Centaurus Under Goes Open Heart Surgery

Centaurus Under Goes Open Heart Surgery

Now we all know what the weather was like in Auckland last Friday (27th), pretty bloody evil – But if you have managed to co-ordinate all the experts needed to remove a massive lump of iron – her original Cummins V6 215hp (photo below) from your boat, you have to push the green button no mater what the weather.

So woody Angus Rogers the owner of the 1967/8 42’, Bailey & Son built bridgedecker – Centaurus pulled out the chainsaw and under the watchful eye of  Tim Strange and his team + the crew from Raven Transport cut out a section of the roof and effortlessly removed the old Cummins engine. Any bolt-on sections / parts that could be removed before hand were. 

Angus has built sister beams and bearers which will get glued to the removed part of the roof and then screwed back onto the beams and bearers and fibreglass taped on top once the new John Deere 175hp (@2400 rpm) engine is installed so as to create a soft closure that will only require cutting the fibreglass and removing screws in future.

Angus has promised to document the re-power, so we look forward to regular updates 🙂

Pirimanu Gets A Makeover 

Pirimanu Gets A Makeover 

The very smart looking Arnold Couldrey designed, Salthouse (1968) built launch – Pirimanu last appeared on WW in May 2022 (link below).

Pirimanu has recently had some serious TLC that included – new hull and topside paint, numerous electrical upgrades + an interior refurbishment.

Powered by a 50hp turbo Bukh engine she has a good turn of speed. https://waitematawoodys.com/2022/05/16/pirimanu-a-peek-down-below/

Why No Wooden Boat Regatta Today


Today we should have been floating around the Mahurangi Harbour enjoying what has become the biggest one day, on-the-water boating event in New Zealand – the annual Mahurangi Regatta. I have posted a link below to a previous regatta to remind us all how good it can be.

Sadly the weather gods dealt us a crap hand and we all get to stay at home. I understand and support not going ahead with the event this weekend (Auckland’s 3 day Anniversary Day holiday weekend) BUT what I can not understand is why wasn’t there a back up plan in place to run the regatta the following weekend, which is also a 3 day holiday weekend. The organisers of the regatta should have just made the call to run with next weekend. 

This lack of forward thinking means the wooden boating movement misses out on the fun, friendship and fraternity that is acquired rubbing up against like minded woody enthusiasts. We need this to maintain our passion for another 12 months.

As I type this I can imagine the team of volunteers at the Mahurangi Cruising Club and other groups involved – thinking “bloody smart ass, why doesn’t he put his hand up to help” – short answer – ‘already too busy with WW’ BUT at your next committee meeting how about adding to the agenda – How Do We Future Proof The Regatta’ and ‘Is It Time To Appoint A Paid Event Organiser’. If the regatta isn’t already as big as the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta it must be very close – be brave and pull on the big boys pants.

ENJOY THE FLASH BACK   https://waitematawoodys.com/2022/01/29/mahurangi-regatta-2019-the-biggest-best-classic-wooden-boat-regatta-in-nz-90-photos/

Great early morning video of some of the fleet at anchor in Sullivan Bay. Cameraman/’pilot’ is Neil Lawton



I spotted the 40’ Atkinson designed launch – Shango anchored in Little Oneroa, Waiheke Island over the xmas > new year period. 

Very impressed that she has had a top chop and lost the radar tower, refer photo below from the 2020 Woody Waitangi Day Picnic at Wakalabubu Bay, Motutapu Island.

In a previous life the launch was named – Ani and before that – Brief Affair ? Link below to that WW story and photos https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/01/16/ani-bri



Earlier this month WW was contacted by Greg Philpott in regard to a comment on WW back in March 2018, concerning a gent named Ron Morgan who was trying to locate his old 24’ mullet boat named Echo. Echo had been at Whitianga but was taken to Beachlands to be rebuilt by a painter from the marina who Ron thinks went overseas before it was completed. Ron commented that the boat had a long history and was raced early last century. When Ron had it she was configured as a launch. Before selling it she had its cabin stripped off so could be just a hull.  Enter Greg Philpott who recently posted the picture above on the ex RNZN Facebook page with the primary interest being the Naval Base and the warships HMS Diomede and HMS Dunedin. The photo came from the British Museum files. On the fb posting there was a comment added by a William Ohealy as below. 

“That launch in photo is the Echo . We rebuilt her into a fine fishing boat / charter boat. But me dad got to old so was sold. We put a 6LW Gardner. Dam she was fast, 11 knots at 1100 rpm – sad to see her go. Last I saw her at Herald Island in the upper Auckland Harbour, sorry no photo. Put a forward wheel house on her. aft cockpit cabin and walk around deck. When first built was a 28 ft. mullet boat steamed up to Whangarei Harbour and added 7 ft. to the stern and made into a motor sailer. With a whole new keel. As a racing mullet was the fastest on the Auckland Harbour.”

So woodys, after digesting the above (some what convoluted) intel – can we ID the actual launch in the photo and possible join the dots to a Mullet boat link?

13-01-2023 Input ex Chris McMullen – Refer page below out of the 1945 Book  “Little Ships” by Ronald Carter.  It shows an early photograph of a Mullet Boat called “Echo”  (top left). Mullet Boats have built down aft sections (no deadwood)  Difficult to fit a propeller and make into a launch, but it has been done.  The design weakness in Wooden  Mullet Boats was the Centre board case.  Once Toredo worm got in the case and keel the damage was a big job to fix.  Enthusiast owners have done these repairs them selves. To have it done professionally would cost more than the boat was worth. So mullet boats were sold cheap. The new owner blocked off the centreboard slot, strengthened the keel, installed a motor and went fishing. 

The 26 foot Mullet Boat  “Corona”(now extensively rebuilt) almost suffered that fate. She disappeared for many years. As far as I know and fortunately the owners never worked out how to fit a propeller. Her hull was saved by some Mullet Boat Enthusiasts. Her Spars and Sails were long gone.   

INPUT EX HAROLD KIDD – There was an ECHO launch, 29ft, originally with a 10hp Lozier built by James Reid and domiciled in Devonport around this time. She was hauled out on the Devonport Ferry slip in 1919 and took part in the first race run by the Milford Cruising Club in 1924. I reckon this is the boat. As for the 1900 Clare 24ft mullet boat ECHO, she went to Thames in 1904 and was still in existence at Whitianga in a terrible state in 1989. NOT this boat.


WW has been contacted by Kerry Lilley, owner of the Woolley launch – Awariki asking for owners of Woolley designed/built classic launches attending this years Mahurangi Regatta (Jan 28th) to join Awariki in Saturday mornings launch parade – Kerry’s contact details are below, so drop him an email or call and he will explain in detail the plan to celebrate the Woolley marque. If you don’t own a Woolley but know someone who does – be nice and pass the message on 🙂

CONTACT DETAILS       kerrylilley1947@gmail.com   –   027 292 3823

Johnny Wray’s Essentials Cruising List

Johnny Wray’s Essentials Cruising List

I’m sure all of you are aware of Johnny Wray’s book – ’South Sea Vagabonds’ , if you aren’t – where have you been 🙂

In the December 1949 issue of Seaspray magazine there was an article on Johnny’s 2nd boat – the 1946 launched – 44’ Waihape. As part of the story Johnny lists his 6 key essentials for extended cruising.

Link below for more details on Waihape ex previous WW story https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/12/15/waihape-johnny-wray/

Rangiora Sinks Off Waiheke 21-09-1973

Rangiora Sinks Off Waiheke 21-09-1973

The McGeady designed, 1964 built by Ben Hipkins, Gary Wheeler and 1st owner Gordon Collie launch – Rangiora struck the Ahaaha Rocks north of Waiheke Island on the night of 21-09-1973. A combined rescue effort of the police launch Deodar, Coastguard and 2 commercial vessels managed to save her before see went under. More details in the press clippings above from the NZ Herald.

These days she calls Wellington home, photo below. You can read and view more on her here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/03/26/rangiora-2/

Paterangi Sinks In Shoal Bay – April 1973

INPUT EX ALAN DEMPSEY “Oh God.. this article tears at my heartstrings.. MV Paterangi was my parents’ launch.. and summers were wondrous upon her. That partial sinking was a failed skin-fitting,but strangely there was evidence of out outside impact in it ( suspected tanalised pine pole that was found washed up on shore later). We spent that following winter on Okahu Bay hardstand getting her back seaworthy, and finely dressed. Huge respect to Keith Wyllie ( the ultimate Hauraki Gulf Old Salt) for doing srtrip-down and rebuild of motor , in situ. That’s a Good Mate eh?.. I learned  a lot about Ford Ds , all of 16 years old as I was, just handing him tools and watching and listening.  Sadly in ’78 a cyclone hit that dropped a neighbouring yatch’s rig on to Paterangi’s fordeck  that smaskedout the bollar, and she was blown ashore onto the seawall and smashed to bits , the waves blowing the bits all across the Harbour Bridge toll plaza… I was living in Devonport and we had solid water hitting the house,100 yard away from the beach.  Riding my motorbike into Auckland at 8am was the biggest traffic jam ever, and when I got to the toll-plaza area, I was pondering my stupidity in attempting the Bridge in  those winds, when I saw the wreckage all over the road.. and recognised the bits . Saddest moment of my life to that point. That afternoon was the first time I’d ever seen my father cry. Vale BJD, and MV Paterangi… two stalwart Woodies of yore. Cheers.”

This Is A Loyal WW Follower – woody Michael Park (MV Lady Jan) is a recent recruit to the classic wooden boating movement – in the photo below Michael is sporting his recent tattoo – I assume copied from the WW site. Also in the photo I spy a WW t-shirt. Photo ex David Cooke.



Happy New – todays the first story for 2023 and Pacific is a very fitting woody to welcome in the new year with – during the winter of 2022 Pacific sent time on the hard having some delayed maintenance issues addressed and some creative comforts added. I’ll let owner Nathan Herbert tell the story:

“Bit of an update is due after Pacific’s most recent haul. In past attempts, the prop shaft wasn’t able to be drawn out more than 150mm so I had always been nervous about the situation up there. This time with the help of Seagar Marine and The Slipway Milford, we by brute force and a makeshift large slide hammer removed the shaft. It was found to be pitted, and then very badly pitted in one section where she ran in a highly noble bronze bush about tube centre. Three bearings were subsequently rammed out; one lignum vitae, one fibrous and one bronze. The Tube was found to be thin walled gunmetal and had almost completely de-zinced to mush. The mystery bitumen bath on the keelson was found to be a crude repair some decades old, hiding bad corrosion. A boring bar was made from the old 3.6m tail shaft extended to 5m and with unholy effort the remnants were removed and the hole gradually bored out to accept a fibreglass stern tube. This tube was epoxied in, with two Vesconite and one rubber  cutless bearing installed, topped off by a Chatfields  blue water dripless seal. 

Interior works included re-configuration of the saloon to cater for modern(or at least 1970s) needs and finished in kauri and honduras mahogany. A lightweight cradle was made for the RIB when in commission, and a Francis  searchlight fitted to the bridge deck.

There are always extras attended to along the way such as minor/insidious leaks but they fade in the memory compared with the newfound smoothness of a new, dry drivel ine”

2021 saw major updates to the zoom zoom – link here https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/01/27/pacific-the-105-year-old-woody-get-a-new-heart/ https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/02/03/pacific-sea-trial/