Waitematawoodys Burgee – Good Idea > Bad Idea


I was chatting to John Dawson last week and he asked why so few boats flew pennants / burgees these days. Back in the good old days, no matter what size your vessel you ‘ dressed it’. As proof Bruce emailed me the above photo of the launch – Raurangi., built c.1915 by Deeming in the Bay of Islands.

20-01-2023 Harold Kidd Input – RAURANGI, Deemings, Opua, December 1912.

In the above photo there is a not insignificant amount of canvas flapping around. Looks great – 2023 could be the year we produce a WW burgee, watch this space………..

Here’s an idea – Do a poll – would you fly a waitematawoodys burgee if there was one? 

Comet III > Xharisma

COMET III – Photos supplied by Greg Philpott

XHARISMA – Photos ex Pat McIIvride & Jeremy Brown


Bay of Islands resident Greg Philpott has a passion and its tracking down and recording the fate of what he has tagged ‘Boats of the Bay’ (of Islands). Greg contacted me recently re the vessel named Comet III (later changed to Xharisma), he had hit a brick wall and was trying to contact the last known owner – one Morton Brown. Now via the WW site I was able to make contact with Morton’s son Jeremy Brown and the flood gates opened. So today we share with you Greg and Jeremy’s stories / photos. It’s a cracker read, I’ll let Greg tell it 🙂

So woodys the challenge is can anyone enlighten us on what became of Xharisma (Comet III) post 1986.

Comet lll was designed by A J Collings of the famed boat-building business, Collings & Bell and may have been one of Collings last designs as he died on 8th November 1967.

The boat was built for Lionel Bulcraig’s Bay of Islands operation, Hi Speed Comet Cruises. That business was already operating Comet ll (ex Queenstown’s Meteor ll) also an A J Collings design. Construction of Comet lll was undertaken by John Guzzwell at Deeming’s Boatyard at Opua. Guzzwell was a world renowned sailor and boat builder. His reputation was established when he built his own boat, Trekka, and during the late 1950’s completed a circumnavigation of the world in her, then the smallest boat to ever do so.

The original design and intention was to engine the boat with lightweight twin V8 Chrysler marine petrol engines; heavier diesel engines would have added to the displacement thus severely limiting the “fast” aspect of the boat. The Marine Department’s regulations specifically excluded petrol engines in commercial launches which could carry more than 12 passengers. This resulted in a stand-off for a number of years. As a result of the inactivity it is understood that Comet lll sat at Bulcraig’s car yard in Kawakawa.

A valuation undertaken by Ted Leeds in March 1971 stated; ”Comet lll is 44ft. overall and was constructed in 1967, but has never been used. It has not been fitted with engines or seating accommodation. There is some equipment on hand for it including rudders and hydraulic steering gear etc. It is very strongly built to Marine Department survey standards with a hull of two-skin glued kauri planking on multiple stringers and closely spaced frames further reinforced with strongbacks. The entire hull, deck and cabin have been sheathed with Dynel.”

Comet lll was 44ft long, 14ft wide with a full flare, 10 degree deep V and planning chine; a hull similar to a torpedo boat.

Purchased by Stephen A. Bell around 1973 /1974, she was moved to the premises of A & G Price at Beaumont Street in Auckland for the purpose of refit and installation of engines. The concept was “to fit the boat out for passenger service in extended river limits”. It was intended to “fit twin 8V71 GM Diesels driving through Walter Vee boxes; such a set up anticipating a speed approaching 25 knots in favourable conditions normally loaded”.

A Ministry Of Transport ship survey preliminary inspection in 1974 “revealed hull in good order and well constructed. Some considerable deterioration of super structure (coamings and canopy) evident although extent not apparent due to linings”. By March 1975, A & G Price stated that “the owner no longer wished to proceed with the project”.

On 5th March 1980, Comet lll was purchased by Morton Brown, a roading supplies and contractor of Green Lane. At the time the boat was sitting in a yard at Glenfield; it was in a fairly sorry state, cabin top wise, but the hull was in exceptional condition.

Brown had Comet lll transported across the Auckland harbour bridge to a yard in Onehunga, where he employed a Dutch boat builder (John) to bring the boat up to pleasure boat standard. The boat was moved twice from Onehunga, firstly to Penrose and then to Mt Wellington, where it was finished before going into the water at McMullen and Wing’s yard, on the Tamaki River. The cabin top was completely rebuilt and a flying bridge added. The design of the remodelling was not considered great but never the less it had plenty of room and was very comfortable.

The engine was a UD/Nissan 2 Stroke V8 9.5L (this engine being a direct copy of the Detroit 8v71). The engine was positioned mid ships, which was not ideal as it took up a huge amount of room. The stern was quite broad in design which would have been better suited for the engine position, with a vee drive.

The boat, now renamed Xharisma was finally re-launched in February 1986. Unfortunately Brown suffered a major heart attack and consequently sold the boat about a year or so later.

The new owner modified the cabin extensively and installed a smaller engine. The new owner and current location Comet lll / Xharisma are unknown.

New Golden Hind at Kawau Island


New Golden Hind at Kawau Island – Sailing Sunday

Today’s photo is another from the Auckland Museum’s Tudor Collins collection, this one emailed to me by Ken Ricketts. It shows the ‘New Golden Hind’, designed by Chas. Bailey Jr. & built at the Deemings Opua yard. She is  anchored off Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island c.1940’s.

Any one able to ID the launches?
You can see more photos & details on her here   https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/06/22/new-golden-hind/

New Golden Hind

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 10.51.17 PM

New Golden Hind
photos ex Gavin Bedggood & Roger Welch

Yesterdays story on ww featured a great photo of several motorboats & yachts on the beach in front of the Deemings Yard in Opua, Bay of Islands. The photo came from the Coralie Hilton collection, Coralie’s maiden name was Deeming (her father) & her mother was a Bedggood, so that’s how Gavin came by these photos.
In yesterdays story the ‘main actor’ was the 93′ ketch ‘New Golden Hind’, today I have posted more photos from Coralie’s collection, these ones show her build & post launch.
The New Golden Hind was a Chas. Bailey Jr. design & built Deemings for a Mr. Jenkins.

Below is a link to a great blog read about a Pacific cruise aboard the New Golden Hind. The story is by Roger Welch & documents his father, Henry Thomas Welch, on a 1940’s cruise aboard the New Golden Hind to the Pacific Islands . Some of the photos above relate to this story. They are more photos at the link below

http://beyondeyelevel.com/446/aboard-the-golden-hind-1940/  “My Dad, Henry Thomas Welch, was raised in the little country town of Te Awamutu in the Waikato area, the mid North Island of New Zealand. He was an only child, and grew up during the Great Depression. His Dad, Thomas Henry Welch, was by all accounts a hard-working man, with a strong Christian sense of duty to his wife and family. In those days everyone had to work, so it was the case that Dad virtually grew up working in the family butcher shop. I have a framed black and white photograph in my boardroom of Dad on horseback in the 1920s outside the butcher shop. Despite gaining his University Entrance exam (UE) at Hamilton Tech, he was unable to afford to go to University in Auckland. By 1940, at the age of 26,  I suppose that he was frustrated with a small town existence and wanderlust took over. Dad got away to crew on a 90 ft yacht that was sailing to the then remote Pacific Islands, a young man’s dream. As far as I can determine he had no previous sailing experience.  From a short note signed by Mr. Jenkins (the owner of the boat) I  gather Dad signed aboard as a paying crew.  Very much on “a wing and a prayer” as there was precious little money in the family kitty in 1940.

I recount the story of Dad’s trials and tribulations aboard the ketch he called “Golden Hind”, named obviously for the famous ship that carried Sir Francis Drake on his epic voyage around the world. According to a newspaper clipping (“Auckland Star”) at the time the ship was actually named the “New Golden Hind”, and owned by Mr. H. R. Jenkins. The ship was a 94 ft schooner, although subsequently dimensions are given as 93 ft overall, with a 22 ft beam, and 10 ft draft. The ship in the previous year had made a similar trip, which constituted her maiden voyage. According to the “Star”, “She behaved well in all weather encountered, and the engine which was used much of the time as the winds were light, never gave any trouble.” In addition to Mr. Jenkins, and the crew, the party aboard includes Miss Culford Bell, and Mrs. Harrison, of Auckland, Mr. W. E. Mitchell of Nelson, and Mr. Welch, of Te Awamutu.  Dad paid a princely sum of five pounds a week for the trip, as working crew, and in this regard, please see letter in the gallery from Mr. Jenkins”


‘New Golden Hind, Chas. Bailey Jr. Deemings, 1939, Okiato (Opua)’

Nathan, well done.  I email you re which framed print you want from Robert Brooke’s boat – Beautiful Boats.

23-06-2016 update from Harold Kidd – photo below of Chas Bailey Jr. wishing Jenkins well on the departure of the yacht on its Pacific voyage.


Awa Awa

Coralie Hilton - JM

photo ex Coralie Hilton collection via Gavin Bedggood

Today’s photo (if we believe the caption on the back) is of the launch Awa Awa, built for a ‘Judge Marten’, most probably by the Deemings Yard in Opua, Bay of Islands.
The photo was taken from the beach at the Deemings yard with Opua in the background.
Coralie Hilton was the daughter of a marriage between a Deeming man who married a Bedggood woman (Gavin’s side of the family). Coralie died recently, aged in her 90’s.

Any woodys able to confirm the launch is Awa Awa & her build details etc ?AWA AWA
photo ex Coralie Hilton collection via Gavin Bedggood