A Recount Of Our Classic Wooden Craft DNA 

CLICK The Headline – Grace Under Sail to view

A Recount Of Our Classic Wooden Craft DNA 

Recently I was sent a link to an article that appeared in the New Zealand Geographic magazine back in 2000 – in fact issue 45 , Jan-March. The article was headlined – GRACE UNDER FIRE, written by Vaughan Yarwood with supporting photos from the late Henry Winkelmann and more recent photos ex Hamish Ross and Paul Gillbert.

The stars of the article is the 42’ 1908 Logan built gaff rigged cutter – Rawene, and her then skipper Russell Brooke.

This is a brilliant insight into the early days of boating in and around Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, I’m sure there will be some mix ups re dates, skipper/craft names but overall we get to see and read the history of these magnificent craft, a lot of which are still sailing today.

Have a read, its only 10>15 minutes, longer if if you linger over the photos 🙂  – even a die-hard motorboat owner like myself found it a fascinating read.

Mystery Napier Launch

Mystery Napier Launch
Bay of Islands woody – Dean Wright, recently escaped the winter-less north and has been mooching around the Napier marina. Dean spotted the very streamlined looking launch above, can anyone tell us about the boat?

Input from Michael O’Dwyer – its called Phoebe (Imp) and appeared on WW back in 2015 https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/12/22/phoebe-imp/

Dean also snapped the photo below of the Napier Sailing Club’s patrol boat – someone has a very good idea for fitting a boat out , well done, she is a looker.

Input from Michael O’Dwyer The Watchman was built in Dunedin around 1955 especially for the Napier Sailing Club. She has conducted patrol duties ever since. A club stalwart, she received a well earned makeover a couple of years ago.

Phoebe (Imp)

photos & details ex Michael O’Dwyer

Todays launch is named Phoebe & is currently hauled out in Napier getting some TLC. She has been in Napier for approx. 12 years. Prior to this its believed she was based in Auckland.
According to a name plate on board she was originally called Imp & built by Collings and Bell in 1952. Her length is 24′.

Her current owner is Stan Escourt  (Napier) & he told Mike that the cabin top was added by Lanes and built over the original canvas covering the fore cabin. It’s still in place inside but hidden by synthetic carpet.

Phoebe is powered by a Ford 2711 E 4.15L motor.

So woodys do we know anymore about Phoebe/Imp?

Harold Kidd input

Collings & Bell built an earlier IMP for Frank Pidgeon of the Ace Tyre Company in September 1937. She was a 17ft runabout with a 40hp 4 cyl Lycoming which gave her 28 mph, pretty fast for the time. That IMP replaced (or complemented) an earlier IMP, a 14ft single-step hydroplane “built on anti-trip principles” which Sam Ford built for Frank in November 1936, also with a Lycoming. He raced both boats enthusiastically.
In 1952 Frank Pidgeon would have been only 50 so it’s reasonable to think that he may have commissioned this one too.

23-12-2015 Photos ex Michael O’Dwyer