Wairuru – Auckland to Suva, 1947

Waruru Cover

Wairuru – Auckland to Suva, 1947

I was recently contacted by Steph Mellors who advised she had a short diary written aboard the 1937, Charles Bailey & Sons built motorsailer Wairuru, during a passage from Auckland to Apia, Samoa in  June 1947.

On the cover (see above) is written in pencil Capt. Robt. Patterson, given the content of the diary, Steph does not think he wrote it. (I agree)

The NZ Maritime Index, records that Wairuru, owned by A G Bertram was sold in 1947 to O. F. Nelson & Co. Ltd., Apia, Western Samoa – who renamed her – Gaualofa. The records also sadly record that she was wrecked on 22 November 1953, on the South coast of Savai’i Island, near Sala’ihua.

Steph is unsure how she acquired the diary, thinks “probably rescued it from someone’s wastepaper basket in a fit of – it could be of interest to someone”.

Thankfully she saved it & now over 70 years later we get to share it. Enjoy the read, I did.

Any guesses as to who the author was?

Wairuru 1

Wairuru 2>3

Wairuru 4>5

Wairuru 6>7

Wairuru 8>9

Wairuru 10>11

Wairuru 12

I couldn’t do a WW post without a boat photo – my clinker dinghy Peg at Patio Bay. Which is a good excuse to remind you that today is the last day of the Classic Launch & Yacht – Clinker Boats Exhibition – details below – AND ITS FREE TO GET IN.


Clinker Event Ad


mystery bridgedecker


Today’s launch photo is from the Auckland Museum’s Tudor Collins collection. The photo quality is not the best, I suspect the plate was damaged at sometime in the past. The ww brains trust have come up with a big fat zero in terms of ID’ing the boat,  so help from the woodys would be appreciated.

In terms of the location – given its a Tudor Collins image it’s more than likely to be the Bay of Islands or even further north e.g. Whangaroa? Input here too please 🙂

She was not a mystery for long 🙂 view details & photos on Harold Kidd’s  27 Sept 2013 ww story on Ranginui at the link below.





Mystery Launches 21-07-2015

photo ex Harold Kidd

During the recent post on the launch Manana (Raehutia) Harold Kidd sent me several photos of Manana while she was owned by the Seagar family.
Thats her on the left in the photo above – today’s question for woodys is what are the two launches to the right of the wharf ? & while we are at it – the location?

To view / read more about Manana – click link https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/07/17/manana/

And to brighten up the day – some stunning yachting photos from the first 2 days of the British Classic Week -click the link below


Update from Hylton Edmonds

From Left to Right – Manana (pre Leon / Chris Brown), Albacora (Pat Edmonds) and Lady Doreen (“Snooks” Fuller / AE Fuller & Sons), – and yes, taken at Otehei Bay, hmmm… guessing around late 50’s?. Due to the fact that Otehei Bay had the Lodge and was an official BOISFC Weigh Station Site, a lot of the Big Game boats  would operate out of there,  (as well as their home bases Russell / Paihia ) over a season. A few of them had permanent moorings down there too. Great Photo of a wonderful era.

Manana (Raehutai)

MANANA (Raehutai)
photo & details ex Gavin Hargreaves

With today’s post we are looking to see if we can join the dots. Gavin sent me a photo of Manana, his Colin Wild launch.  Gavin has owned her for 7 years after purchasing her from Bill Webber of French Pass who owned her for 20 odd years running a fishing charter business. When purchased she was pretty run down with what appeared to be the original interior. Gavin spent many hours and money giving her the love she deserves. The only difference in looks now is she has a fly bridge and a cut in stern leading to a boarding platform apart from that she still looks as pretty as the day she was launched.

Now back in 2013 via Adrienne, Dave Jackson sent in the photo below of a launch that he thinks was Raehutai, that Bill Seager changed the name to Manana.
So the question of the day – are these the same boats? For easy of comparison I have dropped both photos into a slide show.

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Harold Kidd Input

Bill and Gerry Seagar got the design from Colin Wild, probably the last he ever did. They got her built at Chas. Bailey & Sons because, effectively, they owned that company at the time. Harry Pope was the foreman on the job.
The two brothers were notorious for their barneys with each other. Bill wanted her called REHUTAI after the two steam launches the family had built in the 1910s but Gerry wanted her called MANANA. She was launched as MANANA.
Photo below of her in Seagar ownership.


According to the ‘sales pitch’ given to Toroa’s new owner, Brian Simpson, she was built by Chas Bailey & Sons in the 1950’s. Approx. 26′ long & built of kauri.
Toroa spent it’s life in Auckland until Brian moved it to Taupo 5 months ago.
Any information about it’s history would be much appreciated.

Photo below ex Derek Molander – Caption – Watch officer Ces Todd and a party of cadets in 1967.  The Coast Guard cutter Toroa lies at anchor behind them.

An Oops or a mid season bottom clean?

An Oops or a mid season bottom clean?

Someone out there might be able to enlighten us as to what really was happening but by the assembled ‘crowd’ looks more like Shenandoah had been practicing her impact hygrography skills 🙂
I also posted a photo to once again remind us what a magnificent ‘ship’ she was in her heyday.
photos from Roger Guthrie