IDA – All Dressed Up & No Where To Go

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IDA – All Dressed Up & No Where To Go
Last night this 125 year old A-Class classic yacht was going to be the leading lady at the RNZYS for a party to celebrate her relaunch – but CV-19 put a stop to that 😦
So woodys today you get a peek at her tucked away in Wayne Olsen’s shed waiting for the green light to step out.
It seems unbelievable  that it was only July 2019 that I Iast visited the yard and now she is all set to splash (see link below for photos + details on her history and how she came home after ‘migrating’ to the Big Island.
Ida was designed by Charles Bailey Jnr and built / launched in 1895 by C&W Bailey gaff rigger
She is 58’ LOA, with a beam of 8’ – LOW = 45’ so there is a lot of bits hanging off her when she is in racing mode
Once again the classic yachting movement is indebted to John Street and his Classic Yacht Charitable Trust, they restore and maintain the cream of New Zealand’s A-Class fleet, and race the pants off every other woody in the fleet. Well done.
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Classico – Launch Day

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CLASSICO

A few weeks ago I was tipped off by Adrian Pawson that one of his buddies – James Ledingham, had ‘acquired’ a very special Frostbite named Classico, one of things that makes her special is that she was built but never launched, so effectively is a new boat. Adrian is the owner of – Kiteroa, the ex Brooke family boat, which Adrian has restored and ’tweaked’ a little, thats her in the photos with the orange hull.

I was onto James quick smart to get more details. But before that I have to say how cool it is to see these ‘young’ sailors getting into the classic wooden dinghy sailing scene. The guys sail out of Taikata Sailing Club in West Auckland (Te Atatu), on a good Sunday there are upwards of 15 Frostbites racing. Both Adrian and James would be too modest to say this – but both work at the very pointy (high tech) end of world sailing, which makes their passion for these woodys even more special 🙂

Adrian also supplied for our review (see below) a copy of Doug Sharp’s secret copy of the ‘Frostbite Go Fast Tips’ by Kevin Lidgard.

I’ll let James tell the story –

“Recently I was fortunate enough to purchase ‘Classico’ a wooden frostbite dinghy.

What made this boat unique, aside from her immaculate timber detailing, was that she was brand new and had never been sailed. Something of a rarity in the frostbite class these days.

‘Classico’ is the result of a labour of love by her builder and previous owner David Strickett (Brother in law of Rex Maddren – a well-known Frostbite sailor and champion in his day). Looking for a wooden boat project and with a love of the clinker style, the Frostbite dinghy was a natural choice for David to get stuck into. Having picked up his wooden boat building skills at Carrington Tech under the guidance of Robert Brooke (son of Jack Brooke, who designed the original frostbite back in 1937) he was certainly well equipped to tackle such a build. Robert helped him source some temporary frames from Wakatere Boating Club and he got stuck in.

The boat is built in kauri, the majority of which was sourced from a farmer in Mangamuka, just south of Kaitia. The exception was the single piece transom, which came from a kauri slab that David already had in his garage.

Many hands make light work and during the build David sought help with the planking and ribbing from Robin Dew, who had built several wooden Frostbites himself. Whangarei boat builder Nick Rodokal also lent a hand in constructing the gunwhale, having previously built David a Lotus 9.2 (Pursuit).

David kitted the boat out with modern aluminum spars, a Quantum Mylar sail, and the latest Harken deck gear. Adding a touch of performance to the classic kauri hull.   

It was a bittersweet moment to launch ‘Classico’ down at Taikata Sailing Club on the first Sunday of March 2020, ahead of the regular afternoon sailing. She would have been equally at home in a museum (or the lounge!) and once wet and raced, unlikely to ever be quite be as immaculate again. However, they are such great boats to sail I was looking forward to getting out and seeing what she could do. She was appropriately blessed by another frostbite legend, Doug Sharp, and champagne was poured. A successful first sail ensued with minimal leaking.

While the quality of the boat couldn’t be faulted her performance was an unknown. However, she certainly seems to be fast (when the skipper sends her in the right direction) so far grabbing a 2nd in the first race of the Taikata Sailing Club winter series held earlier in March.

I plan to race her regularly down at Taikata Sailing Club, where the Frostbite fleet is thriving – with 12+ boats on the start line every fortnight. Wooden boat enthusiasts are welcome to come down to the club and have a yarn. There are a good number of well-kept and restored timber Frostbites amongst the fleet, and no shortage of stories! 

The name ‘Classico’ stems from a holiday dinner in Tuscany where David and his wife were enjoying a bottle of traditional Chanti wine – Chianti ‘Classico’.”

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Ngarurua + CYA Regatta Sailing Photos

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NGARURUA

The 37’ Ngaruroa was built by Nobby Clark, a commercial boat builder and launched in 1965. Built from carvel plank, heart kauri. Powered by a 120hp 6 cylinder Perkins diesel engine. 
Over the last 8 years she has been under gone an extensive re-fit and her owner now finds themselves just too busy to complete the project – so if there is a woody out there handy with their hands – Ngarurua just needs her interior finished and a lick of paint. She is fully operational in its present state. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the tme heads up.

CYA CLASSIC YACHT REGATTA UPDATE – DAY TWO (Races 2&3)
Yesterday morning I was dock side at Race HQ co-ordinating a meet up between renowned wooden boat photographer Benjamin Mendlowitz and James Dreyer (MV Laughing Lady) and I got ‘press ganged’ into accompanying them on LL for the day. Was not what I had planned but sometimes you just go with the flow.
Had an amazing day and got some great sailing photos. A taste below – full story on Monday.
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A10 – Thelma / A7 – Rainbow

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A7 – Thelma / A2 – Rawhiti

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A16 – Little Jim

Waiwhetu – Sailing Sunday

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WAIWHETU – Sailing Sunday

The 30’ keeler – Waiwhetu, was built in 1965 by Des Townson and his father in Des’s Morrin Road factory for Tulloch Kebbell. She was launched 31st January 1966.
Tulloch Kebbell owned her for 48 years, selling her to the current owner Blu Steven in Feb 2014.
Blu commented that these days she has a Drofin 12hp diesel twin engine (that replaced the original Ford petrol unit) and he has added several of mod cons such as a VHF radio, GPS unit, twin battery setup, new water tanks, wiring, engine mounts, stern gland, and a fire extinguisher, but Blu has deliberately kept it as close as practicable to how it was in the 1960’s. That means hanked-on head sails, below deck anchor storage (no windlass or even a bow-roller), and an ancient gas stove (that replaced the original Primus).
 
Waiwhetu is a darling to sail, and has a very good motion and can be balanced to provide a neutral helm that will track in a straight line while conditions are stable.

Refer below the original copy of the – specification of materials, work and payments – if to hard to read – below is a link to a viewable PDF file.
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Tall Ship Peking Rounds Cape Horn – Movie

Tall Ship Peking Rounds Cape Horn – Movie

The above 1929 film is shot and narrated by Captain Irving Johnson and records the tall ship Peking on her outward bound journey around Cape Horn.
Special thanks to Max Pike for sending me the link.
Input from Keith Ottaway

“She is still afloat and being restored……..

http://ss-peking.de/en/viermastbark-peking/bildergalerie.php

There is another of these in Sweden / Finland

https://sjofartsmuseum.ax/en/the-ship-pommern/

And a read of Eric Newby book on sailing these with a complete set of photos.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/298571.Learning_the_Ropes

The book has some very good photos under way and what they had to do – very readable – but on a winters night in front of the fire to make you appreciate what you have.”

 

Ghost

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GHOST –  Sailing Sunday
Today’s story is the result of a hunt for a long lost launch photo and I came across a file tagged ‘Ghost’. The above photos were sent to me by Peter Robinson back in late 2016 and somehow the file slipped between the cracks.
Peter wrote asking for help locating information on the history of Ghost.
Given the 3 year incubation period , it would be nice to think that we could help Peter out 😉

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Harold Kidd Input – Designed and built by Bert Woollacott in late 1938  for himself. Later owned by Ken Brown who did the 1948, 1951 and 1952 TransTasman races in her. Based on Bert’s Vectis design. I thought she had gone offshore?
Murray Deeble Input – Harold is right, the Ghost went offshore and was wrecked–the vessel pictured is Kehua wrongly advertised as the original Ghost in the 80’s and 90,s  Kehua has an unusual past herself featuring in one of the first Suva races -(washing ashore near Whakatane eventually.)
And more from HDK – KEHUA = GHOST in Maori. Built by Selwyn Matheson and Peter Ashcroft in Whangarei (?). Bert didn’t like the changes to his design.

ASTROLABE – A Peek Down Below

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ASTROLABE – A Peek Down Below

I had the pleasure recently to inspect Astrolabe, the 51’ 7” Bruce Clark designed, John Salthouse built 1974 sloop. As you would expect from any craft from John Salthouse’s hands, she is a work of art – 1 3/8” kauri, splned and glassed. She has had a serious amount of blue water under her keel and has enjoyed 27 years of continuous ownership.
Sadly her owner has reached a stage in life where he would like the yacht to have a new caretaker – not just anyone, you would have to be a passionate woody to be in the running for stewardship of Astrolabe.
I post todays story to give you something to think about over the Christmas break. The boat was not ‘dressed’ for photos, these are  just ‘snaps’ from my iPhone.
If you are a serious woody looking for a classic cruising yacht that ticks all the boxes – looks, designer and builder creds, blue water capable and maintained for the last 27 years to an extraordinary standard – in the first instance,  contact us at the email below. waitematawoodys@gmail.com
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