Korowai – A Feel Good Story

2021 November – Below

KOROWAI – A Feel Good Story

In the last few days I received several messages about the 34’ Woollacott yacht – Korowai, that had popped up on tme with an asking price of $1,000. One of the woodys that contacted me was Alistair Rowe, who commented that he remember Korowai being at Shelly Park Cruising Club in the mid 1970s owned by Eric Roberts. In those days she was powered by a Ford 10 petrol engine and had no reverse gear, so was a bit of a beast to maneuver in tight places. Quite a few years after Eric’s death, and her sale to new owners, Alistair saw her on the hard at Okahu Bay being given a major birthday.

In the tme listing it stated she had great bones for a restoration – well that she does.
She was being sold as-is-where-is as she had had a few problems eg a leak in the hull that a bilge pump with a float switch was keeping up with. But she had, had a bilge pump malfunction and there has been water inside. The water level went part way up the motor, touching the motor, however the dipstick hole on the motor remained well above water level. It was stated that the engine was in not running condition. But the sails were described as ‘good sails’. Korowai appears to be a really solid kiwi built yacht and a perfect opportunity for the keen handy person to restore her back to her prime at the right price. The seller was very clear about the sale process eg. 

(1) The yacht needs to be out of the marina berth ASAP

(2) The successful purchaser will not be the first person to offer the money but the best and quickest plan for the removal of the yacht from the marina berth

(3) All enquiries must explain how they will remove the yacht and when- if the answer is unsatisfactory then no further time will be spent on the enquire – no time wasters.

Well woodys – must have been a record listing time for a classic yacht – sold to a great new owner and removed from her West Harbour berth and relocated to her new home, last night. Tow boat was Jason Prew’s My Girl – but he assures me he is not the new owner – 2 classic launches and mullet boat yacht is more than enough 🙂

In my travels yesterday I acquired a very dinky 2-1/4″caulking iron – light clean up and it joins the WW global HQ, desktop paperweight collection.

Woodys Enjoying Their Boats


Woodys Enjoying Their Boats

We ran a story on the Owen Woolley designed and built launch – Korowai earlier in the week, then ping the inbox sends an alert and Angus Rogers has ‘found’ another photo – its a stunner – great angle, well done Mr Rogers.

Also above from Angus is a photo of the 1912 Harvey & Lang built launch – Silens on route to Te Kouma. Read / see more on Silens here https://waitematawoodys.com/2019/04/22/the-evolution-of-silens/

Lastly we see Manuroa already at Te Kouma – doing what we would all like to do – just hanging out doing nothing. A previous owner of Manuroa believed it may have been built by Bailey & Lowe c.1912, is anyone able to confirm ?

Scotts Landing – photo ex Roger Mills


It is less than 2 weeks until Mahurangi weekend – the biggest on-the-water woody event in New Zealand – just check out Rogers Mills drone photo above to get an idea of the turn-out. Almost all of those dinghies are from a wooden boat anchored in the bay. The occasion is the regatta prize giving / BBQ on the Saturday night at Scotts Landing – all welcome, remember to bring a $20 note to buy a copy of the Mahurangi Cruising Club’s brilliant year book – its one of the best boating reads and great value.

On Saturday (30th) morning we have the classic launch parade – more details re times etc closer to the day but please make life easy for the organisers by emailing your name, boat name, and brief description your woody – design, age, length etc to  admin@classicyacht.org.nz
If you’re in Auckland on the Monday (1st) – as part of the Anniversary Day Regatta there will be a classic launch race. Entries for this are now open and you can enter at www.regatta.org.nz It is a handicapped race so everyone has a fair chance of winning some of the great regatta prizes 


Woody Angus Rogers snapped the two photos above of the launch – Korowai, anchored in Te Kouma, Coromandel during the families cruise on their launch – Centaurus. Korowai changed ownership 6mths ago and that woodys is all I know about the very well presented launch.
Too pretty to be a mystery – so who can enlighten us?

Input from Colin Pawson – Owen Woolley design and build. Previously owned by Beau Farrell I think.

10-01-2021 Input from Barbara Cooke – Korowai was purchased by my cousin and her partner in 1983 and moored in Milford Marina. Owen Woolley designed, 36ft with a single Ford motor. During their tenure a second hatch was made in order that my cousin could see more readily, and as she put it, carry out her back seat driving in comfort! Korowai was sold in 1985 to a fellow in Howick who owned a paint company and kept at Half Moon Bay. Was initially called Korawai not Korowai. Not sure if that still stands?

NZ Power Boat Association Cap Badge – Winner Lots of entries, some amusing, some very random – but of the ones that supplied the correct answer i.e. The cap badge of a commodore of the NZPBA – the lucky winner of a copy of Brian Peets book – ‘Des Townson – A Sailing Legacy’ was K Ricketts.

Korowai – Sailing Sunday

PH-NEG-C35891 1


KOROWAI – Sailing Sunday
photos & details ex Ben Shields

WW has had an inquiry from Ben seeking information on the 1948 32′ Woollacott Korowai (F8). Ben thinks she is a ‘Mayfly’.

What do we know about her?

I’m currently at Lake Rotoiti for the Classic & Wooden Boat Parade weekend, look out early next week for some stunning photos 😉

Harold Kidd Input

Korowai was built by Shipbuilders Ltd in 1950 for Richard Rolphe Judd of 10 Cumberland Ave.
She was 31’6” x 9’x 4’9” which makes me think she was a MAY design.