Mystery Classics On The Waitemata


Mystery Classics On The Waitemata

Steve Horsley recently sent me the above photo – it came from a collection of old albums that Steve has been loaned. The album photos cover – Auckland, Sydney & England.

The only one that Steve can shed any light on is the V-Class on the left (is the sail # 16 or possibly 36?). Her name is AVOO or AVDO?

Anyone able to ID the motorboats on the right?

Dick Lange Launch in the Sounds


Dick Lange Launch in the Sounds

Nathan Herbert sent in the above photo of this Dick Lange design/built woody that he spotted on his recent trip to the Marlborough Sounds.

She is quite big for a Lange, so hopefully we can ID her & dig out some info on her?


Vixen > Water Beetle – Akaroa


Vixen > Water Beetle – Akaroa

Another photo ex Lew Redwood’s fb page, this time we have a yacht anchored at Akaroa, the photo is dated 1911. It’s a great photo

Any of the woodys able to ID this gaffer?

07-05-2018 Input from Harold Kidd – 

She’s the little half-rater WATER BEETLE designed by Prof Scott and built for Wardrop of Wellington by Robert Logan Sr in 1895 as VIXEN. MASCOTTE (53ft) and YVONNE (42ft) were big gaffers. Scott later bought her, renamed her WATER BEETLE and raced her at Lyttelton. He sold her in 1901.

VIXEN/WATER BEETLE had a lugsail like most of the Wellington half-raters which raced with the Arawa Sailing Club and was 24ft loa. She was owned at the time of this photograph by J.L. Vangioni of Akaroa. Prof Scott had owned YVONNE for many years at this time.


Good Things Take Time

Greg Fenwick sent me the photo below that he took last November on a trip to Oban, Stewart Island. Pretty well sums up wooden boat building 🙂


And a wee bonus today – check out this Facebook movie of dinghy sailing back in 1955, at Plymouth, Devon, UK. Link via Wooden Boat fb – enjoy

Mystery Launch 03-05-2018


Mystery Launch – 03-05-2018

The above photo is from Lew Redwood’s fb page & dated 31 March 1947 & is caption “Mr Tappenden on a launch”

Can we ID the boat & supply anymore details?

Input from Ken Ricketts

Ken tells us the launch was called the Hoturoa & origiallhy had a large petrol engine ( either a Sterling or Kermath c200hp). She had an older style coamings style, which were replaced in the late 1930s or early1940s, with that you see in the image. She was built by Colin Wild for Alf Court & launched in December 1934 (photo below), & by 1946/47 was owned by a Doctor Horton, of Mission Bay, & had a little 4 cyl Graymarine petrol engine, but she had retained the original huge exhaust pipe out the port corner of the tuck.
He did winter maintenance at Okahu Bay hardstand, as did my family on Juliana, we got to know him, & his daughter, quite well. He had her for several years selling her around the earlyish 1950s.
I lost track of her until her 1990s, when she appeared at Mangonui, adjacent to the road by the Mangonui Fish Shop. She was there for several years again, & still looking as she did in 1946. I inspected her c1998, when she was at Kaingaroa (Northland) (a few Kms., from Mangonui, on the way to Awanui,) — for maintenance & had a look inside. By then she had a 6 cyl Nissan diesel painted light iridescent blue. She was still in fairly tidy & good condition.
Not too long after she went back in the water, one night when she was on her moorings she burnt to the waterline & sank, there were lots of local rumours, about the reason for the fire & her demise.
A beautiful little Colin Wild classic, which on this occasion, in my view, was made even better by her second set of coamings. she is a really sad loss to our classic fleet.

HOTUROA 21.12.1934

Mystery Launch 27-04-2018



Mystery Launch 27—4-2018

I was recently contacted by Brad (surname unknown), the new owner of the above woody, who is looking for more info the launch.

What we know is that he bought her off Manda Bishop who bought the boat off her cousin in Kaiwaka. Manda owned her approx. 2 years. Under Manda’s ownership she was located at Wainui.

She is 30’ long, with a 9’ beam. Zoom zoom is via a Ford Lee marine, Model 2712 E, 4-cylinder motor.

The photos below of the decals, found on the boat, may help with ID’ing her.

Brad has re-located the launch to Pahi, where he will be restoring her.

Are we able to shed some more light on this woody?



A Very Long-Shot Woody Request from Argentina.


A Very Long-Shot Request from Argentina

I have been contacted by Paolo Panighini from Buenos Aires, looking for help ID’ing the design of the wooden launch he used to own, pictured above.

She was powered with twin 6 cylinder Scripps.

All he knows is that she was built in Uruguay in 1940 and came to Argentina afterwards.

Does anyone recognize the design boat & the builder, we really do not know who built it.

Closer to Home – Looking for details on a 36′, c.1946 bridge-decker, named Solveig when launched. Does anyone know the boat, her past & any have photos ?

A Treasure Trove of Old Auckland Sailing Photos




A Treasure Trove of Old Auckland Sailing Photos

I was contacted by Keith Humphreys who told me that in the 1950’s he discovered a box of glass plates under the Anglican parish hall (Devonport).

A friend’s father, an amateur photographer printed them off for him at the time, but Keith had no idea what or where they’re of?

He presumes that they’re taken in Auckland.

Can we help ID them? HDK, a wee job after chapel & before your bike ride today 😉

ID’ing the cricket match photo below will be tougher challenge 🙂 A WW t-shirt if some can, & prove it. 


Harold Kidd Input – Top pic RAINBOW? 2nd pic IDA? 3rd THELMA? The Anglican Parish Hall is next door to Le Huquet’s former residence and last yard and I think WAIONE was built in the near vicinity. Mad guess at the cricket match with a little church on a hill is Waiheke. Awaroa? Owhanake before the 1918 flu epidemic which just about wiped out all the Maori population there?