Harold and I have finally sorted the mystery of Matatua (well it was only a mystery to us, the rest of the world couldn’t care less 🙂 ).
Matatua was built as a 33-foot ketch by Roy Lidgard in 1938 at their yard in Freemans Bay Auckland for C.T. Jonas who originally named her Landfall.
NZ Herald 13/8/1938 has a photo of her on page 12 being built ‘for C.T. Jonas’.
Landfall was launched 19/11/1938 and described as an ‘auxilliary ketch’ 33ft overall, 26ft on the waterline with 9ft 6in beam. She carried 600 sq ft of sail and it was reported that her owner intended making a cruise to the islands at the end of the 1938-39 season.
From then on, no more mention of Landfall and it appears that C.T. Jonas and his co-owner Harry Gillard, renamed her Matatua quite soon after launching.
The ketch Matatua first appears in print in February 1939 racing with other boats in the Lidgard employees picnic from the Freemans Bay slipway to Motuihe. She raced regularly with RNZYS and RAYC for the rest of the season. Her registration number was B-9.
The ketch rig clearly wasn’t a success because in September 1939 the NZH 26/9/39 reports ‘aux yacht Landfall owned by C.T. Jonas which made an appearance last year under ketch rig has been converted into a cutter’. This reference to Landfall is odd because she had been named Matatua since at least the beginning of 1939, but maybe they were just making the connection back their earlier articles.
In the winter of 1940, yet more improvements.
NZH 2/7/40: B-class yacht Matatua owned by C. Jonas has had 2ft 6in added to her counter by Lidgard Bros. OA length now 35ft 6in and will enable carrying a permanent backstay,
NZH 9/12/40: Photo of Matatua with her new cutter rig, B-9 on the sail.
The war intervenes and Matatua ceases racing.
During this time the Auckland yacht registration records, probably having been moved about or in storage during the war, had fallen into disarray. By the time a new list is published in July 1946, Matatua has been registered twice, first by Harry Gillard, who retained B-9, and again by C.T. Jonas who got a new number B-24. The error was picked up and B-24 lapsed but it remained in the official lists for a couple of seasons until another purge of obsolete registrations in 1948.
Clarrie Irvine raced Matatua, as B-9, for the next couple of seasons and sold her in 1949 to R. Campbell of Wellington. The trip to Wellington under delivery skipper Terry Hammond was hard and they were missing for several days after hitting a nor’westerly gale just off Cape Palliser that blew them as far south as Kaikoura. After getting back to almost the same spot, they ran into a westerly gale that blew them back out to sea. Eventually Matatua got to Wellington, her crew had been battered for 84 hours.
Matatua remained in Wellington (registered as Wellington A-10) for the next 12 years or so. She was purchased by K. Stutter in 1957, and in 1962 was sold to D. Fletcher of Epsom who brought her back to Auckland where she picked up her old number of B-9. Fletcher didn’t appear to do any racing but in 1968 he sold her to George Retter of the Richmond Yacht Club who owned and raced her until 1981.
Matatua has had no registered owners since then. Her NZYF number is 109
One major confusion with Matatua has been the Bob Stewart design Mata-a-tua built for George Gresham of Tauranga in 1947. When Matatua was sold to Wellington, her B-9 registration became vacant and was issued to Gresham’s Mata-a-tua thus beginning a series of tortured confusions in boating magazines and newspapers between the two boats.
This was continued when Mata-a-tua was also sold to Wellington in 1958 where she became Wellington A-9. Her owner Brian Millar brought her to Auckland in 1964 and she entered the 1965 Anniversary Regatta under her Wellington number A-9. (A-9?.. A-9??.. That’s Moana and We can’t have that!!) In February she was re-registered as B-47.
Another tedious ‘golly gee’ point. Both Clarrie Irvine and George Retter owned the Bailey built C-class Matua C-54. Both of them sold Matua to buy Matatua
I have been told to ‘get a life’ by many people.
Brin Wilson 1958 Classic Wooden Launch – Mandalay
ALPHEUS – A Peek Down Below
TIME – 4 Sale
SS DUKE of MARLBOROUGH
I recently stumbled across the above photo of the steam ship – Duke of Marlborough and knowing nothing about her put a call into Russell Ward aka Mr Steam. The man is never embarrassed to speak so – take it away Russell, WW is all yours…..
“Once, 30+ years ago, I built up a steamboat called “Gypsy”. So pull up a chair, warm yourselves by the fire and I’ll tell you a story which isn’t about “Gypsy” at all, it’s about the “James Torrey” which became the “Duke of Marlborough”.
But, through “Gypsy”, I met one Lloyd Lewis of Lake Tarawera. He was an ardent enthusiast for steamy things (who wouldn’t be – living on Lake Tarawera.) Lloyd had made a steamer up out of a hull I had sold him a year or so previously and really had the steamboat bug badly. As the late Pete Culler (he wrote a lot about boats and he was a wise man) said “It’s awful, don’t go near it or you are hooked.” And you can’t argue with facts like that, folks. Suffice to say Lloyd got steam enginitis in a big way.
He had Wellington naval architect Bruce Askew design a hull for a 36’ steam vessel following the style of the early 1900 steam boats The steel hull was built in 1987 by Gordon Clark and Brian Starrock in New Plymouth and shipped to Rotorua for Lloyd to complete. He did a fine aesthetic job. She was launched as “James Torrey” and he used her to take fishing tours on the lake. The lads appreciated the warmth from the boiler at times.
Lloyd built the engine – an English design by A.A. Leake and a dashed good looker it is -a traditional open compound, driving a 28” by 42” propeller giving a service speed of 6 knots. A piston valve is fitted to the high pressure cylinder and a balanced slide valve on the low pressure one. It has cross-head driven twin feed pumps and air pump. Exhaust is through a feed-water heater to a keel condenser. There you feel a lot better for knowing that.
But to sum up, working on salt water, you have to condense the exhaust steam or you run out of feedwater real quick. Besides, condensing gives you a useful addition to the power through the vacuum created which, in essence, sucks the piston while the steam pushes.
The steam is provided by a Kingdon type boiler (1900’s Simpson Strickland design) built by Langley Engineering in the U.K and, since you didn’t really want to know, It is a vertical fire-tube type, 34 inches high by 30 inches diameter over lagging, has 3.4 square feet of grate area and has 84 square feet of heating surface. She burns coal and there is nothing better.
Lloyd had quite job actually getting Ed Langley to dispatch the finished boiler although it had been long since paid for. Ed had had his delivery problems over the years…. Legend has it that, in frustration (remember communication was all letters and phone calls that had to be booked well ahead in those prehistoric times); Lloyd flew over to the UK and turned up at the works just ahead of the receiver. Seeing the likelihood of his investment coming to nothing, he took matters into his own hands and loaded the boiler up himself. Lloyd just wasn’t the sort of man to argue with and got his boiler. It is a very handsome job.
Anyway after a number of years, Lloyd tired of his steamboat and Roger Frazer took her to Picton. He renamed her “Duke of Marlborough” and did a lot of restoration which is a credit to him. He has been taking passengers out of Picton for some time. I’m sure the passengers appreciate the boiler’s warmth even more that the Lake Tarawera types.”
I understand she may be for sale………
WoodenBoat Magazine Interview #3
This week WB editor Matt Murphy interviews Harold Burnham in a live discussion of how, for nearly three decades, he has been instrumental in revitalizing the shipbuilding and maritime culture of his region by designing, building, and rehabilitating traditional vessels for cultural tourism. Harold is an 11th-generation shipwright, and has, at various times, also been a sawyer, mariner, model maker, and sail maker.
Chatting with Tinopai (2hrs north of Auckland) based woody Greg Schultz he tells me advancing old age has forced him to make the reluctant decision to pass on one of my most prized possessions.
Greg built this boat about 10 yrs ago off the original 1905 Arch Logan plans (modified by Chapman1921). Construction is clinker lapstrake using 6mm ply with epoxy glued laps which gives a good lightweight watertight hull (originals leaked like sieves and weighed a ton). All other timbers are kauri and totara. He also added 3 buoyancy compartments for added safety (2 side seats & forward compartment all epoxy sealed inside). Greg commented that she has only been sailed approx. a dozen times.
The Silver Fern class (12’6″) was designed as a training boat for teenagers before they moved on to the bigger M class and is therefore almost a miniature ‘Emmie’.
Spars and rigging are s/s and sails by Fife. Pivoting centerboard and rudder for shallow water sailing. Permanent reef lines for shortening sail without coming ashore.
Woodys this is a stunning boat to both look at and sail so if you are frustrated with paying big marina fees and the hassles of organizing crew – maybe now is the time to add a woody to the fleet so that you can sail single handed or take the grand kids for a sail.
ERINOR – A Peek Down Below
Hopefully when you read this I’ll be enjoying breakfast aboard Raindance somewhere near Waiheke Island, having had an enjoyable day / evening at the Woodys Classics BBQ & Pizza lunch at Little Oneroa,
Avalon – Sam Ford Launch
SS ALICE SOS
Paul commented that she is a remarkably successful boat of her type but needs TLC to get her going again.
Last year on the Woody Classics weekend cruise up the Clevedon River I spotted the launch – Liberty on a pile mooring. Recently her owner contacted WW and advised that he has owned her for 30 years and believes she was built c.1928.
As you move from the bow to the stern there is an interesting ‘gallery’ of styles on show – nothing that a sharp skill-saw couldn’t correct 😉
Sally has just popped up on tme (thanks Ian McDonald) her listing is a tab light on details. We know that she is 26’ in length, has a 8′ beam and draws 3’6”. Power comes via Ford Dexter 36hp diesel engine. Built from single skin kauri.
Astrolabe At Sea
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS
Is another clinker, but not much chance of that – Mrs H doesn’t read WW 🙂
ASTROLABE – A Peek Down Below
A Spirit of Tradition Woody
Today’s launch was designed American designer – Ted Brewer and appears to be based on the traditional Maine lobster boat. She was built in New Zealand in c.1989 from strip plank cedar epoxied and glassed. She measures 30’ overall with a beam of 9’1″ and draws 2’4”. A fully reconditioned Nissan SD22 provides the forward motion.
Her tme listing (thanks Ian McDonald) is very impressive and she appears to be good value for the asking price. Home port is Kerikeri.
WIN YOURSELF A COPY OF THE HOT OF THE PRESS BOOK – K CLASS
This could be the final WW competition before Santa slides down the chimney. As always – entry is via email only to email@example.com
Entries close midnight Friday 20-12-2019 . All correct entries will go into the draw for a copy of the book – K Class by Jenni Mence. Plus a bobby prize – a waitematawoodys t-shirt, drawn from all email entries received – correct or not.
Q waitematawoodys editorial assistant – Flora McKenzie shares her name with a pioneer Auckland business women from the waterfronts past. What line of business was Flora in? Remember – enter via email only.
1958 16′ Runabout
Its Starting To Look A Lot Like Christmas
WOODEN BOAT BUREAU
OUR AIM: To inform and enthuse interest in the joys of owning and sailing traditional and classic wooden boats. Perhaps you have fallen out of love with your current boat, or are seeking to regain a childhood memory.
OUR GOAL: The promotion of partnerships between wooden boats and owners for the benefit of all.
ADVICE: You don’t have to know everything about the classic boat market. That’s what we specialize in. We are uniquely placed to offer impartial, up-to-date market information and objective advice to both sellers and buyers. So if you are looking for a wooden boat or considering selling – contact
We are currently accepting select new listings and are always glad to represent buyers who are beginning their search.
Is This The Best Restoration Of A Sub 36’ Wooden Classic Launch
Todays woody has made a few guest appearances on WW. I first bumped into the 34’ Kailua when she was owned by Waiheke woody – Graham Guthrie. Graham looked after her like one of the family, retaining master tradesman – Mark Stapleton, as the ‘hired-hand’. Mark looked after the annual maintenance and undertook any structural repairs when and if required.
Back in 2016, Graham sold Kailua – it was a slightly unusual sale i.e. the buyer wanted a Waiheke Island mooring, which are almost impossible to buy – but there was an easy solution – buy a residents boat and acquire the mooring 🙂 Only one problem , the buyer fell in love with Kailua. So next thing she is being hauled out at the Nautique yard for the biggest birthday of her life, we are talking a no budget, no expense spared re-build (refer photos below of the process).