Waitematawoodys has a sister  – its called the Wooden Boat Bureau and we sell classic wooden boats – launches, yachts, big and small. We like to fly under the radar, as do most of our clients. Someone asked me what I did the other day – below sums it up (sounds a bit fluffy, in reality I just sell boats.

Inform and enthuse interest in the joys of owning and sailing traditional and classic wooden boats. And we do this by promoting partnerships between the boats, the sellers and the buyers, for the benefit of all. At the end of the day – its all about the boats, as most will out live their current owners.

To view a sample selection of classic woodys berthed at the virtual Wooden Boat Bureau dock, click this link –

Myself and David Cooke (MV Trinidad) are almost always available to offer advice to sellers and buyers – in the interests of marital harmony – in the first instance email to the below

Waitemata Woodys hits 4,000,000 views and celebrates with a gallery of over 100 classic wooden boat photos

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If you think being passionate about wooden boats is niche – think again, there are a lot of us out there. Waitemata Woodys has just passed 4 MILLION views and we celebrate with over 100 classic wooden boating photos

Never in a blue moon when I started this site could I have seen it becoming as popular as it has. Along the way the site has morphed to also become an awesome information source for just about anything connected to wooden boating. Some facts:
370,000 people have visited the site, most of them come back – some daily, some weekly, some just when they need to know something
2,469 stories
20,000+ photos published
A 50,000+ photo library
It wouldn’t have happened without in the early days a few fireside chats from people way more worldly in the wooden boating community than myself. The list of people that have shared their family photo albums, stories and knowledge with us is huge and  the site just wouldn’t be what it is today without these people.
I’ve made so many friends, and been fortunate to rub shoulders with a lot of you in person.
So where to from here?, I would be a lier if I said I had not considered pulling the pin a few times, its a big ask publishing a wooden boating story 365 days of the year, but for every one dark day when I’m questioning why I do it – I have 100 days where someone tells me that the first thing they do every every morning is check out Waitemata Woodys, or that they print the stories and once a week when they visit grandad they read them to him, because he is nearly blind, or when we uncover the provenance of someones boat, or when we find someones long lost family boat etc etc
Aside from thanking you all for your support and asking you to keep following Waitemata Woodys – I only have one request – please keep sending us your stories & photos – you may be thinking they won’t mean much to us, but at some stage, someone will send in something and SNAP, they match & we have the makings of a great story. Email them to
The following link takes you to a Waitemata Woodys story that epitomises all that’s good about the site – you wouldn’t find content like this anywhere else – it’s gold
And in answer to all the emails re when I will be doing another Waitemata Woodys t-shirt run – the answer is before Christmas, so start saving your pennies. I’ll do another post soon re taking orders 🙂
Again many thanks to everyone. I hope you all still enjoy the site as much as I do pulling it all together. Shortly I will be sharing with you some exciting news on how WW will become even more relevant to wooden boat owners, but for now I have pulled together a random selection of 101 woody photos that have appeared on the site – enjoy 🙂
Alan Houghton – founder
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Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade 2017 – 160+ photos



Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade 2017 – 160+ photos

Another stunning long weekend weather wise & also on the woody front – this weekend I was down at Lake Rotoiti (Nth Island) for the annual classic & wooden boat parade. Holding hands again on the trip with Chris Miller. For the last few years we have positioned our selves in one shore based spot & snapped the boats as they have passed, this year we were very kindly offered the use of a RHIB to get out on the water & get amongst the fleet. The RHIB was provided by LRC&WB Association Rear Commodore Fraser Wilson, Fraser deserves a lot of credit for the above photos 🙂 . Given that CM is a professional photographer we decided that I would be the boat boy & helm the boat & CM would snap the photos, that was a good call because he is rather good 🙂
Being afloat meant that we could get a lot closer to the boats & the crews. So woodys the photos above are CM’s & below are a few of mine + a collection that I took while ashore for the post parade picnic.
I was asked to judge the awards for 7 categories, these awards are highly contested as they are only handed out every 5 years. The winners are featured at the end of todays story.
I would also like to like thank LRC&WB Commodore Grant Cossey for his help & support & as always the LRC&WB Secretary & event registrar – Rachel Jamieson, who is the real hero of this event & the association.
You can also view more on the event at CM’s blog –
Remember to click on photos to enlarge. Enjoy – we did 😉
20th Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade 2017 Winners

Mahurangi Regatta Weekend 2016 – 130 photos


Mahurangi Regatta Weekend 2016

There are many magic things about classic boats, one of them is their ability to attract great weather. Classic wooden boaties have  just had another stunning long weekend at Mahurangi. While the number of yachts racing in the regatta maybe by down on previous years, the number of boats in the harbour was amazing -& I would say that in terms of genuine wooden classics there were more motorboats than yachts in the harbour.
The below is not an attempt to capture ever classic there, it’s just a photo essay of the event. If I missed your boat, sorry, but access & time were not my friend. You’ll see lots of woodys, a little FG (pretty ones) & some photos to show you the mojo of the weekend. It has a motorboat slant, but that’s the way I hang 😉 The classic launch parade saw a record turn out of 21 classics.

Lastly, not all are 100% in focus & sometimes the sun was working against me but at the end of the day, its all about the boats.
Enjoy 🙂

ps remember to follow the St Ayles Skiff Raid over the next week – details here

As always – click photos to enlarge






John Dory & Little Tawera




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PRIZE GIVING (aka the Wairiki / Jason Prew show)







Once again waitematawoodys, Chris Miller & myself are rapped to have worked with the Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Assoc. on the production of their 2016 calendar.
The calendar is chocker full of photos from the amazingly popular 2015 Classic & Wooden Boat Parade. The calendars make excellent Christmas presents for those ‘hard to buy for’ friends & are great value – $10 for 1, or $8 each for 5 or more.  There is a limited amount printed so get in quick, last year they sold out very quickly.

If any woodys are interested in buying contact Rachel Jamieson via this email link
Postage is $2.40 for up to 7 calendars, $5 for more than 7 or courier ($6 North Island $7 South Island  –  RD extra).
Payment is via direct credit – please use your surname as reference and email Rachel when you make the payment. Remember to add the postage 😉

The bank account number is:    12 3155 0140546 00  Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Assoc.

This is one of those cool win/win situations – its a great way to support the wooden boating movement & you get something back i.e. a cool calendar. Order now.
ps sorry for the slightly wonky cover photo – Rachel needs a few photography 101 tips 🙂

Woody Weekend

Waters Fine ww


At last a long weekend 🙂 Always seems such a long time between the last & the first long weekends. I know my log book says its over 5 months since I went past North Head but in my defense Raindance has had a winter of mechanical maintenance.

For woodys looking for some boating this weekend there are a couple options, which hopefully will not be too disrupted by the weather.

Myself & a few others will be mooching around Waiheke Island & at this stage plan to get together somewhere for a catch up on Sunday afternoon (late). Nothing cast in stone & will post something here on ww on Sunday.

For those looking for something further afield its the Kawau Boating Club season opening weekend – plenty to do & I imagine the AB’s game will be screened at the KBC clubhouse. More details below.

And – photos please. Pack the camera & take a few classic woody photos & then email them in to ww.



Today’s post features a launch by the name of Dixie, I do not know much about her but I have been aboard. I was tipped off early this year that she might be for sale & had been sitting at her Westhaven berth unloved for quite a while – unloved might be the wrong word, maybe unused would be better. What I do know is that she was glassed several years ago by Wayne Olsen & aside from the ‘low maintenance’ angle, this had the added bonus of strengthening her up, her original owner wanted a fast launch & ordered her ‘light’. I was told she was more than capable of hitting 18knts. You will see from the above photos that post glassing the owner did little more e.g. the portholes have not been trimmed out & re-fitted. Her owner has an engineering business & that side of the vessel was very impressive, all she needed was a renovation to bring her back to her finest.  In fact most of the hardware was on-board just not fitted. Given the rectangular shaped portholes she could be from the McGeady stable?

I learned recently that she sold for as they say ‘a song’, someone has a acquired at a very low entry point the makings of a nice classic wooden boat. Fingers crossed she gets the time & attention she deserves.

Anyone able to added for details on Dixie?

Harold Kidd Input

She started life as AQUARIUS, built by Owen Woolley in 1966 for motorcycle legend Len Perry. About 1995 Perry sold her to Steve Harris  who renamed her DIXIE. She had a Perkins H6 354TD horizontal/slant 354cu in engine, quite a rare beast, introduced in 1960.

Shamus has advised that Adonis is a sister ship built on the same frames but just a wee bit longer.
HDK confirmed that ADONIS was 40ft, built by Owen Woolley for Martyn Uren, a really fine man, in 1965. She had twin 100hp Fordson diesels. She was later owned by Bob Green.

Photo of Len Perry below ex HDK

A bonus 2nd post today – Some South Island Eye Candy

Some South Island Eye Candy
I’m going to drift a little from the topic of boats & point you in the direction of something very cool. The ww followers that are Classic Yacht Association members will be familiar with Chris Miller who had the launch Rorquel. Well Chris swapped the boating life for life on the road (bought a camper van) & did something that would be tempting to some of us but few would have the balls to do it  – he has rented the house out for a year & hit the road. First part of the adventure is a tour of the South Island.
I had been beating Chris up for a long time to start a blog & even came up with the name for him  – ‘bugger it….. we are off’, well the blog is live & given that Chris is a professional photographer the photos he is posting on the blog are pretty wow. Check it out here


photos & details from Michael Marston

Todays post features Revenge, an ex Kaipara Harbour work boat, converted to pleasure use. Her new owner Michael has just relocated her to Lake Rotoiti & she was relaunched there last Thursday (01-10-2015), photos below. Her details are as passed onto Michael so he would love to get clarification & if possible uncover more on her past. Revenge was built 1905 & is a carvel planked counter stern design, made from kauri with puri cross floors and pohutukawa ribs, fixed by copper nails and roves. Originally she had a mast which is now on show at the Matakohe museum
She is 36′ LOA with a 12′ beam & 3′ draft. Engine is 6.2 litre D-Series Ford truck engine 150 HP matched to a Newage gearbox. This all turns a 22″x18″ prop.

Until recently she spent all her life on the Kaipara Harbour. Early configuration was a small wheelhouse up front, with the deck fitted for cream can collection throughout the Kaipara Harbour. Its also believed she hauled logs throughout the Kaipara Harbour.

Her previous owners (from 1965) had her rebuilt in 1995 with new floor boards, wheel house and engine as per the condition you see today, for live aboard retirement cruising of the Kaipara.
Revenge will be a welcome addition to the Lake Rotoiti classic fleet.

So woodys what do we know about her – Zach what do the Kaipara guys say?

Launch Day – Lake Rotoiti

Harold Kidd Input

All I have is that she was built by Thompson at Aratapu in 1905 as a sailing fishing boat for Morgan Bros who sold her to Edgar Brown who sold to the Fisheries Department around 1930. She was skippered by Bunny Tilby as a fisheries protection vessel. In 1942 her then engine, a Kelvin Ricardo 24-30hp diesel, was removed and sold by tender. The Department sold her to Tilby in 1948. He sold her to Colin McPike who sold her to Bill Pook who sold her to Bob Moyle in 1968. Moyle converted her into a pleasure launch.
A lot of that is from the Matakohe Museum’s archives and may be pure anecdote.

ps I have since found confirmation that The Fisheries Branch of the Marine Department bought her in late 1930 and fitted the Kelvin-Ricardo in October 1930. That probably replaced the Twigg. The Kelvin-Ricardo was a “paraffin engine” rather than a diesel.

Zach Matich input

I know early on she had a Twigg 40hp in her, and I think she was towing metal from Green Hill for the Hobson county. She has very full underwater lines especially in the bow area,my great uncle said that she used to pound badly in a head sea so much so that all that was left on the cup hooks in the galley were the handles!! Bob Molye had Eric William convert her to pleasure ie new cabin,bulwarks and hull work etc. The Ford came out of one of our family boats which Bob brought just for the 6 cylinder ford and on sold it with Revenge’s old 4 cylinder ford. I’ll have a dig for some photos

Zach photos below  🙂

08-10-2015 Update from Michael Marston

Michael just sent in the photo below which he received from the last owner, who bought her from Bob Molye (who had her from circa 1965 – 2012).
Only the hull looks familiar, with the wheelhouse looking as though it is back-to-front compared to today.
Michael is hoping the picture will jog more memories, with stories to flow onto ww.
As for the where about’s of her mast at the front (see photo), one story has it as a flag pole on a front lawn at Tinopai whilst someone else says it is at Matakohe museum. The good news being it seems the mast still exists in the area.



The Des Townson Story & The 2015 Classic Yacht & Launch Exhibition – Part 2 – Sailing Sunday

The Des Townson Story & The 2015 Classic Yacht & Launch  Exhibition – Part 2 – Sailing Sunday

Today’s post features the yachts, both keel & trailer, that are on display at the Tino Rawa Trust hosted exhibition & gives you a peek at the collection of memorabilia & models also on display.
The show is open today from 10.00am > 4.00pm at the Viaduct – details in yesterdays post (scroll down). So if you are looking for something to do post chapel ;-), come on down.

I’ll let the photos tell the story. Enjoy

Remember click on only photo to enlarge 😉

Updated – dropped down to the exhibition late this afternoon, primarilly because Colin Pawson told me I had over looked the best Townson yacht on show – Caper. I did have one photo of her, but most of the time I do what I’m told 🙂 so back I went.

So glad I went back & introduced myself to the owner & had a wee tour – simply stunning, & yes would get my best in show. Check out the bilge photo, I suspect the pump does not see a lot of use, a duster would be all that is required 😉

I also had a peek on-board the launch Aristos, she too is a work of art.