EMERALD – 1970’s
Recently I was contacted by Peter Grant in regard to the launch Emerald which he owned in the late 1970’s. Emerald was owned by a Kawau Island resident and Peter swapped an MGB roadster for her. I’ll let Peter tell us the story.
“Emerald was twin engined with small Yanmars of either 8 or 12 HP, I can’t remember exactly, but do recall they were both hand start and noisy with in built diesel tanks on top, much enjoyment was had with her and even ventured right up to the Matakana wharf, quite a feat those days as it was almost all choked up though the old concrete wharf was fine.
Some time after that I has the misfortune to tie her up at Milford Creek and was unable to retrieve her as I was away on board and could not get back on time due to the tide.
When I did get her back to Auckland I had her out on the hard outside the old Westend rowing club where we proceeded to give her new decks and cabin top, but this work was discontinued half way through, as I went back to working away and she was stored on my parents section in Henderson courtesy of Bob Wylie.
After two or three years my parents, now sick and tired of the launch in their backyard back yard wanted to sell the section and up came a deal with Mr Davern, who provided them with a solution, he bought the section for one of his houses, and in turn would transport the boat away, (my father later told me he was sick and tired of people wanting to buy her) that was the last time I heard of her until an advertisement popped up on Trade Me recently.
She is much altered and now powered by a single cylinder engine and is reputed to now be built in the fifties or so.
Can anyone shed some light on her provenance, I have sent in some very old scans of negatives of the time and how she looked at the time in the old Westhaven Marina and alongside the old cleaning piles, now long gone af course, mores the pity.
I have to say I’m impressed with Peters taste in cars – the Mercedes pillar-less coupe would have been a great investment if he had kept her for 44 years 🙂
Keen to learn more about Emerald’s days before and after Peters ownership.
EMERALD – 2019
Below are a selection of photos from the current trademe listing for Emerald, as Peter stated above, its certainly a ‘different’ look / style.
The listing states she is 32’, with a kauri hull (now glassed). Power is via a marinised Ford Trader Diesel engine that gets her along at 7>8 knots.
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Te Hauraki

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The b/w photo at the top shows the 1920 William Clare built launch Te Hauraki, built for the Auckland Harbour Board.
The two colour photos show came in her current presentation, as owned by Roger Moore.
Previous to Roger Moore, Te Hauraki was owned by John Street – in the video below John talks of his ownership period and sale to Roger. Turn your sound up, its a great tale.

Input from Martin Howson – Great story from John Street, for many years Te Hauraki was stored in a barn in Wellsford while owned by George and Alma Hansen, they bought her after she had languished on a mooring in Little Shoal Bay and motored her up to Mangawhai Harbour from there she put on a transporter and into their barn waiting for George to fit a new engine ,that never happened meanwhile she just sat surrounded by vintage cars and covered in bird droppings. After George died she was sold to the Kaipara Harbour where she had a powerful engine fitted and blew away the opposition at the next Pahi Regatta. The rest of the story we all know thanks to John.

Woody Classics Weekend Riverhead Trip Report






Woody Classics Weekend Riverhead Trip Report

We had 23 classic launches confirm for Sundays Riverhead cruise but folks I can report that the weather at times was a little evil. Not too bad for the big girls but the sub 30’ crowd were rocking & rolling. Lots of white water over the top. But it was only for a short time, after Herald Island things improved 🙂
On the day, 15 launches travelled to the Riverhead Tavern and had a ball, neat people , stunning boats, lots of good chat. Big ups to those that came by car to join the gathering, nice gesture.
Now – confession time – on the email I to sent the skippers that had RSVP’ed I gave everyone a big wind up about behaving e.g. Indian File, follow the leader, no over taking etc etc and bugger me – Raindance went aground. Last bend before the hotel & I’m up on deck laying out the lines & fenders and  the ‘duty’ skipper puts us in the mud. No amount of forward / reverse would move her. Thank goodness for my boatbuilder Geoff Bagnall and his wife Theresa on board Achillies, who came to our aid and pulled us off. Not before 1/2 the fleet passed us – very embarrassed. Hopefully the oops cleaned off some Baywater sludge. But I was not alone………. 2 others parked up as well 😉
Not a great day for photos, overcast and drizzle but the sun shone thru at the important times 🙂
Remember to put a big circle in your diary for the weekend of 19/20th of October for the next Woodys Classics Weekend. Its a picnic cruise to Still Water motor camp – Master of ceremonies / Officer of the day / Rear commodore / Chief Poo-bar / Mark Edmonds (who like titles) is finalising dates and details but there could be a band, classic cars / motorbikes and vehicle access for the boat less Woodys – more details soon.
Special thanks to Brendon Gardiner, Margo Hudson, Jason Prew and Alan Houghton for the photos.
Photos below from Michelle Maitland onboard Cleone



And more ex David Plummer and Geoff Steven



B/W photo below ex Mike Mahoney

WCW Riverhead ex McH

Great view of Jason Prew’s – My Girl below. taken by Angus Rogers. Really shows off her lines, no wonder she is so quick 😉

My Girl @ Riverhead Sept2019


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Aurora was built in Johnsons Boat Shed Nelson in approx. 1935, measures 20’ in length and clinker built. For several years Aurora was used to tender explosives from the magazine on the Boulder Bank to the construction crew building Rocks Road. Subsequently she was then used a pleasure boat for fishing and family excursions.

The history from then on is unknown until her owner discovered Aurora in a barn in rural Nelson in February 2011. Aurora was purchased and transported to Redwood Valley where the restoration began. Aurora remained upside down for quite a few years whilst numerous planks were repaired using mainly recycled Kauri, a new keel was laminated out of Macrocarpa, the transom rebuilt and many of the copper fastenings replaced. The hull was then faired/sanded and repainted. Eventually Aurora was turned upright and the interior work began. Many hours were spent scrapping away years of old paint before several coats of primer and top coat paint were applied. The floor frames were shaped and fitted, a new Bronze shaft log and engine mounts fitted. A new rudder and duck board floors were constructed. Whilst the deck appeared to be in reasonable condition it was decided to remove the entire decking back to the frames. Three layers of 4mm Plywood were laminated together as the base and 6mm Kauri strips steamed [where needed]and glued onto the base. An overhauled c.1950, Stewart Turner P55M 8hp petrol motor was fitted.

When Aurora was purchased the trailer was simply a beach launching trailer, i.e. no suspension.The trailer was extensively modified and galv. coated to suit the refurbished Aurora, was the 2019 winner of the Jens Hansen Cup at the Antique and Classic Boat show, Lake Rotoiti, Nelson. I was there and can vouch for the standard of workmanship that has gone into her, simply stunning. Home is Nelson in the South Island and she is currently for sale on trademe (thanks Ian McDonald).

Aurora would be the perfect day boat for this Sundays Woody Classics Weekend cruise to the Riverhead Tavern 🙂
Sundays Woody Classics Weekend – Riverhead Tavern Cruise
Later today I’m emailing details to the people that have rsvp’ed for Sunday’s cruise, if you forgot to reply or are just one of those people that like to turn up on the day – no problem click on the email link below & I’ll send you the plan for the day. Remember if your boatless, come by car, its only 30mins from downtown Auckland.
WCW WW Poster

Mansion House Opening Labour Day 1979



Mansion House Opening Labour Day 1979

The above photos of Mansion House, Kawa Island were sent in by Juliana Cooke.
Quite an impressive turnout but a lot of plastic floating in the bay, and also the tenders tied at the wharf are predominately plastic.
Still I can spy some well done Woodys at anchor.
These days you wouldn’t see the ferries rafted up like that – Fullers far too precious to do that, but these days on a peek holiday period – one would have broken down, one would be out for annual maintaince and the remaining ferry would be running 1hr late 🙂
06-09-2019 Input from Neil Chalmers –  see below, souvenir cover bought on the day at Kawau. Neil recalls Sir Keith H (Governor General) arriving in the SeaBee widgeon (or was it a goose) and giving a speech at the opening.

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JEANETTE C23 – Updated Story


Start of a cruise down the gulf. Barbara, Dick’s elder daughter at the tiller.


Jeanette cruising. Ngataringa coming up astern. Takapuna shore in background.


Wet decks from stiff westerly. Running close during race to Islington Bay. Dinghy lashed on deck for more speed. Rangitoto on port bow.


(This picture dated 28 January 1961, so must have been sent to Bob when he’d returned to the UK. ) Jeanette at the start of the Trans Tasman Race. Bob. Bill Patterson at tiller. Bob Watham in the cockpit. Harry Pope up forward.

JEANETTE C23 – Updated Story
Back in June 2019 I did a story on the 1933, Ted Le Huquet built yacht Jeanette, WW link below, this prompted Drew Glasgow to send in the photos above taken in the early 1950’s by his late father Bob Glasgow, who often sailed in her, together with Dick and Barbara Bakewell, who bought the yacht off Ted Le Huquet.
According to Bob’s description, written on the back of one photograph, she was a 34′ marconi-rigged cutter.
I have captioned each photo with text supplied by Drew from the back of the photos, penned by his father.
Question of the day – any one able to tell us how the above yacht ended up in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, USA? Is it a Kiwi boat or just been named by a Kiwi?
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Miss Rose





Today’s woody lives a long way from the Waitemata, but her owner Andrew Christie from Queensland, Australia is a man of immaculate taste in woodys. Recently Andrew, owner of the 32’ woody – St.Helena, WW link below, recently contacted me and told me he had, had a rush of blood to the head and had swooped up the stunning woody Miss Rose.
Built approx. 10 years ago to a c.1930’s Zimmer design, Zimmer was a good friend (shared a desk) of the Hacker  boatbuilding dynasty in the USA. She was built in Australia by a very cool, OTT woody – looks like its brand new.
Andrew commented that the design specs were done  to run on 1930’s horse power not the modern V8 sitting in her today, that is good for 100kph…………….
Andrew has a great eye for detail and already is tweaking a few things to please the eye.
Now I just need to convince him to pop Miss Rose in a sea container and ship her over to NZ for the two (North & South Island) Lake Rotoiti Wooden Boat Festivals…………. 🙂
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