Little Jim – A16 – Coastal Classic Race Report

Little Jim – A16 Coastal Classic Race Report

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”

LITTLE JIM

A16 – bermudan rigged, she was designed & built in 1934 by Arch Logan & Bill Couldrey.
LOA: 42’10”, LWL: 28′, BEAM: 9’1″, DRAFT: 6′

Kotare

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KOTARE 
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?
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Manunui

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MANUNUI
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.
Would love to see some up to date photos.
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.
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Manunui Gun rack

Update ex Hylton Edmonds c.1981 > 1982

Manunui 1943

Manunui 1947

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Manunui 1954

 

LITTLE JIM (Mk1) B7

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LITTLE JIM (Mk1) B7

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.
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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

Tiromoana

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TIROMOANA 4 Sale
I have featured Tiromoana several times on WW, mainly because she is just such a gorgeous classic woody. One of those vessels that looks just right from any angle.
She was designed and built in 1937 by Bill Couldrey, from double skinned, diagonal planked kauri, and measures 38′. Current zoom zoom is from a 60hp Gardner 5LW
Tiromoana has an interesting background – having served as a Naval patrol vessel during WWII and later as Aucklands first police launch.
Below decks her layout is very original and features anything and everything one would want and expect of a vessel of her class.
She is for sale on trademe and includes a 12m marina – which are as rare as hens teeth in Auckland these days.
Anyone looking for a very smart classic woody should check Tiromoana out 🙂
To view more on her – click this link   https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/08/15/tiromoana-2/
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A Sneak Peek at Eileen Patricia’s Restoration

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An Update on the Restoration of Eileen Patricia (Linden)

Back in late 2014 I posted on ww that the 26’6″ – ‘Eileen Patricia’ was for sale on trademe for a very modest sum & being designed & built by Bill Couldrey (1932/33) she had wonderful bones & I suggested to anyone that would listen that she should be restored to her former glory – well Peter Mence (CYA Chairman) took the bait – bought her & moved her to Marco Scuderi’s yard.
Fast forward approx. 2 years & we get to see a glimpse of what she will look like when finished. Macro was doing a shed swap on Monday & Peter captured the above photo. It was the first time that he has been able to step back & get a good view of Marco’s work – needless to say, she is looking very smart. Peter has promised to send me a selection of work-in-progress photos, so when they arrive, I’ll share with everyone.
You are see/read more here https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/11/11/9603/

Below are a couple of photos that show her during her sea trials & one of her when purchased by Peter.

 

2017 Whangaroa Sport Fishing Club – Classic Boat Fishing Competition

The above event is I’m told is on the bucket list of a lot of woody owners. Brian Worthington sent me the details below for the 2017 event. ( click to view Classic Boats Rules)

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Tarata

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TARATA

Today’s ww story one of the ones that makes it all worth while – Alan Sexton contacted me a while ago trying to track down a launch his father (Howard) owned in the 1970’s – Tarata. Never confirmed but the family believed the 32′ sedan launch was built by Snow Waters, possibly to a Couldrey design. Alan had not photos of her & the last known where abouts was that she was moored in the Tamaki Riv just up from HMB.
Alan’s father sold her to a Wayne Kidd (the broker at HMB) and a partner in 1979.
Now Alan works overseas & returned to NZ last week from Chile & was in the Pakuranga area last Thursday and having been advised that Allan Keane at HMB Brokerage had some history on Tarata, Alan took the opportunity to drop into to his office. He kindly searched thru his sales records and found  the last transaction he had done in 2003 and gave Alan his display photos (as above). Attached are scans of the photos.
As a result of Alan’s time with Allan Keane & other sniffing around he has been able to assemble the details below on Tarata. Still very keen to learn details on her recent history & current where abouts.
” Tarata was built by Snow Waters and launched in 1962 for Lloyd Kitchen (of the H.C. Kitchen formica family). Designer is believed to be Bill Couldrey but this is not certain. She is 32’ x 10’6” x 3’, hull is 7/8” single skin kauri on steam bent ribs with solid timber floors, decks are one diagonal and one fore and aft tongue and groove sheathed with canvas & fiberglass. Cabin coamings are solid timber and cabin top appeared to be plywood over solid beams with the surface between the beams Formica lined. Original engine was a marinised 60hp Fordson Super Major with a Paragon 2:1 mechanical gearbox. The engine installation was quite cunning, the engine is mounted forward of the main cabin and offset slightly to starboard to allow sufficient width for the passage to port and a narrow bunk. The drive train consisted of truck assembly double universal and sliding spline shaft, with thrust from the propeller taken by a rigidly mounted thrust bearing. All tanks were copper as were the bow rails and cabin top hand rails. She has a mast approx. 6m tall fitted with a jib used as a steadying sail.

The Kitchen’s sold her about 1967 to Arthur Wagner and my father, Howard Sexton bought her in 1971, owning her until 1979. She was then bought by Wayne Kidd and a partner who owned her until approx. 1983. She has had a number of owners since and last record is that she was sold to Barry and Jane Radford from Kerikeri in 2003.

She was re-engined sometime in the 80’s with a slightly larger 85hp 4 cyl Lees Ford and a hydraulic gearbox. Otherwise she appears virtually unchanged, at least in 2003 when the photos were taken. She was a tough little launch and would plug on thru just about any sea. There is at least one sister ship, Yin Yang at Westpark, who has had her cockpit extended. At one time we were told Snow had built up to 6 of this design but this is not certain.”

Input from Robert Brooke – Tarata was built by Snow Waters to a modified ” Mapuna” design of my fathers

TURAKINA – Sailing Sunday

TURAKINA – Sailing Sunday
photos & detail ex Danvers Devereaux via Shane Anderson

Turakina is a very lucky boat, designed by Arnold ‘Bill’ Couldrey,  she started life being built in 1949 by Danvers uncle (Leo H Clarke) under his family home in Mt Eden. She is double skin kauri – 30′ / 8′ / 5′, the timber was actually a wedding gift.
Turakina is a sister ship to Tuirangi (C35). Bill Couldrey was a protege of Arch Logan. These 2 vessels look like clones of Tawera and Gypsy.

Leo sold her approx. 20 years ago, then 5 years ago Danvers found her for sale on trademe, in a very poor state, Danvers alerted his step-father Les & his pal Phil Rice to the sale & they jumped at the chance of getting her back. That was the 1st piece of luck, the 2nd was that her new owners chose Peter Brookes to do a complete 2 & 1/2 year restoration on her, the full monty –  from the keel up and cabin off.

The relaunch of Turakina featured on ww (link here)  https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/10/12/turankina/
Todays post shows some of the early build & sailing photos + her recent restoration. Enjoy 🙂

 

Little Jim – Price Reduced

LITTLE JIM – Price Reduced

Little Jim is a rather special boat, bermudan rigged she was designed & built in 1934 by Arch Logan & Bill Couldrey.
LOA: 42’10”, LWL: 28′, BEAM: 9’1″, DRAFT: 6′

A gentlemans racer cruiser & arguably the NZ’s best classic yacht in terms of pedigree, condition &  sail-ability.
Fresh from a Peter Brooke repaint in 2014 & a full Brookes restoration 2007-2009.

Folks – not wanting to sound like a real estate sales rep but opportunities like this do not happen often, this is your chance to own a piece of NZ maritime history, presented in better-than-new condition for less than the price of a tried old Beneteau 9.85m or an old Wright 35. For around $120k LJ will be yours.
Buy it or one day you will kick your self for not leaping at this opportunity.
Link below – you can also view more photos by searching Little Jim on ww

http://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/boats-marine/yachts/keeler/auction-942245200.htm

Contact owner on 027 561 4257 or rm@drivenevents.co.nz

Sailing Sunday – Little Jim

LITTLE JIM

Little Jim is a rather special boat, almost royalty – blue blood 🙂 Designed by Arch Logan & built  by Bill Couldrey in 1934 under Arch’s discerning eye.

When you start life with parents like that, when you get older & it comes time for some orthopedic surgery, only the best wooden surgeon will do – enter Peter Brookes, this artisan has worked his magic on Little Jim twice. The first time was a 2 year major refit in 2007/8, which saw strengthening work to the step and bow sections and a full interior reconfiguration. The keel was off & got new bolts & the systems were replaced or overhauled. Currently Little Jim is in Peter Brookes shed getting the finishing touches to an extensive renovation. Hopefully Little Jim’s owner Rod Marler will chip in here & walk us thru whats been happening to Little Jim over the last 12 months (photos ex Peter Brookes shed below).

And at the risk of falling off-side with the gaff-rig cohorts, Little Jim being sloop rigged is just so much more sailable (if there is such a word). No need to spend hours ringing around looking for crew, Little Jim is easily sailed by two.

When she was relaunched in 2008, Lew Barrett, one of the WoodenBoat Forum guru’s made the following comments –

“I like the textures and lightness in the handling of the interior. The glossy highlights of the trim (and the beautiful natural color of the wood) works perfectly against the subdued but flawless finishes of the cabinetry. The paneled locker doors and trim are simple but elegant. It’s exactly what we love about old wooden boats. They fully respected and retained the feel and sense of age while making her new. This is a really sensitive and demanding restoration objective to accomplish.The exterior is as clean and purposeful as the interior. It all really works to make a place you want to be.”

Our own Harold Kidd commented in 2008 at her relaunch
“it remains today an eye-catcher & a head-turner by any standards, so beautifully does form fulfill function. The aesthetics of its lines remain exquisite.

We are almost spoilt by the number of classic wooden yachts in & around our harbour, they are all special in their owners eyes but few are drop dead gorgeous – Little Jim is.

(note: Interior photos ex Chris Miller ex 2010 CYA Classic Register)