Earlier in the week a nugget of gold dropped into my inbox – Mark Newcomb sent in a copy of his families yacht – TAMATEA A20 log book (refer PDF file link below to read)

The log book covers the background to the building of the yacht and her first race + some wonderful insights into life in the WWII period.

Tamatea was designed by A.C. Robb and built by A. Couldrey, launched in Jan 1937.

Amazingly the yacht was built from one kauri log, grown on the owners property in Waitakere (note: log was from a ‘dead’ tree)

Click on the blue text below to open the PDF file, the original of the log book is in the hands of the Maritime Museum, so probably this file is the only record, given the Museum’s track record with ‘losing’ things 😦

Mystery Launch At Rangitoto Island


Todays woody mystery launch is a goody – quite distinctive looking but no name. 

The photo is dates is tagged Rangitoto Island, c.1930’s and is from the Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections and comes to us via Nathan Herbert. So woodys can we ID her.

07-02-2023 INPUT EX NATHAN HERBERT -The boat is the Rangitoto (II) Designed and built by Couldrey and Reg. Noble; caretaker at Rangitoto. She has had 4 iterations of style in her life-

  1. As pictured
  2. Bridge deck replaced and raised
  3. Whole coamings replaced with more modern sedan style perhaps 1950’s
  4. Sheerline step moved forward

On Saturday I did a down and back in one day trip to Lake Rotoiti (Nth Is.) for the annual Classic and Wooden Boat Parade – forecast was average but the sun made an appearance so managed to take some great photos. Check out WW tomorrow (Tuesday) for 150+ photos. The lake level was so high, just wasn’t Auckland getting a soak last week.


Back in 2015 Cleone made an appearance on WW and Harold Kidd provided the following on her – Arnold (Bill) Couldrey designed CLEONE for Bert Follas in 1948 and had her built by Jim Young a little later, probably launched in 1950. She originally had a petrol engine, later replaced with a Ford diesel. Follas owned her until about 1963 when M. Alison of Waitangi Rd, Onehunga bought her. John Grainger owned her from 1975 to 1987. I have a bunch of pics during his ownership. John Stubbs bought her in 1989. His story was that CLEONE was the first boat Jim Young built when he came out of his apprenticeship because she was the size of his shed.

On a recent visit to Hobsonville Marina )West Park) I spotted Cleone hauled out for some TLC . The varnished coamings have gone but she is still a very smart woody. In the last few years Cleone has joined the woody fleet on several of our Riverhead Tavern lunch cruises – hopefully she will be there again next Sunday – 20th. That was a poor way to get a plug in for the event 🙂

30-10-2022 UPDATE – recently contacted by Andrew Plume with the following note – “A friend has just told me about your web site and thought it would be fun to let you know that after John Stubbs passed away last year, I was fortunate enough to receive a beautiful scale model of Cleone which John built and I painstakingly transported back to my home in Australia. The passage was highly successful, and Cleone now sits in all her glory as a centrepiece in my home office.John & Jean Stubbs loved Cleone and would be very happy she continues to give so much to so many – on and off the water.”

RSVP – Boat name & approx. # of people to

The Launching of Eileen Patricia – 1933 classic motor boat – 50+ photos


















It was an early (8.30am) start yesterday morning for the classic woodys that gathered to witness Jenni & Peter Mence re-launching Eileen Patricia at The Milford Slipway (ex Geoff Bagnall yard).
The 1933 Arnold Couldrey designed and built motor launch has just undergone a 4+ year restoration at Marco Scuderi’s – MCN Shipwrights yard.
WW has followed the restoration and the links below will take you back to her early days (as launched) and as ‘rescued / saved’ by Peter, thru to leaving Marco’s yard.
The weather forecast didn’t look good, but as always for classic woody events, the sun shone at the right moments and Eileen Patricia was launched in a style befitting a 86 year old lady – Jazz band + Champagne and scones.
Several guests arrived in period costume and the ‘Best In Show’ ribbon would have to go to Paul Powney who sported an original Auckland Motor Yacht Club blazer (photos below).
A special touch was the attendance of several descendants of Eileen Patricai’s builder A. Couldrey.
Links to older WW Stories on Eileen Patricia
The Big Event Launching Video (turn up the volume, nice music)


Two of our finest woodies My Girl and Pacific were on hand to escort Eileen Patricia out of the marina and home to her new marina.
Best In Show Ribbon Winner 


Update – video footage of Eileen Patricia underway just after launching. Ex Nathan Herbert.

Update2 – Link below to the restoration – amazing collection / essay of the total restoration – a must view

Update3  – Video of Pacific, Eileen Patricia and My Girl leaving the Milford Marina / creek. Sent in by Paul Powney.

Linden (Eileen Patricia)

details & photos from Nathan Herbert, Papers Past & trademe
The trade me listing (photos below) states that this 26’ 6”, 8’ beam motorboat was designed / built in 1933 by Arnold Couldrey in Northcote.
Nathan Herbert has been sniffing around Papers Past & has uncovered that Linden was launched as ‘Eileen Patricia for a Mr W Naismith of Maraetai. In the b/w photos above she is undergoing her sea trials, in one the yacht alongside is the C-Class keeler, Mangawai, owned by G.B. Hogan of Devonport.

Powered by a rebuilt 55hp Fordson Major motor, she cruises at 8 knot & burns a gallon of diesel an hour.
Needs a couple of little jobs doing but not much as the current owner has done routine maintenance over the last 6 years.
The asking price is $7,500, thats not a lot of money for an entry level classic motorboat.
In my view as launched she is a very pretty small launch – hopefully someone will grab her & convert her back to ‘as launched’. Would make a great Lake Rotoiti boat 🙂

31/01/2015 – Some Great News

She has been bought by a CYA member (Peter Mence) & Peter tells me will be returned to her original configuration 🙂

Photos below as purchased & being hauling out & having her bottom cleaned.

Peter owns the rather smart K-Class yacht Jenanne & joins the ever increasing group of classic yachties that now own a classic motor launch. Welcome Peter to the ‘light-side’ 🙂




photo & details ex Ken Ricketts. edited by Alan H

Tuirangi’s original sail number was C35, but changed to F35 when the federation created the new “F” class, she remained F35 until the current system was created.

Built by A. (Bill) Couldrey & originally owned by Jack Allen, son of Henry Allen, (Tiromoana, the 1938 37′ Couldrey designed & built launch). Jack owned her from the late 1930’s until well into the 1970’s (even possibly the early 1980’s). Jack was a fitter & turner by trade, who was trained by Ken’s father, who said Jack was the best apprentice he ever had.

During WWII Jack was called up to join the war effort, in the Airforce, overseas, so Tuirangi along with a number of other yachts & launches, was pulled up on the sand at Judges Bay beach & covered with what was effectually a custom built hull fitting shed, of very strong timber & boarded up for about the next 5 or 6 years & she eventually sailed back on the world again in 1945.

Jack was a very traditional yachtie, of the highest order, adhering to all the best & oldest traditions of yacht racing. He refused for a great many years to even have an auxiliary engine, preferring to “row” the Tuirangi to her anchorage or moorings, when entering a crowded bay, or when there was no wind, (or both), with her dinghy. It was well into the 1950’s before Tuirangi had her first Ford 10 car engine conversion fitted.

When Jack married his wife Doreen, in the mid later 1940s, many thought he would soon replace Tuirangi with a launch & follow in his father Henry’s footsteps (Tiromoana). But no, not even when their children came along, did he falter in his love of sail.

It was only after the children arrived he actually fitted the engine, Ken recalls on many occasions seeing perhaps a dozen or more, pure white “pennants” flying from the stays & halliards in the late 1940’s & 50’s. Jack made one further concession to marriage & children when added the “dog house ” to the rear of the cabin top, to make for more comfortable family cruising.

While Jack passed away a year or 2 ago its hoped that Tuirangi maybe still alive & well – any more info on her past & current whereabouts would be appreciated.

Update from Neil Chalmers

Tuirangi is currently moored at Mahurangi . New photo shows her before Jack Allen fitted the doghouse.

And Neil – also pointed out the correct spelling of Tuirangi (now corrected). I used to think I was a shocker but Mr Ricketts is worse than me 🙂

Harold Kidd Update

Jack Allen had already ordered TUIRANGI from Bill Couldrey when war broke out in September 1939 with the intention that she would be launched before Christmas. However, she wasn’t finished and launched until after March 1940, understandably. Her first race appears to have been the Combined Clubs race to Matiatia in November 1940. Jack raced her consistently in the 4th Division with the Squadron for many years and did well with her.



When I ask Peter Brookes to send me some photos from the re-launch on Thursday at Pier 21 of the C-Class Turakina (C77), I did not expect to receive all these wonder shots showing the major re-fit Peter has just completed on her. As we have come to expect from Mr Brookes she is simply stunning & another of our classics that now joins a very special group that should have a bronze plate that reads ‘Restored by Brookes Boatbuilders’.

Turakina was designed by Arnold ‘Bill’ Couldrey and built in 1949 Leo H Clark . She is double skin kauri – 30′ / 8′ / 5′. Turakina is a sister ship to Tuirangi (C35). Bill Couldrey was a protege of Arch Logan. These 2 vessels look like clones of Tawera and Gypsy.

Photos of the re-fit can be viewed here

(Little Jim can be seen waiting patiently for her turn in the shed)



Designed & built by A (Bill) Couldrey in 1937 for W R Craig, she saw serve with the RNZ Navy & Police during WW2 as a harbour patrol vessel. B/W is on launch day & its fantastic to see her 76 years later so close to her launch day configuration. The ‘solo’ colour photos were taken in Issy Bay at the 2012 CYA Cake Day event. The photo with the launch Joan was taken off North Head just prior to the CYA picnic cruise to Stillwater in 2011 (?)

Russell Ward Comment

Beautiful beautiful ship. Every line is just right -look at that sheer and the line of the cabin tops. Even that turtle deck on the “bikini deck” between the wheelhouse and aft dodger: raised to give the headroom but not at the expense of spoiling the line. The detailing of the windows -the work of one of the real masters. Not many boats look ok from any angle -she does. 

She did time as a police launch too, I seem to recall. I also seem to recall (from a visit in the ’60s) that one could service the trusty Gardner while sitting on the throne -useful bit of multi tasking and clearly another design feature!

An update from Ken Ricketts

An insight into Tiromoana’s – (early years 1939 – circa 1988)


As I sit at my computer, at 76 years old, & reflect back, I have realised, there is no doubt, that this, most beautiful Bill Couldrey, double skinned, (1 fore & aft 1 Diagonal), 37ft, 1937 masterpiece of design & build, has had a profound affect upon me, & substantially directed & affected the entire course of my life, since I was a small boy of 7.

It is absolutely certain, that I would never have been able to make the contributions that I am able to do, to this website, if it were not for my beloved Tiro. Ken Ricketts

Early Ownership

She was built in 1938  for a Mr Craig, he however only owned her for a very short time & sold her to a friend & business associate of my late father, Ralph Ricketts. He was a Mr. Henry Allen who owned The Auckland Handle & Dowel Ltd sited in Manukau Rd, Newmarket. He, & his wife, Mrs Joyce Allen, lived in a large villa right next door to the factory where they brought up their 3 children, Jack, the oldest, (who later owned the beautiful C, ( later F), class keeler, C22 “Turangi,” for many years & his 2 sisters, Mavis the older, & Esme the younger.

Henry A  & Mrs Joyce A, moved to No.4 Suddley St  Orakei in 1946-47 where he lived for the rest of his life.

Henry Allen bought Tiro., shortly before WWII & was destroyed, when the Navy took her initially, & then passed her to the Police shortly after, as a harbour patrol boat. The Police painted her grey, & for the next 3 years Henry A., fought tooth & nail to get her back, eventually succeeding in 1943. Such was his joy & excitement, he didn’t even bother to repaint her, but used her for the rest of the season in her grey Police livery,.

This was the point at which Tiro came in to the lives of my parents & me.

Henry A owned her until he died, but long before this, & not too long after WWII, his children all married, Jack Married a lovely lady called “Doreen,” Mavis Married a young businessman called “Doug Millar,” & Esme married another young businessman, called “Joe Coggan,”

The marriage into the Coggan family seemed to my family to be a not only a great love for Esme, but also almost as great a love of Tiro, & for many years in Henry A’s later life, Joe was always seen at his side, whenever “things had to be done,” Such was his love for this boat.

When Henry A eventually passed away, Joe bought Tiro off the estate, & loved her as Henry had before, for the rest of his life as well.

During Henry A’s stewardship, she was moored her entire life at Westhaven, just off the dinghy launching ramp which was there at that time, right in front of the Auckland Motor Yacht Club & she was right next to that other lovely Couldrey classic “Reremoana.”.

When she passed to Joe C,, he moved her to the Tamaki River, at the bottom of his garden, right on the waters edge’ with riparian rites, to the Tamaki River, in Riverview Rd Panmure, & just 2 minutes around the corner, from my parents who lived at No 1 Bridge St Panmure, also on the waters edge, with riparian rites, & my parents used to look at Tiro., every day on her pile moorings a few yards downstream from their home & their own “Gay Dawn.” She remained there for the entire time Joe’s custody lasted, which was also until he died.

A wonderful pedigree for a wonderful boat

Changes to Tiromoana along the way:


When Tiro was built, she was powered with a green painted 4 cyl Gardner truck Diesel, with a huge open flywheel, & detached gearbox, which I think was made pre the days of the “LW” series of engines, as it had 4 separate cylinder blocks, on a separate crankcase with side inspection covers in the crankcase, & could only be started with the crank handle, & by opening the exhaust valves with the decompression levers, whilst one built up flywheel speed & then closed the compression levers. There was a chain drive from the rear end crankshaft between the oil seal & the flywheel to a shaft along the top of the engine to the front end, & one swung on the handle at the front of the engine.

My father & Henry A were both absolutely outstanding precision engineers, & my father did not think much of anyone swinging on a crank handle to start the engine, so about 1945, with the assistance of the entire very extensive facilities, of Mason & Porter Ltd’s (Masport today), machine shop, of which he was manager, he designed & made an electric starter system, for the Gardner, which, as with everything my father ever made, worked perfectly. Its necessity however, was fairly short lived, because circa 1948-49,  my father & Henry A, jointly removed the 4 cyl Gardner & replaced it with a brand new 5LW Grey painted Gardner marine engine, which is still painted grey as far as I know,  & is now, over 60 years later, once again, as far as I know, is still running like a Rolex. I was on Tiro 4 or 5 years ago & it was still just like new then.

Paint, colour schemes, changes, & modifications

I am really delighted that the successive privileged owners of this aesthetically outstanding craft, have appreciated the traditional wonderful balance & beauty she has always had, in her original design, & have not tried to “improve” her, virtually at all. — a different mast is really about all that is visible on the outside, & when I was on board, she was still virtually original inside as well, long may it continue.


Tiro was one of the very first pleasure craft in NZ to be spray painted.  Joe C was a craftsman with a spray gun, & began spraying Tiro’s hull every winter when the rest of us were all laboriously brushing away & trying to get rid of the brush marks to make an “eggshell like finish” to our various pride & joys, as we all did in those days, & Joe achieved an unbelievably better job with far less effort. – I never understood why my father never followed his example with his own “Juliana,” & later, “Gay Dawn.?”

Colour Schemes

Tiro has had a small degree of modification done by Joe C., somewhere around the time he took her over from the estate. From memory I think it may actually have happened when Henry A was still alive.

As you will see, in the pics taken by me, in Christmas 1947, at anchor in Mansion House Bay Kawau Island, & Christmas 1949, at speed, entering Bon Accord Harbour, Kawau Island, with her “brand new 5LW,” she originally had totally varnished combings, which Joe later painted through in white, on the aft cabin section, where the 3 oblong windows are.

Actually, I personally like that present concept, however I feel that the pic on the wheeled trolley with her going in to the water, already on the website may be intended to convey that this was her original concept, as at her launching day, which is of course not possible, because of the pics I took, & that colour concept was not introduced until circa the 1970s.

I think it could very well be, this was taken when she was living in the Tamaki River, & she may have been slipped at the Panmure Yacht Club area. (ww comment – the b/w photo was taken from a 1937 newspaper & is at the launch of Tiromoana)


For a number of years my parents rented a batch on the waters edge of Christian Bay Takatu Peninsula on the farm of a Mr Donald Jones. We looked straight in to Mansion House Bay Kawau Island, from our batch.

One morning, during Christmas 1943, this beautiful looking bridge decker painted grey, came across from Mansion House Bay, in to our bay, & would you believe it, the Allens came ashore & invited us out on Tiro for the day. I can still remember being beside myself with excitement, at being invited out on this “huge” boat.

We had a wonderful experience, which I could not know at that time, was to be the first of many over the next 3 years, until my father bought his first boat the “Juliana” in 1946.

My father had been born in to a pioneering boatbuilding family in Nelson dating back to the 1840s & of course was bought up in, & loved boats of many types.

My mother on the other hand was the daughter farming family, new nothing about boats, or cruising on them, but like me, was besotted with this wonderful way of life,

It had been my parents intention to buy a batch of their own after WWII, but after just a very short time, after being introduced to Tiro, she said to dad one day, “Dad, do you think perhaps we could buy a boat instead of a batch after the war?” — Well, you can imagine what my father said & thus my whole life has been focussed on & revolved around this idyllic lifestyle, & will until I die, almost certainly solely, thanks to the Allens, & Tiro.

Nothing I can think of, has had a more profound effect on me, or my life, than this life long passion for cruising on comfortable pleasure launches, (especially at Kawau Island, which is, & always has been, since 7 years old, my favourite place of any part of any country in the world, I have ever been to.)

Now, to get back to the “Allen, Coggan, Family Dynasty.” I am trying to Liaise with Helen Coggan daughter of the now deceased Joe & Esme, to try to  add correct & timing for various things referred to above & will report further if I can achieve this.– I was actually talking to Helen, within the last 18 months  or so, so hope I can locate her again.

In the meantime may “Tiro” continue to grace us all, with her beauty, for another 75 years

Photos added to posting

# 4 ladies standing on tuck of Tiro in 1945 pic holding on to dodger are L to R Miss Mavis Allen, Mrs Wyn Ricketts, Miss Esme Allen, & Mrs Doreen Allen, (Jack Allen’s new wife).

# 2 photos of Tiro at Kawau Island

# Ken Ricketts as “Santa” at 9 years old, Christmas Day 1944 in the bridgedeck of Tiro with Mavis Allen

An Update for Tiromoana’s Owners 17/08/2013

My husband, John, and I are the current custodians of Tiromoana. Photos 1, 2 & 3 are of John and I (Carolyn) cruising the Gulf. Tiro currently resides at Bayswater Marina, although she is currently in “hospital” on the Westpark hardstand, being treated for rising damp and gribbles behind the keel cooling. With her out of the water for awhile, we took the opportunity to get into all the nooks and crannies, and remove accumulated detritus, including six anchors! And, going on the size of the gaffs we found on board, earlier owners must have caught much bigger fish than us.
I must assume that the head has been moved, since vintagesteamer’s day, as we can no longer multitask from the throne. However, the trusty “new” Gardner, installed in the 50’s, is still going strong. Recent changes we have made is the installation of an electric head, and holding tank, and new batteries and charging system.
As I work in the Operations Room at Coastguard, I have great delight in reminding the Maritime Police of our association as Auckland Police Boat #1.
If you see us around the Gulf, do drop by and say hello.





We know very little about her, except that she is another example of the Couldry excellence of design & build, circa 1936-38 lived in Westhaven in the 40s & early 50s right next to Tiromoana,
Ken Ricketts took this pic c.1948

Last saw her a few months ago, entering Gulf Harbour, sadly the lovely varnish has gone — not looking outstanding, but still recognisable.

REREMOANA-2 11-10-13 REREMOANA-1 11-10-13

Update 12/10/2013 – Colour photos ex Ken Ricketts, on-the- hard at Gulf Harbour. It upsets me when I see what ‘enhancements’ can do to a beautiful design……………. 😦  AH.

Update 26/06/2013 Launch Day photo ex Papers Past ex Harold Kidd referral.

A rare photo of Reremoana below as launched in November 1938, as a 28 footer, prior to being lengthened by 6′ & having a wheelhouse & raised top added by Lanes in September 1939.
Read the comments section, lots more info there.

I have to say, these Couldrey launches are starting to grow on me 🙂

12-01-2016 Photos below of her at Te Atatu Boating Club yard

07-08-2017 Photos below re-launched at TBC



Sept 2017 Out again at Te Atatu – photos ex Ken Rickets