Kotiti – Sailing Sunday


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KOTITI – Sailing Sunday
The above photos are of the schooner Kotiti & were sent in by Lesley Brennan, whose father, Dudley (Lex) Dowling, owned her from November 1963 until 1968. Lesley was a teenager at that time and their family and various crew spent their summers cruising the Hauraki Gulf and the Bay of Islands and Far North. It was then sold to John Wicks who took the yacht to the South Island. Lex, kept copies of everything and Lesley has inherited two files relating to Kotiti & to other boating matters (purchasers, receipts, logs, etc) at that time in the ’60’s.
The yacht had quite a history, having once been stolen before Lex bought it. Later, while under his ownership, a crew from the Navy in Auckland raced it in the Whangarei to Noumea race in April 1964 and in the same year, Lex sailed it with a crew to Fiji (a lifetime ambition).
For many years Lex taught navigation based on a system he devised himself specifically for sailors of small ocean going boats. He also self published a related textbook on navigation (long before the internet and the electronic age!) and this textbook was in much demand at the time and sold well in NZ and throughout the Pacific.
Lesley last spotted Kotiti up on the hard at Sumner in 1994 & she would love to know who the current owner is. They may be interested in having the two folders of information about their boat during the 1960’s.
So woodys – do we know who owns her today & what became of her post Lex selling her. I’m sure if the John Wicks mentioned above is the JW that comments on ww, we will find out a lot more.

Input below from John Wicks

I sold her in ’78 or ’79 to Jim Wood who I think still has her. There was a recent pic on WW of a boat in Havelock Marina with Kotiti in the background and looking well cared for.
As noted above, I bought her from Lex Dowling in ’68 and took her back to the South island; specifically to Waikawa, Picton . Cruised her extensively in the Sounds, D’Urville Island and across Tasman Bay to Nelson, Torrent Bay etc., and we did several Cook Strait races.  
Her genesis is interesting. She was built by Peter Lamb, a science(?) teacher at Christchurch Boys High School; I met his son at one stage, who was adamant his father designed her, but when I first owned Kotiti she had amongst her documents two pieces of blueprint, one of her body section and one of her backbone structure, both of them bearing Eric Cox’s name. I have already seen Cox’s “Dancing Feather” design, the interior layout of which was very similar to Kotiti’s, and years later came across Howard I> Chapelle’s “Corsair” designed for ‘Popular Mechanix’ magazine which closely resembled Kotiti in hull form. “Corsair” was designed for inside ballast; “Kotiti” had 2/3 of her ballast on the keel and 1/3 inside. (Quite a story there)
I have also been told that noted ChCh boat builder Cliff Mahan bought a set of “Corsair” plans with a view to building one for himself, but never did.
There is a photo in an old “SeaSpray” of Peter Lamb standing under the coutner of soon-to-be-launched “Kotiti” showing a model of her to Ian Treleaven. To my eye at least, the model looks more like “Corsair” than “Kotiti”. My conjecture (and it is only conjecture!) is that Peter Lamb looked at both designs, took what he wanted from both, made the model then went to Eric Cox to take off the lines and draw the actual plans.
At any rate, she was (still is, I hope) fast and weatherly for her type, comfortable and sea kindly. I have very fond memories of her.

A Wee Woody Double Ender


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A Wee Woody Double Ender

Today’s boat is a double ender made with cold molded double diagonal Kauri planks. Built in 1960 by Hal Atkinson at York Bay Wellington. It is 4.5m long and 1.8m wide. She was treated to a new 3.5hp Petter diesel engine in 1980.

For sale on trademe – do we know any more about her?. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the Tme heads up J

Lake Taupo Woody Quiz


Lake Taupo Woodys

LAKE TAUPO WOODYS QUIZ
Woody Paul Drake sent in the above never before published photo, showing lots of woodys, before the arrival of the fibreglass brigade, at Taupo. The boat sheds have recently been removed, and the Drake family is preparing to put to ‘sea’ in their launch – Sir Francis (Collings & Bell 1916).
Of the 5 launches in the background 4 have appeared on ww before, so ID’ing them should be do able. The first woody to name the launches – left > right in the photo wins a ww t-shirt.

Entries via the ww Comments section. If no one gets all 5 in the right order, I’ll work down e.g. 1st with 4 etc.

How Serious Are They About Selling?


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How Serious Are They About Selling?

The above 36′ gaff rigged motor sailer is powered by a 60hp Ford diesel & is made of wood – that is all her ad tells us. Now if that was enough to get you fizzing at the bung with ownership anticipation, the photos would surely close the deal – yeah right……………… A few hours with a bucket of warm water & some sugar soap + off loading all the cr_p would help sell this boat, but then maybe the owner doesn’t really want to sell her?

Norita


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NORITA

Norita started life in 199 as a replica steam launch but was later converted to diesel – a 29hp Yanmar 3YM30 diesel pushes her along. She measure 30′ with a 7’6″ beam.Their boiler is not functional but the rest of the steam engine is still fitted. She is 4sale on trademe, buy her & install a little dry ice > smoke generator in her funnel & use her to take unsuspecting tourists for waterfront cruises.

So the question of the day is direct at Russell Ward who will be able to tell us more about S.L. Norita

Input from Daniel Hicks

The story of Norita and her ‘sister ship’ Eliza Hobson is definitely an interesting one, and is a perfect demonstration of the romance of traditional boats overtaking reality. The story began in 1996, when Alan Brimblecombe was looking for somewhere to work on Swan. A local Warkworth boat building start up, Willis Glenn Marine offered him space in their Hudson Road shed. While working on Swan one afternoon, he invited the company owners for a ride on Zeltic, then his active steam launch. They were enthralled by it. Alan commented that a slightly bigger vessel, of about 30 feet could possibly be a saleable item. Amazingly, a few days later they came to him and suggested that they could start building steamboats, but they needed guidance. At this point Alan suggested that a slightly stretched version of Puke be built, 30 feet instead of 26 with a suitably sized compound engine running at low revs, and a cabin to allow for inclement weather. Alan drew up a profile view of the vessel, gave them Puke’s lines and got on with his work.

A few days later they popped the computer drawn design in front of him, but boy oh boy, it wasn’t what he’d suggested. Suddenly the boat had gained full headroom and had grown in beam by about a foot, but the real issue was below the waterline, Puke’s beautiful hull had been lost to something that more closely resembled a wineglass, ie the buoyancy was very high up, with a fine deep hull underneath. Despite protestations that it wasn’t a steamboat hull, they said they were going to build it! The hull design really bears very little resemblance to Puke, or any other steamboat for that matter. The plug was started, and Zeltic was brought into the workshop for a cosmetic refurbishment before being taken to the boat show. A lovely full colour brochure was produced, and Zeltic was set up at the boat show, providing steam to the steambox while the boat builders re-ribbed Alans longboat. Zeltic was awarded best in show display. At the show, three orders were placed (although I suspect there were only two actual orders, the third being a friend of Willis). Alfie Des Tombes ordered boat number one (Norita), and Alan Lambourne ordered boat number two (Eliza Hobson) for commercial use.

Work started on the boats with a planned delivery of boat number 1 on the 21st of December in Wellington (to be launched by the floating steam crane Hikitia) with Eliza Hobson to be commissioned on Boxing Day at the Maritime Museum in Auckland. Unfortunately reality was very different, and as December approached it was obvious that two boats weren’t going to be ready, one being a possibility. It was decided that the best publicity would be achieved by launching Eliza Hobson first, so Norita was sidelined and a huge push was made to get Eliza in action. With the boiler in place, and most of the engine mounted, the boat was lowered into the water at West Harbour Marina, where she promptly lay over on her beam ends! The computer calculations had said that she needed ballast, but the builders believed that she didn’t need it as the machinery would weigh her down (had they built a stretched Puke this would be the case). The engineers were dispatched to get plenty of pig iron and put it in the bilges. Two days later, and on an even keel, she was towed by John Hager in Matui into the museum for “commissioning”, the engineers having been unable to finish her in time. She was towed to Warkworth, finished off and put through Marine Department survey. With the correct amount of lead in the bilge, she passed her stability test. The only real issue was that the propeller designed for her by Henleys was totally wrong, and she could only do 4.5 knots. Later on a correct sized prop was made and fitted and she worked reasonably well, although the machinery space was made unnecessarily tight due to the proximity of the head compartment (which was right beside the boiler).

With Eliza Hobson delivered, Norita stood a chance of being finished, but then Willis Glenn Marine went into liquidation, building steamboats didn’t actually pay! About this time Eliza Hobson was put into a violent roll by a ferry off Browns Island, sufficient to rolls the drawers out and spill coal from her bunker. Despite the stability calculation, those who had no experience with tender vessels declared she was dangerous, and she was taken out of action and taken to the engineers to be rebuilt. A new hull was grafted onto the outside of the old hull, the head removed, the machinery moved forward and work headed towards a much fatter Eliza Hobson. The hull was subsequently moved to Kevin Johnstones yard in Devonport, and was replaced by Norita. Eliza Hobson re-entered survey with a much larger machinery space, but no forward cabin seating.

The engineers convinced Alfie to build a new set of machinery for Norita, a water tube boiler and smaller twin simple engine, the aim being to give her a lower centre of gravity and less machinery weight than Eliza Hobson, as Alan had convinced Alfie not to have the hull widened. Like Eliza, Norita lost her forward cabin accommodation, the space being taken up her large water tube boiler, with the engine now beside the still extent head compartment. The coal bunker was now located under the foredeck hatch. Norita was launched at Gulf Harbour in early 1999, and both she and Eliza Hobson were both together at Clevedon for that years Auckland Steam Engine Society Clevedon Steam Meet, along with Zeltic, the inspiration for them. Norita was subsequently shipped to Wellington, and used by Alfie for dignified day cruises in the inner harbour.

To finish the story off, Eliza underwent another rebuild of her machinery in Warkworth in about 2002, and we steamed her north to the Bay of Islands in an epic 26 hours of steaming over two days. Alan Lambourne eventually tired of her, and sold her on. She is I believe currently dead on the Waikato River, her new owner having run the boiler out of water. Norita eventually suffered from a few leaking boiler tubes due to corrosion (probably due to rain down her funnel), and the boiler was removed, the engine moved forward and the diesel fitted in its place. The boiler is at Steam and Machinery in Wanganui, and may be rebuild-able, Colonial Ironworks have a partly completed identical boiler. Of the original machinery partly built for Norita, the boiler is now in use in Puke, and the reversing gear from the engine is on the engine in Greenbank.

Norita could be put back into steam, and be a good steam launch, and Eliza with a new or rebuilt boiler would also be good. Both boats worked in their finished forms. I’m certain that Norita would have worked well with the original machinery, I very much doubt it was much heavier than what went into her (and I know the weights of Eliza’s machinery), and she would have been both fast and economical. Eliza definitely needed the bigger machinery in her final form, being a much heavier and less slippery hull.

Hopefully someone gets hold of Norita and does her justice, a few tweaks could make her a lot prettier, and if they don’t want the machinery, new homes could be found for it.

Blackfish


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BLACKFISH

Today’s woody has no name but was built to a set of plans, labelled ‘Blackwood’, ex the USA  ‘The Rudder’ magazine, refer below blueprints. It appears that her designer was A. Mason.
She was built in 1960 using kauri carvel planking & last year was re-corked & painted.
At nearly 23′ & with that hull shape, her 35hp diesel would push her along nicely.
Looking below everything just seems to proportionally fit & there is even a double berth, a rarity on a motorboat of this size.

While she would be a great over nighter anywhere, I can just see her on Lake Rotoiti, helped also by a 1’11” draft. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the trademe heads up.

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Around The Yards – Warkworth


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Around The Yards – Warkworth

Alan Sexton was recently hauled out at Robertson’s Yard, Warkworth & snapped this interesting collection of boats. Alan reported that the ‘Jane Gifford’ was also up for a bottom paint and the Harland’s ‘Plain Jane’ (designed and built by Chris Robertson) was in the shed for a top to bottom refurbishment.

The above photos of the boats on the hard caught Alan’s eye.
James Groenhart’s 28′, 1951, Lidgard built ‘Ballerina’ was looking very smart, but then she should, having spent 5 weeks last year in Colin Brown’s shed for a re-fit. photos here https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/02/10/ballerina-restoration/

Now Lady Rere is an interesting launch, she started off as a bare shell of a hull, reputed to be ~100yrs old, Alan believes Robertson’s built the new superstructure and interior and engineering. Do we know any more about her?

The centre-boarder ‘Tirranna’ pictured is a Hartley at around 28’& in a moment of weakness (on my behalf) sneaks into todays ww post . Alan commented it was good to see a boat of her type in immaculate condition.