Milford Cruising Club Yard
MY GIRL’S OLD HOME – MILFORD CREEK IN THE LATE 1940’s> EARLY 1950’s
As I touched on the other day in relation to my own woody – RainDance, its very special when out of the blue you are contacted by someone with details and photos on your boat. It was woody Jason Prew’s turn recently to get the call regarding his 1925, Dick Lang built launch – My Girl.
As I’m sure you are aware WW has rather extensively followed the restoration > launch > cruising log of My Girl so all the exposure has rattled a few memories – this time from Greg Bowman whose grandfather, Walter Brunton used to own My Girl at end of the 1940’s to 1960.
Walter Brunton lived in Castor Bay, Auckland and moved to Russell, in the Bay of Islands in 1950, after Greg’s mother, Elva, married his Dad Trevor Bowman. Like all good relationships in those days – they meet on the water.
When Walter moved north he turned My Girl into a fishing boat (now I know where that smell is from – just kidding Jason). Walter sold fish to the open market and to feed guests in his guesthouse in Russell, named – Arcade Lodge.
Back in those days My Girl had a Gray marine engine, and most years she won the New Year launch race out of Russell.
Greg sent Jason the collection of b/w photos above of My Girl and the Milford Creek, where she was kept in the late 1940’s. The top photo gives you an idea of the amount of dredging required to accommodate the marina that exists today.
It’s a bit cheeky (excuse the pun) but the photo below shows the on-board sanitation methods on My Girl, before inbuilt heads. I know the bucket and chuck it was around but the old rope did the trick – off course helped by the lack of duckboards back then 🙂
WW link below to show the journey My Girl has been on in terms of apperance and the extent of Jason’s restoration. And a photo of her post re-launch heading into Milford Creek or as some of the MCC woodys call it – Wairau Cove 😉
MY GIRL MINI ME
LOLITA > WONDABYNE
Jeunesse Awaits A Letter From the Queen
John Wright’s woody – Jeunesse, built in 1919 (most likely) by Dick Lang has hit the ton, she turns 100 this year and John is in the process of giving her a wee tart up, which any old girl of this age deserves.
John is a master craftsman’s who has the eye and skills to turn a woody from a good looking woody launch into a stunning classic launch.
Jeunesse measures 39’, with a beam of 11’ and draws 3’. Tucked away down below is a 180hp Hino so when asked she can lift her skirt and dance 😊
You can view a gallery of b/w photos from her early days here https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/11/30/jeunesse-2/
UPDATE 02-03-2020 Photos below of John Wright’s – Jeunesse in the 2020 Auckland Anniversary Day regatta. Sent in by Brett Evans.
MY GIRL and PACIFIC Relaunched – 60+ Wooden Boat Photos
Below Photos c1977
I was recently contacted by Stuart Windross in regard to the 30′ launch Four Winds, built c.1936 by Dick Lang. At the time Stuart promised to send in a selection of photos from the 1970’s, when they owned her. I have to say I was blown over when I received the email – what an amazing history of the woody. Its a great tale – I’ll let Stuart tell it. Enjoy 🙂
Miss Brett Needs A New Woody Owner
“Regrettably I realistically need to put MV Miss Brett up for sale. I am very aware of her historical significance and have been her owner … caretaker really since September 2015. I would hope in an ideal world that someone capable of enjoying her as we have and enjoys the maintenance (as I do) might be interested in her.
The top photo above is a recent photo taken last month & shows Miss Brett moored on her own mooring in Kororareka Bay (Russell) Bay of Islands.”
Interested parties can contact Donna for more details, she has had an impressive amount of work done in the last few years – via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
My Girl Update
Jason Prew has been burning the midnight oil in his boat shed (shelter) – end result My Girl is getting very close to splashing. See a snap shot below, to view / read more check out his blog
Jason – see below – based on the Ken Ricketts theory of boat naming – you should sue 🙂
Update 14-10-2018 The bling is starting to be added. Nice paint job, but you get that when you glass 😉
Update 25-10-2018 Comparison photo below, an amazing job done by Jason, and given he is not short, a big sacrifice in head-room 🙂
02-11-2018 Update – My Girl looking very close to a splash, anti-fouling on, the blue looking a lot smarter than the black 🙂
DICK LANG BOATS – Lady Jane
I was recently contacted by Keith Brady whose grandmother, Lettie Lang (Kennerley) was married to Dick Lang. Keith experienced Dick’s boats as a child during the summer holidays & he is interested in the boats Dick Lang built over time, wanting to get a sense of the scale of his operation and type of boats he built.
I think I know the answer (no) but Keith was wondering whether there is a repository for details of Dicks boats or records of the boats he may have built. He is also interested in any photographs of other boats build by Dick and of his boat shed used to build these great vessels.
Keith sent me two photos, the one above is of Lady Jane which was the vessel he himself experienced time on. Do we know what happened to her?. The other photo, below, is a different vessel, which Keith has not been able to identify. Can any woodys help out?
16-02-2018 Input from Baden Pascoe
In the yard photos below (ex Glen & Merv Strongman) Baden does not knew the boats name, but it’s obviously a hard chine launch. Baden thinks the date would be in the 1950’s & one of three boats Dick built at Coromandel.
The only work boats that he can think of are Roa 1927 and Giorgina 1939
Baden encourages someone to start a time line – as a start, Baden has supplied the below.
Awhitu 1925? Was on the Manukau most of its life (pictured below)
Tawa, upper harbour passenger launch.
Eunice and Patsy, 1921 ,towing launches ( in Harold & Robins book page 77)
Miss Brett, Fullers and later Salvation Army
Tasman Star, 1935 fishing boat (still existing)
16-02-2018 Input from Bruce Pullman
Bruce received the two photos below from Bob Wichman. One is of Awhitu when on the Manukau, the other is as reconfigured and name change to Inverness in 1993. Inverness is still sitting in the mud at Thames, condition is quite sad.
Tasman Star – A Peek Down Below
Built in 1935 by Dick Lang, she started life as a commercial fishing boat – Danish seine netting. She measures 42’6” & is powered by a 150hp LXW Gardner. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the trademe listing heads up.
You can read about her colour-full life on this WW link https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/11/19/tasman-star/
Update photo from Greg Fenwick – Easter 2018 @ Whangaparapara
Resolute’s new owner James Patterson sent in the above photos of her hauled out recently getting so TLC to the exterior. Next project is the interior – having been aboard prior to James purchase I can say that will be a rather big job 😉 but as they say ‘the bones’ are all there.
To read (a lot) more on the past of this 1937 Dick Lang classic – check out this link https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/08/10/resolute/
James has assured me he will keep us updated when the interior work begins.
MY GIRL RESTORATION UPDATE – June 2017
If you are not following Jason Prew’s restoration of his 1925 Dick Lang, classic motor launch, ‘My Girl’ on his weblog (link below) you are missing a great woody project. The man is a very talented craftsman & has a cunning knack of being able to press-gang some of the wooden boating movements best minds & hands into helping at the right time 🙂
The project has really come along over the winter months – the photos above are just a taste of whats on show. Jason posts regularly so you can experience the work vicariously 🙂
A Handy Hint: if you type My Girl in the ww Search Box you will get an overview of all the ww stories on My Girl.
It’s almost 2 years since we ran the story below on the missing My Girl Motor Boat Trophy. In the last 2 years the readership of waitematawoodys has increased by x14, so we have run the story again in the hope that one of the new readers might be able to shed some light on the missing trophy – read below.
LOST – The MY GIRL Motor Boat Trophy (August 2015)
This ones going to test the collective memory base of the all the woodys out there. We are looking for a trophy that was linked 80+years ago to the NZ Power Boat Association, I’m talking here about the old NZPBA, with races that involved real wooden boats – not the lumps of fiberglass with oversized outboards on the back they race today.
The trophy was the ‘My Girl’ trophy & was donated by a Mr. C. (Tui) Waldron to replace the ‘Burt Cup’. There are numerous press clipping that mention events where the cup was contested, won or presented. I have attached copies below for your reference / interest.
Despite all the searching no photo can be found of the cup.
The present-day owner of the launch ‘My Girl’, who the cup was named after, Jason Prew would like to track down the whereabouts of the cup &/or any information on what became of it. While the cup itself may not have survived, someone out there must know something about its past. Launches that have won the trophy include – Taura, Tasman & Crusader. Crusader was owned by the Rev Jasper Calder & was steered to victory by Miss Edna Herick. It appears that in several of the events that the trophy was offered up, one of the conditions of racing was the vessel had to be steered by a woman.
Launches that have raced for the trophy include – Taura, Aumoe, Edwina, Tasman, Nautilus, Ramona, Crusader, Wailani, Lady Margaret & Wanderloo.
So folks anyone able to help out in the hunt??
16-03-2018 Update – the other day Jason sent me the video clip below of the 130hp Volvo that will be sliding into My Girl. Shows the green lump running on a pallet – he would have happy that 1. it started 2. no knocks 🙂 With Mr Volvo at full chat, he will be buying a set of water skis 🙂
Wakaiti is a 39’4″, kauri carvel launch built by Dick Lang in 1920, as a commercial tow boat. In today’s world having the same owner for the last 55 years is a very rare thing but all good things come to an end & as the sign on her bow say – Wakaiti is now for sale.
She was re-powered c.2001 with 120hp, 6 cyl. Ford diesel running a 2:1 PRM box and 24×16 3 blade prop. This set up pushes her nicely along at 8 > 10 knots, with a top speed of 12 knots. Her beam is 9’10” & draft is 5’10”. (the interior photos have had the benefit of what they call the real estate salesman’s best friend – the wide angle lens 🙂 ) Thanks to Ian McDonald for the trademe heads up.
So woodys, what do we know about her past?
Harold Kidd Input (lots more in the Comments Section)
WAKAITI = “little ship” in Maori. Dick Lang built this 36 footer at his yard in St. Mary’s Bay in 1922. She was launched on 2nd September of that year for Parry Bros of the Mahurangi to carry cream on the river. By 1928 the Parrys were using her as a tow boat on the Waitemata. In 1936 they sold her to R.G. Brain of Coromandel. Eventually she ended up in the ownership of Ernie Seagar, marine engineer of wide repute in Auckland. Ernie’s not well and is obviously selling his beloved launch.
I was in the 5th Form at Takapuna Grammar with Ernie Seagar. He had been in that Form for 3 years, unable to get School Certificate because of distractions such as being the Captain of the First 15, Head Prefect (in the 5th Form!!) and an outstanding yachtsman and general sportsman.
Later he went on to get his Marine Engineer’s tickets at sea and then ran his engineering business at Sulphur Beach alongside Dave Jackson. An amazing character.
Lady Noelene has been a ‘rolling restoration’ for the last 4+ years & while still not complete her owner is on the down hill slopes. We do not know much about her past but she is powered by a 6 cyl Ford diesel. The photos are a mix of several people over the years, with the most recent ones, at Greg Less’s Sandspit boat yard, from Ken Ricketts.
Can any woodys expand on the little we know about Lady Noelene ?
Today’s story on Resolute starts a few years ago at the Devonport Yacht Club – I had Raindance hauled out for the winter & was giving her a big dose of TLC. Nearby Nathan Herbert was working on the classic yacht Kiariki (for the Brookes) & in front of us was this rather big 1938, Dick Lang built, tram-top, straight stem launch, called Resolute. At the time she was getting very OTT paint job, I had never seen a classic receieve as many coats of undercoat & sanding. Her owner Graeme Cooper was a perfectionist . After re-launching, she motored to a berth at Bayswater & to the best of my knowledge has not moved off that berth since.
Now fast forward to the present day & Graeme contacted Nathan & advised he wants to find a good home for his boat. Nathan commented to me that she is quite light for her size & fast.
I have had a nosy around her recently at Bayswater & yes she requires a lot of TLC but as the architects say ‘she has good bones’ + all the big stuff has been done, just needs a good clean, some money tossed at a good wooden boat builder to complete her interior + a paint job & you would have a very smart, quick classic.
The asking price will be very fair & realistic – in my view a VERY good buy for someone wanting a project but not wanting to have to do a re-build. If any woodys are interested in Resolute, contact me initially at email@example.com & I we forward to the owner.
I have reprinted part of Graeme’s note to Nathan, that tells some of the history behind Resolute & why she is now for sale after 18 years on ownership.
“I thought I would send you a couple of photo’s of Resolute taken on launch day after her last major refit in 2008 and give you a bit of back ground information.
As I mentioned I am sad to part with her but owing to lack of time I am unable to put the time in to keep her up to scratch and I hate seeing her deteriorating. Its time for someone else to ensure she is preserved for the future.
Resolute is a 34’ by 10’6’’ beam cruising launch, built by Dick Lang and launched just before Christmas 1938. She is powered by a 130 hp S 6 Perkins built around 1952 and driven through a Paragon hydraulic gearbox. she will cruise happily at 9.5 knots and I have clocked her at 13 knots by GPS.
During the above mentioned refit myself and a shipwright friend ( John Mitchel ) replaced a section of keelson due to electrolysis. We built and fitted a new rudder ( the bronze one was cracked ) fitted 2 new 200 litre custom made plastic fuel tanks, 2 new 200 litre water tanks of the same construction. I built and fitted a rimu fridge cabinet which is cooled by a 12 volt fridge unit and rebuilt the main cabin bunks and a rimu chart table with 2 large drawers. The cockpit dodger was modified to improve visibility and fitted with safety glass. A local boat builder (Charlie Webley) fitted a walk through transom and new cockpit covers were made. My wife striped all internal paint from main cabin and bilges and these were everdured and repainted. The prop was also re-pitched and balanced.
I also carried out a major refit in 1999/2000. The hull was completely stripped of paint, re-corked and the seams filled with Sika 296, the prop shaft was upgraded from 1.25 bronze to 1.5 inch 316 stainless . I also modified the stern tube and fitted new bearings and upgraded the stern gland to a maintenance free type and installed hydraulic steering. All windows were removed and new ones fitted (not safety glass ) the boat was also completely rewired (some finishing to be done)
The boat will be sold complete with: 8 foot fibre glass clinker dingy and 2 hp Evinrude outboard (hardly used), 30 Lb. plough anchor and warp, smaller danfourth and warp, spare warp, life jackets, fenders, Lowrance 6000 c colour GPS/plotter, Lowrance sounder, Panasonic VHF, gas stove/oven, steadying sail, engine manual and Stanley Bay Devonport swing mooring. and a host of receipts from both me and the previous owner. There is undoubtedly stuff I have forgotten.
Although the boat currently looks sad, the reality is that it is the inside that needs to be completed, the main cabin is pretty much done, but from the bulkhead forward needs work. this includes galley, heads and for’d accommodation, the outside just needs a repaint. You can see that no expense has been spared on her maintenance, I would estimate I have spent in the region of $50,000 plus the original purchase price in the 18 odd years I have owned her. I am not looking to recover these costs but by the same token do not intend giving her away, I am very realistic about her current value and would entertain all offers. Most importantly for me and my wife, is that she goes to someone who is dedicated to her restoration and on going maintenance.
Having written this I am extremely sad at the prospect of selling this lovely old treasure, but I guess its time to move on and let someone else get some fun out of her.”
Harold Kidd Input
RESOLUTE was actually launched on 22nd December 1937 at St Mary’s Bay for Sam Chorley of Onslow Road. Somewhere there’s a photo of me sitting on my father’s shoulders at the launch although I don’t remember it. We lived at London Street and attended most of Dick Lang’s (and C&B’s) launches.
Peter Maxwell of Devonport owned her for many years after 1973 and kept her meticulously (as he did anything he owned). Graeme Cooper assumed the mantle after Peter. She had a Universal 6 petrol engine post war, replaced about 1990 by that Perkins diesel.
.THE RESTORATION OF MY GIRL
While there are few of us with the courage to even consider a project of this scope, there are even fewer with the skill set to do it. That makes Jason Prew a tad special in the classic woody boating community. A lot of us would be worried that a restoration (re-build) project like this would grind to a halt 1/2 way thru – well folks I can tell you this one won’t & as proof check out at the bottom of this story, Jason’s last project – Wairiki, his 34′ 1904 Arch Logan designed gaff rigged classic yacht.
Mr Prew is a member of the fastest growing group in the CYA – woody’s that own a classic yacht & classic motor-boat. There are a lot of photos today but I really wanted to get across the magnitude of the job Jason has bitten off:-)
Whilst I did not pickup a hammer or a piece of sandpaper during my visit to Jason’s workshop, I have contributed – a while ago I was gifted a pair of very cool bronze nav lights & as I’m a big believer in the ‘pay-it-forward’ concept, these will be gracing My Girl on launch day 🙂
My Girl was built in 1925 by Dick Lang for C.B. “Tui” Waldron of the Wade River who commuted with her. Her square bilge design was based on one by W.H.Hand. Waldron later took her to Whangarei & she was in NAPS as Z32 out of Whangarei in WW2.
Jason purchased My Girl from the Davies family of Te Atatu, West Auckland in December 2014, Derek & his Father Trevor were long term caretakers of My Girl, keeping her in the Whau River for many years. After a spell on the hard where she fell into dis-repair, Jason finally persuaded Derek to part with her.
When launched she was powered by a 6 cylinder 90hp Scripps engine & was capable of over 18 knots. When purchased by Jason she had a BMC Commander engine of dubious health. When re-launched she will be powered by a 100hp Volvo Penta, so she should be a bit of a zoom zoomer 😉
The work to date has seen 76 ribs in, 3600 copper rivets riveted, 5 new floors and 2 engine beds. As you will see in the photos there is still lots of hole filling, sanding & painting in the near future.
You can read & view much more on the restoration project at the links below – the ww one has some historical photos & the mygirl link has the whole story so far. Make sure you click on the Archives link to see everything. https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/12/12/my-girl/ http://www.my-girl.co.nz/mygirl/Welcome.html
Below is a peak at Jason’s yacht Wairiki, his last restoration project. Click this link to view more http://www.wairiki.co.nz/Wairiki1904/Welcome.html
Input from Jason Prew
Thanks for the injection of smoke up the posterior Alan but I can’t claim too much credit for Wairiki, Marco Scuderi did the bulk of the work. I was mostly the destruction/wrecking department. My Girl is also a collaboration, especially the ribs stage. Nathan, Steve, Andrew, Tom, mostly my brother Daniel, either holding dolly or doing the peening. Robert Brook and Paul Tingey for always being encouraging on the end of the phone when i was having an OMG I can’t work this out day, (which is quite often) I don’t have a moaning chair perse, but i have a squab that gets utilized a lot to do the same job.
Dec 2016 Staring to look like a launch again versus a canoe 🙂 Bit worried about the headroom.
details ex Harold Kidd
Strathmore featured on ww back in August 2014 when she was for sale, the other day Nathan Herbert pointed me towards a collection of photographs from the marine photographer Tudor Collins . The two photos above of the 1936 Dick Lang built Strathmore are in my eyes stunning, she certainly was a very smart launch when launched. Lang built her at St. Mary’s Bay, Auckland for R.W. Butcher of Hamilton. She was 42’x10’9″x3’6″ and powered with twin 90hp Chryslers. In 1938 she was bought by the Todd family of Wellington and motored down via Tauranga and the east coast in December 1938. The Todds renamed her Rahemo. She was in NAPS out of Wellington in WW2 as Z76.
For more details & photos from her past & ‘today’ click these links
Look What The Postie Delivered Yesterday
For a long tome I have been a little envious of the classic launch owners that had a NZPBA/AMYC burgee. These club pennants were flown by owners of the oil launches that were becoming popular in the 1910-20s. The club was called the NZ Power Boat Association & founded in 1905. The name changed to the Auckland Motor Yacht Club in 1939 and then morphed into the RNZYS in the 1960s. The jewel in the crown of the AMYC was its sponsorship of the Kawau Island Yacht Club and the facilities at Smelting House Bay. There is a sign on the workshop wall at Greg Lees Boat shed at Sandspit (below), that supports the Kawau link.
The AMYC burgee was identical to the NZPBA’s.
The sender of my AMYC burgee was Rick McCay (Luana). Rick has uncovered a cache of these burgee’s which are available to classic aficionado’s owning a vessel of appropriate age. $59 + $5pp. Applications for purchase including vessel details, initially via email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Unlike the Classic Yacht Association which allows its burgee to be flown from anything & by anyone – the supply of these pennants will be tightly controlled & policed 🙂
Mystery Launch 24-05
photo ex Harold Kidd
Harold has been trying to ID the above launch & to date had no luck, so Woodys the question today – can any one put a name to her or even the location, that would be a big help in the process.
For some reason the ‘WordPress’ platform who I host the ww site on has been having a few hiccups & keeps re-setting its internal clock – end result is that a few posts that I have had loaded into the system have appeared at random & then disappeared – don’t worry, they will be back 🙂
Cheers Alan Houghton
The floating art work, Lady Margaret (Dick Lang), was hauled out last week at Okahu Bay for some serious bottom cleaning. The X-Foul-E-8 team were applying their magic to her, that kauri looks as good as the day she was launched in 1940. A little birdie tells me we will not be hearing the purr of her Fodens for much longer, some open heart surgery is on the cards – the Lady always was very quick so will be interesting to see how she performs with 2 new light weight zoomers 😉 The Foden installation was a sight to behold so expect no-less with the transplant. (Peter B would kill me if I did not point out that the pile of mussels alongside LM came from another vessel)
photo ex Mac Taylor Collection. Details ex Harold Kidd
Cyrena (on the left in the photo above) was built by Peter A Smith, the Alpha marine engine agent in St. Mary’s Bay for himself in 1923. Like W R Twigg, Smith contracted to build launches, his input being the engine which usually cost over half the total price. He contracted out hulls to local builders, usually those handy to his premises in St. Mary’s Bay. This hull was built by Dick Lang before he left for Sydney during the transition of his business to Sam Ford so Sam Ford took some credit in advertising. She was 37ft x 9ft and was fitted with a 25hp Alpha (Danish) engine. Smith named her Cyrena and she was launched around Christmas 1923.
Smith sold her to the Manukau in September 1924. F G “Boy” Bellve of Herne Bay bought her and brought her back to the Waitemata in January 1926 and had her until he commissioned the keel yacht Cyrena from Collings & Bell in late 1938.
Bellve sold the launch Cyrena to A M White of Ngatapa, Gisborne who renamed her Maritza and had her trucked over to Lake Waikaremoana on 6-7 October 1938.
Whats say the woodys re the dark hulled launch on the right on the photo above? And the yachts E24 & A17 ?
The photo below ex classicboatsnz shows her being launched at Lake Waikaremoana.
Harold Kidd Input
E24 is LOLOMA, my old boat and Jason’s too. The twist in her counter is quite evident. She got it when she was teeboned in a race at Whangarei in January 1915 and cut to the waterline. The repairs to her double-diagonal hull starboard amidships were botched. It took me a lot of effort to (almost) get rid of it 70 years later. She was built by J.J. O’Rorke as WARATAH at Arch Hill in late 1909 as a transom-sterned 26 footer with a varnished hull but had a solid counter fitted shortly afterwards,
A17 is NGA TOA built by Colin Wild for the Winstone brothers in 1926. Oddly enough, Boy Bellve, who owned the launch CYRENA and later the Collings & Bell yacht CYRENA, bought NGA TOA with A.G. Taylor in 1946 and owned her almost until he died.
25-09-2016 – photo below from the Tudor Collins collection, emailed to me by Ken Ricketss.
photo & details ex Pam Cundy, Harold Kidd & Zac Matich
Awa Manu is 32′ loa, built by Dick Lang & powered by a Perkins P6. One of her previous owner, Neil H would like to know a little more about her & her current whereabouts.
Neil sold her approx. 20 years ago. When Neil had her, paper work on board led them to believe she may have been previously named Pasadina.
She was owned by the Going Brothers and game fished out of Tutakaka.
In a post in the ww comments section, Zac Matich advised that she is owned by Royce Powell of Whangarei & in a shed at Kauri (Kauri Point, Tinopai ??)
Can we confirm / expand on the above?
photo ex Angus Rogers
The above photo of Aloha was taken in Bostaque Bay. Aloha was built by
Dick Lang at St Mary’s Bay c1928 see below
What more do we know about her?
Harold Kidd Update
ALOHA was built at St Mary’s Bay in 1926 by Charles Robinson, not Dick Lang. Robinson had been building at Ohinemutu, Rotorua for many years from about 1909, for a time with Percy McIntosh, who moved to Whangarei in 1911. Robinson carried on at Ohinemutu until the 1930s. He built the keel yacht MAHOE at Ponsonby in November 1894. He worked with James Clare for some years and went to Tonga with him after building MAHOE. A most neglected builder (and a very fine one).
11-12-2015 Update ex Bert Boswell
The Aloha was bought from the Wilkinson family in 1965 or 66 by Tom Wood. Tom had crewed on the Aloha as a youngster and had been told he would have first choice if she ever went on the market. He was given the choice years later when Mr Wilkinson died. When Tom bought her she was powered by a power kerosene motor which had to be started by filling priming cups with petrol. I think the motor was a Commodore. Tom changed the motor for a diesel which was still in her when he eventually sold her. He used to tell the story of how as a young crew member he and his mates would swap from kerosene to petrol when they were racing in a regatta in the Whangarei Harbour – much to the skipper’s annoyance as he thought petrol was too expensive!
Tom was a bachelor and my late wife’s, cousin. For many years he took me and my family of three youngsters and one or the other of their cousins cruising every Christmas. We cruised from Whangaroa to The Barrier for many wonderful cruises. She was a large part of my young family’s life after my wife died shortly after Tom bought her. What wonderful experiences for my kids who grew up with a love of the sea. Most years we cruised in company with Aumoe owned by Selwyn Wilkinson. The two boats ofter made a great sight cruising together or rafted up together for the night. Tom lavished a huge amount of care on the old girl and I was sad to see her a few years after Tom died looking sad and bedraggled as some sort of fishing smack. However I saw her again some time later moored in the Whangarei Town Basin looking her old smart self. She was renowned for her long saloon table but I understand it was removed at some stage. That’s a pity.
The boat shed shed she lived in still remains as one of a group of three at the entrance to the Town Basin, The Aumoe’s shed was next door and also remains. They are all that is left of historic buildings at the Basin.
I am so thrilled to see someone is recording the histories of these lovely old ladies of the sea. I have a few photos of her if you are interested. The photo of the Aumoe alongside the Tiri was taken from Aloha. We called on the Tiri on our way back from the Barrier and were
invited on board. I remember the radio crew played a request for us after we left them – and a crate of beer, for which they were very grateful!
12-07-2019 Input from Deb Green (Bert Boswell’s daughter)
The photos below are from during the Tom Wood ownership period. Tom was Deb’s uncle.
photos ex Baden Pascoe
Ethel Clare is currently on the hard at Te Atatu, post a wee trip to the bottom. Her subsequent hauling out revealed a ‘few’ bits missing. Lets hope this time she gets the attention she deserves & needs 😉
To read more & see her afloat click these links:
photo & details from Jason Prew, Harold Kidd & Ian Gavin
At ww we love restoration projects, anyone that commits to saving one of your old girls is a good friend of waitematawoodys.
Todays classic launch is My Girl, built by Dick Lang in late 1925 for C.B. “Tui” Waldron of the Wade who commuted with her. The square-bilge design was based on one by W.H. Hand. She was fitted with a 6 cylinder 100hp Scripps that pushed her along at over 18 knots. Waldron later took her to Whangarei and she was in NAPS as Z32 out of Whangarei in WW2. She survived at Te Atatu owned by Trevor Davies.
The photos above show her in days gone by & being transported from Te Atatu Boating Club to her new home where her new owner Jason Prew , who recently purchased her from the Davies family, will commence her restoration. Jason has both done himself & supervised some of the best restoration projects in the CYA fleet so we will follow My Girl with great interest. I think I might need to re-power Raindance to keep up with Jason (My Girl) & Nathan Herbert (Lucinda).
You can follow the project here http://www.my-girl.co.nz
Interesting statistic – there are 9 CYA members on the CYA General Committee, myself being one of them, of those 9, 6 of them are now launch owners. Owning a classic wooden launch is the hot new boating trend 🙂
LADY JULE RIP
photos & details ex Kerry Clarkson (owner)
Lady Jule was built in 1939 for the Pollard family ( Henderson & Pollard ?) of Auckland by Dick Lang. I understand that she was built just before Lady Margaret (Peter Boardman’s stunning Dick Lang launch).
Kerry Clarkson purchased her in 2008 and along with a friend brought her down the coast from Houhora to Clevedon in August of that year.
She is 38ft plus duck board making her 40ft LOA. Her beam at the widest point is 11ft 4inches making her a very beamy old girl for her age. She is an extremely seaworthy and strongly built vessel of single 1.1/4 kauri plank carvel construction.
She is powered by a 6 cylinder 120hp Lees Marine Ford, installed new in 1976, and will cruise all day at 18-1900 rpm. (8-8.5 knots).
Currently hauled out for some rib sistering, recaulking, anti-foul & hull paint job. I understand her owners have relocated outside of Auckland & she is for sale & is very well priced. Interested parties could contact Kerry on email@example.com or on 0274574 756 .
Harold Kidd update
Sorry to rain on this man’s parade too, but that history is not right. LADY JULE was indeed built by Dick Lang in 1939 but not for the Pollards. It was a tumultuous year with the outbreak of war so launch building news was not high priority in the newspapers. My best guess is that she was built for Gordon Hunter and was his first boat. Gordon’s son Don provided that info. Gordon sold her in 1944 to buy ROYAL SAXON. I think the purchaser was Edward Morrison of Herne Bay. The Frankham brothers, Jack & Stan bought her in the early 1960s and kept her until c1984. Their brother-in-law Noel Pollard (of Henderson & Pollard) crewed on her extensively during that time and again when his mate Jack Allen of L.R. Allen Ltd had her briefly. That’s the only Pollard connection, and it’s extremely tenuous.
Her original engine was a petrol Buda (for which my father was agent)
23-07-2016 Update – Lady Jule wrecked at Rocky Bay, Waiheke Island
Very sad to report that on July 19th 2016 Lady Jule broke free from her mooring in Rocky Bay & was wrecked on the rocks. See link to story below
Photos of the ‘wreck’ below. When first reported on ww there were no photos available, the below have now appeared, perhaps the term wreck is a little too severe, some (like Jason Prew) would consider that hull a good candidate for restoration 😉
RAHEMO #2 Post
ww was contacted by the present owner of Rahemo & the information & photos the Rod Turner has supplied deserves its own post, read below
“The Chrysler Crown 125s I replaced were “mirror” or a contra-rotating handed pair. They were rugged and reliable, dedicated marine engines. No change of rotation occurred in the gear boxes. They were supplied and installed by Todds as New Zealand agents, not the Navy. Rahemo never had diesel engines before 1987. The “one family from new” is my mistake as I was not aware of Mr Butchers 2 year ownership. I thought the Todd family owner her from new. The Trademe listing was done by Vinnings Brokers. Rahemo returned to Auckland in the 1950s to be used for deep sea fishing in the Bay of Islands before making a second trip back to Wellington.“
Richard has supplied 2 photos of Rahemo on the hard showing her under-water hull shape & a stunning black and white is of Rahemo and another family boat, the “Maroro” taken in Onahau Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound in about 1948. Maroro is a Chris Craft from about 1932 still in his families ownership awaiting restoration.
RAHEMO #1 Post
Described as a Laing bridge decker & built in 1935, her kauri hull is 42′ long. Powered by twin 4 cyl. Volvo 130hp engines she has no trouble cruising at 10>12 knots. Her 4 sale listing states that she has had one owner from new.
Any one able to confirm & expand on what we know about Rahemo ?
Harold Kidd Update
RAHEMO was built in Auckland in late 1936 by Dick LANG (not Laing) at St. Mary’s Bay for R.W. Butcher of Hamilton as STRATHMORE. She was 42’x10’9″x3’6″ and powered with twin 90hp Chryslers. In 1938 she was bought by the Todd family of Wellington and motored down via Tauranga and the east coast in December 1938. The Todds renamed her RAHEMO. She was in NAPS out of Wellington in WW2 as Z76 and fitted with diesels. One TradeMe recently she was advertised as “one family from new”…………………….. not really.
PS R.W. Butcher sold ALCESTIS/RAIONA to Alf Seccombe when he had STRATHMORE/RAHEMO built and had RAWEA built when he sold STRATHMORE/RAHEMO. When RAWEA was requisitioned for RNZN patrol work in 1940 he bought RONGO. You can’t keep a good launch man down!
Photo below ex Paper Past – 15 Dec 1938 just prior to departing for Wellington, insert photo i of A. R. Clarke who skippered her.
photo & details from Riwia Fox
Have had a request from Riwia Fox on behalf of her aunt who is looking for any details on her fathers kauri launch – The Dawn. Excuse the very low res photo, hopefully a better one will be found. The war time ‘345’ number should help jog some memories. Riwia’s aunt believes it was built by Dick Lang in 1935.
Updated details (25/07/2014) from Riwia Fox – her Aunt has advised her fathers name was Bill Hogan, a member of the Ponsonby Cruising Club & The Dawn was built in 1935.
ETHEL C (Ethel Clare)
Some days ww rocks – yesterday was one of those days, the planets lined up & everything fell into place.
Last weekend Nathan Herbert was out & about nosing around the Whau Creek with Jason Prew in one of the classic picnic boats when they came across the very neglected tram topper, Ethel Clare, sitting on a pile mooring. Ethel Claire (as spelt on the name board) became the ww posting on Wednesday.
Next thing I get an email from CYA member Neil Chalmers, SY Gleam, telling me a RYC member, Colin Clare, has been trying to track down his father’s old launch – ‘’Ethel C’’. Neil had spoken to Colin and described the launch in photos that appeared on ww. In Neil’s words “I think you may have struck gold !.”
Next I contacted Harold Kidd who confirmed that ETHEL C was built by Leon Warne in late 1922 for Billy Clare. HDK thinks she was in fact started by Leon and finished off by Dick Lang as Leon went to Russell at that time and Dick took over his premises.
Ethel C was 30’x8′ and HDK supplied two b/w images which leave no doubt that Ethel Claire is in fact Ethel C. The close up shows a young Colin Clare sitting on the salon top.
HDK commented – “that she has a provenance a couple of yards long!!!”
Next I contacted James Mobberley at Moon Engines & Transmissions who is a member at the Te Atatu Boating Club on the Whau Creek & a classic nutter. James advises that the boat is known around the club as Ethel C & is owned by a Te Atatu Boat Club member who has owned her for between 10 >12 years. The current owner bought her off a gent by the name of Jimmy Sands who had her sitting on his front lawn in Avondale for 20 years.
Now I want this to have a happy ending – wouldn’t it be great to see her rescued & back in the hands of the family of the original owner 🙂
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Rata was built by Dick Lang in 1926 in St Marys Bay. In todays world she is rather unquie in that her owner is only the 2nd since 1936. Rata has recently completed a lengthly keel up ‘rebuild’.
She is 35′ long with a 3′ draft & powered by a 85hp Lees Ford engine, she cruises at 8knots.
Currently 4 sale on trademe. Hopefully the price of $45k includes a chainsaw to remove the ‘carry handle’ 🙂
Anyone able to provide any more details on Rata?
‘Probably’ built in 1927 by Dick Lang, the owner is looking for anymore details on her past. Previous owners include a Dr. McFarlane?? & TG Shaw from the cartage contracting firm.
Photo taken by AlanH on July 7 2013 as she was heading up the upper harbour. She is rather quick, from memory having had the same zoom zoom transplant as Falcon i.e. a big Hino (turbo?)
Harold Kidd Update
The 37 footer JEUNESSE was built for W J Harper and launched in March 1919 as RAMBLER. Harper changed his mind and renamed her JEUNESSE by the start of the summer of 1919-20. None of the magazines or newspapers say who built her but Dick Lang seems a fair bet as she was built in St. Mary’s Bay. Reportage on such things was pretty scant at that time because of the Spanish ‘Flu outbreak. She was fitted with a 40hp Reutenberg 4 cylinder engine. Harper sold the launch KOTIRO when JEUNESSE was built. He kept her until 1923 when he sold her to H Hewson. N C McLean & R Kirkwood owned her in 1926. She spent a lot of time in Whangarei after that. In 1951 she was owned by S H R Smith of Onehunga, Richard Leary in 1990, John Wright in 2003; that’s all I have.
Harold – can you help ID this launch – thx
Harold Kidd Update
That’s the lovely MY GIRL, built by Dick Lang in late 1925 for C.B. “Tui” Waldron of the Wade who commuted with her. The square-bilge design was based on one by W.H. Hand. She was fitted with a 6 cylinder 100hp Scripps that pushed her along at over 18 knots. Waldron later took her to Whangarei and she was in NAPS as Z32 out of Whangarei in WW2. She survived at Te Atatu as recently as 2001 owned by Trevor Davies.
1920’s Dick Lang designed & built. More info would be appreciated.
The original owner Charles Palmer was one of this country’s finest yachtsmen, founding the NZ Power Boat Association in 1905, the Motor Boat Patrol in 1914, the RNZNVR and being an able administrator with the APYMBA and the various yacht clubs until he died.
08-01-2016 photo at Kawau Island ex Tom Kane
Photos ex owner
Photo by Chris Miller
Castaway at the Mahurangi regatta 2011 – designed & built by Dick Lang in 1947 at his premises adjacent to Shipbuilders Ltd in Westhaven just behind where the Dry Stack boat storage is today. Originally built for himself, she was one a number of similar launches built during this period. Dick Lang used her for his own personnel craft for a number of years, travelling many times between Auckland and Coromandel, before selling her to Mr Wayne Mason, the then Managing Director of Sunline Homes Ltd. Wayne Mason sold her to Mr Wayne Aston in 1973, at which this time her name was changed to Castaway from Islander after the racial overtones it implied. Wayne Aston also changed the engine to the 6 cylinder 100HP Fordson. Following her sale to Tom Simpson in 1985, this was the start of a very major refit for her, and saw a complete rebuild of the interior and combined with a much more practical interior layout, which included another engine change. With the original style of the coach house being retained to ensure that the classic looks remained. As a result she was restored into a Classic Bridge Deck Launch, and a credit to her designer and builder. She was briefly in the hands of Mr Mike Cunningham from 1994 until 1999, which saw some minor changes to the interior. 1999 saw the installation of a deep freeze, oven and the completion of the hot water system, a much-improved noise dampening of the dry exhaust system and improved fuel filtration. Castaway fly’s the Past Commodore’s pennant of the Devonport Yacht Club.