Skipjack (Sea Devil)

Motuhuie May 19(2)

Re-glassed and waiting for mast

Re-glassed and back into the water

SKIPJACK (SEA DEVIL)

Woody Greg Bilington contacted me recently re his launch – Skipjack, formerly named Sea Devil, when owned by Brent Gribble.

In Greg’s words, Shipjack is a 100-year-old, unpretentious 33′ Bailey. Greg has sent in an update on the recent maintenance / restoration that he has undertaken on the woody. I’ll let Greg tell the story (with a wee bit of editing)

“I knew that Skipjack took on some water, but since the hull was sound, I wasn’t overly concerned and focused initially on mechanicals, which included replacing the prop, shaft, cutlass bearing, universal etc. In time, I decided we needed to stifle the ingress of water – and as anyone who has ever had a leaky anything will know, this can be a challenging task. Skin fittings, which were the first suspects had all been replaced and properly backed, but whilst necessary, did not made a beakerful of a difference. The stuffing box seemed a likely candidate, and though it was due for re-packing, this too, could not account for the increasing amount of work being done by the bilge pump. 

So, we hauled out at the Landing to pressure test the shaft log, and again drew a blank. It was at that point that Grant Hendry – then working at Orakei Marina, seized hold of the keel behind the rudder and discovered to my great alarm that he could move it centimetres either way! This gave rise to a nightmare or two about soft timber the length of the boat – but in any event, was almost certainly the source of the problem. 

Nevertheless, if the timber was sound and further inspection indicated that it was, then that left the keel bolts. For me this was an unexpected discovery, but I daresay it shouldn’t have been. Manganese bronze bolts subject to galvanic action for a century, and with ball-peened fastenings on the bottom of the keel, might be expected to be well past their use-by date. The problem about this of course, was that there was a Ford Dover sitting over several of them.

With an elderly woody, as we know, once started, one must persevere. So, in due course, Moon Engines removed the motor – at which time I should add, James and his team did a sterling job replacing all seals (which had begun to leak) and generally gave it a proper birthday. 

Meanwhile, boat builder Glenn Burnnand knocked out the old bolts, and confirmed that they were very much the sorrier for wear. Thinned and with numerous hair-line fractures, they were hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Don Burnnand made new bolts, each with a damned big washer and nut, and when Glenn cranked these up, the mission was accomplished. The keel locked up as tight as the day she was built – and possibly tighter. I’ve included a pic to show the difference between the two…

Burnnand Marine also removed the old glass from the deck-planking, over-laid these with marine ply, re-glassed and painted. A superb job. In my view it’s worthwhile giving a plug to those tradesmen you can rely on completely – and he is one of them. Providing you can drop your mast – since you must pass under the Tamaki Bridge (entry to the Outdoor Boating Club) – access to Shed 10 on Ngapipi Road is very easy.

Long story short, the bilge pump is having a well-earned rest, bolts are good for another century, and I sleep even more soundly on the water.”

You can read / see more on Skipjack at the WW links below

https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/08/27/skipjack/

https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/02/24/sea-devil/

 

Miami > Queen Victoria

Miami > Queen Victoria

I have a few questions re the above photos. To be honest, I’m a little confused so I have drafted the details below from info supplied ex her current owner and ask that those of you with more / better knowledge than me, give me feedback.

In 1915 Dr. Rayner of Moose Lodge, Lake Rotoiti, commissioned the Bailey Boatyard in Auckland to build a launch named ‘Miami’, when Rayner sold Moose Lodge to Sir Noel Coles Miami was replaced with the 28’ launch – ’The Moose’. The Moose was built in Feb 1939 by Collings & Bell. The Moose is shown in the top photo being transported to the Lake. The next two colour photos I believe to be the same launch at a later date.
The next three photos show the launch Miami, now named Queen Victoria, that Lake Rotoiti boatbuilder Alan Craig is about to start a re-furbishment on, during this work her Yanmar engine will be rebuilt. Her current owners in 1985 replaced her Redwing engine with the Yanmar, this being her 3rd engine – previous owners, the Armstrong family of Gisborne Point, fitted the Redwing during their ownership period. Bob Armstrong is on record as saying the launch was hard to moor and had a history breaking away which resulted in the Armstrong selling her to an unknown person, who kept her on Lake Rotorua for approx. a year.
Miami was then purchased by the Lewis family of Te Puke and kept at Otaramarae near the Harris boasted. Many years later it was sold to Bert Goulding a Tauranga surveyor, who kept her in a boatshed in Te What Bay next to his lake house (house now owned by ex MP Mr McLean)
Miami’s present owners had always admired her and regularly enquired if Bert Goulding wanted to sell the launch – his wife always replied “not ready yet”. Then in 1979 at the grand old age of 93, Bert Goulding decided it was time to sell. Her present owners jumped at the chance and purchased her. In 1985 she was sent to a Tauranga boatbuilder (Bill Visser) and altered to what we see today.
So woodys – is the above story factual and can anyone supply photos and more details on the past life of Miami > Queen Victoria ?
Input from Harold Kidd – The top left pic is OKATAINA built by Sam Ford in August 1938 for Beamish-White of Okataina. (oops – since moved to the bottom of this story. AH) The top right pic is MOOSE; same Ford truck though!
As for MIAMI, I just can’t find her being built by Chas Bailey for Dr. Rayner although 1915 had a lot more news going on than pleasure boating! Gallipoli, for example.
The first mention I have of a launch MIAMI is in 1924 when she was owned by G W & E L Best of Tennyson St., Northcote. She appears to have been sold to Whakatane in 1927, owners H West, F Prideaux and D McKenzie. In 1937 -1940 she was owned by H Dunton of Bowentown. Maybe she gravitated to Rotoiti from there or maybe there was another MIAMI at the same time?
The Bests had another MIAMI themselves in the 1950s.
I suppose Dr Rayner would have used the name MIAMI for a launch as, apart from being an enterprising dentist with his “American Dental Parlors” in Auckland, he was a developer of resorts like Turangi, Rotoiti etc obviously inspired by the contemporary conversion of Florida sandhills into the resort of Miami.
Just the same I’m eager to establish his connection with the launch MIAMI.
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Launching of Centaurus

LAUNCHING OF CENTAURUS

Yesterdays story on Leilani and Centaurus, prompted Mark Powell to dig out the above photos from the launching of Centaurus at the Bailey & Sons yard in 1965.

Launchings back then had a little more pomp and ceremony than these days – seems there was always a spot for of a man of the cloth 😉
Comparing the above photos to the recent one below – she has survived the passage of time well – almost unchanged from launch day – we like that 🙂
As always, you can read / view more on Centaurus in past WW stories – links below 😉
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PRESTO – Is She Or Isn’t She?

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PRESTO – Is She Or Isn’t She?

If you believe the trademe listing, this is a very old lady – it says Presto was born 1898. Built by Charles Bailey, 42’ in length, 3 skin kauri. Originally powered by a steam engine but now powered by a 1950 100hp, 471 Detroit diesel.

Our resident Bailey guru HDK should be able to confirm or destroy this woodys birth details. Builder aside – what more do we know about her?. Current home is Taurangi. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the listing heads-up 🙂

28-07-2017 Comments ex Russell Ward
Port Doctor’s Boat. General workboat around the place when I was a kid at school. Had a boxy wheelbase with control position atop. Always scuttling round Hobson Wharf. Eventually retired.
She lay at Barry Brickell’s Diving Creek property in Coromandel for many years and was sold to a man who did the honours and but put the rakish upper works on her. Painted her green which is what I always remembered her as. Her old wheelhouse may still be at Driving Creek.

presto

Comments below ex Ray Morey
1st an aft view of PRESTO under steam, that cut from the pic of Lady Vie and pan-am flying boat at mechanics bay
2nd is part of the blue boats dated 1973 from left is RANGI-SPRAY-unknown and just showing on the right is PRESTO after rebuild. This when Subritzky owned her.

Photo below from Dave Stanaway from when he knew her in the 1960’s when Bryce Subritzky was her master.

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Input from Harold Kidd – below is a clipping from the Auckland Star, 30 March 1898 – covering the launching.

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