Bessie Florence


Bessie Florence

Bessie Florence featured on Mondays amongst the gallery of photos I posted from my cruising around Waiheke Island, I was subsequently contacted by her owner Tim Jackson who advised that she is a Jay Benford dead rise trawler design. See the  sheet below for Jays’s words about this design.

Bessie Florence was built for fishing out of Waikawa in Picton in 2006 by Paul Jessop for fishing in Cook Strait and the outer Sounds. Tim purchased her in Waikawa and is now  the second owner. She arrived in Auckland in December 2017. Slowly and steady is the order of the day with BF.

Tim is planning a ‘make-over’ this coming autumn, her build year might be 2006 but she is a classic woody in my eyes J

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Early Auckland Downtown Waterfront



Early Auckland Downtown Waterfront

The above photos were sent to me by Lindsay McMorrin & were taken off much larger photos on the hoarding in front of the downtown restaurant formerly known as Cin Cin. The hoarding is above the sea wall repair site.

Any of the woodys able to ID the launches? On the first photo, the 2nd launch is Olivene The launch at the front of the 2nd photo is Tauri.



Photos below ex Baden Pascoe of Tauri > Phyllis



Woodys Holidaying In The Bay Of Islands






Woodys Holidaying In The Bay Of Islands

Todays photos are from the camera of woody Dean Wright, taken over the Xmas / NY period, I love the one on Wirihana rolling around, sent it to her skipper Chris McMullen & he commented “We were coming into the bay from Cape Brett. A nasty on the beam sea. Any boat can roll when bit by a wave. Its when they keep rolling after the event…….” Chris commented the Wirihana handled it very well. Even with a roll on, Wirihana still looks beautiful – always does, from any angle.

I have to say Marie J is looking very smart, well done to the new(ish) owners. Also what do we know about the yacht Tuahine?

Woodys On Holiday @ Waiheke Island









Woodys On Holiday @ Waiheke Island

 Good morning Woodys – the 1st ‘live’ post in 2 weeks & I have to say I have enjoyed the break from the daily task of creating a WW story. Sometimes with everything else that happens in life its been a challenge, I’ll keep on with the daily stories but just a heads up, the frequency may change……… but business as usual for now.

I was amazed at the viewing audience over the Xmas / NY period, there were some huge days – the “Gunk-Holing Up The Weti River’ story had over 6,000 views in 24hrs, not bad for a ‘re-run’.

Despite the weather forecast & a broken freezer we got away on Raindance for 8 Days, came back a little early due to the weather bomb, & so glad that we did. 

For the 8 days we just mooched around Waiheke Island & had stunning launch weather + the water temp was amazing, warmest I can recall in a long time. 

I spotted quite a few woodys around the bays, if I missed getting a photo of you, either the light was all wrong or I was doing something else – so sorry in advance.

Last ones of Raindance were taken by Richard Darke from aboard his launch ’Seafarer’, many thanks Richard, I do not get many of Raindance, normally she is the camera platform.

A word of warning, last weeks storm has deposited some very ugly logs around the inner harbour, so keep a look out. It amazes we no-one (Akl Council etc) gathers them up, they will find there way back into the water & be an even bigger hazard. The one below was on Cheltenham Beach, Devonport.

If you have any photos from the holidays – email them in to


While ashore at Oneroa I picked up a flyer for The Island Grocer store, very clever piece of creative 😉

Island Grocer

Gunk-holing up the Weti River in a 1902 Logan – Revisited

So far there have been over 2,000 classic wooden boat stories featured on waitematawoodys & the viewing numbers (3,300,000) have grown from a dozen people to over 80,000. I have had some loyalists from day one but the big numbers have happened in the last 2 years – so not everyone will have been exposed to all the stories. Over the Christmas / NY period I have decided to take a peek back in time & feature some of the gems from the early days. Enjoy.

Have a great holiday & remember to take the camera / phone with you & snap a photo of any woodys you see. Email them to


Gunk-holing up the Weti River in a 1902 Logan Motor Boat

photos ex Jason Prew at the helm of Otira

Despite the CYA Launch cruise / picnic being cancelled Jason Prew & Nathan Herbert + crew decided to launch Otira, the 1902 Logan day boat at Gulf Harbour & explore the upper reaches of the Waiti River. They made it passed the Silverdale road bridge, which is an impressive distance, along the way they passed an ‘interesting’ array of vessels. Enjoy 🙂  As always – click on any photo to enlarge.

For reference see below a recent photo of Otira at Lake Rotoiti Wooden Boat Parade

Restoring & Installing a Gardner in Arethusa – Revisited

Restoring & Installing a Gardner in Arethusa

story & photos ex Dean Wright

It not often I get sent info on a boat & it jumps the queue & appears on ww the next day. If you have been following on ww the rolling restoration Dean has been doing on Arethusa over the last few years you would know two things, Arethusa is in very good hands & Deans a very talented commercial photographer. So the links below to Deans latest project – the restoration of a Gardner 4LW & subsequent installation in Arethusa are well worth check out.



Some history below

Arethusa ticked over 96 this year. She started life as a gaff rigged cutter, built by Bob Brown (designer of the Z class) at Sulphur Beach, Northcote. She’s carvel planked kauri, 33′ 4″ LOA with a 12′ Beam. With the aid of a fair bit of ballast she weighs 10 tonnes. She’s had an interesting life, more details here

Electro-Chemical Damage In Wooden Boats Update – Revisited

rudder electrochemical damage


A Special Post By Chris McMullen

Recently I received a note from Chris where he questioned if the story we posted last year on ww about electro-chemical damage to wood  was a little too long & were people reading it. Well I can tell you that the post is the single most visited story on ww, ever, & gets read by people all over the world. Its frequently referred to on the hugely popular WoodenBoat Forum in the USA. The link below takes you to the original story.

For the impatient ones out there 🙂 Chris has done a ‘Readers Digest’ version & refers to a vessel that recently featured on ww.
I encourage all of you to read today’s story & if you own a classic wooden boat – read both versions – the problem is the biggest risk to the life of our classic boats.

In Chris’s words:
“I received the above disturbing images of another woody being destroyed by an owner who I believe is unintentionally loving his boat to death.

The use of anodes and bonding on a wooden boat is fatal. The cathode or protected metal makes hydrogen gas and this combined with saltwater makes Sodium Hydroxide (Caustic Soda). This chemical is used to pulp wood in the paper making industry. Not on my boat thank you! I say again, there is no reason to use anodes and bonding on any boat. The only exception, steel hulls require anodes. If copper or bronze are being corroded it is due to a positive DC leak and Zinc anodes will not help. Find the electrical leak is the cure. If there is brass or manganese bronze underwater it will corrode due to the
zinc in the alloy. Anodes will possibly stop the corrosion but at the expense of wood damage. A better plan is to replace the brass with proper marine bronze.

Bronze and copper should last indefinitely in the sea. To prove that statement, I ask you to look at the Roman coins and artifacts salvaged from ships wrecked in the fourteenth century. There was no anodic protection and the metal is well preserved. So what is the difference to the copper and bronze on your boat? There is absolutely no difference so why waste your money buying anodes that will in time destroy
your wooden boat.

Three or four bottles of wine will cost the same as anodes and will make you and your boat happier.”

Note: ww is read all around the world, if there is water & boats, there are people reading ww. So a little about the man for non kiwi’s  – Chris is one of NZ’s most respected boat builders (retired) and at one time was the Lloyds (Honorary) Wood Boat Surveyor in Auckland. Chris’s (the original company) ‘McMullen & Wing’ built and repaired wood, steel and marine aluminium vessels. They built the first welded aluminum vessels in NZ. Chris is the current holder of the Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand ‘Outstanding Achievement Trophy’ for services to classic boating.

14-05-2016 Photo Update
Gavin Gault sent in the below photos of a Nova skeg floor that he believes were probably damaged due to engine – anode bonding failure. Pretty graphic !!


10-07-2016 Reply from Chris McMullen

“Wow. Thank you Gavin Gault for sharing your very graphic images. Very sad, small consolation but yours will not be the only wooden boat affected by this scourge.
Maybe, at last some of the Flat Earth Society will start to believe what I have been saying. The worst detractors are some in the Marine Industry who have been preaching the Anode, Bonding party line for years.  Now there is no where to run for cover,  they continue to conjure up excuses and it seems, refuse to accept a simple scientific fact.
“If you have a positive and negative electrode in salt water, the negative cathode or protected metal makes hydrogen gas and this combined with salt water makes Sodium hydroxide.”
This chemical is also known as caustic soda and removes paint and destroys wood.  There is no doubt about this fact. You do require a power source and bonded dissimilar metals ( zinc and copper) provide sufficient current to do the damage, but slowly.
If there is a negative DC leak (to the sea)on a bonded boat the process is accelerated. If there is a positive leak any metal becomes an anode and will waste away. It is important to isolate the DC power from contact with the sea. Again bonding is just asking for trouble. Please remove Anodes and Bonding from your wooden boat now!
Chris McMullen”

06-09-2106 In case you were not to sure what to look out for – the below photo should be a wake-up call to a few woodys 😉