KOTARE Restoration – Boat Shed Tour

KOTARE Restoration – Boat Shed Tour

Back in June 2014 WW was approached with a request for intel on the 28’ kauri planked classic launch – Kotare, that is a poplar name for boats, so I was surprised at what we uncovered. 

At the time Harold Kidd was able to tell us that she was designed by Bill Couldrey in 1960 for Frank Wilkins of Church St., Northcote to build for himself.  Wilkins launched her in October 1961 with a 45hp BMC diesel.

We struck gold when Richard Farrar sent in a copy of an interview, dated 8th Oct 1996 with her builder Frank Wilkins – its a great read – link to story here: https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/08/21/kotare-builder-interview/

Fast forward to May 2020 and we ran another story on Kotare with more recent photos and details – link here: https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/05/12/kotare-4/

Fast forward again to the present day and as you will observe in the above photos – Kotare is being restored / refitted by sage boat builder Alan Craig and his team at Craig Marine.

Photos below post launching and c.2014

MANOWAI – Gets A Visit To The Beauty Shop

MANOWAI – Gets A Visit To The Beauty Shop

The 32’ Lake Rotoiti based launch –  Manowai has been owned by a string of owners that have lavished time and $$ on her. That we know of, this started around 2003 when boat builder Colin Brown undertook major refit, including new interior. Fast forward to 2015 and Manowai has been relocated to Lake Rotoiti (Nth Island) and spends a year in Craig Marines shed where boat builder Alan Craig undertakes a 12 month refurbishment of her interior & exterior. At the same time she was re-powered with a 4 cyl. 40 hp Lombardini diesel.

Now in 2022 she has just emerged from Alan Craig’s shed after some serious TLC and addressed some issues with the steel screws used in her construction. Links below to previous WW stories – lots of photos and chat.

Manowai’s past is a little cloudy but she was possibly built in 1921 by Bailey & Lowe – would be nice to be able to confirm her provenance. 

2013 WW Story https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/09/19/manowai/

2015 WW Story https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/09/14/manowai-2/

Colleen – Launch Day

JAN

Boat builder Alan Craig (Craig Marine) sent in todays’ gallery of photos of the Brin Wilson designed launch – Colleen owned by Bill Stevenson. We see her being launched at Lake Tarawera where she still resides today. Appears that there were a few challenges with the lake level.

Colleen is a near sister ship to the other Stevenson family launch – Jan, refer photos below. Jan is maintained in an as new condition, some credit for this goes to Alan who has repainted and varnished the whole boat at different stages.

Also keen to ID the launch that is helping drag her off.

INPUT ex Hamish MooreI have spoken with Mother on this, Jocelyn Stevenson. Seems you have amended some of the points already. – Typo, Spelling of the family name. ‘Stevenson’

Some info what what Jocelyn can recall;

Colleen was on Lake Rotoiti for a few years prior to been relocated to lake Tarawera, possibly up to 5yrs.

The launching of Colleen shown here could be at Lake Rotoiti and the little Tug boat could well be Sir Williams first boat on Lake Rotoiti, un-confirmed and details of the vessel unknown.

A notable mentioned needs to go to Norm Keane who was a local boat builder that Sir William employed to maintain all the boats, including Jocelyn in Auckland, and his property at Lake Rotoiti and I’d say Colleen while still in the family ownership. If I recall correctly one of your articles in the past may have mentioned Norm Keane.

Last I heard, Colleen has had some work done over the years and some of which was completed by Danny Pearce boatbuilding out of Rotorua. I’ve lost contact with Danny. However we had attempted to head down and cast an eye over Colleen but life just got to busy.

Jan remains in family ownership, by Sir Williams Grand daughter.

It would be fantastic to see some photos and and article on Colleen if you managed to shake down someone who has the knowledge and contact.”

Sea Spray > Helena

SEA SPRAY > HELENA

Back in Nov 2020 boat builder Alan Craig (Craig Marine) and I were chatting re a 1956, 17’ clinker run-about named Sea Spray that was on tme and claimed to be built by J Logan. A quick call to Harold Kidd confirmed the provenance and Alan acquired Sea Spray on behalf of a client.

More photos here of the boat as purchased https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/11/14/sea-spray/

By Feb 2021 Alan was well into the restoration / refit – photos here  https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/02/27/jack-logan-would-be-happy/

The yard re-planked the bottom up to water line and rebuilt the whole cabin top and interior. While to some it may appear a lot of effort for a 17′ boat, remember woodys it’s the real deal – a Jack Logan boat.

The project was finished at the end of 2021 and relaunched at Xmas 2021.. Now called Helena, she has been converted to electric, through a steerable pod in place of the rudder. Helena will do a good 10hrs without charging, Alan commented that’s a lot of trips to the Lake Rotoiti hot pools 🙂 I’m told Helena is a quite comfortable boat, even with 4 people aboard.

Her old engine, a 10hp Arona diesel is hopefully going to replace another in a yacht in the far north. 

Jack Logan Would Be Happy

JACK LOGAN WOULD BE HAPPY
Back in November 2020 we reported that Lake Rotoiti boatbuilder Alan Craig (Craig Marine) had taken on the restoration of the 1956 Jack Logan built 17’ clinker cabin run-about – Sea Spray. The WW link below will show you the boat as Alan received it.  https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/11/14/sea-spray/

I can report that Alan’s yard are well under way with the project, as you can see in the above photos, once the reciprocating saw comes out there’s no turning back. Alan commented that most ribs were repaired and structure added. Her shape was pretty bad, had a chine in it almost. A few planks to replace on the bottom then into the cabin. Looking forward to following this project – just need to keep reminding Alan to send in the updates 🙂

Ruru

RURU
I spotted the launch Ruru at the recent Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Parade, it would have been hard to miss her – she is such a perfect lake boat. The name Ruru has several meanings in Maori but the most common one is – the name for NZ’s native Morepork bird. On her stern it lists her home as Tapuaekura, which is a bay found on the southern shores of Lake Rotoiti. 

The brief sneak peak I had of her interior indicated a very tasteful and age considerate restoration, very original. Her owner is a very passionate classic owner, with several craft on the lake. Would love to learn more of Ruru’s provenance and when she was restored. 

Update – Nathan Herbert to the rescue – he is better than the WW search box 🙂 https://waitematawoodys.com/2019/07/22/ruru/

25-02-2021 Update ex Alan Craig (Craig Marine) – I had a look at RURU for George Joseph last year, its been in his shed for 20 years, George had had it for 60 odd years and previously was owned by someone who owned most of the land between moose lodge and the Marae. The Austin trident engine got taken out 20 years ago and never made it back in and got as far as the end of the shed! until now obviously. She’s a nice looking boat, 19′ long, mahogany hull and kauri top. Couldn’t find a builder’s plate but guessed it’s around 1930s or 40s? Built well with seam battens and ribs, the planks had hardly moved.
Any idea of the builder is the question…..

Rawene

RAWENE
When I was catching up with lan Craig re yesterdays story I gave him a wind up re how hopeless he was at keep us updated on the work in his Lake Rotoiti boat yard. Seems the dig in the ribs worked as a few hours later I received the photos above of Rawene, taken from Waikeremoana when Alan went  down in February 2020 for some repairs on Rawene. The boat was hit on her mooring and broke a few ribs.The old photos below are on the wall in the store there.

It has been commented on WW that she was built in 1928 by L.C. Coulthard. Read & see more about her here https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/12/14/rawene-a-peek-down-below/

Solent

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SOLENT

The above two photos of the lake boat – Solent, were sent in by Lake Rotoiti boatbuilder – Alan Craig. I asked Nathan Herbert to review the Solent photos and he commented that her hull shape was a dead ringer for a launch that featured in the Popular Mechanics magazine. The magazine influenced a lot of designs during this period. Examples below.
Can anyone tell us more about Solent?

Happy Hours V13

 

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

 

HAPPY HOURS V13
 
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?
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23-09-2019 Input from Robin Elliott

Owners:
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.

Ruru

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RURU

I have been contacted by Lake Rotoiti boatbuilder – Alan Craig (Craig Marine) regarding a lake boat that he and the owner are looking for more details on. Ruru is 19’ in length, with mahogany hull and kauri top. Alan commented that she is well built with seam battens and ribs, the planks have hardly moved. The build date is thought to be in the 1930’s > 1940’s period and was built for Sir Frank Mappin.
The engine is an Austin Triton, it was removed 20 years ago and was never put back in, as you will note in the photos it got as far as the end of the shed.
The owner – George Joseph has had the boat for 60+ years, the last 20 of which has seen Ruru stored in the shed. The previous owner, owned most of the land between Moose Lodge and the Marae.
Can anyone help ID the designer / builder?
Harold Kidd Input
1. Lidgards built an unnamed runabout for Mappin in September 1935. The Austin TRITON (not TRIDENT – corrected AH) marine engine, based on the Austin 10 car engine, came out in 1935, so it’s a good match.
2. Got a Herald cross-reference on Mappin’s runabout. She was an 18 footer intended for Lake Rotorua. Rotoiti isn’t a huge step.