After a long career earning her keep across multiple owners in and around the Waitemata Harbour, the ex work-boat Phyllis has been up north in the Bay of Islands in recent years. Sadly her owner pasted away and his 3 daughters inherited the boat. 

I’m sure that the likes of Russell Ward and Baden Pascoe will be able to enlighten us further on the vessel. What we do know is that she was built by Harvey and Lang c.1913 and was up until recently (2013) the oldest working tug boat still in survey.

Woody John Wright and cohorts have taken over Phyllis and last week steamed her down from the B.O.I. to Auckland on one engine – took 23 hours, and with only on board.

Already she has been hauled out at the Te Atatu Boating Club and been given a freshen up.

Call For Help – Phyllis has one dud engine, so the guys are looking out for a Ford 120hp – so if you have one in the basement / under the bench etc – Phyllis would be a very good home for it 🙂


INPUT EX CAMERON POLLARD – photos below from her Auckland working days for Blue Boats etc

Sad video below of the 162’ schooner Eleonora E being hit by a commercial ship – she later sank. Happened in the Port of Tarragona, the offshore supply vessel – ‘Punta Mayor’ had an issue with being locked in reverse and t-boned the Eleonora E.



Leitner the 1913 Harvey & Lang built launch has just popped up on trademe, thanks Andrew Pollard (via Jason Prew) for the heads up. She last appeared on WW back in Sept. 2013 and that story has subsequently been updated numerous time with details and photos. Link below

Back in the 1940’s she was a real looker (b/w photo above) and in recent times while her appearance has been altered a lot, she was still a very smart woody (3rd photo above) from the listing it appears she has fallen back a little but at an asking price of $7,000> that is a lot of classic launch. Who’s looking for a project?

Clean Out At Thames Marina

See below – seems they are moving on some of the squatters 🙂 The notices appeared in the Set 10th. issue of ‘Thames – Neighbourly’.

Woodys Enjoying Their Boats


Woodys Enjoying Their Boats

We ran a story on the Owen Woolley designed and built launch – Korowai earlier in the week, then ping the inbox sends an alert and Angus Rogers has ‘found’ another photo – its a stunner – great angle, well done Mr Rogers.

Also above from Angus is a photo of the 1912 Harvey & Lang built launch – Silens on route to Te Kouma. Read / see more on Silens here

Lastly we see Manuroa already at Te Kouma – doing what we would all like to do – just hanging out doing nothing. A previous owner of Manuroa believed it may have been built by Bailey & Lowe c.1912, is anyone able to confirm ?

Scotts Landing – photo ex Roger Mills


It is less than 2 weeks until Mahurangi weekend – the biggest on-the-water woody event in New Zealand – just check out Rogers Mills drone photo above to get an idea of the turn-out. Almost all of those dinghies are from a wooden boat anchored in the bay. The occasion is the regatta prize giving / BBQ on the Saturday night at Scotts Landing – all welcome, remember to bring a $20 note to buy a copy of the Mahurangi Cruising Club’s brilliant year book – its one of the best boating reads and great value.

On Saturday (30th) morning we have the classic launch parade – more details re times etc closer to the day but please make life easy for the organisers by emailing your name, boat name, and brief description your woody – design, age, length etc to
If you’re in Auckland on the Monday (1st) – as part of the Anniversary Day Regatta there will be a classic launch race. Entries for this are now open and you can enter at It is a handicapped race so everyone has a fair chance of winning some of the great regatta prizes 



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Another woody making the trip to Clevedon was the 1912 Harvey and Lang built launch – Silens, owned by Rosanne and Brian Fulton. Pictured above on the outside of Trinidad.
As fate would have it, she popped up yesterday on Derek Hislop’s fb page (b/w photos above).
There are four great photos at the WW link below showing the evolution of Silens.
A Call For Help
Recently Errol Keegan’s vehicle was stolen and in the boot was his 34′ Carl Augustin Bonito – rudder and sleeve ( shaft housing and admiralty gland ). Errol is wondering if any woodys would have a second hand one or plans, so he can have a replacement made?

The Evolution of Silens





The Evolution of Silens

The launch Silens is owned by good friends of mine – Rosanne and Brian Fulton, and is one of the most used woodys in the CYA fleet. 
When you see the photos below of her fit out you will see why they enjoy her so much. Down below makes most people very envious of her ‘liveability’ (if there is such a word).
The main focus of todays story is to showcase how this classic woody launch, built by Harvey & Lang in November 1912, has morphed over the years. The 4 photos above showcase how your woodys were altered over the years to suit the fashion of the day and to match the changing lifestyles of their owners – the bridge deck is my pick.
Silens was originally fitted with an Auckland built 14hp Silent Rotor engine (rotary valve) (thanks HDK for the intel), so I suspect thats where her name came from.Later she had a Stearns and then a 25hp Sterling.





I was contacted recently by Greg McNabb looking for info / photos on his & wife Maria’s ex pilot boat Mananui. From what Greg knows / has been told – she was built in 1913 by Harvey & Lang. Greg’s grandfather & father bought her (ex Whitianga) in 1973. She is powered by a 120hp D series Ford and has been for the last 50 years or so, although rebuilt.
The ‘old’ photo of her sitting on the grid was taken in Whitianga on the day the family purchased her. She was originally commissioned by Edward Parish and back then named ‘Heare Mai’.

From the above photos we can see that Greg has done a wonderful  refit on her. These days her home port is Tauranga.
So woodys can we shed any light on her life pre. 1973?

Photo below at Sulphur Point Marina, Tauranga ex Paul Drake


Waiapu – Sailing Sunday

WAIAPU – Sailing Sunday

photo & details from Merv Stockley ex Don Ross

Now the photo of the keeler pictured above is named on the back of the photo as Waiapu and it shows N9 on the mainsail & came from Don Ross.  The photo was discovered by Merv Stockley when he was preparing / sorting out Don’s property in Whitianga. Don has lived there for 64 years.

Can any of the canvas & stick brigade confirm the yacht is Waiapu & possibly supply more details on her?

Harold Kidd Input

For a start, she’s a bona fide 20ft MULLET BOAT, not a keeler. WAIAPU was built in December 1912 to the Mullet Boat Restrictions for 20 footers by Harvey & Lang at Freeman’s Bay for Syd Eslick. Fred and Roy Lidgard bought her around 1920 and won the 20 footer Championship with her. Subsequent owners were F. Newman, J.C. Willcocks, L. French, A.E. Follas, the Douglas brothers, R.H. Wood who sold her to Ashton-Baker of Whangarei in 1937. She was eventually sold to H. Hemphill of Suva in 1940ish.
She had a spell on the Manukau between 1927 and 1929 owned by Leo Bouzaid, the rather famous sail maker.
When the alpha-numeric sail numbers were issued in 1922, she was allocated N9. The N Class was for bona fide mullet boats, 20ft loa and under. The V Class 18 footers of “mullet boat type” were not regarded as genuine mullet boats for a number of good reasons, the principal of which was historical, 18 footers were never used to net mullet, because they were too small to get a viable catch, commercially.
This image must have been taken after 1937 when she was converted from gaff to bermudan.


photo ex Clare Jordan details ex Ken Ricketts

Today’s boat is a wee bit of a mystery. In a previous ww post amongst a large collection of boats anchored in Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island, KR was confident he had identified the launch Sunray, which was a boat that had fascinated him in the era 1946 – 49. KR knew nothing about her owners, builders, or engines & had never seen a photo of her  until the ww post.

From his memory she was approx 34/36 feet long, fairly narrow, say 8/9 feet beam. Originally she had a bus top (tram top) with a low profile bow with a lovely dainty little flare, with no portholes, which was unusual at that time. She was also very fast & cut finely through the water.

Circa 1947-48 she reappeared after a little break, with a complete makeover & a totally uniquely styled bridgedeck, which looked at the back end, similar to a large American sedan car, of the early 1930s, with a tiny, (for a boat), rear window & a cabin top that rolled round in the coamings in a flowing curve, similar to a car. It was very distinctive & can be seen fairly clearly ( refer orange arrow) in the photo below of Mansion House Bay.

KR never saw her after about 1950/51.

Anyone able to supply more details on Sunray, this rather unique launch?

Todays photo (above) came from one of the (now quite normal) magic ww moments – out of the blue I received an email from Clare Jordan asking if I was interested in some old launch photos that she had found in her  great-grandparents (Jim Turner) photo album, well folks there was a few wee gems in there. When I sent the ones of Florence, the 1910 HN Burgess to her owner Adam Wild, he was a very happy man.

Harold Kidd update – There are no mysteries about SUNRAY.
Ernie Harvey (Baden’s hero) and Dick Lang were in partnership in Beaumont Street, Freemans Bay, as Harvey & Lang from 1911 to 1916 during which they decided to build themselves a fast 32ft x 7ft launch as a demonstration of what they could do, rather like what Walter Bailey and Bill Lowe did every year. She was started in late 1913 and launched in January 1914 as SUNRAY, named after a well-known racehorse of the time, as was ROYAL IRISH, mentioned in WW recently. Both Ernie and Dick were addicted to the geegees.
They fitted her with a 16hp Buffalo engine for which David Reid was the Auckland agent. The Harvey & Lang partnership broke up in 1916 and SUNRAY was sold to Tom Inglis, of Devonport, a shipsmith, and the brother of Norman “Snorky” Inglis who built the passenger launches OLIVENE and OLIVE ROSE. Inglis upgraded her Buffalo and later fitted one of the powerful Stearns engines, for which H.O. Wiles had obtained the agency, in 1925-6. She was very fast and raced in the under-20 knot class with NSYC, VCC and the Anniversary Regatta, and cruised a lot.
Tom kept her like a jewel in a shed in Ngataringa Bay near Colin Wild’s yard. She was always regarded as one of the fastest boats on the harbour. Tom died in 1942. SUNRAY was sold in January 1943 and taken to a new home after a blessing from a local. I know little of her subsequent alterations and history but I imbibed her earlier history from Tom’s sisters who were neighbours of mine in Devonport during my childhood. The Inglis family was close to the Logans and the Misses Inglis had sailed on JESSIE LOGAN with Robert, Jessie and Arch Logan when they were children…..and infected me with awe for the Logans.



earlier photo ex Dave Jackson

1. Update from Ken Ricketts – The Leitner was owned by the late Trevor Davis who’s father Sir Earnest Davis bought her for him, in the later 1920s & sold her when he bought the Glenifer for his son, in 1932. — Ken’s father Ralph Ricketts sailed on her on most trips.

2. Update from Adrienne – Built 1913 by Harvey & Lang with a Buffalo engine supplied by David Reid.

Research in the NZ Past Papers, reveals that she regularily raced around the Auckland Harbour (Ak Anniversary Regatta) from around 1913 thru to early 1930’s and the skipper was a certain Colonel White.  She raced as a Bona Fide Cruiser in the 8 to 10 knots division and on one occasion finished a 10 nautical mile course in 3hours 41 minutes and 46 seconds.

3. Harold Kidd Update

The Buffalo didn’t last in her long. It was replaced by a Mason & Porter-built 5″ x 7″ 4 cylinder 50hp engine in January 1914. F Restall and H L Rees owned her from 1926 to 1937. She spent a while at Paremata before she came back to Auckland and was owned by Dr. P A Restall for several years from 1959.

4. Update & c1947 photo from Robin Elliott

Leitner is currently owned by Roger Clark and partner and cruises out of the Whangarei Cruising Club. At some time she was ‘converted ‘ to a sort of bridge decker-type. The hull and trail boards are still original and some of the windows were used in the conversion.

Photo added 15-10-2015. At anchor at Fanal Island (Mokohinau Group). Photo ex Mac Taylor Collection

Leitner at Fanal Is Mokohinau Group 1

06-04-2016 photo below ex Hylton Edmonds of Leitner at Kissing Point, Whangarei.


 09-04-2016 Update & photos below from owner via Ken R

Leitner is presently owned by Roger Clark of Whangarei & is moored at Kissing Point. Roger purchased her approx. 5 years ago from Half Moon Bay, Howick. She has a Perkins 6-354 which is an identical replacement fitted about 3 years ago, of the engine she had when Roger purchased her.