LOVING YOUR BOAT TO DEATH – Electro-chemical Destruction / Underwater Rot

LOVING YOUR BOAT TO DEATH – Electro-chemical Destruction / Underwater Rot

The subject of electrochemical destruction and wooden boats has been covered extensively on WW – in fact the Chris McMullen articles are the most referenced stories on the site. At the end of todays story I have listed links to these stories.

Today thanks to Chris McMullen and Baden Pascoe we get to share an article they penned for the 2023 Mahurangi Cruising Club Year Book*, this article succinctly backgrounds the topic and suggests what as a wooden boat owner you should be looking out for and what to do to protect your wooden boat. READ IT. But if you are lazy – let me spell stout for you – DO NOT FIT ANODES or BOND YOUR WOODEN BOAT.

Note: PDF version below for easier viewing for the visually challenged – i.e. most of us 🙂

(*Article reproduction with the permission of the Mahurangi Cruising Club©️)






NZ Antique & Classic Boat Show 2023 (Nelson Lakes)

NZ Antique & Classic Boat Show 2023 (Nelson Lakes) 

Today thanks to the camera of Michael Brownee we get to take in the amazing woody craft and spectacular scenery at Lake Rotoiti, South Island for the 2023 NZ Antique & Classic Boat Show that was recently held (March 4>5)

Michael has captured the essence and spirit of the event beautifully , if he not a professional photographer , he should be 🙂

I attended the show 3>4 years ago and it should be on every woodys bucket list.

As always – click on photos to enlarge 😉


Huia Winning the Sanders Cup 1939

1939 Sanders Cup Crowd at Port Levy – Brother Bill Hemsley seated centre under “Mayor” holding imitation Cup.

The Crew Of Huia


WW was recently contacted by Carol Jukes regarding her father George Hemsley and the 1932 X-Class dinghy – Huia. You can read more on Huia on the WW link below, I’ll let Carol’s note tell the story. https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/08/19/restoration-of-the-1936-x-class-dinghy-huia-x22/

“Dad had a pretty good memory and for many years we asked him to write his memories down, at last he and I got cracking. Dad grew up in Lyttelton and the sea was a great part of his life.  The Sanders Cup left a lasting impression on him, the article on HUIA and the Sanders Cup was taken from his book (Just George).  His love of the sea continued all of his life and at one time he was the proud owner of Cherub #1. Like the owner who gave HUIA a new lease of life, Dad did the same for Cherub #1. My Brother David and I were also keen yachties

Unfortunately my photos of the HUIA sailing in the Sanders Cup leave a lot to be desired, I would be interested if anyone has a good copy as I am in the process of updating Dads book, I am now up to the chapter of the HUIA and the Sanders Cup and that’s how I came upon the waitematawoodys site when I put HUIA into the Google search engine. Thank you for your interest.”

Extract Below From George Hemsley’s Memories (2.8.1913 > 29.7.2010)

It was the year 1939 when my Brother Bill Hemsley’s yacht “Huia” the Canterbury representative won the Sanders Cup.  This event was sailed on Bluff Harbour with the first race starting on the 20th January.  She was skippered by W A Tissiman with the crew of Bill Hemsley, S Sillars and H Brodie. 

Her placings were as follows:-

Race #1 –  Third

          #2 –  First

          #3 –  Huia did not start as she was unable to reef:-

          #4 –  second or third

          #5 –  First

          #6 –  First

HUIA wins the Sanders Cup.

“The Sanders Cup” yes it would seem that salt-water activities create bad feelings between yachties.  Take the “Americas” cup today, what do we have, well when I was still at school the “Sanders Cup” was the same as the “Americas Cup” capable of stirring up the people of New Zealand to great enthusiasm between each province that competed.  The reason that I do remember because my brother Bill (William Roy Hemsley) had bought the 14 footer HUIA.  

Now in Lyttelton we had a man that built these 14 footers they had to be the exact measurement set down to fit a mould and no excuses for any mistakes.  Mr Fred Dobbie was the man who built most of these 14 footers.  Well brother Bill’s yacht was built by a different builder – from memory his name was Dick Tredenick.

It came time to race to determine who was to represent Canterbury – it was sailed in Lyttelton.  To the best of my knowledge Huia won the first three races outright, so was the winner, but no they had to sail another three races, which she also won, now she had won six out of six races, but they the ”opposition” was determined that a Dobbie built boat was going to go, so they counted another three races which HUIA refused to enter and another boat was the winner of the next three races.  This caused bad feeling especially when Brother Bill was asked to lend his set of sails to send the other boat away. 

However the next year when HUIA again won the races there was no doubt.  The HUIA did represent Canterbury for the 1939 Sanders Cup and did win the Sanders Cup for her province.  The racing was held in Bluff with Bill Tissiman as skipper. 

Between 1921 and 1946 Canterbury won the Sanders Cup 9 times, with the racing being sailed in Lyttelton 5 times and between 1921 & 1946.  There was no racing during the war years of 1942-43-44 and 45.  

I remember reading about a rowing race that was held for the visiting reporters as well, before the commencement of cup racing.  I don’t know if this was always the case but the race in question was 1928 at Stewart Island.  This caused a great deal of hilarity as well and was fiercely contested.  Boats of supporters followed each reporter yelling encouragement to them and the opposite to the opposition.  I do wonder if the same spirit is still as evident today.  


Bit of an essay here but …. it’s complicated

Recollections are tricky things and although correct by and large, several seasons in your father’s memoir, 1936-1939, appear to have been conflated into one major story. I recommend a serious trawling of Papers Past to straighten out the kinks.

As unfair as it sounds, it was not uncommon for Sanders Cup committees to ‘swap out’ crew, or sails from one winning boat onto their chosen representative, such was their desperation to be successful. Many skippers angrily resented this practice and refused to comply with requests to turn their boat over to their Sanders Cup Selection committee to have the best bits pinched off it. Here is the justification.

Huia also suffered from being regarded as ‘an old boat’. Back in 1924 R. Tredennick and Fred Dobby built Pioioi, Dobby’s first 14-footer, which was wrecked during its maiden race. It seems that 8 years later, rather than go back to Fred Dobby for a new boat, Tredennick may have used these 1924 moulds to build Huia. She was often referred to as a Dobby boat ‘built by Tredennick’.

Either way, Huia was launched in November 1932, carried sail number X-7. She did little of note until sold to Bill Hemsley around 1935 who installed Sanders Cup winning skipper Elliot Sinclair on the helm. She was suddenly a very competitive boat.

This caused a problem for Sanders Cup selectors because Canterbury had won the previous 4 contests in the newer Dobby-built boats, Avenger and Irene. The Huia design, if from the Pioioi moulds, would have been over 10 years old, and amateur built at that. Maybe too much risk?

The committee selected a proven winner, the Dobby-built Avenger, put Huia’s Eliot Sinclair on as skipper with one of his crew and two of Avenger’s normal crew.

Avenger won the 1936 Sanders Cup so it was all seen as justifiable in the end.

It is unclear when Bill Hemsley sold Huia, possible as early as 1937. For the 1936/37 Sanders Cup Trials he sailed with Bill Tissiman on Colleen, won selection and was Canterbury Rep that season, coming a close second to the winner Lavina from Wellington.

In the 1937/38 season Huia was sailed by R. Hendry, and in 1938/39 Bill Tissiman was on the helm when she won selection for the 1939 Sanders Cup at Bluff.

It doesn’t look like Bill Hemsley was in the crew of Huia that season. He may have accompanied the group to Bluff but he was not selected as crew.

Just to complicate matters, I have a copy of the Wheatley & Reid’s Sanders Cup book which has, facing page 169, a ‘photo of the crew of Huia’ at Bluff 1939 (the same as your ‘crew of Huia’ photo above).

X-class historian, the late Murray Stark has noted on my copy of the book, ‘Facing page 169 NOT the 1939 crew’ and lists the crew as per the Papers Past articles above.

I suspect that the ‘crew photo’ is that of Colleen from 2 years earlier with Bill Hemsley in the crew.

You may find more details in a trawl of Papers Past.

Whoever owned Huia sold her to W. Pool of Akaroa in 1941 and she was still racing with the Akaroa Sailing Club as late as 1948.

My Canterbury contact (the late Graham Mander who raced many times at the Akaroa Regattas) was fairly sure she had been converted to a runabout in the late 1950’s early 60’s.

It seems unlikely (though not impossible) that she is the X-class Huia since restored and appearing on the earlier Woodys post.

Double-Ender ex WorkBoat

19’ Double – Ender Clinker ex Work Boat

The clinker built open ex work boat – Dudley Docker II has an interesting back story having been built in 1964 for the Lyttelton Harbour Board as a harbour tender. At one stage owned by the Picton Clinker Club. Built by Stark Brothers, she has had an interesting mix of owners – been in storage for the last 5 years. Currently powered by a 28hp Volvo. Has the makings of a very cool lake boat, very stable with a 7’ beam and lots of seating for passengers.

Do not normal talk $$ but at staring price of $3k and no reserve, it is a bargain. Thanks Ian McDonald for the heads up.

Alibi – A Peek Below

ALIBI – A Peek Below

In early Jan 2023 we featured the 42’ Mason Clipper – Alibi, entering the Sandspit shed of Greg Lees Boat builder. That story generated a great inside into her past, link below to that story.


Today thanks to the ‘Mason Clippers’ group and Lew Redwood’s fb we get to see her interior. The photos show her almost unchanged in 42 years with the original upholstery still in great condition. 

Looking forward to seeing what Alibi well look like after the Greg Lees team have rubbed their magic over her. (Nudge nudge Greg)

Woodys Stillwater Picnic + Next Event Announcement 

Sadly Saturdays waterfront picnic was postponed based on weather forecasts and sea state. The right decision on Friday night and probably the wrong one at mid-day Saturday. There will be announcement later in the week re a new date. But moving on – the next Woodys event is a long overdue lunch cruise to the historical Riverhead Tavern.

See below flyer – but quick overview – Sunday 26th March – meeting at 10.am off Lucas Creek / Herald Island.

RSVP with vessel name and approx. number aboard to waitematawoodys@gmail.com

Woodys On Tour – Hobart – Australian Wooden Boat Festival – 50’ HALVORSEN MOTOR LAUNCH

Woodys On Tour – Hobart – Australian Wooden Boat Festival – 50’ HALVORSEN MOTOR LAUNCH

Hello Woodys

While the Australian Wooden Boat Festival is done and dusted the woody camera is loaded with photos – today we feature the 1947 built, 50’ Halvorsen motor launch – Minocqua. Designed and built by famous Australian boat builder Lars Halvorsen, she was one of seven built in the late 1940’s. If my memory is working, the Australian Americas Cup legend – Ian Murray owns one (possibly this one).

76 years later she is still a very imposing vessel and stands out anywhere.

Something for the petrol heads – check out the video below of a 1945 Tasman Marine engine, two stroke, 3hp, single cylinder. Built by the Tasman Engineering Company. 


And Then They Were Gone 😦

Woodys On Tour – Hobart – Australian Wooden Boat Festival – Day 5

Woodys On Tour – Hobart – Australian Wooden Boat Festival – Day 5

Hello Again Woodys  Felt slightly guilty this morning when I called home to advise Air NZ had cancelled my Hobart > AKL flight. Next available – 7 days away…. A little bit of online work and I found a flight out of Sydney on Thursday night. So 2 more days in Hobart 🙂

One big plus – I get to see the very cool kiwi singer- Marlon Williams live in concert. 

Anyway back to the boats – today is an extension of yesterdays gallery – there is just so many woodys to see. 

FYI – WW viewing numbers spike when the weather is bad and people are at home, so yesterdays numbers were approaching an all time high. Today (Tuesday will be another bumper day)

Boat Of The Day – HEATHER BELLE, a 24’6” gaff rigged pilot cutter, built in 1990 by Andrew Wilson to a Lyle Hess design. She is a sister-ship to Larry Pardey’s – SERAFFYN.

And compulsory food shot – lunch = seafood chowder 🙂

Woodys On Tour – Hobart – Australian Wooden Boat Festival – Day 3

Woodys On Tour – Hobart – Australian Wooden Boat Festival – Day 3

Morning Woodys – a stunning day today on the weather front – clear blue skies and not to warm, perfect. The docks today were a Zoo, just so many people and a high % of rubber neckers. Hats off to the boat owners for answering all the ‘blonde’ questions e.g. “is it made of wood, or has it got a special paint effect” etc etc. On the advice of a seasoned festival attendee I hit the docks very early in the morning and again early evening.

Lots of chat with owners and good awareness of WW. I decided today to engage the right side of the brain and caught the ferry to MONA (Museum Old New Art) its like nothing I or probably you have been to – check out the website https://mona.net.au

In todays WW story we focus on some of the smaller craft at the festival , with a leaning on steam propelled. Enjoy – if you don’t like it blame Russell Ward, his side of our movement needs a leg up 🙂

The Boat Of The Day   – TAMARESK

And a wee sea shanty for aboard the Tall Ship – ENTERPRIZE – enjoy


And lunch was X12 fresh Australian prawns – never seen the inside of a freezer, soooo good 🙂

Woodys On Tour – Hobart – Australian Wooden Boat Festival – Day 2

Woodys On Tour – Hobart – Australian Wooden Boat FestivalDay 2

Morning Woodys

Todays was the first official day of the festival, commencing with the – Parade of Sail, that see 200+ wooden craft arriving in mass into Hobert Harbour. Where they join 100’s more that have already berthed dock-side.

My day started at 6.45am for a coach ride to Woodbridge where we boarded the 110’ brigantine – Windewood Bound for the passage to Hobert. Conditions we a little damp and overcast, but things improved later in the day. You know me, so I struggled with the first 4+ hours of ’sailing’ at 4 knots but once we joined up with the fleet it was a special experience. The Windewood led the fleet into the harbour that was lined with spectators and craft of all types, size and construction.

Todays story is on the Windewood + a taste of dockside life. I’ll cover the passage and all the Parade of Sail fleet in a later story. And tomorrow we will jump into the expanse of wooden craft on show

Boat Of The Day – this very smart picnic boat


Below – the scallops on a stick were smash hit and washed down with my attempt to get some goodness into the body – all fresh juice – pineapple, apple, lemon, ginger, orange, vitamin C and a double shot of vodka. Sounds like a good idea for breakfast…