PRE – RESTORATION
PRE – RESTORATION
“I have just come across your website and read the piece about a Mrs Batten who was inquiring into the whereabouts of Rawhiti junior. I don’t know how long ago that posting was made as it appears undated.
I would be interested to tell what I know about her.
My recollection was that she was built in 1904 not 1906 as Mr Kidd has suggested but I stand to be corrected.
She was last owned by my previous brother in law Vernon Harris now of Hahei.
Vern and I did some restoration on her in the 80’s. The most exciting thing was removing the “baby Austin 7 “ inboard petrol engine from her cockpit. We threw it onto the beach in Whitianga on a low tide and waited till the tide came in to see what difference having 200 kg of steel removed from her rear end would make to her handling. It was phenomenal of course, an absolute pleasure to sail after that. Vern acquired a small seagull outboard for the times when there was no wind to shift her.
We assume she was once yawl rigged but in our time the rear mast was just a stub that we used to attach stern lines. A previous owner had modified the main mast , presumably so she could be brought under a low bridge as it was set up to hinge fore and aft.
Vern and I had numerous trips between Mercury Bay and Great Barrier in the 80’s, I have wonderful memories of those trips bringing gear our from the Coromandel to start an alternative lifestyle on Barrier . I don’t think she was 20 ft , perhaps a little less. She had her bowsprit shortened , but we still used two headsails on occasion. Her original centreboard had been replaced with a solid keel which held a large long block of lead , she drew only 18”. She was a pleasure to unload gear from in knee deep water without grounding.
Unfortunately in 1989 she was badly damaged in a substantial storm that struck her while moored in Allom Bay which is the Southern most Bay of Blind Bay on the West Coast of Barrier where I still live on occasion. She had an open cockpit and simply filled with rain and seawater as she thrashed about on her mooring, which held her but she finally sank.
That would have been OK with her resting on the bottom, but as the tide receded , the swell bashed her repeatedly on the sandy bottom. With a large load of loose lead lying in her bilges , there were attempts to dive under the foaming surf and remove some of it. But as a near drowning occurred, this idea was given up .
The end result was that planks broke loose from her stem both above and below the waterline on port and starboard sides.
As the storm abated she was able to be moved into the creek in Allom Bay where she lay in a rudimentary cradle as the tide came in and out around her but she would never float again.
While decisions were made about if and how she could be saved, Mother Nature took the opportunity away.
A deluge of exceptional proportions, only weeks after her sinking, swept her out into the Bay , where she has never been seen since.
Although I have been snorkeling and diving , as have many others in the Bay, she has yet to make a reappearance.
The cabin tops (2), the forward hatch , the rigging and sails were all saved along with the beautiful rudder and tiller, but that was all.
One cabin top became the roof for a chook house and the other still keeps the rain off when visiting the long drop. None of these parts were original though.
The loss of Rawhiti affected Vern badly. As has been said often , we may call ourselves owners , but we are also custodians of historic treasures , so to lose her on our watch was hard to bear. He eventually shifted away from Allom Bay back to Whitianga. I understand he may be, or has been the Commodore of the Yacht Club there”.
13-07-2020 Input from Robin Elliott ex Auckland Star 29th Sept. 1906
CLEVEDON WOODY CRUISE – ARE YOU COMING ? – 15 WOODYS CONFIRMED SO FAR. RSVP TO firstname.lastname@example.org – all welcome, details below 🙂
LAKE MANAPOURI – MANURERE
Harold and I have finally sorted the mystery of Matatua (well it was only a mystery to us, the rest of the world couldn’t care less 🙂 ).
Matatua was built as a 33-foot ketch by Roy Lidgard in 1938 at their yard in Freemans Bay Auckland for C.T. Jonas who originally named her Landfall.
NZ Herald 13/8/1938 has a photo of her on page 12 being built ‘for C.T. Jonas’.
Landfall was launched 19/11/1938 and described as an ‘auxilliary ketch’ 33ft overall, 26ft on the waterline with 9ft 6in beam. She carried 600 sq ft of sail and it was reported that her owner intended making a cruise to the islands at the end of the 1938-39 season.
From then on, no more mention of Landfall and it appears that C.T. Jonas and his co-owner Harry Gillard, renamed her Matatua quite soon after launching.
The ketch Matatua first appears in print in February 1939 racing with other boats in the Lidgard employees picnic from the Freemans Bay slipway to Motuihe. She raced regularly with RNZYS and RAYC for the rest of the season. Her registration number was B-9.
The ketch rig clearly wasn’t a success because in September 1939 the NZH 26/9/39 reports ‘aux yacht Landfall owned by C.T. Jonas which made an appearance last year under ketch rig has been converted into a cutter’. This reference to Landfall is odd because she had been named Matatua since at least the beginning of 1939, but maybe they were just making the connection back their earlier articles.
In the winter of 1940, yet more improvements.
NZH 2/7/40: B-class yacht Matatua owned by C. Jonas has had 2ft 6in added to her counter by Lidgard Bros. OA length now 35ft 6in and will enable carrying a permanent backstay,
NZH 9/12/40: Photo of Matatua with her new cutter rig, B-9 on the sail.
The war intervenes and Matatua ceases racing.
During this time the Auckland yacht registration records, probably having been moved about or in storage during the war, had fallen into disarray. By the time a new list is published in July 1946, Matatua has been registered twice, first by Harry Gillard, who retained B-9, and again by C.T. Jonas who got a new number B-24. The error was picked up and B-24 lapsed but it remained in the official lists for a couple of seasons until another purge of obsolete registrations in 1948.
Clarrie Irvine raced Matatua, as B-9, for the next couple of seasons and sold her in 1949 to R. Campbell of Wellington. The trip to Wellington under delivery skipper Terry Hammond was hard and they were missing for several days after hitting a nor’westerly gale just off Cape Palliser that blew them as far south as Kaikoura. After getting back to almost the same spot, they ran into a westerly gale that blew them back out to sea. Eventually Matatua got to Wellington, her crew had been battered for 84 hours.
Matatua remained in Wellington (registered as Wellington A-10) for the next 12 years or so. She was purchased by K. Stutter in 1957, and in 1962 was sold to D. Fletcher of Epsom who brought her back to Auckland where she picked up her old number of B-9. Fletcher didn’t appear to do any racing but in 1968 he sold her to George Retter of the Richmond Yacht Club who owned and raced her until 1981.
Matatua has had no registered owners since then. Her NZYF number is 109
One major confusion with Matatua has been the Bob Stewart design Mata-a-tua built for George Gresham of Tauranga in 1947. When Matatua was sold to Wellington, her B-9 registration became vacant and was issued to Gresham’s Mata-a-tua thus beginning a series of tortured confusions in boating magazines and newspapers between the two boats.
This was continued when Mata-a-tua was also sold to Wellington in 1958 where she became Wellington A-9. Her owner Brian Millar brought her to Auckland in 1964 and she entered the 1965 Anniversary Regatta under her Wellington number A-9. (A-9?.. A-9??.. That’s Moana and We can’t have that!!) In February she was re-registered as B-47.
Another tedious ‘golly gee’ point. Both Clarrie Irvine and George Retter owned the Bailey built C-class Matua C-54. Both of them sold Matua to buy Matatua
I have been told to ‘get a life’ by many people.
Harold Kidd Input – RHODESIA was built in Auckland in September 1912 and railed down to Rotorua. She was 30ft loa 8fft beam 2ft 9in draught. Her first owner was Marshall Ryan Shipping Co who used Bailey & Lowe for their new builds so it’s a fair bet they built her too. Roy Forrester of Helensville ran her for the company in the years immediately after WW1. When Taupo Shipping Co was liquidated and its assets sold off in August 1925 she was sold off. I am not sure she was then renamed TUWHARETOA because Sam Crowther was running a TUWHARETOA for hire in 1923.
HERNE BAY YACHT CLUB
The photo of the boats from the Herne Bay JUNIOR Yacht Club (as it was known then) was taken probably 1933 not long after it was formed for boys under 18 and the location is the foot of George Dennes’s slipway at Sarsfield St, Herne bay.
George Dennes was the commodore and the only adult in the club. All other positions were held by the boys, who ran all the meetings. Vice Commodore Geoff Hodgson was 9, Rear Commodore Jim Faire, aged 13, Hon Sec Colin Dennes ages 16.
At first the boats were a mixed bag of local sailing dinks, the odd Zeddie, ‘anything with a sail’ and as you can see there in sail number 10, what looks to be a Zeddie with a bowsprit and jib.
In the winter of 1934, George Tyler built the 12-foot Silver Fern to an Arch Logan design for Colin Dennes. Others followed and the club consolidated around the new Silver Fern Class.
The administration experience gained from running their own affairs was put to good effect when many of the members, once they reached 18 years joined Richmond Yacht Club. By 1939, the RYC Commodore was Rupert Thorpe, Vice Comm Jim Frankham; Rear Comm Colin Dennes. All three HBJYC graduates and all under 21.
George Dennes died in 1942 and the Commodore’s role was taken over by Alf Thompson (Chad’s father) and continued until the Silver Fern’s demise around 1952, swept way by the new fangled Cherub, Moths and Pennant classes.
Notable yachtsmen, in no particular order, who came through the Silver Ferns were Laurie Davidson, John Lasher, Jim Faire, Des and Ray Hurley, Roy and Frank Dickson, Alan Barclay, Brian Woods, Des Townson, Murray White, Neville Thom, Shirley & Roy White, John Taylor, Roly Moreland, John Peet ….. and on and on…..
It was a very important club in its time and its unique structure actually trained young yacht club administrators. No other club did that.
PARUA BAY WOODYS
Lake Rotoiti – Okawa Bay Holiday Camp
Seriously Cool Steam Boat
If you have been considering installing a bow thruster or if you occasionally have a berthing oops – read the article below that Chris McMullen sent me – it originally appeared in the May 1944 edition of – Yachting World & Power Craft. It’s been in Chris’s files for years and he uncovered it during lock-down. Chris commented that he felt he should share it. Have a read it explains boat handling in plain English + the analogy of thinking the propeller is a wheel is good. If its too hard to read, drop me an email and I’ll send you it in a larger format. email@example.com
LADY GAY (Raindance)
I spend a large chunk of my leisure time, pulling together the waitematawoodys stories that you all get to enjoy each day. One of the coolest parts is connecting people and boats, more often than not – it’s a grandchild looking for grandads old wooden classic or someone who used to crew on a boat and wants to contact with the long lost woodys they boated with. There have been some amazing link-ups, some taking years to surface, a common situation is someone sends in an old photo of a boat, it appears on WW, we generate some intel on the boat, then the story goes into hibernation for a while, sometimes years. Then someone does a google search on an old boats name and bang – up pops the WW story and we are away, they supply more details + photos and then that generates more – its called self populating. With over 5,500,000 views the WW site rates very well with google, also people tend to spend a lot of time on the site so that tells google the site is valued by people, so the boffins at google ‘assist’ the search functionality.
Anyway starting to get boring – yesterday was my day, my turn to be wowed by waitematawoodys. I received an email that stopped the clock. After 13 years of looking for more intel on my boat – Raindance, a gent named William Brown reached out to WW asking for assistance in tracking down a launch named Lady Gay that his father owned in the late 1960’s. Bill’s parents were Correen and James Brown and were lifetime boaties with a flotilla of craft over the years – James was also a former Commodore of the Onerahi Yacht Club and a member of the Whangarei Cruising Club.
One glance at Bill’s photos told me it was Raindance. Bill’s email is below
“It’s been fun during the lockdown to still have the consistency of your regular Waitemata Woodys posts. Thanks for that.
Back at the beginning of March, I won one of your Waitemata Woody T shirts on the Townson 28 quiz and I have been proudly wearing it around my neighbourhood during lockdown. I’ll send a picture in at some stage with perhaps a different story/email to today’s one.
Ok, so I was I digging into my old photos recently and uncovered a couple of pictures (sorry about the quality), of our family’s launch that we owned for about 5 or 6 years in the late 1960s. We knew her then as Lady Gay, but as a youngster I never knew much about her provenance. I am not actually sure my dad knew much of her design or year built either. We used her extensively in the Whangarei harbour for family holidays and fishing trips. The coloured picture has me on the stern, while anchored at Tamaterau and the black and white photo is outside the old quarry in the top of McLeods Bay. I did see her once on the hard at Orakei, so believe she was in Auckland in the 1980s at some stage. She was about 27′ long, narrow and rolled around a bit. Dad fitted stabilizing chocks to her, closed in the canvas in the cockpit and added a decent sized mast, so we could run a stabilizing sail on her. She had a big old Ruston diesel if I remember right, which was incredibly reliable and economical. Those big saloon windows were pretty recognizable, functional, but ugly!
I would be most interested to find out more of the history of this “Lady Gay” ( i realize there are other more famous Lady Gay’s around and not even sure if she was originally given this name or indeed kept it after our ownership. I wonder if she is still going strong today and if so where she is based? Some good family memories were had on her for sure!”
Post lock-down Bill will be visiting his mother (lives in Northland still) and hopefully will obtain more details and photos.
As a result of Bill’s email I have filled in some of the missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle – but I would love to uncover details from her launch date (c.1928) to the early 1960’s. Hopefully the above photos and details on her owner might jog some memories.
Below I have reproduced what I had previously been able to piece together on the boats past – if I’ve got my wires crossed, please let me know:-)
Lady Gay > Lady Gai > Nona C > Raindance (as at June 2015)
When I purchased the boat in August 2007 she was named ‘Nona C’, after the then owners (Craig Colven, a Auckland Harbour Board pilot boat skipper) daughter. He told me the boat was previously called ‘Lady Gay’. I did not like the name Nona C so was in the process of reverting back to Lady Gay when I was advised of another launch called Lady Gay (owned by Graham Wilson of the Wilson & Horton publishing family), not wanting to confuse things & on the advice of several marine historians I decided to chose a new name & went with ‘RainDance’. Interestingly Graham Wilson was prepared to add II (2) to his launches name.
I was not aware that ‘Gay’ had been changed to the Irish spelling ‘Gai’ until when I was given a copy of the Dunsford Marine Surveyors Ltd pre-purchase survey commissioned in March 2003 by a Dr. Rex Ferris. Had I known about the Gai/Gay I would have retained the Lady Gai name. I obtained Rex Ferris’s address from the survey & did a Google search which resulted in an Auckland District Health Board employment link & I contacted Rex Ferris. Like myself he knew little about her past, there are still huge gaps e.g. the 1930’s > early 1980’s but below is some history I have gained.
I have also spoke in Jan 2010 to Blair Cole (boat builder) refer below.
Peter & Ann Gill, the motoring journalist, bought the boat in c.1987 & at the time had a waterfront property in the Upper Harbour (near Paremoremo wharf) with a mooring put down. He saw the boat advertised in ‘Boat Trader’, she was moored in the Tamaki Estuary & he purchased her for about $7,000. He can’t remember the name of the owner but was told the boat was built by Lane Motor Boats in 1928, there is however some discussion that she may have been built by ‘Collings & Bell’. She had a single cylinder Bukh diesel engine, which was started via a decompression lever & hand cranking. The owner told Peter that she had been based at Great Barrier Island as a ‘long-liner’ fishing boat for many years prior to him buying her. When she was moored off Peters house, she took on quite a bit of water, and it was necessary for him to go out as often as twice a week and operate the manual bilge pump. He hired a tradesman who specialized in old boats and he decided that it was the stern gland that was the problem. Peter her hauled out and they filled the stern gland with tallow. It was not a one hundred percent fix & she continued to take on water. Peter was never very comfortable with the boat & to use his words ‘we never went far in her’. She was not a pretty boat in those days with a cabin top that looked like it had been made from a ply-wood car case. (Photos below)
I have spoken to Peter several times & while he is very friendly & chatty about the boat he is very elusive about when & to whom he sold her. The reason for this is that either Peter or the next owner (?) let her sink on her mooring in the upper harbour & she remain submerged for several weeks. Given the swallow, sheltered tidal nature of the mooring this had no major negative effect on the boat.
The next chapter is amusing – the mast only of the boat was visible from the Salthouse Boat Builders yard at Greenhite & the tradesman there were running a sweep-stake as to how long she would remain submerged before the owner rescued her. During this period two of the Salthouse apprentices – Blair Cole & Kelly Archer (who both went on to become well respected boat builders in their own right) hatched a plan to buy the boat. They tracked down the owner & both approached him independently, Kelly advised it would cost $3,000 to re-float the boat. Blair then approached the owner & offered an as-is-where-is price of $2,000. The owner accepted Blair’s offer. The boat was hauled out at Salthouse’s yard, she later moved to Blair’s house where he undertook a major restoration (John Salthouse told me at a CYA function once that he had a ‘guiding’ hand in the process).
Between 1988>89 Blair spent in excess of 1800 hours on the restoration – the work involved replacing the ply wood box cabin top with a more sympathetic tram top & doghouse. The two bronze port holes were added to the front of the cabin, along with the bronze mushroom deck vents, new twin plastic fuel tanks, a reconditioned 58hp Ford engine, new shaft, new 2 blade prop, new hydraulic steering (since replaced), anchor winch (since replaced). Extensive new ribs & sister ribs where fitted & her seams were re-caulked. All windows where replaced & new bunks fitted. He also removed her alloy mast & built & fitted the current oregon pine mast. The duck-board was also added. The s/s rod holders on her stern (since removed) came off the old Salvation Army launch.
Blair & his wife cruised the Gulf extensively in the boat in the 1990’s. Blair is a little hazy on whom & when he sold the boat to but thinks it was to someone who lived in Kumeu & they only keep the boat for less than 2 years. They probably sold it Dr. Rex & Sharron Ferris.
In 2003 Rex Ferris purchased her post the Dunstan marine survey (photo below during survey) but it appears he did not address any of the ‘faults’ identified in the survey. Rex Ferris spoke to Blair Cole (Cole Marine Services) in June 2003 & Blair confirmed the restoration work he undertook. Blair also confirmed that she was named Lady Gai.
(Unknown ownership / date photos)
In 2005 the boat was for sale on the hard at Bayswater Marina, I looked at her but she would have been too much of a burden for me at the time. The boat was purchased by Craig Colven who undertook hull work (replaced some planking, caulking, ribs, floors & keel bolts, as identified in the 2003 survey) & installed a new 45hp 4-cylinder Daidong diesel motor & replacement of all major machinery, electrics and plumbing. Including a freezer, new 3-blade prop, shaft bearings, bilge pumps. Devonport craftsmen’s Robbie Robertson (deceased) & Charlie Webley undertook the work.
Craig, over a 2 year period commissioned this work but never completed her, his wife did not share his passion for the sea & I purchased her in August 2007 for what I considered a bargain given what Craig Colven had spent on her in time & money. (Photo below when I purchased her)
I then undertook over the next few years what is called a rolling restoration i.e. I used the boat each summer but hauled her out in winter & continued the project. I retained the services of then Milford based wooden boat builder Geoff Bagnall for the big stuff, there were several areas (stem, cockpit decks, doghouse windows) of rot that needed to be removed plus we made her more ‘comfortable’ in terms of helm seat, doghouse hatch layout etc. New auto anchor winch & bow launcher were installed along with forward hatch porthole to improve light in forward cabin. I rolled my sleeves up on the rest.
I’m thankful for the care bestowed on the boat over the years – everyone that has rubbed up to her has helped get her thru the last 92 years.
(Recent – AH ownership photos)
And one of the two Lady Gay’s 🙂
Woodys On Tour – Halls Boat Yard, New York
A few years ago, woodys Jim and Karin Lott were ‘parked up’ with the masts on deck in their kauri ketch – Victoria, on the Hudson River. More specifically in the middle of New York State in a city called Albany. The Lott’s waited there for three weeks for the Erie Canal to open. Jim commented that Albany definitely does not feature on anyone’s ‘place to go’ list. They were not alone as Wellington old salt Richard Watt and his wife Enid anchored alongside them in their launch (photo below of both boats), as well as dozens of other impatient US and Canadian sailors.
To while away the time they hired a car and headed to Lake George to look at woodies at Halls Boatyard, one of the many inland homes of wooden boats in New York. Jim commented that floating boat garages are common in North America and they spent several hours admiring a sea of varnished ash, cedar, spruce and mahogany. There was a slipway and boatyard all under cover inside the shed complex. The yard specialises in rebuilding and restoring classic motor-launches but a few yachts were getting the same TLC.
After the long wait, the canal stayed closed so they had to forgo the Great Lakes and continued up the Hudson. Eventually they locked into Lake Champlain and down the Richelieu River to the St Lawrence near Montreal in Canada.
21-04-2020 Harold Kidd Update – The 1938 date is a canard gleaned from “Mullet Boats ‘n Quotes” at page 46. Newspaper reports of the time say she was under construction by J. Graham of Otahuhu for his son Scott Graham in September 1939. Scott Graham was her original owner and raced her until the 1941 Lipton Cup when she was described as “new” and then in the Anniversary Regatta a week or so later.
Billy Matthews was shown as owner in the APYMBA records for 1946.
Graham Cole of Karaka Bay and L Good owned her in 1946. They sold to Ross Weaver of Whangarei c1948.S Hammond of Regina St Grey Lynn owned her in 1952. S Daniels of Webber St Grey Lynn in 1953. M Aitken of Mt Roskill in 1973. Ray Esdale Northcote c1980 followed by Howard Pascoe of course.
22-04-2020 – Robin Elliott Input – Ah … Mullet Boats N Quotes. Duck soup.
I don’t think she actually went into the water until some time in 1940, hence the ‘new’ tag in the 1941 Lipton Cup Report. I have an unconfirmed note that J. Graham and S. Graham were respectively the father and brother of Mark Graham the Kiwi rugby League Player – but he was not born until 1955, so I am not sure.
Billy Matthews entered her as Zamira in the 1946 Anniversary regatta, she came 6th across the line from 12 starters. He entered her as Ngahere in the 1947 Regatta so the name change was ‘possibly’ from the start of the 1946/47 season although he could have changed the name the day before the placed his regatta entry in January 1947. 🙂
Messrs Cole & Good enter her in the 1948 and 1949 Regattas, R. Weaver in the 1950 Regatta.
No regatta mentions until S. Hammond enters her in the 1953 and 1954 AAR
Nothing until 1961 AAR when entered by ‘Naylor, and then 1962, 1963 by N.E. ‘Taylor’
Other Registered owners were : K.W. Skinner, Wharf Rd, Herne Bay 1955+?; R.E.(N.E.?) Naylor, Hauraki St, Birkenhead 1960?/63+?; Munro 1966+?; M. O’Brien, Cameron St Ponsonby 1966+?; M.C. Chitty, East Coast Rd Browns Bay. 1968+?; H.L. Whitcombe, Onewa Rd Northcote 1970+?; M. Aitken, Tory St, Mt Roskill 1973+?
After that, darkness descends as the Auckland Yachting Assn stopped publishing their year books (or rather no one has given me anything after 1973.)
Question is – can a boat be considered to be a premise?
Checking the mooring strop, flapping halyards, bilge pumps etc is part of normal boat security, particularly when grumpy weather is forecast or has just been.”
Chatting with Tinopai (2hrs north of Auckland) based woody Greg Schultz he tells me advancing old age has forced him to make the reluctant decision to pass on one of my most prized possessions.
Greg built this boat about 10 yrs ago off the original 1905 Arch Logan plans (modified by Chapman1921). Construction is clinker lapstrake using 6mm ply with epoxy glued laps which gives a good lightweight watertight hull (originals leaked like sieves and weighed a ton). All other timbers are kauri and totara. He also added 3 buoyancy compartments for added safety (2 side seats & forward compartment all epoxy sealed inside). Greg commented that she has only been sailed approx. a dozen times.
The Silver Fern class (12’6″) was designed as a training boat for teenagers before they moved on to the bigger M class and is therefore almost a miniature ‘Emmie’.
Spars and rigging are s/s and sails by Fife. Pivoting centerboard and rudder for shallow water sailing. Permanent reef lines for shortening sail without coming ashore.
Woodys this is a stunning boat to both look at and sail so if you are frustrated with paying big marina fees and the hassles of organizing crew – maybe now is the time to add a woody to the fleet so that you can sail single handed or take the grand kids for a sail.
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’.”
Bay Of Islands 1950’s Gallery
TELSTAR II – VINTAGE SPEED BOAT
2020 New Zealand Classic Yacht Regatta Photo Gallery – 100+ photos and videos
Today’s story features another woody spotted by Andrew Hewitt during his recent trip to Tasmania , Australia – the launch Nancy is one of the lucky ones as she is in the ‘Living Boat Trust’ collection. The trust is based in Franklin on the Huon River, south west of Hobart.
Nancy was built in 1917 by well known Hobart builder – AA ’Tucker’ Abel. Was used as a ferry on both the Derwent and Huon Rivers, until at least the 1950’s. Sent time also as a flying boat tender on the Derwent River.
Andrew commented that Nancy’s continued existence is much thanks to the generosity of the donors Martin and Judy Krynen, who took her to Noosa in Queensland, restored her and then decided she really belonged in Tasmania and donated her to the Living Boat Trust, including paying for road freight to return her to Franklin. (Judy is an ex-pat South Islander and both lived in NZ for many years)
Nancy is available for hire to LBT members, and based at the marina in Franklin. More info at http://lbt.rfoster.org/about-us/boats/nancy
Andrew also wishes to acknowledge his contact (and LBT member) Martin Riddle
Is that a St Ayles skiff alongside?
Avalon – Sam Ford Launch
SS ALICE SOS
Paul commented that she is a remarkably successful boat of her type but needs TLC to get her going again.
Sally has just popped up on tme (thanks Ian McDonald) her listing is a tab light on details. We know that she is 26’ in length, has a 8′ beam and draws 3’6”. Power comes via Ford Dexter 36hp diesel engine. Built from single skin kauri.