Mystery Woodys at Kawau Island
NOT Mullet boats but 18-foot V-class. See endless posts and publications over the last 20 years (puts hobby horse back in stable)
From what I can make of the name on her transom, the light coloured hull looks to be Vaalele, V-78, built by Charlie Hardman to a Ralph Goodwin design in 1936.She was one of the four Auckland 18-footers that travelled to Sydney for the first World’s 18-footer championship in 1938. Charlie Hardman kept Vaalele until 1939 when he sold her to S.H. Bailey.
The darker boat is a bit later and looks to be quite new. She’s marconi rigged and could possibly be another Charlie Hardman / Ralph Goodwin boat, Vindex, V-35 built in 1939. Marconi rigs were not common in the V-class but by 1939 the more competitive yachtsmen were moving away from gaff.
From other photos I have seen, she was painted a dark colour, either black or royal blue and was marconi rigged. Vindex was laid up in 1940 and In 1944 he sold Vindex to Keith Atkinson who was working at Lidgards with Hardman.
If this is the case then that would date the photo to the summer of 1939/40, with the two Hardman boats cruising in company, and also explain the patriotic display of the Union Jack from the wharf,
15-07-2018 Update from Steve Pople (current owner)
Steve sent me the 2 b/w photos below (ex NZ Herald) of RF as launched – what a stunner, just about perfect from any angle. Steve confirmed Ken Rickets comments re being lengthened (by 6′). RF is currently in the very capable hands of Dave Patterson of Leader Boats in Pakuranga undergoing a total refit. I will updated the restoration story with new photos.
Kawau Island Boats & Baches
Recently I had had enough of weekends in Auckland so with the wife out of town, I took the opportunity to escape & experience the 2nd to last stage that some of us go thru e.g. yacht > launch> motorhome > death.
An old neighbour & friend Chris Miller, owns a large motorhome, so we headed north to Sandspit – & booked into the camping ground for the weekend.
On Saturday we took the ferry to Kawau Island for what is known as the ‘Royal Mail Run’ – the boat mooches around the island dropping off / picking up passengers & freight for all the private jetties. While not a woody, the ferry trip is a must do, you get to visit most of the bays & can even enjoy a wine or two.
The photos above are a random gallery of the woodys I spotted on the trip & some of the waterfront holiday homes.
Yachts at Kawau Island – Sailing Sunday – Win A WW T-Shirt
This Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island photo from the ‘NZ Car, Boats, >>> Utes Pre’75’ FB page shows a great collection of classic yachts (& a few launches).
I’ll put up a WW t-shirt to the woody that can ID the most yachts – given my launch angle – I’ll get a yachty to verify the answers. To stop copy-catting, entries ONLY via email to
LIPTON CUP RACE – SATURDAY – MARCH 17th
The 97th Lipton Cup race is set to take place on the 17th of March. 22 miles of blood, sweat and tears is to be raced by the 22ft L Class ‘mullet boats’ to see who will triumph as the winner of the esteemed Lipton Cup trophy. This is a highlight of the yachting calendar and this year it appears there will be fierce competition with a number of the mullet boats performing exceptionally well in recent racing. With only 3 years to go until the 100th you can expect there to be a lot more competition and boats coming out of the wood work to compete in following years. Previous crew and owners are always welcome to come down and watch with the club open all day with food and refreshments (with a lift for the weathered yachties).
The days events are as follows:
7am – Hot cooked breakfast (Prebooked)
9am – Race briefing
11am – Race commences
3pm approx – Race finishes
6pm approx – Prize giving and after party
Watch Video footage from last years race here https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=LAZotynoqiA
Woodys at Kawau Island
The above photo of Kawau Island is ex Lew Redwoood via the facebook page ’New Zealand Cars,Boats,Motorbikes,Trucks,Vans,Utes,Pre 1975′ -the photo is tagged ‘ Pleasure craft at anchor in Mansion House Bay.
How many woodys can we ID?, I know Nathan Herbert was a little excited to see the family launch Pacific in the shot (top right).
If you are on facebook – you should ‘follow’ this page, there are some very cool old woody photos that pop up from time to time.
Aussie Boat Porn
I have featured several times The Australian Wooden Boat Festival that happens very 2 years in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. The video below is a 100% publicity video for Tasmania & the event – but dam its good. Have look, you’ll be blown away by the number of stunning woodys. Thanks to the USA based on-line membership only video website – offcenterharbour.com for making the video available. Its a great site, I’m a member.
Rakira is a carvel kauri launch / motorsailer, built in 1955 at Kawau Island. She measures 29.52’ & is powered with a 54hp Mazda Bongo diesel motor.
That’s about all her trademe listing tells us, if the Kawau build is correct, we must be able to uncover more about her provenance.
Thanks to Ian McDonald for the listing heads up.
The New Zealand Clinker Boat booklet winner – Is Mike O’Dwyer. Well done 🙂 A lot of you need to read the entry conditions i.e. via email. I’ll give way another copy on Friday,so look out for the quiz.
THISTLE – Sailing Sunday
Last Sundays story on the scows on the Waitemata / Auckland Anniversary Regatta resulted in being sent the above photos of Thistle from the Tudor Collins collection at the Auckland Museum. Emailed to me by Ken Ricketts. The photos show Thistle at Kawau Island c.1940’s.
Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta
Click the link below to view some stunning classic sailing footage of the 1913, ‘Jolie Brise’ that placed 1st in the first race of the recent Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall ships Regatta. The 2:30 minute video shows her at the start of the race out of Torbay. Enjoy 🙂
Picked up the cowls below, on trademe for $30, a serious bargain 🙂 But in real life a little bigger than I imagined (note to self – read the spec’s) Added to the ww stockroom – there will be a home for them one day.