Small Woodys – Sailing Sunday



Small Woodys – Sailing Sunday

When recently John Bullivant sent me some launch photos, he asked  “if small boats qualify for Woodys?” – the answer was of course 🙂
So in response John has sent in few snaps of a couple of he has rebuilt. One is a 15′ Edwin I Schock (USA) designed ‘Sharron Potts’ day sailer (design from 1952)  and the other is a 1960’s John Chapple (NZ) designed 12′ Cherokee racing yacht. There might be enough Macrocarpa  kwila Mahogany and Kauri in the Schock 15 to qualify. John talks below on the two yachts

12′ Cherokee

I re-built a 1960s 12′ Cherokee racing yacht (designed by John Chapple). There were only two photos I could find despite many hours of searching the internet so I went ahead and used a bit of ‘poetic license’ in re-building the boat. I have glassed the hull, deck, centreboard and rudder to help preserve it as it was coming apart at the seams when it was given to me, dug out and filled all screw holes, new mast mount, fittings, repaired any soft spots, deck framing, made new rotating mast system etc., etc., (usual stuff), and have had it out on the water, and it sails as well as anything else I’ve sailed, (very nimble in the light stuff).

15′ Sharron Potts

I have also re-built an Edson I Schock designed, ‘Sharron Potts,’ 15′ day sailer, (USA), which I purchased around 9 yrs ago, in a bit of a sad state. I stripped it inside and out, and glassed the deck, rudder and centreboard, made a new rudder stock and tiller, (from my late mothers 70s mahogany dining table), and did all the usual stuff, (re rigging etc). Took me a year to do it, as the brother of the original builder, had sprayed it with a 2 pack paint inside and out, (apparently while he was away overseas), thus annihilating the varnished Macrocarpa interior finishing. I think I got about 2 buckets of paint dust out of it ! It was built by a Martin Jackson and his brother, (in the in Waiuku or Karaka from memory), and was framed with Macrocarpa, scrounged from a farmer nearby, who was milling some trees on his property.  It had a large outboard well built in, but I have removed it, and rebuilt it, to the original configuration. The boat was built from an American plan book, (How to build small boats, by Edson I Schock 1952), the design being from around 1950. Edson Irwin Schock (1897-1988), was a naval architect, from Rhode Island, who designed many small easy to build boats. After retirement he worked for Mystic Seaport designing boats.

The boat sails extremely well, and is perfectly balanced, and can be safely sailed single handed in winds up to around 10knts, (remembering it is pretty much a 470 2 man setup). The mast is from an old David Barnes 470, and used to play like a church organ, till I filled up all the holes, (from a hundred different fittings).
Apparently the boat used to go out with the 470s when Chris Dickson and co. were sailing. I have set up a spinnaker (ex 2004 Mexico Olympics – Andrew Brown, NZL 199, from North Shore), which I found on Trade Me,- (shame they drew the number on an originally $1000 odd Italian made Olympic certified sail with felt pen!), but have not been game to try it without a crew.”

27-02-2017 More Input from John Bullivant

A great bit of information regarding the Cherokee and thanks for the positive comments. I have been trying to find more about the class since I was given the boat by a panel beater in Albany, who had been given it by one of the painters in the same establishment. The painter had sprayed it with car lacquer which was totally the wrong stuff for a very thin flexible hull like the Cherokee and it was removing itself very nicely from all the seams (which were starting to make the boat look like strange slowly opening flower) while I had the boat stored under a cover for a year outside awaiting a rebuild. Finally got to it and got it done and the effort was worth it. She should be ok for a few more years yet.
Had to make a few mods here and there to gain access to the mast step which was broken and rotten (mast had come down at some point and broken the deck and frames on one side) and rebuilt and glassed in a new step mount and made a new adjustable step for it. Had no mast with the boat, centreboard and rudder were split down the middle, centreboard case was misaligned, (a nice 20mm port bias) laminated traveller was delaminating, transom had a large hole which had been patched, (attempt at a self bailing cockpit) rot in the floor in a few places right through and so on, so it took a while!
On sailing the Cherokee for the first time I found it to be perfectly set up for my weight (fluke!) and was extremely nimble on the water. One thing I found out when going forward to the mast to make an adjustment while sailing was – DO NOT under any circumstances go to the mast and try to make adjustments while sailing. I must have tacked uncontrollably 20 times in 20 seconds before I managed to scramble back behind the c/b case! The Cherokee has a disappearing chine and is pretty much just a V at the mast, and when you are up there it develops a terrifying high speed eel like movement. Won’t do that again!
When I first launched it at Torbay a number of people came up to me with stories about Cherokees
One chap said he had just burnt one as it had blown out all the seams from sitting around, and another told me a friend of his on Waiheke has recently fully restored a Cherokee to original and it is fully varnished and beautiful, (be nice to see that one, – perhaps we might prompt a photo through WW sometime! ) Don’t know if it means anything to anyone but my boat appeared to have been originally white with med blue cockpit and red plastic tube trim round the hull access/storage ports. Be nice to see some more Cherokee photos if anyone has them.


photo ex Ken Ricketts. Details ex Harold Kidd

Today’s post is of the sedan top launch Cherokee. The photo above was taken by KR c.1972.

CHEROKEE was built for J. W. Farrell in 1958 and, according to Bo Farrell, was a 34 footer. She had a 100hp Gray engine.

Interested in more info on her past & whereabouts today.

A lot of chat on Cherokee & possible sister ships in the ww Comments section.

Mahurangi / Warkworth c.1961

Mahurangi / Warkworth c.1961

photos ex Ken Ricketts

Todays post show 2 photos taken c1961, most likely at Xmas & show a collection of launches tied up at the wharf at Warkworth. The really neat thing is hat most of these craft are still a float today & in as good, if not better condition.
It would be nice to see some of those varnished coaming again 😉

Several of these launches will be at todays Mahurangi Regatta & weather & numbers interested – maybe making the trip up the river to Warkworth for lunch.

Ken has attempted to ID the launches – see below.

Front row Gay Dawn, Ken can’t identify outer 2 boats.

Top left row, tiny bit of bow too small to indentify next to wharf next is
Cherokee & next is Menai. Ken can’t identify outer boat of that group


Bottom left Gay Dawn, Ken can’t identify the other 2 boats.
Next row to right is Faye at wharf, next to her is Royal Falcon & next is
Cherokee & then Menai. Ken can’t identify the outer boat.

Far row to right –  boat at wharf is Southern Belle, may have been owned by Stan
Blundell, the outer boat next to her is Lady Karita.

Boat at anchor Reelemin II