Riwaka Wharf






Riwaka Wharf 

The collection of photos above was sent in by my friend John Burland taken at the Riwaka Wharf, located between Motueka & Kaiteriteri. John commented that Aurora II has been in the channel at Mapua & Royal Saxton (one of my all time favorites) is often at Kaiteriteri Wharf.

Will be interesting to know what is hiding under the boat cover. The (to quote JB) ‘Disney World > Boats of the Future’ boat is c1950 & would have to be an ex life boat ? maybe off the sunken (1986) Russian cruise liner – Mikhail Lermontov.

Input from Brian M – Boat under cover is the “Rhonda Marie”. Wee clunker next to Royal Saxon is “West Bay. Life raft is “Jelly Bean”.
“Kairaki” with blue tarp over cockpit. “Mariner” with 2 masts. Pilot looking boat is the “Ponui”.                                                                                                                                                                     

Input from Ken Ricketts – the last photo (bridgedecker with cover across front windows) is Varlene (previously Lady Sunshine) a Supreme Craft build. Also pictured Ken thinks is Al Marie (or La Marie) in the small strip of photos, 3rd for left.   

Input From Paul Drake

Great to see PONUI in such good condition (photos 6 and 7). Named for Ponui Island, she is a 1907 Logan and was advertised For Sale in the Feb 3, 1912 New Zealand Yachtsman for 700 pounds. She became Napier’s pilot boat until 1950 when she appeared at Lake Taupo and worked commercially until the mid 1960’s. She then went to the top of the South Island (by sea from Napier) before going to the Kaipara Harbour where she continued to work commercially. She appeared on Trade Me in more recent years and was spotted departing Onehunga heading back to the South Island as deck cargo on a coastal ship. She is mentioned in the book ‘U-boat in New Zealand Waters’ – the story of U 862’s war patrol off Gisborne and Napier in 1945. PONUI was observed through the U boat’s periscope leading the coaster PUKEKO out of Napier harbour. (Some hours later, a torpedo was fired at PUKEKO but missed). 

One of my favourite boats. Photos below:

First pic – PONUI when she was the Napier pilot boat. 

Second and third pic – at Taupo, where she was a busy commercial boat. The third pic shows her on the beach at Waihaha in the Western Bays. 




Mystery Launch (Tainui)

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Mystery Launch (Tainui) 

I was sent the above photos by Graeme Sapwell who is hoping to ID this launch.

They were taken in Auckland in 1989, the vessel is 26’ in length, but the design/builder unknown. She was at the time powered by 60hp Fordson.

The name on the photos is Tainui, but not the original name. Can anyone identify her?

Mystery Launch 02-03-2018



The above photo shows Radio Hauraki’s original floating base (pirate ship) Tiri with an amphibian airplane alongside. Most likely dropping off / picking up crew.

The question for us woodys is – what is the launch in the photo – should not be too hard to ID, given her distinctive design / style.

The photo comes to us via the ‘NZ Cars Boats >>>> Utes Pre ’75’ FB page. Apologises for the slight grainy look.





It never ceases to amaze me where photos & details on woodys come from. The above photos of Aorangi came to me from the facebook page ‘NZ Cars, Boats, Motorbikes,Truck,Vans,Utes, via Nathan Herbert.

There was a comment that Aorangi was sitting in a yard behind a pub in Timaru. While needing a lot of work, other than her doghouse, she appears to be very original.

So woodys – what do we know about Aorangi?


Spotted In Nelson



Spotted in Nelson

While Trinidad has been sitting in Nelson waiting for a weather window to start the 2nd leg of their circumnavigation Nelson > Milford Sound), Barbara Cooke has been sniffing around the marina with her phone camera. The two small woodys above are an interesting mix – one would like to think the clinker motorboat does not venture too far from port. The deflated dinghy along side is a worry 🙂

The canoe stern yacht on the other hand looks very salty.

Anyone able to ID these two woodys?





I have been approached by Ted Bosch asking about the vessel Crescent, that twenty years ago he restored for a client. She is a Miller & Tunnage double ender. Ted renewed nearly everything from the hull upwards and a new reconditioned 6 cylinder Gardner was installed, new bulkheads, engine beds, deck and wheelhouse, rig. From the photo above taken at her re-launching in 1988, she appears to be lovely little boat.

Ted understands she was even used as the mother radio ship for the 1990 Noumea race, but soon afterwards the owner sold her to some people in Tauranga and Ted has never seen her again.

Ted commented that Crescent was always very dear to him and wonders what came of her and would like to know her whereabouts.


Brick Smit House

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Brick Smit House

The 31’ Cauldrey launch above really is built like a brick smit house. Built in 1972, she has a triple skin kauri glassed hull, the decks & cabin are ply glassed. And to top it off there is a 4cyl 60hp Gardner dsl (Model LK) engine shoe horned in. With 350L fuel tank, she could go a long time between drinks.

She was built by a retired boat builder. Her current owner has had her for 23 years. Anyone know the vessel’s name?

Thanks to Ian McDonald for the trademe listing heads up