A Visit to Colin Brown’s Omaha Boat Shed 

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Susan Paul

Anita > Maharitia

 

Andromeda

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Waiere

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A Visit to Colin Brown’s Omaha Boat Shed 

A coupe of weeks ago I gave mate a hand to take his clinker dinghy to Colin Brown’s yard at Omaha. Steve inherited the dinghy from his father-in-law & she was in need of a little TLC. I intro’ed Steve to Colin & as they say the rest is history 🙂 Forgot to say – Colin originally built the clinker.

While at the yard we had a look around the numerous projects under way. The c.1950, Chris Robertson built yacht Susan Jane is nearing completion & you can view the project at the link https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/10/30/susan-jane-sailing-sunday/

In numerious sheds/shelters were:

Anita > Maharitia – the biggest Lidgard built at Kawau Island. A lot of work happening to her & a very OTT re power, check out those Gardiners.

The vessel in the shed is Andromeda, a Townsend yacht that has been stripped for conversion by Dave Walker to a launch.

Of most interst to me was Josh Hawke’s 26′ carvel launch, Waiere. Built in c.1913 Josh restored her over a 6 year period that saw the replacement of her ribs, keel, stem, hood ends, interior, decks, cabin top & re-caulking. 

All Josh knows about her past is at one stage she was on the Kaipara as an open flounder boat. 

A 21hp DaeDong pushes her along very nicely. Any one know more about her past? You can see more photos here https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/01/02/mystery-launch-3/

Aorere

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AORERE

Aorere was built in 1965 & is 18’ 6” in length, & her 18” draft allows her to mooch into a lot of spots most boats can’t.  A 8hp Yanmar diesel engine pushes her along at 5 & by the look of the rig on her stern she is a good scallop boat. Currently located in Riwaka, near Motueke at the top of the South Island.

She is for sale on trademe (thanks Ian McDonald).

Anyone know who built her?

Carolyn

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CAROLYN

Paul Newell sent me the above photo of a small 20ft launch, named Carolyn,  he owned for about 20 years. Paul purchased her in the late 70s from Don Garner of Onehunga who had purchased the launch Little Tasman and was in the early stages of restoring her when he became ill and passed away. 

Carolyn was powered by a Ford Consul petrol engine which Paul removed and fitted a BMC Captain diesel. There was a log book on board which said she was built by Lanes of Panmure for a Mr Wells, a City Councillor of Panmure. 

Paul sold Carolyn in the late 1990’s when he purchased the McGeady built launch Arohanui. Paul saw Carolyn a few years later in very run down condition.

Other than sharing the photo with us, Paul’s primary reason for contacting WW is to enquire if she is still around today? 

Any woodys able to help out with intel?

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)

Mistral

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MISTRAL

Mistral’s trademe listing does not tell us much other than she was built in 1947, measures approx. 23’, is powered by a LD 28 diesel engine (is that a Lombardini?).

She was refitted 5 years ago at an approx. cost of $30k. Home is Dunedin & there is a trailer, so would make a cool lake boat.

Any southern woodys able to tell us some more about Mistral?

 

Mystery Launch 03-05-2018

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Mystery Launch – 03-05-2018

The above photo is from Lew Redwood’s fb page & dated 31 March 1947 & is caption “Mr Tappenden on a launch”

Can we ID the boat & supply anymore details?

Input from Ken Ricketts

Ken tells us the launch was called the Hoturoa & origiallhy had a large petrol engine ( either a Sterling or Kermath c200hp). She had an older style coamings style, which were replaced in the late 1930s or early1940s, with that you see in the image. She was built by Colin Wild for Alf Court & launched in December 1934 (photo below), & by 1946/47 was owned by a Doctor Horton, of Mission Bay, & had a little 4 cyl Graymarine petrol engine, but she had retained the original huge exhaust pipe out the port corner of the tuck.
He did winter maintenance at Okahu Bay hardstand, as did my family on Juliana, we got to know him, & his daughter, quite well. He had her for several years selling her around the earlyish 1950s.
I lost track of her until her 1990s, when she appeared at Mangonui, adjacent to the road by the Mangonui Fish Shop. She was there for several years again, & still looking as she did in 1946. I inspected her c1998, when she was at Kaingaroa (Northland) (a few Kms., from Mangonui, on the way to Awanui,) — for maintenance & had a look inside. By then she had a 6 cyl Nissan diesel painted light iridescent blue. She was still in fairly tidy & good condition.
Not too long after she went back in the water, one night when she was on her moorings she burnt to the waterline & sank, there were lots of local rumours, about the reason for the fire & her demise.
A beautiful little Colin Wild classic, which on this occasion, in my view, was made even better by her second set of coamings. she is a really sad loss to our classic fleet.

HOTUROA 21.12.1934

Reliance

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RELIANCE

The above photo of the motorboat Reliance came to me from Keith Humphrey’s collection of old Auckland photos.

The gent in the bow, looks ‘The Boss’ being delivered somewhere.

Does anyone know anything about the boat & what became of her?

Harold Kidd Input – This RELIANCE was built by Bailey & Lowe in June 1905 as a “commuter ferry”. She was 22′ x 5’9″ x 2’6″ and had a 2.5hp Hercules engine. Although this image is clearly on her trial trip in Auckland with, I think, Walter Bailey amidships, I’m sure she was built for A. Billing of Thames.