Arethusa’s New Woody Wheelhouse

ARETHUSA’s NEW WOODY WHEELHOUSE


Back in late 2019 Arethusa’s Bay of Islands owner Dean Wright, a professional photographer by trade, and well known to WW readers gave me the heads up that the 1917, 33’ Bob Brown built, ex gaff rigged cutter, was in for a treat – a new wheelhouse. Since then I have been pestering Dean on a regular basis for photos, even threatened to drive up and take them myself 🙂 Problem was, the mans a perfectionist and didn’t want to send anything in to WW until it was all shipshape. Well woodys as you can see from the above, its very shipshape, in fact in my eyes – perfect. Well done to the team. I asked Dean to tell use about the project, so I’ll hand over to him. Remember you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them – Enjoy 🙂


“Over the years we’ve got keen on changing Arethusa’s wheelhouse to be more in keeping with her age, so at 102 she’s undergone some cosmetic surgery 🙂

We lost 8″ inches of headroom in wheelhouse when we installed the Gardner, so we’ve gone up in height 6 inches and forward 8 inches and gone for more traditional upright windows fw’d.

Boat builder John Gander did the job in his Waipiro Bay workshop. He started by taking patterns off the existing wheelhouse and fw’d cabin top. He replicated the curve of the fw’d cabin top in ply and built the new wheelhouse around that in six sections. He also laminated the new wheelhouse roof, allowing for a good eyebrow fw’d and a smaller one aft.

John learned his trade at Roger Carey’s yard in Picton in the 60’s and 70’s, where beautiful work boats with great looking wheelhouses were the order of the day. John built one of my favorite Carey designs, Hinewai for his own boat and we’ve replicated her fw’d opening half window on Arethusa. 

Once the wheelhouse was complete, we hauled Arethusa at Ashby’s in Opua and got to work with the skill-saw. In no time we’d reduced her to a convertible. We were lucky for Northland’s drought everything stayed reasonably dry and also that we got everything closed in and back in the water before Covid shut the yard down.

I’m in awe of how boat builders can build something like this away from the boat, then fit the pieces with a minimum of shaping. Fitting and gluing the six sections to the existing house went really smoothly.

The wheelhouse is built from 2″ Iroko. This is the first outside varnish we’ve had on Arethusa, we hand brushed 2 coats of Cetol as a base and six coats of Schooner Yacht Varnish.

Over lock-down, the apprentice made new interior joinery, gone are the Warehouse plastic drawers and chipboard frame 🙂 Moved the batteries under the new bench unit so we can now stand at the wheel. John laminated me up some lovely curved trim for the front of the oven unit. Our old manky plywood dash got an upgrade to kauri and the old wheel got a fright with a good scrub and a varnish.

Outside we made nav light boxes and dorade boxes.  We had to move the aluminium framed front hatch fw’d, a more traditional looking one in Iroko is on the to-do list. The liferings also got a birthday.

Here’s some before and after pics and also some that I hope will give some idea of the process. Thanks John for all your incredibly skilled design and build work, we’re really stoked with it.

We’re always keen to learn more of Arethusa’s history, especially the 1955-2000 period in the South Island. If you have any stories we’d love to hear them.”

Links to previous WW stories on Arethusa
https://waitematawoodys.com/2019/12/11/arethusa-new-wheelhouse-project/
https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/12/31/restoring-installing-a-gardner-in-arethusa-revisited/
https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/11/01/arethusa-winsome/

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Georgia

GEORGIA
On August 21 we had a brief (one photo) look at a launch named Georgia that Dean Wright had photographed in the B.O.I.’s 5 years ago, that WW cameo appearance, prompted the owner / builder of Georgia, David George to sent in the photos above.


Georgia is a modified and lengthened (31’) version of a Trawler 28. Her hull is strip planked Malaysian kauri (Agathis flavescens) with bi axial glass both sides. Power is via a Beta 43 (a Kubota in drag) diesel. Georgia was launched in 2014. She is a very salty looking launch, would be nice to see more like her being built. Dean’s photo below.

Update 01-09-2020 Photo below ex Dean Wright – on the way to Whangaroa, Stevensons Island in the background… Dec 2016.

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Quest II

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QUEST II

Quest II was built by Miller and Tunnage in 1924, currently configured as a pleasure boat, her tme listing doesn’t tell us anything about her past life, so woodys today can we uncover what happened to her from 1924 until her conversion?
Home port is Whangarei.
What we know is that she is 40’ in length and powered by a 6 cyl. FD6T Nissan diesel.
A very salty looking woody.
Photos below sent in by Dean Wright that he took of Quest II back in 2012 when she lived in Opito Bay for a bit.
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Fiesta – B.O.I

Fiesta

FIESTA – B.O.I.

Dean Wright sent in the above photo of the launch – Fiesta. Dean commented that she has lived at Waipiro Bay, Bay of Islands for a while now. The ‘hothouse almost gets a WW tick, very nice proportions, colour and design. In fact if the owner contacts me – waitematawoodys@gmail.com  I’ll give them a WW T-shirt. I’ll need some proof of ownership – eg more photos / details:-)

What do we know about her?

Heads up, don’t get confused with the 31′ sedan topper, built in 1964 by Phillip Lang, also named Fiesta, that lives on the Panmure River. Details on that one at the WW link below https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/01/07/mystery-launch-4/

Woody Lake Taupo Boat Tour + Woody Event Details

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WOODY LAKE TAUPO BOAT TOUR + WOODY EVENT DETAILS
One of WW’s most local supporters is Bay of Islands woody, Dean Wright – today Dean takes us on a recent mooch around Lake Taupo’s shoreline, click photos to enlarge –  Enjoy 🙂
WAIROA RIVER – WOODY OVERNIGHT CRUISE
Back in November 2019 we had an amazing woody weekend at the Clevedon Cruising Club. At the time everyone expressed a desire to repeat the trip up the Wairoa River asap, then CV-19 popped up, so we pulled the hand-brake.
Well folks the cruise is back on and for now there are two things to do:
1. Circle August 8-9 in the diary
The CCC is a brilliant venue, with dock-side berthing, undercover BBQ / dining facilities and a great group of members that make the trip so special.
And its dog friendly ! – so fido gets to come along.
Woody Classics Weekend Clevedon #2 copy

Mistletoe

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MISTLETOE
The photos above of Mistletoe were taken by Dean Wright back in 2007 at the Whangaroa Game Fishing Club competition. She certainly is a salty old girl.
Anyone able to tell us more about her and where she is today?
We also see Little Hinemoa and the yacht Puff.
Garcon – Cute Work Boat
The photo below, ex WoodenBoat fb, is proof that with a good eye and a little love even a 2020 built 21’ work boat can be pleasing to the eye. Built by Doug Cooper at Eldred Cooper Boats in Falmouth, Massachusetts, she is strip-planked cedar on oak – very smart 🙂
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Mystery Taupo Launch + Woody Eye Candy

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MYSTERY LAKE TAUPO LAUNCH + WOODY EYE-CANDY
The above b/w photo comes to us from Lew Redwood’s fb.Details on the launch are un-know, can anyone help ID the boat.
Paul Drake Input – Probably RHODESIA. Photo shows her at Waihora Bay. The post sticking out of the water would be from the jetty which used to be there a long time ago. There are eight short stumps there to this day. Little is known of RHODESIA, but patrons of Domino’s pizza joint on the Lake Front in Taupo can study her, as they wait for their order, in the large format photo which is part of that establishment’s decor.

Harold Kidd Input – RHODESIA was built in Auckland in September 1912 and railed down to Rotorua. She was 30ft loa 8fft beam 2ft 9in draught. Her first owner was Marshall Ryan Shipping Co who used Bailey & Lowe for their new builds so it’s a fair bet they built her too. Roy Forrester of Helensville ran her for the company in the years immediately after WW1. When Taupo Shipping Co was liquidated and its assets sold off in August 1925 she was sold off. I am not sure she was then renamed TUWHARETOA because Sam Crowther was running a TUWHARETOA for hire in 1923.

There’ll be an answer which I suspect Paul Drake will ferret out.
Paul Drake Input / Reply to HDK – The idea that RHODESIA became TUWHARETOA is very interesting and quite possible. I remember her in the 1950’s. She had a raised cabin, to the full width of the original cabin, which was very well done. To my eye, she was a looker.
Continuing on with the Taupo thread, over the weekend Dean Wright sent in a gallery of photos from the marina at Lake Taupo, included was the stunner below of the Drake Brothers (Michael / Paul / Nigel / Roger) launch East Wind. When I shared the photo with Paul Drake he advised that it was him in the cockpit homeward bound from one of his recent weekly fishing expeditions.
In the photo Paul is seen taking soundings with the boathook. The lake is quite low and that day the bottom looked very close in that part of the channel. You can see that he has the boat hook at the ready, the minimum sounding was about four feet.
He also commented that the fishing since the lifting of lock-down seems to be rather good.
The Drake family have owned East Wind for approx. 50 years, but know little of her early provenance (<1920). She was clearly built as an open boat with motor. She still has the original foredeck and coaming under the newer raised deck. See 1932 photo below – East Wind, centre with another of the Drake boats Romance directly astern. 
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WCW Riverhead June2020

Tall Ships Regatta – Bay of Islands 2013/14

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Ranui

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Undine

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Colonist

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TALL SHIPS REGATTA – Bay of Islands 2013/14

 
Today’s photos come to us from professional photographer Dean Wright’s sailing archives and show a selection of woodys partaking in the annual BOI event.
Nice to see Ranui with all the washing on the line 🙂 , these days she tends to motor sail around the Hauraki Gulf.
 
There are not a lot of yachts these days that look even better out of the water – one such beauty is hauled out at Pier 21 in Auckland at the moment – Waitangi , designed and built in 1894 by Robert Logan Snr. Like most of these old girls, a killer for marina fees i.e. 36’ waterline but 58’ on deck – with a 74’ sailing carrying length. Photos below ex Larry Paul
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Time – For Sale

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TIME – 4 Sale

Several years ago Bay of Islands woody Dean Wright shared with me a gallery of photos of a yacht built by his friend John Gander. At the time the photos were just for my eyes only, so they have been burning whole in the back-pocket ever since. Then one day out of the blue a marina buddy, mentions he has just bought a yacht that will ‘blow-my-mind’, tells me its called Time and he was a little disappointed to learn that I knew as much (if not more, at that stage) about her as he did.
Some background – the yacht Time was launched in 2001, having been built and designed by John Gander. John felled and milled the kauri for her planking in the Far North (photos below). John’s a very modest man and would want me to mention that a very large cast of helpers and trades people helped with the project and woodys it was a very large project – because John built two boats, the sister ship, Whisper is still owned by John.
Time’s specs are 38 ’x 12’ x 5’8” and she displaces 12 tonnes. Power is via a Yanmar 30hp diesel.
The standard of workmanship and design ergonomics are 2nd to none, you won’t here me say this many times but I could easily go to the dark-side (sail) with a boat like Time. On the water she is a knockout / head turner and down below just gorgeous.
After several years of ownership, a change in circumstances has bought Time on to the market. For anyone looking for a once in-a-life-time classic woody – Time deserves your inspection. Expressions of interest to waitematawoodys@gmail.com
Her owner is realistic in his sale exceptions, so Time will sell rather quickly.

Shandi

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SHANDI

I have lots of question re Shandi

1. Wood / steel
2. Work boat conversation or purpose but
3. Design / builder
4. Home port – Tauranga
5. Length, beam etc + engine
Update – Photo below appeared previously on WW, photographed by Dean Wright in Jan 2017, anchored at Mangonui – I was reminded of it by Craig Ogle
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Update  ex Ian MacDonald – Shandi is owned by the Sanderson family (Bruce & son Bruce Jnr.) Members of the Whangarei Game Fishing Club. Below is a link to a ’Northern Advocate’ article on Bruce Snr., check out the video.

A couple more of Sandi attached leaving Paroa Bay one morning, again ex Dean Wright
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Thanks Dean Wright for sharing the photo  – and the last question is for Dean – when are we going to see Arethusa with her new wheelhouse? My spies tell me its very close to an unveiling 😉
BOAT SHED TO RENT or BUY
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