Mystery Bay of Islands Launch – 14-09-2018



Mystery Bay of Islands Launch – 14-09-2018

In both of the above photos we see a very smart day boat, in the boat house photo we also see beached a motor boat with what appears to be the name ‘Zephyr’ on her bow.
The photos come to use ex Ross Griffin, via the BOI’s Historic Photos fb.
Anyone able to ID the launch? She is rather cute i.e. not a workboat, so chances are someone will recall her, the gent aboard or the boasted.
Update from Hylton Edmonds – who has advised that the photos above originate from the late Coralie Hilton (nee Deeming) Collection via Gavin Bedgegood,  a Deeming relation too.
The new photo below, shows the young school boy (possibly a Deeming?) very proudly standing on what looks to be the same boat, newly launched.
Coralie Hilton - 137

Stunning Marlborough Sounds Location & Classic Woodys


Stunning Marlborough Sounds Location & Classic Woodys

Todays photo comes to us via Lew Redwoods fb & is of Te Mahia Bay in the Marlborough Sounds. Its tagged C.M. Bay, so possibly they were the photographer.
Captured in the bay is an impressive collection of woodys, hopefully one of our followers with southern roots will be able to ID the craft for us.
The photo was used in a newspaper article (see below) promoting the Te Mahia Bay  holiday resort.
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The above 26’ launch has just popped up on trademe (cheers Ian McDonald) details are a bit sketchy – she was built in 1960, possibly a Roy Harris design, using wooden carvel plank construction.
The engine is a BMC Captan diesel (unknown hp) & needs some work i.e. she was towed into Half Moon Bay marina & is now for sale on behalf of the owner.
The starting price is $1,000 & no reserve – so someone could pick up a good project boat.
I’m amazed that Tom the Torch hasn’t swooped on it & re-listed it for $10,000 🙂

Ark & Oi


ARK and OI

Today’s photo ex Lew Redwood’s fb shows two woodys alongside the boat sheds at Wiahopo in the Far North. Wiahopo is situated at the upper reaches of the Houhora Harbour & was a big kauri gum field area.
The photo is tagged 1910-39 & attributes ownership as ‘Nortwood’s Ark & Harold Wagener’s Oi.
Harold Kidd Input – Don’t know about ARK but she’s obviously a small square bilge scow. OI is actually the cargo launch OEI, built for H.B. Wagener of Pukenui by T.M. Lane & Sons at Mechanics Bay (NOT Totara North) in 1910. She was fitted with a 7hp Standard engine (hardly zoom zoom). Dims were 36’6″x10’x2’8″. Arthur Subritzky delivered her north in November 1910 taking 25 hours Auckland-Mangonui.

Te Whara




Each year for the last 5 years in February I have attended the Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Parade, each year there are always several boats that ‘ring my bell’, one in particular is – Te Whara, the 32’, 1916 Bailey & Lowe built launch. Te Whara is not your typical lake boat, in my eyes she needs to be on the Waitemata & she could be – she is for sale. Firstly some details.
Te Whara was built by Bailey & Lowe at their yard at Sulphur Beach, Northcote in January 1916 for the Drummond brothers of Whangarei. Her first engine was a 10hp and probably a Sterling for which Bailey & Lowe were the agents. In February 1916 she was sailed up to Whangarei where she was based (always kept under cover). Originally flush-decked, Te Whara was taken back to Bailey & Lowe in the 1920’s where the wheelhouse area and companionway to the top deck was altered. She has the first rack-and-pinion steering ever fitted in Auckland. In 1972 she was refitted with the current 6 cylinder 106hp diesel which pushes her to around 10 knots. Owners Bruce Stewart and Andy Coupe purchased this launch (sporting a very rough paint job) in March 2005 for $40,000 and, after sailing her down from Whangarei harbour, spent a month sanding and repainting her at Orams in Auckland. After a short few months interlude in Auckland, Te Whara was launched at Lake Rotoiti in June 2005 and is now moored at Gisborne Pt. When searching for a launch, Bruce and Andy wanted a rear wheelhouse so that the helmsman and fisherman could be together. Of particular appeal was the elegant saloon, which runs from the engine bay to the bow. Te Whara still has the original interior fit out, including the porcelain ‘head’.
In 2013 Te Whara was lifted out of the lake and taken for a $25,000 re-paint and re-fit. The original canvas waterproofing on the decks was removed and the decks glassed. All other hull and deck timbers are original and in good condition. Unfortunately, being on a mooring and exposed to the weather takes it’s toll on Te Whara. In addition, Bruce and Andy are getting older and are beginning to find it more difficult to manage, and it is for these reasons that Te Whara is offered for sale for $35,000, or swap for a smaller classic launch.
I took the above photos of Te Whara at the 2015 & 2018 Parades. Come on woodys, lets bring her back to the Waitemata or alternatively she is a very cheap floating bach at the lake 🙂
Interested parties can contact Andy at.






On my last visit to the NZ Traditional Boatbuilding School I got chatting to one of the trustees – Kere Kemp & he casually dropped in that he was building a Dark Harbor 17 1/2’. Thats cool I thought & then I discover its being built in Port Hadlock out on the Olympic peninsula oppposite Seattle, Washington USA.
The yachts name is Kotimana – Maori for scotch thistle in recognition of Kere’s mother – Scottish, and his dad – Maori.
Kere commissioned her in September 2016 at the end of a post-retirement year at the North West School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock.
She was built by the classes of 2017 and 2018, & was launched at Point Hudson Marina, Port Townsend on August 29th. She is heading down under but with a few stops on the way – firstly Kotimana will be on display at the 42nd Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, second weekend of September and will then head via container to the 2019 Australian Wooden Boat Festival in early 2019 before finally making it home to Auckland in mid February 2019.
For those of you scratching your head thinking “what is a Dark Harbour 17-1/2 below is a description excerpted from a pre-launch write up that the NWSWB wrote when announcing the launch.
Dark Harbour 17-1/2

Originally designed for the Manchester Yacht Club in Massachusetts USA and called the Manchester 17, the first boats were built by the Rice Bros in 1908. As the design’s popularity spread it acquired a number of different names including the Bar Harbor 17 and eventually the Dark Harbor 17-1/2. The plans for this yacht are credited to BB Crowninshield and were completed by R. N. Burbank, an employee of the firm at the time.

The Dark Harbor 17-1/2 is a pure sailing machine of great beauty, but large enough to offer considerably more comfort through a larger cockpit well and a small cuddy cabin. Low freeboard combined with a wide, self-bailing cockpit well that seats you “down in” the boat puts you very close to the water. The lovely, slender hull lines, long ends, deep draft and large rig provide wonderfully sweet feel in this powerful, fast, wet, responsive and handy boat.

BB Crowninsheild was a US Naval Architect from the late 1800’s / early 1900’s who designed a number of boats including an America’s Cup contender and the largest ever steel hulled sailing boat (just prior to the introduction of the steam engine to sail boats).
Kerry commented that he fell in love with the lines of a Dark Harbor back in 2010 and decided that he would ultimately build one for himself.  Sanity eventually crept in and he commissioned her instead – Kerry was able to do some work on her prior to his move to New Zealand in mid 2017.
I’ll get a sneak preview of her at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Feb 2019 so will update this story with more photos.
Kotimana will be a magnificent additional to Auckland’s classic fleet.

The Restoration of Kate

The Restoration of Kate

I have been recently contacted by Bernard Rhodes in regard to the yacht Kate – I’ll let Bernard tell the story –

“From the 1860s onwards, sailing cutters, schooners and ketches gradually replaced Maori canoes as the principal means of transport around our coasts, till steamers in turn replaced them for passengers, and scows for bulk cargoes.

The Kate is a rare part of our nautical heritage, being one of only 3 of this once common type still in existence as far as we know. (Her near sister Rewa is displayed indoors in the Auckland Maritime museum, and the Undine is still sailing in the Bay od Islands).

When the Waiheke Working Sail Charitable Trust took over the Kate in 2013 she had a recently added cabin with full headroom and an 8” deep false keel. These made her suitable for conversion into a small sail training ship, giving today’s youth an opportunity to experience travel much as it was 150 years ago.

The restoration and re-purposing are now well under way – the work about 60% complete and the funding 50% with the big ticket items such as engine, sails and compliance to come.

We need another $60,000 to get her sailing.

The Kate’s history and an account of our progress can be found on our website,, click on the brochure at the top. Much of her history was lost the last time she sank, but a surprising number of people have contacted us with stories of her, and we welcome any more.

Earlier this year we hauled her out a second time and fitted a lead ballast keel and new rudder, among  many other tasks. The addition of the cabin has raised the centre of gravity, and the boom needs to be above head height for safety, so the 1 tonne external lead keel will compensate, giving her adequate stability and near-original performance.

The accommodation has been designed for 6 trainees, a master and mate. We anticipate running 5-day Youth Development voyages for 13- to 15- year olds, based on the wonderful programme developed by the Spirit of Adventure Trust. With her relatively small size and simplicity, by the end of the voyage the trainees will be handling the ship themselves, under supervision. The sense of achievement and satisfaction they gain from this will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Recently I re-connected with an old friend, marine artist David Barker, as he visited Waiheke on his launch “Feather”.

I talked of the vision of “Kate” as she will be, outward bound under full sail with a bunch of trainees aboard, and he agreed to do a painting encapsulating the dream.

I have long admired his talent for depicting boats and the sea, for giving an almost magical touch to a beautiful seascape, and I’m excited to be able to share this with you.

You are invited to subscribe to a strictly limited edition of 100 numbered, signed prints suitable for framing. $225.00 each.

When all subscriptions are sold, a draw of one number will win the original framed oil painting, generously donated by David.

This fund is to be spent exclusively on the restoration of the ‘Kate’ for youth sail training on Waiheke Island.”

For an informative card with bank details for payment, a ticket for the draw and for delivery of the print, please email your postal address to

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Harold Kidd Input – She was built in 1896 by Thompson & Sons as a sailing fishing boat, and owned successively by J.F. Smith, J Moros (1900) then as a launch by Morgan Bros at Helensville from 1913, Bill and Archie Curel from about 1920. They fitted a K2 Kelvin in 1932 and owned her until WW2 at least at Helensville. To say she’s a near sister of REWA and (by implication) UNDINE is pretty far-fetched (to be polite).