Beautiful Classic Cruiser – Racer

Beautiful Classic Cruiser – Racer

Let me draw your attention to a scary fact  – there are only 10 weeks till Christmas Day, so my question to you is – will you be on the water over the Christmas / NY holiday period?If you have been thinking that 2021 is the year you move up to owning a classic wooden holiday home – read on.

KIARIKI
Woodys with age-less classic looks, racing pedigree and un-rivalled provenance are very few and far between in New Zealand, so when the time comes for an owner to start looking for the next custodian, the drums start beating.

The yacht Kiariki was designed by owner Jack (John) Brooke and built by John / Jack Logan / John Salthouse and launched in 1959. Using the best kauri, her specs are 40’ x 8’9” x 6’. During the Brooke family ownership period she was always one of the top 3 yachts in the K Class fleet. But to the Brooke family Kiariki was as much a family cruiser as a racer, and John Brooke had a wonderful ritual of recording every cruise in the form of a chart overlaid with caricatures of notable and amusing events – refer examples below.

After a period of ownership outside of the Brooke family – Russell Brooke acquired Kiariki back in 2009, completing the ownership circle – grandfather > grandson and commenced a restoration at the Salthouse Yard – Russell’s brief to the yard that originally built her was simple ‘return her to the thoroughbred form she was in when she was launched’. The work included her decks stripped, caulked and painted – new fastenings, teak rails, sea-cocks, hatches and skylights. The cabin top roof was replaced and her interior was refitted. Not surprisingly her planking did not need repair – originally fitted by Jack Logan, his perfectionist approach meant the hull was still as good as it was when it was new.

I would recommend that anyone interested in Kiariki or in fact the K Class, should purchase a copy of the magnificent book ‘K CLASS – The Hauraki Gulf’s Iconic Racer – Cruiser’.

Chatting to one of the leading lights of the K Class division, they had this to say “Kiariki is one of the faster and larger boats in the fleet and of course with great provenance.  I was on board a few years ago and she certainly appeared to be one of the best in the group”. Another K Class owner commented that he recalls that in Kiatiki’s last season of serious racing, she beat Katrina (one of the fastest boats in the fleet – then and still today) across the line in 11 straight starts – so whilst a very comfortable cruiser, to use the horse racing term – Kiariki has got legs.

I can advise that we have been tasked with finding the next custodian for Kiariki – so woodys if you or someone you know wants to be cruising this summer – initial expressions of interest to waitematawoodys@gmail.com  

Classico – Launch Day

classico (3)

classico (2)

CLASSICO

A few weeks ago I was tipped off by Adrian Pawson that one of his buddies – James Ledingham, had ‘acquired’ a very special Frostbite named Classico, one of things that makes her special is that she was built but never launched, so effectively is a new boat. Adrian is the owner of – Kiteroa, the ex Brooke family boat, which Adrian has restored and ’tweaked’ a little, thats her in the photos with the orange hull.

I was onto James quick smart to get more details. But before that I have to say how cool it is to see these ‘young’ sailors getting into the classic wooden dinghy sailing scene. The guys sail out of Taikata Sailing Club in West Auckland (Te Atatu), on a good Sunday there are upwards of 15 Frostbites racing. Both Adrian and James would be too modest to say this – but both work at the very pointy (high tech) end of world sailing, which makes their passion for these woodys even more special 🙂

Adrian also supplied for our review (see below) a copy of Doug Sharp’s secret copy of the ‘Frostbite Go Fast Tips’ by Kevin Lidgard.

I’ll let James tell the story –

“Recently I was fortunate enough to purchase ‘Classico’ a wooden frostbite dinghy.

What made this boat unique, aside from her immaculate timber detailing, was that she was brand new and had never been sailed. Something of a rarity in the frostbite class these days.

‘Classico’ is the result of a labour of love by her builder and previous owner David Strickett (Brother in law of Rex Maddren – a well-known Frostbite sailor and champion in his day). Looking for a wooden boat project and with a love of the clinker style, the Frostbite dinghy was a natural choice for David to get stuck into. Having picked up his wooden boat building skills at Carrington Tech under the guidance of Robert Brooke (son of Jack Brooke, who designed the original frostbite back in 1937) he was certainly well equipped to tackle such a build. Robert helped him source some temporary frames from Wakatere Boating Club and he got stuck in.

The boat is built in kauri, the majority of which was sourced from a farmer in Mangamuka, just south of Kaitia. The exception was the single piece transom, which came from a kauri slab that David already had in his garage.

Many hands make light work and during the build David sought help with the planking and ribbing from Robin Dew, who had built several wooden Frostbites himself. Whangarei boat builder Nick Rodokal also lent a hand in constructing the gunwhale, having previously built David a Lotus 9.2 (Pursuit).

David kitted the boat out with modern aluminum spars, a Quantum Mylar sail, and the latest Harken deck gear. Adding a touch of performance to the classic kauri hull.   

It was a bittersweet moment to launch ‘Classico’ down at Taikata Sailing Club on the first Sunday of March 2020, ahead of the regular afternoon sailing. She would have been equally at home in a museum (or the lounge!) and once wet and raced, unlikely to ever be quite be as immaculate again. However, they are such great boats to sail I was looking forward to getting out and seeing what she could do. She was appropriately blessed by another frostbite legend, Doug Sharp, and champagne was poured. A successful first sail ensued with minimal leaking.

While the quality of the boat couldn’t be faulted her performance was an unknown. However, she certainly seems to be fast (when the skipper sends her in the right direction) so far grabbing a 2nd in the first race of the Taikata Sailing Club winter series held earlier in March.

I plan to race her regularly down at Taikata Sailing Club, where the Frostbite fleet is thriving – with 12+ boats on the start line every fortnight. Wooden boat enthusiasts are welcome to come down to the club and have a yarn. There are a good number of well-kept and restored timber Frostbites amongst the fleet, and no shortage of stories! 

The name ‘Classico’ stems from a holiday dinner in Tuscany where David and his wife were enjoying a bottle of traditional Chanti wine – Chianti ‘Classico’.”

Frostbite Go Fast Tips 1

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

New John Brooke book – So that’s the Fathers Day present sorted

FATHERS DAY (Sept 2nd) ALL SORTED FOR YOU

Its not often that I start to read a boating book & then stop a couple of pages in & put the book away. This happened to me during the week, Robert Brooke had just dropped off some copies, hot off the press, of the Brooke families book on their father, John (Jack) Brooke. Its tiled ‘memories – ROADS OF DESTINY – John Brooke’ & woodys its a cracker – full of amusing tales , photos & illustrations from John’s life (sample below).
Way did I stop reading it? Because its just so good, I want to be able to spend a day reading it on the boat, in a bay somewhere with no distractions.
Grad a copy from Boatbooks in Westhaven (they do on-line > postal orders), RRP is $45, a bargain. Be quick it will sell out.
I have a copy to give away – to make it fair to those that do not wake at 3am in the morning – the winner will be decided by a draw from all correct entries received by 6pm Friday 3rd August 2018. Entry via email only to waitematawoodys@gmail.com.

Now the question –   what was Jack Brooke awarded an O.B.E. for in 1948?

Sorry for the standard of the images above, taken on my mobile ph not camera & in poor light 😉
Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 8.01.52 am
Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 8.01.31 am
20180731080215346

A Woody Workshop

Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 10.19.00 AM

Now Here Is A Very Cool Idea – A Woody Workshop
There are a few woody hidden treasures in & around Auckland – some we keep under the radar & some deserve to be hauled up the mast so everyone knows. One of the coolest is the New Zealand Traditional Boatbuilding School. A lot of you will have rubbed up against the NZTBS when it was housed at the old Hobsonville Air Base, but with the redevelopment of the base, NZTBS was moved to a new home & these days has a tighter focus on its reason for being.
 
Now to some of you the word School breaks you out in a cold sweat, if I ran the place I’d change the name to NZ Wooden Boat Workshop, because these days thats what it is – a workshop where you can get hands-on experience in some of the skills that a true woody needs to know. I encourage you to visit their weblog to check out the new courses (see below) that have just been announced  http://nztbs.org.nz 
  • Veneering, Inlay & Marquetry
  • Ribbing, Steam bending and replacing Ribs.
  • Clinker planking. fitting new or replacing old planks.
  • Tuesday Workshop days

But woodys, what I really wanted to draw your attention to was what the NZTBS call the ‘Tuesday Workshop’. 
Not all of us are blessed with a workshop or the tools to undertake simple maintenance on our craft – the NZTBS have a solution – they have opened the workshop up on Tuesdays (from 10am > 2pm) & will have a couple of serious woodys on-site – Allan Hooper and Kere Kemp. So come along and either help them with the latest project they are working on or if you have a little job of your own or perhaps need a piece of timber sized or just some advice, pop along for a chat.
 
I dropped in on Tuesday, with a project under my arm & walked away a happy chappie. While there I spoke with the Allan Hooper & Colin Pawson about Allan’s latest project. Some of you may be aware that in a past life Allan created a male mould of the Townson 2.4 dinghy, & from this approx. 10 cold moulded / laminated dinghies were built. On top of this an additional approx. 250 fibreglass dinghies were built – so without a doubt Allan holds the record for the most Townson’s built 🙂
A little while ago, Allan crawled under the house & dragged out the original mould, pictured below being repaired at the NZTBS.
The next step is that Allan will be using the mould to build himself a light-weight (frame less) clinker (ply) dinghy, I’m sure his arm could be twisted to allow a woody or woodys to build another or several, maybe there are enough people interested in a forming a class.  
P1030529
P1030532
Heads Up On A New Book From Robert Brooke
Talking with Robert mid-week & I’m stoked to be able to announce on WW that Robert is days away from the release of his new book on the memoirs and drawings of his late father Jack (John) Brooke. More details soon.
 
Now I couldn’t let the day go by without a woody photo – the photo below has appeared b4 on WW but in a much poorer reproduction. Dated c1930s, it shows Colin Wild’s yard at Stanley Point, Devonport – a very impressive line up of woodys. (photo ex Keith Humphrey)
1930s approx. Stanley Point Devonport Colin Wild Boat Yard