The photo gallery above of the 1903 Charles Bailey Jnr. yacht Oyster comes to us from her new Wellington owner – Gavin Pascoe’s fb page. Gavin recently sailed her back from Lyttelton to Wellington. Gavin is one of the leading lights at the uber cool Wellington Classic Yacht Trust, so Oyster is a very lucky woody to be in such safe hands.
Most of the photos are from her early days in Wellington c.1920’s>1930’s. The cover of the NZ Yachtsman magazine is dated August 10th 1912 and shows her in Nelson. Oyster is 32’ in length, with a 9’ bean and draws 3’ (she is a centre-board ketch).
Photo below taken by Andrew McGeorge of Oyster in Lyttelton just prior to her departure north.
If the old sign in a brokers window and a thumbnail photo in a monthly brochure isn’t working for you – contact the Wooden Boat Bureau – there are 2 simple differences between the Wooden Boat Bureau and other boat brokers:
1. We actually sell classic boats.
2. We have a list of buyers wanting to buy a classic wooden boat
So woodys if you are trading up or trading down/out of the market and have a woody in good condition – drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org for a confidential chat.
(Sorry for the brazen commercial message today, but my wife tells me we need a bigger boat)
Whats So Special About Wooden Boats The above video by Tom Nitsch, featuring Tom’s stunning camera skills, gives a very cool insight into why in this modern age so many people are committing so much time and money restoring and enjoying wooden boats. The interviews with Donn Costanzo from the Wooden Boatworks yard and John Lammerts van Bueren (sailor, boat builder, author) really capture the why – something a lot of us struggle to communicate when asked by people outside the wooden boating movement.I have reproduced some of John’s comments below –
“Most of all I think that a lot of the people who sail classic boats and enjoy the classic boats are probably more bonded than the people who sail modern boats. Nothing bad against the modern boats but modern boats are usually fiercely competitive and there is not as much love for the boat for what it is, the love is for the performance, the speed you get out of it and your chance to win the boat race. Something that people have in common is they have a drive to create and re-create and preserve and not to consume and I think that that is something very essential. If you are driven by consuming you aren’t able to create and re-create and preserve as much as you need to do to love these classic boats, and in a way the beauty of the boats that you are working with. You look at the old boats and in many ways they are compared to modern boats not as mush as a statement of your personal wealth, they are statement of beauty and it doesn’t really matter whether is a Dragon with varnished topsides or whether its a cruiser or a meter or a great big schooner, no matter how large these great big schooners are they are a statement of beauty and not a statement of wealth, all though they are incredibly expensive, it doesn’t really matter – they are beautiful and people appreciate it.”
WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THE A-CLASS CLASSIC RACE FLEET – EGOTISM, ARROGANCE OR JUST INCOMPETENCE ?
You may have missed my comments at the bottom of Mondays WW story, and over the last 48 hours it has emerged that in the last two weeks we have had three serious incidents involving three different A-Class classic yachts, I have detailed descriptions of each incident, but I’ll stay out of the technicalities. Questions of the day – is there a review underway of these incidents? who takes responsibility for the circumstances surrounding the incidents i.e. race starts and finishes? Are there health and safety procedures in place for the ‘worst case scenario’?.
Even if you put any blame to one side, 3 incidents in 2 weeks………………… something is amiss. Me thinks it is time for a fire side skippers chat on rules and good manners.
INCIDENT ONE – Mahurangi Weekend – Sunday Morning – A Class yacht (under power) collides with classic launch – I understand no apology from yacht
INCIDENT TWO – CYA Race Mahurangi > Auckland – Sunday Morning – A Class gaff yacht T-bones another vessel at the start – Other vessel on starboard – near sinking
INCIDENT THREE – CYA Round Rangitoto Yacht Race – A Class gaff yacht collides with finish boat (classic launch) – Again no apology, just laughing
The CYA has its major annual sailing regatta coming up next week – if you’re out and about in your boat- might be a good idea to fender up 😉
22-02-2021 Input From Robin Kenyon
Re Racing at the MCC regatta: I think safety at Mahurangi was greatly improved this year by having the A class racing the outer loop first, therefore greatly reducing the time spent racing in the confines of the estuary and other racers/spectators. My big plea to the organisers would be for the MCC to affiliate themselves to Yachting New Zealand. Then the racing could be held under the more familiar (to racing and coastal sailors) Racing Rules of Sailing. This would remove a large degree of uncertainty that exists when racing at Mahurangi and help prevent a future accident in waiting. Every other race that the A class does uses these rules, not the COLREGS (except on passage races outside the hours of daylight, I believe). I appreciate that this incurs a cost to the MCC but surely the levy to YNZ is just what has to be done. The vast majority of other clubs in the country pay it. I have raced regattas in countries all over the world and this is the only one that I have been to that uses COLREGS for daytime racing. Uncertainty could breed the attitude amongst some that might just blag their way through a fleet rather than abiding to the very clear and proven racing rules of sailing. Stating that their will be no protests must only add to these competitors feeling untouchable. Whilst this is only one aspect covered by the comments above (and thankfully there were no serious accidents at this years regatta yacht race) I think it has some relevance to the bigger picture. I must have done about 10 Mahurangi regattas, all racing on the A class. The heated on the water interactions for this race are often worse than any other race in our calendar. Which is a shame for a fun event and a true highlight of the season. It doesn’t need to be that way and using the Racing Rules of Sailing can go a long way to address this. The COLREGS were never written with sailboat racing in mind. That is what the Racing Rules of Sailing are for. When skippering an A class around the harbour the skippers have enough on their plate without having the rethink the rule book.
22-02-2021 Update ex the CYA Feb Newsletter – lets hope they read this, tucked away at the bottom of the newsletter 🙂
Saturday was a first (in a long time) on the classic launch scene – we had a launch race around Rangitoto (+ Motutapu) , now a race is not that unusual , but female skippers only (helms person) is – the winning skipper on Kumi would have failed a chromosome test but the race committee (Jason Prew) was swayed by the skippers attire 🙂
The post race BBQ at Islington Bay proved more popular than the race and 11 woodys dropped anchor in the bay for the BBQ. We all tend to forget about this location, great sunsets and easy anchorage. Cool video of My Girl sliding back down the harbour at dusk. On route I caught the tail-end charlies in the yacht fleet who also raced around the island – photos below.
A question – if you’re a large A-Class gaffer (no names but its painted black) and you constantly finish at the back of the fleet, as you did again on Saturday, why would you sail so close to a mark that you hit it? The rules say you are out of the race for that – BUT what makes it worse is when the mark is a classic launch and it is the finish boat, and all the yacht crew do is laugh 😦 The invoice for repairs will be in the mail. Yachties wonder why launch owners do not put their hand up when asked to perform this task, I suspect they will struggle even more for ‘volunteers’ in the future 🙂
UPDATE– Combine the above with another A-Class yacht (no Prize for guessing which one it was) colliding (yacht in the wrong) with a very large classic launch at Mahurangi and the yacht skippers / crew post collision arrogance – the CYA maybe needs to have a wee chat re rules and manners. Just because your are a classic yacht you don’t get any special privileges 😉
Classic Boat Builder and Guiding Light – Nat Benjamin Interview
WoodenBoat magazine editor Matt Murphy interviews Nat Benjamin – one of the classic wooden boating movements guiding lights. Nat co-foundered of Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway in Vineyard Haven Harbour, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. https://gannonandbenjamin.com
Nat has been designing and building boats from dinghies to schooners for more than 35 years. Sit back and listen to Matt and Nat chat about how Nat and business partner Ross Gannon set up the yard and went on to be at the forefront of the revival of wooden boats.
Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta – Thank God For The Classics
Ok, I’m going to upset a few – but……. I ask the question – has the AAR passed its use by date?
I think the answer is yes, in its present format. If it wasn’t for the classic fleet i.e. old boats (tugs, work boats, classic launches and yachts) there wouldn’t be many boats on the harbour on anniversary day. Maybe time for a reset, now here’s a thought – merge the event with the Classic Yacht Association’s annual classic regatta.
The reality is changing lifestyles and if people are honest, the Bay of Islands – Sailing Week has robbed the AAR of most of the modern sailing fleet. They in fact claim to be “the biggest regatta of its kind in NZ and one of the Southern Hemisphere’s premier yachting events” – not that long ago the AAR made similar claims. And on top of this the continuing growth of the Mahurangi Regatta that attracts huge numbers of wooden boats from near and far.
The AAR has being a happening thing for over 180 years, it would be a shame for it to continue to die a slow death, now’s the time to ask the big questions and future proof its existence – as an aside a large chunk of the AAR people are linked / involved with the CYA so should not be too hard…………Now where’s my hat – I’m leaving the room 🙂
Video footage for the 2021 regatta below – if you’re only into classic launches fast forward to the 1:14 mark 🙂
As promised todays WW story is a doozy, we travelled down to the lake very early on Saturday morning and were hosted by the clubs commodore Dave Wilson and wife Glenys, who own the magnificent 1947 Colin Wild built bridge-decker – Haumoana. The launch is kept at the end of the lawn at their lakeside property (photos below) – More details on Haumoana here https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/06/05/haumoana/
Dave lent me is ‘fishing boat’ – the f/glass runabout seen the photo below, to use as a photo boat for the parade – fingers crossed no one got a photo of me at the helm 😉
Close to 80 classic and wooden craft of all shapes and sizes – power, sail, oar and steam participated in the days events – starting with a parade that snakes around the waterfront properties and vantage points. Post parade every one heads off to Wairoa Bay for an old school boating picnic – being lake based, no issue with tides or anchoring, people just nudge up to the shore – perfect for checking out each others woody.
The afternoon activities had something for everyone – adults and kids activities (egg throwing, bucket diving for sweets etc) + lots of cool prizes to be won.Without a doubt its the best organised and executed boating event I have been to – very slick and the bonus – lots of nice friendly people – we like that 🙂
Enjoy the photos. As always – click photos to enlarge 😉 If I missed your boat, sorry but one boat and one camera can only be in so many places at one time – next year.
WoW what a weekend – perfect weather, perfect location and as always stunning boats. We saw a record turn out for the classic wooden boat parade on Saturday morning – the crowd ashore at Sullivans was a little thin on the ground, but if we are honest, we do not do it for them – its all about us 🙂 , a little like going for a motorbike rumble. We need more events where we just ‘hang-out’ together.
The regatta’s main event – the yacht race appeared to be a big success, the A-Class Logan – Rawhiti, in the hands of her new owner – Peter Brookes, cleaned up all the major trophies. As has become the norm at Mahurangi races, the results process was a total balls up, it was very dark and late into the night before the final, final results were announced – fingers crossed its all kosher, last year it took days and numerous oops lets try that again announcements 🙂
The big band beach BBQ, was a hit, perfect on all fronts – weather, tide, the band, bbq’s and the people. Given the number of boats in Bon Accord Harbour, Kawau Island, most people headed there on Sunday. The Kawau Boating Boat was bursting at the seams but handed it well. I have split the photos into 4 galleries – Classic Wooden Boat Parade – Yacht Race – Beach BBQ – More (includes Kawau). If I missed your boat, you were somewhere I wasn’t, or in the wrong light , or your’e boats ugly (joking – sort off). Enjoy a peak at the weekend., click individual photos to enlarge. Next weekend I’m off to the Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Parade – its a biggie – they have 70+ entries