100th Birthday Party – Ngaio

100th Birthday Party – Ngaio

At the weekend I attended a celebration to mark the 1921 Arch Logan built launch – Ngaio reaching the grand age of 100 years.

In the last decade Ngaio has been blessed with very good owners, starting with Ian and Lancia Kohler who commissioned the 2013 refurbishment of Ngaio and then passed ownership onto Jan Barraclough, the host of the birthday party. The launch is a stunner but you expect that from the Logan stable.


I was dockside admiring the finish on the hull and I was advised by an old boy that she had been splined and fibre-glassed (I had forgotten), obviously in his eyes not what you should do to a Logan. In the interests of not wasting any more time getting to the bar, I wasn’t going to let him know that 1/2 the Logan A-Division yacht fleet were glassed 😉


You can see/read more on Ngaio including the restoration that the WW links below.
https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/07/23/ngaio-2/
https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/12/11/ngaio-3/

Tawera 1935 Logan – A18

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  waitematawoodys@gmail.com
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.

Entry by email only to waitematawoodys@gmail.com  Closes at 8pm 30/11/20 Read /see more about the book here  https://destownson.co.nz/

Little Jim – A16 – Coastal Classic Race Report

Little Jim – A16 Coastal Classic Race Report

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”

LITTLE JIM

A16 – bermudan rigged, she was designed & built in 1934 by Arch Logan & Bill Couldrey.
LOA: 42’10”, LWL: 28′, BEAM: 9’1″, DRAFT: 6′

Log of The Rawhiti – bringing her home – Sydney to Auckland Passage

LOG of The RAWHITI – 1947 Sydney > Auckland Passage

The log is reproduced below via the generosity of the Mahurangi cruising club, who ran an abridged version in the 2020 year book. Click link below to read/view – its a cool story, enjoy

The Log of the Rawhiti

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.

Copies of the 2021 edition are available at

 https://www.woodenboatscalendar.com/wooden-boats-calendar.html