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.

Tern II – A Big Project

TERN II – A Big Project

On Friday I was contacted by Mike Lyon regarding the 52’ yacht Tern II, built by Stow and Son, in Shoreham, UK.- back in May 2021 we ran a wonderful story on the yacht and how it ultimately to be Mike’s care. It is a great read, full of insights and photos (link below)   

I’ll let Mike share todays story with you – 

“Hi there, we have a project boat that we are looking to find a new home for, her name is Tern II, and she was built in the UK in 1899, and briefly owned by Claude Worth, a well-known sailing writer of the time who included her in his book “Yacht Cruising”.

She was sailed out to New Zealand in the 1950’s by Ben Pester, a returning Naval officer who wrote about the voyage in his book “Just Sea and Sky”.

We came across her in Tonga in 2004, where she had been abandoned after a failed passage to Hawaii. I had worked as a shipwright in the UK restoring similar vessels and so we decided to take her on as a project.

We had her shipped to NZ in 2006 where we had her in storage for several years before moving her to Whangarei where she is now. 

We have replaced the old elm keel with greenheart, wrought iron floors with puriri and 1″ copper keel bolts. There is a large stock of puriri for the framing and the stem and sternpost, and the deck beams.

Due to other work and life commitments, we haven’t been able to work on her for the last few years.

It’s looking like the lease for the shed where she is currently being stored is coming to an end as the whole area is earmarked for development, and so we are looking into ways to secure her future and are putting the word out there to any interested parties who would be willing to take her on.”

Mike can be contacted via email

Lola – NZ37 + Easterly – Picnic Boat


Todays story comes to us from retired boat builder Allan Hooper, just back from an extended trip to visit family the USA (Carlsbad just north of San Diego). I’ll let Allan tell the story :-

Prior to leaving I made contact with Morgan Spriggs the current owner of Lola, an NZ37. Lola was built at Jim Young’s NZ Yachts in 1969-70 while I was the foreman. 

I was very keen to see the boat after all these years. Morgan has spent  a lot of time restoring Lola and she looks as good as the date she left the factory apart from a few alterations and replacements. Morgan was excited to meet me and be able to talk about the build of the boat.

The hull construction is 4 skins of 1/4’” Kauri cold moulded with all of the back bone, floors, transom and bulkhead boundarys set in the mould. The hull was sheathed in Epoxy and glass. After the hull was taken off the mould the bulkheads and the interior were put in place and gunwales fitted.

The cabin,  cockpit and decks were built on a separate mould complete with paint work, glazing and hardware. Then in an operation taking only a couple of hours, was lifted and placed on the hull, located over the bulkheads, glued and fastened down.

The techniques developed to build these yachts enabled a NZ37 to be built from start to finish in 4 weeks.

Read and view more on Lola here

Morgan‘s father Robert owns a beautiful picnic boat, Easterly (photos below), an ex  Maine lobster boat on which we toured the San Diego bay.

It was used by Denis Connor is a chase boat when he was sailing in the Americas cup. Robert Spriggs has owns the boat for 22 years and it is in as new condition, you could have eaten your lunch of the engine or engine room floor.

The teak cockpit sole is the best laid teak I have ever seen, the timber selected is absolutely perfect, as was the whole boat.

The waterfront at downtown San Diego has a beautiful collection of maritime exhibits including a sailing immigrant ship the “Star of India” which was a regular visitor to New Zealand in the 1800s, once a year it is taken out for a sail.

Further along the waterfront is the USS Midway launched in 1945, she was finally laid up in the 1990s. If you’ve never been on an aircraft carrier it’s well worth a visit. 3.5 acres of 3 inch thick steel makes up the flight deck. It is an interesting harbour to visit and extremely busy as it is alongside the international airport, a military airport, a naval base, several marinas and the city. When you go out on the bay you see it and hear it all.

Ilex Crew Visit Motukawanui Island


I came across this photo a while ago and just love – it is of the crew from the yacht ILEX catching up with the locals at either Papatara or Horseshoe Bay on Motukawanui Island (the largest island in the Cavalli Island group, northwest of Matauri Bay, Northland)

Can we ID the yacht hauled up the beach and the significance of the number – RL 27

The gent in the white hat + pipe, holding the piglet does look familiar for other old photos.

I hope the crew were not negotiating the sale of the wee pig 😦

09-08-2022 INPUT ex Robin Elliott – This was taken by Henry Winkelmann in January 1906 during his 4th cruise on the Ilex.

His negative register records this and several other images that day as ‘Cavalli Islands, Group of Maoris an crew’. According to the Vivien Edwards’ book ‘Winkelmann’, the Maori were residents of the Motukawa Village on the island.
There is no mention of the fishing boat in this picture.

The Ilex crew had stopped off at Motukawa for a spot of random goat shooting.

HDK has written extensively on the easy going gun culture of the day. Sitting on your boat while at anchor and taking pot shots at anything that moved on shore was generally regarded as ‘fair game’. See ” ‘Huntin’ Shootin’ and Fishin’ ” Boating World Magazine October 1994.

During that cruise Henry Winkelmann took 45 photographs, both Full Plate and quarter plate glass, of Whangaroa Harbour, Stevenson Island, Whangaroa township, as well as breathtaking shots from the top of St Peters and also from the top of the Dukes Nose. All the while lugging about those heavy glass plates and the unwieldy camera equipment to accommodate them.
The man was amazing.
His entire marine negative collection (or rather what has survived the last 100+ years or so) is held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Many images are online and well worth some time to trawl through them.

The Relaunch of Frances


 The 44’, 1906 Arch Logan designed / Logan Brothers built yacht – Frances is one of the lucky classic woody yachts on the Waitemata Harbour, in 2004 she came into the Classic Yacht Charitable Trust fleet and became one of the most regularly sailed yachts in New Zealand. But as we all know wooden boats need regular TCL and Frances returned to the water on Friday after a visit to Wayne Olsen’s yard – Horizon Boats ready for the next 100 years.

Todays’ photos come to us from Angus Rogers, a trustee of CYCT

Link below to the CYCT website where you can read and see more of Frances and the rest of the CYCT fleet.

43’ Classic Yacht With Exemplary Provenance 

43’ Classic Yacht With Exemplary Provenance 

Very very rarely do I put a price on a classic vessel that is for sale on WW, but today is an exception. After over 50 years of ownership Tuahine is for sale and her owner is keen to sell, but only to the right person/s -so woodys if you pass the test -Tuahine could be yours for $100k. That is a bargain for a 43’ yacht designed and built in 1957 by the Dickson family, lead by Roy Dickson’s father (grandfather to Chris Dickson). Modern engine, her needs are mostly cosmetic, so give her some TLC and you will have a very fetching classic that should blow the b_lls off most of Auckland’s classic fleet 🙂

More photos and details at this WW link.

Classic Tender or Art

You decide – she is sub 10’, built of kauri ply (est. 65kg) and after 6 years of storage, has just had a birthday. Overseas owner says sell – not cheap but a very fair price at $4,300

Feel Good Sunday

Feel Good Sunday

Today’s photo shows the yacht Nga Toa alongside the wharf in Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island and is dated 1933. It would appears that the bedding was getting some time in the sun. Photo ex Russell Brooke.  To me its one of the coolest old woody photos I have seen.

Sadly Nga Toa was wrecked in Wellington in the 1980’s

On the subject of the Brooke family and seeing its Easter I have reproduced below one of Jack Brooke’s drawing, recording the travels of their yacht Kiariki over Easter 1962, when they cruised to Kawau Island, Leigh and Waiheke Island and a few points in-between. Crew: John Brooke, R Hunt snr., R Hunt jnr., R Smith & W Bass.

Jack produced a hand drawing on each cruise, over 20 of them have appeared on WW thanks to son Robert making them available. Search Jack Brooke Cruise Collection in the WW search box to view more.

Mystery Yacht – C2

Mystery Yacht – C2

All I can tell you is that the photo is dated c.1920/30’s and the yacht is sailing in a regatta in the Hauraki Gulf.

Should be an easy one to ID for those that have access to yacht registers ??

Input below from Denis O’Callahan –

“Back in the 1930s Scout was owned by one of my father’s buddies Ted Hay, who I think changed her from gaff to bermudan rig. From 30 December 1932 to 20 January 1933 Scout cruised to the Bay of Islands, the crew being Ted Hays, Jack Callagher, Bob O’Callahan (my father) and Copper Speight, who represented New Zealand at Rugby in 1893, playing 7 matches on tour. Copper was older than the rest of the crew and died at 65 years in 1935.

In 1932 it was the depression time, Ted, Jack and Bob may well have been unemployed and reading between the lines I think Copper paid for the cruise. He enjoyed it so much that he had a log typed up and I inherited a bound carbon copy. I have passed this log on to the present owner of Scout, Martin Farrand. (Of course I first scanned it and kept an electronic copy.) In return Martin gave me a copy of the excellent history of Scout “100 years astern”, written by Sandra Gorter, who also wrote the book about Ranger. To celebrate Scout’s 100th birthday in 2009 Martin took her to Newport Rhode Island to compete in a 6 Metre regatta where she was the oldest boat in the fleet. She now sports the sail number NZL-1. Unfortunately there are no photos from the 1932 cruise but I attached the cover photo from the book.”