Woody Speedboat – Help Wanted

1930’s Speedboat – Help Wanted

Serious woody boat restorer, Peter Murton contacted WW with an update on a recent boat shed find, I’ll let Peter tell the story – he is also on the hunt for some ‘bits’ to complete the project.I have posted two photos below of a 1895 fantail clinker work boat / launch that Peter restored, it had spent 25 years as a garden feature before Peter saved her – proof that the mans not afraid of a challenge 🙂

“We pulled the old girl above out of a shed in Ngakuta Bay in the Sounds. She is 18′ x 5’, probably late 1940’s, but there is talk she could be as old as the mid 1920’s. Have been told she was built in Dunedin, she is all kauri. She is very lightly built with canvas covered decks, planks are all 1/2″-12.5mm thick, frames are all 5/8-16mm thick. Seam battens on all planks and under decks are all copper riveted. Her frames are brass screw fastened with 1/8th 3mm iron brackets to brace the chine joint and one bolt on the vertical frame into chine rail deck framing. Has 1/8th- 3mm iron brackets holding some framing members in place, rudder is iron. Shaft is stainless steel with a thrust bearing mounted on the inboard end, shaft is stepped at the bearing and a iron bracket supports it on engine beds. She would have been direct drive, she has two shaft holes forward one is oldest. The aft shaft hole has been hacked in very roughly done. Looks like she had a re-power and had to shift the shaft aft to accommodate new motor.”

Wanted to complete this project

• Kauri Planks 8×1 for planking and frames

• Flathead V8 or flathead or straight 6 with or without gearbox 

• Windscreen hardware crome center and side brackets

• Rudder is transom hung we are missing the steering pulleys that mounted on each side of the transom to guide the cables on to the rudder arm

06-09-2020 Input from Peter Krans – Peter sent in the photos below of the speed boat Miss Waikawa which Peter commented that while nothing confirms Peter Murton’s shed find is Miss Waikawa, they are a similar size and shape… Peter M may be able to tell if his boat once had a dickie seat.Peter K thinks that Miss Waikawa was built immediately after the war, she was sold about 1958 to 1960 after the family head passed away. Possibly sold to the Fishburn’s at Drydans bay.There is quite some story attached to her, but all those who had first hand knowledge are no longer with us. The second shaft outlet is a bit of a clue, story goes that there was a hunger for speed, and a pair of post WW2 trainer aircraft were purchased from Woodborne, and one on the engines was fitted. Miss Waikawa had her own boat shed by what is now the old rowing club. The aircraft sat in a paddock in Waikawa bay for a number of years next to what is now Findlay Grove. Peter Beech who has commented on here may also have some recollection.

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20’ V8 Woody Speed Boat

20’ V8 Woody Speed Boat


Over due for some varnish porn – today’s woody is a 20’ replica ‘Monaco’ speedboat, and when I say speed its serious e.g. a 290hp Lexus V8 sees her exceeding 50mph. Currently a lake boat (Rotorua) her closed circuit fresh-water cooling set-up makes her equally at home in the sea.

The trailer is a work of art and the total rig is a very impressive look. Currently 4sale on tme (thanks Ian McDonald)

Magic

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PRE – RESTORATION

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THE RESTORATION

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JOB DONE

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MAGIC

Recently I was contacted by Phil Shaw who has completed an amazing restoration on his Healey speed boat – Magic. Like many I’m sure, I was not aware that the founder of the Austin Healy sports car marque – Donald Healey (British racing car driver and engineering guru), back in 1956 had also founded a subsidiary company – Healey Marine. The company produced approximately 1750 craft, with Phil’s 1956, 14’6″ boat, a Healey Ski-master, being the first model built.
When Phil acquired the boat she was crying out for a restoration and as you can see in the photos above, that she received 🙂
 
These days Magic is pushed along by a 50hp outboard that sees her with a top speed of 30 knots, and that woodys is very fast for a sub 15’ mahogany run-about.
 
My biggest challenge with this story was deciding which photos made the cut – Phil photo documented every step of the project, and has a wonderful photo gallery of the restoration.
 
I will let the photos tell the story. Below is a an article in the April 2002 issue of the Healey Marque Magazine.

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Woody Classics Weekend Clevedon #2 copy

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Matatua & Floss – Sailing Sunday

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MATATUA

Picton boat builder Mike Coutts is doing a shout out to see if anyone would be interested in getting involved in the restoration of the 1938, Jim Lidgard built, 32’9″ yacht Matatua that he has taken over. Any help, advice or information would be welcome. I’ll let Mike tell the story.
Anyone able to help out – contact Mike via email at kootamac@gmail.com
 
“I have been given Matatua to restore , i can do anything given the time and money but both are in short supply here at present ! she has a lot of history in Wellington with Port Nick and has sailed to all corners of the Pacific several times that i know of. I served my time with John Lidgard and i have asked him and he said she was one of Jim Lidgard’s designs and built at Kauwau Island but he cant recall much more . Some one bolted a steel rudder and skeg , mounted a Coventry engine on steel engine beds, put an alloy mast on a steel mast step and extended the hull by about a meter . As you can imagine the dilignafication in some of these areas is quite severe, I told 2 previous owners that they had to get the steel out of her to no avail 25 years ago ! i have her on the hard at $150 a week and have got the steel rudder skeg off and working on the engine beds, mast out next and remove the steel mast step, chainplates etc . I would like to restore her but at this stage just trying to preserve whats left , which is surprisingly good, another testiment to Kiwi boat building and heart kauri” 
02-07-2020 Input from Robin Elliott and Harold Kidd

Harold and I have finally sorted the mystery of Matatua (well it was only a mystery to us, the rest of the world couldn’t care less 🙂 ).

Matatua was built as a 33-foot ketch by Roy Lidgard in 1938 at their yard in Freemans Bay Auckland for C.T. Jonas who originally named her Landfall.
NZ Herald 13/8/1938 has a photo of her on page 12 being built ‘for C.T. Jonas’.
Landfall was launched 19/11/1938 and described as an ‘auxilliary ketch’ 33ft overall, 26ft on the waterline with 9ft 6in beam. She carried 600 sq ft of sail and it was reported that her owner intended making a cruise to the islands at the end of the 1938-39 season.

From then on, no more mention of Landfall and it appears that C.T. Jonas and his co-owner Harry Gillard, renamed her Matatua quite soon after launching.

The ketch Matatua first appears in print in February 1939 racing with other boats in the Lidgard employees picnic from the Freemans Bay slipway to Motuihe. She raced regularly with RNZYS and RAYC for the rest of the season. Her registration number was B-9.

The ketch rig clearly wasn’t a success because in September 1939 the NZH 26/9/39 reports ‘aux yacht Landfall owned by C.T. Jonas which made an appearance last year under ketch rig has been converted into a cutter’. This reference to Landfall is odd because she had been named Matatua since at least the beginning of 1939, but maybe they were just making the connection back their earlier articles.

In the winter of 1940, yet more improvements.
NZH 2/7/40: B-class yacht Matatua owned by C. Jonas has had 2ft 6in added to her counter by Lidgard Bros. OA length now 35ft 6in and will enable carrying a permanent backstay,
NZH 9/12/40: Photo of Matatua with her new cutter rig, B-9 on the sail.

The war intervenes and Matatua ceases racing.

During this time the Auckland yacht registration records, probably having been moved about or in storage during the war, had fallen into disarray. By the time a new list is published in July 1946, Matatua has been registered twice, first by Harry Gillard, who retained B-9, and again by C.T. Jonas who got a new number B-24. The error was picked up and B-24 lapsed but it remained in the official lists for a couple of seasons until another purge of obsolete registrations in 1948.

Clarrie Irvine raced Matatua, as B-9, for the next couple of seasons and sold her in 1949 to R. Campbell of Wellington. The trip to Wellington under delivery skipper Terry Hammond was hard and they were missing for several days after hitting a nor’westerly gale just off Cape Palliser that blew them as far south as Kaikoura. After getting back to almost the same spot, they ran into a westerly gale that blew them back out to sea. Eventually Matatua got to Wellington, her crew had been battered for 84 hours.

Matatua remained in Wellington (registered as Wellington A-10) for the next 12 years or so. She was purchased by K. Stutter in 1957, and in 1962 was sold to D. Fletcher of Epsom who brought her back to Auckland where she picked up her old number of B-9. Fletcher didn’t appear to do any racing but in 1968 he sold her to George Retter of the Richmond Yacht Club who owned and raced her until 1981.

Matatua has had no registered owners since then. Her NZYF number is 109

One major confusion with Matatua has been the Bob Stewart design Mata-a-tua built for George Gresham of Tauranga in 1947. When Matatua was sold to Wellington, her B-9 registration became vacant and was issued to Gresham’s Mata-a-tua thus beginning a series of tortured confusions in boating magazines and newspapers between the two boats.

This was continued when Mata-a-tua was also sold to Wellington in 1958 where she became Wellington A-9. Her owner Brian Millar brought her to Auckland in 1964 and she entered the 1965 Anniversary Regatta under her Wellington number A-9. (A-9?.. A-9??.. That’s Moana and We can’t have that!!) In February she was re-registered as B-47.

Another tedious ‘golly gee’ point. Both Clarrie Irvine and George Retter owned the Bailey built C-class Matua C-54. Both of them sold Matua to buy Matatua

I have been told to ‘get a life’ by many people.

 

FLOSS – 4sale
Recently Baden Pascoe sent me details on Floss – the sailing dinghy below. Baden’s father Howard, built the glued ply dinghy which is now for sale. Owner Jock Speedy is only the second owner. I understand Jock is open to reasonable offers. Contact via email at jmspeedy55@gmail.com
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Herne Bay Yacht Club + Primadonna Update

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HERNE BAY YACHT CLUB

I love the above photo c.1930 of the Herne Bay Yacht Club, a lot of classes on show.
These days there is a better chance of seeing a helicopter taking off from that spot 🙂
15-06-2020 Input below from Robin Elliott

The photo of the boats from the Herne Bay JUNIOR Yacht Club (as it was known then) was taken probably 1933 not long after it was formed for boys under 18 and the location is the foot of George Dennes’s slipway at Sarsfield St, Herne bay.
George Dennes was the commodore and the only adult in the club. All other positions were held by the boys, who ran all the meetings. Vice Commodore Geoff Hodgson was 9, Rear Commodore Jim Faire, aged 13, Hon Sec Colin Dennes ages 16.

At first the boats were a mixed bag of local sailing dinks, the odd Zeddie, ‘anything with a sail’ and as you can see there in sail number 10, what looks to be a Zeddie with a bowsprit and jib.
In the winter of 1934, George Tyler built the 12-foot Silver Fern to an Arch Logan design for Colin Dennes. Others followed and the club consolidated around the new Silver Fern Class.

The administration experience gained from running their own affairs was put to good effect when many of the members, once they reached 18 years joined Richmond Yacht Club. By 1939, the RYC Commodore was Rupert Thorpe, Vice Comm Jim Frankham; Rear Comm Colin Dennes. All three HBJYC graduates and all under 21.

George Dennes died in 1942 and the Commodore’s role was taken over by Alf Thompson (Chad’s father) and continued until the Silver Fern’s demise around 1952, swept way by the new fangled Cherub, Moths and Pennant classes.

Notable yachtsmen, in no particular order, who came through the Silver Ferns were Laurie Davidson, John Lasher, Jim Faire, Des and Ray Hurley, Roy and Frank Dickson, Alan Barclay, Brian Woods, Des Townson, Murray White, Neville Thom, Shirley & Roy White, John Taylor, Roly Moreland, John Peet ….. and on and on…..

It was a very important club in its time and its unique structure actually trained young yacht club administrators. No other club did that.

 

PRIMADONNA – Comes North
These days most woodys that you see on the back of Boat Haulage’s rig are heading south, so its great to see one arriving in Auckland. The 1910 ex whale chaser – Primadonna, arrived Friday afternoon at Pier 21.
A few days of TLC from new owner James Hutchinson and then she will be back in the water. Hopefully another candidate for the Anniversary Day Tug/Work Boat race on the harbour 🙂
She came with a lot of documentation from pervious owners, so when I sight that, hopefully we can establish / confirm her provenance.
Read / view more at this previous WW story https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/04/19/primadonna/
16-06-2020 Input from Peter Beech (petethedeep)

“We had the pleasure of care taking the old Primadonna for a number of years over 40 yrs ago, we did a lot of cruising and have many wonderful memories of her.
 She was powered by a 3 cyl water cooled Lister about 30 hp, being long and skinny with a beautiful counter stern , she ran like a skinny hogget, was good for 9 kts and was miserable on fuel. (less than a Gallon per hr.)
I’d like to comment on the issue of “hearsay history”, I remember researching the whakapapa of the Primadonna by talking to the descendants of original owner, Alf Baldick who farmed in Onapua Bay in Tory Channel.
His nephew Ian Baldick told me that his uncle had her built in 1913 by Ernie Lane.
During the Great War they whaled out of Te awai iti, I have an old photo of her along side a beached whale in Tar White. 
From memory there were 4 Baldick brothers, Alf, Herman and Darcy (twins) both stood 6 ft 4″ in their stocking feet ! and Billy Baldick who farmed on Blumine Island,( another sister Ida lived with him, ) Billy was reputed to have built 200 clinker dinghys on the island, selling them to Sounds farmers.
One of their sisters married a Guard, a descendant of Jackie Guard, ( the famous whaler) and another married a Jackson, of the Jackson Bay whaling dynasty, so whaling was very much in their blood.
I was talking to Hermans daughter Grace one day about the Baldick boats, she said –
“The old people are dead and gone but their boats live on”
She also said that their lives revolved around their boats, they were their daily transport, their farm boats, their fishing boats, they built many of them themselves and repaired and modified them.
She said that once a year they would all gather at Maraetai Bay, line their boats up and have a regatta! Alf had the Primmadonna, Herman and Darcey had the Greyhound and the Daphnee,  Billy had the Waiata .
I dont know what become of the Daphnee, the Greyhound  with her beautiful clipper bow and counter stern eventually rotted away, the Dreadnaught was built by Herman and Darcey for their sister Emma Guard, very similar to the Greyhound but Emma wanted more beam and draft for stability so they could carry farm produce over Cook Strait to the Wellington markets.
Last time I saw her she was in Wellington, not sure where she is now. Gracey told me that when they were planking her, towards the end they ran out of copper rooves so used Halfpennies. 
I have Billies old Waiata  at home here in the shed, she would be one of the oldest boats in the Sounds, built by Ernest Berg around 1900′ ish..  she is a pretty, double diagonal, straight stemmed, with a lovely counter stern, she originally had a Glouster stern, or cut off counter, Billy took her to Ernie Lane and said “put a descent counter on her.” (she is a real classic and for sale to the right buyer, who wants a restoration project.
Local people in my fathers generation used to tell stories, like folk legends about The Guards and the Baldicks, they were probably illiterate, they spoke with a real south of England Cornish drawl that was so distinctive, they lived a very isolated but fascinating  lifestyle.
So these are local oral histories, they are not researched to see if we have got our facts straight, the old lady was right, the old people are dead and gone and now their boats are well over 100 yrs old and wooden boats no matter what their condition are all restorable.
Unfortunately the old people never wrote down their stories and when boats outlive living memories they become fairy tales.
30 yrs ago I went around alot of the old timers and wrote down alot of their memories about the old Sounds launches and collected a lot of old photos, I’m pleased that I did that because all those old boys are dead and gone now.
Waitamata Woodys is doing just that in digital formate which is wonderful and should be encouraged because it ensures that the stories and the spirits of our old people in these wonderful craft live on”
Primadonna heads north
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WCW Riverhead June2020

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Manaroa Bay (Lady Leila)

Manaroa Bay

MANAROA BAY (Lady Leila)

The above photo of Manaroa Bay was sent by Cameron Pollard. Cameron believes that she may be a reincarnation of a well known New Zealand built motor-sailer. Home these days is Australian.
Any one able to ID the graft stock?
Input from Gary Lidgard – Original name Lady Leila, designed and built by Roy Lidgard 1961, hull and decks at Kawau and fitted out at their yard at Bayswater. They sailed her to Sydney for the owner a retired Sea Captain a Mr London based on Sydney’s Pittwater. From memory this was probably their last new build at Kawau. This was a larger boat based on my grandfathers Rongamau, the owner had spotted her when he visited Kawau cruising in his then yacht and placed an order.
Remember When You Could Haul Out At Westhaven
Photo below is a blast from the past. I spent many days knee deep in mud sanding off and racing to apply very toxic anti-foul paint before the tide came back in. Captain Dennis Ross promised the youngest crew members that it was 100% safe……….. yeah right.
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Help ID This Boat
When I get an email that starts off by saying they are 29 years old and have just bought a wooden boat – I action it fast – we need to encourage the next generation 🙂
Michael van der Putte has just purchased the launch – Crystal Dean, pictured below on the Kaipara.
Michael has been told its a Carl Augustine design, but would like to get confirmation and if possible uncover any known history.
And my question – anyone able to tell us more about the green/red launch – Betsy, making a cameo appearance in the top photo below?
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Lady Mellon

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LADY MELLON
Bay of Islands woody, Dean Wright,  sent in the photos above of – Lady Mellon. Not your traditional row boat that we see on WW, check out the rower seat 🙂
I understand from Dean that her time afloat was short lived, these days she lives as a ceiling decoration in a grand Waipiro Bay home.
 
Do we know anymore about Lady Mellon – design, builder?
Input from Dean Wright – It was built by a chap in Russell Bruce Black
12-07-2020 More Photos ex Dean W
 
How To Not Sell Your Boat
The photos below recently popped up on two on-line 4sale listings – do people really believe that someone will view these photos and go “my god what a boat, I so want to own her”.
And then the seller wonders why the vessel remains unsold and they get bitter and twisted about the journey of ownership of classic wooden boats.
Well Presented Woody 4sale
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Lake Rotoiti – Okawa Bay Holiday Camp 

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Lake Rotoiti – Okawa Bay Holiday Camp 

Today’s photo showcases a classic kiwi boating scene, this time on Lake Rotoiti. Given the appearance of several jet boats and the cars in the background, I would guess the date as the late 1960’s.
Anyone able to pin the date down and also ID the woodys seen middle right side of the photo.
During the CV-19 lock-down I spotted the photo below of KZ-7, New Zealand’s first tilt at uplifting the Americas Cup in Perth. The boat on the trailer was actually a life-size model that toured the country as a part of a fund raising roadshow. I was involved in the marketing of the challenge back then, hell 30+ years ago. The photo prompted me to find a model I had of KZ-7. No kneels on show as it was all very hush hush back then.
As part of the campaign there was an extensive range of branded merchandise the public could buy to support the team, everything from t-shirts to replica solid silver cups. Now you would have thought apparel would have been the #1 seller but no woodys, biggest selling item was branded tea-spoons. Seems there was (might still be?) this worldwide group of people that collected tea-spoons, didn’t matter what was on it – just had to have the newest one to add to their collection.
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Seriously Cool Steam Boat

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Seriously Cool Steam Boat

The above steam boat, owned by Hamilton engineer, Chris Cooper recently popped up on a fb post of Geoff Lewis’s.
All I know, but I can hear Russell Ward duping as you read this, is that Chris rebuilt the boat from a wreck. It has a tripe-expansion engine, in my ignorance I hope it is coal or wood fired and not diesel – I would love this as a retirement boat on a lake…………..
Hopefully we will find out more about her.
AND WOODYS WE CAN GO BOATING AGAIN – NO PRIZE FOR GUESSING WHAT I WILL BE DOING THIS AFTERNOON
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Herald – Sailing Sunday

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HERALD – Sailing Sunday
Recently I was sent the  above gallery of photos of the small yacht – Herald, from kiwi Fred Lomas, who lives/works in Australia. The photos are from an album given to him by his ex (deceased) Omapere (near Opononi, Northland) neighbour – Aubrey Bracey.  Aubrey was a farmer / carpenter who built a couple of small boats, Herald being one of them.
How lucky were these kids to have a boat of their own at their age, these days we are just too PC.
I love the combination of paint colours – a perfect example of the old principle of only using 3 colours max on a boat. Also looks like as the kids got taller, they raised the cabin top 🙂
Devonport Yacht Club – Duder Cup – On The World Stage
Check out the link below to read / view a great story by Rob Peake, editor of the ‘Classic Boat’ magazine in the UK, on this years running of the Duder Cup race.