low – order today – just click the email link here and tell me your name, postal address and number of caps required ( best order was x5) I’ll come back to you with payment details – $38 + $6 p&p.

A Recount Of Our Classic Wooden Craft DNA 

CLICK The Headline – Grace Under Sail to view

A Recount Of Our Classic Wooden Craft DNA 

Recently I was sent a link to an article that appeared in the New Zealand Geographic magazine back in 2000 – in fact issue 45 , Jan-March. The article was headlined – GRACE UNDER FIRE, written by Vaughan Yarwood with supporting photos from the late Henry Winkelmann and more recent photos ex Hamish Ross and Paul Gillbert.

The stars of the article is the 42’ 1908 Logan built gaff rigged cutter – Rawene, and her then skipper Russell Brooke.

This is a brilliant insight into the early days of boating in and around Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, I’m sure there will be some mix ups re dates, skipper/craft names but overall we get to see and read the history of these magnificent craft, a lot of which are still sailing today.

Have a read, its only 10>15 minutes, longer if if you linger over the photos 🙂  – even a die-hard motorboat owner like myself found it a fascinating read.

Havoc On The Water Front

Havoc On The Water Front

The recent stormy weather in Auckland claimed another woody at the end of last week. 

Young Luca Beachman was cycling home after completing his Herald paper round on Friday and spotted the 46’ launch Ussco ‘parked’ very precariously on the Tamaki Drive break water. 

Fingers crossed she was re floated with little damage, built of 4 skin kauri so should be able to withstand an oops. Can anyone update us.

Recently advertised for sale  – details here

INPUT EX BRETT KING – Ussco is hauled out at the hardstand at Half Moon Bay marina 

Raindance Gets Some Cosmetic Surgery

For the whole time that I have owned Raindance I have been faced with a do I / don’t I situation regarding the things attached to her hull – too short to be called bilge keels and questionable efficiency as anti-roll stabilizers. All the people whose opinion I value have said get rid of them. So in a weak moment last week at the Slipway Milford I said yes and wham-mo they were gone.

Will be interesting to see / experience the difference…………………

Looking even more like a greyhound 🙂

LADY AVA – Unseen Sinking Photo

LADY AVA – Unseen Sinking Photo

Back in June 2020 we ran 1/2 a story on the 1931 Ernie Lane (Picton) built launch – Lady Ava (once named Miss Ava). The original story was about her sinking but due to the then owners situation it was decided to ‘dilute’ the story e.g. no photo of her demise. Link to the 2020 story below.

Well three years have past so today you get to see her joining the submariners club. Last I heard she was secured near/alongside the Leader Boat Builders shed on the Panmure River. Photos below taken not long after her recovery.

Can we get an update on Lady Ava’s current situation.

Update: More photos below ex Mark Laughlin

Post WWII Boating On The Waitemata 

Post WWII Boating On The Waitemata 

Another old movie day – same source (Lew Redwood fb post / link to some film footage from c.1945 that is stored / saved on Nga Taonga – the NZ archive of film, television and sound.)Given the date everyone must’ve been so relived to be emerging from the doom and glum of WWII and back boating again.

Todays footage is a potpourri and tagged ‘Personal Record. Taylor, AG. (Akarana Regatta, Northern Cruise, Othei Bay, Oyster Inspector, Zane Grey’s Gallows). Approx. 12 minutes in length. 

A great mix of sail and motor boats – towards the end, the flying boat landing in the harbour amongst the pleasure craft is something you wouldn’t see in todays PC world.




The clip is one of many filmed by AG. Taylor, that have been doing the rounds for some years. He held many film evenings at yacht clubs during the 1940’s and 1950’s and 60’s.

A.G. Taylor was the father of John Taylor (Ex Stewart 34 Paprika) and grandfather of Team NZ’s Andrew Taylor. He sailed with ‘Boy’ Bellve on the Ngatoa and used to film their cruises, the Richmond Yacht Club picnics and follow his sons (who owned the M-class Mercedes 1939-1949) around filming them during races. Film stock was a mix of colour and black and white.

Some years ago, Point Chevalier YC (I think) discovered a collection of his film reels in their old clubhouse attic that had been left behind after a long-forgotten film evening. They copied them to videotape and were selling them as a fundraiser for their new clubhouse.

This particular clip is a mish-mash of dates and assembled in no particular order. There is a brief and blurry clip of the 1939 World’s 18-foot series shot from the Westhaven wall, as well as a much better clip of the 1948 Series (where you have that spectacularly overloaded and listing ferry). There are several Regattas depicted.

I agree with Simon below regarding colour film. When I first saw these films (almost 30 years ago) John Taylor told me that his father ‘got the colour film from America’.

Also, in several of the colour clips, A-7 Rainbow is shown in gaff, she was laid up after 1940 and briefly returned to racing in 1945 but broke her mast and was again laid up until sold to Leo Bouzaid in 1948 who converted to marconi rig in 1949.


A Sad Ending

A Sad Ending
WW was sent the above sad photo of a woody that had come to grief in Oamaru Bay, Coromandel earlier in the week. The following day Dennis Maconaghie reported that shewas in little bits on the back of a truck on the way to the tip.  
Anyone able to tell us the name of the boat and what happened to her.

A Request For Help – Stuart Turner P66 Engine

Any woodys out there with a spare ST engine or a cylinder block? Drop an email to waitematawoodys@gmail.comFYI – I’m not that crazy to want one, but a reader doing up a 15’ clinker needs a replacement or parts.

The Demise Of Lorna Doone


We last saw the Collings & Bell built Lorna Doone on WW back in April 2018, at the time we learnt that she was built in 1926, and one of four launches for the Zane Grey Sporting Club. When launched she was powered by a Redwing engine that gave her a very respectable 16 knots of speed.

In the 2018 story (link below) Martin Howson advised that in the late 1950’s when owned by Des Shimanski Lorna Doona came ashore in a big easterly blow in Hooks Bay, Waiheke Island. She survived that oops and returned to life as a long-liner moored in the Tamaki River, near Bucklands Beach.

In todays photos sent in by Ray Morey we see Lorna Doone in Whangaroa Harbour, in Northland. Sadly in the bottom two we see her c.1970’s when she was wrecked on Peach Island, in the middle of Whangaroa Harbour. (as advised by Gavin Bradley)

Can anyone tells us the back story to the Peach Island incident – its a well protected harbour and the island is almost dead centre with good deep water both sides – see photo below.

08-05-2023 Input ex Alice Morrison – Whangaroa can get some gnarly gusts through the valleys. A few months ago, the wooden yacht ‘Hope’ ran aground in Waitapu Bay/Ota Point when a big gust came through as he was lifting anchor. It actually happened again around at Ratcliffs Bay a few days later.

Arizona – Gets A Happy Ending


Mooching around online I came across this great tale from Russel Subritzky, when you hear stuff like this it makes the rubbish we get feed in the mainstream media fade away – I’ll let Russel tell the story

“Arizona  my 42ft brdgedecker ..boat has a lot of history with my family..a photo of this boat towing a Subritzky  boat across the Kaipara bar was big new in 1933 as the boat had been presumed lost with all hands for over 9 mths..while doing its regular run to Fiji and surrounding islands it hit a grandfather was the skipper..the 10 year old cabin boy was to become my father..i asked my dad many times over the years how they survived..they chopped down trees and beached the boat using pulleys and ropes and hand cranked winch to pull boat ashore .repair holes and damage and get it back in water ..i would say something and he would bellow ” we were men” and i would say no dad you were 10 years old..but yes they were gone but returned  ..the boats name  ” the Greyhound” ..

So this boat was gifted to me because when it was for sale i called and related the story and about this boat being on front page news paper ..and the person on phone says to me did someone put you up to this and how do you know what is hanging on our wall..they had the original newspaper article..when i met the woman who had boat and we spoke and i walked around boat..she came out and said that the boat was mine..that she couldn’t believe how much the boat meant to me..So theres my little boat of family history for you.”

Russell also commented that the boat was currently out of the water (up north) and today her interior has been done and just needs to be re caulked and a paint job. I’m a little confused re the reference to the name ’the Greyhound’ – hopefully someone can explain. In the earlier photos there is KPA 98 visible on her bow, possibly a Kaipara number – commercial fishing? Zach Matich will know the answer. Back in December 2022 we ran a story on her with several photos – I’m assuming this was prior to Russell ‘acquiring’ the boat – link below to that WW story

What more can we add to her story – we know that she is 36′ and possibly built in 1914.

Classic Wooden Boating – Kawau Island 1929 Movie


Sometimes I come across classic woody content that is just too good to not share, sometimes the format might be an old home movie footage or faded photos straight out of a shoe box – todays one such day. Mooching around the www I came across a Lew Redwood fb post that had a link to some film footage from c.1929 that is stored / saved at Nga Taonga – the NZ archive of film, television and sound.

The footage is tagged – PLEASURE ISLE, KAWAU ISLAND. Viewing it, it quickly becomes obvious that back in the day it was made to promote tourism / visitation to Kawau Island.

Mansion House Bay is wall to wall wooden launches and a few wind thiefs. Just too many to try and identify but some look familiar.

The images above are screen grabs from the movie footage. Below is the link to the movie – its great viewing – enjoy 🙂