Friday was one of those special woody days – I travelled out to Pine Harbour marina to see the re-launch of Pirate, the Leon Warne 1939 built, 46’ launch.
Why was it special? Well back in March the launch Kokoru was ravaged in a dockside fire, just weeks after a total refit / restoration, links below to Kokoru. One of the few salvageable items were the brand new twin Yanmar 75hp engines.
The owners made the tough call and decided to purchase another classic and use Kokoru as a donor. The lucky woody purchased was – Pirate. And she became the recipient of Kokoua’s engines.
For the last 6 weeks the transplant and associated bits – new shafts, props etc and a lot of work to the tankage – size and location, has been happening.
Still a work in progress but back in the water and ready for the next stage of the project. Amazingly Pirate did not take on any water, probably the result of her owners hosing the hull down twice a day while hauled out.
WW will visit again when Pirate is ship-shape and knowing the owners – sparkling 🙂
A big shout out to the owners – it takes special people to (1) restore a woody (2) recover from seeing her destroyed (3) leaping back in and buy another – well done Tracy and Alan. I read somewhere the other day a quote that “beautiful boats attract beautiful people” – seems to fit this story 🙂
( fyi – Kokoru went to a good home and we understand, overtime will be rebuilt, so a happy ending)
Late on the afternoon of 14-03-2022 I started receiving messages from woodys about a fire at east Aucklands – Pine Harbour Marina , that was / had desecrated 5 vessels. Looking at the early photos coming thru on social media – one of the vessels appeared to be a classic launch. Within minutes another image appeared that clearly showed that the woody was the 1960 Jack Morgan built 38′ woody – Kokoru. A woody that less than 4 weeks before I was crawling over taking photos of, post a 18+ month restoration that included her owners spending most of the CV-19 lockdowns working on her. On that day do not think I have seen more proud and happy boat owners and a week later they attended the Woodys Picnic at Stillwater and Kokoru was rafted up on the wharf for everyone to view.
While taking photos the owners asked that I just use only a few exterior ones on WW and that when she was 100% dressed up, I could reveal more. Well woodys sadly that day never came, as Kokoru was one of the vessels at Pine Harbour that through no fault of their own, was left in ruins by an onboard fire on a neighbouring boat – with the combined size of the insurance claim being seven+ figures I won’t speculate, other to say the dockside chat is that the explosion > fire was related to a battery installation.
I posted one photo of Kokoru the following day, but in respect to her owners, refrained from showing more.
Last Friday talking with the owners, who are still distressed with the whole affair, I was thrilled to be told that the decision had been made to rebuild Kokoru – a mammoth undertaking, that has some big hurdles upfront – the first being – where to find the kauri, that magical timber that sadly these days you can not just order from Placemakers.
So woodys todays story has two parts:
(1) to congratulate the owners on making the rebuild call – to quote them “you can’t take it with you but you can leave a legacy”
(2)to shout out to the classic wooden boating community for a source for the kauri Kokoru needs – which is approx 8 lengths approx 150mm x ideally 8 metres. But beggars can’t be choosers so it’s what ever can be found. Obviously prepared to pay – any ideas on who we can talk to – contact me email@example.com
Kokoru has made several appearances on WW before so I have included the links below to her back story. Its interesting to read that she is no stranger to incidents that would have been the end of most modern day vessels – back on 10th April 1968 during Wellington’s Wahine ferry disaster (loss of 51 lives on the day), Kokoru was one of the vessels that went out to assist the rescue of the passengers – after returning one load she headed out again and was rolled on her beam by a monster wave, the force of which ripped one of engines from its bed. Kokoru limped back to port, taking on water. But as a testament to Jack Morgan’s boat building skills, Kokoru was hauled out and repaired.
The gallery of photos below are reproduced purely as a record of the craftsmanship and mastery that went into the refit of Kokoru and to provide inspiration and reference during the rebuild. As always click on photos to enlarge.
Given I have had a very light summer boating wise, we decided to head out on Friday afternoon to Rakino for the night and partake in Auckland’s best wood fired pizzas at Woody Bay.
Again everything lined up – food, good wine and another spectacular sunset. Had a late evening visit from Jason Prew on My Girl, the wife “what’s that noise”. Then we were ‘entertained’ by a plonker and his partner on a Formula 4000, singing karaoke 1/2 the night ……….. they seriously thought they were good, they weren’t 😦
Saturday we headed over to the Weti River at mid day for the Woodys Picnic at the Stillwater Motor Camp. So lucky to get access, with the wharf it just makes the ideal venue for a catch up. Covid made a few gun shy but we had 11 woodys attending and a further 3 owners arrived via car – all in all a great afternoon. Lots of new (restored) woodys and new to the movement owners. The woody launch scene is getting more and more popular.
Post the picnic I pointed Raindance to a new (to me) anchorage and we enjoyed another wow sunset.
NEXT WOODY EVENT IS SATURDAY 26 MARCH – UPPER HARBOUR LUNCH CRUISE TO THE RIVERHEAD TAVERN – More details closer
The answer to yesterdays – name the yacht quiz was ‘Frances – A11’, the 1905, Arch Logan classic from the Class Yacht Charitable Trust stable. Photo below. And no one picked the right answer. So the WW t-shirt, gets to be put up again.
Almost 2 years ago the Wooden Boat Bureau found a new owner for the 1960, 40’Jack Morgan designed and built launch Kokoru. At the time she was calling Picton home and her new owners bought her north to Auckland and almost immediately hauled her out and into a shed. Kokoru was a very well maintained boat and in great presentation – but plans were afoot.
Yesterday I got a peek at the project – still a few bits and pieces to be signed off so today you just get to see her exterior and the new twin Yanmar 75hp engine installation (below)
The design and workmanship is faultless and very soon you’ll get to see the complete boat.
WoW what a weekend – perfect weather, perfect location and as always stunning boats. We saw a record turn out for the classic wooden boat parade on Saturday morning – the crowd ashore at Sullivans was a little thin on the ground, but if we are honest, we do not do it for them – its all about us 🙂 , a little like going for a motorbike rumble. We need more events where we just ‘hang-out’ together.
The regatta’s main event – the yacht race appeared to be a big success, the A-Class Logan – Rawhiti, in the hands of her new owner – Peter Brookes, cleaned up all the major trophies. As has become the norm at Mahurangi races, the results process was a total balls up, it was very dark and late into the night before the final, final results were announced – fingers crossed its all kosher, last year it took days and numerous oops lets try that again announcements 🙂
The big band beach BBQ, was a hit, perfect on all fronts – weather, tide, the band, bbq’s and the people. Given the number of boats in Bon Accord Harbour, Kawau Island, most people headed there on Sunday. The Kawau Boating Boat was bursting at the seams but handed it well. I have split the photos into 4 galleries – Classic Wooden Boat Parade – Yacht Race – Beach BBQ – More (includes Kawau). If I missed your boat, you were somewhere I wasn’t, or in the wrong light , or your’e boats ugly (joking – sort off). Enjoy a peak at the weekend., click individual photos to enlarge. Next weekend I’m off to the Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Parade – its a biggie – they have 70+ entries
Kokoru was designed & built by Jack Morgan in Picton in 1960. Her first owner being Russell McKay who was a local Wellington car dealer in the 1960’s. John Baird has owned her since 2000 & understands there were 6 vessels in the fleet with Kokoru being the last. Two others in existence that John is aware of are Hawaiki in Picton and Corrina in Havelock.
One of Kokoru’s claims to fame is that she was a Wahine boat – Russell McKay had sold her to a George Mulligan but not before she had been put to the test on ‘Wahine day’. Although she made one or more effective rescues she was rolled on her beam ends when hit by a monster wave and miraculously self-righted. The force ripped one of the motors from its bed and she limped back to port while taking water through the now open seacock. The complete story is reported in Radiator Magazine of the time and hopefully John will supply a copy to ww for inclusion.
As a result of the Wahine disaster a local rescue service was established and Kokoru was one of the original vessels. She was also warranted and used by the local Police in the 1960’s as an official patrol boat when various US vessels were in port during the Vietnam war.
Any more details on her would be appreciated
30/03/2015 Update & photos from owner John Baird.
If any ww followers are passing by Wellington I’d be very happy to show them over her. The first picture I sent you (above) was taken in Ngaruru Bay and indeed one of the readers almost got it right as Ngaruru is off Tory Channel. The pictures below are a bit dated as now she has new grey carpet and I’m in the process of replacing port & starboard lockers and the floors to facilitate the installation of Acoustop sound insulation as alas the old solution is now ineffective and slowly disintegrating.
Kokoru’s owner John Baird sent in these photos of Kokoru following a complete strip and repaint of her hull and topsides. It took from early January to March to complete the job. In the 16 years John has owned her it’s the first time this has been done to this extent. The job was done in Waikawa Bay by Sounds Marine.