LAKE MANAPOURI MYSTERY LAUNCH
LAKE MANAPOURI MYSTERY LAUNCH
1985 Chas Bailey Gaffer – Ida – Invitation To View
The owner of Pirate, Bryce Armstrong, sent in the above photo of the 32’ Bob Swanson built launch. She was launched in 1977 and was the last launch Swanson built. The original owner in Picton finished the topsides
Harold and I have finally sorted the mystery of Matatua (well it was only a mystery to us, the rest of the world couldn’t care less 🙂 ).
Matatua was built as a 33-foot ketch by Roy Lidgard in 1938 at their yard in Freemans Bay Auckland for C.T. Jonas who originally named her Landfall.
NZ Herald 13/8/1938 has a photo of her on page 12 being built ‘for C.T. Jonas’.
Landfall was launched 19/11/1938 and described as an ‘auxilliary ketch’ 33ft overall, 26ft on the waterline with 9ft 6in beam. She carried 600 sq ft of sail and it was reported that her owner intended making a cruise to the islands at the end of the 1938-39 season.
From then on, no more mention of Landfall and it appears that C.T. Jonas and his co-owner Harry Gillard, renamed her Matatua quite soon after launching.
The ketch Matatua first appears in print in February 1939 racing with other boats in the Lidgard employees picnic from the Freemans Bay slipway to Motuihe. She raced regularly with RNZYS and RAYC for the rest of the season. Her registration number was B-9.
The ketch rig clearly wasn’t a success because in September 1939 the NZH 26/9/39 reports ‘aux yacht Landfall owned by C.T. Jonas which made an appearance last year under ketch rig has been converted into a cutter’. This reference to Landfall is odd because she had been named Matatua since at least the beginning of 1939, but maybe they were just making the connection back their earlier articles.
In the winter of 1940, yet more improvements.
NZH 2/7/40: B-class yacht Matatua owned by C. Jonas has had 2ft 6in added to her counter by Lidgard Bros. OA length now 35ft 6in and will enable carrying a permanent backstay,
NZH 9/12/40: Photo of Matatua with her new cutter rig, B-9 on the sail.
The war intervenes and Matatua ceases racing.
During this time the Auckland yacht registration records, probably having been moved about or in storage during the war, had fallen into disarray. By the time a new list is published in July 1946, Matatua has been registered twice, first by Harry Gillard, who retained B-9, and again by C.T. Jonas who got a new number B-24. The error was picked up and B-24 lapsed but it remained in the official lists for a couple of seasons until another purge of obsolete registrations in 1948.
Clarrie Irvine raced Matatua, as B-9, for the next couple of seasons and sold her in 1949 to R. Campbell of Wellington. The trip to Wellington under delivery skipper Terry Hammond was hard and they were missing for several days after hitting a nor’westerly gale just off Cape Palliser that blew them as far south as Kaikoura. After getting back to almost the same spot, they ran into a westerly gale that blew them back out to sea. Eventually Matatua got to Wellington, her crew had been battered for 84 hours.
Matatua remained in Wellington (registered as Wellington A-10) for the next 12 years or so. She was purchased by K. Stutter in 1957, and in 1962 was sold to D. Fletcher of Epsom who brought her back to Auckland where she picked up her old number of B-9. Fletcher didn’t appear to do any racing but in 1968 he sold her to George Retter of the Richmond Yacht Club who owned and raced her until 1981.
Matatua has had no registered owners since then. Her NZYF number is 109
One major confusion with Matatua has been the Bob Stewart design Mata-a-tua built for George Gresham of Tauranga in 1947. When Matatua was sold to Wellington, her B-9 registration became vacant and was issued to Gresham’s Mata-a-tua thus beginning a series of tortured confusions in boating magazines and newspapers between the two boats.
This was continued when Mata-a-tua was also sold to Wellington in 1958 where she became Wellington A-9. Her owner Brian Millar brought her to Auckland in 1964 and she entered the 1965 Anniversary Regatta under her Wellington number A-9. (A-9?.. A-9??.. That’s Moana and We can’t have that!!) In February she was re-registered as B-47.
Another tedious ‘golly gee’ point. Both Clarrie Irvine and George Retter owned the Bailey built C-class Matua C-54. Both of them sold Matua to buy Matatua
I have been told to ‘get a life’ by many people.
Mystery Launches – Mansion House Bay
The story below without doubt is the best to appear on WW, author Pete Beech talks at one stage about writing a book – he needs to. Surely there is a funding channel available – what’s the literary equivalent of ‘NZ On Air’?
Harold Kidd Input – RHODESIA was built in Auckland in September 1912 and railed down to Rotorua. She was 30ft loa 8fft beam 2ft 9in draught. Her first owner was Marshall Ryan Shipping Co who used Bailey & Lowe for their new builds so it’s a fair bet they built her too. Roy Forrester of Helensville ran her for the company in the years immediately after WW1. When Taupo Shipping Co was liquidated and its assets sold off in August 1925 she was sold off. I am not sure she was then renamed TUWHARETOA because Sam Crowther was running a TUWHARETOA for hire in 1923.
PARUA BAY WOODYS
MANAROA BAY (Lady Leila)
Clarionet – Sailing Sunday
Today’s woody is the Chappelle designed schooner- Clarionet, seen here early one morning in Whangamumu, Northland getting ready to get underway.
Mystery Work Boat Question
I have lots of question re Shandi
Update ex Ian MacDonald – Shandi is owned by the Sanderson family (Bruce & son Bruce Jnr.) Members of the Whangarei Game Fishing Club. Below is a link to a ’Northern Advocate’ article on Bruce Snr., check out the video.
“I am prompted to write a few lines about Reo Moana after seeing her coming through the Albert Channel and arriving in the Bay of Islands, she looks so different with the extra top hamper that has been added. Her current owners have recorded that she was built by Roger Carey, this is not correct, see below.
I worked at the Carey yard and in 1963 we commenced work on a Roger Carey design of a 51’x15’8”x 7’ fishing boat for John Buchanan of Cascade River. She was carvel planked in karri and launched in 1964 named “Compass Rose” The moulds of this Roger Carey design were then taken across to another Picton boat builder Bob Swanson. Bob’s yard was directly opposite the Carey yard at the southern end of the harbour, it was formerly the site of Ernie Lane’s boatyard.
Bob was commissioned to build a boat to this Roger Carey design by Bill and Sylvia Kenny of Red Funnel Launches and an associate. She was built multi skin and was powered by a 6LX Gardner. There was talk that the boat was to do a Pacific cruise that was to include Tahiti but the cruise did not come to fruition. She was put into service with the Red funnel fleet, it was also at this time that the pine plantations in the Sounds were starting to be harvested and with a substantial tow post Reo Moana was regularly used to tow rafts of logs to Picton. Her spacious after deck also proved ideal for work in and around the Marlborough Sounds.
In the above photo she can be seen in the Red Funnel colours, I was involved with salvaging the fishing vessel Ascot that had sunk in Cloudy Bay and we used Reo Moana as the salvage vessel to tow Ascot into Port Underwood to pump her out and then continue the tow to Picton.
Seeing her now, photos below, I suppose she is handy for charters in and around Auckland, but with the windage from the considerable extra top hamper that she now carries, I think she would be more that a handful going alongside wharves in the Sounds in some of the extreme wind conditions that can be experienced at times.”
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SS DUKE of MARLBOROUGH
I recently stumbled across the above photo of the steam ship – Duke of Marlborough and knowing nothing about her put a call into Russell Ward aka Mr Steam. The man is never embarrassed to speak so – take it away Russell, WW is all yours…..
“Once, 30+ years ago, I built up a steamboat called “Gypsy”. So pull up a chair, warm yourselves by the fire and I’ll tell you a story which isn’t about “Gypsy” at all, it’s about the “James Torrey” which became the “Duke of Marlborough”.
But, through “Gypsy”, I met one Lloyd Lewis of Lake Tarawera. He was an ardent enthusiast for steamy things (who wouldn’t be – living on Lake Tarawera.) Lloyd had made a steamer up out of a hull I had sold him a year or so previously and really had the steamboat bug badly. As the late Pete Culler (he wrote a lot about boats and he was a wise man) said “It’s awful, don’t go near it or you are hooked.” And you can’t argue with facts like that, folks. Suffice to say Lloyd got steam enginitis in a big way.
He had Wellington naval architect Bruce Askew design a hull for a 36’ steam vessel following the style of the early 1900 steam boats The steel hull was built in 1987 by Gordon Clark and Brian Starrock in New Plymouth and shipped to Rotorua for Lloyd to complete. He did a fine aesthetic job. She was launched as “James Torrey” and he used her to take fishing tours on the lake. The lads appreciated the warmth from the boiler at times.
Lloyd built the engine – an English design by A.A. Leake and a dashed good looker it is -a traditional open compound, driving a 28” by 42” propeller giving a service speed of 6 knots. A piston valve is fitted to the high pressure cylinder and a balanced slide valve on the low pressure one. It has cross-head driven twin feed pumps and air pump. Exhaust is through a feed-water heater to a keel condenser. There you feel a lot better for knowing that.
But to sum up, working on salt water, you have to condense the exhaust steam or you run out of feedwater real quick. Besides, condensing gives you a useful addition to the power through the vacuum created which, in essence, sucks the piston while the steam pushes.
The steam is provided by a Kingdon type boiler (1900’s Simpson Strickland design) built by Langley Engineering in the U.K and, since you didn’t really want to know, It is a vertical fire-tube type, 34 inches high by 30 inches diameter over lagging, has 3.4 square feet of grate area and has 84 square feet of heating surface. She burns coal and there is nothing better.
Lloyd had quite job actually getting Ed Langley to dispatch the finished boiler although it had been long since paid for. Ed had had his delivery problems over the years…. Legend has it that, in frustration (remember communication was all letters and phone calls that had to be booked well ahead in those prehistoric times); Lloyd flew over to the UK and turned up at the works just ahead of the receiver. Seeing the likelihood of his investment coming to nothing, he took matters into his own hands and loaded the boiler up himself. Lloyd just wasn’t the sort of man to argue with and got his boiler. It is a very handsome job.
Anyway after a number of years, Lloyd tired of his steamboat and Roger Frazer took her to Picton. He renamed her “Duke of Marlborough” and did a lot of restoration which is a credit to him. He has been taking passengers out of Picton for some time. I’m sure the passengers appreciate the boiler’s warmth even more that the Lake Tarawera types.”
I understand she may be for sale………
WoodenBoat Magazine Interview #3
This week WB editor Matt Murphy interviews Harold Burnham in a live discussion of how, for nearly three decades, he has been instrumental in revitalizing the shipbuilding and maritime culture of his region by designing, building, and rehabilitating traditional vessels for cultural tourism. Harold is an 11th-generation shipwright, and has, at various times, also been a sawyer, mariner, model maker, and sail maker.
Seriously Cool Steam Boat
The 39’ launch Kestrel was built in Nelson in 1957 by Wally Steer. Original kauri carvel construction but later (1990’s) she received a skin of ply and was fibre-glassed 1990s 😦 Powered by a Ford 120hp diesel, that gets her along at 8 knots.
Mid last year she was 4sale on tme, in Nelson. Do we know anymore about Kestrel and her builder?
Input from Steve Thomas – Kestrel was originally named SUSAN MARGARET, built by Wally Steer around 1957 and first launched from Monaco, Nelson, not far from Wally’s home at Songer Street, Stoke, where the boat was built. I have a photos of her moored in Nelson Harbour, will dig it out and send a copy. She was powered by 2 flat-head V8 petrols we think. The March Construction family in Kaiapoi owned the boat for many years. In the 1980’s the March boys Father died and they trucked the boat from Picton and started a major rebuild at their Kaiapoi base. Myself and my Dad, Don Thomas, found her around 1995 and fell in love. The original 1’1/4 kauri carvel planking was skinned over with diagonal ply and glassed and the new topsides built but not fitted out. The March boys ran out steam on the home straight and let us take over. We then trucked the boat up to Glenhope, near Murchison, where a boat builder friend, Kevin Strong, completed the interior fit-out over a couple of years. We then moved the boat to Nelson, and finished the exterior repaint, electrical and engineering work. The Ford 2725E was a brand new engine. We relaunched the boat in Nelson around 2000 and she looked the same as she is now. Sadly, my father Don passed away in 2013. Nelson boaties Mike and Denise Ballard then purchased her around that time and lived on her for a few years. Kestrel has just been sold to an American couple who intend to keep her in Picton and cruise the Sounds. She’s a fantastic sea boat with heaps of flare in the bow. Will be a great ship for many years to come.
One of the many woodys that contacted WW for a copy of Chris McMullen’s docking tips was Mike Empson, owner of – Maureen II, a Matangi, built c1967-68 by Brin Wilson. Maureen II is 100% kauri, 36′ long and weighs approx. 9 tonnes.
As you know I’m a big fan of the website – Off Center Harbor, the site is probably best known for jaw dropping boat tours and in-depth how-to series, but the OCH lads also know how to slow down and soak up the scenery. Given the craziness of the last 5 weeks I have found myself trolling the OCH online library more than ever, looking to a cure to my boat less blues. I have some favourites that I would be embarrassed to say how many times I have viewed 🙂
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.
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.
If you have been considering installing a bow thruster or if you occasionally have a berthing oops – read the article below that Chris McMullen sent me – it originally appeared in the May 1944 edition of – Yachting World & Power Craft. It’s been in Chris’s files for years and he uncovered it during lock-down. Chris commented that he felt he should share it. Have a read it explains boat handling in plain English + the analogy of thinking the propeller is a wheel is good. If its too hard to read, drop me an email and I’ll send you it in a larger format. email@example.com
Woodys On Tour – Halls Boat Yard, New York
A few years ago, woodys Jim and Karin Lott were ‘parked up’ with the masts on deck in their kauri ketch – Victoria, on the Hudson River. More specifically in the middle of New York State in a city called Albany. The Lott’s waited there for three weeks for the Erie Canal to open. Jim commented that Albany definitely does not feature on anyone’s ‘place to go’ list. They were not alone as Wellington old salt Richard Watt and his wife Enid anchored alongside them in their launch (photo below of both boats), as well as dozens of other impatient US and Canadian sailors.
To while away the time they hired a car and headed to Lake George to look at woodies at Halls Boatyard, one of the many inland homes of wooden boats in New York. Jim commented that floating boat garages are common in North America and they spent several hours admiring a sea of varnished ash, cedar, spruce and mahogany. There was a slipway and boatyard all under cover inside the shed complex. The yard specialises in rebuilding and restoring classic motor-launches but a few yachts were getting the same TLC.
After the long wait, the canal stayed closed so they had to forgo the Great Lakes and continued up the Hudson. Eventually they locked into Lake Champlain and down the Richelieu River to the St Lawrence near Montreal in Canada.
KITTY VANE – Where Are You
Todays photos come to us from Nathan Herbert and show a small flotilla of woodys that regularly cruised together – the boats being – Kudu, Lynmar, Kotanui, Haunui, and Valhalla. On this cruise Rakanoa was present also but had not made the trip up the river for provisions, she decided to ’stay out’ at anchor.
OOPS – Best Caption
SEA BEE Part 2