Awatea – Sailing Sunday + Woollacott 4 Sale

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AWATEA – Sailing Sunday

The above photos of Awatea come to us via Bruno Redwood’s facebook page – & show the yacht Awatea in a tributary of the Henderson Creek c. November 1931.

Awatea was but in 1886 by Charles Bailey Snr in Auckland. She was sold to a Henry Swan c. 1897, & there is an urban legend that in1901 Swan reputedly told his friends that he was embarking on a solo world navigation, when in fact he sailed Awatea to the creek & spent the next 30 years living aboard or nearby. Harold Kidd has advised the story is “total bollocks” – Swan being a wealthy, retired solicitor, who owned a large property on the banks of the Whau River, on which he had large commercial orchards. He was also chairman of the Roads Board.

He died in November 1931.

Jason Prew had advised that these days Awatea is in storage at Whangaparaoa.

WOOLLACOTT Looking For A Home

I have been contacted by Phil Parks the Dockmaster at Sandspit Marina about a little Woollacott (photos below) on the hard at the Sandspit Yacht club.

Her present owner inherited her but has come to the realisation the project is too big for him so she is for sale for giveaway price.

She is complete, 6 winches, solar panels, alloy rig. Phil commented that she is a pretty little boat. She needs to be saved. So woodys – any one want a project?

Viewing at Sandspit or more details Phil can be contacted on 027 2828249

 

 

ROXANE & a 105th Birthday Party

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ROXANE & a 105th Birthday Party

Yesterday I was contacted by Ross Dawson who told me of his plans next week to travel to Port Macquaire to celebrate his brother Keith’s 105th birthday. 105 years is enough to get a mention on WW any day, in fact last year we celebrated Keith’s 104th with the story on the yacht Seaward (link below to this tale). In that WW story Neil Chalmers mentioned Keith’s passage to Australia on the Tercel Brothers built yacht Roxane. Well today you get you read some of that story – it is a fine woody tale, read on 🙂 https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/05/24/a-woodys-104th-birthday-party/

The story starts back in 1937 when Keith together with his mate Dick Wellington, (& a “paying guest”) sailed to Sydney. At that time Roxane was the smallest boat to have crossed the Tasman.

The source for this account of the trip comes from a small book called ‘The Voyage of Roxane’ written by Keith with the assistance of his family around 2006.

Roxane was (is?) 26 feet loa, by 21’ lwl, with beam 8’ & draft of 4’1”. She carried 1 1/4 tons of lead on her keel, sloop rigged with a mast 36’ from the deck. Soon after they purchased her, Dick & Keith reduced the mast to just 27’ with sails cut down accordingly in anticipation of their trans Tasman adventure.

Roxane, I believe was a Tercel Brothers interpretation of a design by the well known American marine architect Charles Mower. The boys purchased her from Arthur Fisher, a jeweller of Whangarei for the sum of 190 pounds.

The current times being dominated by the Great Depression, money was hard to come by and the two partners anticipated they could get one of their eager mates to join the voyage to assist with finances. However, as Keith notes, ”once they saw the size of Roxane, they disappeared…it was unbelievable”

Nevertheless they managed to attract another chap their own age that had never been to sea before, but was keen, and, most importantly was able to pay the 20 pound asking price for a berth on the yacht. He was Les O’Brien.

The three set off from Auckland on Keith’s birthday 24th May 1937 after obtaining a Maritime Services Board seaworthiness clearance. They stopped off at Whangamumu where they collected a 4 gallon drum of whale oil for their oil bag, which came in very handy in the winter Tasman storms.

At a stop in Russell for a scrub and antifoul, their motor and receiving radio were “pronounced dead”, but on the 29th May they were on their way.

They dropped anchor in Cascade Bay, Norfolk Island on June the 5th, receiving a dunking after their small dinghy overturned whilst going ashore. After a ‘social’ time ashore they got back aboard, fortunately, as a wind shift put them on a lee shore, and in a rising gale they managed to claw free of danger but at a cost to a loss of their anchor which had to be cut free. They sailed around to Cable Bay where Dick again went ashore in an effort to ‘borrow’ a replacement anchor. To cut the story short, Keith & Les spent an exciting day or two blown away from Norfolk in a heavy gale finally recovering Dick, and a bagful of rocks to serve as an anchor, & departed Norfolk 9th June bound for Lord Howe Island, which, with improving weather, they reached on June 19.

The Islanders proved to be very hospitable in the 10 days the boys spent there, setting sail for Sydney on 7th July with more storms to test the tiny yacht.

On the 13th July they made landfall at Newcastle where they were met by a Customs Officer who flatly disbelieved that they had come from New Zealand. However, after receiving customs and medical clearances, eventually, the trio set sail for Sydney on July 15 reaching Sydney Heads late the next day…after a small encounter with a naval live firing exercise. This was only mildly interesting at the time to Roxane, but next day when they were ashore, the crew noticed newspaper placards in the street with the headline…”Yacht Crews Ordeal in Bombed Area”.

Les left the yacht in Sydney as planned so Dick, Keith and a couple of Kiwi friends set sail on August 16th for Brisbane as part of their intended voyage to the Great Barrier Reef and thence to Fiji. However Dick decided to return home & it was decided they would sell Roxane back in Sydney. The two partners achieved a very prompt sale to a Mr. Lowe for 325 pound, less 25% duty on their original purchase price, & less 2/6 (25c) duty on the unopened tin food left after their Tasman crossing

Keith records that…”Dick & I split up the balance, and parted good friends”. He heard news of Dick’s ownership of the Auckland yacht “Seaward” & that he later joined the Air Force, unfortunately to lose his life as a Wellington Bomber navigator over Europe during WW11. “A sad end for a great guy”, Keith wrote.

Keith soon after married the “very attractive red head”, Betty, who he had met on his first day ashore after the Tasman adventure! After some 80 years ashore in Australia, he remains a dyed in the wool “Kiwi”, despite his late Aussie wife and three Aussie daughters.

A final postscript – In 1987 on Keith’s 74th birthday his family shouted a trip north to Cairns. Unbeknown to him his son in law Peter had tracked down Roxane in Cairns and to Keith’s surprise they met the then owner for a sail in his old ‘ship’. To Keith’s latest knowledge Roxane is owned by John Keene in Townsville. John, at the time Keith wrote his little book, had good plans to restore the vessel to original condition. Notwithstanding some urgently needed work, Roxane is a remarkable endorsement of the Tercel brothers’ (all be it amateur) boat building skills, almost as long lived as Ross’s 105 year old brother.

(In the 2nd photo above we have the crew on arrival in Sydney…left to right Dick Wellington, Les O’Brien, Keith Dawson)

Vixen > Water Beetle – Akaroa

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Vixen > Water Beetle – Akaroa

Another photo ex Lew Redwood’s fb page, this time we have a yacht anchored at Akaroa, the photo is dated 1911. It’s a great photo

Any of the woodys able to ID this gaffer?

07-05-2018 Input from Harold Kidd – 

She’s the little half-rater WATER BEETLE designed by Prof Scott and built for Wardrop of Wellington by Robert Logan Sr in 1895 as VIXEN. MASCOTTE (53ft) and YVONNE (42ft) were big gaffers. Scott later bought her, renamed her WATER BEETLE and raced her at Lyttelton. He sold her in 1901.

VIXEN/WATER BEETLE had a lugsail like most of the Wellington half-raters which raced with the Arawa Sailing Club and was 24ft loa. She was owned at the time of this photograph by J.L. Vangioni of Akaroa. Prof Scott had owned YVONNE for many years at this time.

 

Good Things Take Time

Greg Fenwick sent me the photo below that he took last November on a trip to Oban, Stewart Island. Pretty well sums up wooden boat building 🙂

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And a wee bonus today – check out this Facebook movie of dinghy sailing back in 1955, at Plymouth, Devon, UK. Link via Wooden Boat fb – enjoy

Shemara + Laughing Lady in the spotlight

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SHEMARA

The photo above shows the ketch Shemara being launched in Wellington 0n the 9th August 1958, it looks a very miserable day – the wee girl I’m sure would rather be elsewhere. Photo ex Lew Redwood > fb.

Do we know what became of Shemara?

Input below from Gavin Pascoe

I own Sherama. She’s moored at Clyde Quay Wellington. 23′ LOA but feels more like 26 or 28′. She was Roydon Thomas’s first design. Built by Frank Ballinger. That’s him with his two sons Peter and Trevor, who are both still active boating in Wellington. She’s an awesome boat, Australian hardwood to the waterline, Alaskan cedar above. There’s footage of her being hauled up to Grafton Road prior to her launching (plus other cool footage) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hSB9RWMMlw&t=29s. Many, many stories go with both the boat and Roydon Thomas. Stories of Roydon Thomas’ exploits are legion. Some clean ones may be read here: https://thomasfamilyhistorynz.wordpress.com/

Shemara was never ketch rigged. People would call her a sloop as she carries one main and one jib at a time. However her mast is stepped quite well aft in comparison with most sloops, and therefore strictly speaking is more accurately described as a cutter. Though I’m no expert in the finer points of these matters: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155263975080674&set=pcb.10155263977035674&type=3&theater and https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155191194915674&set=pcb.10155191195575674&type=3&theater

And speaking of miserable days – the November 1963 photo below of the Oriental Bay boat harbour in Wellington, is proof of why they build such sturdy vessels so down there 🙂

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Not often a classic woody graces the cover of a NZ boating mag

When you are out & about, pick up a copy of the May issue of Boating NZ, they feature Laughing Lady, post launching at the Mahurangi Regatta. Great story & photos. You can see / read about her restoration > launching at the link below (lots of links to stories). There is also a feature on my boat builder friend, Geoff Bagnall, another great reason to grab a copy 😉

https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/01/15/32060/

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A Treasure Trove of Old Auckland Sailing Photos

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A Treasure Trove of Old Auckland Sailing Photos

I was contacted by Keith Humphreys who told me that in the 1950’s he discovered a box of glass plates under the Anglican parish hall (Devonport).

A friend’s father, an amateur photographer printed them off for him at the time, but Keith had no idea what or where they’re of?

He presumes that they’re taken in Auckland.

Can we help ID them? HDK, a wee job after chapel & before your bike ride today 😉

ID’ing the cricket match photo below will be tougher challenge 🙂 A WW t-shirt if some can, & prove it. 

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Harold Kidd Input – Top pic RAINBOW? 2nd pic IDA? 3rd THELMA? The Anglican Parish Hall is next door to Le Huquet’s former residence and last yard and I think WAIONE was built in the near vicinity. Mad guess at the cricket match with a little church on a hill is Waiheke. Awaroa? Owhanake before the 1918 flu epidemic which just about wiped out all the Maori population there?

Mystery Yacht – Sailing Sunday

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Mystery Yacht – Sailing Sunday

Barbara Cooke sent me the above photo of this very cute yacht moored in Barrys Bay, Akaroa Harbour.

Snapped from on-board Trinidad as she mooches her way back North.

Any of the southern woodys able to ID the yacht & supply details?

MANUTARA

Pictured below is the 1946 Salthouse designed & built yacht Manutara, she built with the intention of racing the Sydney to Hobart race, but this never eventuated. These days she is owned by Ray Shoebridge & earns her keep doing charter work out of Akaroa – details & photo also ex Barbara C.

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GLEAM 

I popped down to the Salthouse (ex) yard yesterday to catch up with some of the steam boat crowd & while there spotted Neil Chalmers old yacht Gleam at the wharf – looking very smart – Neil will be very chuffed to see her being loved & back in the hands of the family of the designer / builder – JB Brooke.

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Input from Barbara Cooke – Manutara was designed by Jack Muir in 1946. And built by Salthouse Boat Builders in 1962. John Salthouse remembers her being the second full build after setting up the yard at Greenhithe in 1960.
Gleam is now owned by Chris (Curly) Salthouse.

Leisure Hour – Update

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LEISURE HOUR

I have been contacted by Don & Teresa Windley, the new owners of Leisure Hour. Teresa & Don purchased Leisure Hour from master boat restorer John Wright and sailed her from Westpark Marina Hobsonville to her new home at Mahurangi Marinas. Built some 82 years ago she is built strong and has strong standing rigging. Her little Arona diesel engine performed well and didn’t miss a beat on the trip. Don told me that they will continue with the good work John Wright started in keeping this lovely old sail boat in good sailing condition, 1st project being rewiring all the internal electrics. This winter a planned haul out will include masts out which need re-varnishing.

Don thanked WW for publishing Leisure Hours story a little while ago that included some of her history from Harold Kidd. The WW story and the trademe ad helped them to make the decision to purchase a classic they could manage to sail together, as they had been looking for some time. It is always nice to hear that WW is helping people discover the classic wooden boating movement.

You can see/read more about her here https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/12/24/classic-vintage-1936-ketch-leisure-hour/

As a bonus today –  below is a link to a 30min video of the Melbourne based classic yacht Sayonara, in Sydney for News Eve 2001 , sent to me by Alan Good – enjoy it’s a cool look back at yachting 17 years ago.