John Salthouse Crosses The Bar

John Salthouse

John Salthouse Crosses The Bar
Sad to hear that John Salthouse, the founder of Salthouse Boatbuilders passed away on Sunday night. If you have any doubts as to the extent of the mans input to our classic woody fleet just type SALTHOUSE in the WW search box & you’ll be amazed by the craft that John either built or enhanced in his lifetime. Below is a gallery of just some of the craft that Salthouse Boatbuilders have built.
Our thoughts go out to the extended Salthouse family. While he has left us, his legacy will grace our waters for many many years to come.


photos ex Ken Ricketts. details anonymous (not KR)

The above photos of Blitzen were taken while hauled out at Gulf Harbour recently. There is a lot of dockside ‘stories’ about Blitzen’s past & ww would love to find of more about this vessel.
Said to be a Salthouse design.
Many moon’s ago a new owner was heading away on a xmas cruise & an engine blow off Northhead so they aborted the trip & returned to the marina. Vessel hauled out & then spent the next 5+ years in a shed during which time she underwent the most amazing restoration, its said that her interior is like a piano. The craftsman working on her would send one day on one floorboard.

Fast forward to relaunch day & someone commented to the owner that with that new cabin superstructure that had been added she would trip over. So Blitzen was parked on a marina at Orakai & never left the marina. Dates are lazy, but the fact that she is now at Gulf Harbour provens the merchant of gloom was wrong.

So woodys – what do we know about Blitzen & is the above true?

Summary of info from the comments section

John Salthouse’s much used note book states that 53ft Blitzen was launched Dec ’73 and was Salthouse Bros 89th build. She was built right way up, two diagonals and a fore and aft, red lead and rivots, no glue for Rex & Ian Heavens, of Heavens Farms Maramarua.

Blitzen was owned for years by the Velas, and Brian McCurrah did the big refurb, on their property, situated where Westgate is now.. He was/is very good. A kauri boardroom table he did for Lion Nathan head office, is now in the Kauri museum, next to Robert Brookes sailing dinghy.
She spent much time in Westhaven, then Westpark.
Blitzen is presently owned by Ian Midgley who lives at the Hibiscus Coast

Photo below Whangaroa 1977, ex Nathan Herbert

A Visit to Chris McMullen’s Boat Shed

One of Chris’s experiments

And of a few photos of one of the prettiest boats on the Waitemata – Wirihana, the 1933 Colin Wild launch.

A Visit to Chris McMullen’s Boat Shed

Yesterday was a biggie on the wooden boating front – Barbara Cooke & myself organized for the Classic Yacht Association a visit to Chris McMullen’s workshop & boat shed. I have posted photos of the shed & its contents on ww before & ww has published several of Chris’s posts on the topic of electrochemical damage to wooden boats – but it was special for the members to meet the man himself & hear him speak on his past, his current passions / projects & future plans. The reproduction 1898 Herreshoff steam launch project just has to be one of the best kiwi ‘can-do’ tales around. The day she hits the water will be a very special occasion, I just hope I’m around to see it 😉

Today two things stood out for me:
1. The turn-out of two wooden boating icons – John Salthouse & Max Carter
2. The healthy number of sub 35 year old guys with a new found passion for classic wooden boats in attendance

If your a CYA member & you didn’t make the effort to come to the event – more fool you – as one of your most respected members said to me “today was a privilege, Chris is a one of a kind, his practical knowledge on boat building and engineering is unique”.

In my time as CYA launch captain one of my personal goals was to help deliver up events & access to people & ‘cool stuff’ that people would not normally have access to without being CYA members – from the comments & the smiles as people where departing today, Barb & I got it right today 🙂

To read / view more on Chris, his boats & the topic of electrochemical damage to wooden boats just enter – Chis McMullen – in the ww search box 😉

Lady Beryl


photo & details ex Harold Kidd

The photo above of Lady Beryl appeared 2 weeks ago as a side post on another post, when I saw this John Salthouse designed and built the 34 footer, I filed the photo away as a boat this pretty deserves a post of its own. Each to their own, but in my eyes, John nailed it. She was built for L M Lincoln of Glen Eden in 1961, but to quote Harold “there were further clones because it was such a damn nice boat”.

Anyone able to expand on her past & whereabouts today ?

Alan H Update

I should have made the link between Lady Beryl & Kailua, must be suffering from a mild case of Rickettitis (failure to use the ww search box)

As stated above she was built by Bob Salthouse in approx. 1960. Double skin Kauri, with teak/mahogany combings.

Engine: Hino 160hp by Moon Engines, uses 11ltrs per hr at 2000rpm, giving cruising speed 9-10 kts. Winner CYA Rudder Cup in 2009/10.

Her owner is a good classic owner – the s/s davit set-up is removable 🙂 And if she looks a little bow down in a couple of the photos, its all relative to the state of the wine cellar 😉

Colin Wild Yard – Stanley Point, Devonport

Colin Wild Yard – Stanley Point, Devonport
photo from the John & Judy Salthouse Collection

Todays photo was sent to me by Mike Drummond, with the permission of Judy & John Salthouse & was taken during John’s time at the Wild yard.
It looks a little familiar – possibly posted on the CYAF a few years ago & I recall Harold Kidd ID’ed the vessels. I could be wrong…….. ?

Can we attempt to do a L>R listing.

Note: thanks to Mike digitizing the Salthouse album & Judy & John kindly agreeing to share it with ww, we will have some great content coming up. Mike has a interesting link to Colin Wild in that his house is on the site of Wilds yard. Who knows one day we might get Mike off that 40knt+ foiling cat & into a Col Wild classic 🙂

Trinidad – 52′ Salthouse Motor Yacht

Trinidad – 52′ Salthouse Motor Yacht

Launched in 1965, designed by Bob Salthouse, built with 3 skin kauri planking at John Salthouse’s Greenhithe yard. She featured on the cover of the September 1966 edition of ‘Sea Spray’ magazine.
Powered by a 6LX Gardner diesel she cruises comfortably at 8.5>10 knots, with a cruising range of 1000miles. In my mind there are a few things that make a boat a ship, one of them is an ‘engine room’ versus an engine compartment & the second is a ‘workshop’ & the last is a galley that is a separate room – Trinny sports all three of these.
Trinidad is a very spacious vessel with 6’9″ headroom & her wheelhouse enjoys excellent visibility & is one of the most used areas on-board.
Trinidad is a true blue water ship with passages to Australia & a circumnavigation of NZ.
Her owners, Barbara & David Cooke maintain her to a standard that some would say is better than new & she is much admired where ever she drops anchor. AH