Falcon Comes Home

The 1930 Lane Motor Boat Co. designed and built launch Falcon has always been one of the smartest woodys in the classic fleet.I do not have a lot of photos  mainly because she was just so dam quick, always passed me like I was standing still 🙂 Previous owner – James Mobberley (Moon Engines) had shoehorned a beast of an engine (Hino turbo) into Falcon. He did the same transplant on Harold Kidd’s — Romance II and Graham Guthrie’s  – Kailua. Both of these woodys are serious zoom zooms.

Back in 2013, she was sold to a Whangarei owner and later re-sold to another Whangarei owner – the photo below shows Falcon looking a little sad, moored in the Whangarei Town Basin.
In the last few months there has been chat about her returning home to Auckland – well woodys, I can confirm that she has a new owner and is back home on the WaitemataWe look forward to seeing her get the TCL she deserves.We will follow her process closely.


606 Rosebank Road, Avondale

A Woody Trip Out West



Steve Cranch

A Woody Trip Out West – NZ Traditional Boat Building School Re-opens

I received an invite the other day in the mail (nice for once to not be via email) to the re-opening of New Zealand Traditional Boat Building School. Getting it made me very happy – firstly, because we all need the school to be a success & secondly because I personally have fond memories of the original school (read more below), I attended numerous CYA meetings there & also participated in two events – the Robert Brooke – Caulking / carvel planking workshop & a basic boat building techniques course that ran one night a week over winter. Learnt so much & meet some great people.

Today’s function was to share the vision for the future of the school & to meet some of the past & present stakeholders.

I’ll let Steve Cranch tell you the story:

“After nearly four years in recess the New Zealand Traditional Boat Building School has just re-opened its doors in new premises on the Te Atatu peninsula.

The school was founded in 2005 by trustees Robert Brooke, Harold Kidd, Bruce Tantrum and Ron Jamieson and successfully ran wooden boat building courses at Hobsonville for seven years before being forced to move to make way for the new housing development.

During that time hundreds of students attended classes on everything from traditional boat building to apprenticeship training and small boat building in which students built their own small boats to take home, often involving a son or daughter in the process.

Our new premises are much smaller than previous so we have been forced to restructure how we run our courses and a new program is being developed. It will kick off with a full day seminar on winter maintenance. Six specialist speakers will present on topics ranging from Diesel engine maintenance, Batteries and Electrical, Sails and Covers, Marine sealants, Paint systems and common splicing all common winter maintenance issues for the larger boat owner. Following on from this will be a course on re-ribbing clinker built boats and a laminated stand up paddleboard paddle course plus many more to come”.

In a few days when the dates are finalized, I’ll publish them on ww. I would encourage you to support the school; it’s a big step forward in bringing increased visibility & sureness to the wooden boating movement. There is a website, currently getting the final finishing touches, so I’ll let you know the link to that later as well.

Today was also a wee bit of a reunion with a lot of woodys catching up. The best chat was in the car park, where I got to view a very cool RC model of the Bailey designed ex Waitemata Fisheries trawler – ‘Waiwera’ (photos below). Built by Murray White. Stunning attention to detail.



Harold Kidd Awarded Life Membership of the CYA



Harold Kidd Awarded Life Membership of the CYA

I’m pleased to be able to report that at last nights Classic Yacht Association of NZ AGM – Harold Kidd was made a life member of the CYA. Below is the presentation speech given by CYA Patron – Hamish Ross.
photo (sorry out of focus) L>R Harold Kidd, Rod Marler & Hamish Ross.

Harold Kidd – Life Membership

 We will not see in our lifetime anyone who will make greater an impact on Classic Yachting in New Zealand, than Harold Desmond Kidd.

 It is through his meticulous research and extensive writings that New Zealand’s pleasure boating history will live on, not to be forgotten or become a twisted mixture of fact and fable. With Robin Elliot, his frequent co-author, Harold has been responsible for many books and articles detailing the history of our craft, their builders, their owners and crew. I have been a witness to a little of their hard work, the detail of their research, as well as their generosity in sharing that information with so many others. The timing of their work has been critical as we lose knowledge and their memories as people pass away. For example, to speak to someone who worked with or knew the Logans or the Baileys is becoming rarer and rarer as each year passes, if not now extinct and soon the knowledge be rather like an old 1920’s song “ I’ve danced with a man, who’s danced with a girl, who’s danced with the Prince of Wales”

 The influence of Harold’s work has lead many of us, and many more, not only to appreciate the rich history of our vessels, but also, perhaps most importantly, to regularly part with our hard earned money, to restore them and keep them afloat.

 Harold has been involved in many classic craft, but for me the by far the most important has been the Jessie Logan, the crack craft and the genesis of the House of Logan. His doggedness in tracking down of the vessel, rescuing it as a children playhouse, transporting it by road from Nelson to Auckland with a woefully under powered vehicle, storing it for many years until he found the right people to help him to restore her, and afterwards securing her future is just one example of his dedication.

 Mention must be made of his Rescue Trust, which has help rescue derelict vessels threatened with destruction.

 Harold regularly assists the Dept. of Internal Affairs in protecting NZ’s historic vessels from being lost to this country through export.

 There are many more achievements and contributions that could be mentioned, but Harold, on behalf of all members of the Classic Yacht Association, please accept this very small token of our esteem and gratitude from your fellow classic yachtsmen and yachtswomen.

I cannot think of anyone who has done more for or is more deserving of Life Membership of the Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand.

 Hamish Ross –  CYA AGM 12th July 2016

Romance II


As I said on yesterdays post one of the highlights for me personally of attending the 2015 Mahurangi Regatta was getting to see Pauline & Harold Kidd’s 1919 Bailey & Lowe launch Romance II post her restoration under the hands of Marco Scuderi. If you asked Marco he would tell you that Harold was VERY clear in the project brief, in fact I would suspect there has not been a launch that has been so thoroughly researched & documented 😉 The brains trust of classic wooden boats were all over this project, Harold even had Robert Brooke swinging the caulking mallet.
There are still a few projects to be completed but visually the team have nailed it.
Unfortunately I did not manage to get a photo of her at speed, she was just to quick for Raindance. She did look very smart leaving the harbour on Sunday morning at ‘full chat’ (a HDK term).

Harold Update

We took about half a ton of modern excrescences out of her, sink bench, stove/oven and that huge hideous dodger, leaving only coms, stereo, deep freeze and head. Marco repositioned the Morse control so that we can now get full revs (probably 3500) out of the lusty Moon Engines-set up Hino diesel.
Walter Bailey designed her for 17 knots with a 100/150hp Sterling so she has the lines but is much lighter without the Yankee benzine-gobbler.
She now gets up on what passes for a plane earlier than before but we carried out no full power trials and didn’t get anywhere near “full chat” at Mahurangi, just hurried along to catch up with and photograph the lovely JESSIE LOGAN and WAIRIKI heading home on Sunday morning. I reckon she’ll nudge 20 knots when we summon up the courage.
On the other hand, she handled the nasty easterly jobble coming home from Bon Accord early on Monday morning well, ticking over at 1200 rpm and making 8 knots (plus flood tide).
When the Navy did a survey of launches available for patrol purposes in 1927 she had a 100hp Stearns, the “hot” engine of the time. The comment was “good seaboat”. We confirm that.
The Mills family of Devonport, who commissioned her from Bailey & Lowe in 1919, lived in Huia Street where I lived for many years, so there are multiple resonances for us.