W1 & W1 Junior Meet Up


W1 c.1942

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W1 & W1 Junior Meet Up

The restoration of the Scott Payne designed ex RNZAF, WWII, craft W1 has been well documented on WW, as has been the building of a junior version by master model maker John Bullivant, enter W1 in the WW search box to read > view their stories.

Earlier this year Ken Ricketts played match-maker & intro’ed Francis Uren, the owner  of W1 & John B. The venue was Bayswater Marina where Francis keeps W1. Details & photos ex Ken.

The story started 49 years ago, when John B, had by chance an opportunity to have a look aboard W1. John & a mate, were out & about on the Tamaki River, exploring & they came across W1 & the boys decided to have a good look inside her. John B was fascinated with what he saw & W1 made such a lasting impression that 44 years later, when he started to build a model of W1, he could recall every detail. The build took 5 years, but as can see in the photos, the attention to detail & build quality is amazing.

When Francis Uren, saw W1 Junior for the first time he was blown away,  the intricate detail in build, propulsion & equipment, which is even complete, with the sound of 2 diesel engines being started, when John fired her up, & with water flowing out the exhaust pipes each side, when the engines, (2 special marine tiny electric motors, see photo below), are running.

The meet up resulted in two very happy woodys, who both had huge mutual respect for the each others work.

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Three Taupo Boats


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PIRI PONO on her slip at Two Mile Bay, Taupo, in the 1960’s

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PIRI PONO at her final resting place (Maritime Museum)

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LUYVON awaiting restoration at Taupo Oct 2017

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TUI at the Clinker Boat Exhibition

THREE TAUPO BOATS

Post a visit by Paul Drake & his brothers to the 2017 Classic Yacht & Launch Exhibition & a side trip to the Auckland Maritime Museum, Paul sent me the above photos & the story below – which I have re-produced unedited as its perfect as is. Read & enjoy J

 In the mid  1920’s, two gents and their families fell in love with Taupo. Both of them commissioned boats from Auckland builders. Hawke Bay’s Guy Rochfort had TUI (16 feet and clinker) built by Percy Vos. TUI was on display at the recent Classic Clinker Exhibition at the Viaduct in Auckland.  Auckland’s Robert Laidlaw had the 17 foot speedboat  SEAHORSE built by an unspecified builder. After a weather related fright on the lake in 1929, Robert approached Collings and Bell, and the 28 foot PIRI PONO (faithful friend) was the result. Honduras mahogany and bright finished, no expense was spared. PIRI PONO is on display at the Maritime Museum in Auckland.  With her 150 HP straight eight Niagara, she weighed just over a ton and could do about 30 knots. Housed in her boatshed at Two Mile Bay, alongside Laidlaw’s house ‘Monte Vista’, access to the water was via a slipway. A private jetty and offshore mooring completed the picture. 

PIRI PONO was the fastest boat on the lake.  But by 1935, she had a rival in the form of local man Stan Gillies’s  LUYVON, locally designed and built by Jack Taylor and measuring 22 feet. She was light (about half the weight of PIRI PONO) and powered with a Dodge, driving through an outboard drive.  Informal drag races indicated that the boats were very similar in speed.  A more formal test was required. Regatta Day 1936 (probably) was the day. PIRI PONO had her bottom waxed, new spark plugs fitted, all surplus gear removed, and half her fuel pumped out.  The day dawned fine and calm, to PIRI PONO’s disadvantage. LUYVON and PIRI PONO lined up for the 20 lap race. LUYVON had the edge because she cornered faster – PIRI PONO would catch her on the straights.  Robert Laidlaw ordered his crew (son Lincoln) to the aft cockpit to get the bow up a bit. Stan Gillies was still ahead. Back came Lincoln, returning aft with the anchor. This was enough. PIRI PONO won and Robert retained his title as fastest man on the lake.

PIRI PONO was commandeered by the Air Force during WW2 and was the Commodore’s launch at Hobsonville. They replaced the Niagara with a Chrysler (Crown?) and built a cabin over the forward cockpits. Having won the war, the Air Force returned PIRI PONO to Taupo.  She was re-engined with twin Gray’s which are in her to this day. There are conflicting stories as to how this came about. One source has it that she was returned by the Air Force without an engine. Another has it that Laidlaw was disappointed with the speed produced by the Chrysler. Yet another has it that the Air Force wrote off the Chrysler while trying to reverse PIRI PONO off her transporter and into the lake (overheating due to lack of cooling water).

Laidlaw was an enthusiast. He was the founder of Farmers Trading Company. He was a very active Christian, and his name lives on in Laidlaw College, formerly the Bible College of New Zealand, which trains people for Christian ministry. He also has a rock named after him, informally at least. During an early evening spin in PIRI PONO, with 23 POB (so it is said), PIRI PONO struck, at speed, the large flat rock in Mine Bay between the islets and the shore at the eastern end of the bay. The damage must have been enormous and she quickly sank in a few metres of water. Passengers, some of them not-so-young ladies in fur coats, were rescued by nearby launches.  Jack Taylor’s PONUI and VICTORY salvaged PIRI PONO the next day and she was repaired in time for the following summer. 

Meanwhile, TUI led an uneventful life, and lived afloat in a Taupo Boat Harbour boatshed. LUYVON lived in a boatshed nearby, but was kept dry (and light) by being lifted clear of the water on a cradle once in the shed. LUYVON also survives, still owned by the Gillies family, and has been awaiting restoration for some 30 years now. 

The book by Ian Hunter, ‘Robert Laidlaw – Man for our Time’ makes a very interesting read.

UPDATE 01-11-2017 Photo below showing TAMATI in the Lake Taupo Boat Harbour, with the fishing lodge (ex TONGARIRO) in the background, and the Collings and Bell PIRI PONO in the fore ground.   

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MV CLEMATIS – An ideal floating bach


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MV CLEMATIS – An ideal floating bach

WW readers will be familiar with my views on how compared to the price of waterfront property these days, you can buy a classic wooden vessel for a fraction of the cost, that offers the same benefits + more.

Clematis at 45’ is one such vessel, launched in 1939 & built of kauri by Miller and Tonnage Ship Builders in Port Chalmers for J. Falconer & Sons of Timaru.

Her past has seen her serve with the New Zealand Maritime Department, initially in the NZ Navy during WWII & with the various other ad hoc parties until 1995. She was the only vessel still attached to the navy, serving from WWII until c.1995. She was seconded to the US Navy during WWII & during this period she was refitted on three occasions and even given a copper bottom by the Americans for her use in the Pacific Islands. She was later a training boat for the Maritime Department and Ministry of Fisheries.

She was eventually sold to Christchurch businessman, Bryan Mullaly, in 1995, who based her in Picton. Later use saw her working for a time in Lyttleton as a whale watch boat. Back then (c.1995) she was powered by an Isuzu truck / bus engine, converted to marine use, this replaced a Gardner diesel.

Mullaly sold her to her present owner, Pam Holt in 2003 & Pam brought her up to Coromandel & Gt. Barrier, where Clematis became her floating home. Her large saloon, galley, 2 cabins and spacious covered deck made her ideal for enjoying the spectacular scenery and sea life.

With lots of blue ocean miles under her belt, Clematis is a proven seaworthy boat. Having been in MSA survey (expired) for 18 passengers, 10 to Great Barrier Island.

Pam’s days afloat are over & she is looking for a new custodian for Clematis, whether as a floating bach or a fabulous event venue or for sightseeing cruises.

You will see in the photos that she has recently had a lot of TCL applied & is now offered for sale. Interested parties can contact Pam direct at pamclem@hotmail.com

B/W photos below from launch day.

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Input from Russell Ward

Below are two photos, the colour one is a shot of her on Otago Harbour set to Russell by Ian Mclean –she spent a lot of time in Dunedin –Sea Cadets boat.

The b/w photo shows Clematis on the right in working rig. To her starboard is Aorangi’s bow, Shenendoah and over astern a smattering of the pride of the Auckland fleet. Centre stage, wearing her original funnel in pride is Melodeon.

This pic would be in the ’50s or early ‘60s. A view of the viaduct before it became a eating and watering and posh boat hole 🙂

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Input from Peter Marshall

Actually, Brian Mullaly sold CLEMATIS to me around ’95 and I took her to Lyttelton. She was put into survey as a commercial boat in 2001 but was almost immediately involved in the destruction of the marina at Magazine Bay and was out for the 2001-2002 summer season.
Expertly and comprehensively repaired by Stark Bros., CLEMATIS then operated as Godley Head Dolphin Company watch out of Dampier Bay and around the Banks Peninsula until ’95 when I gave up the cause of making Lyttelton a reasonable environment for chartering and she was bought by a young woodworker from Auckland.
As an added note, she was lent to the Yanks during WW II, who took her up into the Pacific and clad her hull in copper to protect her from worm and used her as shallow water picket duty. The Navy League had her on Otago Harbour for around 30 years, and scads of harbour-dwellers knew the sound of her old Gardner.

Airforce Patrol Craft + An Unusual Car


AIRFORCE PATROL CRAFT - CLIPPER AUGUST 1939 RNZAF - T COLLINS COLLECTION EX MUSEUM - I.D. PH-2013-7-TC-B731-03

Airforce Patrol Craft

The above photo is dated 1939 & is from the Tudor Collins collection. Only really posted it to have a boat in today story.

15-10-2017 Harold Kidd Input
The launch in the pic is one of the Hubert Scott-Paine 40 footers imported at the beginning of 1940 for TEAL and taken over by the Air Force. W6? Below is a photo of W2.

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But for some serious boat porn, check out James Dreyer’s latest photos of ‘Laughing Lady’ on his Seven Oceans Boatworks Facebook page – click link

The really story is the XK150 Jag below, It was owned by Mr Gardner of Gardner Engines in the UK), Thats him standing alongside it. He re-engined it with a Gardner diesel back in the late1950’s. Rumour has it while the acceleration was not great once off the line she was a flyer 😉 Probably priceless if still around today. Boat & Jag photos ex Ken Ricketts

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15-10-2017 Harold Kidd Input – Lyn Buchanan of John Chambers & Co put a 4 cylinder Gardner in his Packard about 1931. Photo below.

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Mt. Pleasant


Mt PLEASANT
The below video is of the 1916, 40’ newly –restored Sydney, Australia ferry – Mt Pleasant. Batemans Bay is home for Mt Pleasant.
The video was done to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the HMAS Kuttabul in Sydney Harbour on May 31 1942 by Japanese mini-subs. Mt Pleasant was tied up alongside Kuttabul at the time.
Thanks to WoodenBoat & the Bay Post / Moruya Examiner for the heads up re the video.

Stunning restoration 🙂

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Kahu


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KAHU 4 -- HMNZS KAHU AS SEAGOING WORKSHOP c1950s

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KAHU - 5 c2000s

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KAHU

Over the last 10 years every time I have motored past Kahu, when she was moored in the upper reaches of the Waitemata Harbour, just past the Greenhite upper harbour crossing, probably 50>60 times & each time was pleasantly surprised she was still a float. The old girl has had a very checkered past & unfortunately during numerous periods of ownership, all with big plans for her – nothing really came to fruition & she appeared destined for the knackers yard.

I can report that she is now in Whangarei undergoing a major refit. Fingers crossed that this time she returns to her former glory. Ken Ricketts sent me the above old trademe photos that record some of her WWII period, post WWII Navy service (c.1950s), her almost conversion to a passenger ferry (c.early 2000’s), a neglected moored hull.

If there are any woodys that can tell us more about her past & if there was a Northland woody out there that can give a use an update on the project, please do 🙂

01-06-2017 Update ex Geoff Brebner

Photo below of Kahu on her way to Whangarei c.2012

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Rehia – Getting Dressed


REHIA AT GULF HARBOUR 22.2.17

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REHIA – Getting Dressed
Question of the day – did Colin Wild build anything other than pretty boats?
The photos above (ex Ken Ricketts) show the 1939 Colin Wild launch Rehia hauled out recently at Gulf Harbour.
She was getting a fresh coat of paint – having last year had an extensive re-fit at the Horizon yard, her owner had allowed the seams to settle before the hero top coat.
She has to be one of the prettiest launches afloat – perfect from any angle 🙂

The photo below, ex Scott Taylor, show Rehia in her WWII livery. To read more on her, ex Harold Kidd, click this link https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/09/26/rehia-z15/

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