Awatea – Sailing Sunday + Woollacott 4 Sale

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AWATEA – Sailing Sunday

The above photos of Awatea come to us via Bruno Redwood’s facebook page – & show the yacht Awatea in a tributary of the Henderson Creek c. November 1931.

Awatea was but in 1886 by Charles Bailey Snr in Auckland. She was sold to a Henry Swan c. 1897, & there is an urban legend that in1901 Swan reputedly told his friends that he was embarking on a solo world navigation, when in fact he sailed Awatea to the creek & spent the next 30 years living aboard or nearby. Harold Kidd has advised the story is “total bollocks” – Swan being a wealthy, retired solicitor, who owned a large property on the banks of the Whau River, on which he had large commercial orchards. He was also chairman of the Roads Board.

He died in November 1931.

Jason Prew had advised that these days Awatea is in storage at Whangaparaoa.

WOOLLACOTT Looking For A Home

I have been contacted by Phil Parks the Dockmaster at Sandspit Marina about a little Woollacott (photos below) on the hard at the Sandspit Yacht club.

Her present owner inherited her but has come to the realisation the project is too big for him so she is for sale for giveaway price.

She is complete, 6 winches, solar panels, alloy rig. Phil commented that she is a pretty little boat. She needs to be saved. So woodys – any one want a project?

Viewing at Sandspit or more details Phil can be contacted on 027 2828249

 

 

Kawau Island Boats & Baches

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Kawau Island Boats & Baches

Recently I had had enough of weekends in Auckland so with the wife out of town, I took the opportunity to escape & experience the 2nd to last stage that some of us go thru e.g. yacht > launch> motorhome > death.

An old neighbour & friend Chris Miller, owns a large motorhome, so we headed north to Sandspit – & booked into the camping ground for the weekend.

On Saturday we took the ferry to Kawau Island for what is known as the ‘Royal Mail Run’ – the boat mooches around the island dropping off / picking up passengers & freight for all the private jetties. While not a woody, the ferry trip is a must do, you get to visit most of the bays & can even enjoy a wine or two.

The photos above are a random gallery of the woodys I spotted on the trip & some of the waterfront holiday homes.

 

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)

Sea Bee – Part 2 + Mollie Sinks

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RESTORATION STAGE ONE

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SEA BEE – Part 2

 The launch See Bee recently appeared on WW & interest was expressed in her background & what had  happened to her – link to the previous WW story is here   https://wordpress.com/post/waitematawoodys.com/33451

I have broken the photos into 3 sections – As Found > Restoration Stage One – As She Is Today. The first two photo groups are from her current owner, Rick Coster & the current photos are ex Ken Ricketts. Ken also scanned a lot of the older images from prints.

Post the 1st ww story, boat builder Colin Brown alerted Ken to the fact that Sea Bee  was alive & well on her owner’s property at Point Wells & in the final stages of a 8+ year restoration.

Rick Coster is by trade an engineer, just check out the engine / drive installation photos, & he bought Sea Bee off Phillip Waye approx. 10 years ago, Waye had her on a private property at Whangaparaoa, but only owned her for approx. 1 year. He had bought her from an unknown yard in Silverdale.

Ken commented that he recalls seeing her in the 1980’s or early 1990’s on the Te Atatu Boat Club hardstand, & believes she had sat there for a number of years & had also spent time on a pile mooring at TBC. Her owner had got too old to care for her any longer, but had loved fishing & used to go out very regularly, for many days at a time, & bring back lots of fish, in an extensive refrigeration system she had onboard. Ken also recalls Sea Bee from back to the very early 1950’s when he was mooching around the Kawau Island area, & believes she looked almost identical to how she looks today. She had 2 engines in that era, with stern exhausts, not the 2 top stacks with truck mufflers, seen in the above photos. She now has a new side exhaust out the starboard side.

The photos show that Rick has done an amazing amount of work on Sea Bee & while not following the traditional classic look with her new interior fit-out, she will be, when launched, a very practical woody.

A summary of the work – below:

  • Removed the 2 x 4 cyl Mitsubishi diesels, & replaced them with 1 x 108hp 4 cyl, Moon converted, Nissan diesel.
  • Completely replaced the rotten coamings, with almost identical looking new ones, & built a new interior layout.
  • Also had the bottom partially re-planked including the garboard, & partially re-ribbed, by master craftsman boat builder Colin Brown & son in law Josh.

Given that she is kauri planked, with South Island beech ribs, & a pohutukawa stem, which Colin Brown scarfed a new section into, the suggestions in the original WW story that she was an imported Chris Craft cannot be correct – that does not rule out a kiwi knock off 🙂

04-05-2018 Update from Grant Renall

“It is great to find out more history about Grandad Redges boat Seabee and have talked to my father again about what happened to her after she blew up.the whole cabin top was blown off and sides off the hull were extensively damaged worst being the left hand side.when back on the hard at the garage he owned seabee was completely gutted,dad and uncle Don went to Awhitu and found a kauri partially cut up which was 30 ft long by 2 ft by 8 or 9 inches thick which he formed to make the runners, excuse my limited timber boat building jargon.then they found a piece of pohutakawa branch with the right bend to cut up to form the chines .to shape these right he recalls took a lot of work for an engineer /mechanic and riveted in?.all the ribs were replaced with kauri ones which he made a steam press for the task.Dad and Uncle Don got the job of fitting these after school.The cross beams were made from Tanekaha and fitted snuggly together Dad recallsHe had plenty of kauri which was used for the extension and rebuild.He said they painted arsenic all throughout the hull and can remember it stinging his hands and eyes,amazing he is still alive .he had a look at the new photos posted and likes the look of her now and would like to see her when finished as I would.Dad reckons he wagged school and cycled to john burns to buy the steering wheel and a hand basin amongst other things during the rebuild.Seabee was purchased from Easton products limited when a year or two old who told them she came in from the states as deck cargo the boat was a freighter perhaps taking troops back.Colin Brown reckons not but with all the rebuild who knows,I will try and find out more as Dad is moving soon and I will look at Grandads records if he still has them,thanks Grant Renall ps Colin was the youngest and moved to a farm in Waimauku with the family in reply to someones comment.”

RIP MOLLIE

Sad to report that the 1911, 39’ Lane Motor Boat Co. built – Mollie, sank off Stanmore Bay over the weekend, in the storm. Not sure if she was beached but I understand she has had 2 tides over her, so not good. Thanks to Nathan Herbert for the fb heads up.

You can view photos & read more on her past at the WW link below – make sure you read the comments section —  https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/03/07/mollie/

Can anyone update us?

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UPDATE at 2.00pm today (photos ex Ken Rickets)

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I HOPE SOMEONE SAVED THIS 

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Update 2 – ex Ken Ricketts

Ken has just sent in the photos below of the remains of Mollie hauled out on the ramp at Stanmore Bay.

In discussion with her owner, Ken uncovered that:

  1. He had owned for about 4 years.
  2. He bought her from a Tauranga owner, & sailed her back to Stanmore Bay.
  3. Prior to this she had spent approx. 20 years in the Wade River.
  4. 
She had a 120hp Perkins engine.
  5. She had not been used for quite little while, as she had had a leak in the manifold, & it needed to be repaired — refer photo of the propeller complete with much growth.
  6. She sustained some damage during a blow last Christmas.
  7. Her final demise, her owner says, was created by her popping the stern door in the tuck, & filling & sinking through the stern.

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Update3 01-05-2018 ex Ken Ricketts –

Ken discovered that Mollie was completely copper sheathed below the waterline. The only good news is the owner has saved the section of her bow with the name on it & will restore as a memento.

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Seabee > Quality Afloat

Seabee

SEABEE > QUALITY AFLOAT

I have been contacted by Grant Rendell concerning the launch Seabee, that his grandfather Redge Renall owned many years ago & kept her moored at Te Atatu (as per above photo).

Post WW2, Redge had a farm in Waimauku, West Auckland & later retired to Henderson & was a past Commodore at the Te Atatu boating club.

In conversations with his father, Grant has discovered that Seabee was a Chris Craft imported into New Zealand in the 1940’s. Grant’s grandfather bought Seabee off Brian Eastman c.1946 / 1947.

At the time it was powered by two flathead Mercury V8’s. Redge installed a Red Wing 6 cyl. engine a few years later. This followed an incent where Redge lit his pipe while collecting scallops on the Manukau Harbour, the lighter flame blew a hole in the side of Seabee, they got her going with mattresses etc. plugging the hole up and beached her. Post this Redge also extended it from 26’ to 32’6” and later installed two Perkins PM6’s. One engine faced forward & one backwards to run the left hand pitch 22” prop. Rumour has it he never smoked again!

Grant’s uncle Tony Subritzky bought her in the 1990’s & renamed her Quality Afloat, he sold her to someone named Smith, who was using Seabee around Kawau Island area when one of the rubber couplings let go & the driveshaft put a hole in the bottom & nearly sank Seabee. This is the last that Grant heard of Seabee.

So woodys – do we know what became of Seabee, is she still around & if so where?

Update – Have just been sent the press clippings below, from Grants parents,  that confirm the explosion incident:

From The Waiuku News (and Franklin County Gazette)  dated Tuesday, October 1949 –reads as follows – EXPLOSION ON LAUNCH – Petrol Fumes ignite – Occupants Lucky Escape –  The occupants of Mr Renall’s, Waiuku launch had a miraculous escape on Saturday when petrol fumes inside the cabin exploded. The cabin top was lifted clean off, a crack opened round the hull about waterline, while the force of the explosion expanded the hull. The boat caught fire but the flames were extinguished before the outbreak got out of control. Accompanying Mr Renall were his wife and some members of the family. Some of them were inside the cabin at the time and it would appear that it was only an act of Providence that they were able to stand the force of such a violent explosion and escape with their lives. As it was, they were burnt about the legs and suffered from shock. A well appointed, 28 foot launch with 2 cabins and cockpit, Mr Renall had just completed refitting the vessel and preparing it for the summer. Saturday’s trip was the first of the season. Mr Renall had intended to go scalloping and the boat was run into shallow water on the banks between Awhitu and Grahams Beach. Going high and dry the launch canted over, and it is thought that while lying on its side, perhaps some petrol may have leaked out to cause the fumes. Later, on entering the cabin Mr Renall struck a match to light his pipe when the explosion occurred. The cabin was blown off and those on board jumped over the side. The flames were attacked with a a fire extinguisher and sea water. Fishermen in the vicinity also went to their assistance, one party being attracted by the big puff of black smoke issued from the boat. The launch was roughly caulked with kapok where it  had cracked around the hull, and taken into tow by Mr F. Smith, but Mr Renall got the engine running to proceed home under its own power. 

Unfortunately this clipping was not dated –  Another article in The Waiuku News – reads as follows  LAUNCH SHIFTED – After months of work spent in lengthening and rebuilding, Mr R Renall’s well appointed launch was shifted from the site between Mr Renall’s Garage (Renall Motors) and the Town Board’s office on Thursday afternoon. The boat was taken by trailer to be launched at Westhaven. The loading operations attracted a good gallery of spectators. The vessel suffered extensive damage some months ago when an explosion occurred while on the Manukau. Mr Renall then brought it to Waiuku to be repaired. An extra six feet was added to the boat making it a total length of over 30 feet –

 

The Tyne Street Boatshed

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The Tyne Street Boat Shed – Oamaru

On recent jaunt down south Fiona Driver & Rod Marler discovered The Tyne St Boiat Shed in Oamaru, the shed is the home of the the Friendly Bay Boat Society. Their tagline is “For the use & appreciation of Classic & Traditional Boats & Boating in Oamaru” – nice!

The photos above show a wonderful collection of classic woodys in various degrees of condition. What a wonderful facility to have, I would love to see Auckland’s  Vos Shed be like this.

The photos below show a 43’ Millar & Tunnage built vessel that is powered by a Kelvin diesel currently being restored by the owner, looks a big project but she is in a great location for the work.

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Nereides & the Wahine Sinking + My Girl Update

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Nereides & the Wahine Sinking + My Girl Restoration Update

Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the Wahine sinking, the inter-island ferry that ran around on Barrett Reef in the entrance to Wellington Harbour. Sadly 51 lives were lost that day, but 100’s were saved by the brave actions of the Wellington boating community that mobilized to rescue passengers as they abandoned ship.

One of those vessels was the 39’ classic motor-sailer Nereides. Nereides these days is owned by woody, Mark Lever – check the link below to read in the on-line ‘Junction Magazine’ how Mark when researching Nereides past, discovered a personal friend had two family members rescued by Nereides. It’s very small world. I have also included WW link to Nereides for you to view this stunning woody.

Photos below show Nereides in Wellington (b/w) & at Patio Bay, Waiheke Island

https://www.junctionmag.co.nz/junctionmag/2018/3/26/national-tragedy-with-local-connections

https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/06/26/nereides-centenary-book/

There is a great website on the 50th Anniversary – link below, that covers the sinking & what unfolded on the day/s that followed – click on the ‘What Happened’ tab.

The site also details Tuesdays (tomorrow) events, both on & off the water that have been organized to commemorate the event. It is an amazing day & a must do if you are in Wellington.

http://www.wahine50.org.nz

THE WAHINE DISASTER

The attached document, see link below, was sent in by Greg Skinner- & contains notes from his late great uncle – in fact an extract from his book “A Kiwi Journal – the life and times of Barney Thomas Daniel” – son of Capt Charles Daniel – skipper of ANZAC.

I stress that this is one man’s view & published for general reading only.

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MY GIRL POPs OUT OF THE SHED

The My Girl is Jason Prew’s  foray into classic launch ownership – on Saturday she popped out of the shed for the first time in 4+ years, looking rather fast, even sitting on a trailer. Splash date May/June – WW looks forward to it – you can view on My Girl more here  https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/06/24/28126/

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