Pioneer – Work Boat Wednesday


PIONEER – Work Boat Wednesday

Photo above ex Lew Redwood’s fb, is of Pioneer – the photo is dated 1941 & the venue is Akaroa, in the South Island.
Harold Kidd has commented that it was George Brasell’s boat.
Can any of the Work Boat group, tell us more about Pioneer.
Input from John Bullivant – Possibly designed by Joe Juke (Wellington ) as she looks very similar to Wild Duck (ex Wellington flying boat refueling vessel built by Juke Boat Builders (wellington 1937) and now restored and re modeled by the Tino Rawa Trust. Refer photo from Evans bay Wellington with Wild Duck and what looks like a sister ship along side. Quite a distinctive design. Wild Duck is 42ftx 12ft x 4ft 6″draught, Kauri carvel build.
Melbourne Cup Class Yacht Regatta – This Had To Be Ugly
The photo below was sent in by David Glen, who commented that the double-ender must have lost her rig & sustained serious damage in this incident. Anyone able to supply more details. Hopefully none of the listing kiwi contingent were aboard.

Vixen > Water Beetle – Akaroa


Vixen > Water Beetle – Akaroa

Another photo ex Lew Redwood’s fb page, this time we have a yacht anchored at Akaroa, the photo is dated 1911. It’s a great photo

Any of the woodys able to ID this gaffer?

07-05-2018 Input from Harold Kidd – 

She’s the little half-rater WATER BEETLE designed by Prof Scott and built for Wardrop of Wellington by Robert Logan Sr in 1895 as VIXEN. MASCOTTE (53ft) and YVONNE (42ft) were big gaffers. Scott later bought her, renamed her WATER BEETLE and raced her at Lyttelton. He sold her in 1901.

VIXEN/WATER BEETLE had a lugsail like most of the Wellington half-raters which raced with the Arawa Sailing Club and was 24ft loa. She was owned at the time of this photograph by J.L. Vangioni of Akaroa. Prof Scott had owned YVONNE for many years at this time.

21-07-2018 Update ex Ian Campball

Ian sent in the photo below from 1910 showing Waterbeetle on Akaroa Harbour, owned at the time by Louis J Vangioni MBE of Akaroa (1872-1951).

1910c Waterbeetle


Good Things Take Time

Greg Fenwick sent me the photo below that he took last November on a trip to Oban, Stewart Island. Pretty well sums up wooden boat building 🙂


And a wee bonus today – check out this Facebook movie of dinghy sailing back in 1955, at Plymouth, Devon, UK. Link via Wooden Boat fb – enjoy

Fox II

Fox II


Barbara Cooke sent me the above photo of Fox II from Akaroa. That folks is all I know about her.

Anyone able to join the dots re her past?

Input from Iain Forsyth – I use to own the Fox ‘ll and converted her from a fishing trawler to staff rig ketch that she is today.
Built in Auckland 1922 by Gouk and launched with the name Iris Eileen name change by Author the Fox.
As no one could pronounce his name.
Had the first K3 Kelvin installed.

Harold Kidd Input – FOX II was built by Charlie Gouk at Auckland in 1902. In the late 30s she was seine netting out of Auckland as AK 44 and had a 66hp Gardner. This was later replaced with a K3 Kelvin (60s). Owners I have are A. Policandriotis (1937-41) M Vela & M Nola (1941) Peter Ker (1972-92).

14-08-2018 Input below from Pam Wyse

“My father wrote the following story of the builing of the Iris Eileen before he died in 2005:

The Origin of the Vessel “IRIS EILEEN” now known as “FOX 2”
By J.E. Elley (son of the builder).
Designed by Charles Gouk who served as consultant throughout construction.  Built in 1922 by George W.A. Elley – launched December 24th, 1922 – 11.55 p.m. to commence her maiden voyage, a six weeks family cruise on Christmas Day.
Length overall when launched 48’ 6”.  Carried a large spread of sail on single mast – gaff rigged – approximately 12’ bowsprit – boom extended past the tuck.
Large steel centre plate operated by hand winch.
With a clean sheet (no bulwarks – no guard rails) she was equipped with two cabins – fore and aft of the centre hold.
Centre section was intended to serve alternative purposes:
(a) Initially to be flooded to accommodate catch of crayfish.
(b) As cargo hold for later projected trading purposes.
She was named after the builder’s only daughter, “Iris Eileen” which was carved into the tuck – gold lettering on a blue background.  None but the cleanest heart kauri was employed in her construction – supplied by Goldie’s Timber Mill – situated at that time where “Hood Sails” now stands, at the roots of the harbour bridge approaches.  Interior finish – varnished Rewa Rewa.  All knees were hand fashioned from natural Pohutukawa bends.  Fastenings were of copper and bronze throughout.  Spars were hand fashioned by the builder.
To construct the vessel a property was purchased situated on the corner of Wood and Ryle Streets in Ponsonby, Auckland.  This choice was made as a large building, formerly a stable, occupied the greater part of the northern boundary.  Partitions were removed, providing ample room for both the ship in construction and the necessary workshop, steam box etc.  Upon completion, the end of the building on Ryle Street was removed, the vessel was laboriously loaded upon a horse-drawn type timber trailer with the assistance of timber jacks.  An early type – solid rubber tyred metal truck belonging to a company named Lovett was employed to tow the trailer via Franklin Road and Beaumont Street to the slipway situated on the site occupied latterly by Shipbuilders Ltd, adjacent to where the disused ferries have been moored.  There she was rigged in preparation for launching and with the builder’s firm conviction that a yacht or sailing vessel was designed to sail, she was not equipped with an auxiliary engine.  Likewise he chose to steer her by tiller rather than by wheel.
Unfortunately he enjoyed the fruits of his labour for only eight months as he died prematurely (aged 40) in August 1923.
She was eventually sold to a syndicate to engage in the fishing industry.  She cost ₤1,500.00 to build.  Realised only ₤400.00 when sold.  The interior was completely stripped for refit to meet her new role.  In either 1926 or 1927 she was rammed and sunk in the Rangitoto Channel and upon being raised was again the subject of a refit.
It was in the early 1970’s that I learned her fishing career had ended when with new owners she was re-fitted as a pleasure craft.
Sadly he died before the family discovered, quite by chance, that the Fox II was based at Akaroa.  All three of his children have now sailed on the boat – he would have been thrilled to know that.”