A Townson 22 Story – Born Slippery > Ceilidh

BORN SLIPPERY > CEILIDH > BORN SLIPPERY


This a great story with a long tail. I first rubbed up against the boat back in 2009 when a co Kiwi based – WoodenBoat Forum follower named Graeme Tearle, lived in Thames,  mentioned online he was considering buying a Townson 22 – known as a Pied Piper (Piedy) on trademe in Auckland. Turns out it was sitting on the hard at the Devonport Yacht Club (I was a member back then) so I took some photos for him. Graeme bought the boat, below is an edit of his postings on the WBF, he has a unique style of chat and the yanks on the WBF loved him –

“But this boat has issues. For starters, her name. “Born Slippery”. Ye Gods, whatever was he thinking. So my daughter Abby came up with a new name. “Ceilidh”. Pronounced “kay-lee” it is Irish (or Scots) for an informal get-together featuring traditional song, dance and drinking. In other words, a party. My kind of party (I’m half Irish). Perfect. Next, her cabin shape is all wrong. 
Ceilidh has the original, shorter roof, which designer Des Townson lengthened when he redrew it, and I suspect he may have lowered the roofline an inch when he did so. Either way, Ceilidh’s cabin is too short & too high for my tastes. If you can’t stand upright in a boat, there is little point in adding an inch or two to the roof height and you still can’t stand up. It just spoils the aesthetics. Also the cabintop is built in the original style with internal roof beams & a 9mm ply skin. The new style has a laminated roof with no beams. This is vastly preferable; nothing to hit your head on & a much easier paint job. So the whole cabin top has to come off. This has the added bonus of allowing me standing room inside while I do the rebuild, and I can replace the ply coamings with varnished mahogany, as they were with Candyfloss (a previous Piedy he built) In my own personal, very biased, opinion, such a beautiful shape deserves nothing less.

The cockpit has been hacked about in the modern way with an open transom. I will fill the transom back in again & add an aft deck forward to the mainsheet traveler, then an aft coaming across it, aft of the traveler. There can be no lazarette here as the rudder shaft comes up thru the cockpit floor aft of the traveler, making a bulkhead impossible. Also, she has a rise in the companionway of about 300mm, to stop water entering the saloon should the cockpit flood. What absolute nonsense. This is the Hauraki Gulf guys, the best cruising grounds in the world, not Cape Horn. I’ll cut it out, fit a lintel about 50mm high, and should the weather become so severe that I fear a wave might jump into the cockpit, (yeah right, it is sooo going to happen) I’ll fit the first washboard & lock it in place. The ability to easily step thru the companionway without having to clamber over what amounts to a bridgedeck is a boon beyond measure on a cruise. The existing tiller is an ugly stick. I’ll build a new, properly shaped one.”

Graeme did an amazing job restoring the yacht (sadly all the work-in-progress photos on WBF have been lost) and bought Ceilidh by road up to Auckland for a Des Townson exhibition at the Viaduct and motor sailed her back to Thames – memory is hazy but I think I lent him a life jacket and a VHF radio for the trip. Graeme’s past post on the WBF was  c.July 2014 and I think he sold the boat in June 2014.


Fast forward to mid July 2022 and the son of old family friends – Gavin Woodward tracked the boat down to a mud berth in Thames and was trying locate the owner, dockside chat was that she had been abandoned. Photos below showing Ceilidh looking very sad.


Fast forward to mid September 2022 and Andrew Sander – a previous owner of the boat , tracked her down and re-bought her. Andrews words “Spent Sunday preparing and Sunday night on the high tide dragging her from her mangrove and rat infested grave, she’s now in a berth in Thames Marina. Her next adventure is going to Tauranga for cosmetic work, a weight loss program and a new set of sails. Then it’s back to Auckland to catch up with her old Piedy mates where she will live. Looking forward to some great racing and antics. Get a Piedy up ya (again)”

Photos below of the extraction at Thames.Wonderful that these iconic craft are held in such high regard that yachties go to these lengths to keep them sailing.

ANYONE GOT A POT OF THIS WOODY PRODUCT?

Steam boat woody – Russell Ward contacted me as Russell and some of his fellow steam boaters are bemoaning the loss of Davis Slick Seam. The trailer boaters swear by it. It holds the leaks until the seams take up and it squeezes out -doesn’t set. Stops the incontinence when you launch.

Anyone got a spare tin or know what might have been in it? It was black, had some waxy filler apparently, stayed put and wouldn’t go hard. It is no longer being stocked. West are not answering emails, it is obviously not a big seller.

So woodys what would have been in it -NO EPOXY but maybe some of the filler they use. But it was tarry looking.

Wairoa River / Clevedon Drive By Tour

Wairoa River / Clevedon Drive By Tour

On the weekends Woodys Classic Weekend cruise to the Clevedon Cruising Club I had the services of a cabin boy (relax, he’s my neibour) so I handed the wheel to him for most of the trip up the river. This freed me up to snap some of the moored wooden craft, I’m sure a few might be f/glass or even steel – but still an amazing collection ’semi-hidden’ away, that us Auckland marina dwellers never see.

Enjoy the tour. AND make sure you check out the last photo below – seems the CYA A Class skippers have been playing bumper boats again.

Seems the CYA Classic A Class Fleet Are Playing Crash & Bash Again

One of the classic launch owners returning to their berth in Westhaven from the weekends Woodys Clevedon cruise – spotted a wee hole in Little Jim. Comment was it had the dimensions of a bow-sprite. 

Fingers crossed the culprit has good insurance………… A review of the RNZYS results page for Saturdays racing shows two classics with a DNF alongside their names – being Little Jim and Rawene, chances are that tells you the other vessel.

Things like this probably contribute to why only approx. 6% of the CYA classic yacht fleet race (outside of one-off events like the Mahurangi Regatta) their craft. Too much testosterone is a bad thing with a car steering wheel or yacht tiller in your hand – then again maybe it was too much oestrogen this time?

Woodys Classic Clevedon Cruise Report – Sept 2022 – 50+ Photos

6.45am – The Start
The magic hour for boat photography
Heading up the river
Dave Giddens – Auctioneer Supremo

WOODYS CLASSIC CLEVEDON CRUISE REPORT – Sept 2022

Just back from a near perfect weekend cruising with a great bunch of classic wooden boat enthusiasts, up the Wairoa River to the Clevedon Cruising Club for an overnight shindig. 

The weekend had all the right ingredients – great weather, cool boats, nice people + mouth-watering food, that always = a winner. Todays photo gallery comes to us from my cameras and Jason Prew’s new out of the box iPhone 14 Pro (I need one, I’m buying one).

By now regular WW readers will be familiar with the format of the weekend – we meet off the entrance to the Wairoa River and then weave our way up river to the Clevedon Cruising Club. The flotilla berths at the CCC dock, in front of their clubhouse, then we ‘open’ the boats for club member to view. Happy hour tends to start early up the river, and this weekend it was even earlier. Later in the day we retire to the clubrooms for a shared BBQ dinner, and live music.

This year the club organised a number of raffles and a mystery auction – the club and Woodys collectively raised over $3,500 for the new fuel jetty. Well done to everyone involved – I indirectly won a new bilge pump (my cabin boy, bid on a mystery package and one of the included items was the pump – and my bonus – he doesn’t own a boat)

Boats participating in the cruise were – Allergy, Awariki, Lady Clare, Lady Ellen, Merita, Mokoia, My Girl, Ngaio, Ngarimu, Raindance, Smooth Operator, Trinidad, Waikaro.

I’ll let the photos tell the story. Below are two videos which highlight the two extremes of classic wooden craft – Raindance at 7.5 knots and Jason Prew’s – My Girl, doing est. 24 knots 🙂 Thanks to Jason and Ant Smit for the footage.

As always – click on photos to enlarge 😉 ENJOY. Details on more Woodys Classic events below.

Ps that dessert plate wasn’t mine and I’m too nice a person to name the owner…… and equally no story as to why there is a photo of a skipper dipping wet on his duck board 🙂

Raindance
My Girl

Woodys Classic Weekend Happening Now + Mystery Launch (Maitai)

WOODYS CLASSIC WEEKEND HAPPENING NOW + MYSTERY LAUNCH (Maitai)

As you are reading todays WW story, weather permitting 15 woody classic craft will be weaving their way up the Wairoa River headed for the Clevedon Cruising Club for an overnight trip.

As always the CCC crew turn on a great gig for the waitematawoody trip. The day starts with the flotilla being berthed at the CCC dock, in front of the clubhouse, then we ‘open’ the boats for club member to inspect. Happy hour tends to start early up the river 😉 Then we all meet at the club room for a BBQ dinner, raffles, outdoor fires are lit and then the live music kicks off at 8.30pm (almost my bed time) – should be a hoot.

Now there’s always a boat story – today its a mystery launch that popped up on Lew Redwood’s fb, the photo below is dated 1933 and the location is off Hen Island – looks very familiar so hopefully we can put a name to the craft.

19-09-2022 Input ex Nathan Herbert – The launch is Maitai.

Maitai

And A Not Great Example Of How to Promote Your Woody Event The word ‘TIMBER’ doesn’t really have the same gusto as ‘WOODEN’

DO NOT MISS OUT ON THE NEXT WOODYS WEEKEND – DETAILS BELOW