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

Manunui

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MANUNUI

Todays’ story on Manunui comes to us from the ‘desk’ of Paul Drake – as always, well written so I’ll pass over to Paul.

 “Arriving at Taupo for our annual holiday one January in the late 1950’s, my brothers and I were intrigued to see a very unusual looking new commercial boat on the scene.   Before we knew her name, we kids called her ‘The Ugly Boat’.  She turned out to have a proper name – MANUNUI – after the saw milling town just out of Taumarunui.   It was there that she was built by the manager of said sawmill, Basil Maude.

Basil’s hobby was building boats, but he rarely got more than about three-quarters of the way through before losing interest.  MANUNUI was the exception.  He wished to see how big a boat he could build out of plywood.  He had the plywood made at his mill from selected timber.   Her bottom had two sheets of ply each twenty feet long , six feet wide, and one and a quarter inches thick. She measured 36 feet by 12 feet.

She had to be chunky and strong because Basil had two Allison Kittyhawk 12-cylinder aeroplane engines which he wanted to fit.   He designed and built the double gearbox himself.  It measured eight feet by three feet by two feet deep.   At the last minute the plan changed and the two gallons per minute Allisons were wisely ditched in favour of Ford V8s. But the gear box remained – larger than the two engines.   This most fascinating gearbox was mounted forward of the engines with the propeller shafts running back under the engines.   Chains were involved, and each propeller was operated independently of the other in the normal way.  MANUNUI was the first diesel powered launch on the lake (so it is said) and also the first commercial plywood boat to operate on the lake.

In the good old days when fishermen would club together and charter a launch for five day expeditions to Taupo’s Western Bay, MANUNUI was a very successful and busy charter launch under her very capable skipper Ron Houghton.

The original canvas arrangement over the aft end was eventually replaced with the rather functional effort shown in the second photo. In about 1970 a whole new cabin appeared.   Shortly afterwards MANUNUI was sold to New Plymouth.   I wonder if she survives?   Somehow I doubt it.

Much of this information is contained in ’Boats of Taupo’ by Charles Cox.

 

Lady Shirley

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LADY SHIRLEY (Catherine S)

The above b/w photos show the then police launch Lady Shirley, the ’ship’ in the background is the Rangitata. The photo is dated 1940-49 and most likely taken by D. Marsh. The 36’ bridge-decker, Lady Shirley was built by C. Bailey & Son in 1938.
The first photo below I took at the 2020 CYA Classic Yacht Regatta. In the second photo she is her moored  in Opito Bay, BOI – summer 2019/20.
You can read / view more at the WW links below
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Lady Shirley BOI Jan2019
02-04-2020 Update ex Greg Lees – Greg recently acquired this very cool ‘ship-in-a-bottle’ model of Rangitira
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Nigel Drake sent me the funny below – pretty well sums things up in our house.
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ISOLATION – Such stunning weather and no boating 😦
For a long time I have been ‘collecting’ old boat hooks, you can pick one up for $20>30. Normally the hook end is bronze and in good condition, a good polish and they look like new – to buy the head at Fosters would cost around $150. So today I started to give a few a make-cover. I have to say, what ever the old boys used to ‘varnish’ them with, is bloody hard to get off, lots of 80 grit did the trick.
I suspect this will be the last project before I get transferred to domestic duties e.g. working on the house 🙂

Sir Francis Relaunched + John Street Video Series – Part One

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July 2019

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In need of attention – May 2018

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SIR FRANCIS
Back in June 2016 one of the woodys spotted Sir Francis berthed on Lake Taupo and commented on WW  that she was looking a little tired. Well folks I can report that after thirteen months of hard labour, Sir Francis went back into the water on July 6. Co-owner Paul Drake commented that she was last out of the water for 9 days, 10 years ago and she was becoming an embarrassment. 
As part of their re-fit the deck canvas has been replaced with the usual ply and glass cloth, and much other deferred maintenance was attended to. (scroll over photos for captions)
 
Sir Francis is 22’ and built by Collings and Bell in 1916, powered by a Universal Utility Four. This engine was added in 1937. 
When launched she was named – Fairy, then renamed – Aloha and when Grandfather Drake purchased her in 1938, he changed the name again to Sir Francis. She has been owned by the Drake family for the last 81 years. 
The Drake brothers (Paul, Nigel, Roger and Michael) individually and collectively are a great bunch and between them own numerous woodys. I have meet them at the Lake Rotoiti Wooden Boat Parade. Photo below.
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Brothers Nigel and Roger on SF late 1950’s.

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Paul

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L to R – Michael, Paul, Nigel, Roger. Oldest to youngest

 

 

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JOHN STREET – ONE MAN’S TREASURES VIDEO SERIES 

Every day this week WW will feature a video filmed at John’s recent speaking engagement at the New Zealand Maritime Museum. The language is a tad ‘blue’ in places, but thats how John rolls 🙂 NOTE VIDEO IS COPYRIGHT DO NOT DOWNLOAD WITHOUT PERMISSION. Videos edited & enhanced with the help of Andrew Christie.
PART ONE – Fosters The Beginning (turn your sound up)

 

UPCOMING VIDEOS
MONDAY–         Fosters The Beginning
TUESDAY–        History of The Breeze
WEDNESDAY– The schooner Daring
THURSDAY–     Amercias Cup
FRIDAY –            The steam crane ship Rapaki
SATURDAY–      Tug Boat Racing on the Waitemata

East Wind + A woody weekend

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East Wind
In a recent WW story the Lake Rotoiti location of ‘Honeymoon Bay’ was mentioned, this prompted woody Paul Drake to send in the above photo (dated Feb 2017) of one of his families lake boats – East Wind. She has been in the their ownership for nearly 50 years but little is known about her provenance.
Looking For A Woody Experience This Weekend?
It has become a bit of a tradition that on the weekend following the Auckland on the water boat show the team at the Tino Rawa Trust host a classic boating event at Auckland’s Viaduct (Karanga Plaza, at the waterfront end of Halsey St.). This years theme / focus is the New Zealand sailing dinghy. The event is open to the public on Friday 5th, Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th October | 10am to 4pm and entry is free.
These exhibitions are always a not to be missed gig on the classic woody calendar, so do make an effort to visit and see the cream of our small classic fleet on display. Details below 
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Manaia – Launch Day + Volvo Race Start

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MANAIA – Launch Day

The above photos of Manaia were sent to me by Paul Drake – I’ll let Paul tell the story behind them.

“The first four I took on launching day. I was 15 and in the midst of School Certificate. No exam that day, so off I went on my bike from home in Balmoral, camera in my bag. 

In the second pic, Capt. Warwick Dunsford can be seen in charge on the foredeck (white boiler suit and black beret). 

In the third pic, Percy Vos himself is clearly recognizable just by the fore foot. 

The last two photos I have had since the 1960’s & most likely come from the camera of TW Collins. Great photos, especially the one from the port quarter, and show MANAIA at work.

MANAIA is certainly very original, but note that the stem now has an unattractive (to me) hook near the top. Much better straight in my view.  Also note unusual chine aft. Double ender but hard chine aft. That’s why she can do 15 knots if required!

MANAIA was about the last of the large wooden pilot vessels built for New Zealand ports. About the same time as AKARANA and 10 years after TIAKINA (Wellington – and also a Collings design). TIAKINA of course built in England and steamed out via Suez Canal.”

You can see photos of Manaia today, looking very smart & read extensive details on her past here https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/01/26/manaia/

 

Volvo Round-the-World Yacht Race -Auckland Start

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Photos Below In The Order They Passed North Head

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And a couple of Woodys amongst the sea of plastic boats

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Peter Boardman – Lady Margaret

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Angus Rogers – Mahanui

A Woody On Tour + An SoS

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A Woody On Tour + An SoS
Woody Paul Drake has just returned from a trip to the UK & sent in the above 2 photos – the first showing a very smart inboard clinker on the beach at Beer, Lyme Bay (1/2 way between Brixham & Portland Bill).

The bottom photo is of the Navy MTB24 ‘resting’ at Bembridge, Isle of Wight. Paul commented that she no longer rises with the tide 😦

An Urgent SoS

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WW follower Scott Perry, has a small obsession with rather large woodys – he is currently rebuilding the HDML Kuparu, an ex naval patrol boat. He is nearly done with Kuparu & is now looking at saving HDML Black Watch, the 72 footer sitting out in front of Bayswater Marina for the last 10 plus years.
Scott is urgently looking for somewhere he could tidal slip her e.g. against poles, or a wharf, somewhere on the Waitemata. She has a bad temporary repair on her bottom that is failing & needs attention in the next couple of weeks. She has a swim prop, so can lean her on her side on the beach or deep creek. Any woodys know of anything about?
As an aside, she currently is ketch rigged & with Scott being a launch man, he would like to sell her 2 solid timber masts – so if someone would like to purchase them, you would make Scott a happy man. Scott can be contacted on 027 278 2542
Ps I’m sure Russell Ward will email be a photo of Black Watch, he had / has the ‘hots’ for her

Input from Russell Ward 

Jeez, Scott. Knocking yourself around a bit ain’tca? You can get pills or ect for that sort of problem I am sure.
Why not take on the Kahu? Lots of fun! I’ve attached a couple of pix of Ngaroma when she was a private ship owned by Capt James Lawler and kept at Cooks Lower Landing. The fair miles were built in NZ as part of the war effort and one should be saved.
Just a thought.
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UPDATE: Photo below ex Heather & Keith Nicholson of Kahu (taken last week)
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Input from Paul Drake – below are two pics of my more humble HDML effort. This is MAKO, 36 inches long (half inch to the foot). I started building her in 1964 aged 16. The following year I was at sea with the Union Company as a Cadet. As shown in the first photo, I took MAKO to sea with me and building continued. The second pic shows her under way and more or less finished on the Avalon duck pond (Wellington). She now resides on my piano here in Taupo – still only more or less finished.

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Updated photo of HDML Kuparu – berthed at Bayswater 07-07-2018

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