Brin Wilson 1958 Classic Wooden Launch – Mandalay
Brin Wilson 1958 Classic Wooden Launch – Mandalay
One of the many woodys that contacted WW for a copy of Chris McMullen’s docking tips was Mike Empson, owner of – Maureen II, a Matangi, built c1967-68 by Brin Wilson. Maureen II is 100% kauri, 36′ long and weighs approx. 9 tonnes.
As you know I’m a big fan of the website – Off Center Harbor, the site is probably best known for jaw dropping boat tours and in-depth how-to series, but the OCH lads also know how to slow down and soak up the scenery. Given the craziness of the last 5 weeks I have found myself trolling the OCH online library more than ever, looking to a cure to my boat less blues. I have some favourites that I would be embarrassed to say how many times I have viewed 🙂
The launch Parma hasn’t made an appearance on WW, other than a small cameo appearance, mainly because many moons ago, back in the heady days of the CYA forum, I got my hand slipped for saying that Parma held the record for the longest appearance on trademe :-). While life moves on, my skin is thicker and I suspect she is / was in new ownership.
I note in her current trademe listing the question is asked about previous ‘rot’ issues which we are told have been righted, so today Parma finally gets a chance to shine on WW.
What do we know about her? – she was built in 1958 by Brin Wilson, carvel planked, measures a tad over 34’ and is powered by a 1970, 6 cyl. Ford (Fordson 2700 series) 40hp diesel engine.
She appears to be presented in good order and is well fitted out. Owner must have a taste for Heineken 🙂
CAVALAIRE – A peek down below
Built by Brin Wilson in 1967, she measures 34.76’, with a 10’7” beam & draws 3’3”. Kauri carvel planked & powered by a 120hp Ford 6cyl. diesel.
That’s about all her trademe listing tells us, can any of the woodys expand on her provenance? Thanks to Ian McDonald for the listing heads-upJ
25-06-2019 Updated photos ex new trademe listing
Cleona Mae as built by Brin Wilson in 1962 & is powered by a 6 cyl Ford diesel. In the above (hauled out) photos we see her in Feb/March 2017 at the Sandspit hard stand, where she was getting some TLC. Home of Cleona Mae these days is Scott’s Landing, Mahurangi. Below, her previous owner, Nigel Drake of Tauranga has documented some of her past. Thanks to Ken Ricketts for sending this to me. Special thanks to Nigel for sharing the story. (photos ex Nigel Drake, Ken Ricketts & Brian Worthington). On her launch day she had a wee opps, refer photos below.
“Cleona Mae, was built by Brin Wilson in 1962. Launching looks as though it was in November, as that is the date which is on the original photos of her, having fallen off the trailer on that day.
She was built for Bert Follas, a well known builder in Takapuna. She is named after his daughters, Cleo and Shona, and his first wife Mae. The story as told to me by one of his grandsons, was that Bert knew Brin Wilson quite well, and when talking with Brin one day, during a bit of a slow period for Brin, they agreed that Brin would build Bert a 34 footer. Bert apparently told his wife of the agreement that night!
Previous to Cleona Mae, Bert owned the smaller Cleona, which I understand, is still in Milford marina.
Cleona Mae lived on a mooring in Westhaven, and Bert used to row out from the dinghy storage area, though he did have some trouble climbing over the transom, as he was on crutches from age of about 50. He used to take business associates from Takapuna out to the Barrier. Large bronze bollards are on each side of the transom as he was involved with the Coastguard and used to tow boats home when required.
In 1983 Bert sold the boat to his solicitor, Ian Armstrong. Ian appears to have owned her for only 1 year, as she was purchased by Bill McNutt of Tauranga in 1984. I have a feeling the flying bridge was added in 1983.
I purchased Cleona Mae in 1999. I added the mast in 2003. It had been a flag pole, one of many, on top of the Wellington Harbour Board building. They were removing them and selling them off at the time. I did many trips up the coast from Tauranga to the Mercury Islands, Great barrier and into Auckland.
She is a great little boat.
I sold her to Aubrey Montague, her current owner, in Nov 2012 having purchased the 40 foot Woolley “Freelance” in 2011.
I did the delivery trip to Gulf Harbour with Aubrey.”
Other than her name & that I took the photos in early Jan 2017 at Waiheke Island, today’s launch – White Heron, is a total mystery to me, but I’m sure we will be able to uncover more on her.
Input from Michael Goldfinch (owner)
I am currently White Heron’s “custodian”… for the last 3 years anyway. Harold, you’re quite correct: she’s a 1967 Brin Wilson that I bought in Tauranga. A lovely boat I’ve already had a lot of enjoyment out of, including 3 trips to the Barrier. Power from the original Ford 100 HP which pushes her along at about 8.5 knts. Never missed a beat. Had an major make over externally about a year before I acquired her, and I’m currently in the process of doing a major repaint / re-varnish internally. Resides at the OBC.
I’ve made a few changes – and still am – including new canvas and going for more subtle signage.
Update & Photos ex Michael Goldfinch (owner)
Photos below of White Heron that Michael recently took, showing new interior paint / varnish job, as well as the Brin Wilson plaque of authenticity.
05-09-2018 Update – photos below ex trademe, via Ian McDonald
TAREE – A PEEK DOWN BELOW
Taree, the 1966 Owen Woolley designed / built 36′ launch changed ownership in Dec 2015 & new owner Don Bruce undertook an impressive refurbishment that started in June 2016, at the Brin Wilson Shed, Gulf Harbour.
Between June 1 & December22, 2016, approx. 1500 hrs went into boat building, engineering, replacing glass, painting, varnishing, plumbing, re-wiring & re-chroming. Don himself spent 12 hours every day, Monday > Sunday working on the boat.
The results are impressive & Don speaks very highly of the Brin Wilson team & associated contractors that worked on Taree.
I saw Taree just after her re-launch, in late January 2017 at the Mahurangi Regatta weekend, the first photo above, I took there, the refurbishment ones are ex the owner, emailed to me by Ken Ricketts.
Previously on ww we had a peek at the work-in-progress & when she first left the shed, you can view / read that story here https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/11/29/taree/