Voyager – Sailing Sunday


Back in late 2022 WW was contacted by Anthony Finlay in regard to the yacht – Voyager. Antony commented that he had recently purchased the yacht and was hoping to uncover details on her past. We have some intel – probably designed and built c.1950 by T.L. Marshall in Hastings. She is built from yellow pine with Oregon planking – 27’6” in length, a beam of 8’2” and draws 4’6”.

Its been recorded that she was sold in the early 1960’s and was relocated ’north’. There is also chat that she may have been sailed to Canada.

Can anyone help Anthony out – by confirming / correcting the above information and supplying details on where she has been in the last 60 odd years.

Input ex Neil Chalmers – there was a series of Sea Spray articles on her build (Robin Elliott may have the SS dates) .  A Jack Taylor design ? Back in the 1960’s Voyager was a regular at Okahu Bay . The owner subsequently had the K class Anthea.

WOODYS CRUISE TO RIVERHEAD PUB TODAY – 18 + boats, checking in tomorrow for a trip reports 🙂



Todays woody is the 40’ yacht – Restless built by the Tercel Bros in 1920 to a Alden/Tercel design. Now to save you having to do the maths, that makes her an impressive 104 years old. Constructed of kauri, her beam is 11’3” and she draws 6’ (lead keel).

During her life Restless has seen a lot of the South Pacific and back home is a regular contestant in the Bay of Islands Tall Ships Race.

Any boat to survive a decade needs to have been in the hands of caring wooden boat lovers – Restless has been lucky, her owner of 55 years Tim Beattie is one such gentleman and Restless is always presents in beautiful condition.

Her sail wardrobe, mast and rigging reflect her ocean cruising life. Her second means of forward propulsion is a 58hp Fordson diesel (1965), overhauled in 1990 – that gives her a comfortable 6 knots.

If you haven’t already guessed it – yes Restless is for sale. Classic wooden craft of her pedigree and condition rarely come on the market. There are several options for her next owner in terms of her interior – the one I would favour would be retaining the period layout and just treat her to a refresh e.g. upgrade the hardware – stove, head etc.and refresh the upholstery. Or you could just sail away and enjoy her as Tim and family have.

Initial expressions of interest to



Earlier in the week a nugget of gold dropped into my inbox – Mark Newcomb sent in a copy of his families yacht – TAMATEA A20 log book (refer PDF file link below to read)

The log book covers the background to the building of the yacht and her first race + some wonderful insights into life in the WWII period.

Tamatea was designed by A.C. Robb and built by A. Couldrey, launched in Jan 1937.

Amazingly the yacht was built from one kauri log, grown on the owners property in Waitakere (note: log was from a ‘dead’ tree)

Click on the blue text below to open the PDF file, the original of the log book is in the hands of the Maritime Museum, so probably this file is the only record, given the Museum’s track record with ‘losing’ things 😦


Huia Winning the Sanders Cup 1939

1939 Sanders Cup Crowd at Port Levy – Brother Bill Hemsley seated centre under “Mayor” holding imitation Cup.

The Crew Of Huia


WW was recently contacted by Carol Jukes regarding her father George Hemsley and the 1932 X-Class dinghy – Huia. You can read more on Huia on the WW link below, I’ll let Carol’s note tell the story.

“Dad had a pretty good memory and for many years we asked him to write his memories down, at last he and I got cracking. Dad grew up in Lyttelton and the sea was a great part of his life.  The Sanders Cup left a lasting impression on him, the article on HUIA and the Sanders Cup was taken from his book (Just George).  His love of the sea continued all of his life and at one time he was the proud owner of Cherub #1. Like the owner who gave HUIA a new lease of life, Dad did the same for Cherub #1. My Brother David and I were also keen yachties

Unfortunately my photos of the HUIA sailing in the Sanders Cup leave a lot to be desired, I would be interested if anyone has a good copy as I am in the process of updating Dads book, I am now up to the chapter of the HUIA and the Sanders Cup and that’s how I came upon the waitematawoodys site when I put HUIA into the Google search engine. Thank you for your interest.”

Extract Below From George Hemsley’s Memories (2.8.1913 > 29.7.2010)

It was the year 1939 when my Brother Bill Hemsley’s yacht “Huia” the Canterbury representative won the Sanders Cup.  This event was sailed on Bluff Harbour with the first race starting on the 20th January.  She was skippered by W A Tissiman with the crew of Bill Hemsley, S Sillars and H Brodie. 

Her placings were as follows:-

Race #1 –  Third

          #2 –  First

          #3 –  Huia did not start as she was unable to reef:-

          #4 –  second or third

          #5 –  First

          #6 –  First

HUIA wins the Sanders Cup.

“The Sanders Cup” yes it would seem that salt-water activities create bad feelings between yachties.  Take the “Americas” cup today, what do we have, well when I was still at school the “Sanders Cup” was the same as the “Americas Cup” capable of stirring up the people of New Zealand to great enthusiasm between each province that competed.  The reason that I do remember because my brother Bill (William Roy Hemsley) had bought the 14 footer HUIA.  

Now in Lyttelton we had a man that built these 14 footers they had to be the exact measurement set down to fit a mould and no excuses for any mistakes.  Mr Fred Dobbie was the man who built most of these 14 footers.  Well brother Bill’s yacht was built by a different builder – from memory his name was Dick Tredenick.

It came time to race to determine who was to represent Canterbury – it was sailed in Lyttelton.  To the best of my knowledge Huia won the first three races outright, so was the winner, but no they had to sail another three races, which she also won, now she had won six out of six races, but they the ”opposition” was determined that a Dobbie built boat was going to go, so they counted another three races which HUIA refused to enter and another boat was the winner of the next three races.  This caused bad feeling especially when Brother Bill was asked to lend his set of sails to send the other boat away. 

However the next year when HUIA again won the races there was no doubt.  The HUIA did represent Canterbury for the 1939 Sanders Cup and did win the Sanders Cup for her province.  The racing was held in Bluff with Bill Tissiman as skipper. 

Between 1921 and 1946 Canterbury won the Sanders Cup 9 times, with the racing being sailed in Lyttelton 5 times and between 1921 & 1946.  There was no racing during the war years of 1942-43-44 and 45.  

I remember reading about a rowing race that was held for the visiting reporters as well, before the commencement of cup racing.  I don’t know if this was always the case but the race in question was 1928 at Stewart Island.  This caused a great deal of hilarity as well and was fiercely contested.  Boats of supporters followed each reporter yelling encouragement to them and the opposite to the opposition.  I do wonder if the same spirit is still as evident today.  


Bit of an essay here but …. it’s complicated

Recollections are tricky things and although correct by and large, several seasons in your father’s memoir, 1936-1939, appear to have been conflated into one major story. I recommend a serious trawling of Papers Past to straighten out the kinks.

As unfair as it sounds, it was not uncommon for Sanders Cup committees to ‘swap out’ crew, or sails from one winning boat onto their chosen representative, such was their desperation to be successful. Many skippers angrily resented this practice and refused to comply with requests to turn their boat over to their Sanders Cup Selection committee to have the best bits pinched off it. Here is the justification.

Huia also suffered from being regarded as ‘an old boat’. Back in 1924 R. Tredennick and Fred Dobby built Pioioi, Dobby’s first 14-footer, which was wrecked during its maiden race. It seems that 8 years later, rather than go back to Fred Dobby for a new boat, Tredennick may have used these 1924 moulds to build Huia. She was often referred to as a Dobby boat ‘built by Tredennick’.

Either way, Huia was launched in November 1932, carried sail number X-7. She did little of note until sold to Bill Hemsley around 1935 who installed Sanders Cup winning skipper Elliot Sinclair on the helm. She was suddenly a very competitive boat.

This caused a problem for Sanders Cup selectors because Canterbury had won the previous 4 contests in the newer Dobby-built boats, Avenger and Irene. The Huia design, if from the Pioioi moulds, would have been over 10 years old, and amateur built at that. Maybe too much risk?

The committee selected a proven winner, the Dobby-built Avenger, put Huia’s Eliot Sinclair on as skipper with one of his crew and two of Avenger’s normal crew.

Avenger won the 1936 Sanders Cup so it was all seen as justifiable in the end.

It is unclear when Bill Hemsley sold Huia, possible as early as 1937. For the 1936/37 Sanders Cup Trials he sailed with Bill Tissiman on Colleen, won selection and was Canterbury Rep that season, coming a close second to the winner Lavina from Wellington.

In the 1937/38 season Huia was sailed by R. Hendry, and in 1938/39 Bill Tissiman was on the helm when she won selection for the 1939 Sanders Cup at Bluff.

It doesn’t look like Bill Hemsley was in the crew of Huia that season. He may have accompanied the group to Bluff but he was not selected as crew.

Just to complicate matters, I have a copy of the Wheatley & Reid’s Sanders Cup book which has, facing page 169, a ‘photo of the crew of Huia’ at Bluff 1939 (the same as your ‘crew of Huia’ photo above).

X-class historian, the late Murray Stark has noted on my copy of the book, ‘Facing page 169 NOT the 1939 crew’ and lists the crew as per the Papers Past articles above.

I suspect that the ‘crew photo’ is that of Colleen from 2 years earlier with Bill Hemsley in the crew.

You may find more details in a trawl of Papers Past.

Whoever owned Huia sold her to W. Pool of Akaroa in 1941 and she was still racing with the Akaroa Sailing Club as late as 1948.

My Canterbury contact (the late Graham Mander who raced many times at the Akaroa Regattas) was fairly sure she had been converted to a runabout in the late 1950’s early 60’s.

It seems unlikely (though not impossible) that she is the X-class Huia since restored and appearing on the earlier Woodys post.

Priccilla – Sailing Sunday

PRICCILLA – Sailing Sunday

A couple of weeks ago WW was contacted by Andre Vanwonderen concerning the yacht – Priccilla – a 32’ Plant Class yacht, designed by Claude A. Smith and built by Allen Smith in 1966.

Can we expand more on this class of yacht, quite a looker. Andre is considering selling – aren’t we all 🙂

Input ex Neil Chalmers – Alan Smith’s Planet class is  similar to North Sea 24 and its smaller sister the Twister both from the well known English designer CR (Kim) Holman. All influenced by the RORC rule.

There is a Sea Spray article on the Planet Class design.


Caernarvon underway
Caernarvon all planked up
Caernarvon undersail
Caernarvon on the wind


WW was contacted recently by Rhys Hanna who back in 1972 had built and launched a 33’ Woollcott yacht named Caernarvon. She was based on the original plan of the Bert Woollacott designed Vectis , and redrawn by John Woollacott as a ketch with a more raked bow and a raised fore-deck.  Caernarvon was built of kauri with much of it being demolition timber from the bank building on the corner of Queen Street and Wyndham Streets, in Auckland.

Rhys had built her to go cruising but the children grew up too quickly and she was sold in 1975. Rhys replaced her with 36 ft John Lidgard yacht named Mon Desir, which he renamed Caernarvon II. In 1976 they sailed out for a 3 year trip and returned to New Zealand in 1996. That is impressive. 

Rhys last saw Caernarvon again in c.2014. He had been to the Burt Munro motorcycle rally in Invercargill and on the way back had a day in Picton waiting for the ferry booking and wandered out to Waikawa Marina and saw her there on a berth. She had been re rigged with a new main mast and a bowsprit. Res commented that he was really chuffed to see that there was only one plank seam showing (port side and close to the waterline) he had really worked hard to get the planking right. 

Rhys did have a couple of phone calls from various people when she came on the market about 4 years ago. Is anyone able to update us on the whereabouts of Caernarvon?

INPUT EX CHRIS LEECH – photo below, date and location unknown.

Details on next Saturdays Woody picnic at Stillwater will be sent out later today – life catch up got in the way yesterday. 8 days away from home in the midst of a cyclone equaled a long ’TO DO’ list from the first mate 🙂

Mokoia – Sailing Sunday

MOKOIA- Sailing Sunday

Todays woody – the yacht MOKOIA (spelling?) was spotted by Barbara Cooke during the week in the Bay of Islands.

Looks like she is set up for some serious cruising.

Can we learn more about Mokoia?

UPDATE ex owner – Jim Loft – MOKOIA, 39′ Bob Stewart design (Camelot). Woody built c.1965 by Max Carter.

INPUT EX ROBIN ELLIOTT – Mokoia was one of 3 Bob Stewart design Camelots under construction simultaneously at Max Carters in 1965. Photo on page 63, Sea Spray Sept. 1965.

Mokoia for I. Falconbridge, Camelot for I. Broadfoot and Ilex for W. Macky.

She was registered in 1965 as B-54, taking NZYF number 154 in 1969.
Dimensions at time of her 1965 registration were:
39ft x 34ft x 10ft 6in x 5ft, 324 sqft sail area, ballast 3 ton, engine Ruston rover.

Mokoia was raced and cruised by Falconbridge up to at least 1971 and was still registered to him in 1976. ………. but ???

According to Sea Spray April 1973, Mokoia was entered by ‘H. Vega owner/skipper’ of Mokoia in the Auckland Suva race. She was eventually registered to H. Vega in 1978.

As usual, NZYF registration details are plagued by conundrums and obsolete data.

From 1980 through to 2000, she had no registered owners with any of the published NZYF registers. My last recorded details are owners J.& K. Lott 2014-2021+

All details are subject to change 🙂


Trevassa – AWBF ‘Boat Folk’ Film


Another short video from our friends at the Australian Wood Boat Festival has just been released under the ‘Boat Folk’ series.

Todays one features the 1971 Tasmanian built 48′ yacht – Trevassa 

Trevassa was designed and built by noted Tasmanian boat builder – Jock Muir. They is a great tale about delivering the boat to Sydney across the Bass Straight. After many years in Sydney she was acquired by Jock’s three sons and returned home to Tasmania in 2013. Jock’s son John took over his fathers business – Muir’s Boat Yard and Trevassa is a regular sight in Hobart.

Enjoy the video , I did 🙂

Remember – the next festival is this coming February 10>13th more details here:

Westward – AWBF ‘Boat Folk’ Film


Our friends at the Australian Wood Boat Festival have just released another film in the ‘Boat Folk’ series.

Todays one is on the 1947 Tasmanian built 43′ yacht – Westward. 

Westward started life designed as a recreational fishing yacht but prior to completion was converted to a racing yacht. Quite a successful one – winning the 1947 and 1948 Sydney > Hobart race. 

After a long life of extended cruising Westward was donated to the Maritime Museum of Tasmania. These days she is back home in her home state and has been restored as a floating exhibit at the Constitution Dock in Hobart.

You can see and read more about Westward here

Remember – the next festival is this coming February 10>13th more details here:

A Townson 22 Story – Born Slippery > Ceilidh


This a great story with a long tail. I first rubbed up against the boat back in 2009 when a co Kiwi based – WoodenBoat Forum follower named Graeme Tearle, lived in Thames,  mentioned online he was considering buying a Townson 22 – known as a Pied Piper (Piedy) on trademe in Auckland. Turns out it was sitting on the hard at the Devonport Yacht Club (I was a member back then) so I took some photos for him. Graeme bought the boat, below is an edit of his postings on the WBF, he has a unique style of chat and the yanks on the WBF loved him –

“But this boat has issues. For starters, her name. “Born Slippery”. Ye Gods, whatever was he thinking. So my daughter Abby came up with a new name. “Ceilidh”. Pronounced “kay-lee” it is Irish (or Scots) for an informal get-together featuring traditional song, dance and drinking. In other words, a party. My kind of party (I’m half Irish). Perfect. Next, her cabin shape is all wrong. 
Ceilidh has the original, shorter roof, which designer Des Townson lengthened when he redrew it, and I suspect he may have lowered the roofline an inch when he did so. Either way, Ceilidh’s cabin is too short & too high for my tastes. If you can’t stand upright in a boat, there is little point in adding an inch or two to the roof height and you still can’t stand up. It just spoils the aesthetics. Also the cabintop is built in the original style with internal roof beams & a 9mm ply skin. The new style has a laminated roof with no beams. This is vastly preferable; nothing to hit your head on & a much easier paint job. So the whole cabin top has to come off. This has the added bonus of allowing me standing room inside while I do the rebuild, and I can replace the ply coamings with varnished mahogany, as they were with Candyfloss (a previous Piedy he built) In my own personal, very biased, opinion, such a beautiful shape deserves nothing less.

The cockpit has been hacked about in the modern way with an open transom. I will fill the transom back in again & add an aft deck forward to the mainsheet traveler, then an aft coaming across it, aft of the traveler. There can be no lazarette here as the rudder shaft comes up thru the cockpit floor aft of the traveler, making a bulkhead impossible. Also, she has a rise in the companionway of about 300mm, to stop water entering the saloon should the cockpit flood. What absolute nonsense. This is the Hauraki Gulf guys, the best cruising grounds in the world, not Cape Horn. I’ll cut it out, fit a lintel about 50mm high, and should the weather become so severe that I fear a wave might jump into the cockpit, (yeah right, it is sooo going to happen) I’ll fit the first washboard & lock it in place. The ability to easily step thru the companionway without having to clamber over what amounts to a bridgedeck is a boon beyond measure on a cruise. The existing tiller is an ugly stick. I’ll build a new, properly shaped one.”

Graeme did an amazing job restoring the yacht (sadly all the work-in-progress photos on WBF have been lost) and bought Ceilidh by road up to Auckland for a Des Townson exhibition at the Viaduct and motor sailed her back to Thames – memory is hazy but I think I lent him a life jacket and a VHF radio for the trip. Graeme’s past post on the WBF was  c.July 2014 and I think he sold the boat in June 2014.

Fast forward to mid July 2022 and the son of old family friends – Gavin Woodward tracked the boat down to a mud berth in Thames and was trying locate the owner, dockside chat was that she had been abandoned. Photos below showing Ceilidh looking very sad.

Fast forward to mid September 2022 and Andrew Sander – a previous owner of the boat , tracked her down and re-bought her. Andrews words “Spent Sunday preparing and Sunday night on the high tide dragging her from her mangrove and rat infested grave, she’s now in a berth in Thames Marina. Her next adventure is going to Tauranga for cosmetic work, a weight loss program and a new set of sails. Then it’s back to Auckland to catch up with her old Piedy mates where she will live. Looking forward to some great racing and antics. Get a Piedy up ya (again)”

Photos below of the extraction at Thames.Wonderful that these iconic craft are held in such high regard that yachties go to these lengths to keep them sailing.


Steam boat woody – Russell Ward contacted me as Russell and some of his fellow steam boaters are bemoaning the loss of Davis Slick Seam. The trailer boaters swear by it. It holds the leaks until the seams take up and it squeezes out -doesn’t set. Stops the incontinence when you launch.

Anyone got a spare tin or know what might have been in it? It was black, had some waxy filler apparently, stayed put and wouldn’t go hard. It is no longer being stocked. West are not answering emails, it is obviously not a big seller.

So woodys what would have been in it -NO EPOXY but maybe some of the filler they use. But it was tarry looking.