Ocean Queen – A Peek Down Below




OCEAN QUEEN – A Peek Down Below

Mid last month I ran a story on the Taupo based woody – Ocean Queen, most likely built by Joe Slattery in 1920. Nathan Herbert had spotted her at Lake Taupo with a 4-sale sign on her and commented on how stunning she looked.
I have since been contacted by her owner Paul Stewart and given a collection of photos of her interior. In Paul’s words – “she’s had a real spruce up, new Autex paint inside and out, anti-fouled, new varnish to the mast and boom, new duckboard, new raw water impeller, filters and oil. Polished up all the stainless fittings, removed and resealed some of the windows, new carpet, water tank clean and new hoses. new clears and covers. Last job is to make a new sail cover and then the boom can go back on”.
Paul commented that they use the sail often, it does a beautiful job of holding her steady on the wind and gives you another knot.
Paul still has the spare engine that came with the boat when he bought her.
As I mentioned previously at around $36k, if you are looking for an early 1900’s classic wooden launch – this woody has to be the buy of the year. So woodys, someone needs to buy Ocean Queen > then call Boat Haulage and arrange a pick up > then plonk her back in the Waitemata where she belongs 🙂
Read and see more of Ocean Queen at the links below.

Silver Spray + John Street on the America’s Cup


Screen Shot 2019-07-16 at 9.11.17 PM


The above photos of Silver Spray popped up on a fb post last night via Ngapipip Road boat builder GlenBurnnand. In the past Silver Spray has appeared on WW many times, she was owned by passionate woody Mark Stapleton. Mark restored her and kept her in his Ngapipip Road boat shed. Unfortunately after many years of ownership, poor health forced Mark to sell Silver Spray. I’m guessing but I suspect  Glenn Burnnand bought her.
There is a vast amount of details and photos at the WW link below – but a quick overview – built in 1926 by Joe Slattery for Charles Ravenhall of Remuera. Silver Spray is 26′ LOA, 7′ beam with a 2’6″ draft, powered by a 4108 Perkins. A selection of photos from her past below.
I have held my breath on the addition of the two cabin top hatches, a tad out of place…………… on a 1926 woody 😦

Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 2.33.49 PM


Every day this week WW are featuring a video filmed at John’s recent speaking engagement at the New Zealand Maritime Museum. NOTE VIDEO IS COPYRIGHT DO NOT DOWNLOAD WITHOUT PERMISSION. Videos edited & enhanced with the help of Andrew Christie 
PART FOUR – America’s Cup (turn your sound up)
MONDAY–         Fosters The Beginning
TUESDAY–        History of The Breeze
WEDNESDAY– The schooner Daring
THURSDAY–     Amercias Cup
FRIDAY –            The steam crane ship Rapaki
SATURDAY–      Tug Boat Racing on the Waitemata

Ocean Queen





The photos above of Ocean Queen were sent to me by Nathan Herbert and show her berthed on Lake Taupo.

Obliviously from the sign on her, she is for sale. From the photos and Nathans comments she is presented in mint condition and at $36k given her engine is all good, must be a steal. Someone needs to buy her and bring her to the Waitemata.
Harold Kidd has previously commented on WW that OCEAN QUEEN was most likely built by Joe Slattery in July 1920 for J.R. Blackwell of Tryphena. She was 29’x7’6″ and was finished off by Blackwell, rigged as a lug schooner and usually made passage backwards and forwards to the Barrier under sail and power. She was built very full for load carrying. HDK doesn’t know when the Blackwells sold her but thinks it was post WW2. J.R. died in 1941.
She was featured in the newspapers in July 1935 when she brought a badly injured Kauri Timber Co employee back to Auckland in a full SE gale, the worst conditions Blackwell had ever seen in 45 years’ experience of the Gulf.
You can see more photos of her here.   https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/01/14/10467/
Can anyone tell us more about the launch?
13-07-2019 Input below from Jonathon Aston
“Ocean queen was our family launch in the late 90’s, we use her almost every weekend for about 3 years going all over the gulf. We purchased her from pine harbour marina where she had been for sale for a couple of years, her long time owners had spend many years restoring her including re-fastnering the hull & fibreglassing the cabin sides & top but not long after she was relaunched the wife died & the husband couldn’t bring himself to use her due to all the memories they shared on Ocean Queen. We replace the original Fordson engine with a low hours 40hp replacement, reconditioned the injector pump & adjusted the amount of diesel so it became 60hp as the cylinder size was identical between the 40 & 60hp Fordson’s. We also replaced the cutlass bearings, installed a new s/s shaft & had the Paragon manual gearbox rebuild.
She was keep in the Tamaki river just beside the old panmure bridge marina but after a couple of incidents with kids throwing rock through a cabin window during the school holidays we moved her down to a swing mooring off the Panmure yacht & boating club. A year or so after that we sold her to Paul & his wife who moved her to Lake Taupo.
Regards the Aston Family.”
An Evening With John Street
I went last night to the Auckland Maritime Museum to a very special evening hosted by John Street and MC’ed by Larry Paul. It was a night of conversation and Q&A set amongst the ‘One Man’s Treasures’ Fosters Collection. Brilliant evening, if you missed it you only have yourself to blame. I did however video most of it and will do a WW story/s soon.
Product testing is underway 😉
Peek size appears about right i.e. keeping sun out of the keys.
Dark blue, 100% soft cotton, 6 panels, full adjustable sizing, WW logo triple stick embroidered.

MY GIRL and PACIFIC Relaunched – 60+ Wooden Boat Photos













MY GIRL and PACIFIC Relaunched – 60+ Wooden Boat Photos

Big day on Saturday in the woody world, we had the launching of Pacific & My Girl. Pacific is a 1917 Joe Slattery designed & built launch, owned by Nathan Herbert, & has been out all winter at Milford Crusing Club’s yard getting a major over-haul – hats off to Nathan, Pacific is a stunner, the perfect choice & mix of colours & varnish. It has been a long winter but from the smiles on everyones face, dock-side, it was all worth it. This WW link will give you a peek at what she used to look like.   https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/02/07/5898/
Well done Nathan & Steven + a big cast of helpers thru-out the project.
Second splash was Jason Prew’s – 1925, Dick Lang built ‘My Girl’, also re-launched at MCC. Jason’s re-build of My Girl has been a very long 4 years, mostly out of sight in a cold (& sometimes wet) commercial storage yard. My Girl arrived at MCC approx. 6 weeks ago for the final touches. Some of NZ’s most respected woodys were shaking their heads when Jason bought My Girl, she was so close to being a BeeHive (box of matches) restoration, but Jason has a track record of bring woodys back from the dead & that he did with My Girl. This link will show you what he started with    https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/12/12/my-girl/
To see more of the project – check out his weblog.  https://www.my-girl.co.nz/mygirl/Welcome.html
Post launching, I managed to score an invite to go for a blast on My Girl, she is fast (my lips are sealed) but I expected that, what really impressed my was the ride – very smooth. The question of the day was – are classic woodys allowed trim tabs 🙂 I seem to recall James Mobberley had some ‘additions’ on Falcon…………..
Remember click on photos to enlarge 😉
Video footage of My Girl with the throttle open 🙂
Video & photos below ex Nathan Herbert 
Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 4.42.21 AM
Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 4.42.48 AM

Manuia – An Update

Manuia Oct2016

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 11.29.18 PM


Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 11.32.10 PM



MANUIA – An Update

Recently I was enjoying a coffee at my local Devonport coffee shop, Cafe Santini, & I had on a ww t-shirt. I was approached by a gent, Ron Ackroyd, who commented that he used to own a launch similar to the one shown on the front of the ww t-shirt. Turns out Ron briefly owned the Joe Slattery launch Manuia. Ron offered to send me some details & photos – which he did. Then this week, current owner Tony Butcher sent me a magnificent photo of her taken in October 2016. As you will see not a lot has changed & we like that 🙂

Ron commented that he owned Maunia from May 1989 to November 1989 & bought it from Jack Nears. Ron had spent a lot of great times on the boat with Jack between 1977 and 1989 and he promised Ron first option when he got round to selling her. Jack became quite ill in 1988/89 and the boat was getting beyond him and in May 1989 he offered Manuia to Ron. Ron already had a H28 but bought Manuia planning to use her and then make a decision on which boat he wanted to keep. They used the boat and did a fair bit of  painting, varnishing and general maintenance before coming to the conclusion that sailing the H28 and enjoying the very active H28 club scene was more their thing.

Ron sold Manuia to Paul Jones in Nov 1989.  Included above are a couple of photos of Manuia taken just before Ron sold her & list of what Ron knew of her previous owners (view the link below to the previous ww story on Manuia & you’ll see that Ron’s list dovetails well with Harold Kidd’s records.

Also above is a copy of a survey done by John Gladden while Ron had her. You have to love the honesty & practical advice / opinion given by  John Gladden, there are some significant defects that have been highlighted but John Gladden still says “The vessel is generally in good condition and is well constructed, timber sizes and joinery are of good standards.” In today’s PC world a surveyor would have written the boat off or at least scared any purchaser away.

20-09-2017 Photo below ex Nathan Herbert ex (I assume) the NZ Herald archives. Show Manuia post launching, during her sea trials.



MATAROA (KENYA) – A Great Read

Mataroa 2

Mataroa 3

Elaine aboard Mataroa

Mataroa 1

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 5.01.54 PM


The life story of the 1928 Joe Slattery built launch, Mataroa (formally Kenya) & her restoration has been very well documented on ww. It was however a pleasure to be contacted earlier in the week by Elaine Reynolds, whose parents – Maurice & Pauline Reynolds owned the launch from 1968 to 1994.
Elaine sent in a great collection of unseen photos from their ownership period & shared with me the story of Mataroa’s mishap & near sinking at Great Barrier Island in late Dec 1970 – its a great read, so I have published it as sent. Enjoy 🙂
For photos of the damage, beaching & repairs mentioned in the story – click this ww link     https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/10/31/mataroa-kenya-2/

“Hi Alan

You have posted several wonderful articles on M.V. Mataroa and also posted some of the many photos taken by my father, Maurice Reynolds (a mechanical engineer and jack-of-all-trades) who owned Mataroa 1968-1994.  The photos include those of when Mataroa was hit amidships at Great Barrier Island, between Christmas and New Year, I think it was 1970, about 29-30th December. It was the first week of our usual 3-week annual Christmas cruise.

I was on board Mataroa when she was hit, standing on the aft platform, looking foreward – I saw it all happen. At the time of the accident we were in 90 ft of water. It was a beautiful sunny day, almost flat calm with barely any wind. We were just idling along with the motor out of gear, the rest of the family were on deck or in the cockpit.

The boat that hit us was owned by my father’s best friend, Jack. His launch was of similar vintage to Mataroa, also with a straight stem. Jack was going to come alongside to pick up his daughter, Jenny, who’d been aboard Mataroa spending time with me. Unfortunately, Jack was on the wrong turn for his boat’s prop, but didn’t remember, and thought he’d just give a burst on the throttle to spin 90 deg to bring her alongside but instead, he slipped, hit the throttle hard and rammed Mataroa amidships at full speed. Horrified, I watched the wood smash and shatter inside the cabin and the “hole” that was created in Mataroa, through which we could now see daylight, went from the deck to 3-4 inches below the waterline

Jenny, my younger brother and I were ordered into the dinghy and cast off. Dad ripped up the floorboards, gave my older brother a bucket to bail with and had Mum stand with her thumb firmly on the electric bilge pump button which was on the instrument panel just inside the engine room. Dad steered for shore with Mataroa’s throttle full open, just heading for shallower water to start with but it was a rocky shore and would have torn Mataroa apart. Then he realised that the water ingress was slowing.

What Dad discovered was that when underway at full speed, the waterline wave fell away from the hull to below the waterline at the place where Mataroa had been hit, so he made a sharp turn to starboard and full throttled Mataroa (remembering that for this graceful lady, cruising speed was 7-7.5 knots, Dad’s orders!) to the other side of the harbour, going through the usual Christmas throng of anchored boats at Smokehouse Bay at a speed that drew many raised voices and eyebrows, and beached Mataroa on the sand, with people scattering out of the way.

Unfortunately, this was also at the peak of the highest tide – full moon, etc – and that caused problems in itself.

From there, the insurance assessor/shipwright was contacted and flew out to us on a sea plane and you can see from the photos Dad took that they stripped Mataroa out, used available materials and lots of willing helpers to patch and shore her up for the journey back to Auckland. They used sheep fat/lanolin to seal the ply to the hull. Due to the extreme high tide when Mataroa was beached, they had a difficult time launching her off the beach. Again, many hands and lots of Kiwi ingenuity.

It was a harrowing night-time journey back to Auckland on 30th-31st December, with my younger brother and I on Jack’s boat. I think Mum was on board with us, but my older brother, Kevin, was on board Mataroa. Jack’s boat couldn’t keep up with Mataroa, being smaller, slower and definitely not as sea-kindly, so Mataroa was an ever smaller and disappearing set of lights in a dark night.

Back at Auckland, Mataroa was slipped at Baileys in Westhaven and up there for about 6 weeks (I think) in their shed. During this time, Dad had the portholes enlarged, the dodger raised and changed the shape of the dodger windows. Mataroa was stripped back to bare wood. I’m not sure if this was when Dad removed the muntz metal that had been used to shield the hull from toredo worms while Mataroa was seconded by the Air Force up to Fiji during the war (another story there). With the paint stripped, we found the Air Force rings scribed into the bow. We also discovered that Mataroa had been made from single planks of kauri from stem to stern. Dad painted the sides of Mataroa around the new windows to look like varnished wood but was in fact painted-on wood graining, something he’d learnt to do from his father.

As a result of Mataroa being at Baileys for that time, my older brother, Kevin Reynolds, decided to become a shipwright, doing his apprenticeship with Baileys. Kevin was well known in the Auckland boating scene, and passed away in 2010 at the age of 55 from melanoma. Dad passed away in 2012. Both were old salts who’d enjoyed their lifetime on the ocean and mucking about in boats.

I have attached some photos of Mataroa that you won’t have, plus a photo of myself in the cockpit of Mataroa in about 1986. The group of 4 photos-in-1 are #1. Me/Hilda Reynolds (Dad’s mum)/Pauline Reynolds (my Mum). # 2. Mum & Dad waving bye to me from Mataroa in early 1979.  #3. Our cat Gidget on board Mataroa.

I’ll ask her the name of Jack’s boat another day – I remember it started with a ‘T’ possibly Tewara but Mum may remember the spelling. Of note, Tewara only lost a palm-sized chip of paint off the stem from the accident.

Thank you so much for posting about Mataroa. She was a very much-loved a part of my life and I was heart-broken when I saw the state of her when for sale the other year.  

Huge kudos to Rob and Sue Uivel (current owners) for the work done. It is so wonderful that Mataroa is being loved and looked after again.  Mataroa is amazingly comfortable in seas that most other boats would or could not handle.  Does Mataroa still have the boom with “gaff” steadying sail set-up that Dad rigged and can be seen in the photo below?  It was really worth putting up in a cross sea – Mataroa settled down and didn’t roll much at all.

Btw, the last photo shows Kevin putting the scrubbing brushes in the dinghy, with me at the oars.  It was our “pram” dinghy with which we spent many fun-filled hours, and that’s our old Seagull outboard on the back.”

A question for the woodys – can anyone name the other launch involved in the collision ?

Robert Brooke is trying to track down a copy of the plans for the Gladden built 1964 launch ‘Valhalla’, can anyone help?

Kenya (Mataroa) Ready For Launch

Launch Kenya (2)

Launch Kenya (3)

Doorway Joe Slattery's Shed

Launch Kenya (4)

Launch Kenya

Kenya (Mataroa) Ready For Launch

I was contacted yesterday by Rob Ulvel, the owner of Mataroa, (Mataroa was previously named Kenya). Rob sent me the above amazing photos of Kenya outside the Judges Bay, Parnell, shed of her builder, Joe Slattery. The photos & details were sent to Rob by Peter Midgley, whose father Eric Midgley was an apprentice at the Slattery yard from 1923 to 1929, Eric along with Billy Rogers is pictured with Joe Slattery in the doorway of Joe’s shed. Billy is on the left & Eric on the right.
In the photo that shows two men inspecting the launch, they areprobably the Heards. Peter Midgley commented that these photos would have been taken late November 1928 as she was launched 1st December 1928.

To view photos of Mataroa being relaunched recently (Jan. 2017) in Wellington after a refit / make over, click this link’s https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/01/27/mataroa-re-launched/
Compare the 1928 & 2017 photos & see how remarkably original she is, from what I’ve seen of Rob’s work, I’m confident that when he moves onto Mataroa’s interior, he will ensure that the work is sympathetically done, commensurate with her vintage 😉 You can view & read a lot more about the boat by searching Mataroa in the ww search box.

Welly Woodys








Little Tasman

Welly Woodys

Rob Uivel has been promising me some photos of his recently re-furbished 36′, 1928 Joe Slattery launch Mataroa  for some time, well last weekend the Wellington weather gods smiled & delivered up a near perfect day for a classic woody launch cruise – in the photos above we see Mataroa joined by Waiata (32′, 1913 built by David Reid), both boats had a jaunt around the inner harbour, finally anchoring and rafting up in Oriental Bay. After a pleasant swim and lounge around while heading home they spotted Little Tasman coming out of Clyde Quay marina. Fantastic to have the 3 beautiful classic’s together. All 3 woodys have been featured extensively on ww & you can see / read more on them by using the ww search box.

REMEMBER: This Sundays CYA Classic Woody Launch Parade & Riverhead Hotel Cruise. Non CYA boats welcome. RSVP (boat name & approx. crew numbers) to Angus Rogers    rsvp email link  Scroll down 2 ww posts to see details 😉

Included also below are photos of Prima Donna, which Rob feels bears some resemblance to an old Auckland boat called All Black.

27-02-2017 photo below of All Black dated 1910 ex Maxwell Uivel


Mataroa Re-launched




Rob & wife Sue Dorrington

MATAROA Re-Launched

Mataroa has just spent 10 weeks at the Evans Bay slipway, Wellington getting a very big dose of TLC. Owner Rob Uivel commented to me that he would like to mention how supportive and easy going the crew at the yard are, especially – Sven Beirenga and Peter Maherid, nothing was ever a problem.
Mataroa was built in 1928 by Joe Slattery & named Kenya when launched, she measures 36’ LOA & was originally built for Mr Heard of Heards Confectionary. Like most Slattery boats she is very pleasing to the eye & luckily for Rob Uivel has survived relatively as original. She has featured numerous times on ww so search her name in the ww search panel & you can see / read more.

While she was hauled out Rob concentrated on the exterior & as you can see he stripped the cabin sides back to Kauri and applied numerous coats of epoxy and varnish.
The paint colours used reflect what Rob thinks were the original paint scheme.
One interpretation of the name ‘Mataroa’ apparently is long nose –  which from on deck, she certainly appears to have.

I’m aware that Rob bought Mataroa for a very modest sum because of rumours that she was suffering from electrolysis. While every hull fastening was connected by a maze of wires, she had suffered a wee bit but surprisingly little compared to other examples we have seen on ww. Needless to say the wiring has all been removed along with any superfluous  hull appendages.

Mataroa was re-launched on Jan 21st 2017 & I have to say looks a lot smarter when I saw her for sale on trademe. Well done Rob & family 🙂 We look forward to seeing the interior work next winter.

PS – owning a pretty boat helps get a feature on ww but wearing a ww t-shirt in the photos gets you to the top of the waiting list 😉


Message for CYA Launch Owners + Mataroa Spy Photos

CYA Xmas BBQ Poster

Message for CYA Launch Owners + Mataroa Spy Photos

Doing a shout out today to all Classic Yacht Association launch owners to remind you that next weekend (Dec 3>4) is the annual CYA Patio Bay weekend. The highlight of which being the byo BBQ (bbq’s provided for cooking) ashore at Woolicott’s bach. Most of us rate it as the #1 social event of the year in terms of mix & mingling. Check out the photos from last year here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/12/07/cya-patio-bay-bbq-xmas-race-weekend-2015/
The weekend sees over 50 classic launch & yachts come together for a weekend of fun, friendship & fraternity.

Mataroa Update
Not wanting to short change you today in terms of your classic woody ‘fix’ – below a few spy photos taken by Max Uivel of the progress being made on the 1928 Joe Slattery launch, Mataroa in the Evans Bay slip yard.
Rob Uivel can be seen hard at work. Max commented that there is still a way to go but progress has been good considering the meteorological and seismic conditions in Wellington.
I have to say she is a very pretty classic & looks to be getting a very sympathetic make-over – we like that 🙂 More details on her past here. https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/10/31/mataroa-kenya-2/



A Message From Manu PB

Hi Alan,
 My name’s Manu, i’m in wellington. was looking for photos on the net of a nice kauri launch out of interest, as i used to own and live in one.
What do you know, Mataroa comes up!
My father Simon Blakiston bought her from Kevin, end of 1999 (?) and had her brought down to Chaffers marina straight away. We enjoyed trips to the sounds, havelock, and around the harbour (some of the photos posted are ours) for a few years, and he and I ended up living onboard for a couple years, all the while he worked as an architect there!  the rearmost port side berth in the main cabin may still have a fold-out drawing table under it. I lived there with my partner later on also. in 2007 Dad was taken by cancer and I inherited the boat. Sadly I’m not a particularly nautical person, and it became apparent that i was doing her no favours by putting off some much needed restoration work. I sold her to a young couple who lived onboard at chaffers for a while.
It’s great to see the photos up on display! really brings back some memories of quite an important little bit of my life!
One of the better stories from my time with Mataroa was being in my last year of school, and a friend saying his father and grandfather were wandering at the marina and had found a boat the grandfather had driven during the war. it took only a small amount of figuring to realise he was talking about Mataroa. Granddad was Bluey Barnes (forgotten his actual first name sorry! this can all be revised), the 18 yearold mentioned on your site by Kevin. Dad met with Bluey and took him out for a spin, apparently his stomach wasn’t what it used to be by this point. Somewhere i have a couple of copies of photos from Bluey, one of his boat boy topside, and another of her absolutely loaded with troops. I hope copies of these photos made it into the boat’s files, otherwise i can try and dig them out. Kevin also mentions a tape recording of Bluey’s exploits which i have too, but havent played since dad recorded it.
There are a couple more stories floating around i think, let me know if you want me to dig up any of them, or the photos and tape. I can also find a little more out about Bluey, sadly he passed away a year or two ago, but i still see his grandson regularly.

Cheers and thanks for getting Mataroa up on the net for all to see, she’s missed out on a lot of due credit over the last few years. great to see some photos i haven’t before.
  Manu PB

Mataroa (Kenya)















Today’s photos were sent in by Rob Uivel, who recently purchased Mataroa & in whom I have great faith that she will be bought back to ‘as-new’. Given her very original condition, there will be no need for a chainsaw 🙂
Built in 1928 by Joe Slattery, she was named Kenya when launched & measures 36′. Originally built for Mr Heard of Heards Confectionary.
This link will show you her as purchased by Rob https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/05/26/mataroa-kenya/

The above historical photos show Mataroa after she was struck amidships by another boat, & show the repairs and alterations undertaken. You have to love the ‘fence posts’ holding her together.

Now woodys – if anyone can give us the name of the vessel that struck her, I’ll give them a ww t-shirt. Answers via email only, sent to waitematawoodys@gmail.com
You’ll need to provide proof to support your answer 😉


Mataroa (Kenya)

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 5.08.36 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 5.09.25 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 5.09.04 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 5.08.49 PM


As they say in the boxing game – Mataroa is the real deal – a 1928 Joe Slattery launch, named Kenya when launched, she measures 36’ LOA & was originally built for Mr Heard of Heards Confectionary. On trademe her owner claims she is a Collings & Bell but that is incorrect – read a lot more about her – build details, war history & more on the link below.


Powered by a Ford 90p diesel, she will cruise effortlessly at 8.5 Knots. You will see from the photos that she is over due for some TLC but boy-o-boy the bones are there & for sale at $15k – that’s a lot of boat.

I have included below a photo from her early days, you will see how smart is was & could be with a little work.

Someone has to scoop her up.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 5.28.39 PM

Moana & the Point Erin Causeway

photo ex Mac Taylor Collection

Today’s post shows a collection of launches hauled out at the foot of Curran Street in Herne Bay, Auckland. The launch Moana can be clearly seen, not sure of the other 3.
The construction work in the background was the building of a road from the foot of Curran St. around the base of the Point Erin cliff towards what is now the road to Westhaven & the Harbour bridge on-ramp.

Moana was a popular boat name -can anyone help ID this Moana & possibly the 3 others hauled out alongside her?

27-09-2015 Took the below photo on the family walk this morning

28-09-2015 Harold Kidd Input

This MOANA was built by Joe Slattery in December 1912 for the Collie Bros of Devonport. She was 30′ x 7’10” and had an 8hp Union originally. Sacha de Graaf owned her quite recently in Auckland. The others are a bit difficult. The left hand launch looks like a “settler’s launch” of which several hundred were built in Auckland.

Silver Spray


Today’s post has links back to yesterdays post that involved the Ravenhall family.
It starts back in 1926 when Silver Spray was built by Joe Slattery for Charles Ravenhall of Remuera. Silver Spray is 26′ LOA, 7′ beam with a 2’6″ draft, These days she is powered by a 4108 Perkins & has been beautifully restored & maintained by her owner & craftsman Mark Stapleton. Mark also maintains several other immaculate classic launches – Lady Margaret & Kailua for there owners.
The Ravenhall connection goes deeper in that Silver Spray is today housed in one of the Ngapipip Road boat sheds & back in 1930 Mr Charles Ravenhall was responsible for the shed sites in Ngapipi Rd being surveyed off for the construction of the sheds, with Silver Spray being the first vessel to be housed there. The Ravenhall shed was a small building , with a small window on the streetscape. The sheds were built as a result of the construction of the railway bridge across Hobson Bay.

Mark Stapleton had the pleasure of taking Charles Ravenhall’s son, Leslie & his family for a day trip on Silver Spray to celebrate Leslie’s 81st birthday.

The history of Silver Spray includes lives on Lake Rotoiti , Lake Taupo & homed twice in its 90 Years in Ngapipi Rd.

History is a wonderful thing but its now 2015 & Mark is retiring from boating due to health reasons & he has asked ww to help find a new minder for the old girl. To quote Mark “I would like to find another carer for her as I am confident in the right hands this boat has decades more life left in her. She is a delightful little boat & I have had many fantastic adventures with her “. Given the skills of Mark & the attention he has lavished on her, that is an understatement.

Silver Spray comes with a crated complete spare engine &  extensive new parts inventory.
She is in running order with full inventory of kit including – radio, fire extinguishers, life jackets, flares, Epirb, lines, anchors , dinghy, mooring .
Silver Spray is presently housed in her own shed and can be viewed on the hard by appointment. Mark can be initially contacted on email at   stapleton.restoration@gmail.com

The boat shed is also for sale separately. That should excite a few people, these things are like hens teeth & very rarely change hands.

So woodys, who is looking for or knows someone who is, a smaller classic wooden launch with wonderful provenance & maintenance history? This is the perfect boat, size wise in terms of easy maintenance & while I would hate to see her leave the Waitemata, she does have lake boat written all over her.

As an aside – Silver Spray is fast, she has blown the socks off my Raindance & other classics launches twice her size, in numerous CYA Patio Bay Rudder Cup classic launch races. Mark is always trying to squeeze an extra knot out of her – hence the sails in several photos, which he always told the race handicapper were there for safety (steadying) reasons – yeah right 🙂

02-08-2015 Photos ex Lynette Hatrick (nee Ravenhall)

The photos below of the Silver Spray during restoration were taken in the August 2003 before my Dad – Ronald and my mum – Bev Ravenhall went for the birthday cruise on the Silver Spray.

Mark Stapleton was passionate about restoring this boat and we all had a great time looking over it in the shed. That is my Dad in the photos.



photos & details ex owner Tony Butcher

Manuia was built by Joe Slattery in 1930, according to Harold Kidd (but Tony has 1928 in his mind). Tony bought her in 2010 off Julian Richards, a retired boat builder of Bayswater, Auckland. Tony is a serious woody with an impressive past of classic ownership – Linda which he brought off John Salthouse & he also had 1/4 share in Lady Gay which was brought off Joe Wilson.
I note from the above photos that since buying buying Manuia Tony has done a lot to her, but thankfully for such a pretty launch, she still looks the same as when purchased. Tony told me he likes his home comforts & a good roast so an upgraded galley in the cockpit, water pressure system, main saloon table where on the list. Tony has also re-powered Manuia with a 100 hp Yanmar diesel and done all the brightwork inside.
Tony has been told Mr Henley senior (of Henley Prop’s) had her at some stage. Apart from this & the Richards ownership period Tony is light on her past & ownership details – so woodys can we peel back the layers?

Harold Kidd Input

MANUIA was indeed launched on 6th February 1930. She was built by Joe Slattery at Judges Bay for Sam Keen of Parnell.
Subsequent owners include Bill Alder c1950 (still with Kelvin), W.R. Croft (1966), Les Vercoe (1973), Jack Nears then Paul Jones of Whangaparaoa 1990. Paul died quite recently.
I make the assumption that Richards bought her from Paul. Paul was a stalwart of the Vintage Car Club with a fine Alvis TC21/100.
Alan might like to print the Auckland Star image? (he has 😉 AH)



Ocean Queen


The Taupo owner (Paul Stewart) of Ocean Queen would like to find out more about the boat he has owned since a 2003.

She is a carvel sedan approx 30′, built he believes in 1937 in Onehunga. Paul knows no more of her lineage than that. She is currently powered by 4 cylinder Fordson through a Paragon box. Paul believes she probably started life as a Flush Decker and has since had the coach-roof raised to accommodate the windows and headroom.

She was bought off a Pukekohe owner who moored her on the Tamaki river, she now trundles happily around Lake Taupo laughing at the worst of what the lake can throw at her.

Above are some photos of her when first in Taupo, around 2004 and a couple in the current state.

Paul would love to know more of Ocean Queen’s history whilst he enjoys her for this part of her life.

Update – Lots of info / chat on Ocean Queen in the comments section. Check out this story ex Harold Kidd ex PapersPast from the Auckland Star 22 July 1935. She must have been well built 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



details & photos from Harold Kidd & Ken Ricketts

Esme was built by Joe Slattery for Henry Allen in 1921. He owned her in the 1920’s>1930’s. The photo above is from the early 1930’s after Allen raised her cabin top and put on a dodger. Hopefully one of the ww followers can ID some of the children on board.

More info here https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/09/29/esme/

Below is a raw photo essay in how our classics were ‘updated’ over a short period (approx. 10yrs). click to enlarge.

As Launched

1st Update

2nd Update

07-04-2017 Photo below ex Ken Ricketts

ESME - 1920's




There as been a lot of activity in comments section of ww in regard to Wainui. The original story I posted on her back in June 2013 under the headline ‘Getting Hooked’ told the tale of her current owner Phil Parks & how he came to own the classic wooden launch Wainui. Its a good story & can be viewed at the link below  –


Last Friday the post popped up again & we uncovered some insight into her past & some wonderful details & photos from Harold Kidd. Phil Parks advised that the restoration project was now scheduled to start in late 2014, aside from other things in life getting in the way, there was a wee oops that saw Wainui sink at her mooring.

Firstly a brief history of WAINUI II 

  1. Built by Joe Slattery c1924 for E.O. Ward.
  2. Wrecked on Rangitoto February 1936 and badly damaged.
  3. Ward sold to Val Maxwell, teacher at King’s College, as a wreck. Maxwell rebuilds probably close to present configuration.
  4. Maxwell sells 1939.
  5. Later owners include Sandy Searle 1967-72, then Dr. Ranginui Walker 1972, gap of 3 years then John Hobden 1977-81, Stan Bayer 1981-84, N Amos 1984-7, Ken Meyer 1987-90.
  6. Capt. John Harrison (ex-skipper of HMNZS TUI), Harold has fond memories of the TUI wardroom, bought her at Sandspit 1990 in poor condition with 40hp Ford Ebro. Orams rebuilt her substantially 1991-2. John renamed her Tilikum and kept her at Parua Bay then sold shortly after and went back to sail.


Photo Gallery of WAINUI II

# 2507 was taken in 1928 alongside the Bayswater Wharf. Note the steam trams.

# 2505 shows her being launched for the season from Bailey & Lowe’s. This pic was used in the Herald on 24/10/30. The yacht on the right is almost certainly Ladye Wilma on Heartseae’s cradle.

# 2506 shows her on the rocks at Rangitoto in February 1936 (same image as used in the header)

# 2509 she’s at Lees at Sandpit in April 1990 when John Harrison bought her, looking fine but seriously rotten.

# 2508 at Orams in Whangarei under major reconstruction in April 1991.

# NZ Herald 4 Feb 1936 (Papers Past) – high on the rocks at Rangitoto. The 6 occupants were washed out of the cockpit, with  2 females being injured.

# NZ Herald 6 Feb 1936 (Papers Past) – showing the extensive damage she sustained.

# Current Photo 2013 (low res image)



Vulcan – update

Vulcan (again)

More photos have surfaced ex Harold Kidd.

Your Harbour Master Nazi’s would have a fieldday if they were around back then, on my count – 16 people & not a PFD insight.

The yacht in the background (H16) is the 26ft mullet boat KOTARE, built by A.K. Butterworth at Manurewa in 1920. She spent a season on the Manukau but was on the Waitemata from October 1921.

I would also like to draw Mr Deeble’s attention to the fact that Vulcan was partaking in the very natty craze of sporting a fender at the ready while underway – a custom still practiced today by the traditionalists amongst us 😉



photos ex Eddie Vowles

Vulcan, built by Joe Slattery, was owned by Eddie’s grandfather, who had set line fished from her and explored all the tidal rivers in the Harbour and Gulf. Eddie recalls that the above photos of her haul out were just prior to her sale in c.1943.

If you were ever looking for guidance on what a tram-top / doghouse launch should look like -you need look no further than Vulcan 🙂

Harold Kidd Input
Vulcan was built by Joe Slattery at Judges Bay in late 1913 and had a Vulcan engine, which weren’t very common.
Her first owners were T G Parven and Rowe who owned her until c1922 when J W S Penalligen bought her. Eddie’s grandfather Rowland Vowles bought her about 1935 and owned her throughout the war. The pics in question were taken about 1943 when she was hauled up in Ngatataringa Bay at the foot of Bulwer St, off Abbotsford Tce, Devonport.

Any one able to ID the other launch hauled out alongside her?

And the obvious question – what happened to Vulcan?

As an aside I live 4 houses from where Eddies great grandfather, William Thomas Vowles, a fisherman, lived in Devonport – small world. The whole family, great grandfather, grandfather (Rowland), parents & Eddie all lived in Devonport.



photos ex Shane Anderson 

My ‘eyes’ at Gulf Harbour marina sent me a few photos of one of my favorite launches, the 1917 Joe Slattery designed & built Pacific, undergoing a wee make over.

Each to their own but I have always liked the mint green topsides on Pacific, well as of yesterday thats all changed. Appears that the topsides have been taken back to bare timber & have been repainted with a wood tone paint, this used to be very common on launches. In fact if you enter Pacific in the ww search box & hit enter, you will see some old movie footage of her when she had this finish before. Photo add also from the mid 1980’s ex Nathan Herbert.

Will be very interested to see the finished job, in the flesh.

20-01-2016 Pacific hauled out at Gulf Harbour for some maintenance (photo ex Ken Ricketts)

08-02-2016 Ready for re-launching (photos ex Ken Ricketts)

10-09-2018 Update

Pacific is now in the ownership of Nathan Herbert & getting a major dose of TLC.

The photo below shows a change to her appearance – as you will see from the above gallery, she has sported several looks. The new ‘white on white’ makes her look a lot bigger.




This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Owned by CYA member Ward House (MV La Rosa) between 1957 – 61. She was Wards first boat & according to Ward was 26′ & built by Joe Slattery. Ward purchased Salome from Fred Rothery (market gardener from Mangere) and sold it a Mr Fred Knapper (engineer from Chelsea Sugar Works). When Ward owned her she had an Austin 35 marine engine.

Very nice lines, but that goes without saying if she is a Slattery.





photo & details ex Ken Ricketts

Esme belonged to Henry Allen in the 1920s & 30s prior to him buying Tiromoana. The above photo was taken in 1924 & was as published in The NZ Aquatic magazine Friday, March 14th 1924. Not sure of her engine at this stage. She was named after his daughter Esme.

H.A. spoke of the boat when ever Ken saw him in the 1940s & 50s. He undoubtedly was very fond of the old boat. Ken never ever saw Esme, always wanted to, & now with this photo his curiosity is answered.

Harold Kidd Update

ESME was built by Joe Slattery for Pop Allen in August 1921. I’ve no info on engine fitted but it must have been fairly potent as she was fast. Allen raised her cabin top and put on a dodger in 1930. She was for sale on TradeMe three years ago in desperate condition. Kevin Hussey had owned her at Half Moon Bay in poor condition for some time before that.



Classic Launch Old Movie Footage – Pacific


Some ‘old’ home movie footage, of Pacific, note the varnished cabin top, we like that 🙂
Supplied by Nathan Herbert

Update from Grant Burrell

This movie is taken around 1960 before the wheel house cabin was extended and the stern cabin had canvas sides. The cabin was never varnished but my Grand Father painted an imitation fake painted wood grain, It did look good, worked well on a swing mooring but the dark paint dried the timber when on the marina.

Silver Spray


Silver Spray


Story & photo by Lyn Hatrick

The above boat is the Silver Spray which my Dad has noted as being built by Joe Slattery in Judges Bay about 1925 and was 26ft long. It was powered by an Ailsa Craig petrol engine. This boat is still in existence and has been completed done up and is now moored out by the boatsheds at Orakei. My grandfather owned one of the boatsheds there which he housed the Silver Spray in. These sheds were offered to those affected by the buildingof the pipeline and who owned boats which used to be kept up on the foreshore where the Shore Road/Orakei Road intersection is. The family lived in Orakei Road at the time and then moved to Tuahere Street and loved boating

Note the above was ‘borrowed’ from a facebook page & used based on the fact they we borrowing waitmatawoodys material 😉

Mothers Day


Mothers Day

Mothers Day


Today is all about mums, past & present + families. What better photo to remind us about family life than the one above taken during the Guthrie family 1931/2 Xmas / NY Northland cruise on their launch Alcestis.
Over the next few days I will post some stunning photos of Alcestis (now Raiona), Lady Margaret & Shenandoah cruising around the far north.
Enjoy today.

special thanks to Graham Guthrie for sharing his grandparents photos





Pic courtesy Harold Kidd. Built in the early 1900s, Ken Ricketts knew this boat from 1946 to mid 1950s she lived in Judges Bay, by the groin just under the bridge right next door to his late fathers boat JULIANA. She was owned by an Oliver Brett accountant of Parnell, & had had the hull built up to a flared bow, probably in the1930s (a la MAVIS B) had a Redwing 6 cyl petrol engine & was hardly used disappeared off the radar after that would like any news.



Designed & built by Joe Slattery in 1919 , she was owned by Secombes, accountants, of Remuera, in the later 1940s & 50s, moored at Whakatakataka Bay, & hardly used. — they replaced the original engine, which I think may have been a Lowes Knight, with a Leyland “Comet,” marine diesel, she also had a 4 cyl Graymarine wing motor. Later owned by Bob Cleave.

Photo of Rainoa below taken by Russell Ward 29 December 2013

IMG_3050 copy[1]

23/02/2015 – photos below off Onetangi, New Year 2015, ex Peter Loughlin

 2018 photo below 




MATAROA. Owned by Ted Ward in the 1940s & 50s, photo taken in Matiatia in 1948 by Ken Ricketts. Possibly a Baileys boat, had a 6 Cyl Graymarine petrol engine. Not been seen for many a year – anyone able to advise her current status, location?
She appeals to me, looks as if she was fast.

Harold Kidd Update

MATAROA was built by Joe Slattery as KENYA for Len Heard of Parnell in 1928 with a 40/60 Ailsa Craig. So this pic is probably taken during Heard’s ownership ie 1938 or earlier. He sold her to  Seagar and replaced her with KENYA II built for him by Lidgard Bros and delivered in early 1940.

The RNZAF took her to Fiji in1943 for towing at Lauthala Bay and put a 6 cylinder Chrysler Crown in her as the Ailsa Craig was thought to be on its last legs and for spares rationalisation.

08-01-2015 Updated Info from Kevin and Jan Price.

We owned her for a few years after purchasing her from Maurice Reynolds (of Auckland Coast Guard). I believe she is now in Wellington.
She was originally names Kenya. She was nearly named Kenya Mist after a book title that was popular during her build, but the name was considered too long so shortened.
She was designed to fit into Len’s boat shed and had a droopy sheer line forward to fit under the door lintel, but it looked horrible and false works were built to improve her forward end appearance.
When Len Heard (Heard’s Barley Sugar) sold her to the Seagers, Len kept the name for his new bigger launch and the Seagers named her Mataroa after a much enjoyed cruise on the liner Mataroa.

She saw war service in Fiji as RNZAF No W71 and was employed in the construction of the Lauthala Bay breakwater to shelter the flying boats and also the metalling of airfield hard standing for warbirds. To achieve this she towed three barges totaling 90 tons. I was told that some of her trips down the Suva river fully loaded was sometimes a finally tuned effort to keep her lined up and thru the bridge. I was told her engine was only a 30hp Ailsa Craig at that time. Her Cox was a young 18 year old with a Fijian boat boy. Somewhere at home I have a tape recording of his wartime exploits.
Under her paint forward are scribed roundel circles.
Under that paint on the transom is the imprint of a brass bowsprit star received when towing a string of yachts home following the Suva annual Pacific yacht race.
She was offered back to the Seagers after the war. When they went to look at her at Herald Is she was not in good order and considered not taking her back, but did.

I think the engine was replaced by a Crown then later by a 90hp Ford wet sleeve by the Reynolds. 8knots at 1900rpm. (One day in a fit of exuberance I pushed the throttle to the wall and the GPS recorded 14knts)

After a mishap when an accompanying launch lost her steering and rammed Mataroa broadside amidships and split her open from deck to waterline she was run up on a nearby beach. The hull was propped out with an array of timber posts and she was motored back for repairs by matching the waterline wave curve with the bottom of the broken planking
She underwent repairs and refit. During this refit her rear house top was raised 4” and her vertical shaft steering column and flat “ bus drivers” wheel was replaced with the current more conventional setup. The round ports in the saloon where changed to oval for improved interior lighting. The saloon was relined with oak paneling. The overhead was lined in white Seratone as trying to maintain any sort of finish on the underside of the cedar deck was not possible due to it’s continuous movement. This refit was during the Renold’s time.

Under the forward cabin sole is/was a large admiralty anchor, possibly an original. Under the cockpit sole is/was a spare five blade prop.

1” Carvel Kauri.
Spotted gum ribs.
Possibly Pohutakawa stem.
Cedar deck / cabin tops for light weight.
Cedar sole floor boards screwed one Kauri floors.
No frames.
Mid and aft bulkheads removable, to allow engine to be taken out aft.
Log is kauri boxed and pitch filled.
Her capstan motor was an aircraft starter motor and reduction box that finally gave up the ghost when we owned her.
300trl copper diesel tank at the transom. Copper water tanks under cockpit seating.
No ballast.

That’s all for now. When I eventually get home ( we haven’t been home for seven years) I will look for some old photos I have tucked away.

Kevin and Jan Price.