Happy Hours V13




Photo below taken when Happy Hours was collected ready to transport to Alan Craig’s shed.


I have been contacted by Alan Craig from Craig Marine looking for he next owner of the18’ mullet boat – Happy Hours V13. 
Built by Billy Rogers in 1949 to an earlier Logan design, she was a copy of Secret  (V3) but is a much fuller boat so must have been modified during building. She was first owned by Billy Rogers’ brother in-law and then by Lieutenant Commander J. Lennox-King.
Happy Hours is currently sitting in one of Alan’s sheds waiting to be finished. But Alan commented that he has not been near it in a couple of years, he is a very in demand wooden boat builder and the current work schedule is very motor-boat focussed.
The yacht was acquired from the NZ Traditional Boatbuilding School before being passed on to Alan. 
I understand that Alan’s exceptions in terms of a price are not great, he is more interested in Happy Hours going to a good home.
Alan has the mast and rudder plus fittings etc for it too.
So woodys – anyone looking for a classic wooden boat project?
23-09-2019 Input from Robin Elliott

N.C. Wensor 1949?/52+?; F. Simkins 1955?/56+?; Peter & Frederick Boyle 1958+?; R.D. Wood 1959?/60+?; Lt.Cdr J. Lennox-King 1961?/68+? ; Dean Herbison 2007/16+?; Alan Craig ?/2019+?

Happy Hours was built for Noel Wensor (billy’s Bro’ in law) in 1949. Lennox-King did not own her until the early 1960’s. Dean Herbison bought her in 2007 when she was hauled out at Okahu Bay.

Florence Rose – Launch Day

My beautiful picture

As part of a recent email exchange with Mark Powell, Mark sent me the above photos from the launching of Florence Rose launching at the Chas Bailey and Sons yard.
In a previous WW post Gil Littler confirmed that Florence Rose was designed by Billy Rogers and built at Bailey’s in the 1960’s while he was serving his apprenticeship there. Gil was given the job of lofting her out and making up the frames before Kenny Hitchens (and other tradesmen) became involved in her construction. The hull was built on the mezzanine floor before being brought down to the slipway level by a large forklift to be finished off. 
Gil believes she was built for Harry Rose, which we now know is correct, in the photo below we have Mark Powell’s mother, Joan Powell, with Mark in short pants and the gent on the helm is Harry Rose.
I took the 2nd photo below of Flo Ro in October 2013 in Station Bay, Motutapu Island. 
My beautiful picture
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Maewa > Isaly II – A Peek Down Below

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Maewa > Isaly II – A Peek Down Below
Back in 2015 we uncovered some of the history around the 1956, 33’ launch Isaly II, formally named Maewa, now thanks to a trademe listing (ex Ian McDonald) we get to have a peek down below.
You can see / read more on her past at the link below – don’t forget to check out the comments section – lots of chat there around her provenance.
She is powered by a 2L, 60hp Nissan diesel that gets her along at 7knots.

Margaret Anne

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WW has followed the progress of the 1953, Billy Rogers built classic launch Margaret Anne for several years & as we all know; some boats get lucky & land the perfect owner – Margaret Anne is one of those. When Helena Willes bought her back in 2014 she committed to undertaking a bow to stern restoration that included taking a chainsaw to the fly bridgeJ Over the following few years Helena transformed Margaret Anne into the magnificent classic you view above. Given all the time & dollars in the restoration, I was surprised to get a call from Helena advising she was selling Margaret Anne to up roots & head off blue water cruising (yacht).

So woodys another classic is available for sale – in turn-key condition i.e. step aboard & go cruising this summer. I have summarized below all the work done to her. A snap shot – 11m long, 1.2m draft, powered by a Ford Lees 80hp diesel, steading sail, sleeps 5, cruises 8>9 knots.

Helena has asked that interested parties contact the broker she has appointed to handle the sale – Steve Rhea at Vinings 09 376 6737

New since 2014: All new fresh water system including deck wash foot switch fitted and new hose. All wire stays and through bolts are new. New sheets, blocks and lines. Deck light fitted. Stanchions repaired and painted. Bow rails repaired, epoxy sealed and 10 coats of varnish. Hull painted. Entire electrical system is new with state of the art control panels and connections. 2 new deep cycle house batteries (2016), 2 x 150w solar panels, regulator and controller fitted. 800w inverter. Fly-bridge removed, old canvas stripped and brought back to bare wood. Entire roof fibre-glassed and 2 pot epoxy sealed, painted white and then added KiwiGrip for nonskid. New mahogany hand rails fitted, epoxy sealed and varnished 10 coats. Cabin sides stripped and varnished, window beadings removed (rotten) and replaced with Sikaflex. 
Full interior re-paint. All floorboards sanded, filled and oiled. New custom made inner sprung mattress, forward hatch refurbished and epoxy sealed, new hatch light, new toilet & 20L holding tank (all seacocks replaced), new shower head/hose, new taps. New fridge installed. New squabs and covers in saloon and galley. Full exterior canvas cover system, blackout curtains in saloon. Bilges cleaned, red leaded. Rudder post serviced, re-packed. New hydraulic steering ram installed (a spare steering pump and wheel are part of the sale). New steering station panel and instruments: tachometer, depth/fish finder, monitor (solar etc.) Gas locker fitted with two 10kg bottles, solenoid/gas detector and isolation valves. Engine regularly serviced by Moon Engines, new heat exchanger, gear box serviced, new hoses, new lift pump, new exhaust to manifold fitting, new exhaust pipe. Oregon boom fitted for shade and dinghy lifting mechanism. Flagpole renewed. Two new stainless rod holders. New vinyl in galley. All seacocks replaced with plastic. 90L plastic fuel tank system with isolation valves fitted. New fuel line to primary filters. New 50m anchor warp spliced onto chain. The boat has been hauled and antifouled yearly with kiwi prop applied.

18-01-2018 Update –  I understand the 4sale price has come down to the mid $60’s






I was contacted recently by Alice Morrison with the news that she had just bought a 1960 (circa) Billy Rogers sedan launch named Taurima. She is 36′ & constructed of double diagonal kauri. Unfortunately the previous owner didn’t know much history about her so Alice is hoping that some of the woodys out there can shed some light on her?
She is obviously a sister ship to Margaret Anne  https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/10/03/margaret-anne-2/ , both very lucky boats as they both have lady owners 🙂

So woodys can we help Alice?

14-02-2017 Update ex Alice M – She has a 110hp Lees Marine Ford. The previous owners were Kevin & Bryce Thorne from Whangarei but the vessel has been moored in Opua or Jacks Bay in the Bay of Islands. I have asked Bryce to find the contact details of the owners before him. All he knew was that it used to be in Auckland where the owner used it to take him from the city to Waiheke all the time.

Margaret Anne



Margaret Anne
Designed & built by Billy Rogers in 1956, she has appeared on ww before during her restoration by owner Helena Wiles. But we never saw the interior. She is 34′ with a 12′ beam, so a very roomy launch.

Helena has done a wonderful job on her & deserves a medal – when purchased she sported a small block of flats 🙂
More details & pre restoration photo can be viewed here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/01/12/10429/
Photos ex trademe so it would appear MA is looking for a new owner.

C.2000 photo below ex Ken Ricketts



photos ex Ian Mason & B Worthington. details ex Harold Kidd & Geoff Rogers

Milady was designed and built by Billy Rogers and was the last boat out of his Curran Street shed before it was taken under the Public Works Act for the Curran Street Harbour Bridge approach road. This has been confirmed to Harold & myself by Geoff Rogers who had recently left school to join his father and was on the job when MILADY was being built.
She was commissioned by one of the directors of Dorman & Long who were the head contractors for the Harbour Bridge construction. He was an Englishman who didn’t want Billy to use his typical sweet sheerline but insisted on a straight sheer which was what he was accustomed to with the type of power boats used in English sheltered waters like the Norfolk Broads. The owner had two cabinet makers come and do the interior fit-out for him while she was under construction. Milady got her name from the confectionery company (Waller & Hartley’s Milady Toffee Co.) in Blackpool, England that her first owner’s family owned. She was originally powered by a 6 cyl Chrysler Crown petrol engine.

Unconfirmed data (ex Ken Ricketts)- The original engine was later replaced by a Ford diesel c.1957 by her then owner, Charlie Hardman, who sold her about 1959 to Bill Luxton, who had a beach house at Whangamata. She was owned by a G S Bright somewhere along the way & in 1973 by Trevor Titchener. In her early days she also had an owner by the name of J M Kenny who had her call sign registered as ZM2412.
She is presently in Whangarei undergoing extensive repairs after finding some rocks at Kerikeri about 5 years ago & has been undergoing repairs & refit for the past 4 years by local semi retired boat builder, Ian Mason. Ian hopes to have her back in the water for this coming summer (2015/16). She presently has a fairly new naturally aspirated 130hp Ford diesel, which had replaced a 90hp naturally aspirated Ford diesel before that. The previous owners were 2 gentlemen from Auckland, who had, had her for about a year, but Ian Mason can’t recall their names.


Margaret Anne

Photo below as purchased in 2013


Todays post I think is rather neat on several fronts:

1. The owner of Margaret Anne took a very deep breath & made a decision to return Margaret Anne to her original configuration. That takes guts & deep pockets.
2. It amazes me that there are restorations taking place that are happening away from the eyes of the classic wooden boating community. We think we are well connected & then you open your email & up pops a Margaret Anne. Thats cool.
3. I know it sexist to point this out but what the hell – Margaret Anne is owned by a lady & she has done most of the work herself. Helena has a plan, she bought Margaret Anne in 2013 & what you see in the photos above was the 2014 part of the plan. Its what we call a rolling restoration – next step will be the interior & a re-wire.

Now some details – Margaret Anne was designed / built by Billy Rogers.  Helena spoke with Billy’s son Jeff who said he built her with his Dad Billy in 1956. She is a sister ship to Lady Diana & while not as high spec she is still made of top quality materials. Helena thinks she is the fourth owner, the last one, recently passed away & had owned her for 40 years. Margaret Anne is a wonderfully comfortable boat to cruise in – very roomy in the layout and with the galley aft, she does not suffer from the common launch fault – saloon cooking odors.

Any woodys able to add to the history of Margaret Anne ?

Lady Diana


photos & details ex Ken Ricketts

Phil Seabrook had Billy Rogers design and build the 36 foot Lady Diana for him in 1950 and fitted her with an Austin Skipper 100 from new, replacing it with a 155hp Nordberg sleeve-valve engine in 1956 shortly before he sold Lady Diana to Monte Winter. She performed better with the Nordberg than she did with the Austin.

Ken was aboard Lady Diana several times at Kawau Island during Christmas 1950.

She is still around today & still fairly unspoiled, as per the above photos, except for the lovely original varnish work, on the combings, which unfortunately has long since gone.

She also has an almost identical sister ship called Margaret Anne (photo below), which apart from a flybridge & varnish, is also fairly original, as per the photo.


Lady Ethel


Built in 1963 by Brin Wilson.Designed by Billy Rodgers and is what the owner calls a classic ‘Sounds’ launch.
At 34ft and built of triple diagonal kauri planked.
Powered by a 72 hp Mercedes 4 cylinder diesel engine, she will cruise at a comfortable 7-8 knots.
Currently residing in Motueka and for sale on trademe.

Anyone know how she ended up in the South Island & what of her life in between?

06-11-2015 Chris McMullen Input edited by Alan H

Morrie Palmer of Devonport built the hull and Mr Neil Wilson finished her off. Not Brin Wilson.
Mr Neil Wilson (I believe an ex Joiner) was the owner and manager of the Auckland University Maintenance Department. He wanted no Butt blocks in his new boat and scarfed the planks himself while we built the boat.   She may have been 34 Feet but was not triple diagonal planked. (That was later corrected.)
I started my apprenticeship with Morrie 16th of January 1961 and transferred to M C Carter Ltd  30th of August 1963. I worked for Morrie two years seven months.
When I started he was working in his backyard at Point Chevalier. He was finishing Basl Kelly’s raised deck Stewart 34 Pania. I recall a huge launch hull on his section painted with red lead. I am not sure but it may have become the “Lady Argyle”. I never worked on her.
Soon after, Morrie moved to #15 Clarence St Devonport. (see the Cara Mia site for more https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/01/17/caramia/ )  Cal Crooks joined us. Morrie and Cal had both worked for Colling’s and Bell and were very competent workers. I was only the apprentice boy. It was high productivity and had to be as boatbuilding was a competitive cut throat business. At Devonport at least five major builds took place Cara Mia, Lady Ethel, Venture, Oranoa and the Stewart 34 Phoenician. All that, along with repair and insurance work all done, by three people (average) in just over two and a half years. Sure they were hull only or hull, decks and super structure. Mostly the owners finished the job. “Oranoa” was the exception and largely complete and later launched from Devonport wharf
Morrie had very little machinery. It was measure and cut once boatbuilding, nothing fancy just get the job out.  His call at the end of lunch break was. “This won’t Grace the Harbour”  Lets get on with it.
Morrie owned and cruised with his Family the twenty Six Foot Mullet Boat “Omatere” previously owned by Basil Kelly. It may have been a trade in on the Pania.
Morrie was very keen on Mullet boats and encouraged me to build one. She was the last planked Mullet Boat. The 22 Foot “Tamatea”. I built her while I worked for him. I bet he later regretted his action. I was building the boat after hours in my parents back yard and it must have affected my work.