Beautiful Boats Attract Beautiful People

Beautiful Boats Attract Beautiful People

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)



Kokoru Ravaged In Marina Fire – A CALL FOR HELP

Where it started – if only the wind had been blowing the other way


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 on

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. 


POST RELAUNCH (11/02/22)


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.

Woody Classic Waterfront Picnic Weekend

My Girl
The Wharf
Poco Lento (Lady Janet)
My Girl & Royal Falcon

Woody Classic Waterfront Picnic 

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.


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.

Kokoru – A Sneak Peek

KOKORU – A Sneak Peek

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.

Link to previous WW story

Update 16-02-2022 Name board photo ex Gavin Pascoe