Manaroa Bay (Lady Leila)

Manaroa Bay

MANAROA BAY (Lady Leila)

The above photo of Manaroa Bay was sent by Cameron Pollard. Cameron believes that she may be a reincarnation of a well known New Zealand built motor-sailer. Home these days is Australian.
Any one able to ID the graft stock?
Input from Gary Lidgard – Original name Lady Leila, designed and built by Roy Lidgard 1961, hull and decks at Kawau and fitted out at their yard at Bayswater. They sailed her to Sydney for the owner a retired Sea Captain a Mr London based on Sydney’s Pittwater. From memory this was probably their last new build at Kawau. This was a larger boat based on my grandfathers Rongamau, the owner had spotted her when he visited Kawau cruising in his then yacht and placed an order.
Remember When You Could Haul Out At Westhaven
Photo below is a blast from the past. I spent many days knee deep in mud sanding off and racing to apply very toxic anti-foul paint before the tide came back in. Captain Dennis Ross promised the youngest crew members that it was 100% safe……….. yeah right.
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Help ID This Boat
When I get an email that starts off by saying they are 29 years old and have just bought a wooden boat – I action it fast – we need to encourage the next generation 🙂
Michael van der Putte has just purchased the launch – Crystal Dean, pictured below on the Kaipara.
Michael has been told its a Carl Augustine design, but would like to get confirmation and if possible uncover any known history.
And my question – anyone able to tell us more about the green/red launch – Betsy, making a cameo appearance in the top photo below?

Rata – A Woody Project



RATA – A Woody Project

Anyone up for a project? Woody Jeff Norris recently sent me the above photos of Rata, she was once the fastest launch on the Kaipara back in the 1940’s/50s.  It once had a petrol V8 Fairlane engine in it.
It was owned by the Hargraves family from the Pahi region many years ago, that was before it had a conservatory built on it.
Originally it would have been a flush deck speedboat and as such she won all the races in its early days.
So woodys – can anyone share more on her past & is anyone tempted to take her on? She will need more than just a spray with Wet&Forget 🙂
Harold Kidd Input – RATA was built for Ted Hargreaves of Batley in February 1911 by H.N. Burgess of Judges Bay with a 6hp Automatic engine. She was 27ft x 6ft 6ins. Still in the Hargreaves family in the 1960s. There are several photos of her from the 20s through to the 60s at the Matakohe Museum. A thoroughbred and a very worth restoration project!
Lost Boat – Taurima
 The other day in the NZ Herald – SideSwipe section a reader was trying to track down her families (Neil & Janice Hudson) old motorsailer. Its called Taurima & was built in 1977 by John Gladden at Milford. She had an interesting past – she sank at the Poor Knights in 1996 & was towed to Tutukaka by Grant Ogle Salvage. She then sat just of the motorway in Albany for approx. 5 yrs & then in c.2000/1 was sold to someone in Tauranga. Neil is now 85 and would love to know what became of the boat.
Can anyone help the family out with info on Taurima?


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In the photo above we see the NZS Co. ship Kaipara, built in 1903 – aground in the Rangitoto Channel on 14 June 1910. She was on a voyage from Auckland to London & hit uncharted rocks,she was refloated on 20th jan & repaired. The captain was exonerated from all blame.

Sadly, the ship was captured & sunk south west of Tenerife on Aug 16thby the German armed raider – Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse. (photo es Peter Thorpy ex trade)

The question of the day is – who can ID the launch alongside the sailing ship?

OLD SEASPRAY MAGAZINES – I have been contacted by someone clearing out their fathers ‘stuff’ & amongst it is 4 cartons of old Seaspray magazines – anyone want them?


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Rawhiti MV


Rawhiti was designed and built by the Strongman Brothers in Coromandel in 1962, originally as a fisheries inspector vessel. She at some stage moved to the Kaipara where she was used as mother ship for a mullet fisherman.
She is a very capable sea boat with a fine entry forward, generous hips amidships and a flat run aft. She has a nice flair and a tumble home transom. At 28′ x 8.5’. Powered by 49 hp 4108 Perkins she cruises comfortably at 8 knots.

Her present owners have had her for 12 years and taken many trips to the Great Barrier, Bay of Islands and fishing north of the Poor Nights.
Her owners are boat builders & had planned to remove the cabin and replace with something more flattering to her hull quality. However they preferred to invest the money on beer and bait 🙂 The cabin is functional with full height headroom forward to the galley and steering station. The above photos were taken recently when hauled out at Snells Beach.

I understand she was / is for sale. Any woodys able to expand on her past?


Remember to get your order in – limited print run, full details here



photo from Russell Ward

Russell was recently mud plugging and gunk holing over on the West Coast – Kaipara, skippering the steam boat Romany when he came across the nice bridgdecker above, tied up  at Helensville. Russell noted that the styling of the windows was very ‘individual’.
Russell was told by a local that it was built in 1948 & was also told her (the launches) name, but forgot it 😦  .

An unusual boat in an equally unusual location – someone most be able to ID her ?

As always – click photos to enlarge 😉


18-10-2015 Update from Cherry Bishop

This boat was built by my father Francis Bishop and a boat builder friend who’s name may have been Gladden. It was built from one of the last kauri logs to have been milled in the North island and yes 1948 is the year it was built. He dearly loved the boat and named it after my Mother “Zoe”. During my childhood we often took her out on the Kaipara fishing and netting for flounder and stayed overnight,sometimes for up to several weeks at a time depending on the demands of home and work. We often attended the Kaipara cruising club regattas and other events.We also sometimes moored at the lagoon at the end of the South Head Peninsula and I have fond memories of falling asleep in the bow of the boat listening to ship to shore radio and the sound of lapping waves and peacocks meowing ashore.As children we all fished and swam “with the sharks”.
Since my Father was born in 1910 he was familiar with boats sailing the Kaipara harbour and I once found a series of drawings he had done as a child of “boats” which were very detailed. I think he was really a frustrated boat designer. He left school age twelve during the depression as labour was needed on the farm and he was a farmer all his life. Boats were his hobby and a great love.He died in 1999 aged 89.

Mystery Launch no more – Tawaki


Ok train spotters, questions of the day – 1. where 2. name 3. design / builder ?? We have a winner – Zach Matich – see below

“Pahi (Kaipara) -Dems Road to be exact, ‘Kawiti’ (think that’s how you spell it) owned by Tim Cant, pass on the builder, was told she was used as a ‘school bus’ somewhere on the east coast.Had a BMC engine.

09-04-2016 – Input from Pat Shanks (nee Simons)

My son wondered what had happened to Tawaki as he had spent holidays on her with his grandfather, and found her on waitematawoodys
Tawaki was originally named Penguin. She was owned by the Hansens of Purerua in the Bay of Islands. Mr Hansen used her as a charter for deep sea fishing. Mrs Hansen was a teacher. Penguin was used to ferry children to school in the Bay of Islands. I don’t know if she had a previous owner.
My father, Edgar (Nobby) Simons bought her in 1967 or 68 and rebuilt her as a launch. He and my mother, Bertie, had 25 years of sailing and fishing in her, based in the Whangarei Harbour.

09-10-2016 Updated photos ex Peter Mence


Margurita – 1955 building costs & launch photos


In todays world its rare to come across a set of records like this, the original 1955 invoices for the build & fit out of Zach Matich’s Kaipara based launch Margurita. I’m sure it was a lot of money back then but looking back now the prices, particularly the fittings, seem less than what you would pay in a model shop today. Fascinating reading, thanks Zach for sharing these & the launch day photos.