Back in 2015 when Ngarunui first appeared on WW Robin Elliott commented that to his mind she is the best looking boat in the Bay (Bay of Islands). Since then Ngarunui has mad numerous WW appearances – links below. The 2016 one gives a great insight into the building of Ngarunui and the 2022 give us a look down below.
Last week Mike Mulligan sent in the gallery of photos above from when his family owned her, they purchased her after selling the launch – Patina, approx. time line of ownership is late 1970’s > 1987.
During this period Mike’s father fitted the Yammer auxiliary engine and fly bridge.
Ngarunui was designed and built by Jim Young in 1955 for J.A.K. Spicer and C.R. (Russ) Pollard. She is 48’x46’x11’8″x4’3″ and was originally powered with twin GM 165hp diesels of 1942 vintage (ex-USN) + an 11hp Coventry Cub. These days the engines are a 200hp Doosan and a Yanmer auxiliary.
Our friends at the Australian Wood Boat Festival have just released another film in the ‘Boat Folk’ series.
Todays one is on the 1947 Tasmanian built 43′ yacht – Westward.
Westward started life designed as a recreational fishing yacht but prior to completion was converted to a racing yacht. Quite a successful one – winning the 1947 and 1948 Sydney > Hobart race.
After a long life of extended cruising Westward was donated to the Maritime Museum of Tasmania. These days she is back home in her home state and has been restored as a floating exhibit at the Constitution Dock in Hobart.
I have been meaning to write this story for a long time – one of my biggest frustrations with the classic wooden boating movement is that a lot of classic boat owners have this line on auto play when invited to a classic woody gathering – “I’ll attend when I have finished doing up the boat” – FACT: 95% of us never finish ‘doing up the boat’ – its a rolling project.
In the mean time woodys are missing out on catching up with other like minded human beings to – socialise, get advice, swap ideas and most importantly – using their boat.
A couple of weekends ago at Clevedon I was reminded of why we come together when one of the boat owners commented to me how much they appreciated that everyone opened up their boats and invited people on board for a chat. This allowed them to gathering ideas for their own project.
It’s not just dock-side blather – at Clevedon we had woody boat owners there that had the following industry experience – boat building, sail maker, rigger, canopy fabricator, marine insurance consultant and marine brokerage. You can’t access / buy that resource in one place anywhere.
Todays woody is the launch Ngarimu from Thames, been owned by Bruce Rowe for 10+ years and soon to be hauled out and taken home for some serious TLC. Bruce has made the long haul from Thames marina to attend several Woodys events – Riverhead, Clevedon and Paeroa. Each trip the experience helps him get closer to starting the big project.
UPDATE – In Thames today – photo below very ‘fresh’, first time I’vee been there with the tide in 🙂
So woodys – ditch the Woody events are a beauty pageant attitude and just join in – you won’t regret it 🙂
Below I talk about why I started the WW weblog and the spirit behind it.
Whats the waitematawoodys website all about
Dedicated to the study and appreciation of classic wooden boats. WW was founded upon a desire to tell the stories and a need to the archive history of our classic wooden boats, the craftsman who built them & characters that owned and crewed on them. Visiting this blog is like a bunch of people in the boat club bar, there will be stuff discussed you know, stuff you know nothing about and stuff you want to know more about. That’s what waitematawoodys is about – gathering stories, photos, history, reminiscences.
Todays woody story comes to us from Mike Mulligan, who has sent me a treasure trove of old boating boating. Mike’s family owned a couple of the wooden boats that have appeared on WW, the 1st was Patina which we sold to buy Ngaranui in the early 1970’s. I’ll pull together expanded stories on those soon + others.
Other the fact that Islander was owned by Waiheke Island residents – Joe & Lil Walker and moored in Maitiatia Bay, Mike and myself are in the dark as to details on Islander, the photos were random additions to Mikes collection – as you’ll note they are mostly dated from the 1980’s – in two from April she is looking a tad neglected and being hauled out. Then in the June photos she has had some serious TLC. I assume from the registration number (AK1718) on her at some time she has ‘been in work’ – my guess – long-lining.
Keen to learn more about Islander and hopefully hear that she is still with us. I love the old > sepia photos 🙂
WIN A WW T-SHIRT – the woody that provides the best info / insight on Islander will win a WW t-shirt. Entry closes 5pm Tuesday 27th September 2022. Enter via the WW comments section or email firstname.lastname@example.org
WOODYS 2022/23 EVENTS UPDATE – GREAT NEWS WE WILL BE REPEATING THE EASTER WEEKEND RIVER RAID UP THE WAIHAU RIVER TO PAEROA
This a great story with a long tail. I first rubbed up against the boat back in 2009 when a co Kiwi based – WoodenBoat Forum follower named Graeme Tearle, lived in Thames, mentioned online he was considering buying a Townson 22 – known as a Pied Piper (Piedy) on trademe in Auckland. Turns out it was sitting on the hard at the Devonport Yacht Club (I was a member back then) so I took some photos for him. Graeme bought the boat, below is an edit of his postings on the WBF, he has a unique style of chat and the yanks on the WBF loved him –
“But this boat has issues. For starters, her name. “Born Slippery”. Ye Gods, whatever was he thinking. So my daughter Abby came up with a new name. “Ceilidh”. Pronounced “kay-lee” it is Irish (or Scots) for an informal get-together featuring traditional song, dance and drinking. In other words, a party. My kind of party (I’m half Irish). Perfect. Next, her cabin shape is all wrong. Ceilidh has the original, shorter roof, which designer Des Townson lengthened when he redrew it, and I suspect he may have lowered the roofline an inch when he did so. Either way, Ceilidh’s cabin is too short & too high for my tastes. If you can’t stand upright in a boat, there is little point in adding an inch or two to the roof height and you still can’t stand up. It just spoils the aesthetics. Also the cabintop is built in the original style with internal roof beams & a 9mm ply skin. The new style has a laminated roof with no beams. This is vastly preferable; nothing to hit your head on & a much easier paint job. So the whole cabin top has to come off. This has the added bonus of allowing me standing room inside while I do the rebuild, and I can replace the ply coamings with varnished mahogany, as they were with Candyfloss (a previous Piedy he built) In my own personal, very biased, opinion, such a beautiful shape deserves nothing less.
The cockpit has been hacked about in the modern way with an open transom. I will fill the transom back in again & add an aft deck forward to the mainsheet traveler, then an aft coaming across it, aft of the traveler. There can be no lazarette here as the rudder shaft comes up thru the cockpit floor aft of the traveler, making a bulkhead impossible. Also, she has a rise in the companionway of about 300mm, to stop water entering the saloon should the cockpit flood. What absolute nonsense. This is the Hauraki Gulf guys, the best cruising grounds in the world, not Cape Horn. I’ll cut it out, fit a lintel about 50mm high, and should the weather become so severe that I fear a wave might jump into the cockpit, (yeah right, it is sooo going to happen) I’ll fit the first washboard & lock it in place. The ability to easily step thru the companionway without having to clamber over what amounts to a bridgedeck is a boon beyond measure on a cruise. The existing tiller is an ugly stick. I’ll build a new, properly shaped one.”
Graeme did an amazing job restoring the yacht (sadly all the work-in-progress photos on WBF have been lost) and bought Ceilidh by road up to Auckland for a Des Townson exhibition at the Viaduct and motor sailed her back to Thames – memory is hazy but I think I lent him a life jacket and a VHF radio for the trip. Graeme’s past post on the WBF was c.July 2014 and I think he sold the boat in June 2014.
Fast forward to mid July 2022 and the son of old family friends – Gavin Woodward tracked the boat down to a mud berth in Thames and was trying locate the owner, dockside chat was that she had been abandoned. Photos below showing Ceilidh looking very sad.
Fast forward to mid September 2022 and Andrew Sander – a previous owner of the boat , tracked her down and re-bought her. Andrews words “Spent Sunday preparing and Sunday night on the high tide dragging her from her mangrove and rat infested grave, she’s now in a berth in Thames Marina. Her next adventure is going to Tauranga for cosmetic work, a weight loss program and a new set of sails. Then it’s back to Auckland to catch up with her old Piedy mates where she will live. Looking forward to some great racing and antics. Get a Piedy up ya (again)”
Photos below of the extraction at Thames.Wonderful that these iconic craft are held in such high regard that yachties go to these lengths to keep them sailing.
ANYONE GOT A POT OF THIS WOODY PRODUCT?
Steam boat woody – Russell Ward contacted me as Russell and some of his fellow steam boaters are bemoaning the loss of Davis Slick Seam. The trailer boaters swear by it. It holds the leaks until the seams take up and it squeezes out -doesn’t set. Stops the incontinence when you launch.
Anyone got a spare tin or know what might have been in it? It was black, had some waxy filler apparently, stayed put and wouldn’t go hard. It is no longer being stocked. West are not answering emails, it is obviously not a big seller.
So woodys what would have been in it -NO EPOXY but maybe some of the filler they use. But it was tarry looking.
Today’s story is another example of the effectiveness of WW – Grant Parker yesterday posted a comment on a WW story that appeared back in Oct 2014 – the 2014 story was on the c.1962 McGeady built launch – Challenger.
I have reproduced Grant’s comments below,
“The 38ft ” Challenger built by McGeady. was owned by my family in Tauranga in the late 1970’s > early 1980’s. After the Bradshaw family of Rotorua owned her she was sold to the Finn family also from Rotorua.
My father Bert Parker from Rotorua purchased the Challenger from Ray Finn. When he sold her she went to Havelock in the Marlborough Sounds where an older couple lived on her for a number of years.
The next owner was the owner of a trucking company in Nelson, he went bankrupt and she was sold again. The last I heard was she ended up North, maybe Bay of Islands, possibly the Opua area.
Our family had some great memories, the photos above of – Challenger, show her in her former glory with varnished coamings etc.
The photos show Challenger in : downtown Tauranga, Whale Island off Whakatane and South East Bay Mayor Island.”
Grant maintained an interest in the whereabouts of Challenger and once tracked her down in Havelock, then the ship broker in Nelson supplied the copy of her 4sale listing.
Purely from reference as to how our classics can morph over time and owners – I know which one I’d like to own 🙂
WOODYS CLASSIC WEEKEND HAPPENING NOW + MYSTERY LAUNCH (Maitai)
As you are reading todays WW story, weather permitting 15 woody classic craft will be weaving their way up the Wairoa River headed for the Clevedon Cruising Club for an overnight trip.
As always the CCC crew turn on a great gig for the waitematawoody trip. The day starts with the flotilla being berthed at the CCC dock, in front of the clubhouse, then we ‘open’ the boats for club member to inspect. Happy hour tends to start early up the river 😉 Then we all meet at the club room for a BBQ dinner, raffles, outdoor fires are lit and then the live music kicks off at 8.30pm (almost my bed time) – should be a hoot.
Now there’s always a boat story – today its a mystery launch that popped up on Lew Redwood’s fb, the photo below is dated 1933 and the location is off Hen Island – looks very familiar so hopefully we can put a name to the craft.
19-09-2022 Input ex Nathan Herbert – The launch is Maitai.
And A Not Great Example Of How to Promote Your Woody Event The word ‘TIMBER’ doesn’t really have the same gusto as ‘WOODEN’
DO NOT MISS OUT ON THE NEXT WOODYS WEEKEND – DETAILS BELOW
On Friday I was contacted by Mike Lyon regarding the 52’ yacht Tern II, built by Stow and Son, in Shoreham, UK.- back in May 2021 we ran a wonderful story on the yacht and how it ultimately to be Mike’s care. It is a great read, full of insights and photos (link below) https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/05/23/tern-ii/
I’ll let Mike share todays story with you –
“Hi there, we have a project boat that we are looking to find a new home for, her name is Tern II, and she was built in the UK in 1899, and briefly owned by Claude Worth, a well-known sailing writer of the time who included her in his book “Yacht Cruising”.
She was sailed out to New Zealand in the 1950’s by Ben Pester, a returning Naval officer who wrote about the voyage in his book “Just Sea and Sky”.
We came across her in Tonga in 2004, where she had been abandoned after a failed passage to Hawaii. I had worked as a shipwright in the UK restoring similar vessels and so we decided to take her on as a project.
We had her shipped to NZ in 2006 where we had her in storage for several years before moving her to Whangarei where she is now.
We have replaced the old elm keel with greenheart, wrought iron floors with puriri and 1″ copper keel bolts. There is a large stock of puriri for the framing and the stem and sternpost, and the deck beams.
Due to other work and life commitments, we haven’t been able to work on her for the last few years.
It’s looking like the lease for the shed where she is currently being stored is coming to an end as the whole area is earmarked for development, and so we are looking into ways to secure her future and are putting the word out there to any interested parties who would be willing to take her on.”
I was contacted during the week by Bob Phillips about the 1948 launch – Koanui. One of Bob’s customers in Orewa has a photo of Koanui on his garage wall and enquired if Bob knew what happened to Koanui. His Grandfather was Noel Meldrum and he built Koanui, with the help of a boat builder (name forgotten) in the paddock behind their current home in Puriri Ave, Orewa beside the old hall.
Bob found a recent photo ( see below) of Koanui in WW’s photo archives and emailed it to him. Bob commented that they, Pat and Terry Houghton, were very pleased to receive the photos and kindly sent back the above photos.
Koanui, to Bob’s eye, has a very Royal Falcon (original) look about her superstructure windows in the original photos. She is and was a good-looking bridge-decker.
Interestingly, she was launched (29th August 1948) in the Orewa estuary, which you would think today was barely possible. Terry told Bob they blasted the reef at the entrance just after WW2.
Todays story has 2 parts – the first being a link to a brilliant article that appeared in the UK Classic Boat magazine on Uffa Fox, from the pen of Barry Pickthall. Pickthall reflects on the legacy of the designer, sailor and the man himself. Its a good read, I enjoyed it, I hope you do as well. Click below to read.
AUSTRALIAN WOOD BOAT FESTIVAL – BOAT FOLK VIDEO SERIES – Terra Lina
Another short video from the team at the AWBF – this time focusing on Terra Linna, the oldest surviving yacht built in Tasmania, but there is degree of ‘granddads axe to that claim 😉