A Woody Tour of the Tamaki River – 70 photos

A Woody Tour of the Tamaki River – 70 photos

Todays story so needed to be done, and woodys, John Bullivant is a legend for grabbing his camera and heading out on our behalf. I’ll let John tell his story 🙂

“Thought it was about time I got a few photos on the Tamaki River boats before they disappear, (and they are going fast by the look of some). There are only a fraction of the numbers of wooden boats that were moored there in the 1960s and 1970s and as I previously mentioned, living on the waterfront at Bucklands Beach for around 25yrs I had seen most of them go by (was like Queen St on Friday nights most summer weekends) I did 2 trips down from Orewa and took pics from Panmure Boat Club and up to and under the new Panmure Bridge, end of Gabadore Pl (off Carbine Rd), the old Panmure Marina, (going with many houses from Panmure to Pakuranga Town centre, to make way for new highway widening), along the Tamaki River walkway for about 4km (Rotary Walk,- starts at the old Panmure Marina and goes all the way to Gills Rd in Howick, for those who like walking), Half Moon Bay and Bucklands Beach.

I also went down to the 1960s site of the private ex RNZAF W1  haul-out ramp below the old Alright property (well covered in bush now and a near vertical climb down a 30ft bank), – lost a bit of blood but well worth it for me, as I last stood on that spot 50yrs ago when we sneaked on board W1 to have a look around while she was up there. Original ramp and haul-out dolly is still there (see pics) although time has taken its toll. I’m amazed, looking at the crude set-up today, how Mr Alright got a 64ft boat weighing many tons, sitting on rubber tyred dollies (which ran in grooved concrete) lined up and hauled out with a winch and by the looks of it, the large tree in line with the ramp, not to mention getting it back out again (I’m assuming he must have winched it back out somehow). Massive effort not only to build the ramp on mud, (all by hand, no concrete pumping trucks) but to be able to use it.

Hope these photos are of interest to people who may be able to identify some of the mystery boats (especially the light blue launch with the chrome ventilators and light, (looks ex RNZAF ?). The yacht hidden near the big boatshed is around 45ft looks very old and has been there for many years, as has poor old Imatra, a once grand yacht which is in a very sad state and in urgent need of care (must have been there 30 yrs odd now). I have included a few other launches and yachts to show the sad state of many good looking (and once expensive) boats on the river crying out for attention, but I guess many people have other priorities and sadly their dreams are just floating slowly into oblivion. It’s pretty hard to get rid of a rusty rotten hulk, so there they will stay till it’s “business time” (flight of the Conchords) for the 20 ton digger.

I may have some of the boats names wrong as I was using a telephoto lens for most of the pics and with enhancing colour, contrast etc was as near as I could get. I’m sure someone will correct any if wrong.”

NOTE: With the photos that John has named, I have tagged the photos with those names. Scroll over the photos to view the names 😉
I could have used the individual images on WW over an extended period, but they need to be together in one spot. Enjoy 🙂

Upper Harbour Cruise to the Riverhead Hotel



Upper Harbour Cruise to the Riverhead Hotel

Yesterday had the makings of a stay at home day – the forecast was looking very average & the All Blacks ‘v’ Ireland test was kicking off at 9.00am. Unfortunately the gods only smiled on us once – the weather never eventuated but the AB’s dropped their guard & for the 1st time ever lost to the boys in green. Given the location – Chicago, I say it wasn’t a real test 😉
The following classics from the CYA launch fleet made the trip – Mahanui, Te Arahi, John Dory, Te Hauraki, Trinidad, Lucille, Juanita, Raindance, Matira, Lucinda, Kumi & the motor-sailer Bliss.  These were joined by others who traveled by car. Over 100 gathered on the outer decks for lunch & one or two cleansing beverages.
Another great day & special thanks to the organizer – CYA Launch Captain Angus Rogers, Tony Stevenson for the use of the Tino Rawa Trust tender ‘Whistleblower’ & the publican, Stephen Pepperell, always nice to greeted at the wharf on arrival.

La Rosa, John Dory & Kelvin

La Rosa, John Dory & Kelvin
photo ex Baden Pascoe

The above photo was taken 2 weeks ago at Auckland’s Maritime Museum, La Rosa & John Dory had just returned from the CYA launch cruise to the Riverhead hotel & according to Baden Pascoe they all rafted up alongside Kelvin for afternoon tea, I suspect the word ‘tea’ covered a wide selection of beverages 😉

How lets see how clever you woodys are – these 3 vessels share one connection – who will the first to ID it. And it goes without saying that Ward House, Baden Pascoe & David (Davie) Jones are excluded 🙂

John Dory


John Dory


photo & details ex Baden Pascoe

How it used to be done in the old days – want to bet the trailer was not registered 🙂

This is a classic kiwi shot taken c.1998 after Baden & his father had done a big refit on John Dory. The tractor is a early 1940’s CASE. John Dory was launched down this same road in 1970, the only difference is that it took 3 hours with greased ways & a local tow truck to get her to a spot where she would float for the first time.
(Baden looking very ‘trim’ in his triathlon days)



How to – hints on removing bottom paint off a wooden hull


How to - hints on removing bottom paint off a wooden hull

Hints on removing bottom paint off a wooden hull (ex Baden Pascoe – MV John Dory)

The best time to do a major paint job on the bottom of your boat is when you have it out for a major or minor refit. Just wait long enough and the timber will shrink from under the years of paint and become very easy to remove. Leave this job to the very last as the paint also holds a little moisture in the planking while you are doing the endless list of other jobs.

I started off by placing tarps under the boat to catch all the old paint and then three of us used Linbide (spelling?) scrapers. My friend Jim Mateer has put a long pipe handle on his with a plug in the end and as you scrape, most of the paint flakes run down the centre of the handle. Just empty it every 5 min or so. He sometimes attaches a vacuum cleaner via a soft vac tube, I tell ya, it works very well, I think with the three of us it took about 6 hours work.
I took 23 kg off John Dory and I am very proud to say none of it went into the sea, I disposed of it at Trans Pacific for about $50.00. Then I sanded the surface and gave it 3 coats of International Primercon, one very diluted coat so that it went into the timber, one medium dilution and them a fairly non
diluted coat. The bottom looked so smooth, not bad for an old fishing boat!!
Then I gave it two hard anti fouls in blue and covered it with two soft antifouls. So, when I go to repaint, I just scrub or wet sand off until I see the blue paint. That way I hope to never have to do this again.

JD and Jack Taylor

Photo shows  Jack Taylor now 92 (going on 60) & Jim Mateer, in his late 70’s working on John Dory.