SAMBO – Work Boat Wednesday

The above photo was sent in by Russell Ward via a client of his, Bruce Fletcher, whose father was an avid photographer in the pre ww2 period.
The photo shows the very smart work boat Sambo, back then ‘looks’ was a factor in the design of even commercial craft, unlike today. Also back then, given her name,  it was a very un- PC world 🙂

What more do we know about her – design, builder, year, specs etc?

Input from Cameron Pollard & Harold Kidd – SAMBO was built by Tom Le Huquet at Devonport, commissioned by W.R. Twigg for Auckland Launch & Towboat Co (Pearce & Bentley) and launched in March 1914,  with a 16 (rated) hpTwigg engine. Later sold to the Blue Boats (George) around 1940. Sister ship to JUMBO (1913) and STRANGER (1912/3).



Julia a

Julia c

Julia b

Today’s story features another boat that caught Ross Dawson’s eye.  All we know about the double ender Julia is that she calls Nelson Marina home.

It would appear that Ross has a ‘thing’ for a nicely constructed ‘rear end i.e. a double ender. Ross commented that there is much published information about them…both pros & cons, but aside from all that, he just thinks they look good, further proof is his ketch Delight, which yes, it has a pointy stern 🙂

Do we know more on Julia?


Nunui, Bulwer 1969 just launched 30 10 2015

Nunui 1978 Bulwer30102015


When woody Brynn McCauley was researching Wainui, his grandfathers 1950’s era Marlbourough Sounds fishing boat (now owned by Cameron Pollard) Brynn discovered the whereabouts of Nunui,  his grandfathers last working fishing boat. Nunui was/is….. a small clinker built c.1969 motor boat, that unfortunately has ended its days in Porirua, (photo below).
Brynn commented that he suspects she was originally a row boat that was used to row out to the scows from the shallow bays in the Sounds.
Its amazing that this was a working fishing boat that went way out into the Cook Strait. Those old seamen knew a thing or two and were pretty fearless.
The b/w photo is dated c. 1969 & was taken just after her launching. The colour photo is c.1978.

Do we know any more about her past?

Nunui at Porirua




Foam a

Foam b

On a recent walk-about Ross Dawson spied the above double ender moored amongst the grunty big fishing boats in Greymouth’s boat harbour.  Ross commented that it would be ‘interesting’ to watch her battling the rollers as she crosses the notorious Grey River bar!

You have to love the workmanlike rain cover on the exhaust!

Any of the WorkBoat woodys able to shed some more light on Foam’s provenance?

One for the OMG File
Sent in from an anonymous woody – the photo below will be kept for reference purposes to show the max you can accommodate in minimum waterline if looks are irrelevant 😉


A Woody 100th Birthday


A Woody 100th Birthday

I mentioned last Friday that on Sunday, Sierra the 1917 Joseph Fell designed & built motorboat would be celebrating her 100th birthday at the Panmure Motor Boat & Yacht Club.
Sierra’s owner Dennis Christopher (photo above) must have bribed the weather gods because the weekend was probably the best this year for classic motor boats. We made the decision to head to the Waiheke Island area on Saturday & then head over to Panmure on Sunday afternoon for the birthday party. Never made the party – see below.
Thanks to Baden Pascoe for the above photos & after speaking with Baden I can report that nearly 100 people turned up to celebrate the occasion, including members of the Fell family & the Andrews family (previous owners).
Its great to see these old work boats still being actively used & presented so well – I love the ‘beard’ on Sierra in the photo above.

Now the reason I didn’t make the party was Raindance had a mechanical oops, the 1st in 10 years that I have not been able to fix & we had to call Coast Guard for a tow. Hats off to the CC crew from Matiatia, Waiheke Island – they were on the scene pronto & had us back at Bayswater faster than I could have under her on steam 🙂 In fact the bottom probably got a good clean 😉
I spent Sunday morning cleaning 10+L of oil from the bilge – not my idea of a fun day.
A call to James Mobberley at Moon Engines will be top of the to-do list today.

(too many other classics out on the harbour to keep this below the radar – thanks guys for the txt’s 🙂  )



There is always a silver lining – after we got home, decided to have a bbq & put a match to the lounge fire, first of the year.

Scows On The Waitemata

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Scows On The Waitemata
Late last year I was sent the two photos above by Ian McDonald whose sister-in-law was clearing out and old deceased Uncle’s stuff & came
across these photos.

Scows sailing goose-winged has a caption of 1920 Auckland Anniversary Regatta and, the other one is captioned Auck Ann regatta, 1900. Both have NZ Herald – Wilson & Horton stamps on the back. Both are about 12″ x 8″  in size.

Any of the serious classic sailers out there able to ID some of the Scows?

And a launch bonus photo today of Miss Helen on the beach at Russell c1950’s (photo ex Nathan Herbert exEric Lee-Johnson, Te Papa collection)

Russell,Te Papa, Lee-Johnson, Eric 1950's


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Pania has had the same owners for over 25 years. She was built in 1973 using triple planked mahogany.
The get up & go comes from twin 90hp 6LW Gardeners & she measures approx. 50′.
She looks a very sea worthy vessel, no doubt one of the reasons her home port is Bluff, Southland.
Thanks to Ian McDonald for the trademe listing heads up 🙂

Can we expand on her details e.g. designer / builder & where was she from 1973 > early 1990’s ?

Input from Dick Hall

‘Pania’ was built by Jack Morgan for Rex Baldick of Picton off the extended ‘Hawaiki’ design. She was launched with a single Allis-Chalmers diesel that came out of a local fishing-boat but later when back to Jack and converted to twin screw with two four cylinder Fords. You can see the original strut with shaft hole through it in underwater photo. Rex had the Baldick families ‘Prima-Donna’ before building ‘Pania’


Sierra was designed and built by Joseph Fell of Kohukohu (Hokianga Harbour) & launched 3 May 1917. If she was a human, Sierra would be getting a letter from the Queen – as the old girl has just celebrated her 100th birthday. Owner Dennis Christopher is having a wee party for her this Sunday at  the Panmure Motor Boat & Yacht Club, 104 Kings Rd, Panmure.
Sierra will be alongside the jetty from 2.00pm on-wards. It’s a just drop-in event & any one is welcome. So woodys, if you are out & about on Sunday, call by. (photo below ex Tom Kane).

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