Maire – Where Is She Now

Kawau Island 1950’s
1954 ex K Ricketts
Early 1980’s
Post 1989

Maire – What Became Of Her

Woody Greg Philpott is on the hunt for the ex work-boat Maire, Greg has pulled together the below intel on the vessel but the trial drys up late 1998 >> on wards. Greg would also like more inset into when she was operating in Auckland in the 1960’s/1970’s. Have a read and let us know if your are able to close the story off. 

Maire was built by Roy Lidgard, in his boatbuilding shed in Smelting House Bay on Kawau Island around 1949. She was approximately 42 feet long and originally powered by a 4 cylinder, 88hp Kelvin diesel.

Maire was used by the Lidgards for their own use, towing and workboat activity mainly to tow logs from the Coromandel and barges of ships dunnage that had been milled by the Lidgards on Kawau Island for supply to Union Steam Ship Company ships in Auckland.

She was acquired in the mid 1950’s by Alwyn (mostly called Allan) Horsfall who was then the owner of the Mansion House property on Kawau Island.

It looks like she ended up in Auckland for much of the 1960’s and 1970’s and ownership possibly rested with a Theo Brian Thomas who was based around Panmure. From there Marie was sold to Andrew Paterson who converted her for charter fishing use in the 1980s and operated her firstly out of Sandspit and later out of Whitianga. During his time of ownership of Maire, in July 1981, Paterson removed the Gardner engine and gear box to install a GM motor and also changed the wheel house windows giving them a forward rake.

Marie was sold in 1985 to Neil Hopkins who also operated her out of Whitianga along with his son Grant. Next owner was Ross Packer who owned her from 1996 until 1998.

It is at this point that the trail goes cold; she was sold and believed to have been relocated up north to either Mangawhai or Mangonui. And her name was changed. At one point, one of the previous owners was contacted by the Marine Department questioning why all identifying pieces from the boat (life rings, name board etc.) had been found on a beach at Great Barrier. She was also later apparently seen up on the hard at Te Atatu as an unfinished project.

INPUT from Grant Thomas 

I had also been wondering what had happened to Maire. My Dad was Brian Thomas and he bought her off Horsfall approx. 1962.

I never realised she was originally used for towing etc but that would explain the extra lower belting etc. We owned her for 10 years and used her as a snapper fishing charter boat in the weekends plus went cruising on her in the early years. I was told that Horsfall sold her as she drew too much for the Sandspit run. Lidgards then built the Kawau Isle which looked just like the Maire but less draft.

Maire was 40 foot and drew 5 foot 6″ but 6 foot steaming. She was very slack bilged and use to roll  badly. We kept her up the Tamaki River at Waipuna Rd on the jetty Dad built. We used to slip her at Owen Woolleys yard but she was 20 tons and really too heavy for that slipway. So Dad built his own slipway which is still operating today. I have a great photo of her on the slip.

We did all sorts of commercial work with her, she was a very capable vessel and she was always kept well painted.At the same time we owned the HDML Alert and so there was always a huge amount to do. I spent most of my younger years working very hard trying to maintain these two boats. We also ate a hell of a lot of fish as my Dad was a top fisherman and Maire was a popular boat to charter.

INPUT from Colin Silby

Maire was sitting awaiting repairs shall we say at the Te Atatu boating club when sold. The new owner renamed her Lola May after his mother and sailed her down to Christchurch. On her return back up she settled on a sand bank off Waihi. As the tide dropped she lay over and flooded. I was involved in her salvage and brought her to Westpark where she was on sold.

Sunday At Kawau Island + Win A WW T-shirt

Sunday At Kawau Island + Win A WW T-shirt

Hopefully today I’ll be mooching around the same spot as where the above photo was taken – Kawau Island, Mansion House Bay – then later on in Smelting House Bay (KBC).

I’ll put up a WW t-shirt for the woody that can ID correctly the most launches in the photo. I’ll give you starter – the launch on the right at the back (#7) is Nathan Herbert’s Pacific – I only know that because he told me 🙂  Click on the image to enlarge. Entries by email only to the address below – closes 6pm Monday 31 Jan 2022

waitematawoodys@gmail.com

Below Is Ken Ricketts Crack At ID’ing The Launches Featured Above – All Based On Memory. Better Than Some Of The Attempts Sent In 🙂 

“Starting with boat #1, we see the Lane Motor Boat Lady Sandra owned by Len Peckham, with Len visible at the flying bridge.At the time of launching she had a seek coamings profile, but Len discovered shortly after her launching, that that sleek low profile made it very difficult to see from the downstairs helm, so he had the Perspex dome, as seen in the image fitted soon after launching, to overcome this  shortcoming.Power at that time, came from 2 x 90 HP Scripps flat head 6 cyl petrol engines, in right at the stern under large hatches, in the built in aft deck, — (she had no cockpit), which faced forward & drove through intermediate shafts to detached Vee drive gear boxes that doubled a 2 to 1 reductions gears to the prop shafts. Lane Motor Boat was one of the very early boatbuilders to fit silencers to petrol engines, & along with the Wanda II, Connie V, Sou East and Nor West, she had almost silent exhausts well above the waterline, out the stern, & in her case, along with the 2 sister ships Nor West and Sou East, built around that era as well, she had side facing cowls over the exhaust outlets directing the exhaust gasses in to the slipstream along each side of  the hull, which seemed to work very well. Peckman sold her after only a very few years. 

Right alongside her, is Arnold Baldwin’s Lidgard built 46’ Valsan, (Boat #2) which started life, in the later 1930s at 38 feet, with a built in aft deck, which had an additional 8’ added to give her, her cockpit, done just before WWII, for original owner Alex Harvey, who named her after his children, Valerie & Sandy. He sold her around the end of the war to a Mr Annan who renamed her Lady Edith. Arnold B bought her c1948 renamed her back to Valsan, which as far as I know she still is today, & his old boat the Menai passed to Horry Whimp. She had 2 x 90 hp Graymarine flat head petrol engines from new, for the majority of her period of the Arnold B stewardship, but he eventually replaced them with 2 marinised 4 ltr Ford Falcon petrol engines in his later years of ownership.I believe Arnold kept Valsan until around the time of his death, many years later. 

Boat #3 is the Reremoana which was built in the mid/late 1930s by Bill Couldry as a 28’ sedan topper but was added to, take her to 36’ by one of the Lanes I recall, but not sure which one, with entirely new coamings with a bridgedeck style around 1939  & that is how she is looking in this image. She was seized by the Police in the 2000s during a criminal investigation & pulled apart inside & out & what was left was bought by a recent post 2000  owner who has rebuilt her along the lines of the image in the pic to a degree. Never knew any owners or engine details.

 Next we go to #4, the Ford V8 powered Lady Joan & at the time this was taken it would have been shortly after Stan Headland sold her, when he had just bought #6 the Lady Clare, off Jim Faire, & Stan H can be seen on the bow of Lady Clare talking to Lady Joan’ new owners, I would presume. Lady Joan was also eventually seized by the police as part of another criminal investigation & demolished by them sometime around 2000 or a bit later. 

#5 is the 28′ Fred Lidgard built, sedan topper  for Frank Pigeon. Frank can be seen with his head out the hatch as if he is looking to tie up.Frank owned Sunny Bay, Kawau Island & Fred built the boat which had no visible name on her exterior that I can recall, for Frank, as transport to & from his  property, & general use for collecting stores & visiting friends around the island.  

#6 is as above, Lady Claire, she had a large Lycoming petrol engine, which Stan H. later changed to a Kermath a couple of years after he bought her. She is a stunning mid1930s, Colin Wild design & build  & while she has a different builder, to me, she has many similarities, to Ted Clarke’s 1939 Dick Lang built Lady Margaret.  

Finally we come to #7, Pacific built by Joe Slattery over 100 years ago for the Hobbs Family, who were farmers at the outer end of Whangaparaoa Peninsula, & in the very early days she would have been used for all farm associated work, & other business associated matters, as transport to Auckland, family picnics, & to catch up with the neighbours. She is still unbelievably in the original family & still looking more or less absolutely original as far as I know. When I first went aboard her Christmas in Mansion House Bay she had  a 3 or 4 cyl Twigg petrol engine right in the very bow forward of her little bridgedeck in its own little white painted engine room. (She must have had a propeller shaft almost as long as the boat,)  & it had 3 or 4 individual cylinder blocks bolted to a separate crankcase with no cylinder heads & the spark plug sitting in the centre of the top of each cylinder block. The engine was painted bottle green. She will have had several engine transplants since then, the latest a new modern diesel fitted recently.”  (edited by Alan H)        

In Case You Are Hiding At Home, Wearing 2 Masks And Wondering What You’re Missing This Weekend – Check Out the 2019 Mahurangi Regatta

MAHURANGI REGATTA  2019 – The biggest & best classic wooden boat regatta in NZ – 90+ photos

FRIDAY NIGHT

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SATURDAY – REGATTA DAY

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SATURDAY NIGHT AT SCOTTS LANDING

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SUNDAY MORNING

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MAHURANGI REGATTA  2019 – The biggest & best classic wooden boat regatta in NZ – 90+ photos

WoW what a woody weekend – simply stunning on all fronts –  sun > wind > location > people & of course the boats. On my estimate, the biggest turnout of classic wooden craft ever. Record numbers for Saturday mornings launch parade.
I’ll go out on a limb & repeat a comment made to me on the deck of Lidgard House, Kawau Island on Sunday night by one of our most prominent & influential classic wooden boat people – “Mahurangi is the real Auckland Anniversary Weekend Regatta” & after cruising back into Auckland today, & not seeing a lot of yachts, I would have to agree.
On Saturday between Jason Prew on My Girl & myself with Raindance we hosted three of the wooden boating world’s superstars – if you read or follow the WoodenBoat magazine, Classic Boat & the hottest property on the block – the vblog, https://www.offcenterharbor.com
then the names Maynard Bray, Benjamin Mendlowitz & Steve Stone will be very familiar to you. These gents were motored around the harbour & very selectively photographed / filmed our beautiful woodys. When I mentioned that I had cancelled my trip to next months Hobart Wooden Boat Festival, one commented “why would you go – it’s all here” & woodys – it was.
I have never attempted to understand the ‘politics’ / issues between the Mahurangi Cruising Club & The Friends of Mahurangi people – but between them they turn on a wonderful day, that equals anything on the world classic wooden boat calendar. As with anything, a few wee niggles e.g. crap PA sound system at the beach prize giving meant most people didn’t know the results – but I can tell you that Tony Blake & the crew on Thelma gave all the other A division skippers as master class in regatta sailing. It was wonderful to see the big 5 Arch Logan yachts – Thelma (1897), Rainbow (1898), Ariki (1904), Rawhiti (1905) & Rawene (1908) all on the same race track together, for the first time ever (I think I’m right – Harold?) The results were:
Thelma, followed by Rawhiti, followed by Ariki, then Rainbow & Rawene.
As a result of playing driver for the overseas crew – I’m a little light on sailing photos, but you can see from the gallery above that it was a special day.
Well done MCC and F. of M. for another magic weekend.
If anyone else had the camera out & captured some goodies, email them to   waitematawoodys@gmail.com
We bailed out of Mahurangi on Sunday morning & headed to Kawau Island for some family R&R – photos below.
Question – what do you do when there is no shotgun to signal sunset & the lowering of the burgee? – well a few lads decided to bang some pots together, then drop the flags at Lidgard House – me thinks there might be a letter in the mail to certain members 🙂
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A WEE BIT OF PR GOING ON HERE – WW T’s & OFF CENTER HARBOUR CAPS 🙂
THERE ALWAYS HAS TO BE A FOOD SHOT – KAWAU BOATING LUB, DINNER SUNDAY NIGHT.
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Check out the video below of Rawhiti – sent in from Benjamin Mendlowitz from Off Center Harbour

http://offcenterharbor.com

Update – due to not all launches completing 2 laps of the launch parade – I missed photographing a few boats – photos below ex Justine Ricketts (edited by myself)

AND MORE – link below to the Off Center Harbour video of the 2017 regatta, featuring Steve Horsley’s stunning 1904 Chas Bailey Jnr – Ngatira

https://www.offcenterharbor.com/videos/new-zealands-mahurangi-regatta-featuring-chas-baileys-ngatira/?prev=yes

UPDATE ex Graeme Finch of the A Class fleet racing Saturday + one of Raindance showing myself & Steve Stone from Off Center Harbour filming / clicking away 🙂

As always – click photos to enlarge 😉

rd @ mr2019

Also from Graeme – one of Bruce Tantrum’s pride & joy – Paramour + Graemes stunning ship – Te Arahi 🙂

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UPDATE – An early Saturday morning drone fly-by over Sullivans Bay, Mahurangi. Filmed by Neil Lawton, heads up on the movie from Ian Gavin.

30-01-2019 Update – photos of Laughing Lady ex Jason Prew

Update 11-02-2019 photos below ex Angus Rogers.

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Rambler

RAMBLER

The 24’ Lake Rotoiti based woody – Rambler was built by Joseph Anderson in the Big Omaha Valley near Matakana and launched in 1913. It took 3 years to build the boat and she was one of the first boats to be built with a kauri strip plank construction.   Rambler was used to travel to Auckland as it was easier by boat than by road. After returning from World War 1, George Anderson, Joseph’s son, used Rambler to travel to Kawau Island for cray fishing, trapping possums and hunting deer. These trips also became the delivery for mail and provisions to those living on Kawau.

In the mid 1930’s, Rambler was sold to the local cobbler in Matakana and the boat was used for fishing trips but later was left in the mud in a sorry state. In the 1970’s Rambler was sold and given a major refit including having a top cabin added.

Rambler was discovered in Howick in 2000 and was brought to Lake Rotoiti, Rotorua by her current owners, where she was refitted with a revamped interior, hand made cedar mast, bronze and brass fittings and a number of other improvements. Approx. 1990 her engine was changed from a petrol Chev 4 to a two cylinder 20hp Chinese diesel. This still goes but needs to be replaced. Amazingly Rambler has had only four owners in her 108 year old life, and now is on the market, awaiting her next custodian. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the tme heads up.