Nathan Herbert’s 1917 Joe Slattery built launch – Pacific, had a serious Jenny Craig session yesterday at Milford – out came the 2758 Ib. Lister (Freedom range) diesel engine, to be replaced with a brand new 992 Ib. 100hp FPT / Iveco (Italian) 4 cylinder diesel. That is a saving of over 800kg, thats like asking the All Black forward pack to get off your boat. I suspect the waterline will need an adjustment 🙂
As always Jason Prew and The Slipway gang were on hand to help, with expertise and the loan of their Hiab truck to collect the new engine. We look forward to seeing the completed installation and relaid wheelhouse. I suspect we will not see Pacific at the Woody Stillwater picnic next Saturday (26th).
Back in late 2019 Arethusa’s Bay of Islands owner Dean Wright, a professional photographer by trade, and well known to WW readers gave me the heads up that the 1917, 33’ Bob Brown built, ex gaff rigged cutter, was in for a treat – a new wheelhouse. Since then I have been pestering Dean on a regular basis for photos, even threatened to drive up and take them myself 🙂 Problem was, the mans a perfectionist and didn’t want to send anything in to WW until it was all shipshape. Well woodys as you can see from the above, its very shipshape, in fact in my eyes – perfect. Well done to the team. I asked Dean to tell use about the project, so I’ll hand over to him. Remember you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them – Enjoy 🙂
“Over the years we’ve got keen on changing Arethusa’s wheelhouse to be more in keeping with her age, so at 102 she’s undergone some cosmetic surgery 🙂
We lost 8″ inches of headroom in wheelhouse when we installed the Gardner, so we’ve gone up in height 6 inches and forward 8 inches and gone for more traditional upright windows fw’d.
Boat builder John Gander did the job in his Waipiro Bay workshop. He started by taking patterns off the existing wheelhouse and fw’d cabin top. He replicated the curve of the fw’d cabin top in ply and built the new wheelhouse around that in six sections. He also laminated the new wheelhouse roof, allowing for a good eyebrow fw’d and a smaller one aft.
John learned his trade at Roger Carey’s yard in Picton in the 60’s and 70’s, where beautiful work boats with great looking wheelhouses were the order of the day. John built one of my favorite Carey designs, Hinewai for his own boat and we’ve replicated her fw’d opening half window on Arethusa.
Once the wheelhouse was complete, we hauled Arethusa at Ashby’s in Opua and got to work with the skill-saw. In no time we’d reduced her to a convertible. We were lucky for Northland’s drought everything stayed reasonably dry and also that we got everything closed in and back in the water before Covid shut the yard down.
I’m in awe of how boat builders can build something like this away from the boat, then fit the pieces with a minimum of shaping. Fitting and gluing the six sections to the existing house went really smoothly.
The wheelhouse is built from 2″ Iroko. This is the first outside varnish we’ve had on Arethusa, we hand brushed 2 coats of Cetol as a base and six coats of Schooner Yacht Varnish.
Over lock-down, the apprentice made new interior joinery, gone are the Warehouse plastic drawers and chipboard frame 🙂 Moved the batteries under the new bench unit so we can now stand at the wheel. John laminated me up some lovely curved trim for the front of the oven unit. Our old manky plywood dash got an upgrade to kauri and the old wheel got a fright with a good scrub and a varnish.
Outside we made nav light boxes and dorade boxes. We had to move the aluminium framed front hatch fw’d, a more traditional looking one in Iroko is on the to-do list. The liferings also got a birthday.
Here’s some before and after pics and also some that I hope will give some idea of the process. Thanks John for all your incredibly skilled design and build work, we’re really stoked with it.
We’re always keen to learn more of Arethusa’s history, especially the 1955-2000 period in the South Island. If you have any stories we’d love to hear them.”
Serious woody boat restorer, Peter Murton contacted WW with an update on a recent boat shed find, I’ll let Peter tell the story – he is also on the hunt for some ‘bits’ to complete the project.I have posted two photos below of a 1895 fantail clinker work boat / launch that Peter restored, it had spent 25 years as a garden feature before Peter saved her – proof that the mans not afraid of a challenge 🙂
“We pulled the old girl above out of a shed in Ngakuta Bay in the Sounds. She is 18′ x 5’, probably late 1940’s, but there is talk she could be as old as the mid 1920’s. Have been told she was built in Dunedin, she is all kauri. She is very lightly built with canvas covered decks, planks are all 1/2″-12.5mm thick, frames are all 5/8-16mm thick. Seam battens on all planks and under decks are all copper riveted. Her frames are brass screw fastened with 1/8th 3mm iron brackets to brace the chine joint and one bolt on the vertical frame into chine rail deck framing. Has 1/8th- 3mm iron brackets holding some framing members in place, rudder is iron. Shaft is stainless steel with a thrust bearing mounted on the inboard end, shaft is stepped at the bearing and a iron bracket supports it on engine beds. She would have been direct drive, she has two shaft holes forward one is oldest. The aft shaft hole has been hacked in very roughly done. Looks like she had a re-power and had to shift the shaft aft to accommodate new motor.”
Wanted to complete this project
• Kauri Planks 8×1 for planking and frames
• Flathead V8 or flathead or straight 6 with or without gearbox
• Windscreen hardware crome center and side brackets
• Rudder is transom hung we are missing the steering pulleys that mounted on each side of the transom to guide the cables on to the rudder arm
06-09-2020 Input from Peter Krans – Peter sent in the photos below of the speed boat Miss Waikawa which Peter commented that while nothing confirms Peter Murton’s shed find is Miss Waikawa, they are a similar size and shape… Peter M may be able to tell if his boat once had a dickie seat.Peter K thinks that Miss Waikawa was built immediately after the war, she was sold about 1958 to 1960 after the family head passed away. Possibly sold to the Fishburn’s at Drydans bay.There is quite some story attached to her, but all those who had first hand knowledge are no longer with us. The second shaft outlet is a bit of a clue, story goes that there was a hunger for speed, and a pair of post WW2 trainer aircraft were purchased from Woodborne, and one on the engines was fitted. Miss Waikawa had her own boat shed by what is now the old rowing club. The aircraft sat in a paddock in Waikawa bay for a number of years next to what is now Findlay Grove. Peter Beech who has commented on here may also have some recollection.
Some doozies have recently popped up on the web – the top photo I had to treble check to make sure it really was an actual boat. Would get very ‘interesting’ in anything over 2 knots of wind. It does win the WW competition for the boat that most resembles a block of flats award 🙂
The 2nd photo is a boat converted to a land based dwelling.
The last is an architects (I use the term loosely) attempt to include a ship into a new build.
Take your pick woodys 🙂
AROHA Weekend Cruiser Build Our friends over at Off Center Harbor have just given us a heads up that the Brooklin Boat Yard in the US have purchased an Aroha kit and will be filming OCH (& BBY) guru Eric Blake setting up the kit. Should make for a very interesting video series.
Also in the OCH news, is the Aroha build by John Pratt, the photos above are from John’s home workshop in North Carolina. Below are two photos taken by Dean Wright of the ‘mule’ for Aroha – the kiwi designed and built – Whio. Dean took the photos in Deep Water Cove, B.O.I. in 2014. You can read more about Whio and Aroha here + details on purchasing her building plans / kits https://www.offcenterharbor.com/plans-och-aroha/
If you are a regular WW reader you may recall that I have a fondness for pond yachts or as we call them in NZ – model yachts. One of my favourites makes a cameo appearance in the photo below. I don’t ’sail’ them, just collect. Last week I uncovered this very cool video of Rich Hilsinger (WoodenBoat School director) chatting with pond yacht guru – Them McLaughlin.
The video is labeled ‘The Elegance & Joy of Wooden Pond Yachts’ – grab your favourite chair and push play, then sit back as these two gents entertain and enlighten you 🙂
Back in May I did a WW story on the 44’ 1990 Geoff Bagnall built, Bo Birdsail designed, spirit-of-tradition (excuse the pun) launch – Tradition, link below.
This was an amazing story and took the form of an interview between her original owners Rhys and Dick Boyd and a subsequent owner, Keith Busch. If you missed the story I would encourage you to read it, its a cracker + lots of photos.
Recently I was contacted by Phil Shaw who has completed an amazing restoration on his Healey speed boat – Magic. Like many I’m sure, I was not aware that the founder of the Austin Healy sports car marque – Donald Healey (British racing car driver and engineering guru), back in 1956 had also founded a subsidiary company – Healey Marine. The company produced approximately 1750 craft, with Phil’s 1956, 14’6″ boat, a Healey Ski-master, being the first model built.
When Phil acquired the boat she was crying out for a restoration and as you can see in the photos above, that she received 🙂
These days Magic is pushed along by a 50hp outboard that sees her with a top speed of 30 knots, and that woodys is very fast for a sub 15’ mahogany run-about.
My biggest challenge with this story was deciding which photos made the cut – Phil photo documented every step of the project, and has a wonderful photo gallery of the restoration.
I will let the photos tell the story. Below is a an article in the April 2002 issue of the Healey Marque Magazine.
REMEMBER TO RSVP FOR THE WOODY CLEVEDON TRIP – 15 BOATS ALREADY ON THE LIST + FRESH CLEVEDON COAST OYSTERS
I have done two previous WW stories on the 38’ Supreme Craft, 1955 built launch Aquarius. In September 2018 it was an SOS reaching out for someone to save her and bring her back from Waiheke Island where she had been hauled out for approx. 6 years. Then in April 2019 we reported that she was being trucked / ferried back to the mainland. WW links to those stories below.
Today I’m rapt to share the above work-in-progress photos ex Dave Brown and John Wright, who are restoring Aquarius. These boys are light on chat, they just get on with the work, which is impressive – we will continue to follow this project with great interest – well done guys 🙂
Photos below – first one is from 2018 and the bottom two are from the island ‘extraction’ in 2019.
I had a reason to be pointing the car towards what used to be called ‘Nappy Valley’ (Pakuranga) so decided to call into the Panmure River boat shed where Steve & Colette Pople are having the 38’, 1934 Cox & Filmer built bridge-decker – Royal Falcon restored, ‘having’ isn’t the best word because both are actively involved in the project.
As you will see in the above photo gallery, the team are working at an impressive pace. The Commer TS3 engine is back in and looking very shinny. Very impressed to see the team re-purposing as much timber as possible – we like that 🙂
While there I dropped off an age appropriate search light that I had promised Steve, it didn’t suit Raindance so – ‘spread the love’. Thank you Jason Prew who gifted it to me originally 🙂
You can read / view Royal Falocn’s past at the link below + earlier project photos
The photos above of Caravel come to us via the camera of Dean Wright and are ‘lock-down’ discoveries. Dean commented that he wasn’t even sure if Caravel was a woody, but she is a looker and there is enough wood on show for me 🙂
Can anyone tells us more about Caravel?
GLASSING A WOODEN BOAT – Yes / No / Maybe
When it comes to the restoration of a classic wooden boat, one item draws the most discussion / debate / arguments and that’s the topic to splining and fiber-glassing the hull. Amongst the majority of woodys its long been considered sacrilege – but sometimes it is the only option that saves a boat from a ‘Beehive’ restoration (a box of matches).
Thanks to your friends at Off Centre Harbor, today we join expert boat builder and OCH co-founder Eric Blake explaining how – and more importantly, why – he fiber-glassed his 75-year-old wooden lobster boat, Charlena. LINK below to view video.
And woodys, the WW special 8 weeks NZD$5membership to OHC is still live – so jump at it below, the best $5 you will ever spend. Detail below –
Off Center Harbor has created an 8-week membership with full access to the entire website for just $5 NZD. They’re also including an optional upgrade to an annual membership at the end of the 8 weeks at 50% off.
So if you haven’t already joined, now’s definitely the time to jump aboard this premier classic boat video website to start learning from leaders in the field how to build, paint, or restore a boat… or step aboard some of the best boats in the world (including in NZ) and hang out with the owners (from the safety of your favorite chair at home).