Aurora was built in Johnsons Boat Shed Nelson in approx. 1935, measures 20’ in length and clinker built. For several years Aurora was used to tender explosives from the magazine on the Boulder Bank to the construction crew building Rocks Road. Subsequently she was then used a pleasure boat for fishing and family excursions.
The history from then on is unknown until her owner discovered Aurora in a barn in rural Nelson in February 2011. Aurora was purchased and transported to Redwood Valley where the restoration began. Aurora remained upside down for quite a few years whilst numerous planks were repaired using mainly recycled Kauri, a new keel was laminated out of Macrocarpa, the transom rebuilt and many of the copper fastenings replaced. The hull was then faired/sanded and repainted. Eventually Aurora was turned upright and the interior work began. Many hours were spent scrapping away years of old paint before several coats of primer and top coat paint were applied. The floor frames were shaped and fitted, a new Bronze shaft log and engine mounts fitted. A new rudder and duck board floors were constructed. Whilst the deck appeared to be in reasonable condition it was decided to remove the entire decking back to the frames. Three layers of 4mm Plywood were laminated together as the base and 6mm Kauri strips steamed [where needed]and glued onto the base. An overhauled c.1950, Stewart Turner P55M 8hp petrol motor was fitted.
When Aurora was purchased the trailer was simply a beach launching trailer, i.e. no suspension.The trailer was extensively modified and galv. coated to suit the refurbished Aurora, was the 2019 winner of the Jens Hansen Cup at the Antique and Classic Boat show, Lake Rotoiti, Nelson. I was there and can vouch for the standard of workmanship that has gone into her, simply stunning. Home is Nelson in the South Island and she is currently for sale on trademe (thanks Ian McDonald).
A Woody Tour of the Tamaki River – 70 photos
“Thought it was about time I got a few photos on the Tamaki River boats before they disappear, (and they are going fast by the look of some). There are only a fraction of the numbers of wooden boats that were moored there in the 1960s and 1970s and as I previously mentioned, living on the waterfront at Bucklands Beach for around 25yrs I had seen most of them go by (was like Queen St on Friday nights most summer weekends) I did 2 trips down from Orewa and took pics from Panmure Boat Club and up to and under the new Panmure Bridge, end of Gabadore Pl (off Carbine Rd), the old Panmure Marina, (going with many houses from Panmure to Pakuranga Town centre, to make way for new highway widening), along the Tamaki River walkway for about 4km (Rotary Walk,- starts at the old Panmure Marina and goes all the way to Gills Rd in Howick, for those who like walking), Half Moon Bay and Bucklands Beach.
I also went down to the 1960s site of the private ex RNZAF W1 haul-out ramp below the old Alright property (well covered in bush now and a near vertical climb down a 30ft bank), – lost a bit of blood but well worth it for me, as I last stood on that spot 50yrs ago when we sneaked on board W1 to have a look around while she was up there. Original ramp and haul-out dolly is still there (see pics) although time has taken its toll. I’m amazed, looking at the crude set-up today, how Mr Alright got a 64ft boat weighing many tons, sitting on rubber tyred dollies (which ran in grooved concrete) lined up and hauled out with a winch and by the looks of it, the large tree in line with the ramp, not to mention getting it back out again (I’m assuming he must have winched it back out somehow). Massive effort not only to build the ramp on mud, (all by hand, no concrete pumping trucks) but to be able to use it.
Hope these photos are of interest to people who may be able to identify some of the mystery boats (especially the light blue launch with the chrome ventilators and light, (looks ex RNZAF ?). The yacht hidden near the big boatshed is around 45ft looks very old and has been there for many years, as has poor old Imatra, a once grand yacht which is in a very sad state and in urgent need of care (must have been there 30 yrs odd now). I have included a few other launches and yachts to show the sad state of many good looking (and once expensive) boats on the river crying out for attention, but I guess many people have other priorities and sadly their dreams are just floating slowly into oblivion. It’s pretty hard to get rid of a rusty rotten hulk, so there they will stay till it’s “business time” (flight of the Conchords) for the 20 ton digger.
I may have some of the boats names wrong as I was using a telephoto lens for most of the pics and with enhancing colour, contrast etc was as near as I could get. I’m sure someone will correct any if wrong.”
AURORA – Sailing Sunday
Any one know her fate?
Work Boat Wednesday
Woody owner (Arethusa) & commercial photographer, Dean Wright, has just returned from two weeks cruising around the bottom of the South Island on board a 1970, 47’ Saunders motorboat. They made it down to Stewart Island (Port Pegasus) & then came up the East Coast of the South Island to Mana, Wellington.
Todays story showcases some of the work boats Dean spotted in Port Chalmers,
I love the southerners use of colour on their boats, maybe its for dual purposes – looks & safety e.g. to be seen.
Any southern woodys able to ID those without names?