A Woody Tour of the Tamaki River – 70 photos

A Woody Tour of the Tamaki River – 70 photos

Todays story so needed to be done, and woodys, John Bullivant is a legend for grabbing his camera and heading out on our behalf. I’ll let John tell his story 🙂

“Thought it was about time I got a few photos on the Tamaki River boats before they disappear, (and they are going fast by the look of some). There are only a fraction of the numbers of wooden boats that were moored there in the 1960s and 1970s and as I previously mentioned, living on the waterfront at Bucklands Beach for around 25yrs I had seen most of them go by (was like Queen St on Friday nights most summer weekends) I did 2 trips down from Orewa and took pics from Panmure Boat Club and up to and under the new Panmure Bridge, end of Gabadore Pl (off Carbine Rd), the old Panmure Marina, (going with many houses from Panmure to Pakuranga Town centre, to make way for new highway widening), along the Tamaki River walkway for about 4km (Rotary Walk,- starts at the old Panmure Marina and goes all the way to Gills Rd in Howick, for those who like walking), Half Moon Bay and Bucklands Beach.

I also went down to the 1960s site of the private ex RNZAF W1  haul-out ramp below the old Alright property (well covered in bush now and a near vertical climb down a 30ft bank), – lost a bit of blood but well worth it for me, as I last stood on that spot 50yrs ago when we sneaked on board W1 to have a look around while she was up there. Original ramp and haul-out dolly is still there (see pics) although time has taken its toll. I’m amazed, looking at the crude set-up today, how Mr Alright got a 64ft boat weighing many tons, sitting on rubber tyred dollies (which ran in grooved concrete) lined up and hauled out with a winch and by the looks of it, the large tree in line with the ramp, not to mention getting it back out again (I’m assuming he must have winched it back out somehow). Massive effort not only to build the ramp on mud, (all by hand, no concrete pumping trucks) but to be able to use it.

Hope these photos are of interest to people who may be able to identify some of the mystery boats (especially the light blue launch with the chrome ventilators and light, (looks ex RNZAF ?). The yacht hidden near the big boatshed is around 45ft looks very old and has been there for many years, as has poor old Imatra, a once grand yacht which is in a very sad state and in urgent need of care (must have been there 30 yrs odd now). I have included a few other launches and yachts to show the sad state of many good looking (and once expensive) boats on the river crying out for attention, but I guess many people have other priorities and sadly their dreams are just floating slowly into oblivion. It’s pretty hard to get rid of a rusty rotten hulk, so there they will stay till it’s “business time” (flight of the Conchords) for the 20 ton digger.

I may have some of the boats names wrong as I was using a telephoto lens for most of the pics and with enhancing colour, contrast etc was as near as I could get. I’m sure someone will correct any if wrong.”

NOTE: With the photos that John has named, I have tagged the photos with those names. Scroll over the photos to view the names 😉
I could have used the individual images on WW over an extended period, but they need to be together in one spot. Enjoy 🙂

A.H.B. / KELVIN

A.H.B.  /  KELVIN

A.H.B. is 1907 Chas Bailey Jnr, 3 skin Kauri and 39ft., she was built for the Auckland Harbour Board hence her name A.H.B….Once she was sold out of their ownership she was renamed Kelvin and spent most of her life called that, her current owners, the Pollard brothers, we put her back to her original name.
Paperspast says she’s worked alongside Ferro in the early days, even receiving Ferro’s old engine at one stage. Also that she was leased to the police during night time hours for patrolling the harbour in 1911.
She was transferred to the Manukau and used by their harbour board for quite some time there before being sold off eventually.

The old stern on photo (supplied by Harold Kidd) is thought to be before or after the shot of the other old photo (ex Paperspast ) which caption says she was being returned to the Waitemata to be used in cray fishing industry 1933. Refer b/w photo/caption below.

Some info supplied by CYA member Baden Pascoe even has her fitted with two engines in the late 1940’s. Both shaft logs are still installed but plugged off.

She was also owned for a time by by boat builder Dave Jackson.

For a while she languished amongst the derelict boats down in Waikawa, then she was sold and steamed to Mana where she was forgotten and almost met her end via chainsaw before the Pollards rescued her, got her running / floating  and bought her  back to Auckland.

She’s powered by a D series Ford with a hydraulic box and is berthed at Panmure. She is mobile but she is a project boat requiring plenty of work and a loving owner to take her to the next step.

The Pollards boys – Andrew & Cameron have rescued more classic motor vessels than anyone I know, I have heard Harold Kidd say on numerous occasions “the their blood is with worth bottling”.
Like all of us, there are only so many toys you can fit in the box so A.H.B. is looking for a new owner / home – initially contact me on waitematawoodys@gmail.com

as always – click on any photo to enlarge 😉