Down at the Milford Slipway Milford during the week and spotted a woodys that we do not see much of these days.
The 46’ 1948 Lidgard built launch – Valsan, in for some TLC, including a Jason Prew Paint Job. Valsan has been a regular woody on the site but in recent years with her owner, Ian Nicholson being based off shore we haven’t seen a lot of her.
To my eyes the keel > shaft > prop > rudder set up is a tab unusual – interested in others thoughts.
Links below to WW past stories – the 1st (2013) has a lot of photos and intel.
The 40’ launch Norana was designed by Joseph Gillanders and built in 1913 by Miller Bros at Port Chalmers for Charles William Sundstrum. She had a beam of 9’ and draw 3’6″.
Sundstrum was a Dunedin dentist who was a key figure in Dunedin yachting circles for many years. His first launch was the 31’ clinker double-ender Valmai of 1910 which had a Dunedin-built 5hp Viking engine. He raced her with the Otago Yacht Club including one of their Ocean races to Timaru.
He replaced Valmai in 1913 with Norana, which had a 16-18hp Jersey Standard marine engine, that gave Norma a cruising speed of 8 3/4 knots. He sold her to Arthur Brett of Auckland in 1927. During WWII she was taken over by the RNZAF and sent to Fiji for towing work.
In the top photo that appeared in a supplement to The NZ Yachtsman, June 5th, 1915, ex Lew Redwood fb, Sundstrum was the then Rear Commodore of the Otago Yacht & Motor Boat Club.
In the bottom photo which appeared on WW back in Sept 2015 as part of a story on the launch Thetis. Sundstrum sold Norana and had J McPherson, Dunedin, build Thetis for him. Thetis measured 35’1” x 8’1” x 2’9” and was launched in 1929. A serious speed machine – as launched she was good for 18 knots. During the war years with a bigger engine, that speed increased to 26+ knots – read / see more at this link https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/09/07/thetis/
ENA Australia’s Finest Steam Yacht The other day I stumbled across a photo of an amazing classic woodys named – End, I assumed that it was of US / Europe origins but a quick search online and there she is next door eg Australia. Some background
Ena is a 116′ steam yacht that was designed by Sydney naval architect Walter Reeks and built by WM Ford Boatbuilders, Sydney, in 1900 for Thomas Dibbs, the commodore of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. It was used as his private vessel for entertaining guests on Sydney Harbour and Pittwater until the beginning of World War I. In 1917 the yacht was purchased by the Royal Australian Navy and used as the auxiliary patrol vessel HMAS Sleuth in the waters around the Torres Strait and Thursday Island, before later being used as a training ship tender based in Sydney. In early 1920, the navy disposed of the yacht and it returned to private use until later in the early 1930s when it was sold to Tasmania.
Based in Hobart and under different owners SY Ena was used for a number of purposes including transportation of produce and fishing. It was converted to diesel power in the mid-1940s and renamed Aurore. After sinking in the early 1980s, the yacht was re-floated and eventually restored as a steam yacht close to its original configuration.
Ena subsequently circumnavigated Australia, as part of a visit to Western Australia during the 1987 America’s Cup and then served as a private charter vessel. Ena is now owned by the Turner family, one of Australia’s leading maritime families ( they founded the Sydney Maritime Museum) and she is based in Sydney at the Australian National Maritime Museum where it is part of the National Maritime Collection, and is also listed on the Australian Register of Historic Vessels.
Ena considered to be one of the finest examples of an Edwardian period steam yacht in the world.
I know there is a name (its very short) on the life rings but I can’t read it. But given the very distinctive design of the launch, I’m sure we can ID the boat.
I came from a very old file I had so hopefully I have not posted the image before 🙂
How Well Do You Know The WW Site ? Hopefully on Sunday (if Saturday is a crap weather day) I will do a story on the WW site, I have spoken to several people recently that were unaware of the full functionality of the WW site – so I’m putting together some ‘flying’ instructions.
Matanui was built by Lanes, Picton in 1923 and for a launch that will celebrate its 100th birthday next year she has travelled to life with very few alterations / additions. In the interests of comfort at some stage a dog-house has been added to the rear cockpit, which was enlarged at the same time.
Stepping aboard there are numerous original fittings, including the antique Simpson toilet.
Lanes built Matanui using 1 1/4” full length kauri planks, ribs 6” apart and pohutukawa stem. Her cabin top is American redwood t&g and the wheelhouse mahogany.
Matanui is one of those boats that attracts admirers anywhere, at anchor and even when she’s hauled out.
Matanui measures 42’x11’6” x4’8” and is powered by a 130hp Ford Dover 6cyl Diesel engine fitted reconditioned in 1990. At the same time she underwent a significant refit.
Matanui is a British Registered Ship and during WWII was purchased by the NZ Navy and taken to the Soloman Islands for patrol work, she sports a Lewis gun on her foredeck and depth-charges from the stern.
For the last 40 years Matanui has remained in or contacted to the same family, but the time has come for a new custodian/s to be found – so woodys if you are anyone you know is looking for a serious piece of NZ maritime history – contact email@example.com for more details.
Check out the ER Lane hand written specification sheets below.
Recently I was contacted by Pat Menzies the youngest son of Clive Menzies who bought the launch Menai from Arnold Baldwin. In a previous WW story Harold Kidd refers to Clive as ‘C.B. Menzies’, link to that story below. After reading the numerous WW stories on Menai, Pat decided to share a little more information that he hopes may be of interest to us. It is a good yarn so I’ll hand over to Pat and let him tell the story. https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/09/02/menai-valsan-her-owners/
“First, a little background about Arnold Baldwin “Baldie” to his friends (unsurprisingly). He is referred to as “involerd in the paper and printing industry”. But he was a bit more significant than that. Born in Canada, he emigrated to New Zealand some time pre-war and founded Universal Business Directories Ltd. By the 1950s and continuing through most of the next half-century UBD’s metropolitan provincial editions were the first place to look for detailed information about businesses of all and any sorts and the advertising revenue they engendered had made Baldie quite a rich man. Very rich by the standards of the day. I presume he must have been in the RNZ Volunteer Reseve pre-war and was appointed skipper of the Menai during the war years when it was commandeered the Navy and put to Coastal Patrol duties. (I believe that virtually every harbour which had a fleet of launches had some commandeered by the Navy for this purpose, but the Menai is the only one I know about. After the war I understand Mr Reynolds, the original owner did not want it back and Arnold was able to buy it. By the late 40s he was looking for a bigger boat and bought the Valsan, selling the Menai to my father.
Dad and Arnold were at the time (and for a number of years thereafter) flag officers of the Auckland Motor Yacht Club and were able to organise the various transfers to suit their calendars and cash flow. Dad sold the “Taufale” a 28 footer launch which he had bought in 1944 (I think. May have been 1945.) I was only about 5 at the time so my memory of such details is non-existent.
Dad owned the Menai through to some time in the early 1960s when he sold it to a then well-known local architect – surname Dalton. I did know his first name but have long since forgotten it. He, after quite a short period on-sold it to Alan (I think) Martin who was at the time CEO of TVNZ Auckland and did a lot of work on the boat. It then went through a number of owners before Peter Smith bought it and turned it into the film star beauty she is now.
The reference to Horry Whimp as an owner is quite mysterious. He was, as stated, the manager of the UBD printing works, had worked for Arnold for many years and had the perk of being boat husband, first for the Menai and later for the Valsan. It could very well be that Horry had the use of the Menai over the 48-49 season while Dad and Arnold were trading their paths to each owning only one boat – and that Ken Ricketts (who is/was a couple of years older than me) simply assumed he owned it.
Menai was powered by a flathead Ford V8 with a marine conversion by OSCA, rated at 100hp. Whether that was as a car motor or marine I don’t know. It had a 2 to 1 reduction box and we cruised at 1750rpm on the rev counter. Dad went through about three propellers and numerous re-pitchings and re-cuppings and finally achieved claimed figures of cruising speed of about 6.5 knots and petrol consumption of 1 3/4 gallons per hour. Pushing it up to 7 or 7.5 knots resulted in it squatting at the stern (“digging a big hole in the water” Dad used to say) and consumption soaring to about 4 gallons/hour.
Dad also fitted a Ford 8 auxiliary motor following a rather nasty experience when the motor stalled (a scale of rust in the fuel line, I believe) and left us powerless on a lee shore, either down the Bottom End or over on the Coromandel. I was about 11 or 12 and getting ready to drop the 45lb big pick when the motor fired up again. He also fitted another smaller motor to charge the batteries so we didn’t have to go cruising to have electricity. He also fitted a gas powered freezer box under the starboard seat in the bridgedeck. Larger boats such as the Valsan generally had such facilities but the Menai was well up-to-date for its age and size. One of the perks of being one of Arnold’s friends was that ownership of the Valsan came with one of the boatsheds on Ngapipi Rd – the third from Tamaki Drive. Arnold ran a tight timetable. He had the shed from about Easter to near to Queen’s Birthday and then Dad and several other of his friends each had about 2 weeks or so, during which we worked hard to complete the season’s maintenance. Dad would go to the shed each evening direct from work and I would pitch on at the weekends working from dawn to as late as we needed. I remember varnishing the coamings in half-light of a winter evening was a truly awful task. But better than doing it in the open at Vos Bros or any other shipyard. At least we didn’t have dust to contend with”.
Back in May 2014 Nathan Herbert sent in two photos of the 50’ Charles Bailey & Son built launch – Rawea and asked if we new anymore info on her – well 18 comments later we knew quite a lot + some good chat around how she was sunk on Feb 12th 1943 by a coastal freighter off Cape Brett whilst doing patrol work for the RNZN. Check out the link to read that story and more. https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/05/02/rawea/
Fast forward to the recent woodys picnic cruise to Stillwater / Weti River and one of the attendees, Buster Hill, passed a couple of photo sheets onto Mark Edmonds, which then came my way – the above photos of Rawea were among the photos – brilliant to see the war crew aboard enjoying what appears to be a ’staged’ photo opportunity. FYI – when she sank, all the crew were rescued.
In Oct 2021 on the BOI historic photos fb page a photo of Wondabyne popped up, posted by Myra Larcombe who commented that the launch was her fathers, and in the top photo above was berthed at Opua during the war years thence the #27 on her.
Then in early Jan 2022, Phil Bull posted the colour photo above of Wondabyne, now named Pakatoa, sitting in a Warkworth paddock. Phil commented that she had been there for a longtime and it looked like, sadly this was her final resting place. Under the name Pakatoa, the vessel was used to ferry passengers between Auckland and Pakatoa Island in the Hauraki Gulf.
In the past on WW there has been robust discussion around whether Wondabyne was actually the launch – Lolita. After reviewing these recent photos and others on file – Nathan Herbert is confident that Wondabyne and Lolita were in fact sister ships. The only visible difference being the Wondabyne had a short tram top, and Lolita a long tram top. Sadly Lolita ‘resting’ on the beach at Russell / Okiato. Refer below photos
Regular visitors to this site will be familiar with my enthusiasm for the uber cool website – offcenterharbor.com (screen grab above), last year the crew behind OCH during CV-19 lock down pulled together a world first, an online virtual woody boat show and today I can advise that its on again in 2022. With a slight twist – this year access is complimentary thanks to the generosity of the OCH founders. Details below
And because I couldn’t not give you a woody treat today – check out this link to a great OCH video, it is one of my favorite videos, I’d be a little embarrassed if I told you how many times I’ve watched it 🙂 Its titled ‘Live Well: The Cruising Smack STORM BAY with Tim Phillips‘
The Show is a completely online event from February 18th-27th, which means you can enjoy this gathering of the world’s best classic boats from wherever you are (without leaving the comfort of your favorite chair).