Te Whara




Each year for the last 5 years in February I have attended the Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Parade, each year there are always several boats that ‘ring my bell’, one in particular is – Te Whara, the 32’, 1916 Bailey & Lowe built launch. Te Whara is not your typical lake boat, in my eyes she needs to be on the Waitemata & she could be – she is for sale. Firstly some details.
Te Whara was built by Bailey & Lowe at their yard at Sulphur Beach, Northcote in January 1916 for the Drummond brothers of Whangarei. Her first engine was a 10hp and probably a Sterling for which Bailey & Lowe were the agents. In February 1916 she was sailed up to Whangarei where she was based (always kept under cover). Originally flush-decked, Te Whara was taken back to Bailey & Lowe in the 1920’s where the wheelhouse area and companionway to the top deck was altered. She has the first rack-and-pinion steering ever fitted in Auckland. In 1972 she was refitted with the current 6 cylinder 106hp diesel which pushes her to around 10 knots. Owners Bruce Stewart and Andy Coupe purchased this launch (sporting a very rough paint job) in March 2005 for $40,000 and, after sailing her down from Whangarei harbour, spent a month sanding and repainting her at Orams in Auckland. After a short few months interlude in Auckland, Te Whara was launched at Lake Rotoiti in June 2005 and is now moored at Gisborne Pt. When searching for a launch, Bruce and Andy wanted a rear wheelhouse so that the helmsman and fisherman could be together. Of particular appeal was the elegant saloon, which runs from the engine bay to the bow. Te Whara still has the original interior fit out, including the porcelain ‘head’.
In 2013 Te Whara was lifted out of the lake and taken for a $25,000 re-paint and re-fit. The original canvas waterproofing on the decks was removed and the decks glassed. All other hull and deck timbers are original and in good condition. Unfortunately, being on a mooring and exposed to the weather takes it’s toll on Te Whara. In addition, Bruce and Andy are getting older and are beginning to find it more difficult to manage, and it is for these reasons that Te Whara is offered for sale for $35,000, or swap for a smaller classic launch.
I took the above photos of Te Whara at the 2015 & 2018 Parades. Come on woodys, lets bring her back to the Waitemata or alternatively she is a very cheap floating bach at the lake 🙂
Interested parties can contact Andy at.    andy@coupe.co.nz






On my last visit to the NZ Traditional Boatbuilding School I got chatting to one of the trustees – Kere Kemp & he casually dropped in that he was building a Dark Harbor 17 1/2’. Thats cool I thought & then I discover its being built in Port Hadlock out on the Olympic peninsula oppposite Seattle, Washington USA.
The yachts name is Kotimana – Maori for scotch thistle in recognition of Kere’s mother – Scottish, and his dad – Maori.
Kere commissioned her in September 2016 at the end of a post-retirement year at the North West School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock.
She was built by the classes of 2017 and 2018, & was launched at Point Hudson Marina, Port Townsend on August 29th. She is heading down under but with a few stops on the way – firstly Kotimana will be on display at the 42nd Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, second weekend of September and will then head via container to the 2019 Australian Wooden Boat Festival in early 2019 before finally making it home to Auckland in mid February 2019.
For those of you scratching your head thinking “what is a Dark Harbour 17-1/2 below is a description excerpted from a pre-launch write up that the NWSWB wrote when announcing the launch.
Dark Harbour 17-1/2

Originally designed for the Manchester Yacht Club in Massachusetts USA and called the Manchester 17, the first boats were built by the Rice Bros in 1908. As the design’s popularity spread it acquired a number of different names including the Bar Harbor 17 and eventually the Dark Harbor 17-1/2. The plans for this yacht are credited to BB Crowninshield and were completed by R. N. Burbank, an employee of the firm at the time.

The Dark Harbor 17-1/2 is a pure sailing machine of great beauty, but large enough to offer considerably more comfort through a larger cockpit well and a small cuddy cabin. Low freeboard combined with a wide, self-bailing cockpit well that seats you “down in” the boat puts you very close to the water. The lovely, slender hull lines, long ends, deep draft and large rig provide wonderfully sweet feel in this powerful, fast, wet, responsive and handy boat.

BB Crowninsheild was a US Naval Architect from the late 1800’s / early 1900’s who designed a number of boats including an America’s Cup contender and the largest ever steel hulled sailing boat (just prior to the introduction of the steam engine to sail boats).
Kerry commented that he fell in love with the lines of a Dark Harbor back in 2010 and decided that he would ultimately build one for himself.  Sanity eventually crept in and he commissioned her instead – Kerry was able to do some work on her prior to his move to New Zealand in mid 2017.
I’ll get a sneak preview of her at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Feb 2019 so will update this story with more photos.
Kotimana will be a magnificent additional to Auckland’s classic fleet.

The Restoration of Kate

The Restoration of Kate

I have been recently contacted by Bernard Rhodes in regard to the yacht Kate – I’ll let Bernard tell the story –

“From the 1860s onwards, sailing cutters, schooners and ketches gradually replaced Maori canoes as the principal means of transport around our coasts, till steamers in turn replaced them for passengers, and scows for bulk cargoes.

The Kate is a rare part of our nautical heritage, being one of only 3 of this once common type still in existence as far as we know. (Her near sister Rewa is displayed indoors in the Auckland Maritime museum, and the Undine is still sailing in the Bay od Islands).

When the Waiheke Working Sail Charitable Trust took over the Kate in 2013 she had a recently added cabin with full headroom and an 8” deep false keel. These made her suitable for conversion into a small sail training ship, giving today’s youth an opportunity to experience travel much as it was 150 years ago.

The restoration and re-purposing are now well under way – the work about 60% complete and the funding 50% with the big ticket items such as engine, sails and compliance to come.

We need another $60,000 to get her sailing.

The Kate’s history and an account of our progress can be found on our website, http://www.waihekeworkingsail.org, click on the brochure at the top. Much of her history was lost the last time she sank, but a surprising number of people have contacted us with stories of her, and we welcome any more.

Earlier this year we hauled her out a second time and fitted a lead ballast keel and new rudder, among  many other tasks. The addition of the cabin has raised the centre of gravity, and the boom needs to be above head height for safety, so the 1 tonne external lead keel will compensate, giving her adequate stability and near-original performance.

The accommodation has been designed for 6 trainees, a master and mate. We anticipate running 5-day Youth Development voyages for 13- to 15- year olds, based on the wonderful programme developed by the Spirit of Adventure Trust. With her relatively small size and simplicity, by the end of the voyage the trainees will be handling the ship themselves, under supervision. The sense of achievement and satisfaction they gain from this will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Recently I re-connected with an old friend, marine artist David Barker, as he visited Waiheke on his launch “Feather”.

I talked of the vision of “Kate” as she will be, outward bound under full sail with a bunch of trainees aboard, and he agreed to do a painting encapsulating the dream.

I have long admired his talent for depicting boats and the sea, for giving an almost magical touch to a beautiful seascape, and I’m excited to be able to share this with you.

You are invited to subscribe to a strictly limited edition of 100 numbered, signed prints suitable for framing. $225.00 each.

When all subscriptions are sold, a draw of one number will win the original framed oil painting, generously donated by David.

This fund is to be spent exclusively on the restoration of the ‘Kate’ for youth sail training on Waiheke Island.”

For an informative card with bank details for payment, a ticket for the draw and for delivery of the print, please email your postal address to info@waihekeworkingsail.org.

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Harold Kidd Input – She was built in 1896 by Thompson & Sons as a sailing fishing boat, and owned successively by J.F. Smith, J Moros (1900) then as a launch by Morgan Bros at Helensville from 1913, Bill and Archie Curel from about 1920. They fitted a K2 Kelvin in 1932 and owned her until WW2 at least at Helensville. To say she’s a near sister of REWA and (by implication) UNDINE is pretty far-fetched (to be polite).

Flying Boats

w 21

w 57 with len southwards red head racing

w 64 all blacks 51 to aust


I have been sent the above collection of b/w photos that John Bullivant found on a British seaplane site, it appears a lot of the photos are from our national library or similar.  They give a snap shot into the Teal flying boat history in Wellington. In them we see a large clinker launch, a work boat (Wild Duck which has an identical sister), a Civil Aviation flarepath launch (the dark stepped cabin launch to right of jetty) two different Teal launches (one from Auckland for some reason) Len Southwards Red Head racing one of the planes and a few views of the larger Teal launch.

The Teal launch appears to have the engine box towards the stern so may have had a v-drive (more room in the cabin / safety / noise perhaps?) The group of fine gentlemen in the Teal launch (pipes and all) are some of the 1951 All Blacks departing for the test in Australia.



I was recently contacted by Doug Howard concerning the vessel – Vanora. Doug came across the above photo (ex MA Jenny) recently of Vanora, it was taken in Nelson probably earlier 1900’s.
Searching on-line, Doug discovered on WW a mention of Vanora in a Harold Kidd Rudder Cup Regatta 1908 article, it stated “The big Vanora was sold by Lindsay Cooke to Maurice O’Connor of the Thistle Hotel in 1912. He fitted a 30hp Auckland-built Twigg engine and sold her to the Government in late 1913. We do not know her subsequent fate.” 
Doug was wondering if anything has been found since – anyone able to help?
Harold Kidd input –  Logan Bros built HURIA in 1899 for Capt Mercer of Nelson. She was 45ft x 10ft x 4ft6in, schooner rigged and fitted with a 2 cylinder Daimler petrol engine. Mercer used her for passenger and freight service in the Sounds. M A Jenny bought her in Nelson in 1905, changed her name to VANORA and had her extensively refitted as a motor-yacht, fitting a 3 cylinder 30hp Gardner petrol engine in Wellington. This is the form she is shown in the image above.
Jenny sold her to Lindsay Cooke in 1906 and she came to Auckland. Cooke entered her in that famous Rudder Cup Ocean Race around Sail Rock in 1908. In 1909 he sold her to Maurice O’Connor of the Thistle Hotel who fitted a 3 cylinder Twigg engine.
O’Connnor sold her to the Government in late 1913 and she was used to transport goods during the 1913 waterfront strike. In 1914 she was overhauled by Bailey & Lowe and used to do works on outlying islands, based at Tauranga, skippered by Capt. Nordlinger.
VANORA then disappears.
But did she morph into Tim’s NAOMI? Jenny had several NAOMIs built by Bailey, the last one, a 38 footer, going from Wellington to Tauranga in 1927 where Mowlem used her for game-fishing but there’s no connection I know of between the boats apart from the name and the Jenny connection.
In my view HURIA = VANORA = Tim’s NAOMI. In that case Tim should enter his boat in the upcoming Rudder Cup race as the Logan VANORA, repeating her entry of 110 years ago.

Ti Point Wharf Waitangi Day 1934



Ti Point Wharf Waitangi Day 1934 + Win A WW T-shirt

This is one of my favourite photos, it shows a great mix of launch styles & sizes, all coming together alongside the Ti Point Wharf, for a Waitangi Day celebration on 10-02-1934.
The photo comes to us ex Old North Auckland / Northland fb via Lew Redwood.
I included a recent photo I took of the same view, taken from the hilltop property of a woody, looking down on the wharf area.
I’ll give away a WW t-shirt (see below) to the woody that can ID the most launches in the photo – Nathan Herbert will be the judge of the winner.
All entries via email to waitematawoodys@gmail.com. Entries close at 8.00pm today (24-08-2018)
Input from Hugh Gladwell – “I don’t think that’s Ti Point. The tide goes in and out at 3 knots through the channel,the headland to the right is out of place and there is no sandy beach on the Ti Point side”
LR2016 ww shirts CM


Black Watch Sinks off Bayswater this morning

Just received the photo below of the 72′ HDML sinking of Bayswater marine, early this morning. She has been moored there for the last 10+ years. Will not be an easy salvage, & sadly I suspect this will be the end of her. (photo ex T Foh)

Earlier (2014) photo included.

Remember to scroll down to see todays main story.


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This HDML is about to go under the axe tomorrow at the hands of the Auckland Council. This was recently confirmed by the Harbour Master.
This sort of destruction of maritime heritage has to stop. The loss of HDMLs is becoming exponential.
Please get in touch with the Harbour Master, email address below, to at least delay this wanton act while we can at least try to do something.
Harbour Master        Gareth.Williams@at.govt.nz
She was named Black Watch when the City Missioner had her in the ‘50s and the name was resurrected when she was finally sold out.
Bob McDougall has all the details in “NZ Naval Vessels”
As noted on WW she sank on her moorings off Bayswater Marina – dockside chat is that she was evidently sunk deliberately because she apparently needed no further pumping once re-floated – see video attached.
Russell Ward saw her on the Saturday a day before she sank and she was apparently OK then.
She is hauled out & will be vandalised pretty quick where she is by the looks.


22-08-2018 Update – Donna Lewis sent in the 2 photos below of Blackwatch. She took the photos of Blackwatch from our then home when her home was also Schoolhouse Bay, Kawau Island and she was in immaculate condition from a very attentive owner.

They are photos of photos so excuse the quality.
The photo bow in is taken in 1997 and photo bow out is taken in year 2000.