Can We Identify The Launch + Worldwide Classic Boat Show

Can We Identify The Launch

The above Bay of Islands photo comes to us via Diane Keene’s post on fb and is from the photo album of her grandmother – Joyce Simpson. The grandmother’s diaries indicate that the photo was taken on 6th Feb 1963, and the primary focus of the photo was the submarine. Diane has checked with the RNZN & they have informed her it is either the submarine HMS Andrew which attended the 1960 Waitangi Day ceremonies, or of the submarine HMS Tapir which was present in 1963 when HM Queen Elizabeth was in attendance aboard HMY Britannia.

Putting subs to one side, Dianne enquired about the identity of the launch on the left – if my life depended on it I would say – Menai, the 1937 built Sam Ford launch, but there is no mast and she seems to have always sported one, as a second option I would say – Ian Gavin’s family launch – Florence Dawn, built in 1947 by Richard Hartley. Anyone agree or have another suggestion?

created by the folks at Off Center Harbor

This is very cool and worth checking out – there will be hundreds of the world’s finest boats, each with its own web page with photos and description + interviews with top boat builders, museums, sail makers, festivals, etc. Effectively everything happening in classic boats around the world, all in one place.

Location:  Online at
Tickets:  $5 (seriously)

When the pandemic started the festivals, schools, yards, and museums that are the lifeblood of the classic boating world began shutting down for distancing. 
At that moment, Off Center Harbor committed to utilize our worldwide
audience to highlight those doing great work and bring everyone in the world of classic boats closer together.
That dream becomes a reality with the Worldwide Classic Boat Show.


Purchasing a digital “ticket” provides you full access to the Boat Show’s website during the 10 days of the Show.  It gives you full unlimited access to everything, including the live presentations. Live presentations will be recorded and available for the entire show beginning the day after the presentation (maybe sooner). There are no physical paper tickets — as you check out and pay, you’ll choose a username and a password for logging in, and that login will be your “ticket” to the show (so write it down).


Mystery North Shore Launch


Today’s woody story comes to us via Peter Jenkins fb. Peter’s father – Des Jenkins and his uncle Murray Jenkins built the above 23’ launch in the families backyard at 67 Shakespeare Road in the early to mid 1960’s.In the photos we see the neighbours and friends assisting in turning the hull over for completion of the topside.

A transporter was later backed down the side of the house, boat loaded on an then transported to the launching ramp by the northern side of the Harbour bridge, probably Sulphur Beach boat ramp. It was sea trialed and then moored up to the jetty in Milford Creek at # 12 Craig Road, which was where Peter’s grandparents lived. The launch was used for family fishing trips around the Rangitoto Channel, and beyond.

Peter is keen to ID the design of the boat and learn what became of her. It has been suggested that it may have been a Pelin Express design.


The CYA are running a Round Rangitoto Launch Race and BBQ at Islington Bay, if you wish to be eligible for prizes, please nominate a female skipper, or someone that ‘looks’ the part, get your entries in to as soon as you can.  

If you want to just arrive, eat and socialise without the round island voyage, thats all good – but can you please let Joyce know on so they can plan how many sausages to get. 

The  “race/log rally”  will start off Orakei, using the Yacht Start Line at 10.45am (Sat 13th feb). The race is clockwise around Rangitoto and Motutapu, do it at your own speed.  BBQ only boats should aim to be there by late afternoon. Families welcome, but feel free to BYO some top up food, drink etc….. There is A-Cup racing this day so if you want to watch the racing and attend the BBQ this another option.BBQ kicks off at 5pm.  ish….

An Amazing Old Movie

An Amazing Old Movie

A good Kiwi friend of mine, John Burland, lives in Germany and sent me the link to todays story. John was mooching around the web and found reference to my wife’s uncle – Jock Bleakley. Jock appears in this 1950 b/w film (from the New Zealand National Film Unit) titled ‘Rock Bottom At Waikaremoana’ that tells the story of a group of divers that sealed leaks in the lake bed. At the time approx 50% of the water capacity was being lost before it could be used in the hydro-electric dam / generator.

A team of ‘special’ divers with explosive skills that had learnt their skills in WWII (use your imagination) were contracted to fix the problem, which they did, and were rewarded very well. Great footage also of the special diving helmet designed to film the exercise. It was a high risk operation – one worker fell into a hooper > into lake and was never found.

Photo below shows Jock, aged 29 at the time,  and wife Querida aboard Jock’s launch at Kaitawa on the shores of Lake Waikaremoana. The photo comes to us from Maurice Alan Quinn’s fb page. Maurice was 9 years old at the time the film was made. The caption for the photo reads – pictured (from left) Angela Quin (Maurice’s sister), John Quinn (brother), Querida Bleakley, Jock Bleakley and stand Maurice’s father – Charley Quinn. The child kneeling in the front is Maurice. Maurice’s mother, Caroline Quinn took the photo. The Quinn’s were good friends of the Bleakleys. Amazingly Querida is still alive today, I attended a significant birthday party 2 months ago.

13-02-2021 UPDATE: Just spoke to Jock Bleakley’s son Warwick who told me the launch was named – Wanderer, and Jock had raised her from the bottom of the lake, her owner was so grateful to have her back, he gave Jock and Querida unlimited use of the boat. Another snippet – Jock also found a very old Maori Waka (canoe) that had been buried with a chieftain inside – at some stage over time the Waka had broken free from its earth grave as the result of an earthquake and ultimately came to rest on the bottom of newly formed lake. The local tribe transported the Waka to higher ground and reburied it. The Bleakley’s were invited to the ceremony – a very rare occurrence for non Maori’s at the time.

The Big Woody Quiz – Lots of Prizes

The Big Woody Quiz
Todays story is really a quiz, it won’t be easy, they are three parts to the answer. If anyone gets all three right I’ll be very impressed, in fact entries will be weighted by the number of questions you get right e.g. one correct question = one entry, two = two etc. Entries are ONLY via email to waitematawoodys@gmail  I’ll let it run until 7pm Monday 1st Feb 2021 – lots of time to do some homework. 

The winner of the draw will get – WW t-shirt, WW cap, Off Centre Harbor cap, Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat 2021 Calendar. Now if no one gets even one answer right – all entries will go into the draw – so its worth entering 😉

1.       Name the make of engine and hp

2.       Who were the agents for the engine

3.       Which boat was it fitted to and when

ID THE ENGINE QUIZ – The correct answers were

MAKE & HP: Stearns MDR 125hp

AGENTS: H. O. Wiles

BOAT FITTED TO & WHEN: Romance II – 1925
No one got all the answers correct – but Jason Prew and Nathan Herbert were tied at 3 correct elements (but not the same) so its a tie – they can decide what bits of the prize pool they each want 🙂

Georgia Rae @ Herald Island

Georgia Rae At Herald Island
I have seen the above boat several times mooching around the inner Hauraki Gulf but never been close enough to get a good photo or her name. This photo, moored at Herald Island, Auckland, was sent in by Thomas Guthrie and it appears her name is Georgia Rae. Thomas commented that her hull is a lot older than the cabin, can anyone enlighten us on her past and modifications?

Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta

Its only 8 days till the regatta so if you are going to be back in Auckland on the Monday today might be a good time to get your entry in. As well as the yachting events – there is the Tug/Work boat race and a round the bouys launch race for the diesel-heads – lots of great prizes up for grabs. Info & entry details here

Photo above from the 1963 regatta)

Mystery Launch – 1953 Photo

Mystery Launch – 1953 Photo
Today’s woody story features one of the launches that were part of the welcome fleet for the SS Gothic. The Gothic was delivering her VIP cargo – Queen Elizebeth II to our shores.

The photo comes to us from the NZ Herald Heritage images via Lew Redwood.
Anyone able to ID the launch?

Pilot + Woody Quiz

Far North Mystery Workboat – PILOT
Woody Brett Stanaway has taken his launch Seabee to the Far North this summer, even ventured as far as rounding Cape Reigna. While in Hohora he spotted the above woody. Those rather substantial belting indicate she was / is a workboat. In my eyes, there is a certain whale chaser look to her.No name visible so we will have to rely on the WW workboat boys for help ID’ing her.

Most likely the last day afloat today – special thanks to those that sent in photos over the xmas/ny period. Keep them coming 

Input from Dean Wright – she is called PILOT and has been on WW before 🙂

WOODY QUIZ – WIN #1 Selling Book

All correct answers to the question below go into the draw for a copy of Brian Peet’s #1 selling book – Des Townson – A Sailing Legacy. Enter via email only to this address

Q – Identify the item in the photo below eg – what is it, who would have it and where would you see it? (Thanks to Harold Kidd for the photo)

Mystery Workboat Conversion

Mystery Workboat Conversion 
According to her tme listing (thanks Ian McDonald) the above woody is – 44’ in length, built of kauri, powered by a 1978 Detroit 150hp diesel and calls Waiheke Island home. And that woodys is all we know.

I’m sure we can uncover more details. The conversion looks very tidy and the wood stove would indicate she has spent time in the our southern waters.

Stunning weather afloat, photo below of Raindance in Garden Cove, Waiheke Island – we sneaked in before the fizz boats and SeaLegs arrived.

Herne Bay Cruising Club + Help Needed ID’ing Some Woodys

Sloanes Beach Regatta and Centreboard Cup

If you are wondering where Sloanes Beach is – google it. It is one of Aucklands hidden gems in the suburb of Herne Bay. The regatta is very low key, almost secret hand shake low key. Each year I try and drop in and grab a few photos to help promote the club (Herne Bay Cruising Club)

I had a full dance card yesterday, so only stayed for the start of the ‘bigger’ boats race. A little overcast but as I was leaving the sun came out and the wind picked up.Spotted an original burgee from the Auckland Motorboat Club handing from the rafters – you do not see many of those around these days.

Mahurangi Cruising Club / Regatta Year Book

The perfect stocking stuffer – available now at Boatbooks in Westhaven (or on-line) + at usual outlets around Warkworth.

Looking For Something Bigger

Grab a copy of Brian Peets book – Des Townson – A Sailing Legacy. A must for every kiwi yachtie and even launch owners 🙂 Also available from Boatbooks or

WW Xmas Quiz Winners

Matthew Drake, Ken Goa, Simon Smith, Nick Voerman, Jason Prew – prizes on the way to you, if you have supplied your postal details.

Help Needed – Yacht Sojurn

WW has been contacted by Zoe Hawkins in regard to the yacht – Sojourn.Zoe is writing a story on the Northern Manukau Harbour and is looking for intel in regards to the keeler. She was built by the Davis Brother in Titirangi in the 1950’s. Zoe believes that It was put on the road and sold after one of the brothers became too sick to finish it and go sailing, most likely this was the 1960’s. An help very much appreciated. Two photos below.  

And More Help – Yacht Hawk V67

Yesterdays WW story featured small boat builder – John Maxwell – recently when John was cleaning out his parents home, he came across the hand coloured old print, below, of the yacht Hawk V67. John told me that if the boat is still around, then maybe the current owners may like this photo. It isn’t large but is better condition than the photo shows. 



I have been contacted by Neville Watkin in regard to his classic launch – Fruin. Neville knows very little about her early history, but believes she was probably built just after WW II (late 1940’s) and is kauri planked.

The above photo was taken in Cissy Bay near French Pass in the Marlborough Sounds in 2016. More recently her hull has been re-caulked and repainted and she currently doesn’t have a name.

Neville is keen to uncover any information on the vessel and suspects she was renamesd at some stage in her life. 
Can anyone help Neville put the correct name on the launch.