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 J

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


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

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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.








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