A Spirit of Tradition Woody

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A Spirit of Tradition Woody

The above launch was built in 1983 but looks 50 years older, so she makes the cut on WW. Her trademe listing (thanks Ian McDonald) describes her as a 37’ Jorgenson Quicksley launch, with a beam of 10’7” & draft of 4’3’.

Hull construction is 1 3/8” kauri plank and the zoom zoom comes from a 100hp GM Detroit diesel.

Home port is Nelson so she comes with all the fruit, including the mandatory diesel heater 😉 Anyone able to put a name to the launch?

Input from John Wicks – Cna’t for the life of me remember her name, but Jorgensens built her for one Cdr. “Sankey” Critchley who lived just outside Blenheim and had a bach at a bay known as Longbeach in the Grove Arm of Queen Charlotte Sound.
Cdr Critchley had previously owned the Albert Strange yawl “Sheila II” which he bought from Adrian Hayter after the latter had sailed her out from the UK.

Anyone Looking For A  Winter Project?

I have been contacted by Mike Renner who inherited a pond yacht (photos below) from his father, who died over 50 years ago.  It’s 1.2 metres long & Mike suspect it belonged to his grandfather.  It’s been hanging in the garage for years and it needs a new home.

 Mike’s grandfather and father were very keen boaties.  His grandfather owned several yachts, including ‘Rogue’, and at one stage owned 32 parts in ‘Waitangi’.  He migrated to launches in later years, including Zane Grey’s ‘Otehei’.
Mike commented that the hull looks is good order & there is a mast included.
So Woodys – it would be a shame for it not to have another life somewhere? Mike can be contacted at  mike@merel.co.nz
Ps – looking at the photos I was relieved to see a good stack of firewood in the background 😉


20-07-2018 Update – I understand the model has found a new home with Greg Lees at his boatyard – I look forward to seeing it finished 🙂



Mystery Woodys at Kawau Island

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Mystery Woodys at Kawau Island

The caption on the above Tudor Collins photo, ex Auckland Museum (via Lew Redwood fb) states that the photo is dated 1936 & possibly / probably Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island.
Interested in ID’ing the closest launch to the shore. At first glance I thought Tasman, then Rehia but the shape & number of portholes is all wrong – what say the Woodys?
The dark hulled vessel behind, could be one of the early pilot boats – Ferro?
And any clever yachties able to ID the small yachts – mullet boats?
Input from Robin Elliott

NOT Mullet boats but 18-foot V-class. See endless posts and publications over the last 20 years (puts hobby horse back in stable)

From what I can make of the name on her transom, the light coloured hull looks to be Vaalele, V-78, built by Charlie Hardman to a Ralph Goodwin design in 1936.She was one of the four Auckland 18-footers that travelled to Sydney for the first World’s 18-footer championship in 1938. Charlie Hardman kept Vaalele until 1939 when he sold her to S.H. Bailey.

The darker boat is a bit later and looks to be quite new. She’s marconi rigged and could possibly be another Charlie Hardman / Ralph Goodwin boat, Vindex, V-35 built in 1939. Marconi rigs were not common in the V-class but by 1939 the more competitive yachtsmen were moving away from gaff.

From other photos I have seen, she was painted a dark colour, either black or royal blue and was marconi rigged. Vindex was laid up in 1940 and In 1944 he sold Vindex to Keith Atkinson who was working at Lidgards with Hardman.

If this is the case then that would date the photo to the summer of 1939/40, with the two Hardman boats cruising in company, and also explain the patriotic display of the Union Jack from the wharf,

15-07-2018 Update from Steve Pople (current owner)

Steve sent me the 2 b/w photos below (ex NZ Herald) of RF as launched – what a stunner, just about perfect from any angle. Steve confirmed Ken Rickets comments re being lengthened (by 6′). RF is currently in the very capable hands of Dave Patterson of Leader Boats in Pakuranga undergoing a total refit. I will updated the restoration story with new photos.

Royal Falcon 1934 Martin boat 1

Royal Falcon 1934 martin boat 2

Mystery Launch 12-07-2018


Mystery Launch 12-07-2018

Lots of stick & rag in the above photo, ex Lew Redwood fb, its dated Jan. 1948 & the caption reads ‘Trans Tasman Race’.
What interests me today is the name of the launch in the foreground of the photo – looks familiar with that unusual shaped, raised wheel house. Looks slightly automobile in design.
Who can ID her?

Motiti High & Dry


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Motiti High & Dry

Another NZ Herald heritages images photo via Lew Redwood fb, this time the vessel Motiti.
I have searched on-line to find details with no joy, can someone tell us about the vessel & how she ended up in that spot? Was she re-floated?
Can anyone ID the launch standing off ?

Mystery Launch 03-07-2018


MYSTERY LAUNCH – 03-07-2018

Short post today – other boating things distracting me 😉

The above unidentified launch is seen above in Fitzroy Harbour, Great Barrier Island. photo ex Lew Redwood fb

Anyone able to ID her?


1st Motor Boat on Lake Wanaka 


1st Motor Boat on Lake Wanaka 

In the days before the guys at Boat Haulage were around, it was a real mission to launch the woodys, & some were more challenging. In the above photo we see the first motor launch for Lake Wanaka being transported there by horse & wagon team.

Photo ex University of Otago / Hocken collection via Lew Redwood’s FB page.

Its a long shot but any able to ID the launch?

Another of Lew’s photos, below, is dated 22 December 1956 (just 6 days b4 I was born) – any clues on the location?

Harold Kidd Input – The launch is TILIKUM, formerly on Lake Wakatipu. She was taken across from Frankton to Pembroke in September 1904 on a timber wagon driven by J Brensell. Her owner was Capt McDougall. TILIKUM was probably a rename after Capt Vos’s canoe TILIKUM which had just visited New Zealand and created a great deal of interest, so her provenance is obscure. Certainly she’s a typical early 20th Century canoe-sterned oil launch in the Logan Bros style.

There’s a suggestion that TILIKUM started life as a torpedo boat based in Dunedin. Haven’t had a chance to check that out but it seems plausible.

Update 27-06 The “torpedo boat” origin is rubbish. The Dunedin-based Thornycroft spar torpedo boat TAIAROA wa a hugely different animal which was decommissioned about the time TILIKUM appeared, but that’s the only common context except the “torpedo stern” and that it seems TILIKUM first owner, J.C. McBride of Queenstown, bought her in Dunedin. I reckon she was probably built by one of the top Dunedin/Port Chalmers constructors like Jas McPherson or Jas McLellan.



It Might Be Wood – But It Sure Isn’t A Classic

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It Might Be Wood – But It Sure Isn’t A Classic

The above boat was bought to my attention on trademe by James Dreyer, its listing states it’s a mid 1930’s build, 41’ twin skin kauri hull, with a beam of 14’9” / draft 3’3” – but somewhere along the line its been turned into a floating apartment.

Interestingly the main engine has been removed and replaced with ballast, & she now has two 15hp 4 stroke outboards hanging off the back.

Her owner is very honest & states that she is only really a vessel to potter in the marina and potentially the harbour on a calm day, so woodys if you’re looking for a love shack in Wellington…..

My real reason for posting was to give Jason Prew some interior decorating hints for his My Girl 🙂