Chamberlains Bay Classic Launches  – Golden Hour

Bottom end of Waiheke Island
Chamberlains Bay
Summer Wine
Sea Fever
Tuna
Isle of Arran
Awariki
Lucille
Summer Wine & Takahoa

Chamberlains Bay Classic Launches  – Golden Hour

The truely talented boating photographers talk about the ‘golden hour’, the period just before sunset and just after dawn. Rarely in a bay is it an hour, sometimes it is 10>15 minutes before the sun disappears behind the hills or clouds.

On the Thursday before Easter, this average photographer (me) arrived in Chamberlains Bay, Ponui Island at just the right time and captured some special photos of the woody launches gathering for the Woody Classics Weekend cruise the next day up the Waihou River to Paeroa.

Woodys Classic Launch Easter River Cruise To Paeroa

Woodys Classic Launch Easter River Cruise To Paeroa

The Easter weekend cruise was always going to be a biggie – with most launches having to travel upwards of 10 hours to reach the final destination – the  ‘waterfront’ Historical Maritime Museum & Park in Paeroa. Most of the woody fleet gathered Thursday evening in Chamberlain Bay, Ponui Island in anticipation of an early start across the Firth of Thames, to rendezvous with the launches arriving from Thames and to collect our guide / navigator for the trip up the Waihou River. I’d have to say that the straight line trip across the Firth of Thames was 4 hours of my life I’ll never get back 🙂

We meet just off the old Kopu Swing Bridge which was opened specially for us to pass thru – and the welcome / turn out on the old bridge was outstanding. Must have been a quiet day in Thames, maybe  it was that it was Good Friday and most things (pubs etc) were closed 😉

We shot thru the gap and 10 minutes later our lead boat, with navigator on board, found a mud bank and were ‘stationary’ for over an hour. Once moving again the remainder of the 4+ hour journey was fun to travel together in close proximity, but the scenery got very repetitive and at 5 knots max – the going was slow. The skippers were kept awake by lots of locals who had gathered at wharfs and in paddocks to wave as we went past. The dodging of the occasional ‘grassberg’ (floating mid-stream) also kept skippers on their toes.

The final short leg from the main river to the Museum dock again saw the lead boat aground and a wait for more tide. 

We sneaked in just before dusk, a very long 10 hour day. 

Jason Prew and Peter Vandersloot  oversaw the shoehorning of the 10 woodys into the docking area. Then it was ashore to stretch the legs and a BBQ dinner/ catch up. The Museum had set up an impressive and most appreciated dining / BBQ area for the crews to enjoy. Post dinner most returned to the boats for an early night. 

Observation- it’s bloody cold up a creek in the middle of the Waikato, thank god for hot water bottles. 

Saturday was another cracker autumn day. The crews enjoyed a trip on the classic launch – Ariana (skippered by Peter Vandersloot) to the Paeroa township for morning tea at the local RSA – hot scones and pastries – always a winner. To balance out the catering, the river trip was split in two – with 1/2 the crew travelling by bus and boating back and same same in reverse for the other 1/2.

The day saw a great turn-out of locals visiting the Museum and walking the docks. I would encourage you to search the following words Kopu Bridge / Waihou River / Maritime Museum & Park on Facebook – the weekend was covered by so many people – lots more photos and videos to see.

Special mention must be made to Peter Vandersloot who masterminded the weekend and was on hand to provide so many insights into the heritage of the area, vessels and personalities. The Museum’s Chairperson Colin James and partner Gloria (a trustee) who were everywhere when needed and helped the weekend run smoothly.

Lastly none of this would have happened without woodys Jason Prew from The Slipway Milford, and Kerry Lilley for pulling everything together – well done guys.

The return trip back down the river had its challenges, very complicated tide table – but to the best of my knowledge no one is still there 🙂

The Museum and their boat trips are a must do if you are passing thru or around Paeroa. And big ups to the local council and business association – Paeroa is a healthy, well presented town, and a credit to everyone living there. 

Over the next week I’ll do additional WW stories on the Museum, the river trip to Paeroa on board Ariana and a few of the launches that made the trip.

(Woodys who attended – My Girl, Raindance, Awariki, Lucille, Summer Wine, Ngarimu, Lucinda, Maroro, Cindy Jane, Kaikoura, and guest appearance by Ariana – refer photos below)

(Photo credits to – Jason Prew, Linus Fleming, Andre Thomas, Andrew & Mechaela Dobbs and yours truly)

THE FLEET

AWARIKI – 1967 – Owen Woolley
MARORO – c.1905 – tba
NGARIMU – 1945 – Fred Goldboro
KAIKOURA – 1951 – Percy Vos
SUMMER WINE- Noel May – 1992
CINDY JANE – 1975 – Pelin Empress
MY GIRL – 1925- W H Hand Jr
RAINDANCE – 1928 – Lane Motor Boat Company
LUCILLE – Logan 33
LUCINDA – 1930 – L Coulthard

Auckland Anniversary Day Classic Regatta – Launch Race + Video of Mahurangi Regatta A Division Start

1st Across The Line – Kaikoura

Auckland Anniversary Day Classic Regatta – Launch Drag Race

Monday saw 10 classic launches brave the inner harbour conditions to contest the annual round the bouys, jandal to the floor romp, to see  who has the most slippery haul or deepest pockets (big engine and fuel). There is a handicap system but let’s not kid ourselves – its first across the line that gets the glory. This year Kaikoura claimed the honours. Photos from Nick Davidson onboard his woody – Juanita, parked off the harbour port rounding mark close to Orakei Wharf.
LINE: 1. Kaikoura 2. Fleetwing 3. My Girl HANDICAP: Fleetwing > Kaikoura > Paika > My Girl > Cindy Jane > Callisto > Waikaro > Kumi > Laughing Lady > Shearwater (Full details below)

Some people take this race very seriously, earlier in the week I witnessed Fleetwing’s keel getting the Jenny Craig treatment (LARGE sections removed) and a new prop added 🙂 

Video Footage of the 2022 Mahurangi Regatta A Division Yacht Start


Two Questions

1. What is sail #3445 doing in that stunning line up of classics. Two points (a) its not a classic (b) it pollutes the image

2. Who was calling starting tactics on sail #A11 (Ida) No room at the inn for them. Maybe they also thought 3445 shouldn’t be there and could squeeze them out 🙂

More & Better Photos At The Link Below

Image gallery can be viewed here https://lissaphotography.queensberryworkspace.com/aadr22. If you buy a photo, 50% of the profits will be donated back to the regatta to keep making it better each year.

Update 03-02-22 Photo below ex John Wright of Fleetwing closing in on My Girl

Kaikoura – A Flashback

Feb 2021 Islington Bay
As launched
Graham Gibson at helm
1988- Owner Stewart Bridgford,- center

KAIKOURI – A Flashback

The 40’ Kaikoura was built in 1951 by P Vos. It is believed she was built for the owner of Kaikoura Island at the mouth of Fitzroy Harbour, Great Barrier Island, as transport between the island and Auckland.

She has always been a zoom zoomer – when launched she had twin165 engines that gave her a top speed of 25 knots. These days she is a regular compeditor (& winner) at CYA race events.
The flybridge was added in 1988, by then owner Stewart Bridgford,

20-06-2021 – Input on Kaikours’s  twin Perkins 510, 8.36 liter, V8 4-stoke diesels from Mark Erskine
The 510 (cubic inch) V8 was the first V8 model manufactured by Perkins, UK in 1965 and were rated at 170 HP at 2,800 rpm and were used predominantly in trucks and a few bus models.

The 510 was followed by the more reliable, longer stroke 540 cubic inch V8 Perkins at 8.84 liters and 170 HP at 2,600 rpm.

Other than their considerable size and weight for a modest power output, the 510 (and 540) proved reliable enough in commercial vehicle operation, so would make good, reliable marine engines when run at constant lower revs and moderate loads.

“Kaikoura’s” previous Kermath inline 6-cylinder engines were side-valve (or “flat-head”) design and all side-valve engines have a lower crank center line to top of engine measurements than overhead valve and overhead cam inline design engines.

The lower engine height above crank shaft center line helps boat builders retain flat cabin floors in larger boat designs.

Most V8 design engines (including overhead valve) also have lower crankshaft center line to top of engine measurements because the cylinders and cylinder heads are inclined in “V” shape out either side of the crank shaft center line.

So although the 510 (and 540) Perkins V8 diesel engines are considerably larger and considerably heavier than the previous Kermath inline 6-cylinder engines for similar power output, the top of the Perkins V8 engine wouldn’t have been much higher than the top of the inline 6-cylinder Kermath side-valve, which means “Kaikoura” would have likely retained her same flat cabin flooring over the Perkins engines – a nice feature in all boats.

REMEMBER RIVERHEAD TAVERN LUNCH CRUISE ON SUNDAY – TIMES BELOW. Join in by car if you are boatless.

Round Rangitoto Island Classic Race and BBQ

ROUND RANGITOTO ISLAND CLASSIC RACE & BBQ

Saturday was a first (in a long time) on the classic launch scene – we had a launch race around Rangitoto (+ Motutapu) , now a race is not that unusual , but female skippers only (helms person) is – the winning skipper on Kumi would have failed a chromosome test but the race committee (Jason Prew) was swayed by the skippers attire 🙂

The post race BBQ at Islington Bay  proved more popular than the race and 11 woodys dropped anchor in the bay for the BBQ. We all tend to forget about this location, great sunsets and easy anchorage. Cool video of My Girl sliding back down the harbour at dusk. On route I caught the tail-end charlies in the yacht fleet who also raced around the island – photos below.

A question – if you’re a large A-Class gaffer (no names but its painted black) and you constantly finish at the back of the fleet, as you did again on Saturday, why would you sail so close to a mark that you hit it? The rules say you are out of the race for that – BUT what makes it worse is when the mark is a classic launch and it is the finish boat, and all the yacht crew do is laugh 😦  The invoice for repairs will be in the mail. Yachties wonder why launch owners do not put their hand up when asked to perform this task, I suspect they will struggle even more for ‘volunteers’ in the future 🙂

UPDATE– Combine the above with another A-Class yacht (no Prize for guessing which one it was) colliding (yacht in the wrong) with a very large classic launch at Mahurangi and the yacht skippers / crew post collision arrogance – the CYA maybe needs to have a wee chat re rules and manners. Just because your are a classic yacht you don’t get any special privileges 😉

Auckland Anniversary Day – Classic Launch Race – 26 Wooden Boat Photos

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Auckland Anniversary Day – Classic Launch Race

Over the long weekend we had a smorgasbord of boating events to chose from, one being a ‘classic’ launch race on the Monday, as part of the 2020 Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta. The format is a handicapped race around a set inner harbour course, effectively a drag race. Handicapping for these races is a challenge, there are so many variables that come into play.
Reviewing the results, the handicapping appears to have done a good job.
The day was near perfect and a delayed start meant that I was able to take the above photos. I was heading back for Mahurangi and was not planning to be at the event.
As you would expect, there were numerous mechanical problems and a few DNF’s.
Photos a little ‘hairy’ – long lens.
Results:
1st:   Ngaio
2nd: Sterling
3rd:  Fancy Free

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WINNER – NGAIO

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RUNNER UP – STERLING

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THIRD PLACE – FANCY FREE

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Mahurangi Weekend – Biggest On-The -Water Wooden Boating Event Down Under  – 200+ Classic Wooden Boat Photos

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Mahurangi Weekend – Biggest On-The -Water Wooden Boating Event Down Under  – 200+ Classic Wooden Boat Photos

I think I should start today by apologizing to all the partners and bosses out there – I can see a very slow start to the week, might take a few hours to digest the above photo gallery – a selection of photos from Friday night thru until my trip home on Monday.
The weather for Auckland’s long weekend was just ace – for everyone, launches and yachts, for the whole 4 days.
As always the turnout for the regatta was incredible, I would predict record numbers afloat. The woody launch parade saw 25 launches register and another 17 (approx.) joined in on the day. One of the photos above shows some of the parade launches snaking across the harbour. Well done woodys.
If the attendance count was based solely on the number of dinghies at Scotts Landing for the Saturday night party, again it would have to be a record.
I apologize for the lack of photos from the Saturday night party at Scotts Landing, I was unable to attend, I was banned . Now I can imagine maybe one person on any committee could be a dog hater, but for the ‘Mahurangi Action’ (formerly  known as ‘Friends of Mahurangi’) committee to agree on a total 48hr dog ban ashore is hard to believe. But then I was told by a very public figure in the area – none of them have ever had to buy contraception in their lives – they use they personalities. So my question – Is it actually their ‘role’ to decide on whether boat owners can bring Fideo ashore?.
Maybe Mahurangi Action should stick to their core reason for being i.e. the Mahurangi Harbour.
I can imagine the relationship between the Mahurangi Cruising Club, the promoters of the actual boating regatta – the reason we all attend and Mahurangi Action, who run the shore based activities at Sullivans Bay and the Saturday night party, must at times be interesting. If I was MCC I would be appointing an event manager and running a solo event, including a function that the revenue from, would help fund the club. The weekend has got too big – I and a lot that I have spoken to would buy a ticket to attend – food for thought MCC ……..
Ps There were numerous dogs ashore, I was just one of the unlucky one that were apprehended coming ashore. What a waste of rate payers money to have professional security there + a dog ranger……….
A special thank you to Roger Mills for the aerial (drone) photos of Scotts Landing and the launch parade. Also Graeme Finch for topping up my photos with some of his own – thanks Graeme.
The photo below, while out of focus due to distance and 2 moving boats – sums up woody boating perfectly. The launch is Linda and the gathering of life jackets on the bow is the Brooke clan 🙂
Monday also saw the CYA running a launch race as part of the Auckland anniversary day regatta – coverage of this later in the week.
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WAITANGI DAY WOODY BEACH PICNIC – FEB 6 – Put A Circle In Your Diary, All Woodys Welcome. RSVP Below
Woody Waitangi Picnic
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Kaikoura in the B.O.I.

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Kaikoura in the B.O.I.
The above launch is pictured above anchored in the Bay of Islands, Dean Wright scanned the image from ‘old’ film but is unaware of the boats name.
Anyone able to ID her & provide some history on the vessel ?

Update: Vessel has been ID’ed as the 1952 built launch Kaikoura. Lots of chat in the WW Comments section & photos at the link below

https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/04/11/kaikoura/

03-09-2017 – Updated photos below ex owner of 25 years – Peter Jones, via Ken Ricketts. Peter bought her off the Bridgeford family & this would make him only her 3rd owner.
She still has her 2 x 510 cu. in. 165 h.p .V8 Perkins diesels.

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Kaikoura

KAIKOURA BON ACCORD KAWAU CIRCA 1984Kaikoura

KAIKOURA, Built by P Vos to a Hacker design in1952 for Alf Crawford owner of E Le Roy canvas goods retailers. Originally had 2 x Kermath Seamate Specials 165 hp each — went very quickly (I had a trip one day Easter 1954 when I was 18 years old — see pic of me on board, pic also of the original owner Alf Crawford & his son Cameron & my parents & me on deck Easter 1954). Engines were replaced by Bridgefords of Mission Bay, who bought her later, with 2 x Perkins 165hp V8s — colour pic was taken with Perkins engines in Bon Accord, Kawau Island, c1985.

photos & story ex Ken Ricketts