Back in 2015 when Ngarunui first appeared on WW Robin Elliott commented that to his mind she is the best looking boat in the Bay (Bay of Islands). Since then Ngarunui has mad numerous WW appearances – links below. The 2016 one gives a great insight into the building of Ngarunui and the 2022 give us a look down below.
Last week Mike Mulligan sent in the gallery of photos above from when his family owned her, they purchased her after selling the launch – Patina, approx. time line of ownership is late 1970’s > 1987.
During this period Mike’s father fitted the Yammer auxiliary engine and fly bridge.
Ngarunui was designed and built by Jim Young in 1955 for J.A.K. Spicer and C.R. (Russ) Pollard. She is 48’x46’x11’8″x4’3″ and was originally powered with twin GM 165hp diesels of 1942 vintage (ex-USN) + an 11hp Coventry Cub. These days the engines are a 200hp Doosan and a Yanmer auxiliary.
Todays story comes to us from retired boat builder Allan Hooper, just back from an extended trip to visit family the USA (Carlsbad just north of San Diego). I’ll let Allan tell the story :-
Prior to leaving I made contact with Morgan Spriggs the current owner of Lola, an NZ37. Lola was built at Jim Young’s NZ Yachts in 1969-70 while I was the foreman.
I was very keen to see the boat after all these years. Morgan has spent a lot of time restoring Lola and she looks as good as the date she left the factory apart from a few alterations and replacements. Morgan was excited to meet me and be able to talk about the build of the boat.
The hull construction is 4 skins of 1/4’” Kauri cold moulded with all of the back bone, floors, transom and bulkhead boundarys set in the mould. The hull was sheathed in Epoxy and glass. After the hull was taken off the mould the bulkheads and the interior were put in place and gunwales fitted.
The cabin, cockpit and decks were built on a separate mould complete with paint work, glazing and hardware. Then in an operation taking only a couple of hours, was lifted and placed on the hull, located over the bulkheads, glued and fastened down.
The techniques developed to build these yachts enabled a NZ37 to be built from start to finish in 4 weeks.
Morgan‘s father Robert owns a beautiful picnic boat, Easterly (photos below), an ex Maine lobster boat on which we toured the San Diego bay.
It was used by Denis Connor is a chase boat when he was sailing in the Americas cup. Robert Spriggs has owns the boat for 22 years and it is in as new condition, you could have eaten your lunch of the engine or engine room floor.
The teak cockpit sole is the best laid teak I have ever seen, the timber selected is absolutely perfect, as was the whole boat.
The waterfront at downtown San Diego has a beautiful collection of maritime exhibits including a sailing immigrant ship the “Star of India” which was a regular visitor to New Zealand in the 1800s, once a year it is taken out for a sail.
Further along the waterfront is the USS Midway launched in 1945, she was finally laid up in the 1990s. If you’ve never been on an aircraft carrier it’s well worth a visit. 3.5 acres of 3 inch thick steel makes up the flight deck. It is an interesting harbour to visit and extremely busy as it is alongside the international airport, a military airport, a naval base, several marinas and the city. When you go out on the bay you see it and hear it all.
The launch Ngarunui was designed by Jim Young c.1955/7, I’m unsure of the builder, was it also Jim Young – can anyone advise? Built from kauri planks, carvel on ribs, she measures 48’ in length, with a beam of 12’ and draws 4’8”. Power is via a 200hp Doosan L136T engine that gives her a comfortable cruising speed of 8.5 > 10 knots, at idle she will do 5 knots, so only slips fuel. A bonus is a 20hp Yanmar auxiliary with its own prop, not seen often these days but a nice comfort factor. The Yanmar also drives the freezer compressor. As seen in the photos she really fits into the motor sailer category and comes with good set of sails – note the wooden mast shown in the photos above has been replaced with a new alloy one, but the wooden ones are available (needs repair).
With a combined fuel tank capacity of 1200L and 800L water Ngarunui is well set up for extended cruising. And of course a 12’ beam makes for a comfortable life aboard. Very well priced for 48’ launch presented in her condition.
NGARUNUI – A Peek Down Below Following on from yesterdays story on the start of the Whangarei to Nouema yacht race, we successfully Id’ed the mid 1950’s Jim Young designed and built launch – Ngarunui. And now thanks to the camera of Ken Ricketts back in December 2015 we get to have a look down below.You will also find a lot of backland of the boat at the WW links below, she had a very challenging start to her life afloat.
23-07-2021 Input from Kerin Owen – The photo below is of one of the two dories built by Jim Young in 1957 as fishing dories to accompany Ngarunui. This one is Nancy Barbara, owned for many years by Len Hayman at Great Barrier Island, now by me. Am not certain what timbers were used but she is still very sound, being 16′,with a planked bottom and lapstrake sides. She will plane, lightly loaded, with an 8hp outboard, and is still fulfilling her original purpose of a very handy fishing dory.
Lady Janet (Poco Lento) Fixed Price Sale – $48,000
CLEONE Back in 2015 Cleone made an appearance on WW and Harold Kidd provided the following on her – Arnold (Bill) Couldrey designed CLEONE for Bert Follas in 1948 and had her built by Jim Young a little later, probably launched in 1950. She originally had a petrol engine, later replaced with a Ford diesel. Follas owned her until about 1963 when M. Alison of Waitangi Rd, Onehunga bought her. John Grainger owned her from 1975 to 1987. I have a bunch of pics during his ownership. John Stubbs bought her in 1989. His story was that CLEONE was the first boat Jim Young built when he came out of his apprenticeship because she was the size of his shed.
On a recent visit to Hobsonville Marina )West Park) I spotted Cleone hauled out for some TLC . The varnished coamings have gone but she is still a very smart woody. In the last few years Cleone has joined the woody fleet on several of our Riverhead Tavern lunch cruises – hopefully she will be there again next Sunday – 20th. That was a poor way to get a plug in for the event 🙂
Buying or Selling a Classic Boat Without sounding too much like Jacinda Ardern (“be kind”) – when people ask me about classic wooden boat ownership, I normally say that owning a woody has a positive effect on your life i.e. you end up forging a life you don’t need to escape from.
So woodys in the interest of your mental well being we have listed below a sample of some of the boats that are currently berthed at the virtual Wooden Boat Bureau Sales Marina. We have others for sale, some owners request privacy. To read more about the Wooden Boat Bureau – click https://waitematawoodys.com/2019/12/01/wooden-boat-bureau-advice-for-buyers-and-sellers/ The Wooden Boat Bureau is uniquely placed to offer impartial, up-to-date market information and objective advice to both sellers and buyers. So if you are looking for a wooden boat or considering selling – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call Alan Houghton 027 660 9999 or David Cooke 027 478 1877
While mooching around Queen Charlotte Sound, we dropped into the Bay of Many Coves Resort for brunch & a glass of bubbles (see below). The BOMC resort is a rather special spot in a stunning location.
While there the launch Tamoure tied up at the jetty – a brief chat uncovered that she was originally built by Jim Young for his personal use. I’m not normally a big fan of his boats, a tad too modern for me, but this one had a lot going for her.
I have had the above photos that are both taggged ‘Hirere’ in my ‘upcoming ww stories’ file for a long time, hoping that at some stage I would uncover more (some) details on the name & determine if they are the same launch & if not which one is Hirere. To date nothing – so I put her out there today to she if we can answer my mystery.
Input from John Blundell
“The photos today came to you from a group I sent to Harold Kidd a couple of years back. The top photo is Poaka which was built about 1959 for my father Stan Blundell by Snow Waters. She was featured by Sea Spray magazine not long after as a”quart in a pint pot”.He sold her to Athol Mellars a couple of years later and his son John later took her to Gt Barrier where he lives. The other photo is the 29foot Vindex built also for my father about 1963 by Jim Young in his shed at Birkenhead wharf.Dad wanted to keep the engine out of the main cabin so it was installed further aft and fitted with a vee drive. Re the dinghy it was one of Phil Bartons 8footers and was the best of the bunch that were around at that time. The wooden one in the photo was used as a mould to produce fibreglass versions not long after.That is another story.”
I was recently contacted by Frank Young, son of Jim Young, who designed & built Ngarunui in 1954 > 1955 for a Mr. Burrell, a strawberry farmer in Birkdale.
Ian had read the Ngarunui story on ww & wanted to record the facts not guesswork surrounding the vessels early days. The below is based on personal experience and knowledge as Jim Young’s son. “Ngarunui was originally designed for regular trans-tasman trips with a high economical cruising speed, heavy weather capability, long range, and reliability. Power was to be an 8 cylinder Gardner diesel and she was designed around that with regular crossings to Sydney intended. The smaller auxiliary was not part of the original design or construction as can be seen in the photographs at the time. It was apparently added later with the change in main engine plans. Construction started in 1955 at the J H Young Boats Ltd Little Shoal Bay boat shed using kauri planking and ribs, and pohutukawa knees. When the hull had been completed and closed in she was launched without machinery or interior work done. On launching she immediately listed 45 degrees due to no ballast or internal engineering. That caused some trepidation among those attending the launching party. Interior work continued with the boat in a cradle next to the slipway but there were increasing problems with payments. The strawberry crop that year was apparently very poor and the money ran out. The partially finished vessel was then sold by Mr. Burrell to a company he had taken a stake in and the building contract revised. Northern Hygienic Fishing Supplies was to use her as a fishing “Mother ship” towing a number of 16 foot dories from which gill netting or long-lining could be done. Design details were changed and work commenced on installing large ice boxes in the hull and two 16 foot flat bottom punts were built as part of the fishing dory plan, with more to follow. One of those dories became the “Nancy Barbara” owned by the Hayman family at Great Barrier Island for many years. Then the money dried up again and Northern Hygienic Fishing Supplies was liquidated. With no money coming in, Jim Young in serious financial straits as a result, and an uncertain future outcome for Ngarunui in a part finished condition she was left in the cradle by the slipway at the Little Shoal Bay boat shed where the interior work had been continuing. Holes were drilled in her bottom to allow the tide to flow into the hull so it could not potentially be removed or stolen while legal and financial issues took their tedious course. She languished there untouched for about a year. She was the subject of an arson attempt during that period but perhaps due to the wet interior the fire did not take hold.
Eventually the Auckland Official Assignee (coincidentally Jim Young’s father) who was responsible for the liquidation of Northern Hygienic Fishing Supplies sold Ngarunui in as is/where is condition to Messrs Spicer and Pollard. Henderson and Pollard was a well known Auckland timber merchant company and Ngarunui was then completed using their resources. The originally intended Gardner diesel was never installed. At a price then of around 3600 pounds it was far more than the price of the rest of the boat (or even the price of a house) so the much cheaper, and lower power, option of a (single) 175hp GM diesel went in.
Ngarunui finally became a well appointed Auckland launch in 1957 or early 1958 after a somewhat difficult early life. Messrs Spicer and Pollard put Ngarunui to great use and they were active supporters of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. Ngarunui became well known for her role in various high profile activities of the RNZYS, and acted as flagship for many events with the Governor General or other notables aboard.”
2016 photos of Ngarunui can be viewed here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/06/03/mystery-boat-03-06-2015/
Ok woodys who can ID the above photo – looking for location, boat names & approx. date, a little hint – think Jim Young 😉
And of the subject of Jim Young, the man himself will be at The Ponsonby Cruising Club, Logan Lounge, this Friday night November 13th. to meet and chat with people from 6.30 on. Jim will then give a short talk at 8pm.
Jim’s book ‘Jim Young – designer, boatbuilder, sailor’ is a cracker, starting off with his early sailing and boatbuilding career as an apprentice to Roy Lidgard, working on minesweepers during the Second World War and then the challenges and dramas of starting out in business on his own at the age of about 25, building wooden boats in a small shed in Little Shoal Bay in Birkenhead. Signed copies of the book will be available for sale on the night. The perfect xmas present to yourself 🙂
I understand the PCC kitchen will have meals available and of course the bar will be open.