Lake Manapouri – Manurere

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Today’s woody is seen in the Western Arm of Safe Cove, Lake Manapouri, Southland. Photos ex Lew Redwood fb (Hocken).
On fb Daniel Hickes commented that the vessel maybe the Govt. steamer – Manurere., powered by a 1901 quadruple expansion steam engine, built by Simpson Strickland and Co. of Dartmouth, England.
Rather a smart clinker alongside 😉
Harold Kidd Input – MANURERE was only 40ft long. Built by Bailey & Lowe in Auckland in 1905, shipped to Bluff, railed to Mossburn and taken over to Manapouri by wagon drawn by a steam traction engine. She had a Thornycroft high-pressure boiler and Simpson Strickland “patent quadruple engines”. She was in service by February 1906. A neat little steamer.
Some Trivia
Ever wondered where the term ‘hang-over’ came from.
Seems its origin is related to woody boating – back in Victorian England, the cheapest (lowest) form of accommodation was access to bend over a rope for the night at the price of a penny. Usually used by drunken sailors who had spent all their money drinking.
I have always wondered how all the crew on the CYA’s A-Class gaffers managed to sleep 🙂
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Another story ex the CV-19 lock-down. This time Kerry Alexander was having a cleaning out of old photos and came across the above ones of Duchess, the 1920 Bailey & Lowe built launch.
Location of the top two photos is Browns Bay beach and we see Duchess being hauled out. Kerry commented that he recalls that the photos are from the late 1960’s, when you were allowed to launch and haul out from the beach. Can you imagine the fuss if you tried doing that these days.
At the time Duchess was owned by Kerry’s boss, boatbuilder Keith Atikinson, Kerry can not recall how Keith ‘acquired’ her.
The haulage was being done by Alan Reid but the Atikinson yard used to use Ron Hogan and sometimes Winstones.
In the bottom photo Duchess is sitting outside the Atikinson shed at 25 Bute Road, Browns Bay, Auckland – she later moved into the shed.
In the photo below from a WW post back in June 2016 (link below), we see Duchess when owned by Graham (Snow) Steven – the photo was sent in by Graham’s nephew – Geoff Steven, who took the photo.
So woodys – is Geoff Steven’s photo pre or post Kerry’s?
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WW Needs Help Navigating The Next 4 Weeks

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Duchess – 1920 Bailey & Lowe – parked off Cowes Bay, Waiheke Island

WW Needs Help Navigating The Next 4 Weeks
Hello Woodys
We all knew ‘Lock-Down’ was going to happen but Level 4 status so soon was a surprise, I thought we had a few more days before that. But it is the right call for the country. 
The last few days have been surreal, driving around Auckland the traffic / parking has been brilliant and almost every thing is on-sale. But no people in cafes and high street shops, so the buzz of a big city is missing – its a bit like walking down the main street in Whangarei at 2.30pm on a Saturday afternoon.
So woodys whats the next 4 weeks looking like?
• There will continue to be a daily WW story
• I’d encourage you to visit some of the WW stories from upwards of 6 years ago – there are approx. 3000 stories and over 20,000 photos on the site. Use the Search Box to find a particular boat, or a builder, year of launching etc.
• Always read the comments section on a story, there have been over 500,000 visitors to the site and 5,300,000 views, so the feedback sometimes is better reading than the story 🙂
I Would Love Some Help
If you have some spare time over the next few weeks during the enforced stay at home, have a look in the bottom draw for any old photos, log books and memories of you and your families boating life. Do not play god and try to decide if its of interest to WW readers, let myself and my helper – Flora McKenzie  do that 🙂


I have had a cool idea – a lot of us live close to marinas. As part of your ‘allowed to do’ exercise, we could walk to the marina and check WW friends boats. Only applies to those marinas with open gates.
I’ll be strolling (its a good walk) to Bayswater once a week, so let me know if you want a txt confirming the love of your life is still afloat etc
These May Save My Marriage 🙂
Recently I purchased a pair of Bose bluetooth sunglasses that allow you to listen to music and take phone calls – there is nothing in or over your ears, so you can hear and interact with things around you. In the enforced close quarters we will find ourselves in being able to listen to your own music, shows and take mobile phone calls will be cool – I suspect there would be a murder if we were all listening to something different at the same time. Plus – perfect on the boat, last trip I listened to a whole day of cricket and could still hear the engine purring.
One of the coolest features is the gesture control for volume – to turn the volume up/down, you press and hold a button and look left or right to adjust the volume 🙂
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Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade – WW Best Boat Award





Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade – WW Best Boat Award

The launch Ellen is owned by Helen and Grant Wallace. She measures 26’ and is based on a ‘Milkmaid’ Bailey & Lowe design.
Ellen falls into the ’spirit of tradition’ category, being built of strip plank cedar by Malcolm Sowman in 2006 from a ‘plug’ taken of an old abandoned hull found in Kopu.
A 29hp diesel with standard straight drive pushes her along effortlessly.
I crawled all over her and in my eyes she is perfect, with some very cool touches e.g. her gauges are mounted in a fold away ‘draw’ and the bow ladder is a work of art.
Grant – I hope you found the WW gift I left on board 🙂

Tamati – Lake Taupo Launch

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Tamati –  Lake Taupo Launch
All we know is the date, 1937, and the location – Lake Taupo.
Hopefully the Drake brothers will be able to help us out 🙂
Input from Nigel Drake – This is the Bailey and Lowe built Tamati now converted to a paddle boat.

Woodys Classics Weekend Stillwater Picnic Cruise – this Sunday

The key times are below – I will be emailing more details to those that have RSVP’ed later today.

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The 1905 Bailey & Lowe 40′ launch Kumi has appeared numerous times on WW but Nathan Herbert was recently poking around in the Auckland Library Heritage Collection section and came across the above photos attributed to Mr. and Mrs. MF Russ. National Publicity Studios; Riethmaier. Nathan asked me if I supported his belief that the boat featured was Kumi. A quick search in my WW files popped up an email (repeated at the bottom of this story) that Kumi’s owner Haydon Afford sent me back in August 2014, that made a reference to Kumi being used as a cray fish boat between 1955 and 1975 in Whangaroa, Northland, by a Mr Russ – so jack pot – its Kumi. Catch out the size of those cray fish.
Now if you know Haydon you would have to be surprised that he had communicated with me via email – in fact he told me I was the first person he had sent an email to 🙂 Haydon is a wonderful man, they broke the mould after he entered this world. Back in the summer of 2012 > 2013 Haydon undertook a 3 month circumnavigation of New Zealand in Kumi. This achievement was acknowledged in late 2013 by the NZ Classic Yacht Association awarding Haydon the ‘Outstanding Achievement Award In Seamanship’. Below is a photo of Haydon accepting the award along with his father. A group of woodys motored out to welcome Haydon back into Auckland Harbour after the circumnavigation – he celebrated with a pint of ice cold beer.
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Haydon shared his story of the trip with CYA members at a special evening at the RNZYS and it was pure gold, good old school story telling at its best. Unfortunately no-one recorded it but prior to the evening I twisted Haydon’s (writing) arm to tell me about the trip, I typed this up and you can read it at the WW link below
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The above photo of Alecia comes to us via Len Redwood’s fb and on there Nathan Herbert commented that she had all the hallmarks of a Bailey, looking very similar to Romance I.
Nathan also commented that based on a photo he had seen of her with a marlin across her stern, she most likely spent time in the Bay of Islands, game fishing.
Being a Bailey it goes without saying but she is a stunning looking.
Can anyone tell us more at Alecia’s past and what became of her?
Harold Kidd Input 
ALECIA was built by Bailey & Lowe for A.N. Breckon in October 1920 at Sulphur Beach. The last owner I have is A L Barker of Remuera in 1957 (although that could easily be another ALECIA).
Photo below of Romace I ex Paul Drake (owner) for comparison
Romance I

Petrel + John Street – One Man’s Treasures – Video Series – Part 2

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The photo above comes to us via Lew Redwood’s fb page and started life as a postcard (from Lew’s collection).
We know from a comment of Harold Kidd’s that Petrel was built by Bailey & Lowe in Jan 1903 for Cecil Ley.
The caption on the photo tags the location as Herne Bay, Auckland. HDK also commented that review the photo that the launch would have been near new at the time of the photo.
Can anyone tell us what became of the launch?


Every day this week WW will feature a video filmed at John’s recent speaking engagement at the New Zealand Maritime Museum. The language is a tad ‘blue’ in places, but thats how John rolls 🙂 NOTE: VIDEO IS COPYRIGHT DO NOT DOWNLOAD WITHOUT PERMISSION. Videos edited & enhanced with the help of Andrew Christie 
PART TWO – The History of the Breeze  (turn your sound up)
MONDAY–         Fosters The Beginning
TUESDAY–        History of The Breeze
WEDNESDAY– The schooner Daring
THURSDAY–     Amercias Cup
FRIDAY –            The steam crane ship Rapaki
SATURDAY–      Tug Boat Racing on the Waitemata
UPDATE: Stunning photo below of the Breeze running down the inside of Roberton Island 2014 – taken by Dean Wright
The Breeze 2014

Sterling Girl – Bailey & Lowe 1913 Bridge-deck Launch

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Sterling Girl – Bailey & Lowe 1913 
The above boat has a couple of features that ring my bell – a wood fire and a Ford Model T wheel / helm. On top of this she appears to be a very well loved woody.
Her length is 35’ with a beam of 9’6” and draws 4’. She was built in 1913 by Bailey & Lowe, from of course kauri.
Her engine is a 120hp 6cyl, Ford diesel that gives her a speed range of 8>11 knots.
As with most Southern boats she is very well fitted out.
And surprise surprise the broker (trying) to sell her, has again chosen to not list her name. Never mind one of our southern Woodys will supply that and hopefully more details.
Thanks to Ian McDonald for the listing heads-up.
Harold Kidd Input – STERLING GIRL was built for Robert Taylor of Birkenhead and was named after her Sterling engine, a high-quality American marine engine of the time for which Bailey & Lowe were the agents. When Taylor had the big schooner LADY STERLING built in 1920 by Bailey & Lowe he sold STERLING GIRL to Capt G H White and he sold her to Roy Henderson in 1924.


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I know very little about the above launch Haku but given she is reported as being a Bailey & Lowe and built in 1912, she with be on HDK’s radar for sure.
The photo is ex a gent by the name of John Lowe’s fb page and he commented that this photo was “after I had finished her”. I will try and find one (photo) of before I started”
Keen to learn more about Huku and lets hope John sees this WW story and emails more photos to
Input from Harold Kidd. –
Because HAKU = Kingfish , there have been many launches of that name.
1. HAKU built by Colley Bros of Devonport in 1909
2. HAKU built as DOREEN by Arch Logan in 1912 and renamed HAKU by H H Partridge in 1913
3. HAKU built by Bailey & Lowe in September 1914 for H W Hudson, a 28 footer with a canoe stern which is this boat. She went to the Manukau in 1920 and is now in Tauranga. Her upper works have been changed and reverted to an earlier style of dee-front cabin top.
Input from Dave Stanaway
Photo below is Haku 2008 before McCallums sold her. The Peter is alongside her and was also sold.
I think Pony More’s son bought Haku. The photo location was McCallum’s yard at Westhaven. The McCallum’s kept her down near Kawakawa Bay to use as transport to Karamaramu Island.

What Happened to Floral

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The photo above (ex Keith Humphreys fb) is of the Bailey & Lowe launch Floral. The photo is dated Jan 18 1908 and the caption states that the previous Saturday Floral had won the Devonport Yacht Club’s motor race.
On Dec 12 1908 we know that she competed in the Rudder Cup launch race around Sail Rock and back (108nm).
In a previous WW story Harold Kidd commented that Bailey & Lowe sold Floral in 1909 to Capt. J.S. Clark for use as a passenger and cargo launch on the Whitford run, she probably still exists under a different name.
Harold believed there may have been a candidate to follow up, last seen on the hard at Coromandel. HDK – did you ever solve the mystery?
HDK’s story on The Rudder Cup can be read on the WW link below. Its a good read 🙂
Harold Kidd Input – FLORAL was on the run to Whitford for a few years, then was bought by A. Munro. She was sold to T. Paterson of Tauranga c1920 and was gamefishing out of Tauranga by 1924 run by E. Gray. In June 1926 a petrol fire burnt her out and sank her off North Rock, Mount Maunganui. Gray’s nephew was badly burned but got away in the dinghy.
Yesterday was a cracker for launches – sun shinning, the sea like glass and very few people out.



In typical WW style we go from yesterdays story on Eileen Patrica with over 50 photos and the biggest viewing numbers in the last 6 weeks (strange fact – France was #1 overseas viewing country – never had that b4???) to todays story with 2 b/w photos 🙂

The launch above is Mahino and according to Malcolm Campbell who contacted me, she was built by Bailey & Lowe. When she was built is unknown but her specs are length – 28’6”, beam – 6’6” and draws 18”.

Malcolm’s grand father on his mothers side, Lestock Jenkins – brought the Mahino from a Bill Hamilton c.1919 at Waihi and used her on the Tauranga Harbour, Tanners Pt. & Kauri Pt. area. 
Mahino was taken by truck trailer to the Manukau Harbour in 1936, during the war years she was kept in a creek and in 1947 Lestock sold her to a new owner on the Auckland Harbour.
Mahino was powered by a Rugby engine.
Malcom is very keen to discover what became of Mahino, fingers crossed we can help him out.
Harold Kidd Input – Sounds like ORINI built by Bailey & Lowe in 1907 and sold to Matata and renamed after the NZ Hospital Ship MAHENO.

Rangi B16



I have recently been contacted by Andrew Mason who while going thru a collection of old photos, came across the one above by H Winkelmann, sporting the sail number B16. Andrew was asking if anyone knew if she was still around and if so, what became of her.

I was able to point Andrew in the direction of a comment by Harold Kidd from back in April 2015 where HDK commented on a story / photo ex Chris McMullen on a mystery ship (yacht) wreck.
HDK advised that B16 was the Bailey & Lowe keel yacht Rangi, which had broken up when she came ashore at Norfolk Island in 1951.
Anyone able to tell us more about Rangi prior to 1951?
Harold Kidd Input – She was built as the fishing boat or “schnapper boat” for line fishing by Bailey & Lowe in 1903 as SCHOPOLO for a Greek fisherman called Nicholas. She was very like if not a twin to the Bailey & Lowe fishing boat WHITE HEATHER built for J. Wheeler. Logan Bros’ VICTORY and FRANCES were the same sort of boats. Motor fishing launches made them uneconomical very shortly after and they were converted to most satisfactory yachts because of their extra beam.
SCHOPOLO was sold out of the fishing industry and became LORELEI in 1919, changed hands and was renamed RANGI around 1923.
She took part in the 1931, 1948 and 1951 TransTasman races but was lost at Norfolk Is on her return in 1951.
Input from Jim Lott – Rangi was owned for a number of years by Con Thode’s father. Con learned his early sailing on board and spoke often of his time on board, and his sadness when she was wrecked after his father sold her.

I have been away overseas on “Victoria” (another Auckland ‘woody’, since 2011 and am now back living in NZ.
Currently we won the Camelot “Mokoia” (Stewart) and also owned “Vectis” (Woolacott) in the 1970’s.

Hobsonville Marina Hardstand Report







Hobsonville Marina Hardstand Report

Woody John Wicks sent in the above photos of woody activity at the marina.

Lapwing, built by Bailey & Lowe in 1915, lives along from me at Bayswater and would have to be a contender for the most unused woody in Auckland, but her owner maintains her very well so she is a lucky woody. Nice to see her lies and a close up of the classic B&L scrollwork on the bow. In the water front below

We couldn’t find Parma on WW but I’m sure its appeared before, she was for sale for a very long time, so hopefully her present condition reflects a change of ownership. As John commented, she is a pretty thing – can anyone update us on her?. 

The shots of – Rosemary M, show the results of a large plastic boat out-of-control whacking her with its stern platform after its skipper mistook his throttles for gearshifts while trying to back in / out of his berth. John understands the owner of Rosemary M was aboard her at the time and was able to stuff something into the hole and stem the inflow until she could be lifted out. John understands the owner of the assailant has at least had the decency to admit liability – good man. A peek below decks here –




Anyone looking for a low entry cost woody project?
I have been contacted by Phil Gilbert concerning Wairuna a 28’, c.1938-40 Bailey and Lowe launch.
Wairuna has had one owner for the last 30 years, who sadly is now deceased, & the vessel has been sitting on a mooring at Tryphena for a bit.
She is now in Westhaven & will go on trademe next week with a reserve of $500 unless a keen woody wants a bargain.
She is powered by a 90hp Ford diesel, including hyd box.
The hull has been re ribbed, and appears in good nick, no visible electrolysis, top is glassed, original foredeck under the ply and glass. Hull extended
under boarding platform, bigger fuel tanks, no water tanks, and galley has been removed as it has only been used as a day boat for many years.
To quote Phil ‘her bones are great, but the makeup has run a bit’ – all offers considered.
Would be great if we could find a new home & return her to Auckland’s classic woody fleet – or even Lake Rotoiti 🙂
Contact Phil at.

Te Whara




Each year for the last 5 years in February I have attended the Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Parade, each year there are always several boats that ‘ring my bell’, one in particular is – Te Whara, the 32’, 1916 Bailey & Lowe built launch. Te Whara is not your typical lake boat, in my eyes she needs to be on the Waitemata & she could be – she is for sale. Firstly some details.
Te Whara was built by Bailey & Lowe at their yard at Sulphur Beach, Northcote in January 1916 for the Drummond brothers of Whangarei. Her first engine was a 10hp and probably a Sterling for which Bailey & Lowe were the agents. In February 1916 she was sailed up to Whangarei where she was based (always kept under cover). Originally flush-decked, Te Whara was taken back to Bailey & Lowe in the 1920’s where the wheelhouse area and companionway to the top deck was altered. She has the first rack-and-pinion steering ever fitted in Auckland. In 1972 she was refitted with the current 6 cylinder 106hp diesel which pushes her to around 10 knots. Owners Bruce Stewart and Andy Coupe purchased this launch (sporting a very rough paint job) in March 2005 for $40,000 and, after sailing her down from Whangarei harbour, spent a month sanding and repainting her at Orams in Auckland. After a short few months interlude in Auckland, Te Whara was launched at Lake Rotoiti in June 2005 and is now moored at Gisborne Pt. When searching for a launch, Bruce and Andy wanted a rear wheelhouse so that the helmsman and fisherman could be together. Of particular appeal was the elegant saloon, which runs from the engine bay to the bow. Te Whara still has the original interior fit out, including the porcelain ‘head’.
In 2013 Te Whara was lifted out of the lake and taken for a $25,000 re-paint and re-fit. The original canvas waterproofing on the decks was removed and the decks glassed. All other hull and deck timbers are original and in good condition. Unfortunately, being on a mooring and exposed to the weather takes it’s toll on Te Whara. In addition, Bruce and Andy are getting older and are beginning to find it more difficult to manage, and it is for these reasons that Te Whara is offered for sale for $35,000, or swap for a smaller classic launch.
I took the above photos of Te Whara at the 2015 & 2018 Parades. Come on woodys, lets bring her back to the Waitemata or alternatively she is a very cheap floating bach at the lake 🙂
Interested parties can contact Andy at.

Sybil II




Cameron Pollard sent in the above photos of the 1910 Bailey & Lowe launch Sybil II. Cameron has owned her since 2004 & recently moved her from Westmere to “a yard out south”.
The b/w photos below (ex classicboatNZ) show her on launch day in December 1910 & underway with a crowd on-board.
The ‘colour’ photo is from when she was owned by the Parry Brothers.
Cameron has assured me that he will get her back in water before he clicks his clog for the last time.
What more do me know about Sybil II?

Anzac (Freedom Restoration Update


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ANZAC (Freedom)
Todays story is on the restoration of Anzac, the 1911 Bailey & Lowe launch.
Owner Greg Skinner sent in the above photos & I ‘lifted’ a few historical ones (below) from his weblog, which you should check out for more details on the project & the history of the vessel.
Its been a while since we had an update & Greg advised that the following work has been done over the last 2 years:
• Hauled out
• Full strip out of fittings and fixtures
• Wheelhouse removed
• Rear canopy removed
• Duck board removed
• Motor remove – about to be refurbished
• All plumbing, electrical and electronics removed
• Hull – all paint and caulking removed
• Boat shed constructed
Currently Greg is removing ribs (approx. 80 to be replaced) 30% the way through removal (replacement rib material arrived, about to order copper nails)
You have to tip your hat to woodys like Greg & Jason Prew (My Girl) for undertaking woody project of this magnitude. The address for Greg’s weblog is below + the link to the previous WW story on her, there is a great woody tale there so check it out.
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Jimmy & Barney Daniel inspect Freedom at Tinopai

Input from Robin Elliott – They owners have possibly been in to see these but the Auckland War Memorial museum have some early photographs of her in the Winkelmann Collection … as follows.

Oban 24/4/1915 Negative number 8895
ANZAC 11/12/1915 Neg number 8924
ANZAC 12/2/1916 Neg number 8948

ANZAC 1/4/1916 Neg Number 8983

Input from Harold Kidd – She was built by Bailey & Lowe for A B Donald in 1911 as MAPUHI.Alex Burt bought her in 1913 and changed her name to WORCESTER (briefly) then to OBAN, then to ANZAC on 26th November 1915. So there’s a variety of names to call her including her post-ANZAC names of BETTY and FREEDOM.

Marion D > Joan







I was contacted by Ray Russell the owner of Joan (previously named Marion D) the 1919 Bailey & Lowe launch to let me know he was in possession of a small 10 page booklet (diary/log book) on a trip made in 1932 by Marion D to the Bay of Islands for a spot of ‘sword fishing’. I have scanned the booklet & reproduced it below for your enjoyment.

Ray kindly posted the booklet to me & also emailed a selection of photos, seen above. Ray wasn’t able to date the photos to match the log book entries, but feels the 1st one above is the Whangeraei Town Basin, the gent with the pipe is most likely Jim Donald.

Ray commented that he was unsure when the tram top was removed, but was able to advise that the round cabin windows were replaced by Lanes at Panmure in 1938.

The colour photo shows her as Joan, a later name change. You can read / see more of Joan here









Mystery Tourist Launch


Mystery Tourist Launch

Todays photo created some chat from Harold Kidd when it appeared on Lew Redwood’s facebook page. Harold commented that the location looked like Lake Rotorua & the launch could have been one of the Bailey & Lowe purpose built tourist launches, built in the 1900>1910 period for Robinson & McIntosh of Rotorua. Harold pointed out the steering position as the giveaway – “not open sea gear” were the words used.

I have enhanced the photo a little to show more of the launches features – can any of the woodys tell us anymore about the launch?

Update 31-05-2018 – I have been contacted by Alice Morrison who is moored beside the vessel pictured below in Tauranga. The vessel’s name is Presto and according to the owner, was built in 1898. She is approx. 40′ (that’s a guess) and made of kauri.  Alice is of the view that she looks similar to the mystery tourist launch above . What do the woodys think?


The  Hottest Trend In Classic Boating?

The answer is ……… owning two boats 🙂

CYA launch dynamo Nathan Herbert (Lucinda) has now joined the 2 boat club. Photos below of the new addition – Pacific (photos below ex Nathan’s fb), being hauled out at Miford Marina. One of my bucket list classics. 




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I spotted the bridge-decker Manu in late January when Trinidad was berthed at the Waikawa Marina (my photos below). Now she is 4sale on trademe, thanks to Ian McDonald for the heads-up.

Built by Bailey & Lowe in 1913, measures 37’. Zoom zoom is via a 125hp Yanmar diesel.

While her beam is listed as 9’10”, she appears very narrow, but the camera can lie 😉

Do we know anything more about her past?




Harold Kidd Input – Briefly, MANU was built by Bailey & Lowe for J.A. Holloway of Stanley Bay. She has B&L’s standard 35 foot hull. About 1917 Holloway sold her to Lt Col Phil Andrew the Auckland Port Medical Officer of Health. He sold to W.A. Wilkinson (“Speedwell”) in June 1920 and he sold to Miss Arkle of Arkles Bay later in that year. The next owners were the O’Brien brothers of Waiheke about 1928. She spent some time on the Manukau owned (either then or later) by Albie Parkes. Henry Hansen of Mangawhare bought her in 1952and sold her to Les Bird of Silverdale c1967. Bird kept her at Wenderholm on the Puhoi River. Bird sold to Stirling Sports c1977. Then Peter Haywood had her at Milford where he was Commodore of the Club. She was in Havelock by 2000 and is still there. There were probably a few other owners in between all these but there are just so many MANUs!
Apart from the bridgedeck which has been on her since at least Hanesn’s ownership she’s pretty original. Pauline and I went over her a few years ago and were most impressed. A lovely launch.





The photos above of Duchess, appeared back in 2013, by mistake on a previous WW story on the Joe Slattery launch – Raiona. I have updated the Raiona story & included below details ex Harold Kidd & Nathan Herbert (who ID’ed the mix-up)

 DUCHESS and RAIONA were remarkably similar, or rather MOLLIE/ALCESTIS/RAIONA was lengthened to 44ft and altered to look like remarkably like DUCHESS by Colin Wild in 1928.
The 40 footer DUCHESS was built in late 1920 by Bailey & Lowe for R.L. Stewart Sr.
The pic above shows DUCHESS on Eel Rock off Cowes Bay on 1st January 1934.  She ran on the rock just after high tide and was refloated the next day with slight damage (2 planks stove in).
Stewart sold her to the Government in August 1935 as a tourist launch. In the Auckland Star of 10th August 1935 there’s a full description of her in the photos below, confirms her configuration is very close to RAIONA’s. She had a 3cylinder heavy duty Twigg engine.
I’m not terribly sure what happened to her after the Crown/PWD bought her.



MV Takitimu

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The above photo of Takitimu were taken by Adam Leyden while on-route from Picton to Marsden Point during the Manaia’s delivery trip. Manaia was featured yesterday on WW so scroll down to view.

Takitimu was built in 1921 by Bailey & Lowe, Auckland. Commissioned by the Gisborne Harbour Board as both a tug & pilot vessel. She measures 45’ in length, with a 11’ beam & a draft of 5’.

Originally powered by a 40hp Twigg petrol engine, this was replaced after 1 year by a 70hp Twigg. In 1945 this was replaced by a 100hp Vivian & then in 1970 with a Gardner 6LX, which continues to power her today.

The vessel these days is ‘owned’ by a charitable trust (The Gisborne MV Takitimu Charitable Trust) & is available for excursions, tourism & conservation work. You can find the trust on facebook. Check them out, maybe even make a donation 😉

09-05-2018 Update photo ex Tim Anderson – nice to see the bow 🙂


Update 15-03-2019, photo ex Mike Mahoney

MV Takitimu Mar2019

Update 27-03-2019 showing Takitimu in a previous working life – in Gisborne. Photo ex Bruce Pullman



Edwina (Rotomahana)at Wanaka



EDWINA (Rotomahana)

Its Spring !! summer is so close – so I thought we needed some stunning woody imagery to celebrate the day 🙂

It’s not often do we see a woody with such scenery and with snow in background. The above photos of the 1923, Bailey & Lowe – Edwina were taken by Roger Guthrie & show her on the beach at Waterfall Valley Outlet, on Lake Wanaka.
WW followers will know Edwina as John Pryor’s old Rotomahana. Now owned by Dean Weatherall.

You can see / read more on the launch at this link

13-09-2018 Update – photo below ex Mike Trotter’s fb



I have had several requests for a recommendation on a classic friendly handyman, ideally with varnishing (Uroxsys) experience – anyone know anyone that does ‘odd-job’? Email me on


Rakanui >> Mona’s Isle II




Andrew Pollard recently sent me the above photos (ex Baden Pascoe & Russell Ward) of the 1926 motorboat Rakanui. I’m unaware of her history, which I’m sure the 2 previously mentioned woodys will supply. But I have to say – WoW what a stunning vessel.
Below is a photo of her later in life after she had been converted to a tug & named Mona’s Isle II.


Input from Russell Ward
Harold elicited that her ownership was as below (built by Bailey & Lowe):
1. W.R. Patterson (1926-1937)
2. J D Bell Ltd (1937-1939)
3. Winstones (1939+)
She had a Widdops semi diesel when new and hence the tall funnel to get the soot and smoke away. They were replaced soon after she was new. Ray Morey sent us a problem pic of her from Australia and I am hoping it will be posted because she was on a jolly with Capt Bell and passengers and we were not sure of the date or actual location in the harbour.
Superb tug and well praised by all those who served on her. When Patterson sold her to Bell pre WW2, she had to be renamed and Bell, being a Manxman, chose the name which was already in use by a Clyde ferry -hence she is the second of the name. Took us a while to fathom that one.
(Photo below taken when Bell owner her)

Input from Ray Morey
She also sported a pair of K4 Kelvins then Gardners before the Detroits which I am sure Keith Wright installed. I believe “Mona’s Isle” is the old gaelic name for The Isle of Man.

Input from Ken Rickets – Was run by the Julian family for a number of years as a tug, under ownership of Gulf Freighters Ltd, a joint Julian & Winstone company. She had 2 x 88 Hp Kelvin diesels, which they replaced with 2 x 95 hp 5 Cyl Gardners.
Input from Paul N. – In the ninetys she was owned by Sir Michael Fay and would tow a barge full of building materials from the Tamaki river down to the Merc’s. Later was sold to McManaways in the South Island and was used for towing a barge. Unfortunately the barge toppled over with the weight of two concrete trucks while loading, with the loss of two lives.

mona's isle II

Additional Input from Andrew Pollard
Julian used her extensively in the harbour bridge construction. The photos below are ex BadenPascoe / Russell Ward / Chris Robey



Input from Robin Elliot (photo ex Russell Ward*)
In February 1945 Winstones loaned Mona’s Isle to Royal Akarana Yacht Club for use as their flagship at the club’s 50th Jubilee Regatta.
At RAYC’s centenary regatta in 1995, she was there again as flagship, now named Rakanoa and skippered by the redoubtable Peter Vandersloot who was tug-boat skipper for Sir Michael Fay.

*The photo is by Tinny Brown, who was a tug man of the times we speak of, and came to Russell via Tim Brown –a good steamer and ex Bailey’s man (hence a great craftsman). Now steaming in Whangarei with his steamer Clansman.

(Ron Trotter has advised she has been in Coromandel Harbour / wharf for the last year+)


30-01-2018 Input from Janet Watkins

From Whangarei records by AH Pickmere I was updating yesterday!!
“Old timers will remember W.R. Patterson who grew up in boats yet he never learned to swim. He started with a small open sloop but began trading with a larger vessel Lupe, a cutter. Then he acquired the passenger launches Rose and Eva, and later Lady Eva and Rakanui. W.R. Patterson owned Eva 1910-1928, Lady Eva 1013-1920 (Latterly owned by Subritzky) and Rakanui 1926-1937. Rakanui, renamed Monas Isle II, brought back to Whangarei by Keith Wright and name reverted to Rakanui. Should be Rakaunui meaning Big Tree – Capt Patterson was the local agent for Big Tree Benzine and in the days before either rail (late 1926) or good roads, cased benzine was regularly barged from Auckland to Patterson’s depot near Doctor’s Creek – behind the old Drill Hall in Whangarei.

Lady Eva

Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 5.27.20 AM

or the continuing saga of ODIN / OVODIN

In yesterdays post there was considerable debate around the name of the stranded motor boat. Woody, Baden Pascoe strongly debated the case that the vessel was Odin. He commented
“It is easy to see many features of Odin that mirror those of Lady Eva (both built at Whangarei) e.g. side deck rails, shear chocks, towing hook mast mounted, wheel house. Why would you not copy the greatest towing launch of her time? I would. When Lady Eva was launched in 1913, she was the talk of New Zealand, she had a modern 120 English diesel of 120 h.p and many good features of towing launches of the time. The towing hook mounted on the missen mast was what they did in those days, but having a towing point so high is a lethal thing – great way to “gurt” a tug (tow comes along side, pulls and over goes the tug).”

In the above photo we see a scale model of the Lady Eva, built by the hands of master craftsman Bruce Tantrum (love the calendar in the background Bruce 😉 )- to view more of Bruce’s work here  and here
For comparison I have included below (again) a Odin/Ovodin photo. What do we think woodys? , scroll down to yesterdays posts, read the comments & tell us your thoughts.


Trolling On The Lake – Mokoia


Trolling On The Lake – Mokoia

The above photo, ex Harold Kidd, is of Mokoia, fishing on Lake Rotorua. The question of the day is – when was she built and who built her?
The first correct answer in the ww comments section, after 6.30am, scores a 2017 Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Calendar.

Harold Kidd Input – MOKOIA was built by Bailey & Lowe in December 1903 for the Hot Lakers Steam Navigation Co. Typical “settler’s launch” by Bailey & Lowe, very similar to Chas Bailey Jr’s MILKMAID type. There were hundreds of these all over New Zealand.







The above photos of Nancibel are from the Auckland Museum, Tudor Collins collection, emailed to me by Ken Rickett’s. They show Nancibel leaving Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island c.1940’s. Back then she was in use as a passenger ferry to & from Kawau Island. Harold Kidd advised that Nancibel was built by Bailey & Lowe in 1920 for Dodd & Gibbons of Thames. L. Rolfe of Matakana owned her 1935 and sold her to F. Herring. Gubbs Motors owned her 1941 to 1951 at least, painted red and green. Geoff Brebner also commented on ww that in the later 1950’s, (pre harbour bridge opening), Nancibel was on passenger run from Auckland city to Upper Harbour.

Ken Rickett’s is on record in a previous ww story saying that she was powered with a 4 cyl 4-53 GM Detroit & painted bottle green.

The photos show a group of very well attired people enjoying a fun day out. If we fast forward to 1972 Nancibel had a new life as a dive charter boat working out of Tauranga. Unfortunately on a charter trip to Mayor Island with 30 passengers (skin divers) aboard Nancibel hit a submerged rock & very quickly sank in 45′ of water, everyone aboard was saved. A second boat was dispatched by the insurance assessors to dive on the wreck to survey & photograph it, sadly one of the divers, Henry Laison, died of the bends after surfacing from a deep dive. You can view below an article & photos that appeared in Dive Magazine Vol 11 No3, of 1972. Details & the article were sent in by Don Macleod.

Given that Tauranga divers went out and salvaged the Gardner engine from the Nancibel the week after she sank, I’m assuming she remained in Davey Jones Locker – can any woodys confirm this ?

Nancibel _ DIVE Magazine

Harold Kidd Input

She was issued with number 223 in February 1940 and would have carried it throughout the war for reporting to the defence boom at Auckland. During this period she was run as the Kawau-Sandspit ferry by Gubbs Motors.
I think it’s Sir Cyril Newall too. I understand he was sent to the colonies to get him out of any sort of RAF command after the Battle of Britain.
I remember when my father attended an Anzac Day Parade of old diggers at Taumarunui in 1942 where Newall spoke. I asked him what the GG said. “Just ‘haw haw haw haw haw'” Dad replied, imitating the upper class accent and lack of content. Mind you we were expecting the Japs at any moment and weren’t expecting any help from that quarter.

Gladys (Gispa)

Gladys 1950's




GLADYS (Gispa)

Gladys was designed & built by Bailey & Lowe for Mr. Chas. Court, of Auckland. She measured 38′ with a 8’6″ beam & 3′ draft. When launched her engine was a 25/40hp, 4 cylinder medium weight Sterling.
Gladys was featured in an August 1913 publication (or supplement) called ‘Progress’, tear sheets of which are above & describe her fit out & features.
Nathan Herbert emailed me this data from the National Library & commented that Gladys has had two cameo appearances on ww before – once in the story headed ‘Schoolhouse Bay Mystery Launches’ & in the story ‘Winter Haul Out’ – links (blue) to both below.

The questions today are, when was she launched & what happened to her post the 1950’s?

Harold Kidd Input

I think Nathan knows the answers, but
1. She was launched on 4th August 1910 for Charles Court with a 16hp Standard. She was his second GLADYS, the first being a “settler’s launch” type of 1903.
2. Bailey & Lowe extensively overhauled her in April-May 1912 and fitted a 25/40hp Sterling.
At the same time they fitted the dodger etc.She then was in the configuration shown in the Progress clip.
3. Chas Court sold her to J.W. Court (don’t have my Auckland Network book handy, but think they were brothers) and G.R. Hutchinson in November 1919 and they renamed her GISPA. Chas Court had a new 53ft GLADYS built by Bailey & Lowe, later RONGO (II) under Cecil Leys.
4. Court & Hutchinson sold GISPA to W. Mason Bayly in 1921. He took her to Russell.
5. Bayly sold her to W.R. Ingram of Auckland in 1925.
6. Ingram sold her to the Government Tourist Bureau in November 1937. She was shipped to Milford Sound where the top pic was taken in the mid 1950s.
7. I don’t know her eventual fate, but hope it will be teased out by this post! She has/had such a distinctive hull that someone will know where she is today or where she died.

Rotomahana 4-Sale




While searching for details on a launch the other day I went to cross reference some Bailey & Lowe boats & discovered that the 1923 Bailey & Lowe launch Rotomahana had not appeared on ww.

Today’s post is a gallery of photos from my files & owner John Prior emailed in by Ken Ricketts. Enjoy 🙂

Harold Kidd Input

As identified by Chris Leech the b/w images with her flying the DYC commodores burgee were taken when she was owned by Humphrey Duder, then Commodore of Devonport Yacht Club. The 401 number was her WW2 reporting number. She was never impressed into service for patrol work. Bailey & Lowe launched her in December 1923 for A. McDonald (NOT A.B. Donald) as EDWINA. Duder changed her name to ROTOMAHANA when he bought her in 1936. Very like a shortened ROMANCE II in styling.
06-07-2016 The photo below show Rotomahana after the recent (2016) repaint.

Rotomahana 2016 b

Rotomahana 2016 a


Classic Yacht – Ngatira 4- Sale

Ngatira 1

Ngatira Mahurangi 2015Lyn B.img2


Classic Yacht – Ngatira 4- sale

Now I don’t do many blatant 4-sale posts on ww but the gaff cutter Ngatira is owned by a long time buddy & all round nice guy – Steve Horsley.
Ngatira was built in 1904, is the finest example of a Charles Bailey Jnr racing boat of this era and is of historic significance. She has recently undergone an extensive restoration / rebuild back to its original configuration e.g gaff, staysail, jib and topsail.

Ngatira is not only a stunner on the water, she is also rather quick and has had good success racing in CYA regattas.
She was a Logan beater when first launched to race against Kotiri and still beats a few Logan’s today. She can be raced easily with a small crew of 3 or 5, and cruised with only two.
Basic but comfortable inside as it was in the day, sleeps up to four.
She is in good condition and has a good pedigree with a well documented history.

LOA 49’
LOD 40’8”
LWL 28’6”
Beam 8’6”
Draft 5’10”

Ngatira is presently hauled out at Sandspit Yacht Club hardstand for viewing.

Sale price $180,000

Contact Stephen Horsley 09 423 8704 – 027 280 7497


Mystery Launch 08-06


photo ex Geoff Steven

I was sent the above photo last week & while I know the name of the boat & the identity of the people in the photo, I don’t know the designer/builder/year – so woodys the first one that can correctly name the launch & her designer/builder & year of launch, will win a copy of the publication – ‘The Jack Brooke Story – A celebration of a New Zealand amateur yacht designer’. Published by the Tino Rawa Trust, with input from Harold Kidd & Robert Brooke.

Now some t&c’s
1. Winning entries details will be confirmed by HDK
2. The following are excluded – HDK, Nathan Herbert & Ken Rickets – just to give everyone a better a chance of winning 🙂

Once she has been ID’ed I will post more details on her but very keen to hear about what happened to her in later years & where she is now.

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 7.31.31 PM

We have a winner , confirmed by HDK – Paul Drake – well done.
It is the Duchess built by Bailey & Lowe in 1920 for R.L. Stewart Sr. Harold commented that funnel puts you off as she looks like steamer but it’s only for her 3 cylinder Twigg petrol engine. I understand she even had a fireplace onboard – my kind of boar 🙂
The photo was sent to me by Geoff Steven whose uncle Graham (Snow) Steven owned her. He lived at BP Bay on Kawau Island and used to do work around the island on her. Geoff recalls that he dragged telegraph poles to the various Gulf islands at times. Graham was well known by boaties in the Gulf. The lads in the bow are Geoff’s brothers & Geoff took the photo.

Update 06-05-2019 – Photo below ex Bob Platt






photo & details ex Bob Wichman* via Bruce Pullan

Callie was built c.1916 by Bailey & Lowe for the Brown Bros. She was 39′ x 9’3″ x 4’6″ & when launched had a 35hp Twigg 4 cyl diesel engine.
In 1918 she was sold to C.W. White of Onehunga. In 1925 she was re-powered with a 140hp Steams petrol engine. Sold again in 1939 to I.G. Vickery of Onehunga. In 1940 a Gardner 24hp (seems small?) engine was fitted, this was replaced in 1948 with a 48hp Ralston diesel.

In the early 1900’s she was used as a passenger ferry to Cornwallis & Huia on the Manukau. Post c1940 she was commercial fishing for skipper Fred Vickery.

Unfortunately she was wrecked on 11-05-1968 on a sandbank at Southhead, Manukau Harbour.

In the photo above given the presence of Fred Vickery, I assume its Callie on a day off from her fishing boat duties & not when she was a passenger vessel. A note with the photo records the following people:
# ‘Gary’ standing with foot on the rail
# Beverley Wishart, red dress, black cardigan
# Fred Vickery (owner/skipper) outside wheelhouse
# Rod Vickery in water

*note: Bob Wichman’s family had an association with Callie & the Awhitu (Inverness)


photos ex trademe

Wairuna is currently a resident of Great Barrier Island & has been lucky to have the same owner for the last 29 years.
Her trademe listing states that she is a 28′ Bailey & Lowe kauri built launch, built c.1940 & powered by a 90hp Fordson diesel.
What I’m sure is a more modern cabin top has been done very well, not easy on a sub 30′ boat 🙂

Can we expand on what we have been told about her?

Bailey & Lowe

photo ex Angus Rogers ex Northcote Tavern

The only photo that I had of the Bailey & Lowe yard at Sulphur Beach, Northcote, was one I took with the iPhone from a library book & it was very average.
The above is hanging on the wall in the Northcote Tavern & was snapped (via iPhone) by Angus Rogers.

What Angus was doing there is a mystery, must have taken a wrong turn & missed the Remuera motorway turn off 🙂

Anyone able to ID the vessels hauled out?

Beatrice > Edna > Lola – A Waiheke Story

Beatrice > Edna > Lola – A Waiheke Story

Story & photo ex Joyce Fairgray, input from Harold Kidd

Today’s photo & story was prompted by the recent ww post / movie ‘Beautiful Waiheke’. The launch Beatrice was built in 1909 by Bailey & Lowe for Jas, Gordon – I’ll let Joyce tell the story.

“When the Lambournes and other city folk holidayed on Waiheke in the 1920s, they were welcomed by other young ones growing up there, who joined in the fun and friendship. 

One was my father Selwyn Pegler (born 1903), son of John and Nell Pegler of Orapiu. Nell was daughter of Martin and Mary Ann Day of Days Bay; her sister Annie married John’s brother George and they lived not far away at Omaru Bay. Both families were large – double first cousins – so there was always a big crowd ready for fun. Numbers were further swollen by more cousins, because another sister, Jane married Will Connell, and brother Ted Day married Mercie Connell. Ted and Mercie’s daughter-in-law, Dixie Day, was author of “Waiheke Pioneers”.

Grandfather John Pegler farmed at Orapiu, and he and Granny Nell leased the boarding house from William McIntosh. It was a family enterprise with parents and children working together to run the place. All had their jobs, cooking, milking cows, cutting firewood, growing vegetables, caring for poultry and much more.

When Dad was in his teens, his father bought the launch from the Gordon family of Awaawaroa. There were a large number of Gordon girls, (yes, one married a Day!) and the launch was named for one – Beatrice. I think.

When Peglers became owners, the name was changed to that of Pegler daughter Edna, and when eventually it was sold to Connells it was named for Connell daughter Lola.

Teenage Dad was told to learn all about the boat from Mr Gordon, and take over the responsibility of launchman for the boarding house, providing guests with fishing, picnics and other excursions. It was also used for transport to and from the island for the holidaymakers. The Fuller family was often among them, and they and others would want to see any shows that were on at His Majesty’s so Dad would get them to the city. He was given a ticket to see the show, and afterwards would take them all back to Orapiu. There were few lights to be seen round the gulf, but one landmark to watch for was a lone house light at Beachlands. Weather deteriorated one night and Dad decided they would have to sleep on the boat at the launch steps, and wait until morning. One lady was very cross about it.

In 1924 the lease was due for renewal. The two oldest girls had gone nursing, other children were reaching adulthood, and my grandparents decided Waiheke could not provide adequate livelihoods for all. The launch and other possessions were sold; they moved to a dairy farm at Paerata, and Dad’s days as a responsible young skipper were over”.

More details & photos of Lola here

Input from Peter Stein
The above article brought back many fond memories.  When our launch “Waitangi” was laid up during the war because of the petrol shortage we relied very much on the “Lola”.  Our only access to Arran Bay was by the Auckland-Cowes Bay ferry.  The usual ferry was the “MV Baroona” but sometimes the “TSS Tangaroa” and “Onewa” were used on the run.  The ferry would stop off at Connell’s Bay and Mr WJ Connell (we knew him as “John Willie”) would bring the Lola alongside  for the passengers to board.  He owned the store in the bay named after him.  He usually had one of his two sons with him.  The elder Eric took over the store after his father died.  The younger son Les managed the farm which included the land behind the houses in Arran Bay.

If my memory serves me correctly the Lola was driven by a two cylinder Lister motor.
During the summer when I was a young boy the family would visit the Pegler’s in Omaru Bay.  It was an opportunity for my father to renew his acquaintance with Mr Pegler and for us to gather fruit from the fine orchard they had.

From the 1920s to the 1980s there would be few boaties that did not visit Connell’s Store for fuel and stores.  My father bought Arran House from WJ Connell in 1924.  Below is a copy of the first account my father received from Mr Connell.

Beautiful Waiheke – 1930’s Boating Movie with updated story

Beautiful Waiheke – 1930’s Boating Movie

I was sent this movie, filmed in late1929/30’s by the Lambourne brothers (Allan & Alex) nearly 2-1/2 years ago by Roger Guthrie, it was back in the very early days of ww & since then a lot more people have checked onto the site – in fact over 100,000 people. On ww last week I bumped into Peter Stein whose father (also Peter) appeared in the movie. Peter has written a very cool synopsis of the movie & the (now) classic launches that appear in the movie. I suggest you read Peters words & then watch the movie. Enjoy 🙂

The film “Beautiful Waiheke” by Peter Stein


The film was produced by the Lambourne brothers Allan & Alex in the late 1920’s early 1930’s. The Lambournes owned a large furniture shop on the corner of Ponsonby Road and Pompallier Terrace. The Arran Bay house was built in 1910 and remained Lambourne property until 1964 when it was sold to the Jorgensen Family.

Water transport for the Lambournes was the launch “Nga Whare” which is the round bilged craft in the film with the two portholes in her topsides. She was sold when I was a very young boy so I remember little about her.

Our property is next door to the Lambournes. Arran House was built circa 1885 for Andrew and Mary Croll from the Isle of Arran, Scotland. They were two of Waiheke’s pioneers. Andrew was a very fine photographer and albums of his photos can be seen at the Waiheke Historical Society Museum on Onetangi Road. Among the photos are scenes of the Annual Regatta organised by Andrew and held at Arran Bay circa the late nineteenth century. These events were well supported by “boaties” of the day. The albums were kindly donated by the Crolls of Sydney. Mary Croll was a very good artist and she put many scenes of the “bottom end” on canvas. Some of her mural work is still on the walls of one of the bedrooms in Arran House. My father, P.A.S. Stein purchased Arran House from W.J. Connell (owner of Connell’s Bay Store) in 1924 and it has been in our family ever since.

The Waitangi, the launch with mast and crosstree in the film was built in 1923 for Mr Cadman. It was a classic John L. Hacker design with sharp entry and flat stern section. The original owner named her “Karamana”. She had an aeroplane engine in her and we understand she was capable of 25knots which made her one of the fastest launches on the Waitemata at that time. Harold Kidd has a very good photo of her racing on the harbour (added below. AH). In the latter 1920s she ended up on the Tamaki Drive breakwater. My father bought the severely damaged hull and had her restored by Chas Bailey & Sons. He renamed her the “Waitangi” after his father’s steamer the TSS Waitangi of the Northern Steamship Co. My grandfather Peter Anton Stein was a Captain of various Northern Steamship Co. vessels from 1895 to 1908. Chas Bailey told my father that the Waitangi had brought them good luck because the next launch off their slipway was the legendary “Shenandoah”.

The Waitangi was 28 feet long (8.5m), had a beam of 7 foot 3inches (2.2m) and draft of 2 foot 8 inches (.8m). She was built in kauri and the bottom was double skinned from the bow to the wheelhouse.  The rest of the vessel was single skinned. Her Auckland mooring was in St Mary’s Bay in front of the Ponsonby Cruising Club at the bottom of St Mary’s Road. Maintenance was carried out at Collings and Bell Boat Builders adjacent to the PCC.

About 1930 my father replaced the old Studebaker engine with a 105hp Kermath marine engine. Allely Bros. of Beaumont Street imported the motor and installed it.  It was known as a 6 cylinder flat top. The pistons had a bore of 4” (100mm) and each cylinder had two spark plugs. It was double ignition with one spark plug connected to the magneto and the other one the distributor. Maximum speed was 18kns and at this speed the motor burnt 8 gallons of petrol per hour.   Petrol was bought in 4 gallon cans and there were two cans to a box. We still have an old Atlantic box which we use as a vegetable bin at Arran House. Petrol in the early 30s was 1 shilling and six pence a gallon. A 50% rebate brought the price back to a respectable 9 pence a gallon. My father told me that the best run home he achieved was Connell’s Point to Kings Wharf in 1 hour and 12 minutes.


The film:

The film began with shots of the Guthrie family aboard their launch “Alcestis”. It then moved to shots of Arran Bay taken from different location around the Bay. The people setting out down the path are coming from the Lambourne’s house.

The aquaplaning sequence was filmed from the shore and the “Nga Whare” which was the tow boat. My father was the young man with one of the Lambourne girls on his shoulders. Years later I learnt to aquaplane on the same board.

The “Waitangi” then heads to Bulls Bay with my father as pilot. The majority of the film is shot at Bulls Bay (Anita Bay) on the north eastern end of Waiheke. At the northern end of the bay are many small rocky islands and the launches are filmed going through the channels between the rocks. These are not hard to navigate but should be done at ½ tide or more.

The “Coughing Caves” are in the southern point of Bulls Bay. With a northerly swell and incoming tide, waves enter the caves and when the top reaches the ceiling of the cave the air behind it is compressed until it bursts out in a cloud of spray. The boy in the dingy, Reg Crawford, is trying to get as close as he safely can to the emerging spray.

The “Whirl Pool” is in the long reef extending from the northern end of Bulls Bay. Riding the swell in and out of the pool could be quite exciting as seen in the film.

The homeward bound shots of the Waitangi in the storm were taken in the channel between Pakatoa and Waiheke.

Harold Kidd Input from previous ww post

Waitangi was built as KARAMANA for F.B. Cadman in 1923 by Bailey & Lowe to a design by Hacker. KARAMANA = CADMAN in pig maori.
She was later bought by Auckland Grammar School teacher P A S Stein and rebuilt as per the 2nd photo below. She was fitted with a war surplus 6 cyl Green sohc aero engine producing 120-140bhp, bore 5.5 ins, stroke 6 ins (you work out the capacity). She was pretty radical.

03-09-2015– comments

1. The Lambourne launch was called NGAWAI I think, not NGA WHARE. She was later bought by the Andrews family on the Hokianga. I remember her as a child during WW2 laid up in a shed with a Chrysler engine. Maybe another NGAWAI but she looks the same.
2. KARAMANA/WAITANGI was built by Bailey & Lowe in 1923, not by Chas. Bailey Jr who built SHENANDOAH in 1929. There’s some conflation there.


photos ex Thomas Gross, details ex Harold Kidd

Curlew was built by Bailey & Lowe at Auckland for Percy Dufaur and launched in February 1912. Percy Dufaur was a law clerk working for the legal firm Dufaur Fawcett (now Cairns Slane). He owned many yachts in his time but was very fond of the concept of a small, seaworthy cruising boat.
Curlew had a 4hp Auckland-built Kapai auxiliary from new and was a centre boarder. Dufaur sold her to W. Abbott in 1914 and he sold her to H E Chamberlin of Ponui Island in 1918.
In 1919 A T Jamieson of Northcote bought her. He had admired Curlew and had had Bailey & Lowe build him a very similar yacht called Kereru in 1916 although she was a keel yacht. Jamieson kept her for 2 years, selling her to George Lepper of Northcote who used her to transport NZ Herald newspapers to Northcote for distribution every morning, 6 days a week.
W. Keen owned her in 1946 and D J Best 1946 to 1951 when boat builder Dave Jackson bought her (hopefully Dave J can tell us more about her recent history).
K Darrach owned her in 1973 and Bert Knight of Ngunguru owned her in 1989.
From 1946 her registration number was O15.

These days Curlew is owned by Thomas Gross & moored at Bucklands Beach.

Thomas has a question for the woody boaters out there – he is after some guidance on how to re-build Curlew’s rudder that broke in 2 pieces. He has the pieces stored on the boat to bring home and use as form for the new one, but was wondering where to start, e.g. he has read that he should use different sheets of plywood and put them in different directions etc, but was wondering if the ww followers know of more information on this or what other options to rebuild the rudder.

Update – 19-09-2015

Whangateau Traditional Boay yard have been helping Thomas with the repairs – Pam’s words “Lots of good wood still so George decided to make some simple repairs.
New rods with thread and nut to draw it all up tight again”

And for the yachties – todays bonus is a link to Day 4 + Ladies Race photos from the British Classic Week. Enjoy

Royal Irish

photo & details ex Harold Kidd

Royal Irish was built by Bailey & Lowe in August 1913 for H.C. Williamson of Cape Runaway and named after a currently popular racehorse.
She is a 32 footer, originally powered by a 4 cylinder 18-35hp Sterling marine engine. She broke away from her moorings in the winter of 1914 and was shipped by scow back to Bailey & Lowe in Auckland for extensive repairs.
Royal Irish remained on the Bay of Plenty coast for many years. Joe Addison of Waimana owned her during the 1940s when she had a 3 cylinder Ailsa Craig diesel. In 1941 she broke down off the Raurimu Islands. Addison sent off a carrier pigeon with the details. The Whakatane pilot boat ‘Port Whakatane’ went out and towed her in. Addison sold her to Charles Bell of Waimana who replaced the Ailsa Craig with a BMC Commodore.
By 1975 she was owned by Barry Davies of Leigh and she’s been in and around Leigh ever since. In fact still fishing out of Leigh today.
Tough old bird!



photo ex Bob W.

The above photo was found at the Waiuku museum the other day and there was no supporting information on the vessel. Can someone throw some light on her for us. Given the ladder on the deck, it safe to assume this was a lake photo.

Update from Paul Drake (mans a legend)

This is a great photo. This is TAMATI at Lake Taupo. Built by Bailey and Lowe (I have seen her builders plate), she still exists under the same name but otherwise unrecognizable at Paeroa. She is a side-wheeler, having been converted at Hari Hari (west coast of the South Island) some years ago. She operated commercially on Lake Ianthe. Prior to this, she languished for many years on a front lawn in Paraparaumu. And prior to this, she was a private launch on Paremata Harbour, north of Wellington. At Taupo in the 1930’s, she operated commercially in tandem with  Bailey and Lowe’s TAINUI (destroyed by fire in 1937), servicing a fishing lodge based in Boat Harbour (Western Bay). This fishing lodge was the former steamer TONGARIRO (Bailey and Lowe 1899), which ran a service between Tokaanu and Taupo until 1924. Following her years as a commercial launch at Taupo, and after WW2,  TAMATI was altered by local boat builder Jack Taylor, who raised her bow and constructed a new (plywood) cabin, which eventually rotted off.  TAMATI operated as a private launch owned by the Butler family. Said to be 28 feet LOA.

Photo below showing TAMATI in Boat Harbour, with the fishing lodge (ex TONGARIRO) in the background, and the Collings and Bell PIRI PONO (now at the Auckland Maritime museum) in the fore ground.


More photos ex Paul Drake


Photos below ex Heather Reeve, friends of current owners Colin & Gloria James


23-01-2018 Input from Clive Field

This is from an email back to Blighty in 2001 — Clive & Jill Field — Two Brits enjoying Aotearoa
For the first time in five weeks, we were on schedule! I should explain that until now we have not been running to any fixed schedule at all.
All was going well when we passed a sign that said Lake Ianthe Historic Paddle Boat trips.
We threaded our way along the jungle edged highway that separates the sea from the mountains to our left. What a mixture of sights sounds and smells to absorb? Then Lake Ianthe came into view.

Modestly advertised with just one well-written roadside tent sign we found the Paddle Vessel Tamati, (Maori for Thomas?) The newly painted vessel is the pride and joy of a former sawmill owner who has ventured out from a business with diminishing returns to capture the tourist dollar. The boat was indeed a joy to behold. Tamati is a paddle wheel conversion of an aged wooden pleasure boat built originally for the Edwardian tourists who thronged to Lake Taupo on the North Island.

David, the saw miller, told us it was built of Kauri planking, which had meant it survived many years afloat, and many more ‘upside down on a bloke’s lawn in Wellington.’ “I bought it and stuck the top on and fitted the paddles… did it all from scratch. I found some stuff on a Scottish Paddle steamer Lady of the Loch on the Internet. It was all trial and error really except luckily we didn’t seem to make any errors. We dropped it in the lake at Christmas and she just floated and went beautifully.”

David’s description of ‘sticking the top on and fitting the paddles’ is the classic understatement of a person with energy, vision and skill. It is yet further evidence of the oft-quoted ‘Kiwi Ingenuity’.
The hull has long sweeping lines. The cabin follows the classic bow fronted paddle steamer wheelhouse. The framing is in a soft salmon pink indigenous wood I think he called Ramaiti. The paddles are ‘feathered’ which means they are cranked in order that they enter the water vertically thereby immediately gaining the maximum grip on the water. Interestingly enough the paddle guards over the paddles are heavy duty clear Perspex. “Why the Perspex covers?” I asked. “Just because I reckon those wheels are beautiful and I wanted to see them going round and round” he smiled.

He was right they were beautiful pieces of engineering in wood, steel and aluminium. We discussed engines and he opened a cupboard beneath the cooker hob and there was a little Japanese diesel powering an hydraulic drive to each paddle.
We helped ourselves to tea and coffee and enjoyed the 45-minute trip around a lake formed by glacial action thousands of years ago. Two black swans paddled their serene way across the lake. David made no mention of them until I pointed out their stately progress. “Yeah, all you Brits mention them. They were introduced in Victorian times I think, but to us, they are a bloody pest. Vermin even. They crowd out the natural species and breed like rabbits… or swans really.”

The lake is edged by natural un-husbanded forest. David explained what to look for to identify such tree cover. “It is all affected by earthquakes you see. We get a real shudderer every 250 years – give or take fourteen years. The mountains just shrug off their tree cover and when they re-generate they all end up the same height. It gives a sort of blanket effect.”
(That explains our earlier candlewick bedspread analogy I thought.)

When we came to rest back at the picnic site wharf we chatted about the boat and the tourist business. “It was a bit sobering really because I wanted to finish the boat for the Christmas holidays I got wound up like a spring working it all out and doing the finishing touches. I thought it was just a case of putting up the sign on the road and I would be packed out… but it is slow starting off.”
We agreed that ‘trips every hour’ was a good way of announcing the fact that the boat went however many turned up.
“What else would you suggest we do?” he asked. We talked about websites and then “What about a steam whistle?” I suggested. “You could power it from a small compressor off the engine and that would announce to all those having picnics up in the car park that things were happening.”
In order to emphasise the point, I mentioned Walt Disney’s first ever cartoon ‘Steam Boat Willie’ starring Mr Michael Mouse.
David’s eyes lit up. “That’s it! He said, “That’s it! Look here, the marine-licensing people said I had to have a horn and I bought these.” He produced a pair of boy racer type twin air horns from under a bench. They were still in the shrink wrap packaging.
“I just haven’t had the heart to fit them, but look, I could use the air pump and get a brass whistle made up.”
We left David to his next passengers and decided that even more ‘Kiwi Ingenuity’ would be applied to the PV Tamati ‘ere long. (He later emailed us with the success story of his compressed air brass whistle)


Romance II


As I said on yesterdays post one of the highlights for me personally of attending the 2015 Mahurangi Regatta was getting to see Pauline & Harold Kidd’s 1919 Bailey & Lowe launch Romance II post her restoration under the hands of Marco Scuderi. If you asked Marco he would tell you that Harold was VERY clear in the project brief, in fact I would suspect there has not been a launch that has been so thoroughly researched & documented 😉 The brains trust of classic wooden boats were all over this project, Harold even had Robert Brooke swinging the caulking mallet.
There are still a few projects to be completed but visually the team have nailed it.
Unfortunately I did not manage to get a photo of her at speed, she was just to quick for Raindance. She did look very smart leaving the harbour on Sunday morning at ‘full chat’ (a HDK term).

Harold Update

We took about half a ton of modern excrescences out of her, sink bench, stove/oven and that huge hideous dodger, leaving only coms, stereo, deep freeze and head. Marco repositioned the Morse control so that we can now get full revs (probably 3500) out of the lusty Moon Engines-set up Hino diesel.
Walter Bailey designed her for 17 knots with a 100/150hp Sterling so she has the lines but is much lighter without the Yankee benzine-gobbler.
She now gets up on what passes for a plane earlier than before but we carried out no full power trials and didn’t get anywhere near “full chat” at Mahurangi, just hurried along to catch up with and photograph the lovely JESSIE LOGAN and WAIRIKI heading home on Sunday morning. I reckon she’ll nudge 20 knots when we summon up the courage.
On the other hand, she handled the nasty easterly jobble coming home from Bon Accord early on Monday morning well, ticking over at 1200 rpm and making 8 knots (plus flood tide).
When the Navy did a survey of launches available for patrol purposes in 1927 she had a 100hp Stearns, the “hot” engine of the time. The comment was “good seaboat”. We confirm that.
The Mills family of Devonport, who commissioned her from Bailey & Lowe in 1919, lived in Huia Street where I lived for many years, so there are multiple resonances for us.


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Just received a photo of R2 on the trailer just prior to re-launching yesterday at Gulf Harbour. I have to say that Harold & Marco have nailed it in terms of restoring her back to almost the exact original configuration. Take a bow Mr & Mrs Kidd.

You can stop the slide show above to view individual photos in detail 😉



Mystery Launch + Romance II Relaunch

Mystery Launch

photo ex Peter Louglin ex papers past

Todays photo is from the NZ Herald 09-10-1928, appears to be a very manual process, note the tin of tallow on hand to grease the rails. Who can ID her?

One of the reasons I published this photo is that today a very similar motor boat, Pauline & Harold Kidd’s Bailey & Lowe – Romance II is re-launching after a refit at Marco Scuderi’s yard that has seen R2 returned to very close to her original configuration. Still a few last minute jobs to finish so unfortunately R2 will not be at Patio Bay this weekend. ww will feature R2 when complete.
View a gallery of the refit here



Now this is what classic boating is all about – nice boat & nice people enjoying themselves in the spring weather 🙂

Joan was designed / built in 1919 by Bailey & Lowe so should get a tick from Mr Kidd. Even though Joan is a CYA vessel, I do not know much about her, so if anyone can shed some light – please do.

Photo taken by Greg Fenwick off Onetangi, Waiheke Island.

Whats the bet there wasn’t x12 life jackets on-board 😦


photos & details ex Paul Drake

Romance 1 designed & built by Bailey and Lowe in 1914 has just celebrated her 100th birthday. Owner Paul Drake gifted the old girl a new coat of paint & installed an anchor winch – which he told me actually says more about the age of her owners than the age of the boat 🙂

The Drake family have been Romance’s custodians for the last 42 years & she has been kept at Taupo since 1931. She was built for W.C. Mills who replaced her with the larger and faster ROMANCE 2 in 1919, now owned by Pauline Kidd.

Romance had the distinction of appearing on both the front and back covers of The New Zealand Yachtsman magazine of May 19, 1917. See below photos of both covers taken by Paul from an original copy of this magazine he has.

The September 5, 1914 edition of the same magazine included the following: “The launch Romance was hauled up at Queen’s Parade at Devonport on Saturday afternoon last. She is a handsome little craft and is a welcome addition to our fleet of pleasure boats. Last Saturday it was delivered to Mr Mills, a 26 foot tuck stern launch. This boat is of the raised deck type, her engine room being forard and her cabin a roomy compartment aft. The cockpit is spacious and is fitted with the usual seats and lockers. Her motive power consists of a 6 HP 4 cycle engine. She has been named Romance”.

The Drake family saved Romance from the slab sided plywood cabin brigade when they rebuilt the cabin using there own ideas in 1976. They also re ribbed and re floored her, installing a wing motor (an ancient Feltham twin), and a magnificent Chrysler Ace. These engines continue to serve her well.

The above photos show Romance at Waiheke in 1914, as purchased in Taupo in 1972, and as she came off the slip a couple of weeks ago following her 100 year repaint.

More details & photo here

Ken Rickett photo below – Feb 2014







I received an email a few weeks ago from someone that talked about the launch Kumi – problem was it was not from the owner & I had no idea who they were. They did talk as if they had an interest (past / present) in the boat. I even rang Harold Kidd & asked him if he knew of xxxx xxxxxx, the name drew a blank with Harold also.

So I call Kumi’s owner Haydon Afford & ask him if he knows someone called xxxx xxxxxx – the answer “thats me, I get sick of having to spell my name so for years I have used xxxx xxxxxx for the unimportant things in life e.g. ordering a pizza etc. xxxx even has his own email address…….. which is more than Haydon does, no mobile phone either 🙂

Hayden then realizes that on the email to me he did not say it was from him. I have re-printed the email below.

” Dear Alan. Quiet at work so found all these fantastic pictures on your extremely good website . if you wanted to include Kumi in the  Bailey and Lowe  chapter I wouldn’t mind. brief history?  Launched aug 1905 as ‘Eliza’  for Henry Adams as a lorry to take produce to and from his island Moturoa in the bay of islands. Raced in 1908 rudder cup ;failed to win . The annoyed  mr Adams challenged any body [mainly aimed at line honours winner James Reid with Seabird] to a race for 50 guineas to Russel wharf and back . Kumi beat Seabird more by good luck than boat speed , since in the rerun of the rudder cup it was very obvious that Seabird is a faster hull! Adams  had some bank trouble in 1913 and Eliza vanished  never to be seen again , but fortuitously at exactly that moment ‘Kumi’ appeared built by the same builder to the same design and launched on the same date as ‘Eliza’ .whew. She was sold to other people and in 1928 sold to Whangarei harbour board as a pilot boat and used as such till 1955 .She then went to Whangaroa harbour as a crayfish boat for mr Russ and did this till 1975. It was during this time  that an oyster barge made a mistake in berthing, crushing Kumi against the wharf and sinking her in apparently three minutes. In 1975 she went to a  Whangarei back yard till 1985 where she was modernised. Mr pont of Whangarei sold her to mr  Tercel and she came back to Auckland where her modernisation rapidly deteriorated through several owners until 1999 when  the present owners purchased her in spite of the surveyors comment of “not even any use as firewood, too rotten and wet”. The Affords took her back to their place and rebuilt her to close to 1905ish ; which was lucky because she ended up the same as her launching day photo in the maritime museum which Harold Kidd told us about after  her relaunch. Kumi has had several engines but mr Pont in Whangarei installed a 1963   six cylinder Ford  rated at 80 horse power  and this engine still gives perfect service .Kumi is a fun boat, fast enough [if not a line honours winner] but sea kindly and comfortable and ready for the next 100 years.”

A little more about Kumi – in the summer of 2012/13 Kumi completed a circumnavigation of New Zealand, I have covered this previously on ww but if you missed it, click the link below to read Haydon’s tale. Post the trip Haydon gave a talk to CYA members at the RNZYS, it was one of most entertaining evening I have been to. Haydon & Kumi’s vovage was acknowledged in 2013 with the presentation to Haydon of the ‘CYA Outstanding Achievement Award In Seamanship’ (photo above)

Recognition – Kumi also features in the CYA Classic Register 2014-15 edition – the link below takes you to the section.

Romance II


Romance II was built in 1919 by Bailey & Lowe. She is a rather quick old girl, always has been, as the older photos show. The colour photos were taken by Jason Prew at the 2006 Mahurangi Regatta, prior to her current owner Pauline Kidd purchasing her. Romance II had been on the Kidd’s bucket list for a very long time & has just been transported to Marco Scuderi’s yard (MSN Shipwrights) in Helensville for some extensive work that will see her returned to a style closely matching her ‘as launched’ configuration. It would be hard to find a project manager with a better eye & classic knowledge than Pauline’s husband Harold, so ww will be watching this project with great interest – rest assured there will be no fly bridge, solar panels etc 🙂

Rudder Cup photos (by Chris Miller) added

As always – you can enlarge any photo by clicking on it

28 Nov. 1929 photo added (ex Paperspast) below of Romance II being lowered into the water near Queens Wharf after being reconditioned (their words) at Mt Eden. Now you can see why she is so quick.

Zoom Zoom
Walter Bailey designed her for 17 knots which she exceeded with her original 15/21hp (rated) Sterling. That was replaced with the biggest Stearns available, a 35hp (rated), in June 1923. Other, more pedestrian, engines followed including a 4 cylinder Ford diesel post-WW2 and, most recently, a 6 cylinder 150hp Hino marine diesel by Moon Engines, which is a truly superb installation. We can see just under 20 knots on the GPS at 3100 but she’s tricky to handle at that speed because she’s really riding on the prop and “sensitive”, shall I say. We’ve removed most modern junk including the gas bottle and stove and the sink bench but are jibbing at removing the toilet and the deep freeze. Simplicate and add lightness!
Basically she’s Bailey & Lowe’s standard 35 footer but tweaked in the sections. Beam is 8ft , draught 2ft 6in, displacement 4.2 tons wet.

Update from HDK (24/08/2014) see comments section for previous posts

Progress is good. There have been interesting questions to resolve regarding the new dodger in our efforts to re-create her as she was launched in 1919. When you are dealing with three dimensional and aesthetic issues based on a handful of contemporary images it takes a lot of careful thinking and analysis (not to say compromise). Marco is highly sensitive to these issues, thank goodness, so our weekly brainstorming is fun and productive. We are now down to millimeter issues.
One correction however, the camber of the dodger top IS the same as the camber of the main cabin top. Anything else does look wrong and is not borne out by a careful examination of the early images nor by the fossil evidence in the boat. The shapes of the four forward facing windows gave an illusion of a higher camber, but it is an illusion.
Marco keeps his website up to date with images:


Shamrock (Shamrock Leaf)


Shamrock (originally Shamrock Leaf) was built by Bailey and Lowe and launched in 1915.   She started life powered by a 25hp Sterling petrol engine and could reach speeds of 10 knots. She was converted to diesel in 1936. Built for Arch McCarthy who ran the ferry service from Waitakaruru to Thames until the Kopu Bridge was opened.

Arch sold her to John Faulkner in 1925 where she worked as a ferry and tug in Tauranga harbour towing barges from Motiti Island and Mayor Island. She was sold in 1980 and went to Kawau Island where she did tug work towing log rafts and barges during the building of many of the wharfs at Kawau. With the tides permitting she would take the locals to Warkworth to do shopping etc. She was then on sold and was charter fishing from Leigh to Great and Little Barrier Islands.

In 2000 she was purchased by Rod Bridge from Shamrock Charters and sailed to the Kaipara Harbour where she would spend the next six years doing charter fishing in the harbour and over the Kaipara bar. It was 2000 when she was deregistered as a passenger ship and dropped the Leaf to become just Shamrock.   She holds the record for being the oldest vessel in continuous commercial survey in NZ.

Her current owners, Trish & Martin Beeby purchased her in 2006 from Rod Bridge and sailed her back to Auckland where she now resides at Te Atatu. She has competed in 3 Auckland Anniversary day Tug Boat Races and has not disgraced herself. Now powered by a 150hp Ford Dover her 4th engine after she had a Isuzu and a GM 4 /71.   2014 is her 99th year & she just passed another survey for insurance purposes and she is still doing well.

Trish has done a lot of work tracing her past but if anyone has any information or photos email them to

Photo below ex Zach Matich of Shamrock while she was chartering on the Kaipara out of Helensvillle


Photo below ex classicboatsnz showing Shamrock Leaf out at  Bailey & Lowe

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 6.07.17 AM



photos ex Dean Wright

Winsome was built by Bailey & Lowe in 1918. More details can be viewed by searching her name in the ww search box.
The other launch in the photo is Arethusa, built in 1927 by Bob Brown & now owned by Dean Wright , again view more via the ww search box.

Photo below ex Harold Kidd of Arethusa under sail – rather fine looking






photos ex Baden Pascoe

The name plaque says built by Bailey & Lowe in 1912, I’m sure if this is correct, Harold will be able to shed some light on Jessica. HDK has rather a soft spot for B&L craft. Jessica was photographed at Thames over the xmas/ny period.

Harold Kidd Update

1. “JESSICA” is a re-name. I know she’s been that since at least 2006.
2. Although foliate scrollwork on the bow was a feature of Bailey & Lowe work up until say 1920 (by when it was considered “old hat”), their scrollwork was much more free-form than this symmetrical work. Maybe the first owner wanted a symmetrical job, but I’ve not seen another and therefore have mild doubts about the “Bailey & Lowe” tag.
3. She was obviously built as a raised foredeck flushdecker.
4. It would be nice to know her previous name(s) so that we can establish some real provenance for her.
5. I do wish launch owners didn’t so readily change their boats’ names, seemingly often to butter up the female members of the family who had dark thoughts about hubby buying a boat. My father did exactly that in 1934.


To view more WW stories & photos on any subject, just key in the ‘subject name*’ in the search box, click your computers enter key & related posts will appear. Scroll down to view & click on each post to view details. 


*designer,builder,type of vessel e.g. launch or yacht,CYA only vessel,period launched e.g. 1920 etc

‘The’ Rothesay’s

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photos & details from Paul Drake 

Paul Drake has suppled the above photos of the ‘old’ & the ‘new’ Rothesay. The ‘new’ photos are as Paul knew her as a child in Taupo when she was owned by Don McLeod. Paul thinks she was about 40 feet. She is fairly distinctive forward and to his eyes the wheelhouse is perfection. The dodger sides were canvas in those days and she had a mast. Don McLead owned two Rothesays. The first was a  32 foot Bailey and Lowe, ex “Government” boat which Don bought as a near wreck when he returned from WW2 and ran commercially before upgrading to the larger Rothesay. Paul thinks the ‘new’ has survived as Tamure. Enter Tamure in the ww search box to see more on her & possible links to Rothesay.

The ‘old’ Rothesay was last seen c.1960 on the hard up the Tamaki River looking very sad & unlikely to be still going.

Photo A – New Rothesay, Western Bay, Lake Tauto, probably late 1950’s > early 1960’s

Photo B – ‘Old’ Rothesay with a full load sporting additions to her cabin and a sponson

Photo C – ‘Old’ Rothesay with Don McLeod at the helm, operating as a commercial boat at Taupo, post WW2

Photo D – ‘Old’ Rothesay on the hard at Taupo in the 1940’s, probably whilst still the ‘Government Boat’& most likely not named Rothesay. Probably a Bailey & Lowe, 32 feet

Harold Kidd Update

H.D. Heather had 5 ROTHESAYS. That doesn’t of course mean that there may have been other launches named ROTHESAY. His attachment to the name was that it was the name of his mansion in Mt. Eden Road Auckland.

ROTHESAY (1) was built by Bailey & Lowe for W.J. Jaggs as MAVIS in 1909. She had a Holliday engine. Heather bought MAVIS in July 1911 and renamed her ROTHESAY. I have no dimensions and no image. Heather sold her to E.D. Holt of Cape Runaway in September 1912.

ROTHESAY (2) was built for Heather by Bailey &  Lowe in December 1912 as ROTHESAY MINOR. She was 32’/32’/7’8″/2’6″ and had a Sterling 18-25hp Model B. There is a launching pic of her in the MM”s Bailey & Lowe collection which I’ll have to go and see. No trace after this.

ROTHESAY (3) was built by Bailey & Lowe at Sulphur Beach for Heather and launched in early December 1914. Heather used her as a dayboat for fishing in the inner Gulf. She was 26’/26’/’6’6″/1’6″ and had a 6-10hp Sterling Kid engine. Image is attached. This was a typical 1914 launch with a raised foredeck and flush-decked but with a steering position in a neat house amidships, ultra-modern at the time. My eldest son Simon rescued her from the boneyard in front of Dave Jackson’s yard at Sulphur Beach about 1993 when she rejoiced in the name AFRICAN QUEEN. We stored her at a friend’s farm but she was destroyed by a Transpower bulldozer along with another treasure that I don’t want to think about.

ROTHESAY (4) was built by Lanes in 1915 but didn’t do much during WW1. She was a bigger boat at 35′ oa and had a 6 cylinder Wisconsin engine. Heather sold her top David Teed in March 1921. Teed renamed her MAUD T but sold her to W A Wilkinson in July 1923 and he renamed her SPEEDWELL. She’s pictured at p.93 of Deacon and my book “Vintage NZ Launches” and is now in Auckland as ROSEMARY M.

ROTHESAY (5) was built for Heather by Bailey & Lowe in early 1922. He died in April after only one trip in her. She was a big launch at 40’/40’/9’6″ and had a Sterling Model FH 4 cylinder engine. She was put up for sale immediately and disappears, obviously after a name change.

I have a pic somewhere………..

To summarise in relation to the 2 Taupo ROTHESAYS; assuming they were ex-Heather ROTHESAYS

1. The “old” ROTHESAY is an early configuration with a dee-front cabin-top typical of 1910, so is possibly MAVIS/ROTHESAY(1). I will look at ROTHESAY (2)/ ROTHESAY MINOR’s pic at the MM but I think she’s likely to be a flushdecker.

2. The “new” ROTHESAY on Taupo, now Stephen Ford’s TAMURE can’t be ROTHESAY (3) (brutally dead) nor ROTHESAY (4) and seems too small for ROTHESAY (5), so she could be ROTHESAY (2). The pic at MM will settle that. I’ll try and get there this week.

13-07-2018 Update from Paul Drake

After reading on WW that (old) Rothesay was now located on the Awanui River, Paul did a google search & boom – here she is, crying out for some time on the end of a water blaster.
P1160558 (2)

Arethusa & Winsome

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The Boats of H Pickmere

photos ex Dean Wright. details by Alan H

Arethusa was used extensively by Hereward Pickmere during WWII when he was employed by the Lands & Survey Dept. to survey Northland’s coastline. Arethusa started off life as a gaff rigged cutter (see b/w photo with a 30’ long boom), she was built in 1917 by Bob Brown at Sulphur Beach, Northcote. Carvel planked kauri – 33′ 4″ with a 11′ 7″ beam.  She was converted to a launch in approx. 1955 after being wrecked & salvaged post a grounding on Farewell Spit on a passage from New Plymouth to Nelson. You can view some wonderful old images of her & the Pickmere family cruises on Dean’s website:

Arethusa was sold in 1943 & the Winsome acquired. She is described as a 34′ flush-decked launch built by Bailey & Lowe (that will please HDK) in 1918 with a draft of 2′ 7″ & had previously been owned by Hereward’s father since 1923.

Both boats still live in the Bay of Islands & you can view further details on Arethusa here:

photos – the 2 colour photos of Arethusa and Winsome together were taken by Dean earlier this year in the Bay. The b/w sketch below of Winsome is ‘borrowed’ from Pickmere’s Atlas of the Northland coast.


Update 25-07-2018 ex Arethusa owner, Dean Wright. The cutting below show Arethusa leaving Auckland on-route to Suva.



Lady Joan


Mystery Launch 15/10


photo ex Dave Jackson

Having a few blokes in the photo should help with ID’ing this launch. Given the wooden cask (water??) on deck it most likely is during an extended summer cruise. The wharf certainly is not OHS compliant.

Harold Kidd Update

I don’t know what she is but guess that she’s Collings & Bell c1914-22, maybe even Leon Warne of the same period.

Input from Dave Jackson – 16/11/13


Nagles Cove

Lady Joan

Built for Joe Lobley

Built by Bailey’s

Next owned by Taylor Family

Sterling Girl


Sterling Girl

Built by Bailey & Lowe in 1913. Being a B&L Harold K will know doubt be able to shed some more light on her.

photo ex classicgameboatnz

Harold Kidd Update

Bailey & Lowe were agents for the very fine US-built Sterling marine engine and so were keen to promote the brand by incorporating the name in names of boats they built for themselves and even others eg the launches STERLING (2 of them), STERLING GIRL and the motorsailer LADY STERLING. STERLING GIRL was built for K.R. Taylor of Birkenhead and launched in November 1913. She had a 20-35hp Sterling engine and was built on their 35ftx 8ft 6in launch moulds that had produced a long line of fine boats including STERLING, PRINCESS, COUNTESS etc and which in modified form, produced the later MANU and ROMANCE II. Taylor sold her to Capt. G. H. White during the winter of 1920 when he had commissioned the 48ft schooner-rigged motorsailer LADY STERLING from Bailey & Lowe. Roy Henderson owned her in 1925 and then she was sold to the South Island. I saw her in Nelson in 1999 when she was owned by Ross Power of Christchurch and I think she’s still there.

10-12-2015 Update from John Burland

Photos below in Nelson Marina & she is still owned by Ross Power. Love the Ford Model T wheel.

Sterling Girl

Sterling Girl - wheelhouse




An update on Atatu
words & photo from Frank Stoks
Here are a couple of fresh pictures of Atatu (1919, Bailey and Lowe) mentioned on this site about a month ago.
The new hardwood aerofoil rudder (installed 3 years ago) replaced the flat steel plate in order to eliminate all zincs and stop delignification of hard to repair timbers.
Moreover the rudder still works drifting into the berth at 1 or 2 knots whereas the flat steel rudder didn’t work at low speed.
She was a luxury launch for Holloway, then Nathan family, war service in Wellington, converted to fishing vessel in 1947, has had several wheelhouses the last of which (shown) by us about 15 years old now. Present engine is a Caterpillar D330B installed new in 1968 still going strong [touch kauri].
I have an extremely detailed history of her, concerning owners, incidents, activities, conversions, and engines – with photos starting from before she was launched to the present day. Unfortunately the Atatu embossed Royal Dalton China, cutlery, carpets and etched glass have long disappeared.
And yes the funnel is a folly – but I’m proud of it!

Want to be a waitematawoody?

Easy – buy Rotomahana, the 1923 Bailey & Lowe launch. Harold Kidd referred to her as a ‘baby Romanace II’, owned long-term by Humphrey Duder of Devonport.
33ft, kauri hull, 45hp dsl, 4 berths, toilet with holding tank, gas cooker, fridge, gps chartplotter, depth sounder, 2 x batteries, shorepower, electric capstan, aft boarding platform. A well presented classic. Call Gavin in Picton on 0272 757 716 Reduced to $32,500
 More photos & details here 

Rongo II

Rongo (II ?)b Rongo (II ?)a

photo ex Simon Manning
Pictured here around 1970-71 at what was then Simons family’s place at Curious Cove near Picton
Harold Kidd Update:
Great images! That’s the 1919 Bailey & Lowe RONGO II (ex-GLADYS II) during her period in the Sounds all right.


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The above images of this rather grand & large launch have me stumped as to its identity, I’m sure its easy but today my mind is a blank. Photo says c.1930

30/05 – appears the collective brains trust agree on Rongo – thanks team 🙂

Harold Kidd Update

I’m certain it’s RONGO (II) when owned by W. Cecil Leys in 1930. She was built as GLADYS II by Bailey & Lowe in 1919 for Chas. Court of Stanley Bay and fitted with a 150hp Sterling Model FM 6 cylinder engine. Court sold her in 1930 to Leys who had her lengthened 10 feet and renamed her RONGO. Leys owned her until 1942 when she went into NAPS as Z20. Subsequent owners included R W Butcher (1942-44), Joe Moodabe (of the Civic Theatre) (1944-47), W J Henry (1947-49), W A (Wilkie) Wilkinson (1949) W A Kenny of Picton (1964) by which time she had a 1955 Gardner 5cylinder diesel. She came back north but went to pieces at Algies Bay in July 2007.

Update 2

1. Rongo went into NAPS with a Chrysler fitted around 1938, so they probably left that in throughout hostilities as ex-USN Chryslers (and GM/Graymarine 71 series) were standard issue, for parts rationalisation.
2. Walter Bailey designed her and Bailey & Lowe built her. I would have thought that she was manifestly Bailey & Lowe, not Lanes (although I do accept that all launches do default to Lanes in the case of doubt [and I won’t repeat my conceit that Garth built them all by himself at the risk of being flamed again by Alan]).
3. Mike Moodabe never owned her. It was his brother Joe, and then only briefly, from when she came out of NAPS in 1944 until 1947.

PS [sackcloth and ashes] a bit of misinformation I created myself…..I have now found the reference to Chas. Court selling GLADYS II to Sir W. Cecil Leys .. ….it was in October 1927, a lot earlier than I had thought. It was hard to pick out which of the references were to RONGO (I) and which to RONGO (II) (OMG here we go again!).
The 35ft RONGO (I) is very interesting. She was built as MOLLIE for Capt Somerville by T M Lane & Sons (really) in December 1911 equipped with an 18hp 4 cylinder Scripps. Capt. Somerville sold her to Percy Colebrook around late 1913. Colebrook sold her to Leys in August 1919 while he was having the second MOLLIE (later ALCESTIS/RAIONA) built by Joe Slattery. Leys had her extensively modified (cabintop raised, lengthened by 3ft etc) and renamed her RONGO. The work was done by Lanes who fitted a big 100hp Scripps in 1926 for which they were the agents.
When he bought GLADYS II and renamed her RONGO II in 1927 he sold RONGO I to J T Julian of Remuera. Julian retained the name RONGO and sold her to C W H Ronaldson in 1938. I lose track of her after 1940 but will work out what happened to her one day…undoubtedly a postwar re-name.
It’s all a bit convoluted……………
Update 3
Sorry to bang on about the RONGO tribe but I have found that it was Chas. Bailey who modified MOLLIE (I) for Cecil Leys in 1919 into RONGO (I). Lanes had their hands full with LUANA. At that time there were 5 big (45ft+) launches being built around the Waitemata; Collings & Bell with MARGUERITE (later LADY UNA), Joe Slattery with MOLLIE (II) (later ALCESTIS/RAIONA), Bailey & Lowe with ATATU and GLADYS II (later RONGO II) and Lanes with LUANA. The huge postwar demand was hard to satisfy but Chas. Bailey didn’t attract any orders for big launches for some reason.

Update from Baden Pascoe:

(refers to colour photo in slide show)

This is how she looked when I saw her. In my files I found she was a NAPS vessel, no Z20, 1/7/42 -27/12/43.

She had a 6L2 installed the same engine Joan had fitted. Conrad Robinson still has this engine at Warkworth. One good thing about NAPS, your boat came back with a very nice engine. At this time she belonged to R.W. Butcher of Auckland. The man in the white hat is dad, he could not get over the length of her and was concerned that she was hogging while they lifted her. He supervised the blocking of her keel once she was slipped. Very nice boat, shame she got wrecked. Very Lanes looking though!!





Romance is the older and smaller sister of Romance II. She was built August 1914 by Bailey & Lowe for W.C. Mils of Devonport who replaced her with Romance II in 1919. Romance was 26ft oa and fitted with an ohv 4 cyl petrol engine. W.E. Utting owned her for many years after Mills.

She then went to Napier and was bought by Sydney Hole and was the Holes family boat for many years on Lake Taupo. Pictured is Ken Hole(Sydney’s son) and Belle Hole standing beside Romance)

In 2006 she was in charter on the lake.

photo ex Alan Good, words Harold Kidd & Alan Good.

Karamana (Waitangi)


Karamana (Waitangi)


She was built as KARAMANA for F.B. Cadman in 1923 by Bailey & Lowe to a design by Hacker. KARAMANA = CADMAN in pig maori.
She was later bought by Auckland Grammar School teacher P A S Stein and rebuilt as per the pic below. She was fitted with a war surplus 6 cyl Green sohc aero engine producing 120-140bhp, bore 5.5 ins, stroke 6 ins (you work out the capacity). She was pretty radical, a far cry from her current. configuration.









c.1953, photos taken from Roger Guthrie’s family launch Caprice, whose forestay is showing in the top photo

Waitangi getting some love in Blanche & Ian Cook’s shed, Sept 2011, the last time I saw her. Alan H

Update 23-12-2019 – Photo below ex Peter Apperley of Waitangi at Westhaven Marina.

Waitangi Launch Dec2019


Waitangi – the motor launch


Waitangi - the motor launch

Waitangi, the motor launch was built by Bailey & Lowe as Karamana in late 1923 to a design by Hacker and originally had a Green 6 cylinder aero engine. As you can see from the photo she was one of the ‘quicks’.

Photo as Karamana below – read H Kidd reply for details