Brin Wilson 1958 Classic Wooden Launch – Mandalay

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Brin Wilson 1958 Classic Wooden Launch – Mandalay

Today’s woody was designed by Brin Wilson and built in 1958 by Dave Jackson, so that makes her a special woody. Carvel planked and measuring 35’9” with a 11’1″ beam and drawing 2’11”.
She is powered by a Moon Engines – reconditioned (2000) Ford 120hp diesel, that sips 7L an hour at a cruise speed of 7>8 knots.
Anyone able to put a name to the boat. I understand her owner has had her for approx. 30 years. Its Mandalay (thanks Geoff Bagnall)

Ngaire – South Island

Ngaio Nelson

The above photo was sent in by Lake Rotoiti (Rotorua) boat builder Alan Craig. Alan spotted the photo of Ngaire on a recent trip to the Maritime Museum in Mapua, Nelson. At the time Ngaire was owned by Jack Marusich and he is waiting for a load of sheep to be rowed out to the boat. I have to saw the sheep look remarkably relaxed given the trip. The photo caption commented that they were most likely used to it and were probably being relocated to fresher pasture.  Given the load it must have been a great dinghy.
Anyone able to tell us more about this launch?
And speaking of great dinghies – check out Martin Howson’s new clinker below, built late 2019 by Dave Jackson. She measures 8’ x 4’6” and It is built out of ply and ribbed and riveted, there is no glue. Her ribs are  North American white oak, the breast hook and the quarter knees are oak, the thwarts are kauri and knees for the thwarts are oak as well
The oars at 7 ft and Martin commented that you can really put your back into rowing or just tack it easy.  The floor boards are scribed and are easily removed
for cleaning and again they are made from kauri.

Southern Star





Southern Star has made the odd cameo appearance on WW in the past but now  thanks to Dean Wright’s camera, we get to see her ‘in-the-flesh’.
SS is owned by Craig Pippen and for a long period she lived at the Milford Marina, Auckland but these days home is Opua in the Bay of Islands.
SS would slide into WW via the Spirit of Tradition category, but unfortunately I can not tell you much about her – hopefully today will be a quiet day at Cater Marine in Opua where Craig works and he will jump on-line and share some details with us 🙂
If you are in the city later today (5pm >), drop down to the RNZYS Dinghy Locker bar for a post race drink with the CYA yacht fleet. Its day 1 of the CYA 3 day Classic Yacht Regatta and most of the fleet will be rafted up at the rear of the Squadron, so it’s a great opportunity to see some of the classics up close, with a beer or glass of Lawson’s Dry Hills wine in-hand.
Input from Murray Deeble – Southern Star ex Ma Cherie from Smelting house bay Kawau , Dave Jackson design and build

Input from Craig Pippen (owner)“Looking to transition from sailing to motoring after the big OE we found southernstar for sale at Kawau (in an unfinished condition). Having previously commissioned Dave Jackson to build a smaller version, the 32ft Telstar, it was an easy decision to purchase her.

As Kathy’s father, sailmaker Sandy Harold had owned a yacht named Southern Star(and to keep the “star” theme going we renamed her. The name change was done in the correct time honoured manner.

Powered by Gardner 6LXB, the dimensions are35ft x 11ft x 3ft10”. She is a capable comfortable vessel.

Thanks to Dave Jackson for building such a good boat and to Dean Wright for the great photos.
Cheers Craig. PS- it is always busy at Cater Marine”

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A Peek Inside Dave Jackson’s Shed




A Peek Inside Dave Jackson’s Shed

Woody Dave Walker recently sent me these photos of Dave Jackson at work in his Warkworth workshop.
In the above photos we see Dave working on a 8’ clinker (ply) dinghy of his own design, in the background (more photos below) is a 16’ day-sailer he built, again own design.
It’s great to see that such a talented man is still turning out fine craft. Dave would list is age as 80+ so well done I say. The dinghy looks ace.
Need A Trailer?
Laughing Lady’s owner James Dreyer, has kindly made an offer to loan his beast of a trailer to anyone starting a restoration & needing a trailer.
It currently has Jason Prew’s – My Girl onboard (see below) but will be free very soon.
The trailer can easily deal with 35′ x 10′ and 12 tons.  Pintle eye type trailer hitch.  New wheel bearings and great tyres.
Disclaimer is the air brakes are not operational nor is it road legal.  It has covered Tauranga > Whangateau > Auckland with ease behind a large truck. James is happy for the bunks to be modified as & where needed, as long as it is returned to as found when done.
Anyone interested can contact James as below:

Lady Jade

photos & details ex John Sankey & John Pryor

A ‘new’ classic was launched last weekend at Hamilton’s Landing on the Mahurangi River.

Lady Jade at 39′ is a Dave Jackson design and there are a further 3 sister ships currently under construction locally.
Her hull was started by local boating identity Col Bell and purchased by Andrew Hamilton when Col struck health problems.
She was worked on by both Andrew and his son Grant over the last year or so. The Hamilton Family have been boat builders and farmers on the Mahurangi for at least 5 generations, starting as scow builders and there are currently 3 generations still living on the property. They have been launching boats at this very un-marina launch site for 150+ years.

The mast on Lady Jade came from the wrecked (rescued & restored) Logan yacht Gypsy. Her bow roller is from the ex Logan lifeboat Tuna. She is powered by a 6lxb. Gardener, an ex show engine from Gardner UK. Supposedly, the last Gardener ever built.

The story of the Round NZ Cruise of Karros II

The Round NZ Cruise of Karros II
told by Jillian Inglis & sent in to ww by Jamie Hudson ex Peter Berrett

Click the blue link below to view the story 😉

Ernie’s gone fishin

The above folks is an exceptional read – 3 blokes – Ernie Seagar, Bill Boulton & Dave Jackson (owner skipper of Karros) in Feb 1985 undertook a 7 week circumnavigation of NZ that they loosely describe as ‘Gone Fishin’.
Its 18 pages long so grab a coffee / tea & find a comfy spot – I guarantee you wont be able to stop reading. Make sure you view the photos on pages 15>18. Teaser below

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I understand the story surfaced for the 80th birthday celebration for Ernie Seagar. In the photo below, Ernie is pictured in July 2014,  on-board Margo & Jamie Hudson’s classic launch, Lady Crossley, holding a photo of LC on her launch day, Ernie’s father had LC built by Colin Wild. Ernie’s grandmother launched LC.




details & photos ex Sea Spray April 1962 edition, supplied by Ken Ricketts

Built for Mr Doug Ellis of Northcote, by Dave Jackson, she is 30′ 6″ long, 9′ 6″ beam & draws approx 3′. She was built in a shed adjacent to the northern Harbour Bridge approaches, at that time, which was reported to have been quite historical & used by Bill Couldrey & before him Bob Brown, designer of the Z-Class, in days gone by.

She was originally powered by a 100hp Scripps marinised Ford V8 driving a 20×18,  five bladed propeller through a 2 to 1 reduction gear.

She is single skin full length Kauri with Tanekaha timbers deck beams & coamings with extra trim in Mahogany.  She sleeps 6.

In the photo above Mrs Ellis is pictured christening Cyvette..

Harold Kidd Update

Dave Jackson built CYVETTE to his 1957 design for LADY BEV which he built for himself and kept for many years. CYVETTE was later renamed BONAVENTURE.
Dave built a huge number of boats in the Sulphur Beach shed in which Bob Brown had built many craft before he drowned trying to save a child in the early 1930s Brown built a number of mullet boats, ARETHUSA and designed and built the first Zeddies. After his death, Bill Couldrey took over the yard and built all those great keel yachts and launches there. Dave Jackson took over the yard when he set up on his own after leaving Collings &  Bell. Mrs Brown still owned the site. Ernie Seager also operated his marine engineering business from the yard alongside Dave.

17-04-2016  Could Cyvette be Bon Voyage ?
photo & details ex Ken Ricketts

Bon Voyage is based at Gulf Harbour & is powered by an Iveco 6 cyl diesel & has been owned by Richard Barrington for a around a year. He bought her as Bon Voyage off Keith Williams & believes she was built around 1960 & could be originally have been Cyvette.

Keith Williams told Ken he had her from c.2000-2001 & sold her to Richard B. a little over a year ago & she was at Gulf Harbour when he bought her. She was called Bon Voyage & also had the  Iveco at that time he bought her. Keith can’t recall who he bought her off & thinks he bought her as result of a sign in the boats window. He recalls the previous owner was working in Albany at the time & thinks he may have lived in East Coast Bays.

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photo from Dave Jackson

It is very hard to design a sub 36′ launch (I’m guessing on her length) that looks ‘right’ i.e. that all the bits work together, in proportion. This very smart launch (in my eyes) ticks most of the boxes.

Input from Dave Jackson 16/11/13


Built by Dave Jackson & Graham Christian

Devonport, 1957

For Ken Quinton

Original – 4 cylinder Ford

Designed by Brin Wilson

Sierra – ‘Horse Float’


Sierra - 'Horse Float'

Sierra – ‘Horse Float’

photo ex Dave Jackson

The above photo of “Sierra” was taken in the Hokianga – no date sorry.
Now when I showed the photo to Harold Kidd, he was good, he correctly ID’ed the location as Hokianga & the Omapere Wharf and the launch most likely ex Fell’s Boatyard, established in 1905 at Kohukohu by Joseph Fell. But Harolds not that good, he did not know the names of the horses 🙂

Sierra is now in the CYA fleet, colour photo below. Any details on her past would be appreciated.

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08-01-2016 photo at Kawau Island ex Tom Kane

Sierra Kawau Jan2016

13-01-2016 Input from John Mortimer

In the late 1950’s l lived on a remote and marginal sheep and cattle farm on the Waima River in the Hokianga.
In a direct line, Rawene was only 3 miles away,by river it was 5 miles and by road 30.
The river was the obvious highway and the Sierra, owned and skippered by Fred Young was our main means of communication.
Several contracts relied on the Sierra. The school contract took children to and from Moehau school morning and afternoon. Most farmers  on the river had poor or no road communication and the cream output from farms carrying anything from 20 to 120 cows went  down to Rawene in the Sierra to Rawene for transshipment by pontoon to the dairy factory at Motukaraka. Empty cans from the previous day we loaded on board and delivered to farm jetties on the up river journey next day.
The mail was delivered three times week and the  Herald on the afternoon return trip. If there was no one on the jetty , Fred would send the rolled newspaper to the deck with a dexterous flick of the wrist.
The launch also carried morning passengers to Rawene to do their shopping. They returned when she went back to Moehau in the afternoon at 1.30.
A conversation overheard in the open cockpit in the stern on a sunny afternoon:
First Lady – I read  the Truth for the recipes.
Second lady – I read it for the horoscopes
Third lady – I read it for the scandal

A burst of laughter from all three.

When the dairy factory closed and the Moehau school roll fell her days in the Hokianga were numbered. I understand that she spent her last summer at Opononi  taking visitors around the harbour and then sailed out over the bar, round the turbulent seas at North Cape and down to the Waitemata where she was used as work boat during the construction of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Her name was always mentioned in conjunction with the name of her builders, Fells of Motukaraka. I understand that there were three sister ships, the Sierra, the Nevada and the Santa Fe.
Sounds more like an old song to me.
She approaches her hundredth year with dignity and grace of an old timer who may well live for ever.