Storm Bird

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Built by Roy Parris, Storm Bird is a fine example of the popular 1960’s carvel planked 24’ design, Zoom zoom comes from a Isuzu 4-Cylinder Diesel.

The vessel has been regularly used and serviced by the current owner who has enjoyed years of reliable trouble-free cruising.

Her trademe listing tells us Sandspit is her home, a great entry boat to get into classic wooden boating. If it was me I’d be chopping some height off the cabin, but maybe her owner is 6’6”+ J

Thanks to Ian McDonald for the listing heads up.





I was recently contacted by Maureen Jenkinson who had seen the launch Uenuku featured in a WW March 2013 story. View on this link

Maureen believes the photo above of her grandfather’s boat, could be the same boat. Maureen believes it was built by my Grandfather, Archibald McMillan, at Kerepehi in the early 1900’s. The man in the photo is his friend Bill Stilton a farmer from the district. She believes Arch McMillan built mainly fishing vessels and so the Uenuku was something special. We don’t know who it was built for.

McMillian had to leave the area for Auckland about 1928 requiring medical treatment as a result of having been gassed in WW1, treatment that was only available in Auckland. Sadly he died in 1931 at the age of 40.

His maternal Great Grandfather, John Lees Faulkner was a boat builder, from Whitby Yorkshire, who built and operated coastal vessels between Tauranga and Whangarei.

Any woodys able to comment on the two vessels?

Harold Kidd Input – This image is of UENUKU built by Tom le Huquet of Devonport for T.A. Moresby of Paeroa in April 1912. The three oval windows in the clerestory are a dead giveaway. There’s a good Winkelmann image (below) of her aground at Katikati in Robin Elliott’s and my book “Vintage NZ Launches”.


A Winter Project – Well maybe several winters……..



A Winter Project – Well maybe several winters……..

A WW follower sent me the above photos asking if I knew anything about the boat. All the seller has told him is its 28’, wooden & “needs a lot of work’. That would be the understatement of the year. I understand it’s being sold to recover unpaid storage fees.

So woodys, anyone recognize the launch?



Bessie Florence


Bessie Florence

Bessie Florence featured on Mondays amongst the gallery of photos I posted from my cruising around Waiheke Island, I was subsequently contacted by her owner Tim Jackson who advised that she is a Jay Benford dead rise trawler design. See the  sheet below for Jays’s words about this design.

Bessie Florence was built for fishing out of Waikawa in Picton in 2006 by Paul Jessop for fishing in Cook Strait and the outer Sounds. Tim purchased her in Waikawa and is now  the second owner. She arrived in Auckland in December 2017. Slowly and steady is the order of the day with BF.

Tim is planning a ‘make-over’ this coming autumn, her build year might be 2006 but she is a classic woody in my eyes J

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Yesterday, I was privileged to join a small group of friends of the extended Dreyer family at Omaha wharf to celebrate the re-launching of Laughing Lady, owned by brothers James & Michael.
 It’s hard to believe it was over 4 years ago that I first talked to James about the purchase of Laughing Lady in the USA & where would be a good home for her during her restoration. Given James overseas work schedule & desire to be hands on with the project, there really was only one option – the Whangateau boat yard, so that was where she went, just under 4 years ago.
With projects of this size & standard – the end result is always a reflection of the number & calibre of people that have ‘rubbed-up-against’ the vessel, in LL’s case there have been a lot – from Pam, George, James & an army of friends & family. As time ticked on & a re-launch date was set, more wooden boat artisans were roped in. Having seen LL in the flesh, the photos above do not do justice to the work that has been done on her, everyone should take a well deserved a bow.
I was very pleased to see that the project has been a restoration, not a rebuild, James & Michael have kept most things as close to ‘as-launched’ as possible – sure there is modern material & technology in play but its tucked away out of view – the GPS / nav unit is a perfect example, when not needed, it drops down out of sight – very James Bond.
Stunning boat, but the big question, where to keep her – anyone got a vacant boat shed for hire?
I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I did taking them.
The old lady has had a lot of air time on WW – click the clinks below to view the process (top > bottom) – enjoy
This link will show you photos of her being re – floated

Mooching Around Nelson Marina


Mooching Around Nelson Marina

A friend of mine, John Burland was recently mooching around the marina at Nelson & snapped the photos above.

Great to see that Lady Karita’s make-over is coming along nicely – I expect nothing less of Murray Shaw

Back in May 2017, I was sent some photos of Julia from Ross Dawson, the story did not un-earth any more info on the vessel, hopefully John B’s photo above will.





Winsome (#3)

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Today’s story features a launch by the name of Winsome, there are already x2 Winsome named launches featured on WW (Winsome & Winsome II), today’s one is a 3rd.

I was contacted by Sonny Gough on behalf of their friend Lois Wood. Lois remembers her father’s launch, Winsome, being moored at Cox’s Bay Auckland in the 1950’s & Lois is curious to know if it still exists.

The above photos, although low quality, are the only ones she has of the vessel.

Input from Janet Watkins (Nee Pickmere)

“Attached (below) is a photo of Winsome in 1909 from a copy of the NZ Yachtsman, Dec 3. Looks like the same hull. She featured in those early magazines as an “Oil Launch” and racer and was owned & raced by Mr Cooper? When she was altered is unknown. 

My Grandfather, A.R. Pickmere, bought Winsome in 1924, A.H.Pickmere inherited her in 1943 and she is still owned by my brother in Whangarei (& currently in the Bay). We have not been able to verify when she was built and launched but from old records it was prior to 1918 possibly as early as 1914. Thanks to old diaries her story is well recorded with photographs from 1924.”


Input from Harold Kidd

The Pickmere WINSOME was built by Bailey & Lowe in 1918 for J H Foster. W A Wilkinson bought her in 1921 and renamed her WILMA. She soon reverted to WINSOME. Wilkinson sold her to Dr Phil Andrews of Russell in 1923. Janet’s grandfather A R Pickmere of Whangarei joined the delivery voyage North in June 1923 and bought her from Andrews in 1924. She had a 20/35hp Sterling from new.
The WINSOME pictured in NZ Yachtsman in 1909 WINSOME was a torpedo-stern 34 footer built in November 1907 by Bailey & Lowe for F J Cooper with a 12hp Hercules originally. Cooper sold her to C A Whitney of the Colonial Ammunition Co in 1920. Then there’s a name change I guess because she soon disappears under that name. It looks like she reverted to WINSOME later. There’s little doubt that the pic above is of the 1907 WINSOME.

I mentioned the other day the amount & size of wood floating around in the Waitemata Harbour. Barbara Cooke sent me the photo below of this monster log that was towed into Opua boat ramp earlier this week. The recent king tides and storm have more than likely released this thing from a beach or the likes. Oysters and other marine life were flourishing over it so would have been submerged for some considerable time. Scary stuff. Imagine hitting that…even at anchor would be enough to do a spot of damage.