Vagrant N17

46098818_10156766362638700_7973281351057014784_n

46268965_10156766537873700_8682186370644443136_o

VAGRANT N17
 
During the week I was contacted by Stuart Windross in regard to the mullet boat Vagrant, built in the early 1920’s by his grandfather Jack Greenhalgh. I’ll let Stuart tell that story below. 
Then out of the blue while I’m on fb & up pops on the Whangateau Traditional Boat yard page the pictorial of Vagrant being salvaged after sinking at her moorings in Okahu Bay 3 weeks ago. Vagrant was raised and barged ashore on Tuesday, then brought up road by Boat Haulage arriving at the WTB yard on Wednesday. 
I understand that Vagrant  was saved from the crusher by Dino Herbisone, who will carry out her repairs at the WTB yard. 
It would be amiss of me to not mention the wonderful contribution to our wooden boating community the Pam Cundy & George Emtage offer up at the WTB yard. I do not think the word NO is in their vocabulary, they so generously offer up the yard to help stop the demise of heritage craft and then pair the boats up to capable tradesman or people that can repair them if need be or indeed use and enjoy them. The yard can be contacted via email at 
“Further to the discussion regarding the builder of the mullet boat Vagrant I have followed up my post confirming it was built by my grandfather Jack Greenhalgh with a delve in the family photos. 
Attached please find photos of Vagrant  N17 under construction and one of her sailing close to the camera in light winds bow on.  These are verified as they have her name inscribed on the back.
The other pics below, are of what I believe to be an 18 footer named Vim that my Pop John (Jack Greenhalgh) also built prior to Vagrant.  From one of the photos it is pretty clear that her number is V34.  I wonder if you have any info about her fate as she seems absent from online records and the literature.
John (Jack) Greenhalgh was born 20 June 1901 at Riverhead and died 13 July 1984 at Waitakere Hospital.  He was the middle child of 11 born to Edward Walls Greenhalgh and Helen Ramsay (nee Paterson).  His grandfather John William Greenhalgh, originally a coalminer from Wigan UK arrived in NZ in 1886 to oversee the establishment of paper mills at both Mataura and Riverhead.  His father Edward Walls Greenhalgh also worked in the paper mills both at Riverhead and Mataura later living in Richmond Road Auckland.   At the time of building Vagrant he would have been 24 and obviously younger when he built Vim.  He kept the scale half models of their hull shapes (shaped from Kauri) throughout his life.  My Auntie may know of their whereabouts. I believe that both of these boats were built in the back yard of his parents home at Richmond Road.  As you will see the set up was fairly basic!   
Albert Greenhalgh (Alby Jack’s brother) was born in 1906 and I understand was a sailing partner.  The two brothers were very close, marrying sisters (Doreen) Vera and (Florence) Rita Lee.   Alby and Rita’s son Keith is still active in the Reactor sailing fraternity and daughter Beverley’s husband Jaape Pos was a boat builder (at Sea Nymph I think).  Another cousin was Roy Parris (the well known launch builder).
Jack and Vera married in November 1926 and soon purchased a new home in Kingsley St.  This transaction probably necessitated the sale of Vagrant. A later craft (a dinghy I believe the kids used for fishing trips and floundering in Coxs Bay) was built in the front room of the marital home much to the displeasure of his new wife.
A mischievous and witty character he was always ready to enthrall us with a prank or yarn.  I recall his stories of searching shoreline pohutakawa for suitable bends for stems or knees and cutting the corners off square balks of timber to fashion his masts.  He was a very patient worker in wood or metal.
I have included a photo of Jack and Vera Greenhalgh(with my Mum) c1938
I am not 100% sure if all the fleet shots are of Vim but the colour scheme suggests so (unless Vagrant’s cabin sides were painted darker at some stage).
Apologies for the picture quality as the originals are very small and showing their age”.
N17 Vagrant under construction c1924 (inscribed)

N17 Vagrant under construction c1924

N17 Vagrant 1920s (inscribed)

N17 Vagrant 1920s

Vera, Jack and daughter Shirley Greenhalgh

Vera, Jack and daughter Shirley Greenhalgh

Waitemata Woodys hits 4,000,000 views and celebrates with a gallery of over 100 classic wooden boat photos

Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 9.27.39 PM

If you think being passionate about wooden boats is niche – think again, there are a lot of us out there. Waitemata Woodys has just passed 4 MILLION views and we celebrate with over 100 classic wooden boating photos

Never in a blue moon when I started this site could I have seen it becoming as popular as it has. Along the way the site has morphed to also become an awesome information source for just about anything connected to wooden boating. Some facts:
4,000,000 views
370,000 people have visited the site, most of them come back – some daily, some weekly, some just when they need to know something
2,469 stories
20,000+ photos published
A 50,000+ photo library
It wouldn’t have happened without in the early days a few fireside chats from people way more worldly in the wooden boating community than myself. The list of people that have shared their family photo albums, stories and knowledge with us is huge and  the site just wouldn’t be what it is today without these people.
I’ve made so many friends, and been fortunate to rub shoulders with a lot of you in person.
So where to from here?, I would be a lier if I said I had not considered pulling the pin a few times, its a big ask publishing a wooden boating story 365 days of the year, but for every one dark day when I’m questioning why I do it – I have 100 days where someone tells me that the first thing they do every every morning is check out Waitemata Woodys, or that they print the stories and once a week when they visit grandad they read them to him, because he is nearly blind, or when we uncover the provenance of someones boat, or when we find someones long lost family boat etc etc
Aside from thanking you all for your support and asking you to keep following Waitemata Woodys – I only have one request – please keep sending us your stories & photos – you may be thinking they won’t mean much to us, but at some stage, someone will send in something and SNAP, they match & we have the makings of a great story. Email them to   waitematawoodys@gmail.com
The following link takes you to a Waitemata Woodys story that epitomises all that’s good about the site – you wouldn’t find content like this anywhere else – it’s gold
And in answer to all the emails re when I will be doing another Waitemata Woodys t-shirt run – the answer is before Christmas, so start saving your pennies. I’ll do another post soon re taking orders 🙂
Again many thanks to everyone. I hope you all still enjoy the site as much as I do pulling it all together. Shortly I will be sharing with you some exciting news on how WW will become even more relevant to wooden boat owners, but for now I have pulled together a random selection of 101 woody photos that have appeared on the site – enjoy 🙂
Alan Houghton – founder
Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 10.40.39 PM

Aurora – Sailing Sunday

image

Aurora

Waiheke Island, March 2018

 

AURORA – Sailing Sunday

The other day I received a note from Bill Brown, the owner of the lovely yacht – Susan Jane, that featured on WW when she was being restored at Colin Brown’s Omaha yard.
Bill is a kiwi but works overseas & was delighted to see that his uncle’s old yacht – Aurora appear on WW (link below) recently. Aurora is a 22′ Harrison Butler design, built & owned by his uncle, Neil Brown c.1940’s.
Bill’s father, James Brown, a salty old dog who spent most of his time going up and down the Whangarei Harbour, in various craft, including Woodys; Sarina, (currently for sale, and whom mum and dad had their honeymoon on) Temptress and Yvonne. James passed away last April, just a few days shy of 90, having sailed his entire life, and selling his last boat at the grand old age of 80.
The timing of the WW story on Aurora was very opportune as Bill had recently been canvassing the extended family for  details – with Bill’s permission I have published below the email he sent out – its an great read. Enjoy.
“I saw Aurora for sale on Trademe yesterday and I thought you might be interested in seeing these pictures of her. As far as I know Uncle Neil built her himself in Dunedin to a Norwegian design. Dad used to tell me she was built like a brick outhouse and you can see that even though she is clearly neglected, she is still a tight wee ship! The photos and advertisement make her seem much bigger than she is. I think she is only 21 feet long, making her essentially the size of a trailer sailor!
Most of you know that Uncle Neil sailed her in the famous Wellington to Lyttelton yacht race that was at the time one of New Zealand’s worst sailing tragedies. That was perhaps the first, but not the last time, that old Gran thought Uncle Neil had been lost at sea!
If I remember correctly, dad used to say that Uncle Neil ran before the storm with bare poles and with a spare anchor warp streaming out the stern. As it states in the article he eventually ended up in clear skies up off the coast of the Hawkes Bay.
The other great story I remember about Aurora that was more directly connected to dad, was that Uncle Neil asked if dad wanted to go on a summer cruise from Dunedin to Auckland to coincide with the Queen’s visit in 1953-1954. Dad said yes and that was the plan they told Gran, however when they cleared the Otago Heads Uncle Neil kept heading east! It wasn’t till then that he told dad that they were aiming to be the first pleasure yacht to visit the Chatham Islands post WW2! Uncle Neil figured that if he had told dad the truth he wouldn’t have said yes and Gran would have worried too much. I remember dad had a handwritten log of the voyage, boasting of the huge crayfish they ate when they finally arrived at Waitangi, Chatham Islands. After a few days socialising with the locals they then set a course for Auckland to visit the Queen!
I have seen her only twice in the real flesh. Once she was waiting outside the Kissing Point Boatshed that we kept the launch Yvonne in. We were returning from a weekend down the Whangarei Harbour and the owner had tracked dad down to have a chat with him about her history. I think she was then based in Tauranga. The second time I spied her she was on a swing mooring in the Tamaki River.  I was at University and I had been out windsurfing and noticed her and that there was a guy in the cockpit. I stopped at her stern and explained that my uncle had built her and found out that the guy in the cockpit was readying her for sale, as her owner had been in some trouble picking up the mooring, bouncing off a few boats in the tide and had suffered a heart attack!
Uncle Neil’s second major build was the modified Woollacott – Katherine Anne, Maraval (photo below), which he built in Whangarei, at Smiths boatyard and sailed around the South Pacific and the east coast of Australia, ending up back in Dunedin. I heard that he received a RNZYS Blue Water Cruising Award for this effort, but I can’t seem to find much evidence of that. An interesting aside to this cruise was when I sailed in the Farr 9.2 Interdominion series in Perth Australia, there was a crew from Wellington, who recounted a story of Uncle Neil on Maraval being in Hobart at the same time as the finish of the Sydney- Hobart Yacht Race that they had just competed in a fully powered up ocean racing yacht. Apparently as the story goes, they left Hobart together and Uncle Neil beat them back across the Tasman!
Back in Dunedin, for summer holidays Uncle Neil would head around to Fiordland, down to Stewart Island, even on one occasion venturing to the Campbell and Auckland islands.  Sometimes just for the heck of it he would throw in a circumnavigation of the South Island. On one occasion he lost Maraval, when she was washed out to see by a flood, after sheltering in Port Jackson, Jackson Bay, West Coast, only for Maraval to float out into the Tasman and a few weeks later return on to a piece of sandy West Coast beach up by Greymouth! The only reported damage to her was the broken mast and the front bollard that the farmer had tied his tow rope to as he hauled her up the beach! He re-floated her, had her towed by a fishing boat to Greymouth, built a new mast and went on his way back to Dunedin.”
Link to previous WW story on Aurora, below
Maraval01

Maraval at Takamatua, Banks Peninsula

Leda A26

Screen Shot 2018-10-18 at 8.48.02 PM

Screen Shot 2018-10-18 at 8.51.00 PM

LEDA A26
I was recently tipped off by the new CYA chairperson – James Mortimer, about a great tale that was unfolding on the CYA forum. It involves a gent by the name of Russ Senkovich, who owns the 54’ kiwi built, 1949, yacht Leda. Russ & his wife are thinking of bringing Leda back to NZ & ultimately selling her here. Leda left NZ in 1953 & has been off shore ever since – there is an amazing weblog on her travels & maintenance over the years, check it out here   svleda.com
You can also follow the story on the CYAF – link here    https://classicyacht.org.nz/cyaforum/topic/leda-a26/ 
But let me set the scene for you on Leda, it starts with a Christopher Gordon Wilson, better known as Dooley and his brother Alexander, better known as Sandy who were both home from WWII and had a dream of racing the Fastnet.  However, the war had left the NZ dollar devalued and buying a yacht was out of the question.  So, of course, they decided to build one.  They had in their possession a book by Uffa Fox of noteworthy yacht designs.  One of the boats featured in that book was Ragna R.
Ragna R, launched in 1938, was built by Gustav Plym in Stockholm for a British client.  She is a Knud Reimers a design. The Wilson brothers admired the yacht and showed the book to a fellow named Jack Taylor, whom its believed worked for Lidgards.  Jack Taylor developed a full set of construction plans, including the dimensions of all the timbers needed for the project.

So, Dooley and Sandy, had their plan.  Now they just needed to build their boat. The line drawings below are dated June, of 1947.  Sandy would have been 25 and Dooley, 27-years old.  Remarkably Leda would be sailing 29 months later. She is double-planked kauri over mangeao frames with pohutakawa knees and copper rivets.  Leda’s deck is double planked kauri, her cabin is Douglas fir (Oregon pine) and pine.

Thats all you’ll get here today on WW – use the link above to read / view the full story – its a great read.
Screen Shot 2018-10-18 at 8.52.15 PM
22-10-2018 Input from Neil Chalmers – Neil commented to me that the Leda post reminded Neil of a story Con Morley told him about his admiration of Knud Reimers yacht designs . 

Con owned and raced ‘Freya’, a 32 foot double ender built in the 1950’s. ‘Freya’ was very similar to  Reimers ‘Stor Tumlaren’ design made famous by the well known British yachtsman / author K Adlard Coles and his yacht ‘Cohoe’.
During a visit to Stockholm, Con called at  the Reimers design office and met the great man himself. Reimers was very polite and formal . He mentioned to Con that he was aware several of his designs had been built in NZ , however he had never sold any plans to NZ !

Aurora

IMG_5168

Aurora 14-10-2018
Woody Baden Pascoe snapped the above photo recently at Okahu Bay, on Auckland’s waterfront. Hopefully hauled out to get some TLC.
What do we know about her?
Input from Neil Chalmers

Its ‘Aurora’  a 22 foot Harrison Butler , Thuella design, built by Neil Brown in the 1940’s .
Aurora competed in the storm ridden 1951 Wellington to Lyttelton. For some days it was thought Aurora may have suffered the same fate as  Argo and Husky, however she eventually made it to Lyttelton after over a week at sea to take second place 
In the 1960’s Aurora was moored off Kohi beach . The distinctive raised topsides and  round portholes prompted Des Townson to ask how many guns she had !
 
The woody below came ashore at Rocky Bay, Waiheke Island a couple of weeks ago after slipping her mooring. Thankfully some locals stepped in to prop her up between tides. I don’t know what happened to her, hopefully she will be rescued – but looking at there bum, it looks like she has been a tad neglected of late. Thanks to Tim Evill for the photo.

Any one know her fate?

IMG_7468

Wooden Boating VIP On The Waitemata

Wooden Boating VIP On The Waitemata

Today I hosted Ben Mendlowitz on Raindance, Ben is the number one wooden boat photographer in the world & shoots for just about every boating magazine there is & produces the world famous “Calendar of WoodenBoats’ + has authored dozens of books on the subject.
While in New Zealand Ben was keen to photograph some of our classic fleet, so we headed out yesterday to catch the classic division of the RNZYS Winter Series race.
Ben will have some stunning photos, I was just the driver today so only took a few, very average photos – I did however capture 2 rare events:
1. Thelma going a ground off Stanley Point – some very red faces
2. Jason Prew venturing forward of the mast on Rawene – he didn’t look comfortable 🙂
Photos below – enjoy
THE NEW ZEALAND SAILING DINGHY EXHIBITION
In case you missed it – in 2 weeks (Oct 5>7th) is the annual Classic Yacht & Launch Exhibition at the Viaduct – this year the theme is ‘The New Zealand Sailing Dinghy’ – I’ll post more on the event during the week – but right now Tony Stevenson is doing a call out to anybody interested in displaying their classic NZ designed and built sailing dinghy, yacht class information or memorabilia.
Please contact Tony Stevenson tonys@nwv.co.nz  or 021 977 456
Screen Shot 2018-09-22 at 6.44.08 PM

Kotimana

117

116

IMG_1632

IMG_1633

KOTIMANA
On my last visit to the NZ Traditional Boatbuilding School I got chatting to one of the trustees – Kere Kemp & he casually dropped in that he was building a Dark Harbor 17 1/2’. Thats cool I thought & then I discover its being built in Port Hadlock out on the Olympic peninsula oppposite Seattle, Washington USA.
The yachts name is Kotimana – Maori for scotch thistle in recognition of Kere’s mother – Scottish, and his dad – Maori.
Kere commissioned her in September 2016 at the end of a post-retirement year at the North West School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock.
She was built by the classes of 2017 and 2018, & was launched at Point Hudson Marina, Port Townsend on August 29th. She is heading down under but with a few stops on the way – firstly Kotimana will be on display at the 42nd Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, second weekend of September and will then head via container to the 2019 Australian Wooden Boat Festival in early 2019 before finally making it home to Auckland in mid February 2019.
For those of you scratching your head thinking “what is a Dark Harbour 17-1/2 below is a description excerpted from a pre-launch write up that the NWSWB wrote when announcing the launch.
Dark Harbour 17-1/2

Originally designed for the Manchester Yacht Club in Massachusetts USA and called the Manchester 17, the first boats were built by the Rice Bros in 1908. As the design’s popularity spread it acquired a number of different names including the Bar Harbor 17 and eventually the Dark Harbor 17-1/2. The plans for this yacht are credited to BB Crowninshield and were completed by R. N. Burbank, an employee of the firm at the time.

 
The Dark Harbor 17-1/2 is a pure sailing machine of great beauty, but large enough to offer considerably more comfort through a larger cockpit well and a small cuddy cabin. Low freeboard combined with a wide, self-bailing cockpit well that seats you “down in” the boat puts you very close to the water. The lovely, slender hull lines, long ends, deep draft and large rig provide wonderfully sweet feel in this powerful, fast, wet, responsive and handy boat.

BB Crowninsheild was a US Naval Architect from the late 1800’s / early 1900’s who designed a number of boats including an America’s Cup contender and the largest ever steel hulled sailing boat (just prior to the introduction of the steam engine to sail boats).
Kerry commented that he fell in love with the lines of a Dark Harbor back in 2010 and decided that he would ultimately build one for himself.  Sanity eventually crept in and he commissioned her instead – Kerry was able to do some work on her prior to his move to New Zealand in mid 2017.
I’ll get a sneak preview of her at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Feb 2019 so will update this story with more photos.
Kotimana will be a magnificent additional to Auckland’s classic fleet.