The above photo of Ngaroma, with the #85 on her, was sent in by Lew Redwood & is ex the NZ Herald heritage image collection.

She was built in 1910 by Collings & Bell & when launched, called Hazel. You can view photos of her on this link, when she was rigged for big game fishing

Anyone able to ID the other two woodys? & as a wild shot – what they were up to i.e. an event?

A Woody Trip Out West



Steve Cranch

A Woody Trip Out West – NZ Traditional Boat Building School Re-opens

I received an invite the other day in the mail (nice for once to not be via email) to the re-opening of New Zealand Traditional Boat Building School. Getting it made me very happy – firstly, because we all need the school to be a success & secondly because I personally have fond memories of the original school (read more below), I attended numerous CYA meetings there & also participated in two events – the Robert Brooke – Caulking / carvel planking workshop & a basic boat building techniques course that ran one night a week over winter. Learnt so much & meet some great people.

Today’s function was to share the vision for the future of the school & to meet some of the past & present stakeholders.

I’ll let Steve Cranch tell you the story:

“After nearly four years in recess the New Zealand Traditional Boat Building School has just re-opened its doors in new premises on the Te Atatu peninsula.

The school was founded in 2005 by trustees Robert Brooke, Harold Kidd, Bruce Tantrum and Ron Jamieson and successfully ran wooden boat building courses at Hobsonville for seven years before being forced to move to make way for the new housing development.

During that time hundreds of students attended classes on everything from traditional boat building to apprenticeship training and small boat building in which students built their own small boats to take home, often involving a son or daughter in the process.

Our new premises are much smaller than previous so we have been forced to restructure how we run our courses and a new program is being developed. It will kick off with a full day seminar on winter maintenance. Six specialist speakers will present on topics ranging from Diesel engine maintenance, Batteries and Electrical, Sails and Covers, Marine sealants, Paint systems and common splicing all common winter maintenance issues for the larger boat owner. Following on from this will be a course on re-ribbing clinker built boats and a laminated stand up paddleboard paddle course plus many more to come”.

In a few days when the dates are finalized, I’ll publish them on ww. I would encourage you to support the school; it’s a big step forward in bringing increased visibility & sureness to the wooden boating movement. There is a website, currently getting the final finishing touches, so I’ll let you know the link to that later as well.

Today was also a wee bit of a reunion with a lot of woodys catching up. The best chat was in the car park, where I got to view a very cool RC model of the Bailey designed ex Waitemata Fisheries trawler – ‘Waiwera’ (photos below). Built by Murray White. Stunning attention to detail.



Unknown / Mystery Boat 20-07-2017 + Woody Homes


Unknown / Mystery Boat 20-07-2017

I was sent the above photo by Ray Morey, Ray is hoping to be able to ID the vessel.  It was on the Waikato River in the mid 1950’s operated by ‘Henry’s Sand Co.’, until being replaced by the steel tug “S.P.”  – Ray has no idea where she came from nor where she went.

Can any of the woodys help out with any details?

Woody Homes

Woody Brett Evans sent me a link to a feature on a sleepy seaside village in France with a small fishing port, a population of less than 3,000 and some very peculiar-looking houses. At a moment’s glance, they could almost appear to be an unfortunate pod of beached orcas, but look again carefully at those unusual roofs. Yes, those are boats … upside down! Local fishermen of Équihen-Plage have lived under scavenged boat hulls here for over a century and today, many of these upturned vessels now serve as a unique holiday accommodation for travelers visiting the French coast. Very cool idea. You can see more at the link below.



How To Steam Ribs – Sailing Sunday

How To Steam Ribs – Sailing Sunday

Robin Elliott sent me the youtube link below to Australian Ian Smith ribbing the 24-foot Ranger class gaffer he’s building for himself. Its good viewing. Ranger, was designed by E.C. (Cliff) Gale and built by Billy Fisher in 1933 & is still going strong under the ownership of Cliff’s son Bill Gale and races with others built to her design with the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, photos below, again ex Robin.

Ranger Aust 2

Ranger Aust 1

The below photo of the yacht Kotiri B20 was sent to me by Lesley Brennan, who commented on ww that she had come across an old B/W 6×4 photo with Kotiri hand written in pencil on it. Lesley will give the photo to the most deserving – no doubt the Classic Yacht Charitable Trust?



Do You Have One Of These?

I have asked before but the repairs did not last – so has any woody got a switch like the ones below in their bottom draw?

WW t-shirt if you have a spare one 😉








The above photos of Taiaroa were taken by boat builder Colin Brown while she was hauled out on the hardstand at Wellington. Colin was in the capital for the re-launching of Little Tasman. Colin & his team undertook the magnificent restoration of Little Tasman at his Omaha yard. photos emailed to me by Ken Ricketts.

What do we know about Talaroa? – certainly looks like a southern boat with a work boat past.

Input From Russell Ward

Rumored to have been a rowing boat carried on one of the RNZN ships whose name I forget. Someone said she had been steam, but never IMHO. Motor boat certainly – a Standard or Union. Most probably a local Dunedin fishing boat –not Miller and Tunnage I don’t think –they wouldn’t have been formed when she was built.

Became an OHB workboat around 1940 and later and later passed to the Sea Cadets in Dunedin and then came to Wellington in the 1970’s?.

Owned by Sam Hunt for a time and kept by his live in boat shed –he probably generated the lively colour scheme.

Fell into indifferent ownership and was slowly going downhill at Evans Bay Marina.

I met her maybe four years back when the owner had just died (on board?) and his brother wanted to sell her. A bit of a mess and bought by a good soul who put her up at the hard stand and doesn’t seem to have progressed much.

Photos below at varying times in her life. Acknowledgements to esteemed members of the Workboat Study Group.





14-07-2017 – Photo of Lonaero – as mentioned in Cameron Pollard’s note in the ww comments section .




Do We Know This Boat + Mahurangi Regatta Goes Viral

Price Herald island 4451 Free Lance

Do You Know This Launch?
Have had a request from David Balderston who is publishing a book on ‘ Upper Harbour Ferries’ & would like some help ID’ing the above vessel. David understands it was owned by Ted Price of Herald Island but David would like to put a name to the vessel – can we help?

Mahurangi Regatta Goes Viral

Back in late Jan this year the Mahurangi Regatta had some special visitors from an American boating website named The OCH site is a membership only (i.e. paid) weblog that is based on video content, with over 700 stories on & around wooden boating available to members to view. It is very good – I subscribe.
The latest video is on the Mahurangi Regatta & also profiles Steve Horsley & his Chas Bailey gaffer – Ngatira.
Below is a link to watch the 1:30 preview, the full video is approx. 8:00 minutes in length. Both showcase the event, the vessels & the NZ wooden boating movement very well.


Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 11.56.13 AM


I uncovered in my ww files the above photos of the 26′ Kingfisher, I checked using the ww search box & found no reference so maybe she slipped between the cracks 😦
The photos were from a trademe listing that Dean Wright tipped me off about back in early 2016. She was built in 1936 in England from NZ kauri and is double layer, one diagonal & one straight. She started life as a lifeboat with an open hull, later working out of Mokau to transport wool bales to waiting vessels. The photos show her in varying degrees to presentation – in the trademe listing it started she was without a motor & needed some work work to the hull & decks, lets hope she sold & the buyer is classic friendly – anyone able to update us?