Working Waterfront Boatbuilders Shed – 50 photos

 

P1030420

P1030438

 

P1030433

P1030491

 

P1030458

P1030417

 

P1030471

P1030428

Working Waterfront Boatbuilders Shed – 50 photos

As I’ve send many times before, if your want a stunning day weather wise, schedule a Classic Yacht Association event – the hit rate must be 9/10.

Over 100 CYA members & friends made the trip north to Lees Boatbuilders at Sandspit – our host for the day, Greg Lees, turned on a brilliant woody event – we had everything – woody projects underway, the best collection of 1/2 models I seen outside of the RNZYS walls, a photo montage recording the history of the yard & the vessels built over the years.

 Center stage was Jenny & Angus Rogers – Mahanui, in the shed for a new deck, alongside her was a very original Chris Craft that was getting a restoration. 

The varnish guru Dale has already applied 23 coats, with 6 more to come. Compared to our old girls, these American woodys are very lightly built, amazing that so many have survived.

Outside we had Anna & Nic Davidson’s – Juanita, on one slip & Barbara & David Cooke’s woody flagship – Trinidad, alongside the wharf. In midstream was Yvonne, waiting her turn in the shed.

On the hard was a selection of small craft built by either Greg, his father Tim or other local craftsman. Not woodys but certainly classic were Greg’s two English built, aluminium Albatross runabouts – the very rare 4 seater is next on Greg’s to-do list. Included are a few photos of other woodys in or out of the water.

Greg gave an articulate talk on his families boatbuilding history & how they came to be situated on the Sandspit foreshore. At the end he announced the official launch of the 2018 Rudder Cup launch race to be run on Friday 14th December to Sail Rock & back. See flyer below, I encourage all woody owners to consider participating. At this stage we (I’m on the race committee, along with Jason Prew, Nathan Herbert, Baden Pascoe & Barbara & David Cooke) are calling for expressions of interest in racing – entry to the race is by invitation, as per the original race format in 1908.

 Big ups to Greg & family + staff for turning on the day, including BBQ. Special thanks also to the CYA committee members that pulled it all together. 

Lastly a little something below for the petrol heads – Greg had on display his Jesser BSA 500cc twin, hill climb racer. Built in 1962 by Les Jesser, she is a 2 time Australian  class champion. 

P1030422

P1030423

CYA Rudder Cup 2018 flyer

Build Me Straight – A Wooden Boat Building Film

 

 

Build Me Straight Film

I was sent this video clip (film) by Cameron Pollard of the planning, building & launching of a traditional wooden boat. It is great viewing, but be warned the music is bad 🙂

It is reproduced with the permission of the Scottish Screen Archive & the National Library of Scotland.

Enjoy- it is very good.

And on the same subject, boatbuilding, a wee reminder to CYA members of today’s visit to Lees Boat Builders on-the-water yard at Sandspit. Kicks off at 11.00am, free sausage sizzle. It’s a working boat yard, so wear sensible shoes. See you there.

 

 

Classic Woodys at Sandspit Marina

P1030047

P1030090

 

 

P1030025

Classic Woodys at Sandspit Marina

A couple of weeks ago I was up Sandspit way & spent an hour or so mooching around the new (ish) marina. Very impressive set up & with the yacht club’s haul-out facilities its a prefect spot to keep a woody. The real win win factor is the proximity of the ‘Greg Lees Boatbuilder’ yard, in recent years Greg & his talented team have rubbed the magic wand over some of our finest classic woodys. Just type Greg Lees in the WW search box to see the level of workmanship & perfection.

I have included a few photos of the motor camp where I stayed with my ex woodys boater – Chris Miller in this stunning motor home. 

A real bonus was the amazing meal & service we had at the Sandspit Yacht Club on Saturday night – I was expecting burgers & fries but no – everything – décor, service & the food was superb – check it out if you are up that way. The scallop entree was as good as anything you would get in Auckland City. Photos below.

IMG_2942

Update: I have been sent by Dean Wright the photo below of the dinghy ‘Tiki’ in happier times 🙂

Unknown

What Happened to Calypso?

Unknown-6

Unknown-2

What Happened to Calypso?

Firstly woodys, I love this story, way too many woodys have had a false start on a wooden boat project & just walked away & given up on old wooden boats forever. Well folks I can tell you Nick Davidson, who sent me the above photos, is not one of them, he bounced back, but more on that later – the main focus of this story is to try & uncover the mystery of Calypso. I have re-produced Nicks letter to me below – enjoy 🙂
Hi there Alan, have been thinking about an old kauri launch that I used to own back in the 1990’s, wondered what became of her and thought that perhaps one of your readers might have some information.
It is a story of hope turning to despair, however without the tough stories and the failures I suppose you don’t end up learning much!
As I am sure with many of your readership I was one of those guys that wanted to get into a wooden launch, however at the time had not much in the way of cash. It was mid 1999 and I was looking at boats for sale on ‘trademe’ as you do and there was an advertisement for an old 40’ kauri launch that was sitting in a shed in Avondale, Auckland and urgently looking for a new home, so I went along and had a look.

Basically the deal was that the owner of the shed wanted the building back and there had been veiled threats of chainsaws at dawn. As you can see from the photos of Calypso (very unlikely to be her original name) she was in a sorry state. The diesel was gone and there was a fair bit of rot in the house, but the hull looked sound enough and I could not help but fall for the straight stem (made of Pohutukawa) and fantail stern. The information about her provenance was next to nothing, no numbers, or name plates to be found anywhere. I was told that she was used as a ‘long-liner’ working out of the Viaduct for some years and had a build year of 1905 but have never had that corroborated. The diesel disappeared by way of a chainsaw through the cabin roof and she had then been hauled and transported to a storage unit in Avondale.
As it happened I had access to the old Education Department’s disused central stores warehouses that used to back on to the Avondale College, perfect I thought. I arranged for Calypso to be moved there, paid the princely sum of $300 to the owner (no recollection of the name of the chap) and now owned a 40’ launch that needed a bit of work!
Unfortunately, the arrangement to use the old stores warehouse fell through after a few months and I had her moved out to the Marine Haulage yard in Te Atatu where she stayed for a year or two. During that time I went into a boat partnership with a mate and with unbridled optimism we started stripping her out and removing what was left of the paint on her hull. When the cost of keeping her in Te Atatu became a bit too much for our shallow pockets I managed to find an old vegetable storage shed out in Bombay close to the Pukekohe turnoff and away she went again.

With the assistance of an old boat builder (again I cannot recollect his name, but he lived in Tairua, was involved in relocating the old Ngoiro ferry there, drove an old red van and had a cat that used to accompany him around the country!) we removed all the caulking, over many months slowly jacked up the hull to remove the hog in the keel, splined and glassed her to the gunwale with 10 weight triaxial glass. This was all done over a long period as time and money permitted.

As with many of these sorts of projects, in spite my best intentions and a fair degree of bloody mindedness we found ourselves some 6 years on with a sound hull but a long way from ever getting her back in the water. We had by now removed the cabin and decking which was in a much poorer state than first thought, my circumstances had changed and I no longer had the time or the financial resources to take her any further. We also had to move her again and by about 2005 she was now residing in a factory unit off Mahunga Drive in Mangere.

After a great deal of soul searching the decision was made to put her on ‘trademe’ and eventually she was purchased by a chap who described himself as a boat builder and if my recollection serves me correctly was looking to move her up to the Kaipara Harbour where he had a property and complete the re-fit there. Although disappointed that I hadn’t ever seen her in the water, I consoled myself that we had moved her along and that with the new owner’s intention to complete her she would be saved.
That was the last I saw of her!

Whilst owning Calypso had not dampened my desire to own a wooden launch I was certainly much wiser to the challenges, the cost of such an enterprise and in fact promised myself that if I ever did buy another boat she would have to be floating, have good provenance, and be at least structurally sound.

As it happens my wife and I now own the 1951, 32′ Allan Williams sedan launch Juanita (she has been well covered in Waitemata Woodies), she is a joy to own, gets plenty of use and after a fair bit of work is in great trim. The lessons learned from Calypso although painful have served me well, but I do sometimes wonder what became of her and whether the chainsaw got her in the end?

The photos above of Calypso in the water and being hauled were given to me by the previous owner.
There are a couple of her showing where I got to before having to sell (as you can see she was basically back to a bare hull) and a couple of a scale model that I made of her when I was looking to see how a new cabin would look.

Well woodys, as you have read, Nick & family are re-born woodys, we like that – so can we help Nick sleep better at night 🙂 & confirm what happened to Calypso. Good time for our resident Kaipara woody, Zac Matich, to chip in ………………..

Photos below of Juanita leaving Greg Lees (Sandspit) boat shed after a serious spot of TLC. Link below her time in Greg’s shed.
https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/03/21/the-rebirth-of-juanita/

Juanita b

Juanita a

Beats A Day At The Office

P1250266

Trinidad

Beats A Day At The Office

There is a saying I like – “Some days you are the dog & some days you are the tree” – all week Friday was shaping into a tree day, so when David Cook called & asked for a hand taking Trinidad to the Greg Lees Boatbuilders, Sandspit yard – the answer was yeap I’m in 🙂

90% of the day = the 1st day of summer, the other 10% was wet, but that is greater Auckland for you.

Trinny, below, was being hauled out for some TLC before her upcoming circumnavigation of NZ (again).

Spotted a few classics at the new marina – scroll over photos to see names, most have appeared on WW before so a quick look in the WW search box will show / tell you more.

P1250301

Nereides

  

The Sandspit Yacht Club is looking very smart these days

P1250315

 

Arohanui Restoration – Watch it ‘live’

 

Arohanui Restoration – Watch it ‘live’

The above video records the renovation of the classic 1965 Lane Motor Boat Co. built launch Arohanui. The refit work was undertaken in 2015 at the Sandspit yard of Lees Boatbuilders for owners Fiona Driver & Rod Marler. Greg Lees & his team have established themselves as the go to yard for the application of Awlwood MA (Uroxsys) the flexible polyurethane marine clear coat finish. But I have to say that the yards craftsmanship & attention to detail prior to the final applications was second to none. Lees is a very classic friendly yard & whether the vessel is sail or motorboat, large or small its in good hands.

The short film was produced by Gareth Cooke (SubZero) who also filmed the restoration of Trinidad at Lees, refer below videos.

 

Arohanui Relaunched

AROHANUI RELAUNCHED
photos ex David & Barbara Cooke and Greg Lees

Yesterday was a one of those special days in the classic wooden boating scene, after what seems like the whole of winter, the 1966, 48′ Lane Motor Boat Co. built Arohanui slipped out of the Sandspit shed of Greg Lees Boat Builder. Her owners Fiona & Rod were very proud owners of the ‘new’ Arohanui.
We have come to expect only the best from Greg Lees & his team of craftspeople & they have not disappointed, again. The standard for workmanship & finish is world class. Speaking with Greg, he made special mention of Dale Colins the yard forman.  Not only does he cut to the chase when directing the work to be done and his expected result,  Dale is extremely talented on the end of a spray gun & the finish Dale gets is 2nd to none in the industry.  Just one of those multi-talented guys that make us DIY’ers look so bad 🙂
Brian Thompson did the new cabinet work matching the existing cabinetry, another true craftsman, but saying that, the whole crew at the yard are pretty special. The classic wooden boat scene is very lucky to have this yard on its back door.

Arohanui always has been a special boat & in the past been gifted with great owners, read more about her here https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/11/03/9526/

Fiona & Rod have taken her up several levels & she will join the ever-increasing fleet of spectacularly restored big classics that now grace the Waitemata. I can see I have solved the problem of who I’m going to sell my supply of USA brass/bronze polish to 😉

I will post more on her soon. For now I’ll let the photos tell the story. Remember you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them 😉
waitematawoody t-shirts – remember to get your order in – limited print run, full details here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/11/22/waitematawoodys-t-shirts/

Old Logo ww shirt