Is This The Future Of Woody Boating?



Is This The Future Of Woody Boating?

Normally on Boxing Day you would expect a boatbuilders yard to be very quiet – but if your were anywhere near Greg Salthouse’s Greenhite yard on the 26th Dec you would have witnessed a very special event. The yard launched two sister 10m weekender boats – ARIHI and GRACE.
Below is the story behind these two stunning launches, as told to me by Delayne Salthouse –
“Nick Peal has been with Salthouse Boatbuilders for over 38 years, and in that time construction methods have morphed and developed to achieve better this, faster that, lighter these or more efficient those. While those improvements are important and incorporated where needed, for the likes of Nick there is nothing better than getting back to the beautiful basics of a traditional build.
You can imagine the excitement when the yard received a brief to design & build two traditional looking 10m craft  that would reclaim some of the classic lines and charm of New Zealand’s coastal cruiser. This is in sharp contrast to the imported ‘plastic creations’ we see so many of in New Zealand boating in these days.
The concept plans and line drawings were done by Chris Salthouse, from these Nick has crafted Arihi & Grace utilising double skin ply, with solid timber keelson and gunwale, The boats were then heavily sheathed with double bias glass to make a robust, strong and lightweight boat.”
They are powered by a Hyundai 270hp stern leg, will cruise at 25-30 knts, and top out at around 37 knts. There is a huge super king front island berth + quarter berth with ample saloon seating that can also be a berth. Head, shower, simple cooker, fridge, large cockpit. PLUS Trailerable !!!
The boats are very easy on the eye and I have already had people asking me – who, what, where in terms of the designer / builder.
Well done Greg, Delayne, Chris, Nick & the team at Salthouses – I think you are onto a winner here.

The Launching

Arihi Splashes

Grace Splashes

Photo below sent in by Steve Finnigan – lots of zoom used on the camera/phone



Summer / New Year 2019 Raindance Cruise Photo Gallery – 70+ Classic Wooden Boats













282′ – Available for rent NZD$970,000 week


Very cool packaging design & yum

Summer / New Year Raindance Cruise Photo Gallery – 70+ Classic Wooden Boats

The above gallery is a selection of photos I mostly took at random over the 12 days we were floating around the bottom end of Waiheke Island. I apologise for the quality of some, but the light & direction I was heading were not always my friend in terms of image quality. I just wanted to record & showcase some of the craft out & about over the holiday period. Remember click photos to enlarge 😉
Like most people in the upper north island we were gifted with stunning weather – I rolled the cockpit canopy clears up on day one & rolled them down again when we returned to the marina 12 days later. I can honestly say that it was the best cruise we have had aboard RD, just perfect.
For those of you that were cruising in other parts, email in some photos so we can share.
Even last week the weather remained near perfect, & allowed me to get the sandpaper & Awlwood (Uroxsys) out & re-varnish RD’s trim – 9 coats, looks very smart.
As I write this I’m hoping for some rain, the garden is crying out for a downpour.
Mahurangi Regatta is fast approaching, I say it every year but in terms of vessel numbers & location, it has to be NZ’s premier classic wooden boating event. Put a circle around Saturday, Jan 26th in the diary & make the effort to be there. More details closer.
Check out WW tomorrow for some great photos from the Bay of Islands Tall Ships Regatta – there will even be a photos of Tony Stevenson on the helm of a classic, its been a while 😉

Almost A Woody – Lucille

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Lucille was built in 2004, in Whangarei, by Eric Knight and sits in the ’spirit of tradition’ category, being a fibre-glass version of the Logan wooden 33’ launch – Coquette.
She is powered by a 40hp, 4 cyl Lombardini diesel.
Her owner Alan Good is one of the most fastidious boaties you could find and has tweaked and upgraded almost everything to make Lucille perfect for his use. Even the interior follows through with the Logan concept of tongue & groove ceilings and panelling. Alan has also replaced all her fittings with bronze to enhance her look.
A very practical launch that gets used a lot.
Hard stand photos ex Ken Ricketts, rest Alan H & owner.
You can read more on the original Logan 33 Coquette here.

Mata Hari

Mata Hari 1

Mata Hari 2

Mata Hari 3

Mata Hari 4

Mata Hari 5

Mata Hari 6

Mata Hari 7


The 1972 John Gladden designed & built launch Mata Hari was included in a recent WW story on Geoff Bagnall Milford yard. It created a lot of chat in the WW comments section & prompted woody Alan S. To send in the above feature from the March 1974 edition Boating World. Mata Hari was built in Geoff’s shed.
Alan commented that he was surprised so few knew about Eric Webster’s efforts at Great Barrier Island, we would not have Smokehouse Bay set up without him. You could never do what he did these days with all the resource consent requirements we face. We boaties should be very grateful.
Enjoy the read


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Magic is a rare boat in NZ coming from the Havorsen stable in Australia, these craft have a big cult following in Australia & normally sport a lot of varnish.
Just how & when Magic made the trip to NZ I don’t know. What I do know is that she was built in 1976, is 43’in length & powered by a single 120hp Ford diesel (her original). This set up sees her burning just 8 -9 litres an hour at a cruise speed of 7-8 knots.
She is well set up for extended cruising & currently listed on trademe (but sold subject to survey) for $129k ono, in my eyes not a bad price for a lot of boat. A serious sessions with a sander & a tin of varnish & she would be a very smart spirit of tradition classic launch. Current home port is Whitianga.
Read / view the story of the Havorsen boating building empire here

ALMDA – A Classic Jack Cropp Designed Motor Launch 

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ALMDA – A Classic Jack Cropp Designed Motor Launch 

The 20’ motor boat, Almda was built in McCormicks Bay Christchurch in 1965 with African Meranti marine laminated ply riveted & glued clinker plank. 
For sale on trademe, she is in totally original condition, with according to her listing, absolutely no rot. 
Powered by a Palmer & Doak marinised 1500cc Ford GT engine rated at 78 BHP driving through a stern drive. 

Included is a folder with a log from day one plus a letter from Jack Cropp about its construction etc. he comments on the fact that the engine has plenty of power to get on the plane. 
Jack was an Olympic yachtsman and won a gold medal at the 1956 games in Melbourne and well known for building quality well designed wooden boats. 
The boat is light and easy to tow, has been in dry storage all its life. Currently residing near Ashburton, Canterbury, South Island.

Sorry about the standard of some of the photos.


I have to question deciding to cancel an event, based on a weather forecast, in Auckland, 4 days before the event…………….. 😦

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Now it’s not often that I will do a story on a 1975 boat & even rarer when its built from ply & glassed over BUT Mariki just jumped out at me from her trademe listing. Her owner deserves a big tick in terms of how to ‘finish’ a vessel. The combination of colours, wood trim etc make Mariki look like she is moving even when sitting in a cradle.
Mariki is a 36’ Pelin Empress, & powered by a 1965, 80hp, Ford D series engine. While I’m sure she would lift her skirt & dance with a bigger donk, with a cruising speed of 10 knots she only sips 1 > 1.25 gallons per hour, combine that with fuel tank/s capacity of 160g, you can go a long way between top ups.
If the cabin looks a tad bear – the squabs are away being re-upholstered.
A lovely boat – perfect for a woody looking for a low (ish) maintenance classic (can’t believe I used the word).