As purchased



Stripped bare



Re-launch day



In late Jan 2018 when myself and Jamie Hudson were holding David Cooke’s hand as he piloted Trinidad around the top of NZ and slid down the West Coast to the Marlborough Sounds, Jamie and I had an evening to kill after being cast ashore in Picton. The plan was to catch the late (overnight) ferry back to Wellington. My idea was to hit the waterfront bars, but Jamie has more self-control than I and suggested me stroll the marina for a few hours before we hit the bars, otherwise we might struggle to catch the ferry – as it turned out, very sage advise from Mr Hudson 🙂
While taking in the Picton sea air, we spotted numerous very smart woodys at the marina – one of them being Kiwi. Now fast forward 20 odd months and I get an email from Alistair McRae, who had just returned from Picton, on a trip to purchase a very nice Colin Wild woody launch – details on that another day. 
While in Picton, Alistair visited a mate – Wal Edwards, who had bought an old double ended fishing boat named – Kiwi,  built in 1922 (he thinks). Kiwi is 33′ long and was built by Steve Carey of Carey’s Bay. As you will see from the photos above, Wal has done a magnificent job of rebuilding Kiwi. Check out the ballast they removed from her bilge.
Kiwi is powered by a John Deer.
The photos above a mix of mine and from Wal and Alistair’s collection.
Can anyone tell us more about this very cool woody?

Quest – Sailing Sunday

Yacht Quest Launching 1936 (2)

Yacht Quest (2)

QUEST – Sailing Sunday

Mid-week we were lucky to have a peep at some of Peter Midgley’s fathers photo collection, that show the launch Kenya & the Joe Slattery boat shed. I asked Peter if he could share with us anymore of Eric Midgley’s photos & today we have the yacht Quest, built at the Vos yard for a Mr Wood of Devonport.

The top photo shows the launching on 10 December 1936, Peter commented that this photo of the exact moment a lady christens Quest has always fascinated him as a great moment frozen in time. Eric is third from the left with his arms folded. The man in uniform far left appears to be a St Johns person, did they have then at launchings in case of accidents? The man next to him with pen & paper in hand is perhaps a reporter for the “Star” or “Herald”. Then a lady in a heavy overcoat & umbrella, looks like a wet day in December.
Then the man far right also with umbrella “Photo Bombing” the photo.
Unfortunately the lady doing the honours, is blocking our view of the man holding the sledge hammer, Peter has an identical one in his dad’s toolbox.
Then the real character of this photo, the lady with a piece of paper in her hand having just read some words, with an expression of surprise as liquid sprays back towards her. Perhaps she is the wife of the owner – Mr Woods?

You have to love the way two planks of wood balancing on two saw horses is sufficient for the lady to stand on, no health & safety in those days!
The bottom photo of Quest moored presumably after launching.

As a footnote in the Percy Vos book, ‘Launching Dreams’, it states Eric Midgley worked at the Vos yard from 1937 to 1938 & only worked on the ‘Korea’ but Peter thinks he was there in 1936 working on the Quest. He went on to work at the Devonport Dockyard throughout the war & built the sailing dinghy ‘Kiwi’ in 1947, the NZ Navys gift to Princess Elizabeth & Prince Phillip for their wedding. Link here

It would be great if any woodys could identify people in this photo.

Input from Harold Kidd
QUEST was a design by Dr. Harrison Butler (he of the metacentric shelf) built by Percy Vos (with one S) in December 1936 for L.M. (Milton) Wood of Devonport. His brother Lincoln had the Butler-designed 22 footer MEMORY built by Fred Mann in 1930. She’s very English in her lines (and all the better for that).
As to the people my guess is, from left, A St John’s “Zambuck” who used to be present at Rugby matches (and possibly launchings if they were yachties, as many were), W.A. (Wilkie) Wilkinson of the Auckland Star, Vos employee, the matriarch Mrs Sarah Wood, Milton and his wife/fiancee not sure when they married), Lincoln being silly. There was a multitude of Wood brothers and sisters, so the latter could any one of the other brothers.

Kiwi – Sailing Sunday

KIWI  – Sailing Sunday
photos & details ex Peter Midegly

Following up on last Sundays post on the royal p-class yacht ‘Tui’, Peter Midegly sent in the above collection of photos of the 14’ sailing dinghy ‘Kiwi. She was built at the Devonport Naval Base by his late father, Eric Midgley, a shipwright, with the assistance of an apprentice, both employed at the dockyard. ‘Kiwi’ was built in Auckland for members of the royal family, this being the occasion of the wedding of the then Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip in 1947.

Unlike the ‘Tui’, ‘Kiwi’ was well used, as is outlined in the letter below from G.A. Vince of the Sea Training Establishment at Botley, Southampton. This letter describes the workmanship of the boat as first class and her success in racing with other Naval 14 footers. In 1952 George Vince, Director of the Southampton Sailing Centre, also won first prize racing ‘Kiwi’ during Cowes Week that year.

Peter does not know whether the Royal couple sailed ‘Kiwi’ to any great extent, but from the 1950’s she was used by a number of sailing organisations & Sea Cadet Units .

Some years ago Peter made enquiries as to what had happened to ‘Kiwi’, and eventually located her at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth. At the time they told him she was in their offsite store in Falmouth.

Peter’s father started his boat building apprenticeship in 1923 with Joe Slattery. He later worked at Percy Vos’s during the building of the ferry Korea and from 1938 to 1950 at H.M. Dockyard, Devonport. His final employment was with the Auckland Harbour Board as a shipwright in Beaumont St. before retiring in the 1960’s.