The Evolution of Pleasure Craft Communication

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THE EVOLUTION OF PLEASURE CRAFT COMMUNICATION

Next time you pick up a mobile phone to chat to another boat or log a trip report via the Coastguard APP, spare a thought for the boats of days gone by that had only one option (other than flags) for communications at sea. As a child I was fascinated by all these strange random words Zulu Mike Bravo Lima etc – my father being an ex-army comms man, morse was his thing. On holidays, myself and brothers were ‘made’ to listen to ships at sea and try to record the message, the winner i.e. most accurate, would win a chocolate.

WW follower Ken Ricketts is of an age that he has seen and experienced the evolution of New Zealand maritime radio communications and recently he wrote a comprehensive chronicle on the subject, which you will find below. It is worth a read to either educate or refresh yourself on the huge advances that have been made in the field. The story is peppered with a few tales directly relating some of our woody fleet (scroll over photos to ID the woodys) so hopefully that will keep those of you with a short attention span –  awake 🙂 Enjoy

Maritime radio-telephony in Auckland pleasure craft, had its first & humble beginnings in 1946, at which time, Ken’s father, Ralph Ricketts, entered the fray, with the second ever such installation, in Auckland, (the original first one was on the REHIA owned by Bill & Phyl Ryan at that time — who told RR about it) RR immediately bought, (as ultimately almost everyone did, once they knew about them ), an ex WW II war assets double side band, (DSB),  ZC1 MK II R.T., for  20 pounds, & fitted it to the Rickett’s launch – JULIANA, after which RR had a visit from a Govt radio inspector, who took diagrams of aerial format & layout, made various notes on his file of the installation, checked RR’s ability to use the set, made a test call himself, to “ZLD Auckland Radio,” sited  at Musik Point at that time, on the entrance to the Tamaki Estuary, & made sure RR had a “Restricted Radio Operators License,” which was required in those days, by all radiotelephone operators, on all pleasure craft, – now long since discontinued, & he allocated JULIANA the call sign of ZMYP.

REHIA 1948

JULIANA & AOMA c1953

Originally, there was only one call frequency, & that was 2012Kh, in 1946, used for all purposes, but not too long after that, 2012  was reallocated exclusively for harbour control use, to the Auckland Harbour Board, & pleasure boaties were allocated 2182, the international distress frequency for initial calling to government shore stations, & 2162 for ship to shore working, & 2456 & 2638 for ship to ship gossiping. 

The 2162 working frequency, was later changed to a duplex frequency, with 2162 for listening to ZLD, & them receiving on 2207. 

The frequency of 2045, was allocated around 1950, for use for transmission between privately owned shore stations & boats, such has Port Charles Radio, (the legendary Jim Smith owner/operator ), Gt. Barrier radio , Awaroa Radio etc. 

These shore stations were used extensively, for many years, from around 1950, by many commercial fishing boats, working throughout the Gulf, many of whom, reported in daily their positions, usually around 6 pm. There were also many pleasure craft which used the service, & RR was one of them. He joined the Port Charles association for most of his boating life with legendary Jim Smith the owner/operator. RR or Ken would call Jim every evening at around 6pm & report in our position at that time. 

You paid a small annual fee usually, to join their non profit associations, to cover their running costs & they kept records of your locations, times of calls, assisted in any way they could, with any problems you may have had, etc., & these associations usually operated, for several set times, of about 15 to 30 minutes, each day. Ken thinks some may still exist on the VHF channels, possibly there is one on Gt. Barrier Island.  

Auckland Coastguard was also allocated the frequency of 2128, (from recall), for ship to Coastguard use. 

By the early 1950s ZLD had introduced a radio telegram service to land based recipients who had a telephone number available, as the address & the telegrams would be sent by ZLD to any entity via that phone number ( & later delivered in hard copy via normal post to the address of the phone number), & if a reply was quested, or anticipated, they would telephone it through immediately, whilst the ship waited on standby, & ZLD would call back with the reply ASAP. 

The cost, was fairly expensive for the era, & on a cost per word basis & the costs were charged to the landline phone number. This service stayed in place as far as Ken knows right through in to the VHF era.

Land based parties, could also send radio telegrams to boaties, with the address, via the P & T telegram phone number, which must include the call sign & was as follows; (as a example) Mr. Smith Vessel ZMYP JULIANA C/- ZLD AUCKLAND RADIO. 

ZLD at the end of its 3 or 4 hourly daily weather forecasts & shipping information, would give a list of all telegraphic traffic held for all vessels including of course, & very importantly, their call signs, & most would listen to these broadcasts, as often as possible, & advise friends on other boats, if they were near at the time, that  ZLD had a message for them.

By about 1983 this communication with the outside world was taken a step further, &  ZLD introduced a VHF radio telephone service, which many mature old time boaties may recall, where a ship could call ZLD, on channels 22 & 23, in the  Auckland region, give them a landline number, which they would dial & then patch your call to ZLD through, to enable you to talk direct, to the subscriber, which whilst it was a good service, it had its shortcomings & limitations, shall we say, as any boatie who by chance or otherwise, dialled into ch. 22 or 23 on his boat, would inevitably be privy to what were sometimes surprising, & very private conversations, also necessarily, only one party at a time in the conversation could speak, & the other had to listen, & one had to say “over,” at the end of each segment of conversation, to enable the other party to know when to respond, 

Calls to boaties from landlines could also be booked with ZLD & ZLD would call them back, when they were able to make contact the vessel, the land based party wished to contact.

There was one other form of radio communication which evolved & inevitably found its way in to the boating world for a period in the 1970s/80s & that was  Citizen Band (CB) radio transmitting communication equipment, for short distance communication, unrestricted in it use, & it could be used by any person, at any place for any lawful purpose, but it was restricted, to a very low aerial output power in all sets, which could be bought & licensed extremely cheaply, much more so, than proper marine  purpose built equipment, & this medium became popular for a period, in the  1970/80s, with some  boaties, mostly in the smaller cheaper craft range, where cost was a really important issue for some, but whilst it was cheap, it had many shortcomings, including its very short transmission range, & as there was no structured organisation of any type, either private or govt., monitoring it, one simply in event of distress, had to rely on someone within the range for your set, hearing your call, & helping as best they could, one way or another. So whist it was so very limited in its rescue value, nevertheless it was better than having no communication at all, if in need of help. 

These sets had a good number of preset channels  & operated on the HF 26.500 Mh band in NZ., which was a different frequency range to many other countries, including Australia, which used 27.500Mh), & call signs were allocated to owners on a regional basis, depending on where you lived.

Ken installed one on his 40′ launch TIARRI, when launched in 1979, in order to have maximum possibility of assisting boats, in times of distress or breakdown. TIARRI’S main call sign was ZM3199, which, along with the radio, Ken took from his first boat, FLYING SCUD, which was issued to F.S. in December 1953, when she was built & launched by Roy Lidgard, just after the advent of the letter number era – only 1100 numbers in to the new system.  

TIARRI

FLYING SCUD 1975

There were the very odd exceptions, to the above early days policy, & call signs, mostly around the 1940s era, almost all of which, were for boats, where they were owned by the owners of private islands, in the Hauraki Gulf & Northland, & perhaps the Sounds, where they had a licensed, private, island based set, on their island, & a special boat call sign allocated to their boats, for keeping in touch with their home bases, usually where these boats were their sole means of access, to the outside world, & these sometimes, were of a number letter combination, with just one or two numbers usually, & had just one specific frequency, to operate with.  

All transmitting in DSB & SSB sets was technically very accurately totally controlled, often by a plug in type internal “Chrystal Control unit,” or similar, for each frequency,& fitted to all sets for all transmitting frequencies. 

There were later several lower end of the High Frequency, (HF) band, frequencies added in the 3, 4, & 6, Mh bands, mostly used by off shore boats, out at sea. 

This cumbersome, & red tape process, of registration, continued for a good number of years, right through the initial era of “ Double side Band “ transmission, & in to the upgrading of that era, to “single side band” (SSB) transmission, circa 1970s

After single side band transmissions became compulsory, around the 1970s this required the purchase of a new set, & the only double side band frequency which was still legally usable, was the international distress frequency of 2182 Kh,  & this could only be used for calls to govt shore stations (ZLD for Auck)  or ZLW for Wellington, as examples),  for emergencies only, & craft which did not wish to outlay for a new SSB set, or alternatively still keep a 2182 set after they bought a VHF set after they were introduced, could modify & keep their old set, & were then reallocated a compulsory special “ZMX” based call sign, starting at ZMX2001.

These days ZLD has left Musik Point, & the government’s ZLD & ZLW (& ZLB in the South Island,) which all later came under the umbrella of Telecom, being the replacement that took over from the old P & T., which in turn, has now become a totally new entity, as “Maritime Radio,” & under the umbrella through various subsidiaries, to “Maritime NZ.,” being another different Govt Dept, with the  transfer becoming effective from midnight, & starting on the 1st October 1993 & the operators of which, are now all based in the Old Radio NZ Avalon building, in Avalon, Lower Hutt, Wellington, with transmission facilities, in Wellington & Taupo, plus a network of repeaters, scattered around the country monitoring the whole country, which is now all controlled from this one location.

In the later 1970s early 80s Very High Frequency, (VHF) maritime radio was introduced, which gave many benefits, with all its ongoing ever increasing refinements, & installation of shore based repeaters, on high ground, throughout the country, which  has now ultimately totally replaced the old Medium Frequency DSB & SSB sets, with many advantages to all users, for all local NZ & inshore boating, along with the discontinuation of licensing of individual operators, & inspections by govt inspectors, of all boats so fitted, with RT equipment. 

Also, Radio Spectrum Management, the govt department which these days controls allocates & administers all radio & TV transmissions, call signs & frequencies, has vested in NZ Coastguard, the authority to issue calls signs on its behalf, of a mixed letter number type, such as, (possible examples only), ZMQ 2947, ZMW4526, ZMR 2937, & so on, as a result of the huge demand for these, these days, & the time consuming process it used to be, for R.S.M.

Originally in 1946, this was all under the umbrella of the Post & Telegraph Department to later become Telecom, & remained so for many years, until 1987, when it all started to change & we have ended up, for a good number of years now, with RSM, as the entity in control.

The pleasure craft call sign evolution, & changes to it, are as follows;

As above, all craft up until c1953, were all 4 letters alone.

As they were beginning to run out of call signs, around 1953, the Govt. wrote to all pleasure craft owners, requesting they approve the replacement of their existing all letter call signs with a letter number combination, starting originally, with the first reissued call sign of ZM2001. 

It is important to note that the Govt., could not insist on this by law, & only request it, & if the owners did not consent to the allocation of a new call sign, the original then remained with the boat, & there are a few of boats that still have their original all letter call signs even today. 

Neither Ken’s father nor the owner/builder of GAY DAWN, Bill Waters, who RR bought the boat off in 1956, surrendered their original all letter call signs, for their respective boats, —  (see image above of GAY DAWN taken c1965, showing clearly, a typical DSB aerial set up as used for many of the DSB, SSB, medium frequency sets of that era), —  RR sold JULIANA in 1956 with ZMYP, (which was somewhere along the way, later either abandoned, or replaced, with letter number combo call sign), & now, as referred to below, is reinstated to her for life. RR bought in 1956 & sold in 1970, GAY DAWN, with ZMIV in place, which however, also later along the way, was replaced by persons unknown, with a letter number combo, at least once, note: ZMIV has now been reallocated to the Rickett’s family and used on the vessel ROSEANNE, which is owned by Ken’s daughter.

GAY DAWN C.1965

Such was the ever increasing size of the “snowball,” of pleasure craft sets, that it was not all that long, before the original issue of the ZM2001 to ZM9999 were all allocated, & we then saw the issue of  ZMA2001 to ZMA9999, followed by the final issue to the SSB era, which was ZMY2001 to ZMY9999. 

It is important to note, that all call sign issues right from ZM 4 letter, ZM+, ZMA, ZMY, & ZMX, & all Coastguard issued call signs are approved & provide for use of all VHF sets.    

All letter only call signs, which are all just 4 letters alone, must still be issued by R.S.M. direct, & are mostly reserved for all Govt vessels,(eg., all the Police DEODAR launches were & still are, all allocated ZMIH, during their term of service to the Police), also some very large off shore fishing vessels, & some NZ based pleasure boats, that cruise off shore, or are capable of cruising offshore have these call signs allocated as well. 

Other pleasure craft, that have some classic, historical, or other special significance, are also issued these, at the discretion of RSM.    

Ken has enjoyed a close & good relationship with RSM, for many years, & there are some interesting background stories relating to the issue of some of these special allocations of all letter call signs, which Ken has been associated with, & some of these are as follows. There are a tiny number of pleasure craft that were built prior to about 1953, where the owners did not approve replacing their original call sign, which the dept. would have requested, but could not insist upon in c1953. 

Two examples of this are as follows; 

One with its original 1946 issued call sign is RAKANOA, which still has her original call sign ZMTF as issued when new, & the other, is Owen Foster’s WAIRANGI, also with her original call sign of ZMTM.

RAKANOA c1948

WAIRANGI 2020

A fairly recent approval exception, is the issue of ZMPY, to Peter Loughlin’s Colin Wild built LADY MARGARET, which was first issued to her, in 1941, by the Navy, & is recorded as such on her British Ship registration, (see below), & as a classic craft, with this history of her call sign, Ken assisted Peter, to secure this for her for life, when he bought her.

LADY MARGARET

LADY MARGARET Registration certificate P1 (TOP) jpg

Likewise Francis Uren’s “W1”, was issued with ZMWI in 2014, which is another detective story. W1 was originally brought to NZ by the Royal New Zealand Air force in 1941, as their extremely fast, & prize patrol craft, & given in the circumstances, the logical Air force number of “W1”, which has now been reinstated to her, as her name, by present owner Francis, after a long period of being known as CARROMA.  

W1 c.1942

As she is now W1 again, Ken approached RSM, gave them her history, & they in turn, approached their counterparts in the military, to see if they could uncover her original WWII call sign, but unfortunately all those records have been lost, so as an alternative, RSM offered Francis the call sign ZMWI. – They could not offer ZMW1 as international radio spectrum law, prohibits that type of call sign, worldwide, so she now has ZMWI for life, free of charge.  

W1 2014 - 1

El Capitan is another interesting story, as she now has ZMEC. It goes like this; She was built c1961, by a farmer, in a shed on his farm, to a Chris Craft design, in Ohakea, & he carted her around on a big trailer, & used her at Taupo, & the Sounds, until 1976,  after which time, she sat in a shed on his farm, never to move again, until bought by Tony Mitchell, of Lake Rotoiti, off his estate, post 2000. When Tony bought her, she had a Coden 2+ Mh multi channel, medium frequency, marine RT,  which would have been fitted almost certainly, when she was new, which has now been replaced with a VHF, but for which, there had never been a marine call sign issued, as the original owner, was also a radio ham, with a “ZL#### ham radio licence & call sign, which automatically allowed him to use this call sign for his boat. Ken provided on Tony’s behalf, all relevant info to RSM, & requested, & they approved, ZMEC (El Capitan), which she also has for life.

EL CAPITAN 2012

Ralph Rickett’s JULIANA, now renamed MARJORIE ROSA, now also of Lake Rotoiti, has been reallocated for her life, her original call sign ZMYP, as issued to RR in 1946. Ken told RSM of her history, as the second ever pleasure craft in Auck., to have marine RT, in 1946, & they have approved the reissue to her of her original ZMYP, to Fraser Wilson, her present owner, for her life. 

Marjorie Rosa : Juliana 2019

Marjorie Rosa : Juliana 2018

Story told by Ken Ricketts, edited by Alan H.

Shenandoah

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SHENANDOAH 
 
I was recently sent the top photo of the 1929 Chas Bailey & Son built launch Shenandoah, moored at Parua Bay, Northland. 
Sadly she appears to not be getting the TLC that an old lady of her pedigree deserves.
The last I heard of her she was still moored in the creek opposite the Te Atatu Boating Club,as seen in the 2nd photo above.
To remind us of how majestic she was back in the 1930’s I have attached a few photos below.
Message to the owner – if you want to move her on – I’ll find a buyer 🙂
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HDML Manga > Haimoana

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HDML MANGA > HAIMOANA

In the interests of saving you from getting a sore neck from shaking your head – this boat ended up with a beehive restoration i.e. was put on the bonfire.

The HDML Manga was built by Madden & Lewis in Sausalito, California, USA during WWII and was sold by the NZ Navy in 1980. Her first owner post the Navy was Steve Hansen of Herne Bay, Auckland. When Hansen purchased her she had no engines. During his period of ownership she was kept on the outer side of the Auckland’s Viaduct Basin.
Hansen sold her to his friend Hans Van Duyn of Helensville in the early 1980’s, still with no engines. (Hansen also owned the HDML Black Watch).
Van Duyn stripped the coamings off her whilst she was at the Viaduct Basin and took her bare hull to Helensville on the West Coast, where they spent the next 2+ years rebuilding the vessel – including 16 single berths and 2 staterooms. In the mid 1980’s she was renamed Haimona after the owners late son.
The vessel was fitted with two Ruston Hornsby, 200hp diesel engines, with hydraulic gearboxes. Top speed was claimed to be 18 knots. The engines were ex the A.H.B. tug Manukau. Also fitted with a funnel & dry exhausts with silencers.
Van Duyn used her extensively, from the mid 1980s to c.1999. She was the largest pleasure boat in the Helensville Cruising Club fleet and was frequently mark boat and involved in many regattas and other club activities,  
She fell in to disuse around 1999 when Van Duyn sold his waters edge property, on the Kaipara Harbour. As there was nowhere else on the Kaipara that had a suitable facility to slip her, she deteriorated through lack of ability to maintain her and lack of use. Ultimately, she got  to the point, where her pumps were running 24/7 and despite attempts to provide her with better moorings, the end was near and they brought her ashore, stripped her engines out of her and saved what they could e.g. portholes and other useable fittings. In c.2006 they put a match to her.
Note: during this period Hans Van Duyn also owned HDML Kupara, which is now owned and restored Scott Perry, Whangarei. The story of Kupara has appeared on WW – link here   https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/10/04/hmnzs-kuparu-hdml/
Story assembled by Ken Ricketts with input from Steve Hansen, Rene Van Duyn and Bob Siegel. Edited extensively by Alan H.
Manga Navy Service ex Greg Philpott

HMNZS Manga (Q1185) was one of 16 Harbour Defence Motor Launches (HDML) to be delivered to the RNZN in 1943. She was commissioned on 6 April 1943 and joined the 124th. ML Flotilla at Auckland. She was used in anti-submarine patrols in the port approaches and the Hauraki Gulf northwards to Cape Brett. On 11 October 1945 she paid off in Auckland and was placed in reserve. In early 1946 she was converted for army use, fitted with a towing bitt and transferred ‘on loan’ to the Army. She was renamed Bombardier and used by the RNZ Artillery for target towing and general transport duties for over 10 years. In 1948 she was reclassified as a Seaward Defence Motor Launch (SDML) and renumbered P3567. In November 1959 she was transferred back to the RNZN. In 1960 she was commissioned as HMNZS Manga (call sign ZMBJ) and joined the fishery squadron where she served until 1967. After a refit she was assigned to Wellington RNZNVR until 1973, and then re-joined the fishery squadron briefly, returning to Wellington in 1974. In 1977 Manga was restricted to sheltered waters and returned to Auckland in 1977. During the period from 1977 to 1981 she was attached to HMNZS Ngapona. She was withdrawn from service and sold in 1982 to Takapuna Contractors Ltd., and was later sold again and transported to Helensville for rebuilding.

 

Great story tomorrow (Monday) – I’ll make good for today’s work-boat / military OTT story 🙂
Don’t Be Embarrassed If You Emailed Yesterday Asking For Chris McMullen’s Berthing Tips – 178 people did 🙂
Something For The Yachties – photo below sent in be Nathan Herbert – looking to ID to the two yachts seen here berthed at Whangarei.
Mystery Yachts Whangrei

The Restoration Of Melodeon

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The Restoration Of Melodeon

Now woodys if you know Dick Fisher you  will know that Dick likes BIG things – big classic boats, big projects, big (zoom zoom) cars. Chatting with Dick recently he informed me he had a project on the go, his words “something to keep me out of trouble” so of course I said ’send me some details – givens Dicks other two boats – Akarana, the 60’ 1960 AJ Collings designed and built by WG Lowe, ex Auckland Harbour Board pilot boat and Hamal, the 1975 purpose built exploration ship – I suspected the project would be a doozy. Photos of Akarana & Hamal below.
Dick and Colleen have a stunning track record of converting ex work boats into the most amazing classic cruisers so WW looks forward to following this project, we will be giving Dick a friendly nudge for updates.
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I’ll let Dick tell us what he is up to, remember click in photos to enlarge 😉

 
“The story so far goes a bit like this……
We purchased Melodeon from Greg Hayes in April 2018. Greg had owned & fished with her for the past 25 years. 
One of the photos above shows her at her semi-permanent berth at the Whangarei Town Basin prior to our buying her.
After the successful negotiation of price with Greg, who had expressed the wish for Melodeon to only be purchased by someone prepared to restore her.
We lifted her out at Dockland 5 in Whangarei, her estimated weight at this point was in excess of 50 ton. We removed as much equipment as were able which included 9 ton of lead balast. This would explain why when blasting the paint from the hull we uncovered seven (7) waterlines this made her draft aft at 7 ft. 
 
With the assistance of Boat Haulage Ltd we moved her to our workshop at Kamo & then commenced dismantling decks, bulwarks, wheelhouse & removed the engine & fuel tanks etc. She was then high pressure water blasted & garnet blasted all of the paint off inside & out.  She was then moved inside the same shed where Akarana had been for 5 years during her restoration.
 
The hull was copper fastened of 3 skin construction.. unfortunately the 2 inch Kauri decks were iron fastened & unable to be saved.
 
To date we have treated with preservatives the inside of the hull & currently has a holding undercoat.
 
The last few month I have been focused  on restoring the T8 Kelvin engine which was in reasonable condition. Main items needing replacing were a set of 8 exhaust valves , a complete gasket set plus other small items. I was able to purchase these from  Kelvin Diesels in Glasgow, a subsidiary of British Polar Engines. We have found this company & their staff most helpful in procuring parts. The engine is now complete & running very nicely. 
 
Up to date the work has been carried out mostly by myself & my son Richard when he had time. The engineering side of the restoration we can manage ourselves.  We now realise we need a skilled boat builder to assist us with the woodworking aspect.
It is our intention not to alter the overall design, with the exception being the wheelhouse which needs to be a little bigger.  
 
We are fortunate in that Greg Hayes has passed on to me the Marine Dept files dating back to October 1934.
Some salient points for you:
Plans, specs & building was carried out for Melodeon by Chas Bailey & Son in Auckland.
Original engine was a German Deutz/110BHP / 2 cycle diesel/ @ 450RPM this was replaced by the current T8 Kelvin.
Propeller:  4 blades /59 inch dia x 48 inch pitch – 3.3 to 1 reduction
Dimensions: Overall 57ft Beam 15ft6in draft 7ft
The existing T8 Kelvin was installed new in 1960 & the estimate from info we have, is that she has run well in excess of 100,000 hours.
Melodeon fished using different methods all around NZ, during the 1939/45 war the US Navy commandeered her for service in the Pacific.
  
This is an ongoing project for me in my dotage & its keeping me out of trouble.. in fact it’s a pretty big job….as the TV Ad goes…”
 
A Heads Up
Two cool things you may have overlooked in the last week
1. Do check out the link that Hylton Edmonds posted in the WW comments section. Its to a National Film Unit movie that features the then police launch Lady Shirley going about its duties on the Waitemata Harbour – fast forward to the 5:10 mark to catch the start, its a great watch and lots of our woodys make appearances – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mlqfwtybXE
2. Put your hand in your pocket and spend NZ$5 to subscribe for two months to the very informative and entertaining Vblog – OFF CENTER HARBOR. The guys at OCH have offered up this deal to WW readers so you can get your classic boating fix during the lockdown – details here  OCH $5 Deal
Akarana (L) – Hamal (R)

Northern Star

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NORTHERN STAR
Its not often we see an Australian designed / built Halvorsen in NZ waters, they are the darlings of Sydney Harbour. Its even rarer to see an ex WW II one.
Northern Star was built in 1944 by Lars Halvorsen & Sons for the Royal Australian Air Force as a air-sea rescue boat.
She measures 38’x10’x4’. Current power is from a 306hp Volvo TAMD61A diesel that gets her along at 12>13 knots.
Her owner has had her for 45 years and she is  now 4sale on tme – a few rot issues to her plywood stern area and fore deck but I’m sure easily fixed. Rather a smart boat for the current price ($20+k)
Anyone know how she came to be in NZ ?
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Doris

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DORIS

While mooching around the Whangarei docks yesterday I spotted Doris. Had a brief chat with her owner who hopefully is going to email in what he knows about her past. She made a brief appearance on WW back in late Feb 2019. At the time there was a lot of chat in the comments section as to her provenance and military (WW II) service. WW link here https://waitematawoodys.com/2019/02/27/dorris/

I walked away with two photos from her past, the 2nd one above from when her owner purchased her and the b/w one, possibly, from her time in the Pacific Island’s during WW II. The location is thought to be Vanuatu.
When I get more intel – hopefully we can confirm her bloodline and life journey 🙂
Harold Kidd Input – In case the subject of DORIS has become scrambled during the previous post, this DORIS (W66) was built by T M Lane & Sons at Kings Drive, Mechanics Bay in December 1910 for Fuller of Russell as a 36 footer with a 12hp 2 cylinder Scripps engine.
We Have A New Leader In the – Boat That Most Resembles A Block Of Flats – Competition  – spotted off Waiheke Island last weekend.
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Classic Woody Things To Do In Auckland Today

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Classic Woody Things To Do In Auckland Today
If your aren’t like me and still floating around Kawau Island, its a big day on the Waitemata today with the running of the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta.
The link below has the schedule for the events. The woody favourites are the Tug Boat Race and Classic Launch (drag) Race. Whether you are afloat or shore based, get out and support our regatta.
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To learn more about Tug Boat racing on the Waitemata Harbour – clink the clink below and then scroll down to watch John Street talking on how it all happened – great viewing
WAITANGI DAY WOODY BEACH PICNIC – FEB 6 – Put A Circle In Your Diary, All Woodys Welcome. RSVP Below
Woody Waitangi Picnic

Whangarei Town Basin 1943

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Whangarei Town Basin 1943


Todays photo, ex the Navy Museum, is captioned  ‘ Outer Patrol Launches Whangarei c.1943’. We have an interesting mix of vessels tied up.
The two on the right should be easy to ID – being Q Class patrol vessels i.e. motor launches built in the 1930s and used by the NZ Navy during WW2. John Clarke has supplied ex this site, a listing – Amakura Q04, Lady Gay Q00, Lady Margaret Q08, Lady Shirley Q11 later Q12, Maristella Q02, Movarie Q05 , Rawea Q06, Shenandoah Q03, Te Rauparaha Q07, Wirihana Q01. All navy inner and outer patrol vessels. John commented that if the WW list is correct, the vessels moored at the head of the line in the photo would be Maristella (Q02) and Lady Shirley (Q12). Maristella was a 40 footer, built by Sam Ford in December 1936 for Mr R.W. Wills of Epsom and fitted with a 50hp Ailsa Craig diesel. During WW2 RNZN patrol service she was fitted with a Gray for spares rationalization purposes. Lady Shirley was a 36 footer, built for Mr C Sinel of Auckland by C Bailey & Son in 1938. Both are still afloat and well-loved launches, search their names in the WW search panel for more photos / info.
 
Are we able to ID the launches astern of the Q Class boats?
 
I was contacted last week by Whangarei boatbuilder, Mike Hughes with a heads up that the little Harrison Butler ‘Omicron’ (below) was back in Mike’s workshop for a little regular maintenance.

She is a rather pretty looking yacht – but she should be given she was built by Percy Voss in 1945.
Omicron is kept at Parua Bay, Whangarei.
 
annual maintenance

Paikea

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PAIKEA
 
Two weeks ago my Westhaven spy sent my the 2 photos above of the 1921 Collings & Bell built launch Paikea hauled out at Westhaven for some TLC and then I spotted her back on her mooring in Bayswater looking very smart.
 
Thanks to Harold Kidd we know she was launched on 26th January 1921. She was fitted with a 120-150hp Model M Van Blerck 6 cylinder petrol engine (not a straight-eight Packard as is often said). Paikea had Chas. Collings’ “concave-convex” type of hard chine design which he made famous with his various Fleetwings and whale-chasers. Indeed she was a refinement of the Fleetwing whose image appears in the Collings & Bell section of WW. She was good for 20 knots and can still do it with her present big Iveco/Fiat, as Harold experienced at Sandspit. He commented the she goes like hell and stable with it.Alf Court sold her to Hec Marler in 1925 and he sold her to R B & S S Wilson  just pre-WW2. She was in NAPS during WW2 as Z17.
 
You can view more photos of her here

Caroma / W1

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Caroma / W1
 

Recently I was contacted by Peter Grant who had just discovered the story of W1 on waitematawoodys and remembered he was involved in a pre-purchase inspection of her in November 2000 for a client. The client did not purchase the vessel as it was deemed not suitable, but Peter dug out the old report which included the photos of her above, as she was then lying alongside the Panmure River.

 

Below is a photo of the 70′ vessel as she is today, post a wonderful restoration to return her to a style that while not matching her early day war time look, certainly turns a few heads on the Waitemata when she zips past at 22 knots. WW links to the restoration below:
 
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Christina O

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CHRISTINA O 

A very long way from the Waitemata and made of steel but OMG, this legendary super-yacht is drop dead stunning.

Christina O has a very impressive heritage – built in 1943, she served in WWII at the D-Day Landings and later witnessed some iconic events. President John F. Kennedy first met Sir Winston Churchill aboard in the bar, and you will see from the photos on board the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy (later married to Onassis) have called it home.
She started life as a Canadian anti-submarine frigate and Aristotle Onassis in 1954 converted her into a luxury yacht. In 2016/17 she was totally refurbished to what you see above , but retains her ‘old world’ class and opulence. Today she is available for charter, with 17 cabins.The mosaic swimming is original and can be raised & lowered.
At 325’ Christina O is not the worlds largest or most expensive super-yacht but it would have to be the most famous.
INPUT FROM Russell Ward 

“Converting a warship to a private yacht showed that Onassis had a lot of style. They were a fine shape. Mind you he got a bargain –a well made ship that had not had a lot of use $34K. All the engineering systems were designed to be literally bomb proof and no expense spared. 
The River Class  were similar specs to the Loch Class (the RNZN had five ‘50s – 70s) but were traditionally built with fine lines and did not have the sheer broken into three straight lines as the later Loch class which were designed to be built in modules off site and taken to the slip for assembly. Most were steam powered with four cylinder triple expansion engines and oil fired water tube boilers. These engines made the ships amazingly manoeuvrable since a precipitating engine can be slammed from full ahead to full astern if the needs (like hunting and killing submargarines) arise. Also unlike turbines (some were so powered) they required comparatively unsophisticated spanner work to keep them going. Also turbines don’t reverse so easily.
I am not sure whether Christina O was diseaseled (I seem to think he kept her steam. Even if only originally). Unfortunately the media these days concentrate on the Jackie Kennedy, Christina Onassis herself, guests and the solid gold bidets marble bathtubs etc rather than mundane things like the engine rooms.
Oh by the way, the NZ Navy had one of these –the Lachlan- -a river class frigate built by Morts Dock in Sydney. She was our surveying vessel and frequently used to be seen when we were out cruising. Did a hellava lot of work updating our charts some of which died from Capt Cook’s work. She’d stooge in and anchor off the bay practically unheard and then shoot through in the morning. Not the drama, bells and on deck announcements with a real navy ship. I remember once she anchored off Stanmore Bay in the early ‘60s and we steamed off over to have a look as fast as Milli ll’s Stuart Turner would take her. But Lachlan evidently saw us coming and weighed and steamed off at a real old clip –she’d do 20 knots easy. Gone in a flash.
The Navy decommissioned her in ’74 and used her for accommodation for a few years. Her engines were removed in 1975 and Marie wouldn’t let me have one sadly. I got an admiralty pattern angle poise type light off her bridge (won’t tell you how!) and the desk from the sickbay (of course) when she was stripped prior to being knackered in the Philippines in 1993. I use the desk in my Mancave and always thought I’d put the lamp on one of my boats but never did as yet.
The Aussies had a sister ship Diamantina similarly deployed on surveying she had a similar lifespan.”
Lachlan

Manunui

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MANUNUI
The 42’ Manunui was designed and built in 1939 by Bill Couldrey for Percy Colebrook, back in 2013 she appeared briefly on WW (link below) but the photo was very poor, now thanks to Lew Redwood fb and Harold Kidd we get to see her in her finest and learn a little more about this very smart launch.
Couldrey was a stunning craftsman, in fact one of the few boat builders preferred by Arch Logan.
When launched she was powered by a 55hp Benz diesel. The Benz lasted until 1963 when it was replaced with a 100hp Perkins diesel.
In 1942>44 Manunui was commandeered from Max Colebrook and taken to Fiji as a Naval patrol vessel.
In the 2013 story it was mentioned that Manunui had possibly headed south to Wellington, HDK has confirmed this, she calls the Boat Harbour marina in Wellington home.
Would love to see some up to date photos.
Input from Simon Smith – these photos were taken approx. 3 years ago and show Manunui motoring round Wellington harbour. Simon commented that her elderly owner is struggling to give her the attention she needs as he lives a 2 hour drive away from the marina.
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Manunui Gun rack

Update ex Hylton Edmonds c.1981 > 1982

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Manunui 1954

 

Jeunesse Awaits A Letter From the Queen

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Jeunesse Awaits A Letter From the Queen

John Wright’s woody – Jeunesse, built in 1919 (most likely) by Dick Lang has hit the ton, she turns 100 this year and John is in the process of giving her a wee tart up, which any old girl of this age deserves.

John is a master craftsman’s who has the eye and skills to turn a woody from a good looking woody launch into a stunning classic launch.

Jeunesse measures 39’, with a beam of 11’ and draws 3’. Tucked away down below is a 180hp Hino so when asked she can lift her skirt and dance 😊

You can view a gallery of b/w photos from her early days here https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/11/30/jeunesse-2/

https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/09/17/14170/

UPDATE 02-03-2020 Photos below of John Wright’s – Jeunesse in the 2020 Auckland Anniversary Day regatta. Sent in by Brett Evans.

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20th Lake Rotoiti – Antique & Classic Boat Show – 200+ Classic Wooden Boat Photos

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20th Lake Rotoiti – Antique & Classic Boat Show – 200+ Classic Wooden Boat Photos

On the 1st weekend of March we travelled south to Nelson for a wee escape. Just by chance (yeah right says the wife) there was a classic woody event on. I have seen and heard a lot about the Antique & Classic Boat Show that is held every year on Lake Rotoiti, one hour south of Nelson but I had never attended. We were staying with good friends in Mapua so early on the Sunday the men folk packed up the car  and headed off. We arrived at the lake as everyone was dusting off  / polishing their pride and joy – I understand there was a social event on the Saturday night and a few looked a little ‘dusty’ themselves.
The venue is just mind blowingly spectacular – and I have not seen so much varnished wood in one place in NZ before. Combine this with a very laid back southern friendliness and we had a great morning.
The woodys on show ranged from vintage radio controlled speedboats, sailing dinghies and speedboats to 100 mile-an-hour hydro-planes. Check out the movie of the hydro-plane Elray III below.
The photos above are intended to give you an insight into the show, warts and all – it’s not a gallery of perfectly presented craft.
Enjoy, we did.

Doris

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DORIS
Baden Pascoe sent in the above photo of the Collings & Bell designed / built launch – Doris. Once owned by Jack Allan (Allen?).
Baden commented that she was one of several motor boats was taken over by the RNZAF and used at Lauthala Bay, Fiji during WW2.
Can any of the woodys tell us more about Dorris?
TAMAKI BOATS UPDATE:
Yesterdays story on the boats ‘resting’ up the Tamaki River blew me away in terms of viewing numbers e.g. 25% more than the coverage of the Mahurangi Regatta and almost neck-‘n-neck with the recent Hobart Wooden Boat Festival. Again many thanks John Bullivant 🙂

Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2019 – Photo Parade – Part 3 – 90 photos + video

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TAMARIKI – Peter Mortimer

Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2019 – Photo Parade – Part 3 – 90 photos + video

For the few of you that have seen enough beautiful boats in the last few days, I promise today will be the last AWBF photo gallery. But for the record Tuesdays AWBF WW story out performed Mondays story and had in fact the highest number of views of any story on WW in the last 12 months 🙂
Today our gallery comes to us from the camera of CYA NZ Chairperson – James  Mortimer. On top of capturing some great photos, James was in a very unique position at the festival – his father Peter was exhibiting the 1979, Gary Wheeler built yacht – Tamariki (photo above), which was the only NZ flagged boat in attendance, and they briefly had the past two NZ CYA chairs and the current one on board for a beer at the same time, nice.
Again, different person = different perspective – enjoy and remember , click on photos to enlarge.
And as a bonus we also have a video of the James Craig leaving her dock – would be nice to have a vessel of her presence based on the Waitemata. Filmed by Andrew Christie.

Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2019 – Photo Parade – Part 2 – 337 photos

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Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2019 – Photo Parade – Part 2 – 337 photos

One of the interesting things reviewing all the photos that have been sent in from the festival is that each person ’sees’ the festival through different eyes – so what they end up photographing is very different from someone else.
Todays collection from Fiona Driver and Rod Marler is a perfect example, it is a very different view from yesterdays and also shows the scale of the event. Worthy of its own WW story.
I could have edited the collection down, but the photographer/s are very passionate woodys so if the image appealed to them, I’m confident it will to you. Enjoy 🙂
Scroll down after todays photo gallery to view more of the festival in Part 1 of the coverage.
And remember , click on photos to enlarge.