HUIA – Needs A New Owner

HUIA Needs A New Owner
Huia the 37’ 1919 built kauri launch has just celebrated her 100th birthday and was destined to receive some serious TLC from her owner her bought her in Jan 2020, but a speed bump got in the way – the owners are expecting a an additional to the family and its not another boat – this one has arms and legs 🙂

So woodys – Huia has to move on to a new owner, who has the time and determination to take on a cool project. Huia is powered by a 60hp Ford Lees diesel and appears to have most of the boat bits needed to be an good woody. Price is very realistic – so anyone keen on taking her on?
Back in 2014 – Huia featured 4sale on WW and I took the liberty of pointing out how bad the tme listing was – link below 🙂

NEXT WOODYS WEEKEND UPDATE – the date has been pushed out, will come back next week with details on our upcoming events.

WAITEMATAWOODYS ON MOBILE DEVICES eg if you read WW on our mobile (smart) phone, hopefully it should now be loading faster and you’ll be able to find the sections that appear on the right hand side of the screen (on computers), examples below, highlighted in red, at the bottom of the stories.



Recently WW was contacted by Simon Truebridge the current custodian (Simon’s word) of the 48’ wooden ketch-rigged motor sailer – Huia. Huia was built / launched c.1951>1953 and was the first vessel built by the founders of Gough Engineering in Invercargill. Huia is planked with Australian tallow wood and apparently Joe Gough was friendly with the workers who had worked at the Prices’s Inlet Norwegian whale boat maintenance facility on Stewart Island, hence Huia’s strong Scandinavian influence. Powered by a Gardner 6lw that is rumoured to be perhaps 25 years older than the boat, the thinking is that it started life on standby genset duty in the basement of the British Admiralty Headquarters. The rumour goes on to say that two of these engines, along with transmissions, a hydraulic windlass that sounds remarkably similar to Huia’s, & various other equipment mysteriously arrived in Invercargill soon after the end of World War II, fortuitously just as Huia was taking shape….. 

Simon believes he is her 5th keeper, the Goughs having kept her in Bluff until 1972. The boat still raises great interest whenever she returns to Bluff.

Any woodys able to tell us more about Huia’s past?

Almost Had To Excommunicated My Daughter

Currently holidaying at Lake Como in Italy, they hired a runabout for the day, now you would think the woody DNA would kick in, but nope – they hire a plastic boat 😦 She saved herself by sporting a WW shirt 🙂

The white villa in the background is George Clooney’s – I’m told that sadly he wasn’t home 🙂

Restoration of the 1936 X-Class dinghy Huia – X22

Screen Shot 2018-08-17 at 4.03.34 PM

Restoration of the 1936 X-Class dinghy Huia – X22

I have been contacted by Charles Pope who has begun work on the restoration of Huia. Charles is aiming to have the boat on the water in January at the Mahurangi regatta.
Huia has impeccable pedigree having won the Sanders Cup in 1939.
I have reproduced what Charles knows below. Charles is hoping to fill in the missing information between her Sanders Cup success in 1939 and the recent history I got from her previous owner, Rex, who sailed her at Mahurangi around 1998.That’s nearly 60 years missing

The photos above show her on the water in Torbay after Charles tightened up her planks and gave her a paint job. 

Any woodys able to help Charles out? I’m a little concerned use of the words – epoxy & glass fibre……………….
“Last year I spotted an old 1936 classic wooden boat for sale. Her name was Huia and she was one of the original X-Class dinghies that were sailed by very competitive teams vying for the Sanders Cup in the 1930’s. Huia and her Canterbury crew won the cup in 1939. 
Now she was on a rotting and rusting trailer, not under cover, damage from rain water and rotting leaves and badly in need of TLC. She needed someone with more passion than sense to save her from the landfill and that’s where I came in. I took her home, fixed her trailer and began the journey to get her back on the water. 
First I had to learn about clinker (or lapstrake) boat construction and I procured copper nails and roves and suitable pieces of kauri timber to match her original construction. After months of working every weekend I was ready to launch her on the local beach. It only took a couple of hours sailing her for me to see that Huia was a beautiful boat. Stable and forgiving, well balanced and stately in appearance – despite sails that had seen better days and gushing leaks between the planks that kept the bailing bucket busy, she was worth spending more time and money on to get her into top shape for a new life. 

I decided to bite the bullet and apply modern technology to give the old girl a new life. West Systems epoxy and glass fibre cloth will seal and protect the old kauri planks and some rigid framing will strengthen the structure so the epoxy won’t crack.”
And as a bonus, below, a mystery yacht, ex Ross Griffin’s post on Historic BOL photos page
Input from Robin Elliott

“The Canterbury Huia was built by R. Tredennick in 1932, probably off moulds by Fred Dobby. She did little of note until Trdennick sold her around 1936 to R. Hendry and, with Fred Tissiman as skipper she won the 1939 Sander Cup at Bluff.

After 1939 she was sold to Bill Poole of Akaroa and he still owned her in 1947 racing with the Akaroa Sailing Club. My Canterbury contacts seem to recall that she was converted to a runabout.

However …. way up in Northland in 1952 an X-class boat named Huia owned by K. Bradley from Dargaville appeared at Paihia to race in the Northland Sanders Cup Trials. She was quite good and raced in Whangarei and at the northern regional regattas for the next 2-3 years. I have not seen any photos to see if she carried a sail number. Many regional yacht owners bought sails but never bothered registering.
Sea Spray Oct 1953, in mentioning the 1953 Northland trials, made a note that “Huia from Dargaville will be worth watching.”

At the Whangarei Cruising Club the X-class Huia won the Wilkinson Shield in 1953 and 1954.

Interestingly enough. The ex-Auckland yacht Tuoma (built for Bob Greenwell in 1946) in April 1952 was owned by R. Long of Taumarere, was racing at the Northland Inter-Port Yachting regatta up at Paihia.

Her sail number was X-22. She vanished soon after that 1952 regatta.

Perhaps Mr. Bradley of Dargaville got hold of Tuoma’s sails? OR… perhaps he bought Tuoma and renamed her Huia?”



story & photos ex Robin & Lesley Smith

37ft x 9ft 6 x 3ft 6

Named after Harry Kings youngest daughter

Ordered 1918 launched 1919 built by Demmings boatyard at Opua for Harry & George King Bros for use as a tow launch towing logs to their timber mill in BOI

The mill was shifted to Kohukohu on the Hokianga harbour c1920s and Huia was used to tow logs to Kings Mill for making butter boxes for the local dairy company The mill along with Huia were loaded on to the scow Zingara and when they arrived at Hokianga heads Huia was dropped over to help tow the scow over the bar

When the mill was sold c1927 to the Solomon Islands the mill came back to Russell/Opua on Zingara to load on the Burns Phillip steamer Makambo. Huia was sailed  back to BOI in company with Zingara for use as a fishing launch for the King family

Huia was taken over by the NZ air force for WW2 and stationed at Army Bay BOI with the mine coastal defence group BOI

After the war she was returned to Harry King who sold her to an Auckland owner and Huia went south to the Waitemata

After a time in Auckland she was sold to a Mr JJ Enwright, a fishmonger in Whangarei who employed various crews to commercially fish Huia from Whangarei north on the east coast

Ben Bradly found her in a neglected state in Whangarei c 1960 and took her to Dargaville where he refitted her, lifted her foredeck 2 planks and fitted new decks and the cabin tops. She was re engined with a new 60HP lees ford and relaunched 1963. Huia, based at Northern Wairoa Boating Club Dargaville wandered all over the Kaipara with Ben and Wyn Bradly, and up many now un navigable parts of the Kaipara. During one of the Helensville regattas Huia “tee boned” Eric Williams fathers launch  Moa, stoving in her bow. Ben ran her for a mud flat where she sat for a week filling with Kaipara mud until she was put on the Helensville cradle and a telegraph pole fitted in as a new stem

Robin & Lesley Smith bought Huia 2004, ran her for a year on the Kaipara then moved her to the BOI and in 2010 took her out for 1 year for a refit and altered the aft deck cabin area.

Huia lives on a pole mooring at Waitangi BOI

Her engines were: when built 2 cyl 20 HP Union petrol

1924 a 3 cyl 30HP Twigg petrol

WW2 a 2 cyl 22 HP Kelvin diesel fitted by airforce

Later when fishing a 6 cyl Morris commodore petrol

1963 a 4cyl 60HP Lees Ford diesel (6500 hours to date)