Neptune is a 39’ John Gladden designed ex work boat / converted trawler & is now a potential live aboard.

She was extended .6m eight years ago & has a 11’5” beam & draws 5’2”.

Her trademe listing is very light on details, the only other things I can advise is that she was built in 1982 & made of wood.

( thanks to Ian McDonald for the listing heads up)






Have been asked by woody Chris Leech, to help dig up some more intel on the John Woollcott designed, John Gladden built (Milford) launch – Tamure, pictured above.

All we know is whats on the builders plate e.g. the above + a build date of 1974. Anyone able to help out with details?


Input & photo (of Tom & Phyllis Williams) from Baden Pascoe

Built for family friend Tom Williams who moved to Whitianga in the mid 1970’s. Dad (John Dory) and Tom fished in tandem at the inner Mercury Islands, Hole in the Wall passage. Before Tom died he gave me a video of her launching. Built from recycled kauri from an old church. I did a profile on Tom’s life in professional skipper if any one is interested. From memory she was designed by Woollacott.
When Tom retired he sold her to Tony Boyce who used her for game fishing.
Tom spent his life in the industry, he was partner in the Scow Lena, then bought Beverley (Dafodil) has skipped for Sanford and Sealord.


15-02-2018. Photo below ex Baden Pascoe. Who commented “She is a remarkable little boat, carried a big laod, fantastic sea boat. Where dad and Tom fished would not be for the faint hearted. I hope the new owner cleans her up , would be nice to see Tom’s fishing reg still on her.”


45′ Gladden Displacement Sedan Launch

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45′ Gladden Displacement Sedan Launch

I have had several woodys alert me to the trademe listing for the above vessel – to date we know that she was designed and built in 1968 to survey by John Gladden. 45′ in length, with a beam of 13’1″ & draft of 5’6″, she is kauri strip plank construction and powered with a 110 h.p. Gardner 6LXA diesel.

Looking at the photos she would a great launch for long distance all weather, economical cruising.
Anyone know more about her ? a name would be good, but we know how insecure the brokers are 🙂
And Something For The Woody Petrol Heads
The Red Wing engine below is on trademe – Built by the Thorobred Motor Company, USA. Thanks Peter Thorpy for the listing heads-up.
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And Speaking Of Motors – Gardner Wanted
Woody Russell Ward, has asked if I could spread the word around that he needs a Gardner 5LW that is in reasonable running order.
Russel has a new project & it does not involve steam or sails, more on this later.
The engine  that came with the boat is beyond saving so he is looking for a replacement.
I suggested that a sensible person would treat the boat to a six cylinder Ford but Russell likes old engines especially the way they sound 😉

Manuia – An Update

Manuia Oct2016

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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.




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The above 45′ Gladden pilot house bridge-decker was built in 1972. Powered by twin Ford 180hp diesels that get her along at 10>14 knots. Thats about all I know, photos ex trademe.

Can anyone put a name to her & some history? (see comments section – lots of info there )

Sorry about the poor image used as the main photo but that was all there was available.

Photos below ex Brian Worthington & Ken Ricketts


Valhalla A Peek Down Below




Valhalla featured on ww back in April of this year but we had no interior photos, Ken Ricketts has just emailed me the above. You can read more about her & her past, including photos at this link. Enjoy 😉

23-12-2016 Update – photo below (ex Ken Ricketts) suggests that she was named Valhalla 1 when launched but the plate looks newer than the 1960’s so the jury is still out.



Takohe – Sailing Sunday

Takohe in Islington bay

Islington Bay

Takohe winter refit 2 1993

Winter 1993 at Milford

TAKOHE – Sailing Sunday
photos & details ex Allan Johnson

I was contacted last week by Allan who was looking for details on his father’s (Max Johnson) John Gladden designed bilge keeler, Takohe.
Takohe is a 28′ & started life as a kit built project for Ray Driver, a school teacher at Westlake Boys High School (Ray was also Allan’s old wood work teacher). Sadly Ray passed away before he could finish the boat and through the grapevine Max Johnson ended up purchasing the unfinished hull and finished it off. At the time Allan had just finished his apprenticeship at the Devonport Dockyard as a boat builder and had worked for John Gladden, before going on his never ending OE. The boat needed a mast and Max was keen on an enclosed cockpit, as designed they normally had an open cockpit. Allan commented that he was press ganged into doing the work but really enjoy doing these jobs for his father. She was launched c.1972.

Some years after launching, possibly in 1993, Max got John Gladden to lengthen her water line and make a boarding platform with a transom door to ease boarding from the dinghy, this also helped her speed as she ended up with a cleaner stern exit.

Before Max passed away he sold her to a gent in Whangarei. Allan did see her there in the early 2000’s but that was the last he saw Takohe.
Allan only got a day trip on her before his OE & now lives in Canada. But his parents had many good days sailing around Auckland.

Allan google searched the vessel & uncovered the details below from Yachting NZ. So woodys can we help Allan learn more about Takohe’s past & where she is today ? Is the owner listed still current?

Boat Details – Takohe
Sail Number: 1472
Designer : J Gladden
Boat Type: Other
Owner name: I & E Needham

ps nice to see that in 23 years what is now Geoff Bagnall’s Milford yard has hardly changed –  still one of the few commercial railway haul-outs in Auckland with a working wooden boat builder alongside – we like that 🙂  The creek looks a little cleaner 😉

25-08-2016 Input from Allan Johnson
Today I was going through the books that I have had in storage for the past 5 years and was surprised to find the last log book for Takohe. I thought that this would be still with my sister in NZ.

From the last entries into the Takohe Log book dated 1998 05-04
Sold to:
Ivan James Craig NEEDHAM
Erin Frances NEEDHAM
3 Cockburn Street, Onerahi, Whangarei, 0110 , New Zealand
Ph #: 09-436-xxxx

I did a search on Google.NZ and found the following:

This company was registered at the same address as above.
This company does not seem to exist anymore removed from register 2002-09-10.

The last entry in the log of Takohe: (Dad’s Log book).
Takohe left Milford marina in fine weather after a stormy weekend of waiting to get out. Went as far as Kawau.
1998-06-16 Takohe on to Whangarei – 10 hours
Ivan rang to confirm arrival in Whangarei, very happy with Takohe’s performance.

Also from searching “I Needham” on the following reference shows up in 2012.

From the NZ Herald / Northland Age  2012-08-09

Boaties rally for shipwrecked mate
A Far North man whose pride and joy ran aground and sank on his first outing said last week that he had been overwhelmed by the kindness of Whangaroa’s boating community.

Rob Clarke bought the 65-year-old kauri fishing boat Taramea and was taking it from Auckland to his home at Kaimaumau, on the Rangaunu Harbour, when disaster struck while he was taking shelter from wild weather in the Matangirau arm of the Whangaroa Harbour. The anchor dragged in the night, leaving the boat stuck fast on the shore at 4.20am with a metre-long gash in the hull.

Rob, a young crewman and a dog were rescued by Whangaroa Coastguard and a fisherman known only as Bill after their situation worsened suddenly that afternoon and they were forced to make a mayday call.

Neither men nor dog came to harm, but Rob was left with the thorny problem of owning a damaged boat stuck in an isolated bay.

Taramea was originally used for fishing in the deep south, Rob buying her with the idea of doing her up and eventually living on board.

A small group of volunteers have been doing their best to see that can still happen.

As of Friday commercial fisherman Mark Giles had given up five days of his time to help out (while refusing payment). Whangaroa boatie Ivan ‘The Terrible’ Needham and other locals also turned out, Mark’s fishing boat Destiny and Ivan’s 16-metre yacht Masada between them managing to pull Taramea off the sand and tow it, partly submerged, to the boat ramp at Whangaroa.

By Wednesday evening she was on the mud near the boat ramp, but with only the tip of her mast above water.

Unable to shift her any further, Mark went door-knocking around Kaeo in the hope of borrowing a winch. Instead Martin ‘Mooch’ Rudolph, of Mooch Transport, offered his digger and his time without charge, and Kaeo Transport lent a low-loader to get it to Whangaroa.

On Thursday morning a Coastguard volunteer diver got a rope around the stricken boat so Mooch could drag her up the beach and flip her over so the gash in the hull was above water. It was then a race against the tide as Rob and helpers fashioned a makeshift patch and seal to make the hull watertight.

The plan was then to drag the boat further up the beach on the incoming tide, set her upright and start pumping her out.

Rob, stoic despite the heartbreaking end to his maiden trip, said he owed his helpers “huge thanks.”

“I’d love them to be recognised for what they’ve done,” he said.

“It’s not just my case. It’s a regular thing. Mark has given up five days’ work and says he doesn’t want to be paid.

“He’s done everything, from conceiving the idea and fielding scepticism to getting materials and running his boat around.”

Mooch Rudolph said helping out had merely been his “good deed for the day,” while Ivan Needham, who lives on his yacht, said he hated to see a boat in such an unhappy predicament.