Woody Photo Gallery

Duke of Marlborough

Antares 3




Woody Photo Gallery
The selection of woody photos above was sent in by Bryce Strong, details and links to previous WW stories below. I hate Digital dates on photos but it is a very simple way to record when the photo was taken – two are dated 2013, interesting to see how the vessels have faired in the last 13 years.
The top photo of the steamboat – Duke of Marlborough, is a newbie to me. I’m looking forward to Russell Ward chipping in with her history 😉
Antares – built in the 1950’s by Supreme Craft. At the time the above photo was taken she was owned by Bryce’s brother-in-law, Ron Phillips
Arima – built in1953 by Colin Wild


Moana – built in c.1939 by Sam Ford
Shalom – built in 1973 by TK Atkinson
Anyone Recall Sutton MalcolSham & Co
I have been contacted by Richard Winthrop looking for information on a boat builder named Sutton Malcolm & Co. Ltd of Mt Roskill, Auckland. Many years ago Richard had a Mason Clipper that had the sticker below on it.

 Classic Wooden Launches + Classic Sailing Regatta Photos


Help Needed Identifying Classic Wooden Launches

The above photo shows three launches (+ a peek on a 4th on the far left) moored in Hobson Bay, Auckland. The photo is from the Edward Double Collection (1930-1940), and comes to us via Maurice Sharp’s fb.
Can we ID the boats?
2020 CYA Classic Yacht Regatta
The annual 3 day sailing regatta is in progress and yesterday I crewed on Jason Prew’s 1904, Logan built gaffer – Wairiki in Race 1.
Now I have always heard dock chat that Wairiki was a wet boat, well folks I can confirm thats an understatement,
I think you would be dryer on a sail board 🙂 Water aside (it was warm) it was a great afternoon with nice people – Jason Prew, Steve Horsley, Micheal O’Dwyer and Joyce Talbot.
In-between waves and spray I managed to snap a few photos – a taste below – more tomorrow. Enjoy.

Ariki – 1904 Logan


Windhaven II – Colin Wild


Wairiki – Onboard foot spa


Jason Prew & Steve Horsley (L>R)




Mike O’Dywer, Steve Horsley, Alan Houghton

A Woody Trip Up The Coast



Lady Crossley @ home in the BOI

A Woody Trip Up The Coast

Just before Christmas I buddied up with Jamie Hudson to take Jamie’s classic launch – Lady Crossley to her summer home in the Bay of Islands.
Jamie and I have a great track record when it comes to long hauls and the weather, so once again we enjoyed perfect conditions. We were in no hurry so the trip was broken into – Kawau Island > Urquhart Bay (Whangarei Head) > BOI.
Above is a gallery of photos from the trip – as always food was a major component of the trip 🙂
Enjoy the photos – didn’t see a lot of other woodys, but there appears to be a good representation on the replica f/glass Logan 33 launches in the Bay.
Photo below of Russell’s waterfront – have not been there for a long time – I’ll be back, soon, its a great spot.

Woodys Cruising The Bay of Islands – Summer 2019/20 – Part One



Linda – 1927 – Colin Wild


Nautilus – Oliver & Gilpin


Darleen – 1920 – Possibly Bailey & Lowe


Echo – 1935 – Les Coulthard



Thetis – 1955 – Lane Motor Boat Company


Lady Crossley – 1947 – Colin Wild


Lady Ngaio – 1928 – Collings & Bell


Manapouri – 1960 – Parkes


Just got home yesterday from 10 days mooching around Waiheke and while clearing the in-box I spotted an email from Dean Wright, now Dean is a Bay of Islands based professional photographer with a passion for wooden boats. He even owns one  – the 1917, Arethusa.

Now any email from Dean normally contains some stunning photos and yesterdays one was a cracker – too good to run all as one, so I will split them in two.
Today we have featured pleasure launches – the first being one of the smartest classic wooden launches in our fleet – Linda. She has appeared on WW many times so if you want o know more just enter Linda in the WW search box.
I love the photo above because its the personification of our classic wooden boating movement.
Below I have included a photo of the 2018/19 built ‘spirit of tradition’ launch – Grace, and with her beautiful lines, she could only ever be a Salthouse 🙂
I have captioned the Woodys that I have been able to ID. To read more on the boats featured, use the WW search box 😉

Grace – 2019 – Salthouse



Lady Gay On Sydney Harbour


New Australian Home For Lady Gay

It appears the dockside rumours are true, the photos below confirms that the 1935 Colin Wild built launch Lady Gay is now residing on Sydney Harbour, Australia. I hope someone has paid the bond………………

Update 08-10-2019 – I have been told Lady Gay posted a substantial bond for her return to NZL. She is on a 3-year leave from NZL to cruise the Australian East Coast.



Photo below of Lady Gay at Palm Beach, Waiheke Island (Jan, 2019), ex John Simpson


TURONGO – Once In A Lifetime Opportunity 


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TURONGO – Once In A Lifetime Opportunity 

Turongo has had a very low profile on the classic boating scene, as she spends most summers in the Bay of Islands.
Turongo is the biggest of the 5 Colin Wild inspired, John Salthouse built motor-yachts. The term ‘launch’ just doesn’t fit a vessel of her elegance and bearing, she is the Bentley of the wooden boating world.
Her vital specs are – built 1966, one year after Trinidad, 56’ in length with a 14’6” beam, she draws 5′ but unlike Trinidad and the earlier launched Lady Crossley, she was the recipient of at the time, some radical design which sees her only drawing 18”at the stern, this along with her twin CAT 3208 diesels results in Turongo being able to do up to 18 knots under power.
Turongo is a very lucky boat, she has been in the same family for the last 25+ years and been very well maintained thru-out this period. She was originally built for JR Butcher and after launching sat on a mooring for a period of time waiting for her two 200hp Cummins V8’s to arrive from the States both of which had been extracted from a tractor unit. They were installed and fitted out by John Butcher and his son Tony,  both gents were in the engineering business. Even back then with the smaller motors, she had an impressive turn of speed..
In recent times she has received the Uroxsys ‘varnish’ finish.
Well woodys, the headline kind of gave the game away – Turongo is for sale and it really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own one of the best classic motor-yachts in NZ. Her owner has made the decision to hand the keys to the next custodian – so who will it be?
Whoever it is had better act quickly, her owner is very realistic in terms of price and after making the difficult decision to let her go, wants a sale. Take my word for it, Turongo will not be on the market for long.
Initially expressions of interest should be directed to  waitematawoodys@gmail.com

Arima – A New Home




ARIMA – A New Home
I was contacted mid-week by David Campbell-Morrison, a previous owner of the Colin Wild launch – Arima. David was passing through Havelock on the way to Picton and stopped for a coffee and spotted Arima in her new home after the 102 hrs of motoring from Whangarei by the new owner, Kelly Ellis.

David commented that Arima was built by Col Wild in 1953 for a Mr Dent and the late Bob Salthouse told David he started his apprenticeship on her. This confirms Harold Kidd’s understanding of her provenance – HDK had previously commented on WW that the first owner was Joe Dent and subsequent owners included Noel Kitchen, Ken Archer (1974 ish), T Whillans (1977) and David Campbell-Morrison (1989). Her original engine was a 4 cylinder Ford, replaced by a 6 cylinder Trader.
David owned her for 19 years and his children cut their teeth on her over the years, David was glad she is been looked after. In the bottom photo we see Arima before David ownership period i.e. pre 1989.
Links below to previous WW story, including the recent refurbishment and re-power with a Cummins 6B.


Royal Saxon 1939 Game Fishing Cruise 

Royal Saxon 1939 Game Fishing Cruise 

 I was recently contacted by Martin Howson in regard to the existence of a journal documenting a 1939 fishing cruise aboard the 36’, Colin Wild built 1930 bridge decker – Royal Saxon to Mayor Island, Bay of Plenty. The journal was penned in 1997 by a friend of Martin’s late uncle – Harold C. Clark. Harold crossed the bar not long after writing the story.
At the time of the game fishing cruise Royal Saxon was owned and skippered by Claude Kendall of Hamilton – the crew on the trip consisted of Claude Kendall, Jack Kendall (Claude’s father), Bert Craike, Harold Clark and a friend of Claude’s named Sam.
You can see / read on Royal Saxon here
Enjoy the read it is a cracker.

Royal Saxon 1

Royal Saxon 2

Royal Saxon 3

Royal Saxon 4Royal Saxon 5

Royal Saxon 6

Royal Saxon 7

Royal Saxon 8

Royal Saxon 9

Royal Saxon 10

Royal Saxon 11

Royal Saxon 12

Royal Saxon 13


Input from Mark Jarvis – photos below of Royal Saxon in her winter berth in Riwaka.


Royal Saxon & Varlene + A trip to Abel Tasman National Park


Kaiteriteri – collection point


Royal Saxon



Split Apple Rocks



Anchorage Bay


Anchorage – northern end

Version 2

Golden quartz sand


Anchorage – southern end




Mapua Wharf

Burlands Deck


Our hosts

Royal Saxon & Varlene + A trip to Abel Tasman National Park
One of the unplanned elements of our recent trip to Nelson to take in the 20th Antique & Classic Boat Show (Lake Rotoiti – Nelson Lakes) was a trip tp the Abel Tasman National Park. Along the way I got to see the 1930, 33’ Colin Wild built – Royal Saxon, one of my favourite boats. The vessel (Wilsons Tours – recommend them) that transports you deep into the park leaves from Kaiteriteri, where by chance Royal Saxon is moored. See / read more on her here   https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/07/07/royal-saxon/
From Kaiteriteri you travel for approx. 1hr on a high speed alloy cat to the drop off point at Medlands Beach. From there depending on your fitness level its a 4 hour coastal / bush walk back to Anchorage Bay for pick up. The walk is not a stroll, its very up and down as it hugs the coastline – but their are plenty of place to rest and take in the stunning scenery. We were very lucky, perfect weather = dry track and not too hot + very few other walkers. You can join / end the walk from several spots so people are walking in both directions. You could ID the nationalities of fellow walkers by their degree of engagement / friendliness 🙂
When you pop out of the bush at Anchorage Bay you are hit with a visual sensory overload – it’s just breathtaking – you could be in Thailand or Europe (but why would you want to be).
While waiting for the boat, the 36’ Supreme Craft build woody Varlene came into the bay, looking very smart, nice to see someone loves her these days. See/read more on her here  https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/04/04/varlene-lady-sunshine/
Post walk, there was a rehydration session at the Golden Bear Brewing Co. on Mapua Wharf. We added a meal of Blue Cod & fries (the BC was 10/10). Then home for a celebratory glass of bubbles on the deck and an early night.
If you get the chance – do the walk, it’s very special and can be as short or as long as your want or can manage.
(apologies if I bored some woodys with the trip report – but there are a couple of boats included)

A Woody Workshop

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Now Here Is A Very Cool Idea – A Woody Workshop
There are a few woody hidden treasures in & around Auckland – some we keep under the radar & some deserve to be hauled up the mast so everyone knows. One of the coolest is the New Zealand Traditional Boatbuilding School. A lot of you will have rubbed up against the NZTBS when it was housed at the old Hobsonville Air Base, but with the redevelopment of the base, NZTBS was moved to a new home & these days has a tighter focus on its reason for being.
Now to some of you the word School breaks you out in a cold sweat, if I ran the place I’d change the name to NZ Wooden Boat Workshop, because these days thats what it is – a workshop where you can get hands-on experience in some of the skills that a true woody needs to know. I encourage you to visit their weblog to check out the new courses (see below) that have just been announced  http://nztbs.org.nz 
  • Veneering, Inlay & Marquetry
  • Ribbing, Steam bending and replacing Ribs.
  • Clinker planking. fitting new or replacing old planks.
  • Tuesday Workshop days
But woodys, what I really wanted to draw your attention to was what the NZTBS call the ‘Tuesday Workshop’. 
Not all of us are blessed with a workshop or the tools to undertake simple maintenance on our craft – the NZTBS have a solution – they have opened the workshop up on Tuesdays (from 10am > 2pm) & will have a couple of serious woodys on-site – Allan Hooper and Kere Kemp. So come along and either help them with the latest project they are working on or if you have a little job of your own or perhaps need a piece of timber sized or just some advice, pop along for a chat.
I dropped in on Tuesday, with a project under my arm & walked away a happy chappie. While there I spoke with the Allan Hooper & Colin Pawson about Allan’s latest project. Some of you may be aware that in a past life Allan created a male mould of the Townson 2.4 dinghy, & from this approx. 10 cold moulded / laminated dinghies were built. On top of this an additional approx. 250 fibreglass dinghies were built – so without a doubt Allan holds the record for the most Townson’s built 🙂
A little while ago, Allan crawled under the house & dragged out the original mould, pictured below being repaired at the NZTBS.
The next step is that Allan will be using the mould to build himself a light-weight (frame less) clinker (ply) dinghy, I’m sure his arm could be twisted to allow a woody or woodys to build another or several, maybe there are enough people interested in a forming a class.  
Heads Up On A New Book From Robert Brooke
Talking with Robert mid-week & I’m stoked to be able to announce on WW that Robert is days away from the release of his new book on the memoirs and drawings of his late father Jack (John) Brooke. More details soon.
Now I couldn’t let the day go by without a woody photo – the photo below has appeared b4 on WW but in a much poorer reproduction. Dated c1930s, it shows Colin Wild’s yard at Stanley Point, Devonport – a very impressive line up of woodys. (photo ex Keith Humphrey)
1930s approx. Stanley Point Devonport Colin Wild Boat Yard

Amakura II In the Old Days



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The above b/w photos of the 1936 Colin Wild designed / built bridge-decker Amakura II came to us via Bruno Redwood’s facebook page.

Below is a recent –ish photo, while she has had an addition, she is still one of the most stunning woodys on the harbour.

You can read / see of her at the ww links below



Any ideas as to the location of the b/w photos? I suspect its off Colin’s Stanley Point Yard, The corrugated shed in the top photo is still there today, surrounded by Navy sports fields 😦

Royal Saxon – Revisited

photos ex Mark Javis

After the amazing response to yesterdays post on Arohanui, which set an all time ww record for the most views in a single hour (1,707) it was always going to be a challenge to back it up. So when I received out of the blue a selection of photos of one of my favourite boats – Royal Saxon, from Motueka resident Mark Javis the challenge was solved.
Mark lives near a little old-world estuary where boats were once built and scows traded at the remaining wharf. A small number of woodys are still berthed there, one being Royal Saxon.

Royal Saxon was built by Colin Wild for Whangarei surveyor Harold Frederick Saxon Charlesworth and launched in October 1930. She is 33ft loa, 9ft 6in beam and draws just under 4ft. Lots more details & photos + a few good yarns found on the ww link below.

She is a very pretty boat & was once owned by Rick McCay who owns Luana, Rick is a man with a very good eye for beautiful things 😉

waitematawoody t-shirts – remember to get your order in – limited print run, full details here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/11/22/waitematawoodys-t-shirts/

Old Logo ww shirt

Lady Helen – Flash Back Friday

Lady Helen @ Russell 1939

Lady Helen – Flash Back Friday
Today’s photo shows the 1930 Colin Wild built, stunning launch Lady Helen in Russell c.1939 & comes from the Tudor Collins Auckland Museum collection, emailed to me by Ken Ricketts.

To view the magnificently restored Lady Helen & read Harold Kidd’s article on her provenance – click this link https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/02/22/miss-helen-2/

Arohia – A Peek Down Below

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AROHIA – A Peek Down Below

Given that in the first photo above the A-class keeler, Arohia is flying a Logan flag I assume that she is a Logan design, odd that her owner would leave that out of her 4sale listing……….. We do know that she was built in 1949 by Colin Wild for John Seabrook. The timber was supplied by Gordon Pollard on the proviso that he would get first option to buy if ever it was sold. As a result the best NZ kauri was used, hand picked by Gordon Pollard. Full length (47′) planking, triple skin kauri.

Arohia has an impressive racing history both local & off-shore & is now for sale by her owner of 34 years.

(sorry for the photo quality – that is all there was & wont be helping the sales process)

A Little Classic Sailing Porn
The video below is from the recent Vela Classic Menorca-Mahon Regatta – its 15mins of stunning classics & race footage.


Woody Winter Weekend

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Woody Winter Weekend

Given the weather in Auckland last Friday you would struggle to believe the above photos were taken over the weekend. I escaped the Principality of Devonport early Saturday morning & headed down to Waikehe Island. Did not even stop on-route to the marina for supplies. The forecast said variable so I was planning on dining ashore.

Well for once all the forecasters got it right – Saturday was a stunner. After a few months of cleaning oil out of the bilge several times & numerous repairs I was very much in the “bugger this old boat gig” mode. We are a shallow lot – one good day / night & I had the bug again J

If you do not like crowds – winter cruising is the way to go.

Coming back on Sunday afternoon I rubbed shoulders with the magnificent ship Felicitare & the 1927, Colin Wild built, Lady Margaret – both looking stunning & doing the same as me i.e. slopping off for some R&R. I was sure Felicitare had featured on ww before but my search showed nothing – what do we know about her?

Great Workmanship

I own several dinghy’s from classic clinkers to what Harold Kidd once called a ‘Baby Riviera’ – he was referring to my American built Walker Bay dinghy. I bought her 2nd hand & have owned her for 10 years – towed behind a woody, she is pig ugly but without a doubt the most stable tender I have come across.

She was looking very sad & the inflatable tube patches were out numbering the good areas. So had to make the big decision – take the tubes off & just have a normal dinghy or order replacement tubes from the USA (US$850). Enter Terminator Boats (Kevin Tomlin) in Albany. They said they could manufacture a new set of replacement tubes, I was a little hesitant about the final look, but went with it & as you’ll see in the photos below, they have done a brilliant job, in fact better than new. I highly recommend them https://www.terminatorboats.co.nz

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Rehia – Getting Dressed




REHIA – Getting Dressed
Question of the day – did Colin Wild build anything other than pretty boats?
The photos above (ex Ken Ricketts) show the 1939 Colin Wild launch Rehia hauled out recently at Gulf Harbour.
She was getting a fresh coat of paint – having last year had an extensive re-fit at the Horizon yard, her owner had allowed the seams to settle before the hero top coat.
She has to be one of the prettiest launches afloat – perfect from any angle 🙂

The photo below, ex Scott Taylor, show Rehia in her WWII livery. To read more on her, ex Harold Kidd, click this link https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/09/26/rehia-z15/

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Tawera 1935 Logan A18

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Tawera was launched on 30th December, 1935. Tawera was designed by Arch Logan and built by Colin Wild of Stanley Bay, Devonport. Her first race was the Auckland Anniversary Regatta in January 1936.

She was Arch Logans last big cutter, measuring almost 50 feet on deck and the culmination of a number of racing keelers built at that time. As the largest of the more modern keelers from Arch Logans drawing board she represented the very best in design development and to this day still epitomises all of the racing winning and wholesome sea keeping abilities of Arch Logans designs.

Tawera is immaculate and has been extensively restored and is now considered one of the finest examples of the a keeler of the pre-WWII era. Her owner is one of the Classic Yacht Associations most loyal members & has loved her as a Logan should be & spared nothing on her maintenance & restoration. She is for sale & is I believe amazing value for money at $200k.

Her recent restoration was to the highest specification which includes the building of a new spruce mast to the original specs, new Volvo Penta engine, and redevelopment of the saloon, galley, heads and fore cabin. A new wooden spinnaker pole and wooden turning blocks on deck as well as an all new sail wardrobe consisting of Mainsail, #1, #2 genoas, asymmetric and conventional spinnakers.
Anyone interested in acquiring one of, if not, the best Logan a float could contact me on waitematawoodys@gmail.com & I’ll pass details on to the owner 🙂

Amakura II – A Great Story

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AMAKURA II – A Great Story

I was recently contacted by Michael Shields who relied the story below about the 1936, Colin Wild launch – Amakura II to me – its a get read – enjoy 🙂

“I spent several years on Amakura II, my step father Jim Somner, of Waipu and Somners Transport owned Amakura II for many years in Whangarei and did extensive work on her over that time, , Originally she had an open rear cabin and a single W12 engine, that is a V8 with an extra bank of 4 cylinders in the middle of the V, these same engines were used in landing craft in the second world war, this was removed and changed to twin engines very early on but if you dive down and have a look you can see where the single large prop was and where the very large prop shaft came out of the keel.
When lengthened the rear area was closed in forming a rear cabin.

She sunk during WW2 when after a few too many medicinal rums were consumed and the bow got caught under the wharf as the tide came up, water came up though the head in the bow and she sunk. Being a popular boat and crew everyone pitched in and a huge crane, called “Tiny”, was brought in and Amakura II was lifted up and cleaned up in time, before the Navy, who had heard that one of their boats had sunk came to investigate. The Navy found no evidence of any damage or sinking and everything was in order, although it was noted the rum rations were missing, having been used to pay for the help to clean her up.

She had a large machine gun mounted on her bow during the war and a photo of her in her drab paint hung in the main cabin.

During Jim Somners ownership he modernized and much altered her. He replaced the engines with twin Ford diesels which he then removed the turbos from for improved economy and also installed the custom made large fridge and freezer unit, removed the head from the bow, rejigged the shower and made the the large flying bridge which has now had the roof shortened as it used to extend almost to the rear end of the back cabin. Being a trucker, Jim was very good at getting things ship shape and working well.

I spent many years on her as crew for Jim and have many story’s of that time like when she ran around, caused the delay of the firing of guns at Waitangi Day and parties a board.”

You can read more about her history & past owners here https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/06/03/amakura-ii-2/

Michael – please send in more tales & any photos you might have. Thanks Alan.
(colour photos ex Heather Rose – b/w photo ex Ken Rickets)

Welly Woodys








Little Tasman

Welly Woodys

Rob Uivel has been promising me some photos of his recently re-furbished 36′, 1928 Joe Slattery launch Mataroa  for some time, well last weekend the Wellington weather gods smiled & delivered up a near perfect day for a classic woody launch cruise – in the photos above we see Mataroa joined by Waiata (32′, 1913 built by David Reid), both boats had a jaunt around the inner harbour, finally anchoring and rafting up in Oriental Bay. After a pleasant swim and lounge around while heading home they spotted Little Tasman coming out of Clyde Quay marina. Fantastic to have the 3 beautiful classic’s together. All 3 woodys have been featured extensively on ww & you can see / read more on them by using the ww search box.

REMEMBER: This Sundays CYA Classic Woody Launch Parade & Riverhead Hotel Cruise. Non CYA boats welcome. RSVP (boat name & approx. crew numbers) to Angus Rogers    rsvp email link  Scroll down 2 ww posts to see details 😉

Included also below are photos of Prima Donna, which Rob feels bears some resemblance to an old Auckland boat called All Black.

27-02-2017 photo below of All Black dated 1910 ex Maxwell Uivel


Raumati II – same boat?


I was contacted recently by Courtney Edwards in regard to her grandfather (Arthur Wilfred “Wolf” Edwards) launch Raumati II – read Courtney’s note below.

“We have been enjoying the Waitemata Woody’s site to learn about the wooden boats we see when staying in bays around the Gulf on our very fiberglass sportfisher

We stumbled upon the photos of Raumati II (Moeraki). My grandfather (Arthur Wilfred “Wolf” Edwards) owned a Raumati II that certainly looks similar from the late 40’s or early 50’s and for about 5 to 7 years. I have attached two photos…one was dated 1955 so assuming both are from then. My dad (Bruce) remembers bringing it down from Whangarei when they got it. It was kept at Westhaven and then sold to a doctor who kept it on a swing mooring at Devonport…does this sound correct? He also remembers that when they got it one of the kauri skins on one side had to be replaced from it sitting on the mud and rotting. He thought there was a very similar looking boat (but slightly longer) that was the police launch at some time…his dad had worked on it.

We also enjoyed the photos of La Rosa…my partner Mike’s grandfather, Bob King, had that and he remembers many times on it as a young kid. His dad (Douglas Oliver) then had Poseidon (Owen Woolley) which I found a photo of but can’t get back to wherever it was…are you able to point me in the right direction?

Thanks for the great resource!”

Alan H input – Courtney – link t Posiedon on ww here https://waitematawoodys.com/?s=Posiedon&submit=Search
Based on the photos on ww (2 below) it would appear to me that the vessel shown in the above photos is the same vessel. Have a look woodys – do you agree ? (apologies for the very low res photos above, trying to get better copies) https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/03/26/mystery-launch-26032014/

Little Tasman Moves South After 91 years in Auckland Waters






Little Tasman Moves South After 91 years in Auckland Waters

Late November 2016 saw a part of Auckland’s maritime heritage leave our waters & head to her new home in Wellington.  The 1925 Colin Wild built launch Little Tasman has graced the waters of the Waitemata for approx. 91 year. While Auckland’s loss is undoubtedly Wellington’s gain, she is in good& I’m sure will return home one day – they all do 🙂
Her restoration has been well documented on ww so to view/read more on her – type her name in the ww search panel.

The montage of photos above are from numerous cameras, including Ken Ricketts, who also emailed me the photo of her below, in Mansion House Bay, taken in 1936 by Tudor Collins, courtesy Auckland Museum, for comparison of then & now. A wonderful restoration at the hands of Colin Brown & son-in-law Josh.


WAIRIKI – A Peek Down Below



WAIRIKI – A Peek Down Below

Wairiki, the 1934 Colin Wild built launch has appeared on ww before – link below, & created a lot of ‘chat’ in the comments section. If you read Nathan Herbert & Harold Kidd’s comments you will discover her true provenience 😉
Having just popped up on trademe, we have the chance to have a peek down below. Enjoy


Lake Boat Truckers


El Alamein



Lake Boat Truckers

Rotorua boat builder Alan Craig sent me the above selection of photos that he ‘uplifted’ from a book owned by Tony Mitchell, its called – Urewera Trucks and Truckers, by Gavin M. Abbot. The photos showcase some of the boats that the truckers used to cart around the lakes.

Now ID’ing the first one is easy, El Alamein, because its got a name plate on her bow, how many of the others can we ID? Remember you can enlarge photos by clicking on them 😉

Wairiki – Yes, No, Maybe?



Wairiki – Yes, No, Maybe?

In early January Nathan Herbert was poking around the Te Atatu Boating Club haul out area & spotted the launch Wairiki. It sparked a wee moment of ‘could it be…………’ & Nathan dropped me a note with the 2 photos above – “I won’t put my life on it, but I doubt I’m wrong. Same flare, same forward sheer, same bridge location, same twin for’d portholes. Wairiki as original moved to Wellington I’m told, and I have seen a photo of the modified one in Wellington in say the 1960’s. Without dodger. Add to that the correct name, and far too many coincidences.”
So would what do you think – same boat?

Little Tasman Out Of The Shed & Re-launched


Little Tasman Out Of The Shed – relaunched

Since last Thursday my mobile has been running hot with woodys letting me know that the 26′ 1925 Colin Wild built launch Little Tasman had left boat builder Colin Brown’s Omaha shed & was now on the hard at Sandspit, for her final touches. ww has been following Little Tasman since back in early 2012 when Mark Edmonds spotted her on a section in Pt. Wells.
There have been numerous ww posts recording her progress, links below. ww thanks Mark Edmonds, Harold Kidd, Jason Prew, Bruce Pullman, Ken Ricketts & Russell Ward for your input & photos.
The story started in April 2015 when Little Tasman was bought by a new owner, fast forward to July 2015 & she is safely ensconced in Colin Brown’s shed, under going a serious restoration.
Ken Ricketts was on hand last week to record the journey to Sandspit & take a few hardstand photos. Unfortunately the conditions were not perfect for photography, but I have tried to digitally enhance them – see below. The photos above were taken by Steve Horsley the next day when conditions were better, but only shot on an earlier model iPhone.

ww understands that Little Tasman’s owner is Wellington based so post sea trials Little Tasman will be heading south 😦


The photos below were taken on Saturday by Jason Prew – again dodgy conditions


23-09-2016 Update – Re-launched. Photos below by Dave Walker, email to me by Ken Ricketts.

In the ‘tractor’ photo below, just look at that hull, Colin Wild knew how to build a pretty boat – whether it was 26′ or 46′ 🙂









On Saturday the Picton Clinker Club held a run up the Opawa River in Blenheim to the Raupo Cafe for lunch, 11 boats made the trip. Richmond boatbuilder/ restorer, timber furniture maker & vintage car coach builder – Peter Murton, sent me the above photos.

Chatting with Peter on-line he has some very cool woody projects in his workshop – starting with a  Colin Wild built day launch, see photos below. The launch arrived at Peters’s workshop last December from Auckland. When finished she is off to Christchurch, where her owner has re-located to, he dropped her off on his way past Peter’s workshop. Nothing is known about her, her owner had her stashed in his shed for 5+ years, her cabin sides & side decks are teak – any input from the woodys would be much appreciated.


Also below are some photos of Peter’s 1895 fantail oil launch which is getting a 1906 Gray marine engine fitted.


And to finish todays clinker theme – when I went down to Raindance yesterday to do a few chores, I was pleasantly surprized to find the stern off a model clinker dinghy in my cockpit, along with a note from Robert Brooke – “Hi Alan, If it is no use to you, please cut up for firewood. Cheers Robert”. Now Robert knows I have a ‘thing’  for clinkers & while having a workshop clean out he found the stern off one of his model boats & thought it might appeal to me – it surely does – will be a perfect project & this will join my collection of things clinker related (photo below). The clinker cross section in the photo, I bought on trademe several years ago, now I might be mistaken but I think it was built by Peter Murton – if so, its a small world.

And yes I do own a proper clinker – named Peg.




Now Manana has appeared before on ww but we have never seen ‘down-below’.

First some background – Manana is a Colin Wild sport fisher built in Auckland in 1953 by Collings and Bell. She spent many years serving as the Durville Island water taxi based in French Pass. She was then rebuilt and faithfully modernised into the vessel that you see above.
Construction: double diagonal kauri – LOA: 40’; beam: 13’; draft: 6’

She is powered by twin 120hp 6 Cyl Fords that allow her to cruise at 8 knts & top out at 11 knts

You can read more on her past & view as launched photos at this link https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/09/20/friday-quiz-can-id-this-launch/

Huge interest yesterday in the Lucinda re-launch story – over 7,500 views in the first 24 hours. But interestingly ww still can not crack the UK scene, see below a list of the top 14 countries viewing ww yesterday, ranked by viewing numbers. Peru rated better than the UK 😦  Now if you are wondering about some of the countries, I have a theory – ww enjoys high readership among the super yacht crews, who have a high % of kiwis aboard, thence the ‘unusual’ countries popping up 😉

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Mystery Boats & Location – Win a ww t-shirt


Mystery Boats & Location – Win a ww t-shirt

Today’s post could be interesting, the first woody that can ID any of the boats & the location will win a ww t-shirt. Rules are simple – first correct answer in the ww Comments section wins. If by 6.00pm no one has answered correctly, we will count backwards e.g. first woody with one of the two answers wins, if no one gets that, then the best (in my eyes) answer wins.
Only one other condition – the prize has to be either a size XL or 2XL shirt, that is all I have left until the next print run – p.s. they are smallish sizing.

Would have to question the effectiveness of those bilge stabilizers – a little like a pimple on a pumpkin 🙂

Hi All
I am the project manager for Windhaven the Col Wilde ketch undergoing refit at Yachting Developments. Trying to find some original photos so we can look at restoring to as near as possible to her former glory. promise to be on the harbour this summer.
Any information would be greatly appreciated. pls send to garyatsea@gmail.com
Capt Gary

Alan H comment – a wee tip – if you keep spelling Wild with an E, you won’t get much help from  HDK 😉
Below are a couple of photos that I assume you have already seen?
Can any woodys help Gary out with more info / photos?

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 29-07-2016 – Photo below ex Mike Drummond from the John Salthouse collection showing Windhaven being ‘removed’ from Colin Wild’s Stanley Point yard. The view is looking north over the Bayswater Peninsular.

Col wild yard



Little Tasman



shed photos & info ex Ken Ricketts. Pt Wells photo ex Mark Edmonds. details ex Harold Kidd. edited a lot by Alan H

Back in early March Ken Ricketts dropped in to see artisan boat builder Colin Brown at his Omaha yard. Colin & side kick, Josh, have been restoring the rather pretty 26′ Colin Wild launch Little Tasman.  She was named Tasman when built in 1925 for Albert Spencer & changed her name to Little Tasman in 1927 when the bigger Tasman (photo included below) was launched by the same owner/builder. Its said she that LT was a prototype / test boat – Mr Spencer was not short of a few pennies 😉

It is such good news to see whats happening to Little Tasman as she sat on a front lawn at Pt. Wells for a number of years (photo below) & her future was at risk.

Little Tasman at Pt Wells

In Harold Kidd’s words Little Tasman is ‘pure class’ & whats happening in Colin’s shed is also pure class  – the man is one of the best classic friendly tradies out there.

You will see in the above photos that she now has a brand new 4 cyl Nanni 38 hp diesel in place, which should give her a top speed of around 10 knots, with a cruising speed, with her 2 to 1 reduction gear, of around 7 knots. Will be interesting to see her performance as the Nanni is a lot lighter than the old 6 cyl Ford diesel it is replacing.

Her restoration has seen most of her ribs replaced, a full recaulk (no splining), work on the forepeak & bow, a new dodger, very faithfully copied from the original & a full interior refit & partial redesign of the interior layout, for greater space use, & practicality.
Steering will be from the front of the tram top, as it was before, where there will be a large hatch fitted, to the newly replaced, as original, T & G cabin top. Check out the stern photo, classic Colin Wild on show there 🙂

Launch date is fast approaching so we will update on the event.

Read more on her past here      https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/04/20/little-tasman/

Below is a photo of Tasman that I took a few years ago in Sullivans Bay. She is stunner & on a lot of woodys bucket list.

Tasman @ Sullivans Bay

30-06-2016 – Another great photo update from Ken R of Little Tasman’s restoration at Colin Brown’s yard. Remember click on photos to enlarge 😉

Miss Helen



details ex Harold Kidd

We headed out at lunch time Saturday for an overnight trip to Waiheke Island. While Oneroa was like Ponsonby Rd on a Friday night we had talked ourselves into a pizza for dinner from the beach front wood-fired pizza wagon in Little Oneroa, so Oneroa it was. When the fizz boat day trippers departed at days end things were not too bad, still had to use strong words to question the intention of a Bayliner that was about to anchor on top of me 🙂
Highlight (after the pizza) of the weekend was getting to see the recently restored Miss Helen up close, she is one very good looking classic. I will let Harold tell us about her past.

She was built in 1930 by COLIN WILD for L.E. McQueen of Wairiki Road, Mt. Eden as AUDREY M and had a 125hp Lycoming 8 cylinder engine. McQueen had her dodger raised to give 6ft 6in headroom in October 1931 and had fresh water cooling installed. He then sold her to A.L Davenport who renamed her MAHSEER. Davenport sold her to Whittaker in 1934 and he renamed her LADY HELEN. He sold her to L.A. Marquet who sold her to A.E. Fuller of Russell in August 1937. She was altered for gamefishing. In August 1942 she was severely damaged coming ashore in a gale at Russell and substantially rebuilt again. Again she was renamed, MISS HELEN to tie in with the rest of  the Fuller fleet, MISS IDA, MISS KNOXIE, MISS RUSSELL etc.
BTW the Register of British Ships says she was built in Russell, which is incorrect, although she was re-built there once or twice.
McQueen, of course, had WILD build WAIRIKI in October 1934.

The Register of British Ships says she was built in 1932, which is also incorrect. The RBS is a very dodgy resource, especially where the vessel was registered well after she was built, as here.

To read more on Lady Helen & view older photos + restoration photos click the link below.

Dropped the anchor near Lady Margaret (Colin Wild) & enjoyed a cleansing ale aboard with Peter Loughlin & partner Nicola. LM is looking very smart these days, with Peter doing a rolling restoration.

Lady Margaret PL

Big Boys Toys




Big Boys Toys

Auckland’s Anniversary Day Regatta attracts a huge fleet of vessels from sailing dinghies to tall ships & is one of the biggest one day sailing regattas in the world. One of the most popular events with the spectators is the Tug (work) Boat race. The race sees 20+ tugboats tearing around the  harbour in very close combat. The skippers are some of the best seaman on the harbour & they need to be with the almost ‘bumper-to-bumper’ racing.
This year was no different 🙂 in the photos above we see two of the Classic Yacht Association launch fleet, Ferro & Sterling almost dwarfed by modern day tugboats.

To view more of the tugboat action & more CYA classic boats competing – click this link  http://buggeritweareoff.com/

Now in the last photo above I bet the bloke on the helm of the yacht is asking himself – “what the hell am I doing here?” 🙂

Very Cool Video from the Race

Yesterdays Mahurangi Regatta post on WW broke all the records in terms of visitors & viewing numbers, over 14,000 in the first 24 hours. Thanks should go out to all the boat owners that make the effort to attend the event & spend all the time & effort prepping their pride & joy.

The classic of the regatta in my eyes would be Tasman, the 1927 Colin Wild launch. She is one of those boats that no matter what angle you look at her she is just perfect & a credit to owners D O’Callahan & A Tyler.



photos & details ex Paul Drake

Paul has advised that the above launch has arrived at Lake Taupo within the last few weeks. Now if we believe the name plate she is a 1927 Colin Wild boat. Paul commented that its a nice touch having the build year and builder’s name being advertised, but it would be nice with they spelt the name correctly (Wild not Wilde) 😦

Paul believes that if her provenance stacks up, she is probably the only Col Wild on the lake.

The name plate states her home anchorage was Mahurangi, so what more do we know about Princess & how did she end up on the lake ?

Royal Saxon

photos ex Mark Javis

After the amazing response to yesterdays post on Arohanui, which set an all time ww record for the most views in a single hour (1,707) it was always going to be a challenge to back it up. So when I received out of the blue a selection of photos of one of my favourite boats – Royal Saxon, from Motueka resident Mark Javis the challenge was solved.
Mark lives near a little old-world estuary where boats were once built and scows traded at the remaining wharf. A small number of woodys are still berthed there, one being Royal Saxon.

Royal Saxon was built by Colin Wild for Whangarei surveyor Harold Frederick Saxon Charlesworth and launched in October 1930. She is 33ft loa, 9ft 6in beam and draws just under 4ft. Lots more details & photos + a few good yarns found on the ww link below.

She is a very pretty boat & was once owned by Rick McCay who owns Luana, Rick is a man with a very good eye for beautiful things 😉

waitematawoody t-shirts – remember to get your order in – limited print run, full details here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/11/22/waitematawoodys-t-shirts/

Old Logo ww shirt

The Sail ‘v’ Power Relationship

The Sail ‘v’ Power Relationship

In a ww post back in August 2013, I (tongue in cheek) stated that I had found photographic evidence of the exact day & event when the relationship between power & sail soured– 29 January 1953, Auckland Anniversary Regatta. View photo & story here https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/08/01/yachts-versus-motor-boats/

Well folks I got it wrong, it was much earlier than that – it was early December 1930. In the above photo ex Peter Loughlin’s (current owner) facebook page, we see Lady Margaret (1928 Colin Wild), described in the NZ Herald, 11th Dec 1930, article as a fast cruising launch ‘passing’ some of the M-Class sailing fleet. Passing was a rather polite term for ‘going thru at full chat’ 🙂

For the train spotters Maratea is in the lead (& won) followed by Mercer?? & Manu

Thankfully most classic motorboat owners are a wee bit more considerate these days, can not say the say about the average Riviera owner & a remarkable number are flying a RNZYS burgee 😦


photos & details ex Ian Nairn, Harold Kidd & John Blundell

Ian Nairn sent me the above photos of Okareka taken when his family owned her between 1961 & 1975 approx.. At the time Ian’s family owned the Britomart Service Station in Custom Street East, Auckland.
Ian is a member of an exclusive ww club, 3 of his families boats have featured on ww – Silver Spray, Lady Pat & Okareka.

Okareka was built by Colin Wild in 1952 (tbc) & when launched her original name was ‘Fergy’, the significance of the name being that her original owner Ted Copsey & his son Peter had the Massey Ferguson tractor dealership in Pukekohe. Copsey sold her c.1957 to Don Brown of Almorah Rd Epsom. It appears Brown changed her name to Okareka.
During the Nairn ownership period they added, with the help of Roy Parris, the dodger over the open rear cockpit. They also installed the twin Ford diesel engines (on the 25th July 1968).

NOTE: In an early ww post Ken Rickett’s commented that Okareka’s varnished coamings were painted white pre 1953, the photos above are dated 1964 so Ken’s memory bank needs rebooting 🙂 Also Ken states that her first owner was Don Brown, which clashes with the Ferg name / ownership link ex John Blundell – hopefully today’s post clears up these discrepancies.

More details on the vessel, her owners & recent photos here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/04/29/okareka/ – remember to read the COMMENTS section 😉

Little Tasman Gets Some Serious TLC

Little Tasman Gets Some Serious TLC

photos above ex Ken Ricketts

Today’s post is the 26′, 1925 Colin Wild designed / built Little Tasman, who until recently had been hiding under a trap at Point Wells. Now she is tucked away in boat builder Colin Brown’s shed at Omaha & getting a major fright 🙂
I love it when we see an old girl undergoing this degree of restoration – well done the new owner. I know there will be several woodys very happy to see today’s post.
Nathan – that Kawau race fleet is starting to look healthy, you & Jason P need to shake a leg if you want to be on the start line 🙂
Lots more on Little Tasman here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/04/20/little-tasman/

Pt Wells photos below

Quite a wee speedster in her day


photo ex Dean Wright

The photo above of the 1927 Colin Wild Linda was sent to me by Dean who  took the shot at his friend, Lenore Bauern’s, place. Lenore is Bill Swales sister-in-law, the son of Roy Swales a past owner of Linda. Lenore says the shot was taken before Roy owned her.
Linda has featured several times on ww & will continue to because she is such a stunning vessel, perfect from every angle. You can view/read more on her by clicking on this link https://waitematawoodys.com/?s=Linda&submit=Search

Anyone game to attempt to ID some of the crew?

Nice also to see ww getting a plug in the August issue of Boating NZ (below) & in a nice segue, Linda above was restored by Robert Brooke & in the magazine article, the b/w photo of Aroha has Robert’s father,Jack (John) in-frame 🙂

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Harold Kidd Input

It’s clear that this photograph was taken when she was new and in the hands of her first owner, E.J. (“Manny”) Kelly, who was a Squadron member as well as being Commodore of Ponsonby Cruising Club. I think he’s flying the Squadron flag above hie PCC flag officer’s burgee as a matter of correct protocol as the Squadron is the senior club (a well as being a “Royal”). So that’ll be Kelly in pride of place at the wheel.

Emanuel John Kelly (1876-1960) was a long-term launch owner. He ran a business as a metal founder and engineer and lived in Shelly Beach Road, Herne Bay. He had LINDA built by Colin Wild in October 1927 and kept her until Roy Swales of N Z Leadworks bought her. Before LINDA, though, Manny had the  42ft launch DAISY from mid1916 to February 1927. She had been built built for Arthur Brett as ALLEYNE (V) by Tyler & Harvey in November 1908, a double-ender of the Logan Bros type. She started life with a 20hp 2 cylinder Lozier, then moved up to a 30hp 3 cylinder locally-built Twigg in 1919 (I wonder if Kelly did the castings for W.R. Twigg?) (Twigg was killed and eaten by a lion on safari in Rhodesia in November 1925, which is somewhat topical).

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.

Lady Claire

photo & details ex John Wicks

Now Lady Claire has appeared in detail on ww before but I have had a request via John Wicks from her owner, Bruce Carter to see if any woodys can ID the people in the above photo. The photo was supplied by Rebecca Hayter (Boating NZ) . No one knows anything about the photo but John feels it could be pre WWII.
She was a magnificent looking launch & must have been one of THE boats in her day.
To read / view more on her click this link   https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/07/02/lady-claire/

Remember you can click on the image to enlarge, then click on ‘View full size’, then move the magnifying glass icon over the image & then click on the area you want to enlarge further.

Photo of Lady Claire & Lady Eileen hauled out together – may 2014 ex Ken R




photo & details ex Colin Pawson

I can not tell you much about Mera other than she was built in 1957 by the Algies brothers to a Colin Wild design. She has been restored by the grandson – Mathew Tickle. The above photo was taken at Gt Barrier Island earlier this year.

What do we know about her?

Colin Wild Yard – Stanley Point, Devonport

Colin Wild Yard – Stanley Point, Devonport
photo from the John & Judy Salthouse Collection

Todays photo was sent to me by Mike Drummond, with the permission of Judy & John Salthouse & was taken during John’s time at the Wild yard.
It looks a little familiar – possibly posted on the CYAF a few years ago & I recall Harold Kidd ID’ed the vessels. I could be wrong…….. ?

Can we attempt to do a L>R listing.

Note: thanks to Mike digitizing the Salthouse album & Judy & John kindly agreeing to share it with ww, we will have some great content coming up. Mike has a interesting link to Colin Wild in that his house is on the site of Wilds yard. Who knows one day we might get Mike off that 40knt+ foiling cat & into a Col Wild classic 🙂

Okareka (Fergy)

OKAREKA (formally FERGY)
photos & details Kent Dadson & Ken Ricketts. Edited by Alan H

Looking for lots of clarification today. Today’s launch was built by Colin Wild & reportedly launched c1940’s (but her owner, Kent Dadson, has been told 1952). She started life named Fergy & is approx. 35′ long.
She was built for Don Brown of D. D. Brown Ltd & had 2 x Graymarine flat head 6 cyl 90 hp petrol engines. Ken Ricketts commented that she was one of the very first boats that had mufflers fitted to petrol engines with above water exhausts – most boats popped or roared along in those days, but Wanda II, Connie V & Fergie were all virtually silent,  from idle up to cruising speed. The petrol engines were later replaced (c.1965?) with twin Ford 2701Es diesels (Lees conversion). Her varnished coamings went white, very early in the peace, pre 1953.
1954 photo of her below in Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island.

Any help in confirming the above & filling in her past would be appreciated.


Update from John Blundell – Ted Copsey and his son Peter were the Fergusson tractor agents based in Pukekohe and they rented some space at the back of Fisher and Blundell Ltd in Newmarket around 1960 – thence the name Fergy 😉

August 2015 Photo at Gulf Harbour


Little Tasman

details from Russell Ward

Russell was the bearer of some great news last week – the Colin Wild built Little Tasman, has found a new owner. Over the last few years numerious woodys have sent me photos of Little Tasman hauled out at Point Wells. I’m told a while ago a 4sale sign appeared, now I wish I had know – there are a few woodys out there that would have snapped up a Colin Wild built launch with the provenance that LT has. Wild built her for Albert Spencer & she was called Tasman & was a trial for his next (larger) boat also called Tasman so #1 then became Little Tasman. In the sepia photo above she looks to have a good turn of speed – I don’t imagine Albert Spencer would not have been chugging around the harbour at 7 knots 🙂

I’ll let Russell time his tale about Little Tasman.

“My memories of her go back to the mid ‘60s when all was Radio Hauraki, psychedelia, Beach Boys, Strolling Bones and Beatles. Oh and sheilas. Boats were somewhere in there and Bon Accord harbour was the stage. Mansion House was still privately run and the authorities didn’t know about the “Snake Pit”. There were usually several mullet boats nosed into the beach and crews in varying stages of recovery/rehydration. You couldn’t get your anchor to hold reliably in the bay because of all the bottles on the bottom!

The Kawau Yacht Club was pretty moribund, although the AMYC were making preliminaries to taking it on (my old man was on the committee of AMYC) so we had great hopes.
Mrs Lidgard was in residence, Skip Lawler had the Fairmile Ngaroma alongside the wharf for a while, and the Comettis had a fantastic garden. My potted history of the Christmas holidays.

The Ward family (no relation) had Little Tasman at that time and it was party time. If I said that one of the mullet  boats that had rafted alongside one memorable noisy night, was pushing off at just before sunrise because “they didn’t want to get us mulletties a bad name”, you get the picture.

But enough of that (it was just to get the old salts of Cobweb Corner reminiscing about their misspent youths). I have always been keen on machinery and when Harold Kidd mentioned that Little Tasman had a Stearns, I wondered what sort of engine they made. No pictures in my books. It was pretty obvious that there must have been classy because they were going into classy boats. American of course. And Stearns Knight made sleeve valve engines for their cars, the assumption that there was a connection was there. But no, no relation.

I contacted an old colleague in the US to see what he could find. And Richard Durgee sent me a raft of pics and adverts (refer below). They are 1924 and 26 so just right timing. I am fascinated that they have an amazingly modern head. Prod rod of course and the combustion chamber apparently in the piston.  You remember –what the Chrysler invented in the ‘70s for the Chrysler Hemi! Nuthin’ new out there, son. ’S all been dun before apart from nukes. Most marine engines were side valve –slower flame propagation and plenty of low down torque”.

Remember click image to enlarge

Wirihana Who ‘Built’ Her?


Todays post is in two parts – first an attempt to ID some of the Colin Wild crew that built Wirihana. Chris McMullen, the caretaker of Wirihana had been looking through a box old of Wilson and Gould family photos & uncovered todays photos. Chris’s guess on a date for the above photos is 1933. Even thou its over 80 years ago one of the ww followers may recognize a relation. So folks – dig out those old family albums & lets see if we can put some names to the faces.
Col Wild and Mr Martyn Wilson are on the right. The man with the black hair holding the dog may be young Jack Gould who was (Chris believes) Mr Wilson’s step son. That needs to be verified. The Gould Family still own Wirihana to this day.

The 2nd part is to try & confirm what became of the earlier Wirihana, as pictured in the photo below. The ‘smaller’ Wirihana was also owned by the Wilson family. There is a family photo album recording a cruise on her. The album is dedicated to ‘The Crew of the Wirihana 1930-1’.
Chris wonders if the original broke her mooring. Interestingly there are some photos (not in the subject album) showing the wreckage of a wooden vessel but regretfully no details. Could it be that the current Wirihana was a replacement?

Looking forward to some interesting feedback. If you know anyone that had family or a relation that worked at Colin Wild’s yard in the early 1930’s can forward this ww posting on to them & ask for their help with ID’ing the people.

And lasting I could not do a Wirihana post without a photo showing how magnificent she is today 🙂

Update from Nathan Herbert

The below press clippings from the NZ Herald (2nd August 1933) make interesting reading. Wirihana (1) was relaunched on 01/08/1933 after an extensive overhaul at Lanes yard, the work included a new keel – so the questions are

1. Was the work done following an oops ?

2. Was W1 renamed, as W2 (Colin Wild) was being launched around this time?

Harold – where are you?, put down that legal brief & join in 🙂

Harold Kidd Input

My reconstruction of this tangled web is as follows (and some of it is conjecture).
1. Lane Motor Boat Co built WIRIHANA (1) for Joe Wilson in 1929. There is an image of LADY GAY (1) on Lanes’ slip at Mechanics Bay and she’s indistinguishable from WIRIHANA (1). photo below added by AH

2. She flew a “Wirihana” flag because “Wirihana” is maori-ised “Wilson” (and is nicely euphonic).
3. Colin Wild built WIRIHANA (2) in October 1933.
4. The quote above concerning WIRIHANA’s overhaul in 1933 is from the NZ Herald (owned by Wilson) but there’s an almost identical quote in the Herald of 17th November 1933 but referring to the boat as “J. M. Wilson’s LADY GAY”.
5. Clearly, WIRIHANA (1) was renamed LADY GAY while getting her big overhaul at Lanes in 1933 and after WIRIHANA (2) was launched. Her cabintop was altered drastically to provide full headroom so that her earlier semi-bridgedeck style disappears.
5. Wilson kept LADY GAY/WIRIHANA until July 1935, shortly before LADY GAY (2) was launched.
6. He then sold her to H. Walker and I lose sight of her, obviously with an agreed name change.
7. Sooner or later we’ll find out what Walker called her and say “Of course!”.

Colin Wild Launches at Waiheke Island – 1927 or 2015 ?

Colin Wild Launches at Waiheke Island – 1929 0r 2015 ?
photo ex Peter Loughlin

This photo just ticked so many boxes I had to post it. Tasman on the left & Lady Margaret on the right – both built by one of NZ’s best – Colin Wild. Lady Margaret was launched in 1928 & Tasman in 1929. Photo taken two weekends ago at Kauakarua Bay, Waiheke Island by Lady Margaret’s owner Peter Loughlin.
You can see that magazines like ‘The Rudder’ were having a big influence on motor-boat design in NZ at the time.

I wonder if Colin Wild ever imagined the 87 years later these two would be side by side & looking this smart.

To the CYA boats doing the Motuihe Picnic today, play nicely together & enjoy the day / weekend. Photos please.

Same weekend – both boats heading home. Photos from CYA member John Bertenshaw’s very cool ‘First Boating Weekend of the Season’ post on the WoodenBoat Forum – its been running for several years & is loaded with great photos.


Miss Helen


For the last 2 weeks I have had phone calls & emails from ww followers telling me about the ‘new’ classic launch that just appeared at OBC. The words being used are “totally immaculate, like new”  /  “newly restored and gleaming” etc.
She is visible from Tamaki Drive & is in fact the ex Bay of Islands game fisher – Miss Helen. Built in 1932 by Colin Wild. I have posted restored & ‘old’ photo as a comparison for you – I like the effort that has gone into keeping / making her very original.

So folks – who can supply more info on her? I would love to see the interior & learn a bit about the restoration.

We need her in the CYA launch fleet 🙂

(a big thank you to Mark Edmonds, Nathan Herbert & Lindsay McMorran for photos & details)


Harold Kidd Input

She was built in 1930 by COLIN WILD for L.E. McQueen of Wairiki Road, Mt. Eden as AUDREY M and had a 125hp Lycoming 8 cylinder engine. McQueen had her dodger raised to give 6ft 6in headroom in October 1931 and had fresh water cooling installed. He then sold her to A.L Davenport who renamed her MAHSEER. Davenport sold her to Whittaker in 1934 and he renamed her LADY HELEN. He sold her to L.A. Marquet who sold her to A.E. Fuller of Russell in August 1937. She was altered for gamefishing. In August 1942 she was severely damaged coming ashore in a gale at Russell and substantially rebuilt again. Again she was renamed, MISS HELEN to tie in with the rest of  the Fuller fleet, MISS IDA, MISS KNOXIE, MISS RUSSELL etc.
BTW the Register of British Ships says she was built in Russell, which is incorrect, although she was re-built there once or twice.
McQueen, of course, had WILD build WAIRIKI in October 1934.

The Register of British Ships says she was built in 1932, which is also incorrect. The RBS is a very dodgy resource, especially where the vessel was registered well after she was built, as here.

Input from Ken Ricketts

She belongs to Terry Porter of McMullen & Wing. – photo below during during restoration towards the end of last year.
Terry has done an absolutely fabulous job on her, splining, beautiful new interior, the whole bit. She is powered by a brand new 4cly high performance artificially aspirated inter-cooled Cummins Diesel. AH