Mystery Launch B.O.I. 1965 Taiparu > Isa Lei

Mystery Launch B.O.I. 1965Taiparu > Isa Lei

Today’s photo comes to us from Lew Redwood’s fb and shows a collection of support vessels assisting in the 1965 (April) National Spearfishing Contest, underway in Deep Water Cove, Bay of Islands.

Of most interest is the launch on the right  – not sure how you would describe her – pilot house launch? , 1/2 a bridge-decker 🙂 Its not Tasman but very similar. Some of the big Colin Wild > Salthouse launches (Lady Crossley, Turongo, Trinidad ) followed this design.

UPDATE – Launch Identified by Ken Rickets as Isa Lei (Taiparu). Photos below ex Ann Hood via Ken Ricketts

Harold Kidd Input – ISA LEI was built as TAIPARU by Lidgard Bros at the Western Reclamation, Auckland for J. Carlton of Sunny Bay, Kawau and launched on 7th December 1939 with a 6 cylinder 90hp Graymarine petrol engine. In 1946 she was owned by C. Pryce Jones. I H McRae owned her in 1953 and it was he who changed her name to ISA LEI. Roughly 1954 to 1975 she was owned by Lloyd and Jim Somner. I think her sistership was WAKATERE which spent a lot of her life in Tauranga.

More photos and details here

Koputai – Workboat Wednesday

KOPUTAI – Workboat Wednesday

I was recently contacted by Campbell MacLean after he ‘discovered’ the WW stories (links below) on the boat – Koputai. She was built in 1939 by Miller & Tunnage in Port Chalmers for use as a pilot vessel. Her specs are 56’ x 14’6” and she draws 6’5”.

Campbell sent in the above photos he has of Koputai, his grandfather, John Maclean was chief pilot and Harbour Master in Dunedin, and had a bit to do with commissioning of the Koputai in the late 1930’s.
The top photo is a painting by C R Carey in 1940. This was on the wall at the MacLean crib (Pilot House #1) at the Spit, Aramoana, and probably gifted to John before he died in 1940.

The 2nd photo is of Koputai in the harbour near Taiaroa Head, opposite the spit.
Do link on the above below links – so much material and photos from the past and her conversation to pleasure craft.


The folks at the Kawau Boating Club have advised that due to the uncertainty of the ability to gather due to CV-19 restrictions, the decision has been been made to postpone the event – fingers crossed for a new date this year 🙂



The photos above of Clansman we sent in by Ed Higgins of her launch day at Half Moon Bay marina. Ed commented that Clansman was designed and built by Morrie Walker at Bucklands Beach. Modeled on the wheelhouse and cabin design of – Highlander. Morrie a qualified boat builder, who served his time with Percy Vos.

Constructed of laminated marine ply on kauri frames. Powered by a rebuilt 6LXB Gardiner engine, with 2 to 1 reduction gearbox.

Poor health forced the sale to a buyer in Tauranga. 
Tragically Clansman some time later, caught fire and sank off Little Barrier Island, and was a total loss. A sad end for what was a beautifully designed and built vessel.Interesting to note the fuel prices on the Mobil sign. Can anyone tell us the launch date?

You Don’t Normally See Boat ‘Stuff’ 4sale On WW – But I Do Most Things James Mobberley Asks Me 🙂 Two Engines 4sale.

ENGINE ONE – Mazda S2 – 60hp + GearboxThe engine below is new but 30 years old, has been running. James commented that these Mazda diesels were fairly common in the 1980s > 1990s.The seller is asking ‘around’ $2k – a cheap set-up . Email  if interested.

ENGINE TWO  – Volvo MD 1B – 8>10hpThe engine was rebuilt several years ago by a ships engineer. Ideal for a 16’>20’ open clinkerAsking $1500 cash. Call Peter Le Gross 0274925254

The Wooden Boat Centre – A Peek Behind The Door

The Wooden Boat Centre – A Peek Behind The Door
Today we have a short video, narrated by Paul D’Olier from The Wooden Boat Centre in Franklin, Tasmania. The video #2 in a series is titled ‘The Boat Builders’ and show cases the courses being run at the centre. I have listed below a link to the another in the series – wonderful images and words, do check them out.

The videos are bought to us by the good folks at The Australian Wooden Boat Festival, if you haven’t already , put a line in the diary for 10>13 Feb 2023, this event is a serious bucket list item for all woodys.

Wilson’s Boat Yard.