Video below of Tawera at the Mahurangi Regatta – thanks Roger Mills for sharing
TAWERA 1935 LOGAN – A18
Tawera was launched on 30th December, 1935, designed by Arch Logan and built by Colin Wild – you do not get a better pedigree than that :-).
She was Arch Logan’s last big cutter, measuring almost 50 feet on deck and the culmination of a number of racing keelers built at that time. As the largest of the more modern keelers from Arch Logans drawing board she represented the very best in design development and to this day still epitomises all of the racing winning and wholesome sea keeping abilities of Arch Logans designs.
Tawera is a lucky classic in that she has had wonderful, passionate owners all her life and today is in immaculate condition. In 2003 she was extensively restored and is now considered one of the finest examples of the a keeler of the pre-WWII era. Her owner is one of the Classic Yacht Association’s most loyal members & has loved her as a Logan should be & spared nothing on her maintenance & restoration. Click on photos to enlarge.
Tawera’s owner has an armada of vessels – both sailing and power, some classic and some spirit of tradition – the hard decision has been made to pass Tawera onto a new owner, not any owner, you’ll have to share the passion for classic woodys to even get a peak aboard. Interested buyers should initially contact the Wooden Boat Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org I am almost embarrassed to mention the price – it really is a buyers market – $175,000
A WOODY QUIZ – WIN A COPY OF: DES TOWNSON – A SAILING LEGACY All correct answers to the following question, go into the draw to win the book.
Q: Name (Christian & Surname) the first owner of Tawera.
Today’s story and photos comes to us from Little Jim’s skipper and owner James Mortimer and crew – Ash Smith, Rodrigo Salas, Janez Mikec, Max Goutard, Erwann Jooris.
I’ll let James share the story with you, as always – click on photos to enlarge. Enjoy 🙂
“After four long months out of the water at the Milford marina yard over winter, I know that Little Jim had been wanting to stretch her legs and get a good long sail up the coast. She feels fast with her newly reinforced decks, rebuilt rudder, and all over paint job. Or maybe it’s the long winter without any sailing that has made her crew push her along that little bit more.
The weather forecast for Labour weekend had been looking challenging, with light northerlies and rainy weather predicted. On Tuesday night we got together on the boat to go over safety and systems, not at all confident that we would even start the race. Over the next two days the forecast slowly got a little better, with the wind direction moving ever so slightly toward the east. On Thursday night, we made the call to go, knowing full well it was going to be tough.
Early Friday morning and with enough food and beer to supply a small army, we got ourselves into racing mode and set off for Devonport. There is something special about this race, with more than 150 yachts lining up across the harbour, a sense of anticipation building as the gun gets closer, an adventure ready to start.
We made an early call to cross the channel toward Rangitoto and escape the worst of the incoming tide. Little Jim made excellent ground on most of the fleet who were busy short tacking up Cheltenham Beach in very little wind. A long tack due east across the top of Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands allowed us to finally turn north and lay the outside of Tiri Island and and make some miles to the north. As it turned out, the short stretch between Tiri and Kawau Island was to be the best sailing we would get all day, with a perfect NE’er of 12 to 15 kts, and boat speed above 7 kts.
On any Coastal Classic, there is a decision to make off Takatu Point. Is the boat and the crew in good shape and ok to go on. In any adverse weather this is no small call to make. As all boaties know, crossing Bream Bay can be brutal, and there is no decent shelter until Tutukaka. An easy decision this time, and it was champagne sailing as we passed Cape Rodney. It didn’t last though, and as afternoon slid into evening the wind eased away and turned back north. A frustrating night of slow tacking between the Hen & Chick Islands and Whangarei Heads began, with not a lot of northward miles being made. What the wind failed to deliver the night sky made up for, with an impressive meteor shower, a crystal clear Milky Way, lots of phosphorescence, and an incredible sunrise.
At 8.30am, we made the difficult decision to pull the pin on the race just south of Elizabeth Reef. The forecast was light until afternoon and we had little hope of reaching Russell before cut off at 3pm.
Ending the race early wasn’t going to put a damper on the weekend though and we spent the next three days sailing downwind back to Auckland under spinnaker via the Poor Knights Islands, Tutukaka, the Hen & Chicks, and Kawau Island.
Little Jim, built in 1934, was the oldest boat to enter in this year’s race, and it is a fitting testament to the skill of New Zealand’s early boat builders and designers that we can often keep up with boats that are 60 or 70 years younger!
Can’t wait till 2021”
A16 – bermudan rigged, she was designed & built in 1934 by Arch Logan & Bill Couldrey. LOA: 42’10”, LWL: 28′, BEAM: 9’1″, DRAFT: 6′
Today’s WW story is an amazing account of the return of the 1905 Arch Logan designed, Logan Bros built yacht – Rawhiti from Sydney, Australia to its place off birth – Auckland, New Zealand.
Almost immediately after her 1905 launch Rawhiti headed off across the Tasman to Sydney where she spent the next 41 years. Sadly the last 10 of those years saw her laid up on the hard, rapidly deteriorating.
Luckily for the yacht and all classic boaters in New Zealand, Sydney Ernest Marler (Hek to most) entered the scene and purchased Rawhiti and immediately made plans to sail her back to NZ. Some rather questionable repairs were undertaken and she set sail on December 17th 1947. Her crew for the passage was Hek + Peter Henley (navigator) Brian Lane (shipwright) Roy Johnson (bos’n and ships ‘surgeon’) Norman Vickery (signaller and radio operator)
The passage was recorded in the form of a ships log, written by Hek to his father Hank ((Henry Maitland Marler) outlining the voyage and the crew’s experiences. The trip took 11 days, said to be a record passage from Sydney to Russell, Bay of Islands, that was unbeaten until the 1970’s. 36 hours of the 11 days saw the yacht becalmed, so woodys she was greyhound 🙂
It would be an understatement to say it was a pleasant passage – Brian Lane is on record saying that they were very lucky, if the weather had got any worse they wouldn’t have made it, Rawhiti was hopeless at laying up into the wind. But very fast, built to race on the Waitemata Harbour not ocean passages. At times they trailed anything spare off the stern in an attempt to slow her down. Brian constantly thought she would split in two when coming down off a wave, no splash just a crash that Brian described as like being dropped off the back of a truck onto a concrete road. If he had known the yachts condition and blue water abilities, he would not have ventured past Sydney heads – but they did and Hek went on to raise a family with salt very much in their veins. Son Bruce and grandson Rod continuing the families association with wooden sailing craft.
In the mid 2000’s Rawhiti underwent a total rebuild / restoration while in the ownership of Greg Lee, Greg and master wooden boat builder Peter Brookes conducted the 7 year restoration. Without a doubt she is New Zealand’s finest restoration of a classic wooden vessel. If you search Rawhiti in the WW search box you will get an insight into the restoration.
I bet her crew on the passage back to Auckland in 1947 would not have imaged that 73 years later she would still be sailing and commanding a prime spot on the world classic wooden boat stage. One of the worlds most admired (&selling) wooden boating items is the Calendar of Wooden Boats by Benjamin Mendlowitz and Maynard Bray. Rawhiti is centre stage in the 2021 edition for the month of March. As are two of our launches – Jason Prew’s – My Girl (April) and Peter Boardman’s – Lady Margaret (June). Owning 25% of that real estate is pretty good for little old NZ, but it comes at a price and that price is all the time that a small bunch of woodys put in making Ben and Maynard so welcome in NZ.
Chatting with Tinopai (2hrs north of Auckland) based woody Greg Schultz he tells me advancing old age has forced him to make the reluctant decision to pass on one of my most prized possessions.
Greg built this boat about 10 yrs ago off the original 1905 Arch Logan plans (modified by Chapman1921). Construction is clinker lapstrake using 6mm ply with epoxy glued laps which gives a good lightweight watertight hull (originals leaked like sieves and weighed a ton). All other timbers are kauri and totara. He also added 3 buoyancy compartments for added safety (2 side seats & forward compartment all epoxy sealed inside). Greg commented that she has only been sailed approx. a dozen times.
The Silver Fern class (12’6″) was designed as a training boat for teenagers before they moved on to the bigger M class and is therefore almost a miniature ‘Emmie’.
Spars and rigging are s/s and sails by Fife. Pivoting centerboard and rudder for shallow water sailing. Permanent reef lines for shortening sail without coming ashore.
Woodys this is a stunning boat to both look at and sail so if you are frustrated with paying big marina fees and the hassles of organizing crew – maybe now is the time to add a woody to the fleet so that you can sail single handed or take the grand kids for a sail.
Given the lockdown if you are interested it might be best to contact Greg direct at email@example.com
UPDATE – Read comments section for feedback on the boats provenance.
19-03-2020 Harold Kidd Input – How interesting to see the Logan Bros’ builders’ plate on NGAIO. I assume it was put there by Arch? If so, he was keeping the LOGAN BROS name alive. Of course he would still have had a stock of their builders’ plates but I can’t quite work out his motivation in using one on NGAIO. Robin might care to comment too?
20-03-20 Robin Elliot Input –Sorry I missed this. I have been self-isolating for the past 15 years or so and now it seems the world has caught up with how peaceful it can be.
The Logan plate is Interesting. From the photos in the earlier WW posts, that plate has been there on Ngaio for some time but whether it was there at the time of launching is impossible to say. Doubtful.
I’m not sure if there is one on Doreen/Coquette – I don’t think so – but as you say why would he put one on Ngaio in 1921? He was very ‘proper’ and it just would not have been right.
I suspect that rascally his son Jack was flinging them out when he cleared out the house in Bayswater in the 1950’s and passed one over to the then owner of Ngaio; probably on the grounds that Ngaio was an Arch tweak of a general hull shape developed at Logan Bros?
Interesting that there are 4 small screw holes in the plate around its edge but some philistine has drilled two big boofy holes in the centre for a couple of bog-standard slotted screws. The two empty holes in the timber above the plate lead me to believe there was another item (a different plate?) there before the Logan plate.
It’s not strictly correct but hey, its a nice addition.
RC Yacht Racing
Yesterday while waiting to pick up a family member from the medical centres near North Shore Hosp. I wandered down to Lake Pupuke and spied a group of gents sailing their yachts in the Quarry Lake.
A very pleasant way to fill in 1/2 hr – nearly forgot about the patient 🙂
The above photo shows three launches (+ a peek on a 4th on the far left) moored in Hobson Bay, Auckland. The photo is from the Edward Double Collection (1930-1940), and comes to us via Maurice Sharp’s fb.
Can we ID the boats?
2020 CYA Classic Yacht Regatta
The annual 3 day sailing regatta is in progress and yesterday I crewed on Jason Prew’s 1904, Logan built gaffer – Wairiki in Race 1.
Now I have always heard dock chat that Wairiki was a wet boat, well folks I can confirm thats an understatement,
I think you would be dryer on a sail board 🙂 Water aside (it was warm) it was a great afternoon with nice people – Jason Prew, Steve Horsley, Micheal O’Dwyer and Joyce Talbot.
In-between waves and spray I managed to snap a few photos – a taste below – more tomorrow. Enjoy.
If you search the words Little Jim in the WW search box you we see numerous references to a very stunning yacht, owned these days by CYA Chairman James Mortimer. She was designed / built by Arch Logan and Bill Couldrey in 1934, photos below.
Outside of the die-hard classic yachties, few know there was another Little Jim, B7, pictured above.
This LJ was a B class Keeler owned by J. Mitchelson.
Sadly she was driven ashore and totally wrecked at Catherine Bay, Great Barrier Island, after being dismasted in a gale on Christmas Day 1934?. The only good news was that the crew of 5 escaped drowning & reached the shore.
07-01-2019 Input from owner – James M
Little Jim started out life as a schnapper boat in 1900 under the sail number AK1 when it was built for a fisherman named Charles Vieri. Once converted to a pleasure boat for racing and cruising by the Feltham brothers, she sailed as B7 under various owners until a syndicate including Mitchelson purchased her in 1931. It was Xmas Day of ’33 she was driven onto the rocks in Katherine Bay. The story goes that after the rig snapped in two about 6 feet above the deck, and while cutting everything away a shackle got caught between the rudder and stern post, not only making a huge sea anchor with the still half-attached sails and rig but also losing any form of steerage. They managed to get two anchors down once in Katherine Bay. These held for some hours before the warps of one then the other finally frayed under the load and she went ashore. A few items were salvaged, including the small circular porthole you can see in the current cabin top in your last photo above. Legend has it that a leg of ham washed ashore, which fed the crew on Xmas Day over a campfire in the scrub behind the bay. With the insurance payout of 230 pounds plus a generous gift from Mitchelson’s aunt, Little Jim A16 was launched on 19th November 1934, a pretty impressive feat in less than 11 months! She went on to win the Anniversary Day race just two months later and has been sailling and cruising the Waitemata and Hauraki Gulf since. For anyone interested there is a great history of the two boats captured on Peter Brooke’s boatbuilders page here: http://www.classicboating.co.uk/Little%20Jim%20H.html
The top photo above (ex Lew Redwood fb > Winkeman – Akl Museum) shows the 1912 Arch Logan built launch Doreen, named after Arch’s sister, later to became Haku & then Coquette (as she is today).
Coquette was the ‘base’ for the Logan 33 f/glass production boats. In the second photo (ex Alan Good), we see her c.1945, sporting her WWII reporting number – 201. Also of interest in this photo is the addition of the dodger fitted in the summer of 1926/27 during Fred Cooper’s ownership period. Fred also installed a 25/40 sleeve-valve Loew-Knight engine at the same time. (details ex Harold Kidd)
The above photos showing James & Michael Dreyer’s recently relaunched 33’ 1949 Luders designed motorboat – Laughing Lady & Jason Prew’s 1904 Arch Logan gaff rigger- Wairaki – are my 2 favourite photos from this summer. They capture what classic kiwi wooden boating is all about – fun, friendship & fraternity.
The rebirth of these woodys would not have happened without people like Jason & James & the dozens of talented, enthusiastic craftspeople & helpers that rubbed up against the projects. And amazingly both of the guys have other classic woody projects on the go – Jason is restoring (rebuilding) the 1925 Dick Lang motor launch – My Girl. And James has a Rhodes 33 sloop in restoration in the USA, that hopefully will makes its way down under one day. In the meantime he gets his sailing fix from a 1937, 31’ Yankee One Design – made of kauri here in NZ, that he co-owns with his dad, Barry.
If your interested in viewing the restoration of LL or Wairiki, just search they name in the WW search box.
At the other end of the scale below is a short video on the 1910 Camper & Nicholson 162’ classic super yacht – Orion of the Seas, for sale in Italy. It is just magnificent but her maintenance budget would be bigger than the GDP of a lot of African nations. Enjoy the varnish porn. Tomorrow I’ll share with you my trip aboard Trinidad from Whangaroa, down the west coast of NZ to Queen Charlotte Sound, Picton.
So far there have been over 2,000 classic wooden boat stories featured on waitematawoodys & the viewing numbers (3,300,000) have grown from a dozen people to over 80,000, I have had some loyalists from day one but the big numbers have happened in the last 2 years – so not everyone will have been exposed to all the stories. Over the Christmas / NY period I have decided to take a peek back in time & feature some of the gems from the early days. Enjoy.
Have a great holiday & remember to take the camera / phone with you & snap a photo of any woodys you see. Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Rawhiti – A Once In Your Life Time Opportunity photos ex Classic Boat, Chris Miller, Alan H & owner
Firstly – a challenge – can anyone dispute that Rawhiti is New Zealand’s finest classic yacht afloat? From all angles she is simply beautiful, a true classic from the drawing board of Arch Logan & built by Logan Bros.
Rawhiti was completely rebuilt by Peter Brookes at Brookes Boatbuilders in 2011. For her owner Greg Lee, it was a pure labour of love, he extensively researched every aspect of the project & worked alongside Peter on a daily basis, the end result being a Logan that is better than launch day in October 1906 & thats pretty bold statement to make about a Logan.
Yachts like Rawhiti only come along once in a life time, to get the chance to buy one is even rarer. That opportunity now exists, to do that – to own this beautiful piece of New Zealand’s maritime heritage, a floating work of art.
So my 2nd challenge today is to all classic boating aficionados – gather your friends or business associates & form a syndicate, sell that bloody ugly Colin McCahn, sell a few shares, sub-divide that section – do what ever you have to do, to put the money together to acquire Rawhiti.
Interested? – read on
Without boring you with details, Rawhiti’s owner is serious about selling her & now via another business transaction has the opportunity to offer Rawhiti for sale to the right owner for a fractional of the restoration cost i.e. in the $400k range.
The time window in which the business transaction is available is short and therefore there is a limit to how long Rawhiti will be marketed in this price range. If you are interested in discussing the sale, please initially, contact the owner Greg Lee on the email address below.
For anyone with an interest in acquiring Rawhiti who is unsure what they might be doing with her in the short term (but wishing to secure the opportunity to acquire her now), her owner has had provisional discussions with Peter Brookes about storing her under cover at his yard at favourable rates.
Owner email contact: email@example.com
Update 29-09-2019 Below is a sneak peek at Rawhiti when she was in Australia – the photo appeared in the Sept 1925 edition of the ‘Australian Motor Boating and Yachting Monthly. Sent in by Andrew Christie.