Katoa

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KATOA
Built in 1988, Katoa fits in with my definition of a spirit of tradition launch + being built designed and built by Geoff Bagnall, it was always going to get my tick for a WW story.
Geoff B is one of the few modern day boatbuilders that can incorporate a flying bridge that looks ok to the eye (my eye at least).
Katoa measures 37.7’, is built from 2 skin kauri glassed and powered by a 130hp Lees Ford diesel.
Thanks to Ian McDonald for the heads up on the trademe listing.

Veca + Milford Boat Yard Saved

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VECA
Today’s woody the rather elegant Sounds launch – Veca. The photos of her were sent to me by John Mansell and were taken in Omaha Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound.
All we know about Veca is that she is 29’ and built by Charlie Sang at the Hutt River mouth in 1929 for the Harvey family who still own her. John is not sure if Sang was the designer.
In the photos she does look longer than 29′, maybe she has had the ‘Kim Kardashian’ treatment e.g. bum implants 🙂
Anyone able to comment and enlighten us further on this launch. There are a few mixes of styles going on, but overall its working for me.
Input below from Mark McLaughlin
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Family Boat Restored To Former Glory (ex Nelson Weekly – Dec 17 , 2014)

A launch that was built in Wellington in 1929 and has been in the same family for four, going on five, generations, has just been re-launched in Nelson after its latest refit. Judith Glue’s grandfather, Roy Harvey, and his brother-in-law, Sam Weine, started building the 35 foot kauri launch on a steep section behind Sam’s house in Kilbirnie in 1927. Veca was launched in 1929 and remained in Roy’s family for 58 of the next 85 years with Judith and her husband Pete, of Richmond, completing the latest refit in Nelson earlier this month. Pete says Veca, which was named after Roy and Sam’s wives, Vera and Caroline, has a fascinating history with her framing being constructed out of an “old man rata tree” Roy and Sam cut down in Akatarawa Forest, near Wellington. They also had to build a ramp over the top of Sam’s house to get Veca out of the section and down a steep road to Evans Bay where she was launched. “They had to use two old Wellington coal trucks to get her down the road,” Pete says. “It was so steep they put anchors into the road to stop the trucks and boat taking off down the hill.”

Sadly, Roy had to sell Veca in 1941 because fuel prices had skyrocketed during World War II. However, Judith’s father, Bruce Harvey, brought her back in 1968 when he saw her “tied to a mooring a forlorn state in Evans Bay” and she has stayed in the family ever since. “Roy spent most of his retirement restoring Veca for Bruce and then we acquired her as an inheritance. We pulled her out of the water again in 1985 and transported her to Bill Gibbons’ old shingle plant in Lower Queen St for her second refit. “We took out every screw in the hull and refastened and recaulked her, and fibreglassed the topside, and then we relaunched her on Christmas Eve in 1987. I remember that because the Ministry of Transport wouldn’t give us a permit to take an oversized load through town, but we went anyway. “It was a bit of a nightmare because the transporter got a flat tyre in the middle of Stoke. There was traffic everywhere and I said to the guys, ‘bugger the tyre, keep driving’.”

The latest refit involved reconstructing the wheelhouse and Pete says he was a little concerned about the boat being out of the water for about five weeks. Although Veca took on some water when she was relaunched, the wooden hull soon closed up and became watertight. Pete says she’s now “ready for the next generation to take care of her”. Pete says Veca gets plenty of use with their children and grandchildren always joining them for their annual Christmas boating holiday to the Marlborough Sounds. “It gets a bit crowded with everyone aboard and the cabin’s a bit low, especially when you have sons who are six foot five and six foot four,” he joked. “But she’s a lovely boat to sail and she’s very economical to run – we spend more money on our rum than we do on our diesel.”

Input from Harold Kidd – VECA was launched in November 1929, built by Weine and Peter Harvey under the supervision of Arthur Sang who designed her. Bob Gibbons bought her after Harvey’s death in 1937 and ran her during WW2 in NAPS. He sold her in 1962.

19-02-2019 Input ex Mark Jarvis – the photo below of Veca in Cocle Cove, Queen Charlotte Sound, was most likely taken on the first crossing to the Sounds after we picked the boat up in Wellington. Somebody else has commented that the Gibbons sold their boat in 1962. If thats correct then we must have bought it in that year. So its gonna be close enough to say that pic is from c.1962.
Veca Cocle Cove
NEWSFLASH – Milford Boat Yard Saved
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I can now confirm the best / worst kept dockside secret – Geoff Bagnell’s Milford yard will continue as a working boatyard under the name ’The Slipway Milford’ – and will be run by non-other than classic woody Jason Prew.
More details soon, but it is great news that one of Aucklands few remaining railway slips will continue to be fully operational ♥♥♥
Waiheke Island At Its Best
A mate wakes up to the view below everyday – Sandy Bay. And if you needed proof why you should upgrade your phone – this photo was shot on a mobile phone, or as my mate says – “I have a camera that’s also a phone” 🙂
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Geoff & Warrick Bagnall’s Achilles Relaunched

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GEOFF & WARRICK BAGNALL’s ACHILLES RELAUNCHED
Saturday was a very special day for the Auckland woody community – we got to celebrate with Milford boatbuilder Geoff Bagnall as he re-launched the 31’ 1973 Roy Parris designed and built launch – Achilles.
Geoff has built and restored a lot of very fine craft in his 19 years at the Milford yard, but the refit of Achilles is extra special because she used to be his fathers boat. Amazingly Warrick was there to witness the launching and he looked very happy, on two fronts – seeing Achilles back family ownership and it was also his 90th birthday, a cake appeared and a bloke’ish version of happy birthday was sung 🙂
Geoff also served his apprenticeship under Roy Parris so the bond with the launch is deep.
Achilles will most likely be Geoff’s last big project – in a few days he will close the shed for the last time – that is a very sad day for us woody owners but this story is all about Warrick, Geoff and Achilles, more on the future of the shed later. Today we had 4 generations of the Bagnall family coming together for the party.
Over the last 18 months I have watched Geoff crafting over the refit and the standard of workmanship and design smarts is second to none, the man has a very good eye for size, proportion and just what looks right when it comes to boats. I have had the pleasure to have Geoff work on Raindance for over 10 years and she is now twice the boat she was when I bought her in terms of practicality and looks, as a result of Geoff’s input and craft.
Some details on the ’new’ Achilles – she now measures 31’ in length, is powered by a new Yanmar 200hp turbo that will she her dancing along very nicely. That stunning finish comes from being glassed (I quote Geoff- “I don’t want to be bloody working on her again in my life-time”) and she has all the latest features to make life aboard very comfortable. There are still a few wee jobs to complete but I think you’ll agree from the photos above and video below, Achilles is an impressive sight and a wonderful example of Geoff’s skills.

 

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Below is a selection of photos taken ‘in-the-shed’ during the refit.
As always – click on photos to enlarge 😉

To view a selection of launches built by Roy Parris – click this link https://waitematawoodys.com/tag/roy-parris/page/1/

RainDance Back In The Water

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RainDance Back In The Water

I have had RD hauled out at Geoff Bagnall’s Milford yard for some winter maintenance & TCL. I always rock up with a list, the content of which makes Geoff chuckle & say “are you serious?”.
This year there were a few jobs that to most people would seem frivolous e.g. can you reduce the height of the bow rail. It was completely out of proportion for the size of RD.

I come back the next day & Geoff has done a template of the height (less than I wanted) & new shape – as always he was spot on & the finished job, to me, is perfect (not to Jason Prew – who has been telling me for years to remove it).

Thats the thing with Geoff Bagnall, he has a great eye for what is appropriate & more importantly what looks right.
It will be a sad day when he closes the shed doors for the last time & heads North. The wooden boating scene will be the poorer, great wooden boat craftsman & railway haul outs are few & far between these days. So woodys – while he is still around – use him 09 486 1445
Lots of other stuff on the list, including re-caulking an area of the garboard seam to fix a persistent wee leak, but the #1 – happy wife = happy life project was a completely new toilet set up. These days the size of a 12v electric head has reduced greatly, so we ripped the (not that old) unit out along with way too much piping / fittings & installed a new electric number + a monster electric pump to empty the holding tank (used to be a manual pump).
Still needs some shiny paint in / around the new head area, but very happy, there will have to be a ribbon cutting ceremony 🙂
Slashed some paint & Uroxsys on & in my eyes – she’s looking very smart. Still got a long To-Do list but thats 1/2 the fun of owning a woody, if you don’t like the process, buy a plastic boat 😉
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RD was in good company at Milford, Nathan Herbert’s new woody – Pacific, is getting some major love & Jason Prew’s – My Girl, is very close to splashing, even sitting on the trailer, she looks very quick.
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18-08-2018 Update

As requested by Jason Prew – photos below of my latest piece of bling – a Cattroll Collapsible Pennant Mast, made 25+ years ago by an Auckland company named R. Geo Cattroll. They were based a 1114 New North Rd, Auckland. The box it came in stated “Can be fitted to cabin top or deck mounting. Precision engineered from solid brass, chrome plated. Unique locking devise. Height of mast 889mm

I found it for sale on trademe, bid & won the auction – now he’s the twist. The seller was woody Nick Voerman, who owns the classic launch – Maria (ww link below). Nick bought a ‘job lot’ of old marine accessories / fittings for someone contacted to the long closed Cottroll business.
Fast forward several months & I was having 2nd thoughts fitting it to Raindance when snap – I spy the exact same fitting gracing the foredeck of Jason Prew’s launch – My Girl. Chatting to Jason, seems several CYA launch owners have acquired one from Nick. In fact the trademe listing is still live so he must still have a few. Be quick 😉
Excuse the square-drive screw, I’m doing my best to convert Geoff B 🙂 they will be replace .
MARIA
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You will note in the above photos the deck was a little worn so as part of the 90th birthday treat, the decks, toe-rails, tram-top & dog-house got a lick of paint.

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Tarati Mei

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TARATI MEI

I was recently contacted by Andy Winter who is on the lookout for information on an Allen Williams boat, built around 1964/5 for Dick Read grandfather of Andy’s wive – who unfortunately passed away in 1980. Andy has come across a picture of Allen Williams actually building the boat, which he believes to be a similar design as ‘Banshee’ except this boat is 34’6” long and 9’ft beam. The boat was called ‘Tarati Mei’ when she was launched, named after his wife Dorothy May.

Andy is trying to find out what happened to her, whether she has been renamed or is around no more? Andy asked Milford boat builder, Geoff Bagnell about the boat but he doesn’t remember her. Andy thinks she would have been kept at Milford until the early 1970’s. Any help or direction from the woodys would be most appreciated.
In the photos above the first two show Tarati Mei  just before launching from Allen’s yard. Dick Read is the guy on the transom. In the second photo we see Dick’s wife (Dorothy May) launching her.
The third photo is of Allen Williams building ‘Tarati Mei’.  The last photo is what appears to be an ‘enhanced’ photo of her at Kawau – probably late 1960’s. Andy feels this may actually be a painted copy of a photo, either way it does show what she looked like in this era.
Andy commented that he saw a similar looking launch in Gulf Harbour being lifted out recently called ‘Murphy’, but didn’t get chance to talk to the owner. Any one else seen this vessel?

Harold Kidd Input

The name is actually TARATI MEI, not TARITI MEI (oops fixed. AH). She was built in 1965 and had dimensions of 29’6″ x 25′ x 9′ x 2’6″ and was powered by a 100hp Fordson diesel. Her APYMBA number was 311.
Bill Jobey bought her from Dick Read and renamed her PATTY J.
Bill Jobey was a core member of the Milford Cruising Club and always had a snapper or two if you pulled up alongside him off the Barrier. Lovely man who died a few years ago. However any old-time MCC member should know what has happened to her.

Arohanui

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photo & details ex Ross Farrant

Arohanui was built by Roy Parris in 1974 & is 30′ long. Owner Ross purchased her a couple of years ago from a gent by the name of Doug Wood. Ross understands Doug runs (perhaps ‘ran’ now) a diesel servicing business out of Westhaven.

Milford boatbuilder Geoff Bagnall was an apprentice under Roy Parris at the time Arohanui was built, Ross spoke to Geoff recently and he told Ross that he remembers there were 4 of these 30′ launches built, he also recalls that Arohanui was built for a Dick Milburn who is now deceased. Geoff knows nothing of her history after that.

You will notice in the above photo a small cabin top on the foredeck. Geoff Bagnall did that job for previous owner Doug wood at his Milford shed a few years ago, it appears that most of Roy’s boats had a flush foredeck but Doug wanted headroom, and it does work, brings more light into the boat and doesn’t detract from the overall look of the boat.

Arohanui is powered by a Lees Marine conversion, six cylinder Ford truck engine, Ross was amazed at how much oil the sump took when he did my first oil change.

Anything anybody can tell ww about her history would be great as Ross & Sue Farrant are a bit light on details relating to her past.

(sorry about the photo quality, as supplied)

Its That Time Of The Year

Its That Time Of The Year

Mid week I dropped in to say hi to the Milford based boat builder, Geoff Bagnall & went next day to the Milford Cruising Club’s yard with the camera to snap a few woodys that are hauled out for the annual pre-summer love.

ps now I’m not a member of the Vindex fan club but there were two examples in Geoff’s shed getting makeovers, one in particular receiving an semi-enclosed cockpit, a job the Mr Bagnall does very well, Geoff has a very good eye for proportion & just getting the look right. Sorry no photos.