Westport Work Boat Wednesday
Westport Work Boat Wednesday
A Woody Tour of the Tamaki River – 70 photos
“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.”
Harold Kidd Input – I think we’ve been through all this before, complete with the false Colin Wild connection. I think she is pure Deacon. The APYMBA registration in 1958 when first owned by John Senior said she was built by L. Deacon in 1955 with no attribution of designer. She’s more Sam Ford than Colin Wild for a start. I knew John Senior very well. If Wild had been the designer John would have ensured that was in her APYMBA spec.
The German song “Happy Wanderer” was a hit in 1954. It was a jolly hiking song but pretty cringeworthy for musicians like me who had to play it at dances over and over again. I later bought a DH94 Moth Minor called “Happy Wanderer” and had considerable pleasure in painting the name out and reverting to plain ZK-AKM.
A Woody House
My mate John Burland sent me the photos below of this house in Island Bay, Wellington. Check out that view 🙂
DICK LANG BOATS – Lady Jane
I was recently contacted by Keith Brady whose grandmother, Lettie Lang (Kennerley) was married to Dick Lang. Keith experienced Dick’s boats as a child during the summer holidays & he is interested in the boats Dick Lang built over time, wanting to get a sense of the scale of his operation and type of boats he built.
I think I know the answer (no) but Keith was wondering whether there is a repository for details of Dicks boats or records of the boats he may have built. He is also interested in any photographs of other boats build by Dick and of his boat shed used to build these great vessels.
Keith sent me two photos, the one above is of Lady Jane which was the vessel he himself experienced time on. Do we know what happened to her?. The other photo, below, is a different vessel, which Keith has not been able to identify. Can any woodys help out?
16-02-2018 Input from Baden Pascoe
In the yard photos below (ex Glen & Merv Strongman) Baden does not knew the boats name, but it’s obviously a hard chine launch. Baden thinks the date would be in the 1950’s & one of three boats Dick built at Coromandel.
The only work boats that he can think of are Roa 1927 and Giorgina 1939
Baden encourages someone to start a time line – as a start, Baden has supplied the below.
Awhitu 1925? Was on the Manukau most of its life (pictured below)
Tawa, upper harbour passenger launch.
Eunice and Patsy, 1921 ,towing launches ( in Harold & Robins book page 77)
Miss Brett, Fullers and later Salvation Army
Tasman Star, 1935 fishing boat (still existing)
16-02-2018 Input from Bruce Pullman
Bruce received the two photos below from Bob Wichman. One is of Awhitu when on the Manukau, the other is as reconfigured and name change to Inverness in 1993. Inverness is still sitting in the mud at Thames, condition is quite sad.
Classic Woodys Cruise To Riverhead Pub
The NZ Classic Yacht Association (CYA) launch group have amazingly good fortune when it comes to the weather for their events. Saturday was just a day out of the bag – sun, mill pond sea state, cool boats & nice people. The trip was a first for me in that I did not take launch Raindance & instead traveled on Trinidad, Barbara & David Cooke’s magnificent 1965 Salthouse motor launch.
On the trip up the harbour we passed 2 very cool steam boats – Puke & Zeltic out for a cruise & enjoying the day.
We do this trip 2 or 3 times a year & a few trips ago added a mid trip raft-up meet & greet to the agenda, its a great chance to say hi to everyone before we hit the pub. A little like the American concept of a ‘rehearsal dinner’ the night before the wedding day 🙂 If you check out the raft-up photos, all the males are enjoying a coffee & the females have a glass of bubbles in hand – how did that happen.
We had 3 creek virgins making the trip for the first time – Florence Dawn, Lady Jane & Skipper CJ.
Interesting to witness the speed of the housing development in the Riverhead / upper harbour area – once all we saw was trees & paddocks, now its houses houses houses. Check out the photo of launches anchored Indian file – the land at the top was all pine trees 6>12 months ago.
Lunch at the hotel was more casual i.e. less organized than on previous visits & that was a good thing – in fact the food got a big tick from everyone.
The day was not without a few oops – two people enjoyed an unplanned swim, no damage other than bruised ego’s & a lesson that when on-board always have two points of contact 😉 My lips are sealed on names, photo below of the 1st oops, no photo for the 2nd – I was doing the Piha Rescue.
Publicans Paula & Stephen Pepperell came out to inspect Trinidad, given their history of wooden boat ownership / travels I suspect a classic could be on the shopping list.
Spotted this smart bridge-decker (Lady Thelma) anchored off Hobsonville Point.
Lady Joyce (Lady Jane)
photos & details ex Ray Morey
Now last week I did a post on Lady Jane, hauled out at Gulf Harbour, via ww we discovered that Lady Jane was originally named Lady Joyce. Ray sent in a wonderful photo of her being transported on launch day.
As Lady Jane she has been significantly altered (photo below). Ray sent me the two photos above that show Lady Joyce on a picnic cruise, the location is up the Whangamarino river at the junction with the Maramarua river. The people are, from stern – Willy’s sister Mrs. Thelma Nolan, Willie himself, wife Jessie in cabin door, the head behind belongs to Ted Stedger, farm manager, one of the ‘girls’ in the wheelhouse/saloon and on the bow is Barry Logan and his wife-to-be.
Ray asked the question as to how could anyone destroy those beautiful sweeping curves and plant ugly boxes atop that hull. In retrospect ww would have to agree with him, but boats are like houses, they get modified primarily for two reasons (1) to suit the current owners requirements (2) to remain stylish or current i.e. matching the latest design trends. There is no doubt that as launched she was a very smart motorboat & today I’m sure she is a very practical wooden boat, the dilemma people face is ‘do I want a classic wooden boat or an well maintained old wooden boat – from ww’s viewpoint its fantastic that so many people are now restoring some of our old wooden boat fleet back to classic looks.
But as they say – beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so as long as people are looking after these old girls, ww is happy. One day they might closer match their former beauty.
Now I could have added these photos to the existing ww post but they are just to good to be ‘add-ons’, they show off the beautiful lines of the vessel & lifestyle her owner enjoyed.
Click link to view & read the first ww post on the ‘two’ Lady J’s
Note: we have already learned that the owner of Lady Jane is considering reverting back to the Lady Joyce name & overtime undertaking some sympathetic restorations 🙂
Update from Ray
Ray sent in the photo below (ex Brian Worthington) that shows Willy’s two eldest daughters, Margaret and Betty with the tender he built for Lady Joyce. These exquisite little dinghys were built using only two shadow molds. He would knock up one boat inside of a week. It is not in the above cruise photos because Thelma’s husband Thomas would have been in it with the camera.
LADY JANE (Lady Joyce)
photos ex Ken Ricketts
Today’s photos of the launch hauled out at Gulf Harbour were sent to me by Ken Ricketts. Close inspection of the starboard side revels the remains / outline of some lettering that most likely says ‘Lady Jane’.
Hidden below those sheets of plywood is a rather pretty hull. What do we know about her?
Update from John Thompson
The first photo below shows Lady Jane in Whitford Creek prior to the opening of Pine Harbour. The second photo is ‘original’ as built by Willie Oliver. When checking her one morning on her mooring she had broken free and drifted onto John’s landing point in Whitford Creek. No damage done, and they re-floated her on the next high (after digging a trench in the mud and papa)
Update 04-12-2015 from Ray Morey
Ray sent in the photo below of Lady Jane when she was named Lady Joyce & owned by Willlie Olivers. Willie built her on his farm at Pukekawa. Launched without any interior or glazing. The engine was an “OSCO” marinised Ford V8 and the fuel tank was a 4 gallon tin. There was never an aft cockpit dodger, Willie maintained she was too short to carry one. Willie was not impressed (0 out of 10) with the for the re-modelling work 😦
Great photo – I can hear Nathan H hyperventilating over this one 🙂
More Photos here of Lady Joyce https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/12/08/lady-joyce-2/
11-12-2015 Photos below supplied by Dave Walker ex previous owners. Sourced by Ken Rickets