Mahurangi Weekend – Biggest On-The -Water Wooden Boating Event Down Under – 200+ Classic Wooden Boat Photos
CYA Double Banger – Riverhead Launch Cruise + Vintage & Veterans Yacht Race
Summer / New Year Raindance Cruise Photo Gallery – 70+ Classic Wooden Boats
Classic Woody Riverhead Hotel Cruise
Not wanting to sound like a parrot but the CYA has an amazing track record of aceing the weather for its launch cruises to the waterfront Riverhead Hotel.
The forecast was average, but it just never eventuated & subsequently the boats that made the trip had a great day.
So cool to have one of our yachties make the trip, that center-board helped 😉
Highlight of the day for me was seeing John Wright’s recently restored launch – Nana. Nana was designed by C. Bailey Jun. & built by C. Bailey & Sons in 1934. You can view more on Nana’s amazing journey, from rescue to re-launch at this link https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/02/01/nana-resuced-restored/
John has one of the best eyes for how a woody should look, the final details on Nana make her look perfect, in my eyes. John, you should have finished the trip & come up to the hotel, I have a WW tee-shirt for you – email me your postal address – firstname.lastname@example.org
Also had a peek at the publican’s – Paula & Stephen Pepperell’s 1967 Jorgensen launch -Volantis, that is nearing the end of an extensive re-fit, Stephan is another woody with a great eye for detail.
Below are a collection of photos from the camera of Simon Smith who was perched on the Greenhithe Bridge – they give us another perspective on some of our classics. Pity Simon wasn’t there for the return trip – Raindance & the motor-sailer Korara, were just passing under the bridge, being good woodys, traveling to starboard of a large plastic yacht (a Hanse) that was approaching the bridge – when all of a sudden the yachts bow shot up out of the water & the yacht shot backwards. The reason – you guessed it – mast hit the bridge (photo of dent to the bridge, below) luckily they were travelling slow, any faster & they might have lost the mast. I suspect there was a change of undies needed for the crew.
Upper Harbour ‘V’s’ Yacht Oops
HDML – Kuparu – P3563 Looking Rather Smart
Chatting recently on-line with Bryce Strong he mentioned his ownership of the 1956 Collings & Bell launch Matira, the lead photo was taken at Great Barrier Island & also shows Altair nearby, Bryce commented that the water was so still you have difficulty deciding which way the photo should be up.
Bryce kept her on the Clevedon River & at one stage there was a flood & Matira pulled out the front mooring pole, and swung around and collided with Altair, moored behind on the pontoon. Only held by a single stern rope which held her until Bryce could sort it.
Bryce sold Matira in 2009 to Steve Martin, a boat builder who carried out an extensive and immaculate refit in 2011, setting up Matira for another 30 years. Photos below of Steve’s work. There is an extensive documented history of the vessel here https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/03/03/matira/
Link below (blue) to a spec sheet of Matira from during Bryce’s ownership period.
Note – this shows her powered by twin 4 cyl.Ford 75hp engines, in late November 2015 she was re-powered with twin 110hp Yanmar’s that while lifting her performance, significantly reduced the running noise. Her owner Guy Warman commented to me post her re-launch sea trial, that that alone was worth the cost 🙂 Matira is a lucky lady to have been so well loved & cared for over the years.
Rakanoa, Altair & Kotanui
Its not often that we see a photo of Rakanoa underway, the above 2 photos came to us via Nathan Herbert & are part of Gwenyth Herberts collection. Taken by Jack and Mill Hobbs in the the late 1960’s.
From the same collection, below we have the 43′ Altair at sea in March 1968, while owned by Stan Horner, Altair was built for Horner by Supreme Craft in 1961. More details & photos here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/12/05/altair/
And another photo, from the same date, shows Kotanui berthed at Westhaven, anyone able to ID the other vessel’s?
More details & photos on Kotanui here https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/10/16/kotanui-3/ https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/06/15/kotanui/ https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/07/29/kotanui-2/
And even an old movie – Enjoy https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/06/15/kotanui-old-movie-underway-1/
photos & details ex Lyn McGeady, Karen Moren, Brian Worthington, Sea Spray Magazine & Ken Ricketts. edited by AH
Altair was launched on 30th November 1961 by the floating crane at Auckland, having been one of the later boats built at 1A Summer St Ponsonby by Mac McGeady, (Supreme Craft), as production ceased in 1965. She was built for Stan Horner.
Altair is 43′ x 12′ 6″ beam, is single skin with 1 & ¼” kauri planking, mahogany coamings, laminated marine plywood cabin tops, supported by laminated mahogany beams & kauri decks. She was powered by twin 6 cyl., 100hp, 590E, naturally aspirated, Ford diesels, fitted with Paragon 2 to 1 gear box & reduction gears. The engines were marinised & supplied by John W Andrew Ltd when launched & installed by Tracey Nelson. Cruising speed was originally 9½ knots at 1800 RPM over the measured mile.
She is one of the comparatively small number of bridgedeckers designed & built by McGeady & is probably one of the best examples of this concept he ever created. The interior is all mahogany & the layout was done by Stan Horner for their family needs. The majority of the interior was carpeted. One interesting feature is that she has “round” portholes in the flare of the bow, a rare departure from the McGeady “trademark” of the “oblong” concept as used an almost all of his boats post WWII.
Below are photos of the log she was created from, not many boats can trace their provenance this far back.
My Memories of Supreme Craft by Ben Hipkins
Story & photo sent to ww by Karen Moren/Lyn McGeady ex Ben Hipkins
(Disclaimer: Story as from memory)
This is a great read & compliments all the recent McGeady/Supreme posts on ww – read on & enjoy Ben’s story. Alan H
Mac McGeady – (A good Boatbuilder and Designer)
“I first met ‘Mac’ in 1955 at his boat factory in 1A Summer Street, Ponsonby. I was 16 years old and I now know he would have been 55.
‘Mac’ was a very intimidating looking man to me and I had a daunting job to convince him that I was the right boy for him to apprentice.
When I started work (at £2-16-0 a week!), the staff comprised of five men. Mac, Barney Glasgow, Peter Williams, Bluey Jacobsen, Graeme Kitchen and me.
Graeme Kitchen had been in the same class as me at Takapuna Grammar School and had started with Mac McGeady as an apprentice a couple of months before me. He had suggested that ‘Supreme Craft’ was a good yard to work in and to ask Mr. McGeady if I could work for him. It took some time to wear Mac down but eventually he took me on.
The first boat I saw in the boat yard was AQUARIUS, a game fisher for a Bay of Islands client. She was 38ft with twin gray marine engines and capable of 16 knots on trials.
The second boat was AUSTRALIS 42ft twin screw launch for Jack Plowman.
The third boat was ASTRA 30ft launch for Mr. Percy Ward.
The fourth boat was AMARYLLIS 40ft twin screw for Mr. H.T. Morton.
The fifth boat was a 38ft launch for Mr. Stan Suter. I can’t remember the name of this boat.
Graeme Kitchen had left by this time and did not complete his indentures. Bluey Jacobsen and Peter Williams had also left.
Mac had sold his twin screw launch AQUILA to Mr. Chub Sibun.
At this time 1959, Mr Norman Fairly came into our lives. He owned a 26ft plywood boat named REEL EM IN built by Don Norton and used to game fish from Tauranga and up to the Poor Knights area. He convinced Mac McGeady to skipper this boat to Mercury Islands and Mercury Bay area. Fairley and Bert Jones were car dealers and visited our boat factory quite often.
Mac had decided to build a boat for himself and designed a forty foot launch for this purpose.
At this time, only Barney Glasgow remained in the work force and myself. We took on a new apprentice, Gary Wheeler, a good keen boy.
When this boat was planked and ready for superstructure and decks to be constructed, Mac and Mr. Fairley agreed for Fairley to purchase the boat and for it to be finished to Fairleys’ requirements. This boat was named CHALLENGER. At this time it was noted that neither Lila or I knew of this ‘deal’. Mac seemed confused about this whole episode.
McGeady had been a good boss and a fair person but now seemed to be confused and unable to work effectively.
The after work drink session would become an ordeal as Mac would not leave until all the alcohol was gone. The business was failing and many of the suppliers were concerned.
Another boat was built (by me and Gary). This boat was 38ft designed by me. She was called WAIMARU and owned by Mr. A.C Gray.
On the shakedown cruise of this boat, Mac acted very strangely, staying at the helm exclusively, not sharing the controls at all. At the conclusion of the trip, we entered the boat harbour of Okahu Bay in the dark when Mac opened the throttle to full speed. The speed limit in this harbour was 4 knots – no wash.
Fortunately we, crew removed Mac from the wheel and no damage was done. All on board were most concerned with Mac’s behaviour and all agreed he needed medical help.
We received an order from Mr. Wal Brebner for a 30ft launch which Gary Wheeler and I built.
Our accountant Athol Nigro laid down the law regarding SUPREME CRAFT. He stated that I must make Mac work, must stop him drinking and smoking or have him retire and buy SUPREME CRAFT myself. What choice!!! I couldn’t make him work, I couldn’t make him stop drinking and smoking. I could leave……….. so I did.
I worked for Alan Williams yard at Milford. This was a good change for me and I was well respected.
After a year or so it was 1961, I received an offer from Mac to return to SUPREME CRAFT and receive a 50% shareholding and ran the factory; this I accepted.
We received an order for a 43ft motor launch from Mr. Stan Horner. This was a twin screw bridge deck boat with a fly bridge. The name of this boat was ALTAIR and was launched in November 1961.
Mac’s condition deteriorated and he was very confused and at this time we received an order from Gordon Collie for a 48ft bridge deck motor launch.
Mac still had the ability to design the hull. This boat was too big to build in the factory in Summer Street, so we built the backbone and frames in the factory and built the boat in a shed supplied by Mr Collie on a poultry farm at Pakuranga.
Gary Wheeler and I built the hull up to deck level and Gordon and his cousin Ralph laid the decks and built the superstructure and furniture, a truly excellent job. The name of this boat was RANGIORA.
By this time, Mac could not drive and was incapable of getting about. Lila was his carer.
At the Accountants insistence, I bought the remaining shares and Mac retired. He and Lila went to Snells Beach to live.
Mac’s career with SUPREME CRAFT began in 1936 and ended in 1962. He was a skilled man and good designer.
There are many mysteries regarding his early years and his birth in Pilliga NSW, his time in Fiji, his time in the motor business and the formation of SUPREME CRAFT in 1936.
The future of SUPREME CRAFT is a story that needs to be told.
After RANGIORA was completed, Gary and I returned to the factory in Summer Street to begin work on a 36ft launch which had been ordered by Mr. Len Buckby of Fodenway Motors at Penrose. This boat was powered by a Foden engine.
As construction proceeded the owners were most interested in the progress and quality of materials being used. This boat was called WHITE CLOUD.
Mr Buckley and his accountant called on me and announced that he would like to become owner of SUPREME CRAFT with Fodenway Motors supplying engines and me building the boats.
I thought this would provide stability and security for the future and agreed to the proposal. Almost as soon as this was done, the factory building in Summer Street was sold and we had to move!. We rented a factory in Archers Road, off Wairau Road, Takapuna.
We built a 36ft motor launch for Mr. Stuart Dalton in this factory. This boat was called, SCEPTRE. We also built a 36ft sister ship for Mr. Fred Bales called VENTURE.
Our relationship with Fodenway Motors grew and as they were situated at Penrose, they were keen to relocate SUPREME CRAFT closer to their business of truck assembly so we were moved again and rented a shed at the Lane Motorboat site at Panmure.
There we built a 34ft Express Cruiser for Mr John Furley. This boat was called, NIKASIA. Fodenway Motors had orders for a 43ft passenger launch and a 36ft cruiser.
Decimal currency was coming to New Zealand and disaster struck with a financial downturn. Fodenway Motors two orders were lost and they decided to liquidate SUPREME CRAFT.
I then took up a position in a ship yard in Suva, Fiji and after this, moved to Australia where we still live”.