Back in June 2014 WW was approached with a request for intel on the 28’ kauri planked classic launch – Kotare, that is a poplar name for boats, so I was surprised at what we uncovered.
At the time Harold Kidd was able to tell us that she was designed by Bill Couldrey in 1960 for Frank Wilkins of Church St., Northcote to build for himself. Wilkins launched her in October 1961 with a 45hp BMC diesel.
Woody Bruce Ryrie has taken on a project – a c.1960’s Couldrey classic launch that he acquired from the Firth of Thames. Unfortunately no name, so the first ask is does anyone know more about the boat?
The second ask is a little bigger, as you can see in the above photos there are a few planks that need replacing and Bruce would really appreciate a hand with the work, or even some guidance.
The launch is hauled out at Clevedon.
WE ARE LOSING OUR WATERFRONT – Okahu Bay Haul Out
It has recently been brought to my attention that our friends at Auckland Council are very anti boating – read below a summary of what’s been happening –
It’s not only the government that thinks it knows best. Auckland City has determined that the Haulout at Okahu bay, known as the Orakei Landing, will be shut down and the area will become a park reserve! The local board, despite overwhelming submissions against any change, decided in its woke way that the Landing haulout facilities, which have been a part of Auckland since the year dot, should be closed to provide another park. The haulout has and is being used by many owners of traditional wooden boats where owners as well as professionals work on them near to their homes. With the closure of this there will be no inner harbour haulouts on the Southern side of the harbour. There are also a number of professionals who will be out of a job or whose businesses will be reduced because of losing this facility. Auckland once touted itself as the city of sails. It seems it no longer thinks this is part of its makeup.In credibly the committee of the RAYC sent out an email to its members encouraging them to vote to close the Landing. That was done in a way which unless you read it carefully and understood what was happening would have led to many members completing the form supplied to submit for closure! It all smells a bit.
If you are even slightly motivated to voice your concern re the closure of the Okahu Bay haul out area – I suggest to use the channel I find works best with local politicians – they hate negative publicity – contact the chairman of the Orakei Local Board – Scott Milne direct via Facebook and leave a message – link here https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007006489029
AND TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR YOU TO VOICE YOUR CONCERNS SEE BELOW
Local Board members that voted in favour of closing the hardstand*:
Book author and publisher – Jenni Mence (she will hate me using that intro, but its true) whose last book was the uber cool – ‘K CLASS – The Hauraki Gulf’s Iconic Racer Cruiser’, has committed to another mammoth publication. This time focusing on the Arnold Francis (Bill) Couldrey design and boat building bloodline.
Currently in the final research phase, Jenni has called out to WW readers for help identifying the boats and discovering / confirming things like – the boats built and when, the current owner and/or anyone (owner or otherwise) who has a story to tell about the boat. Jenni would also love to talk to anyone who has memories of Bill himself.One has to assume many of the boats won’t have lasted the distance, however there may still be stories or family photos hanging around of them. To help keep things semi organised we have broken it into loose categories
# Pirimanu # Kereru # Cleone # Manunui # Reremoana # Tirimoana # Lisa Ann
# Rag Doll # Natalie # Cabaletta (may have previously been called Latitude) # Deborah Ann
Any further information anyone has on any of these boats – or other Couldrey boats we may not yet have identified would be really appreciated.
As a reward for your input, everyone that helps out will go into the draw for a copy of Jenni’s K CLASS book + the best photograph submitted (judged by Alan H) also goes into a draw for a another copy of the book. Thats 2 Copies To Be Won. Draw Close off date is August 1st – just in time for Father’s Day
Update 05-07-2022 1st coat of the shinny stuff goes on
Classic Woody Yard Mooching
Dropped into The Slipway Milford the other day, very pleased to see the 1937, 38’ Sam Ford built launch – Menai, getting some serious TLC after languishing at the CYA’s Heritage Landing for many years, dockside chat was it was a permanent fixture.
As with most things in life, boat ownership goes in cycles and with new owners she is get the attention she deserves. Always nice to see painting prep well executed i.e. back to bare wood – that kauri looks as good as the day Sam Ford fastened it.
I understand a new engine has been installed so the TCL is serious – we like that 🙂
While there the 1945 K-Class – Jenanne was getting a Jason Prew Paint Job, the photo is coat one of two top coats, already very slick.
Now a tip on how to get marine engineers to come down to your boat – keep your engine room as ship-shape as the 1965 Owen Woolley built launch – Adonis – the man from the Moon didn’t even have to put his overalls on 🙂
Lisa Jane The launch Lisa Jane is currently on the Waitangi Yacht Club slip, looking at the photos, probably been there for a while and probably for a while yet. Dean Wright who sent me the photos commented that she used to be a charter boat in the Bay of Islands and owned by Peter Rosoman, who had the launch – Cara Mia before it. The rather large holes both sides of the hull indicate the ‘removal’ of a significant amount of rot.Dean’s memory bank is reminding him she may have hit a rock off Tapeka Point in the B.O.I., travelling at a good clip, maybe in the 1990’s. The same memory is also recalling she was capable of 15 knots. Can anyone tell us about the boat – designer / builder/ date launched etc and what the future plans are.
Do You Own – Have Owned – Or Know Someone That Has – A Bill Couldrey Boat WW has been contacted by Jenni Mence who is researching the boats of boat designer/builder Arnold Francis (Bill) Couldrey for a book she is writing about him, and is currently trying to locate as many of his boats as as she can. I’ll let Jenni tale the story: “Despite having made a great contribution to our maritime history, Bill is relatively unknown as a designer and builder. He worked for many years out of the ex Bailey and Lowe shed at Shoal Bay, Auckland, before retiring to Rotorua where he continued his design work. My husband and I have fully restored two Couldrey boats, a 1933 26 ft launch, and a 1950 38ft K Class yacht and these projects have sparked our interest in tracing and documenting the rest of his boats. Bill’s family have provided a list of the 83 boats Bill designed and/or built throughout his working life, which spanned from 1924 to 1975, and includes everything from sailing dinghies to launches and yachts. Unfortunately many of them are unnamed which has made tracing them difficult. I have recently published a large ‘coffee table’ book tracing the history of the K Class yachts, which includes many photos and stories of the boats, the people, and the racing, on the Hauraki Gulf throughout the 1950s and 1960s; and I would like to create something similar around Bill’s boats. As well as tracing the boats – in whatever condition they may be in now – I would also like to make contact with any previous or current owner of a Couldrey boat so that their experiences and stories may also be included in this book.” So woodys can we help Jenni with any known boats, owners (past and present), photos etc. Even if you just know the name of a boats owner, Jenni will endeavour to track them down. Jenni’s K Class book was a master piece (see below), it would be great to help bring this one to life. Jenni can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Today’s story and photos comes to us from Little Jim’s skipper and owner James Mortimer and crew – Ash Smith, Rodrigo Salas, Janez Mikec, Max Goutard, Erwann Jooris.
I’ll let James share the story with you, as always – click on photos to enlarge. Enjoy 🙂
“After four long months out of the water at the Milford marina yard over winter, I know that Little Jim had been wanting to stretch her legs and get a good long sail up the coast. She feels fast with her newly reinforced decks, rebuilt rudder, and all over paint job. Or maybe it’s the long winter without any sailing that has made her crew push her along that little bit more.
The weather forecast for Labour weekend had been looking challenging, with light northerlies and rainy weather predicted. On Tuesday night we got together on the boat to go over safety and systems, not at all confident that we would even start the race. Over the next two days the forecast slowly got a little better, with the wind direction moving ever so slightly toward the east. On Thursday night, we made the call to go, knowing full well it was going to be tough.
Early Friday morning and with enough food and beer to supply a small army, we got ourselves into racing mode and set off for Devonport. There is something special about this race, with more than 150 yachts lining up across the harbour, a sense of anticipation building as the gun gets closer, an adventure ready to start.
We made an early call to cross the channel toward Rangitoto and escape the worst of the incoming tide. Little Jim made excellent ground on most of the fleet who were busy short tacking up Cheltenham Beach in very little wind. A long tack due east across the top of Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands allowed us to finally turn north and lay the outside of Tiri Island and and make some miles to the north. As it turned out, the short stretch between Tiri and Kawau Island was to be the best sailing we would get all day, with a perfect NE’er of 12 to 15 kts, and boat speed above 7 kts.
On any Coastal Classic, there is a decision to make off Takatu Point. Is the boat and the crew in good shape and ok to go on. In any adverse weather this is no small call to make. As all boaties know, crossing Bream Bay can be brutal, and there is no decent shelter until Tutukaka. An easy decision this time, and it was champagne sailing as we passed Cape Rodney. It didn’t last though, and as afternoon slid into evening the wind eased away and turned back north. A frustrating night of slow tacking between the Hen & Chick Islands and Whangarei Heads began, with not a lot of northward miles being made. What the wind failed to deliver the night sky made up for, with an impressive meteor shower, a crystal clear Milky Way, lots of phosphorescence, and an incredible sunrise.
At 8.30am, we made the difficult decision to pull the pin on the race just south of Elizabeth Reef. The forecast was light until afternoon and we had little hope of reaching Russell before cut off at 3pm.
Ending the race early wasn’t going to put a damper on the weekend though and we spent the next three days sailing downwind back to Auckland under spinnaker via the Poor Knights Islands, Tutukaka, the Hen & Chicks, and Kawau Island.
Little Jim, built in 1934, was the oldest boat to enter in this year’s race, and it is a fitting testament to the skill of New Zealand’s early boat builders and designers that we can often keep up with boats that are 60 or 70 years younger!
Can’t wait till 2021”
A16 – bermudan rigged, she was designed & built in 1934 by Arch Logan & Bill Couldrey. LOA: 42’10”, LWL: 28′, BEAM: 9’1″, DRAFT: 6′
Back in June 2014 WW was approached with a request for intel on the 28’ kauri planked launch Kotare, a poplar name for boats. At the time Harold Kidd was able to tell us that she was designed by Bill Couldrey in 1960 for Frank Wilkins of Church St., Northcote to build for himself. Wilkins launched her in October 1961 with a 45hp BMC diesel. Subsequent owners included Phil Prouse in 1997 when she had a BMC Tempest 62hp diesel.
We also learnt that Sharon Prentice also owned Kotare, her brother-in-law Geoff Prentice made the new smaller mast that you now see on her.
Back in 2014 she was based in Kerikeri. Recently she popped up on Lew Redwood’s fb, via a post by Joan Jameson on the ‘NorthShore, NZ Histories & Memories’ fb. Jameson posted the above photos of Kotare and Frank Wilkins during his ownership period.
Photos below from Kerikeri.
Can anyone update us on Kotare’s current location and ownership?
The 42’ Manunui was designed and built in 1939 by Bill Couldrey for Percy Colebrook, back in 2013 she appeared briefly on WW (link below) but the photo was very poor, now thanks to Lew Redwood fb and Harold Kidd we get to see her in her finest and learn a little more about this very smart launch.
Couldrey was a stunning craftsman, in fact one of the few boat builders preferred by Arch Logan.
When launched she was powered by a 55hp Benz diesel. The Benz lasted until 1963 when it was replaced with a 100hp Perkins diesel.
In 1942>44 Manunui was commandeered from Max Colebrook and taken to Fiji as a Naval patrol vessel.
In the 2013 story it was mentioned that Manunui had possibly headed south to Wellington, HDK has confirmed this, she calls the Boat Harbour marina in Wellington home.
Input from Simon Smith – these photos were taken approx. 3 years ago and show Manunui motoring round Wellington harbour. Simon commented that her elderly owner is struggling to give her the attention she needs as he lives a 2 hour drive away from the marina.
If you search the words Little Jim in the WW search box you we see numerous references to a very stunning yacht, owned these days by CYA Chairman James Mortimer. She was designed / built by Arch Logan and Bill Couldrey in 1934, photos below.
Outside of the die-hard classic yachties, few know there was another Little Jim, B7, pictured above.
This LJ was a B class Keeler owned by J. Mitchelson.
Sadly she was driven ashore and totally wrecked at Catherine Bay, Great Barrier Island, after being dismasted in a gale on Christmas Day 1934?. The only good news was that the crew of 5 escaped drowning & reached the shore.
07-01-2019 Input from owner – James M
Little Jim started out life as a schnapper boat in 1900 under the sail number AK1 when it was built for a fisherman named Charles Vieri. Once converted to a pleasure boat for racing and cruising by the Feltham brothers, she sailed as B7 under various owners until a syndicate including Mitchelson purchased her in 1931. It was Xmas Day of ’33 she was driven onto the rocks in Katherine Bay. The story goes that after the rig snapped in two about 6 feet above the deck, and while cutting everything away a shackle got caught between the rudder and stern post, not only making a huge sea anchor with the still half-attached sails and rig but also losing any form of steerage. They managed to get two anchors down once in Katherine Bay. These held for some hours before the warps of one then the other finally frayed under the load and she went ashore. A few items were salvaged, including the small circular porthole you can see in the current cabin top in your last photo above. Legend has it that a leg of ham washed ashore, which fed the crew on Xmas Day over a campfire in the scrub behind the bay. With the insurance payout of 230 pounds plus a generous gift from Mitchelson’s aunt, Little Jim A16 was launched on 19th November 1934, a pretty impressive feat in less than 11 months! She went on to win the Anniversary Day race just two months later and has been sailling and cruising the Waitemata and Hauraki Gulf since. For anyone interested there is a great history of the two boats captured on Peter Brooke’s boatbuilders page here: http://www.classicboating.co.uk/Little%20Jim%20H.html