Happy Days (Te Toa)

The photo above ex Baden Pascoe shows the launch Happy Days, moored on the Manukau Harbour. At the time she was owned by Ward House, who bought her off Merv Young. Before that she was used as a log tug pulling a barge from Matakana Island to the Tauranga Town Wharf.

Ward these days owns – La Rosa, the 1923 Ernie Harvey built launch. Photo below taken last week moored in the Brian (‘cockney’ slang for the Tamaki River) You can see and read more on La Rosa at this WW link  https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/01/04/la-rosa-flashback/

At some stage Happy Days was renamed Te Toa, keen to uncover more about her and what became of her.

13-05-2021 Update date ex Ray Morey – I drove “Happy Days” when she was owned by “Leonard & Seon of Mt Maunganui , when they were logging on Matakana Island and supplying Tuck & Watkins mill on Sulphur Point. Previous to this she had been a net fisher up towards Kati Kati and owned by a maori family. The “D” front of the cabin is original but Eddie Fitzgerald at the old Alf Walling slipway, built the more modern cabin over the large open cockpit, and closed the after deck in. My F.i.L. Alan Harris and Gary Leonard installed a 130 hp. A.E.C. tank engine with a gearbox from one of Charlie Faulkner’s spare “Hercules” engines (ex Aotearoa spares) I seldom towed barges, the logs were rafted from up Tuckers Creek on Matakana on one tide, anchored off Otemoetai then picked up on the next tide and taken around to Sulphur Point Mill. She was a good little tug for the job and was sold off when the logging cut out. I did see her in later years moored up the Tamaki river. I have often wondered about her fate. I believe she was one of five 26 ft motor mullet boats built in Auckland and they mostly had names with “light” in them. (moonlight-starlight etc.) H.D.K. where are you please??

606 Rosebank Road, Avondale

2021 Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Parade – 175+ photos & videos



As promised todays WW story is a doozy, we travelled down to the lake very early on Saturday morning and were hosted by the clubs commodore Dave Wilson and wife Glenys, who own the magnificent 1947 Colin Wild built bridge-decker – Haumoana. The launch is kept at the end of the lawn at their lakeside property (photos below) – More details on Haumoana here https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/06/05/haumoana/

Dave lent me is ‘fishing boat’ – the f/glass runabout seen the photo below, to use as a photo boat for the parade – fingers crossed no one got a photo of me at the helm 😉

Close to 80 classic and wooden craft of all shapes and sizes – power, sail, oar and steam participated in the days events – starting with a parade that snakes around the waterfront properties and vantage points. Post parade every one heads off to Wairoa Bay for an old school boating picnic – being lake based, no issue with tides or anchoring, people just nudge up to the shore – perfect for checking out each others woody.

The afternoon activities had something for everyone – adults and kids activities (egg throwing, bucket diving for sweets etc) + lots of cool prizes to be won.Without a doubt its the best organised and executed boating event I have been to – very slick and the bonus – lots of nice friendly people – we like that 🙂

Enjoy the photos. As always – click photos to enlarge 😉 If I missed your boat, sorry but one boat and one camera can only be in so many places at one time  – next year.

Happy Days Launched







In early December 2018 Alan Craig, the Lake Rotoiti boat builder (Craig Marine) sent in a gallery of photos of Happy Days in the final stages of her restoration, I have been bugging Alan for some photos post launching and late last week he delivered. 
First some background – Happy Days had been in a barn on a farm in for the last ten odd years. Her build started in 1930 and she was launched in 1933, 24′ in length, to a USA Hacker Craft design.
She has been owned by Peter Davies and was his Fathers boat from near new. Her history looks like this – built in Picton by Vic & Clarrie Olson? (Scandinavian or Swiss?). Built for a Mr Stocker then brought by Tom Davies in 1937, it was sold a while later and brought back again by Mr Davies once the wool price lifted and in 1950 an old, but still new, 1938 Osco marine flathead V8 went in it and is still there now – but wow wait till you hear that motor today – check out the video below. 
The likes below share some of her recent history :
The restoration    https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/12/10/happy-days/
Enjoy  – turn up the volume when you play the video 🙂

Photo below – as ‘found’
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Happy Days






Back in July 2017 I ran a story on a ‘barn find’ 1928 woody that Lake Rotoiti boat builder Alan Craig at Craig Marine, was about to start work on.

Now Alan & his team do not muck around, last week he sent me the above photos, with a note saying that he had collected the rebuilt 1938 Osco marine flathead V8  engine. The term rebuilt is somewhat of an understatement 🙂
I told Alan that HDK would have kittens when he saw the photo of the engine. The engine work was done by Rob Cowley in Hamilton at Robs Rods and Restos.
The plan is to have her in the water this Christmas. And I’m pleased to advise that Lake Rotoiti will be her home 🙂
Photos below to remind you what she looked like. You can see & read more here.      https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/07/31/lake-rotoiti-barn-find-restoration/
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