May 23rd – Moon Engines – Diesel Maintenance Workshop

June 20th – Riverhead Tavern Lunch Cruise

August 14th > 15th – Clevedon River Dockside BBQ (overnight)

October (early) – Land based event – tba

November 28th – Sunday – Riverhead  Tavern Lunch cruise


February 26th – Stillwater Dockside Afternoon Picnic

The above gatherings are put on to encourage classic boat owners to use and enjoy their boats more, and meet like minded people. 
We point out that the get togethers are not Classic Yacht Association (CYA) organised events. They have a cruising focus and the locations point to participation by launches but we welcome all classic vessels.Invitation to the events is via email and the waitematawoodys.com website. If you would to be sent invites, simply send an email with your name, boat name & mobile # to waitematawoodys@gmail.com
Closer to the actual dates, we send more details to attendees.

Summer Holiday Flashback

Summer Holiday Flashback

Todays photo is dated 1969 and shows a camping ground, tagged – ’Smiths Holiday Camp, Paihia ’. Not sure exactly where that was, but its a mirror of my summer holidays at Simpsons Beach Camp on the Coromandel. Even the dinghy in the foreground. My father built me one, it took 4 kids to just move it – built like a brick out-house 🙂

I love the fact that there are so many kids playing in the water and it appears no adult supervision – we have become so PC.

I Feel Like Kim Kardashian

Lots of body shaping, filling (botox) and make-up under way on my old girl – the rudder and surrounding area was a mess and in need of some TLC. New – rudder tube, shaft, arm and bearings have been crafted and installed, yet to sea trial but its just so smooth to operate, the previous setup was very rudimentary.At the same time lots of other work underway, its been a long 3 weeks.

Lady Jess + Woody Workshop


Another woody spotted at Tutukaka Marina by Dean Wright -anyone able to tell us more about Lady Jess?

Input ex Scott Macindoe –

Lady Jess was commissioned by an Auckland commercial fisherman, Gus Viskovic as a snapper longliner in 1961. She was designed and built by John Gladden at Milford Marina. The kauri came from half of a tree milled in the Coromandel. The hull is carvel planked. The planks are full-length, 32mm. Some demolition kauri from a church in Hamilton was also used in the bulkheads.

Not long after launching, the boat was sold and moved to Whitianga. She was spotted there by Harry Bannister from Whangaroa. Harry bought her and took her north. Since then Lady Jess has been a charter boat based in Northland. Since the 1970’s she has been based out of Tutukaka, owned successively by Doug Schlegel, Trevor Williams, Mike Airey, Peter O’Brynne, and since 1988, Pete Saul.

An open-topped flying bridge was added in the 1970s, with a folding Bimini top and clears. In 1997 Pete added the hard-top bridge. She still has the original dry stack arrangement. Lady Jess was powered by a single six-cylinder Ford for much of her life to date but for the last four years has been powered by a 200hp John Deere with Twin Disc gearbox.

The engine is well forward, in the galley, giving good access to the motor but necessitating a 5.5-metre drive shaft. The forward engine and flared bow make Lady Jess a great head sea boat. Top speed is 9 knots with 8 knots cruising. Fuel consumption for a day’s game fishing averages 8 litres/hour. Diesel capacity is 900 litres, allowing extensive cruising without refuelling. Pete retired from charters in 2019 but kept the boat for family use.

Woody Moon Engines Workshop

Great turn out last Sunday for the Wooden Boat Bureau hosted-woody workshop at Moon Engines, the MC for the day was James Mobberley who ran a master class on diesel engine maintenance and servicing. 33 boat owners turned out and I will not embarrass him by naming him but this email feedback summed up the day perfectly = “Thank you for organising this enjoyable visit – an articulate, experienced and forthright speaker made James an ideal host for subjects one can never be over-informed about.”

Post the workshop – attendee Alan Sexton sent in to WW a list of minimum spares to carry on-board from YNZ’s safety rules for offshore motorboats that almost exactly per James’ advice. See below.

Alan also supplied the links below for the engine ‘junkies’ amongst us – enjoy. Seaboard Marine as recommended by James: https://www.sbmar.com/tonys-tips/ 

Ford history (Lees get plenty of recognition): https://everythingaboutboats.org/ford-2715e/ https://everythingaboutboats.org/ford-2725e/ I

interesting history about Cummins/Iveco co-operation (for a while) https://forums.ybw.com/index.php?threads/iveco-nef-vs-cummins-qsb.306183/

Classic Rope Fenders – How To

Classic Rope Fenders – How To

Early in the year while attending the Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade, I spotted and admired the magnificent fenders on the steam boat – Dancer. In a later conversation with her owner John, he told me he had made them and very generously offered to make me a pair for Raindance. I provided the rope and John crafted them. I meet up with John at the RNZYS during the week and we exchanged goods – WW merchandise and my famous tomato sauce for the fenders. John did comment that anyone who wants some the same is going to have to make them themselves J. Luckily John documented  the process and took supporting photos – so woodys, whose brave enough to give it a go?

During the process I was reminded of a reason to pay your Classic Yacht Association subs – Fosters Chandlers offer a very attractive discount to CYA members – a nice saving when you are buying 23m of expensive rope.

I’ll let John talk you through the process. Remember click on photos to enlarge 😉

“The rope used is a synthetic that looks like an old style manila rope. It is available from Fosters, and probably other suppliers too. Note that I have given sizes here, they work with the rope Alan bought at Fosters, but are not necessarily going to work with other types. The diameter of the rope is 18mm, and Alan bought 23 metres. I halved that exactly, then made a bit of a guess as to what length of fender that would make, since the rope is slightly different to the size of my own. The problem being that you have to commit to the finished length at the very start. I settled on 600 mm which turned out to be exactly right. If necessary, extra rope can be added in, or excess can be cut off, but the first is a bit fiddly and the last is wasteful. You will also need a splicing fid, available from the same places that have the rope, and the means to cut and heat seal the end of the rope.

So, cut your length of 11.5 metres and fold it in half. Lash a small rope to the halfway point and attach it to some convenient item, in my case a door handle. Make a whipping around just below the loop at the top, and another one 600 mm (2 feet in old units) down. This can be seen in photo 1. The whipping will not show on the finished job, so I use ordinary white braided cord for this, about 2mm diameter.

Now, start to unlay the three strands at each end. Before you go more than an inch or two, make sure the end of each strand is well heat welded to itself, using a lighter or a candle. Try to make sure that there are no jagged edges to the heat welded ends as they can be hard on your hands and on the rope itself, tending to make it go furry as you pull the ends through the loops as you work. You will see in Photo one that all six stands have been unlaid up to the lower whipping.

Now, we really want to start with the fender the other way up, so add a temporary loop of small cord through between the two sides of the rope just above the lower whipping, and use this to attach to your convenient door handle. I haven’t shown this in the photos. Now you have six strands of unlaid rope with the two ropes for the core emerging below them in the middle. Your task now is to tie a whole lot of crown knots. Now, the process I will describe suits me as a right handed person. If you are left handed, you will probably find it easier to reverse everything, and this will make no practical difference to the finished result.

So, we take the first strand making it run downwards and to the right, putting the index finger of our left hand into the loop this makes. (Photo 3) Taking the next strand to the right, we put this over the top of the first strand where it is running horizontally to the right, and then bring it underneath and to the right. (Photo 4) This is repeated all the way around (photo 5) until we come to the sixth strand, which after it has gone under the fifth strand and then to the right, gets passed up through the loop that your index finger is hopefully still holding. (Photo 6 and 7) Once you have pulled all the slack through, you should have a nice crown knot. All you have to do is repeat this process about 35 times, give or take, and you will have done the first layer.

It is quite probable that you will make mistakes. One common one is to find that you have omitted one of the strands from the knot.  Another possible one is to go through the first loop in the wrong direction. The best way to fix mistakes is to undo the knots all the way back to the mistake, even if it is quite a way back.

Every so often you should work some of the slack out of the worked part of the fender. Go to a point near the start and see if you can get a bit of slack in one of the strands. Work out where that strand next emerges further down, it will go under two strands before it does. (Photo 8) Work the slack down to there, then do the same at the next point where it emerges. Repeat until you reach the last knots, then choose another strand at random near the top and do the same again. Once you have done this to 3 or 4 of the strands it should all start to sit nicely. Photo 9 shows the first layer partly worked. When you reach the eye that you made at the start, make sure that your last crown knot will be enough to cover the whipping when it is all nicely tightened up. Then suspend from your door handle by the eye end and start working crown knots over the top of the existing layer. Photo 10 shows the second layer partly worked. This will be much the same as before, except that your hand with the index finger that is holding the loop will have further to reach. This layer is also more inclined to be a bit loose, especially as you reach the end. It will help here if you have made sure the first layer is tightened up reasonably well before you put the second layer on top. Photo 11 shows the last few knots being a bit unruly.

Now, hopefully when you reach the very end, each strand will be no longer than about the length of the fender. In order to make a tidy finish, we want to weave these ends under the existing work. This has two good effects, it tightens up the work, and it makes good use of the ends to add bulk to the fender. This is where your splicing fid will come in handy. Photo 12 shows the fid inserted under two strands ready to thread the loose end through. If you look at a finished fender, you will see that it has the appearance of having twisted pairs of strands spiraling around it, with short horizontal strands between them. The idea is to use the fid to work each strand under those horizontal strands, following up between the spirals, until the strand you are hiding runs out. The previously heat sealed end can then be worked under so it does not show. Photo 13 shows the appearance of the twists we are trying to hide the end of the strand between.

Now the size of rope and length specified above will make a fender about 100mm diameter by about 600 mm long. (4 inches by 2 feet for traditionalists.) Phot 14 shows a finished fender with a standard soccer ball for comparison. This is a good size for a boat maybe 10 to 15 metres long. If you want to make some a bit smaller, perhaps for a nice Whitehall rowing dinghy or similar, you can in theory scale all the sizes given and get a similar fender of a scaled length. So for instance if we halve the rope diameter to 9mm, and halve the length to 5.75 metres, we should get a fender 50mm diameter by 300mm long, or two inches by 1 foot. However I cannot guarantee that this will work for you, so you should regard the first one you make as a trial. This brings us to what to do if things are not working out for you at the end. If you find you don’t have enough length of strand left to finish the second layer and weave the ends in, the best way to salvage the job is to undo it all and move the lower whipping up by a small amount, then redo the whole thing as a slightly shorter fender. You could instead in theory add in some extra strand by using the fid to weave in the last few inches of the old strand, then adding in a new piece in the same way that you hope will be sufficient to finish the job.

Conversely, if the strands are too long as you reach the last knot, you have the choice of:

* weaving them in until you reach the top end, and then cutting off the excess.

*Figuring out how to weave in the excess coming back the other way after you reach the top.

I mentioned earlier that the crown knot can be tied either left hand or right hand. If you are really a tiger for punishment, you could try making a fender where each crown knot is the reverse of the previous. This will give a different appearance to the end result, but may also affect the amount of rope needed, and will certainly make the job much harder. I find that once I am going well, my hands get in the habit of doing the right thing, but I suspect that reversing the knot each time would lead to confusion.”

Photo 1 Starting point

Photo 2 Crown knot seen from end

Photo 3 Starting a knot

Photo 4 Put the next strand over the top then under to the right

Photo 5 Repeat with each strand

Photo 6 The last strand will go through where the index finger is.

Photo 7 put a loop through then pull through the rest of the strand

Photo 8 Working out the slack

Photo 9 Working the first layer

Photo 10 Working the second layer

Photo 11 Reaching the end

Photo 12 Using the fid to thread in the excess length

Photo 13 Note the twists each side of the fid

Photo 14 The finished article with a soccer ball for scale.

Small clinker (model)