Log of The Rawhiti – bringing her home – Sydney to Auckland Passage

LOG of The RAWHITI – 1947 Sydney > Auckland Passage

The log is reproduced below via the generosity of the Mahurangi cruising club, who ran an abridged version in the 2020 year book. Click link below to read/view – its a cool story, enjoy

The Log of the Rawhiti

Today’s WW story is an amazing account of the return of the 1905 Arch Logan designed, Logan Bros built yacht – Rawhiti from Sydney, Australia to its place off birth – Auckland, New Zealand.

Almost immediately after her 1905 launch Rawhiti headed off across the Tasman to Sydney where she spent the next 41 years. Sadly the last 10 of those years saw her laid up on the hard, rapidly deteriorating.

Luckily for the yacht and all classic boaters in New Zealand, Sydney Ernest Marler (Hek to most) entered the scene and purchased Rawhiti and immediately made plans to sail her back to NZ. Some rather questionable repairs were undertaken and she set sail on December 17th 1947. Her crew for the passage was Hek + Peter Henley (navigator) Brian Lane (shipwright) Roy Johnson (bos’n and ships ‘surgeon’) Norman Vickery (signaller and radio operator)

The passage was recorded in the form of a ships log, written by Hek to his father Hank ((Henry Maitland Marler) outlining the voyage and the crew’s experiences. The trip took 11 days, said to be a record passage from Sydney to Russell, Bay of Islands, that was unbeaten until the 1970’s. 36 hours of the 11 days saw the yacht becalmed, so woodys she was greyhound 🙂

It would be an understatement to say it was a pleasant passage – Brian Lane is on record saying that they were very lucky, if the weather had got any worse they wouldn’t have made it, Rawhiti was hopeless at laying up into the wind. But very fast, built to race on the Waitemata Harbour not ocean passages. At times they trailed anything spare off the stern in an attempt to slow her down. Brian constantly thought she would split in two when coming down off a wave, no splash just a crash that Brian described as like being dropped off the back of a truck onto a concrete road. If he had known the yachts condition and blue water abilities, he would not have ventured past Sydney heads – but they did and Hek went on to raise a family with salt very much in their veins. Son Bruce and grandson Rod continuing the families association with wooden sailing craft.

In the mid 2000’s Rawhiti underwent a total rebuild / restoration while in the ownership of Greg Lee, Greg and master wooden boat builder Peter Brookes conducted the 7 year restoration. Without a doubt she is New Zealand’s finest restoration of a classic wooden vessel. If you search Rawhiti in the WW search box you will get an insight into the restoration.

I bet her crew on the passage back to Auckland in 1947 would not have imaged that 73 years later she would still be sailing and commanding a prime spot  on the world classic wooden boat stage. One of the worlds most admired (&selling) wooden boating items is the Calendar of Wooden Boats by Benjamin Mendlowitz and Maynard Bray. Rawhiti is centre stage in the 2021 edition for the month of March. As are two of our launches – Jason Prew’s – My Girl (April) and Peter Boardman’s – Lady Margaret (June). Owning 25% of that real estate is pretty good for little old NZ, but it comes at a price and that price is all the time that a small bunch of woodys put in making Ben and Maynard so welcome in NZ.

Copies of the 2021 edition are available at

 https://www.woodenboatscalendar.com/wooden-boats-calendar.html 

 

 

Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade – 2019 Photo Gallery

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Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade – 2019 Photo Gallery

For the first time in yonks I missed this years Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade, but thanks to the Jason Prew and Rod Prosser we get to see a cool collection of photos from the day ( 9th February 2019) . As always it is a huge day with a diverse collection of craft fronting up for the parade and most event picnic. It would have to be one of the most fun woody events on the calendar.
As always – click photos to enlarge – Enjoy 🙂
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Gunk-holing up the Weti River in a 1902 Logan – Revisited

So far there have been over 2,000 classic wooden boat stories featured on waitematawoodys & the viewing numbers (3,300,000) have grown from a dozen people to over 80,000. I have had some loyalists from day one but the big numbers have happened in the last 2 years – so not everyone will have been exposed to all the stories. Over the Christmas / NY period I have decided to take a peek back in time & feature some of the gems from the early days. Enjoy.

Have a great holiday & remember to take the camera / phone with you & snap a photo of any woodys you see. Email them to waitematawoodys@gmail.com

 

Gunk-holing up the Weti River in a 1902 Logan Motor Boat

photos ex Jason Prew at the helm of Otira

Despite the CYA Launch cruise / picnic being cancelled Jason Prew & Nathan Herbert + crew decided to launch Otira, the 1902 Logan day boat at Gulf Harbour & explore the upper reaches of the Waiti River. They made it passed the Silverdale road bridge, which is an impressive distance, along the way they passed an ‘interesting’ array of vessels. Enjoy 🙂  As always – click on any photo to enlarge.

For reference see below a recent photo of Otira at Lake Rotoiti Wooden Boat Parade

The Restoration of My Girl

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.THE RESTORATION OF MY GIRL

While there are few of us with the courage to even consider a project of this scope, there are even fewer with the skill set to do it. That makes Jason Prew a tad special in the classic woody boating community. A lot of us would be worried that a restoration (re-build) project like this would grind to a halt 1/2 way thru – well folks I can tell you this one won’t & as proof check out at the bottom of this story, Jason’s last project – Wairiki, his 34′ 1904 Arch Logan designed gaff rigged classic yacht.

Mr Prew is a member of the fastest growing group in the CYA – woody’s that own a classic yacht & classic motor-boat.  There are a lot of photos today but I really wanted to get across the magnitude of the job Jason has bitten off:-)
Whilst I did not pickup a hammer or a piece of sandpaper during my visit to Jason’s workshop, I have contributed – a while ago I was gifted a pair of very cool bronze nav lights & as I’m a big believer in the ‘pay-it-forward’ concept, these will be gracing My Girl on launch day 🙂
My Girl was built in 1925 by Dick Lang for C.B. “Tui” Waldron of the Wade River who commuted with her. Her square bilge design was based on one by W.H.Hand. Waldron later took her to Whangarei & she was in NAPS as Z32 out of Whangarei in WW2.

Jason purchased My Girl from the Davies  family of Te Atatu, West Auckland in December 2014, Derek & his Father Trevor were long term caretakers of My Girl, keeping her in the Whau River for many years.  After a spell on the hard where she fell into dis-repair, Jason finally persuaded Derek to part with her.

When launched she was powered by a 6 cylinder 90hp Scripps engine & was capable of over 18 knots. When purchased by Jason she had a BMC Commander engine of dubious health.  When re-launched she will be powered by a 100hp Volvo Penta, so she should be a bit of a zoom zoomer 😉

The work to date has seen 76 ribs in, 3600 copper rivets riveted, 5 new floors and 2 engine beds. As you will see in the photos there is still lots of hole filling, sanding & painting in the near future.

You can read & view much more on the restoration project at the links below – the ww one has some historical photos & the mygirl link has the whole story so far. Make sure you click on the Archives link to see everything. https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/12/12/my-girl/           http://www.my-girl.co.nz/mygirl/Welcome.html

Below is a peak at Jason’s yacht Wairiki, his last restoration project. Click this link to view more http://www.wairiki.co.nz/Wairiki1904/Welcome.html

Input from Jason Prew

Thanks for the injection of smoke up the posterior Alan but I can’t claim too much credit for Wairiki, Marco Scuderi did the bulk of the work. I was mostly the destruction/wrecking department.  My Girl is also a collaboration, especially the ribs stage.  Nathan, Steve, Andrew, Tom, mostly my brother Daniel, either holding dolly or doing the peening. Robert Brook and Paul Tingey for always being encouraging on the end of the phone when i was having an OMG I can’t work this out day, (which is quite often)  I don’t have a moaning chair perse, but i have a squab that gets utilized a lot to do the same job.

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Trinidad > Raindance > Wairiki

Dec 2016 Staring to look like a launch again versus a canoe 🙂 Bit worried about the headroom.

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Gunk-holing up the Weti River in a 1902 Logan

Gunk-holing up the Weti River in a 1902 Logan Motor Boat

photos ex Jason Prew at the helm of Otira

Despite the CYA Launch cruise / picnic being cancelled Jason Prew & Nathan Herbert + crew decided to launch Otira, the 1902 Logan day boat at Gulf Harbour & explore the upper reaches of the Waiti River. They made it passed the Silverdale road bridge, which is an impressive distance, along the way they passed an ‘interesting’ array of vessels. Enjoy 🙂  As always – click on any photo to enlarge.

For reference see below a recent photo of Otira at Lake Rotoiti Wooden Boat Parade

CYA Riverhead Launch Cruise – Parade of 26 Classic Boats

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CYA Riverhead Launch Cruise – Parade of Boats

Thanks to the camera skills of Jason Prew on Whistleblower, we have a ‘drive-by’ of the fleet off Lucas Creek on-route to the Riverhead Hotel.