Happy Days (Te Toa)

The photo above ex Baden Pascoe shows the launch Happy Days, moored on the Manukau Harbour. At the time she was owned by Ward House, who bought her off Merv Young. Before that she was used as a log tug pulling a barge from Matakana Island to the Tauranga Town Wharf.

Ward these days owns – La Rosa, the 1923 Ernie Harvey built launch. Photo below taken last week moored in the Brian (‘cockney’ slang for the Tamaki River) You can see and read more on La Rosa at this WW link  https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/01/04/la-rosa-flashback/

At some stage Happy Days was renamed Te Toa, keen to uncover more about her and what became of her.

13-05-2021 Update date ex Ray Morey – I drove “Happy Days” when she was owned by “Leonard & Seon of Mt Maunganui , when they were logging on Matakana Island and supplying Tuck & Watkins mill on Sulphur Point. Previous to this she had been a net fisher up towards Kati Kati and owned by a maori family. The “D” front of the cabin is original but Eddie Fitzgerald at the old Alf Walling slipway, built the more modern cabin over the large open cockpit, and closed the after deck in. My F.i.L. Alan Harris and Gary Leonard installed a 130 hp. A.E.C. tank engine with a gearbox from one of Charlie Faulkner’s spare “Hercules” engines (ex Aotearoa spares) I seldom towed barges, the logs were rafted from up Tuckers Creek on Matakana on one tide, anchored off Otemoetai then picked up on the next tide and taken around to Sulphur Point Mill. She was a good little tug for the job and was sold off when the logging cut out. I did see her in later years moored up the Tamaki river. I have often wondered about her fate. I believe she was one of five 26 ft motor mullet boats built in Auckland and they mostly had names with “light” in them. (moonlight-starlight etc.) H.D.K. where are you please??

606 Rosebank Road, Avondale

La Rosa – Flashback


I just love opening the WW email inbox, particularly when out of the blue you get a treasure trove of photos on a boat that you know but do not have much content from her past.The other day Alan Duckworth contacted me to say he came across the WW site while searching for new photos of the 1923, Ernie Harvey built launch – La Rosa. Bob King, who owned the vessel for 50 odd years and significantly modified the ketch, was Alan’s grandfather. 

The above gallery of old photos are from Bob King’s ownership period. Alan recalls that the motor was a Lister, compression start, that could run for hours on bugger all fuel.

The current owner of La Rosa – Ward House will love the photos – hopefully his good friend Baden Pascoe will alert him to the story. You can see and read more about La Rosa at the WW links below:

Input below from Mark Erskine

“I was interested to read about La Rosa and what a wonderful antique engine she has.

I see “Graeme” posts the engine is a 26 HP Lister HW2, but it is a Lister JP2M.

The JP2M specs are: Capacity: 2,868cc. / HP: 21 @ 1,200rpm. / Weight: 2,576 lbs/1.168 tonnes


They were made from 1936 and 1954 apparently (haven’t been able to confirm), so it would be interesting to see if the owner knows the age of the engine.

Like all of the old Lister / Petter water cooled range of engines, the JP2M is built so big and heavy and runs so slowly that if properly serviced, maintained and used, it should never wear out in marine use 😁 “


A Woody Tour of the Tamaki River – 70 photos

A Woody Tour of the Tamaki River – 70 photos

Todays story so needed to be done, and woodys, John Bullivant is a legend for grabbing his camera and heading out on our behalf. I’ll let John tell his story 🙂

“Thought it was about time I got a few photos on the Tamaki River boats before they disappear, (and they are going fast by the look of some). There are only a fraction of the numbers of wooden boats that were moored there in the 1960s and 1970s and as I previously mentioned, living on the waterfront at Bucklands Beach for around 25yrs I had seen most of them go by (was like Queen St on Friday nights most summer weekends) I did 2 trips down from Orewa and took pics from Panmure Boat Club and up to and under the new Panmure Bridge, end of Gabadore Pl (off Carbine Rd), the old Panmure Marina, (going with many houses from Panmure to Pakuranga Town centre, to make way for new highway widening), along the Tamaki River walkway for about 4km (Rotary Walk,- starts at the old Panmure Marina and goes all the way to Gills Rd in Howick, for those who like walking), Half Moon Bay and Bucklands Beach.

I also went down to the 1960s site of the private ex RNZAF W1  haul-out ramp below the old Alright property (well covered in bush now and a near vertical climb down a 30ft bank), – lost a bit of blood but well worth it for me, as I last stood on that spot 50yrs ago when we sneaked on board W1 to have a look around while she was up there. Original ramp and haul-out dolly is still there (see pics) although time has taken its toll. I’m amazed, looking at the crude set-up today, how Mr Alright got a 64ft boat weighing many tons, sitting on rubber tyred dollies (which ran in grooved concrete) lined up and hauled out with a winch and by the looks of it, the large tree in line with the ramp, not to mention getting it back out again (I’m assuming he must have winched it back out somehow). Massive effort not only to build the ramp on mud, (all by hand, no concrete pumping trucks) but to be able to use it.

Hope these photos are of interest to people who may be able to identify some of the mystery boats (especially the light blue launch with the chrome ventilators and light, (looks ex RNZAF ?). The yacht hidden near the big boatshed is around 45ft looks very old and has been there for many years, as has poor old Imatra, a once grand yacht which is in a very sad state and in urgent need of care (must have been there 30 yrs odd now). I have included a few other launches and yachts to show the sad state of many good looking (and once expensive) boats on the river crying out for attention, but I guess many people have other priorities and sadly their dreams are just floating slowly into oblivion. It’s pretty hard to get rid of a rusty rotten hulk, so there they will stay till it’s “business time” (flight of the Conchords) for the 20 ton digger.

I may have some of the boats names wrong as I was using a telephoto lens for most of the pics and with enhancing colour, contrast etc was as near as I could get. I’m sure someone will correct any if wrong.”

NOTE: With the photos that John has named, I have tagged the photos with those names. Scroll over the photos to view the names 😉
I could have used the individual images on WW over an extended period, but they need to be together in one spot. Enjoy 🙂

La Rosa, John Dory & Kelvin

La Rosa, John Dory & Kelvin
photo ex Baden Pascoe

The above photo was taken 2 weeks ago at Auckland’s Maritime Museum, La Rosa & John Dory had just returned from the CYA launch cruise to the Riverhead hotel & according to Baden Pascoe they all rafted up alongside Kelvin for afternoon tea, I suspect the word ‘tea’ covered a wide selection of beverages 😉

How lets see how clever you woodys are – these 3 vessels share one connection – who will the first to ID it. And it goes without saying that Ward House, Baden Pascoe & David (Davie) Jones are excluded 🙂

Castaway & La Rosa On The Slip

Two of the CYA ‘s launch fleet have been getting some late summer TLC

La Rosa

Ward House & Bob Stevenson  had their 1923 Ernie Harvey launch out recenty at Tamaki to take her underwater surface back to bare wood & treated with Chem Bar (the Altex equivalent of International Primercon), the topsides received a splash of paint as well- looking very sharp for a 90 year old.

Update 23-12-2019 La Rosa hauled out for some TLC, interesting to note the no growth of marine animals what so ever around metallic parts after being in the tide for 3 plus years. Note, no propspeed as well. Baden Pascoe supplied the photos and commented that if she had anodes she would have needed a tow to the slip.



Chris Leech’s 1947 Dick Lang launch seen here on the slip at the Devonport Yacht Club. Once a familiar sight on the harbour, lately its rare to see her away from her marina, Chris has almost earned the ‘floating man bach’ award 🙂  Hopefully this work will mean she is out & about more.

La Rosa


La Rosa, built by Ernie Harvey shortly after he sold out to Percy Vos and
moved to Thames. Its thought her first name was Colville Marie and she used to run
mail and light goods from Thames down the coast. Very typical of a Harvey
boat. Now powered by a nicely restored JP 3. Owned by Ward House and brother
in-law Bob.

Update 24-05-2020 Relaunched after some TLC. Photo ex Baden Pascoe

La Rosa May2020