Memories of Ariki – A3


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Memories of Ariki A3

I was sent the great story below by Mark Newcomb via woody Brian Fulton, Mark wrote it for a recent Ariki (the 1904 Logan Brothers gaffer) reunion. Enjoy the read, it’s a great peek back into yachting in the 1960’s, so many familiar names & locations. Thank god the claret & lemonade early morning eye-opener drink did not make it into the 21st century. (photo above ex Mac Taylor collection)

“I started crewing on Ariki around 1963, aged 19, and sailed with the team for some 15 years, continuing through to the Northerner with them.

Hugh Littler worked as a valuer for Neville Newcomb Ltd., and dad (Pat) of course knew Arthur Angel well through RNZYS, as did my uncle Hal.

The crew then was going through a bit of a change as the friends of Hugh were getting married, children, etc.  Arthur and Hugh shared ownership I think.  Cove Littler had own Kitenui at that stage.

Regular crew when I joined were Jim (Boom Boom) Bailey, Ted Grey (plumber Devonport), John Downer, Dr Ray Talbot, Bill Donovan, Bob Fenwick, young Bruce McKay, Peter Svenson, Peter Cooper, and I introduced John Compton, Laurie Gubb, and Tom Taylor. John Denley sometimes crewed.  Also some others, can’t remember! Warwick Jones (subsequent owner) joined the crew a little later. 

The yacht was moored at Devonport near the RNZN dockyards.

There was keen competition between Bruce, Peter, and myself to become the main topmast hand, as we saw this as a glamour job.  I loved coming into a bay with all rag flying, and showing off my skill at whipping up the mast and letting fly the gaff topsail.  Peter, Bruce, and I became the main foredeck hands.  Hugh was sailing master, Arthur main helm, Jim B on main and spinnaker, John D and Bill D on headsail trim.  Foredeck was pretty dangerous with wildly flapping wooden blocks on clew strops and stiff canvas, big sails.  No winches at all. Bob was enthusiastic steward.

A racing crew of around 13.  Sometimes full 12 hands on main sheet, stretched out along leeward deck, up to your knees in rushing water.

Double purchase ‘handybillies’, rove to advantage, were used to get the last few feet in on the sheets.  New set of Rattray(?) sails a big deal. 4500 sq. foot sail, huge spinnaker, and newfangled genoa/gennaker. Heavy gear.

Seamanship was necessary. The most wonderful powerful yacht, a sailing delight.

Winter haul out at Devonport Yacht Club, old winch, and dangerous shunting of 19 ton ‘Rik on ways greased with mutton fat and timber jacks.  Old local guy always took charge of this, a big day.

Masonic Hotel was very close and ‪6am opening was a constant attraction for crew when we were supposed to be scrubbing down, sanding, varnishing, Singapore Copper antifoul, etc.  Pin line on hull was picked out in gold leaf, but this was changed to gold paint in later years.

After winter make over, trip down to ‘Drunks Bay’, (Islington) under motor, with minimal rig, then the big task of stringing up the running rig.  Ropes everywhere, but fun.  Ropes to be spliced, whipped, wormed/parceled/served/, and riven through the many blocks etc.

Another young man’s job was releasing the fixed prop and shaft prior to racing.  One of us young bucks would dive over and dive down with the heavy bronze 3 blade prop and 2 meter shaft (secured with a lanyard to the top), insert the shaft into the A Bracket, push it home into the stern gland, knocking out the internal wooden bung, to be attached to the engine drive. Then untangle the lanyard, and surface.  The test was to do this in one breath!  A whiskey/milk was usually the reward.  The process was reversed at the end of the race, often in a crowded anchorage, much to the astonishment of the observers.  Another glamour job!  Unbelievably, a few years earlier this job was done by Hugh, who not being a diver, was strapped into a diving bell made of a kerosene can with a glass window puttied into it.  This was put over his head, he sat in the Bosun’s Chair with some chain wrapped around him for weight, then was lowered over the side from the swung out main boom.  A rope slung under the stern pulled him under the counter to line up the shaft with the A Bracket etc.  It had some sort of bicycle air pump, and I think a speaking tube up to Cove on deck.  I saw this contraption under their Vauxhall Road home, and now wish I had saved it! (Mark, later discovered that this tale was an urban legend, created to motivate junior crew members (i.e. Mark) to go over the side)

Having no prop power meant a lot of our manoeuvring was under sail only, often including back winding and stern boards, highlighted the skills of these sailormen,.

Our competition included Ranger, Rawhiti, Ta Aroa, Kahurangi, Achernar, Moana, Thelma, Fidelis, and another dozen or so.

With our gaff rig, no winches, heavy boat, we struggled to take line honours, but did OK on handicap. After a few years the light displacement yachts started to appear- Innnesmara, Infidel and Buccaneer, Neville Price’s Volante, etc.  We expected these new wonders to fall apart, but usually just saw them zoom past us.

The fleet was littered with strong personalities, Joe Kissen, Tom Clark, Lew Tercel, the Duder’s, Bressen Thompson, Jim Davern, Andy Donovan. Fraters, Arnold Baldwin, Peter Cornes, Gordon Pollard, Bill Endean, Roy McDell, Wilf Beckett, Cove Littler,  ……. the list goes on, and on.  Of course there was our own Arthur Angel, Hugh Littler, Ray Talbot, Jim Bailey. Kahurangi under Willie Wilson always seemed to have a team of female followers, as did Arohia with Speed Alan and Pussy Catlow coming to mind.

We had many notable visitors on board- Lord Cobham, Francis Chichester, Adlard Coles (Heavy Weather Sailing), etc.

Cake days, normally a Sunday, were always great fun.  Long Christmas cruises to Bay of Islands very special- my uncle Hal based at Opunga keenly awaiting his play mates Bob, Arthur and Hugh.  Cruises up to Whangaroa wonderful.  Te Kouma race and Squadron Weekend at Kawau.  Somehow, being another era before the cell phone, we all stayed away on endless adventures without a thought, or the means, of rushing home.

Gordons Gin and water was the tipple of the senior members, beer for us- and plenty of it.  A strange drink, Claret and Lemonade, was often our early morning eye opener.

There was a strong sense of heritage, ceremony and formality amongst the merriment.  Flags, watch keeping, dress, respect of senior members, nautical customs, shipshape and Bristol fashion! – not strongly enforced, just understood and expected.  Arthur an ex Commodore, and Hugh a Flag Officer- later Commodore on Northerner- so expectations high.

These are just some random memories- there are many others.”  

2017 Centreboard Cup – Herne Bay Yacht Club – TODAY  9th Dec –  @ Sloanes Beach, Herne Bay

Starting at midday today, the Herne Bay Crusing Club are hosting their legendary Centreboard Cup Regatta. Its one of the coolest sailing events in town & the venue is rather special.

Details here   http://hbcc.net.nz/centreboardcup2017/

And check out my photos from a previous regatta. https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/12/20/whats-the-coolest-yacht-club-10-minutes-from-queen-st/

 

Ariki Restoration


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Ariki – photo ex J. Prew esq

ARIKI RESTORATION
The 1904 Logan Brothers designed & built gaffer Ariki is currently hauled out at Okahu Bay, Auckland & under going an extensive restoration, lead by master craftsman Robin Kenyon. Yesterday her owners Charlotte & Andrew held an open day to allow the classic woody community to view the project. I understand they have a target to be at the CYA Patio Bay celebrations this year (1st week Dec), that appears a rather large challenge……….. but as they say – many hands make light work.

Prowling around the yard I spotted the classic launch Wanderer looking a little sad – hopefully awaiting a large dose of TLC.
You can see/read more about Wanderer’s past here https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/08/16/wanderer-ii/

The sunny day saw woody Baden Pascoe break out his recently restored 1929 Riley Tourer, when I say recently, I mean as in on-the-road. The Riley has been in the Pascoe family a very long time & Baden has been working on her on & off for years. Attention to detail is amazing, but I would expect that from Baden 😉

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Ariki – Sailing Sunday


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ARIKI

At long last the 1904 Arch Logan yacht, Ariki A3 has found a new owner & is getting some love & attention.
The photos above ex Angus Rogers, show her hauled out at Okahu Bay in April getting a major bum clean from the team at X-foul-e-8 – amazing job & look at the width & condition of those full-length kauri planks.
The shed photos below are ex Charlotte Lockhart, I have copied below Charlotte’s email to me re the project.

” As your readers may be aware Andrew Barnes purchased a few months ago and we have commenced a project to restore her to her former racing glory. As things stand she is under cover on the hard as we strip her back to make the necessary exterior repairs and repaint her exterior.
Once she is water tight and we will be putting her back in the water at the new pontoon we have had build to house her at the Maritime Museum. From there we will complete the interior repairs.
I would love to hear from anyone who is interested in being kept informed about this project or would like to connect in and share their experience of her. I can be contacted on this email, arikiclassicyacht@gmail.com or follow us on https://www.facebook.com/Arikiclassicyacht/

R-Class Looking For A Good Home

James Mobberley (Moon Engines) has had R317 stashed away for a few years & a growing family & associated toys (kids & Dad) mean R317 needs a new home. James is adamant it must be a sympathetic woody buyer – so if you are a classic sailor looking for a project (nothing major required) James is open to offers. Email is james@moonengines.co.nz

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Iconic Lister Engine
Remember the Lister engine every farmer had in his possession many decades ago, that one of a kind noise 😉 Well they are still using them in India, turn up the volume & listen (thanks Paul Newell for emailing me this).

03-07-2017 Harold Kidd Update

ARIKI’s port planking, shown sanded back, is the original Logan Bros work of 1904. The starboard planking and complete triple diagonal structure is by Chas. Bailey Jr., done in the winter of 1917 to replace the damage done when THELMA smashed into her while they were on the hard at Torpedo Bay, side by side, during the freak E gale of February 20th 1917.

Ariki – Sailing Sunday


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Ariki – Sailing Sunday

Today’s photo is one from the Mac Taylor collection & shows a gaffer in full flight, given the other yachts in the distance she is either well ahead or well behind 🙂
Who can ID the yacht?

Swallows & Amazons Movie
I have been reading some great reviews on the ‘new’ 2016 remake of the Swallows & Amazons movie based on Arthur Ransome’s book.
Below is the trailer for 2016 movie, due out mid August & below that – the trailer to the 1974 movie for comparison. Also a short video on the ‘secrets’ of filming the 1974 movie, that gives you a peek into the behind the scenes filming of the movie. Enjoy 🙂