Mystery Woody – Lake Okataina

Mystery Woody – Lake Okataina
Today’s woody popped up on Richard Wooders fb. All we know is the location – Lake Okataina, the date – c.1954 and the name of the photographer – John McFayden.

It must have been a very impressive run-about back in the 1950’s. Can anyone ID the boat for us? There was speculation it may have been in charter.

For the overseas WW readers, Lake Okataina is the northern most and largest of 4 small lakes lying between Lake Rotorua and Lake Tarawera in the Bay of Plenty region of NZ’s North Island.

Following on from yesterdays pink elephant in the room CYA story – I have never had so many emails and txts concerning a WW story – 99% supporting the call for a review of the vessel eligibility policy for the new Heritage Basin classic marina (if you missed the story, scroll down).

I would like to clarify something – I am a passionate believer in the CYA and its right of place in the classic boating movement. It just concerns me that as a group we are all equal and there is no inequity around what vessel you own or do not own, at the end of the day, it is all about the boats, not the people.

But, sometimes strong tactics are required to bring attention to issues and believe me the proposed segregation policy isn’t what the broader CYA membership is all about. There was a lot of chat in the WW comments section yesterday – but one comment stood out from the others – the author was Simon Smith, I have reproduced his sage words below.

“Having seen a number of classic boat displays overseas including USA, Australia and England it is the VARIETY of craft being displayed that has been the attraction. Case in point is the Tasmanian Wooden Boat Festival where the range of vessels covers wooden yachts, launches, dinghies, fishing vessels, square riggers, models etc. As an owner of a wooden yacht I am drawn to all types of wooden craft on display ,NOT JUST YACHTS and thus firmly believe that to attract visitors to Auckland’s  proposed display, a range of wooden craft is required and of varying ages thus highlighting the variety and influence of local designers we have produced in NZ.”

I’ll finish on an observation: Of the newly elected 9 CYA members on the executive committee – only one owns a classic vessel that would ‘qualify’ for a berth in the new Heritage Basin, and guess what? Its a launch, so dam that is a 0/9 score. The first ex committee meeting could be interesting……

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Woody versus Jet Ski

Luckily the photos above are not from NZ but they give us an insight into what can happen when wood meets f/glass at speed.The venue was Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, USA and according to the press – the jet ski rider was hospitalised, poor thing. Both vessels sank but were recovered, hopefully the woody was repaired, photo below earlier in the day. (photos ex Jeffrey Hanf)

Check out the first TV advertisement in this reel of oldies – thanks Barrie Abel for sharing


A reminder to woody CYA members to get along to the AGM at the RNZYS tonight – kick off is 7pm. Looking forward to hearing details on the new >40 berth Viaduct classic boat marina, which with the right governance has the potential to be Auckland’s permanent home of classic boating, showcasing to the Auckland public the CYA’s diverse classic wooden boat fleet.


It seem almost impossible to believe but the ‘interested’ parties have been pulled together and there is (another) announcement celebration about to happen. We will keep you posted, but one sneak leak is that at last the New Zealand Traditional Boat Building School will have a permanent home, we like that 🙂

Camp Cruising the Maine Coast

Camp Cruising the Maine Coast

Some of you will be aware of the name Steve Stone – Steve is one of the founders of the uber cool weblog – Off Center Harbor that I regularly plug on WW, OCH is a subscription driven weblog that just about answers every question you would ever want an answer to concerning wooden boats and enjoying life afloat. 

The team at OCH have been suffering bad from cabin fever as the USA has been savaged by Covid, so as things have eased up in terms of getting out and about – there is some serious on-the-water catch-up happening.

Steve has just started a cruise of the entire Maine Coast (refer chart below) in a 19’ open Caledonia Yawl named Howdy.  Each day Steve is posting images and short video clips of the cruise on Instagram that you can follow on the bottom of the members’ home page (signed in) on Off Center Harbor. You don’t need an Instagram account to follow all that on the members home page of Off Center Harbor. And for those that aren’t OCH subscribers – you can also follow on OCH’s Instagram page directly as well, link below – 

OCH’s Instagram.

I spotted Steve wearing a waitematawoodys t-shirt, so thought I had better give his trip a plug, so far there is some very cool scenery and boat footage – so woodys check in each day and see how the 260+ mile journey is unfolding 🙂

Check out the OCH weblog here

RAINDANCE UPDATE: Following on from the TLC that RD received at the Slipway Milford, I have had Moon Engines upgrading and servicing all the bits that are bolted on – then a quick polish with WD40 – I know, no one sees it, but I know 🙂

Kotare – The Restoration

KOTARE – The Restoration

Enter the name – Kotare (Kingfisher the bird)  into the WW search box and a lot of boats will come up, seems back in the day it was a very popular name for boats.

The 25’ woody above has a genuine claim to the name as she was built by Kingfisher Boats in 1951. Fast forward to 2015 and she underwent a full refit – work included new wiring, new galley, new fuel tanks motor, new head and her engine a Nissan AL20 – 60hp diesel was rebuilt and has only done 620 hours since. Also undertaken was fully glassing her kauri hull, that included 5 coats of resin on the inside, this may get a few frowns from some quarters but you can see from the photos it saved Kotare from a beehive restoration.

At 25’ LOA, the 60hp engine gives Kotare a top speed of 13 knots (cruising at 8). I can vouch for her being a very good sea boat because her owner does the miles in her – frequently over at Great Barrier Island. With a beam of just under 6’, putting her on a trailer is an option.

I spotted Kotare recently hauled out at the Slipway Milford getting some TLC and discovered that her owner was looking for a new owner – so woodys, if you are after a very cute, easily managed and maintained boat – Kotare could be yours for +/- $25k. I know I sound like a broken record, but……….. lake boat?  For more details – email