Otehei – 1970’s

OTEHeI – 1970’s

Woody Dean Wright sent in the above photo of the launch – Otehei. Dean ‘found’ the photo when having a clean out – its tagged on the back ‘Ian Spedding, Otehei, 1926 vintage’.

Dean’s thoughts are that it may have been taken by Ian Spedding and maybe lated from the late 1970’s. The location of the photos is probably off the old Fullers slipway at Russell.

Back in a 2013 WW story on Otehai – Harold Kidd wrote – OTEHEI was a sister-ship to the Collings & Bell-built hard chine launches built for various operators in the Bay of Islands in 1926-7 to service the game-fishing sport which had grown rapidly after an exploratory trip north by Colonel W.H. Hazard in his VIRGINIA in 1918. The other 3 launches to the same pattern were LORNA DOONE, ZANE GREY (later ALMA G II) and MANAAKI. These launches were all equipped with Redwing engines and were capable of 16 knots. OTEHEI was built for Frank Elliott who painted her red. Like the others, and the later AVALON, she was based at Zane Grey’s camp at Otehei on Urupukapuka Island.

She spent some time on Lake Taupo as GRACE DARLING but is now in Russell/Opua restored for the last 20 years or so as OTEHEI. View that story here  https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/08/28/otehei/

In another WW story that featured lots of photos and reader chat.  https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/01/10/otehei-2/

07-06-2022 UPDATE ex Gavin Bradley (owner)

The photo below is from Gavin’s collection of Otehei and shows her being relaunched at Fuller’s in 1977 post her first big restoration after returning to BOI after 40 odd years on Lake Taupo. Gavin believes it was taken on the same day as the photo above. 

Resurrection Of Avalon

RESURRECTION OF AVALON

Back in February 2020 a friend was cruising the streets on Auckland’s North Shore (he is allowed to – drives a car with a strip of lights on the roof) when he spotted the woody launch – Avalon, resting on a residential properties lawn. Turns out the 80+ year old owner has owned Avalon all her life – you can read and see more at the link below https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/02/17/mystery-sam-ford-launch/

Fast forward nearly two years and it turns out that the launches owner , Marjorie Mumme is Tobias Forsyth’s grandmother. Tobias owns MV Callisto and his Dad, Iain Forsyth has MV Meola. Tobias being a good grandson has stepped up to the mark and taken on the restoration of Avalon. To quote Tobias – no rush, first step = put her in a shed, the fear was she would end up as a garden sleep-out.
Avalon was designed and built in 1954 by Sam Ford and is a one owner boat (Lloyd and Marjorie Mumme) , in fact still has the original Morris Navigator petrol engine. When launch she was 24’ but has 2’ added to the stern soon after.These days health & safety would lock you up for transporting a boat like we see on the truck above.  The video was filmed by Tobias.

30-11-2021 INPUT FROM Carol Forsyth  (nee Mumme)    From birth to bikinis and boyfriends, my sisters and I grew up on Avalon. Motuihe, Browns Island, Islington Bay, Waiheke, Coromandel and Kawau was our playground and oh the stories that boat could tell!  Dad loved Avalon as much as we did and when he passed on Mum took over Dad’s loving care. Now that Mum has finally handed over Avalon to my son Tobias and his family we look forward to seeing her in the water again.The black and white image of Avalon under sail was taken off Kauri Point and I would assume Dad had the Morris Navigator ticking over, but maybe she was under sail only.   

HELP NEEDEDTobias would like to find out more about the petrol Morris Navigator in Avalon. He is looking for any one that may have spares or have had a lot to do with them in the past but any info or spare parts would be greatly appreciated as he would love to keep the original engine but it must be reliable. Mainly if there are some Morris car guys that know if this engine is just a marinised version of a car engine of some vintage possibly? I can email better copies of the above photos if that would help.

I like the sail set-up – very salty, if I put that on Raindance, I might qualify to be one of the chosen ones to berth at Chad Thompson’s yacht only, new 40 berth Heritage Basin at the Viaduct 🙂

Big Game Fishing Wooden Boats

BIG GAME FISHING WOODEN BOATS

WW contributor – Scott Taylor, sent in the link to the above short film – titled ‘New Zealand’s Deep-Sea Fighting Fish’. The film comes to us via Archives New Zealand, and was originally produced by Neuline Film Studios, Auckland for the Dept. of Tourist and Health Resorts.

The film isn’t dated but both Scott and myself believe it is from the early 1950’s, can any one date the film from the footage?

There is an impressive collection of woodys featured, all looking very ship-shape, and most still afloat today.


WHO OWNS DEODAR  – Looking for the current owner of the ex Auckland Police launch Deodar – can you contact WW at the email address below – trust me its worth your while 😉 waitematawoodys@gmail.com

2021 Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Parade – 175+ photos & videos

PICNIC

24th LAKE ROTOITI CLASSIC & WOODEN BOAT PARADE – 175+ PHOTOS & VIDEOS


As promised todays WW story is a doozy, we travelled down to the lake very early on Saturday morning and were hosted by the clubs commodore Dave Wilson and wife Glenys, who own the magnificent 1947 Colin Wild built bridge-decker – Haumoana. The launch is kept at the end of the lawn at their lakeside property (photos below) – More details on Haumoana here https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/06/05/haumoana/

Dave lent me is ‘fishing boat’ – the f/glass runabout seen the photo below, to use as a photo boat for the parade – fingers crossed no one got a photo of me at the helm 😉


Close to 80 classic and wooden craft of all shapes and sizes – power, sail, oar and steam participated in the days events – starting with a parade that snakes around the waterfront properties and vantage points. Post parade every one heads off to Wairoa Bay for an old school boating picnic – being lake based, no issue with tides or anchoring, people just nudge up to the shore – perfect for checking out each others woody.

The afternoon activities had something for everyone – adults and kids activities (egg throwing, bucket diving for sweets etc) + lots of cool prizes to be won.Without a doubt its the best organised and executed boating event I have been to – very slick and the bonus – lots of nice friendly people – we like that 🙂


Enjoy the photos. As always – click photos to enlarge 😉 If I missed your boat, sorry but one boat and one camera can only be in so many places at one time  – next year.