The Sad Demise of Norwest

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The Sad Demise of Norwest

Back in early 2013 Zach Matich sent me the top photo of Norwest. Zach also supplied the details below.
This last weekend Jason Prew was mooching over on the West Coast and snapped the photos showings the final resting place of Norwest on the Kaipara Harbour.
“The Norwest was built in Whakapirau in 1909 by Arthur Forester. She was named the Kuaka, the Maori name for Curlew, and had “Kuaka” written on her port side and “Curlew” on her starboard side. She was built for a Mr Adams who had a pear orchard just down the harbour from Whakapirau on what is now the Cullen farm. She was designed so that Mr Adams crippled daughter could wheel her wheelchair around the deck, and was used for transporting fruit to Helensville for the markets. She was powered by a Union Standard single cylinder ‘Make and Brake’ motor and had a swinging cradle for 6 wet cell batteries. This motor is now in the private collection of Darcy Sterling at Maungataroto.
After lying idle for some years the Kuaka was sold to Mr Cliff of Paparoa in 1919. Mr Cliff took her to Pahi and re-corked and painted her and added a new piece to the stern post which was suffering from dry rot. he used her for taking picnic parties down the harbour and moored her when not in use up the Paparoa Creek behind what is now the Paparoa Pub. There was a huge flood in Paparoa in 1923 and the Kuaka was picked up by the flood, carried over the bridge and placed in a paddock on the other side with no damage to her at all. When Mr Cliff passed away in 1924 his sons sold her to a Dr Marshall, from, I believe up Port Albert way who in turn sold her to Mr West who owned West’s Timber Mill in Helensville. It was at this time that she was renamed the ‘Norwest’ after Nora West, Mr Wests wife. She was used for about the next 20 years up until 1945 towing logs all over the Kaipara Harbour, and then in about 1945 Harold Stanaway bought her, followed by Dink Jolly, and then Everard Judd bought her for $250.00 for towing barges. By this time she was in a terrible state so he employed Rodney Morgan, a boat builder to more or less rebuild the hull and cabin.
Everard Judd sold her to Murray Prictor of Port Albert in the late 60’s who is turn sold her soon after to somebody on the East Coast and the history is pretty vague after leaving the West Coast. We do know that some time was spent up the Clevedon Creek and we also know that she has been used as a fishing boat on that coast. 
She was brought back to the Kaipara by Stafford and Rosemary Hill.
Unsure who currently owns her.”
Update 11-07-2019. photos below taken in 2015 by Dave Stanaway


photos ex Thomas Gross, details ex Harold Kidd

Curlew was built by Bailey & Lowe at Auckland for Percy Dufaur and launched in February 1912. Percy Dufaur was a law clerk working for the legal firm Dufaur Fawcett (now Cairns Slane). He owned many yachts in his time but was very fond of the concept of a small, seaworthy cruising boat.
Curlew had a 4hp Auckland-built Kapai auxiliary from new and was a centre boarder. Dufaur sold her to W. Abbott in 1914 and he sold her to H E Chamberlin of Ponui Island in 1918.
In 1919 A T Jamieson of Northcote bought her. He had admired Curlew and had had Bailey & Lowe build him a very similar yacht called Kereru in 1916 although she was a keel yacht. Jamieson kept her for 2 years, selling her to George Lepper of Northcote who used her to transport NZ Herald newspapers to Northcote for distribution every morning, 6 days a week.
W. Keen owned her in 1946 and D J Best 1946 to 1951 when boat builder Dave Jackson bought her (hopefully Dave J can tell us more about her recent history).
K Darrach owned her in 1973 and Bert Knight of Ngunguru owned her in 1989.
From 1946 her registration number was O15.

These days Curlew is owned by Thomas Gross & moored at Bucklands Beach.

Thomas has a question for the woody boaters out there – he is after some guidance on how to re-build Curlew’s rudder that broke in 2 pieces. He has the pieces stored on the boat to bring home and use as form for the new one, but was wondering where to start, e.g. he has read that he should use different sheets of plywood and put them in different directions etc, but was wondering if the ww followers know of more information on this or what other options to rebuild the rudder.

Update – 19-09-2015

Whangateau Traditional Boay yard have been helping Thomas with the repairs – Pam’s words “Lots of good wood still so George decided to make some simple repairs.
New rods with thread and nut to draw it all up tight again”

And for the yachties – todays bonus is a link to Day 4 + Ladies Race photos from the British Classic Week. Enjoy


Curlew 1916

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Built by Rope brothers 1913
Lots of history on the Waitemata and Kaipara Harbours…

She was W68 when used By RNZAF at Hobsonville.

Photo & details from Andrew Pollard

Update & older photos from Zach Matich
A few Curlew pic’s first is her before the war, next is when she was sold to Cal Crooks
she is on the Kaipara Water Transport slip, last one is a newspaper shot so her towing sand barge ‘Wakarere’ for Kaipara Water Transport LTD, my dad Ron Matich is skipper and Ken Beattie is bargeman.
She was the back up tug for the ‘Lady-Kay’. Always had a obsession with her when I was young, she was sold well before I started as deckhand for the company.
Update 29-07-2019 – 1953 photo below