Venture – Where Is She

VENTURE – WHERE IS SHE – WW cap Up For Grabs

Todays WW story started last week – I’m standing in the queue to catch the Waiheke Island > Devonport ferry and the lady (Penny Ericson)  behind me asks if I’m from Tasmania, now it was Friday afternoon and I had been to lunch so the brain took a few milli seconds to engage. I was wearing an Aust. Wooden Boat Festival t-shirt and the logo was plastered over the back of the shirt. I explain no I’m not, and then Penny tells me she is off to Tasmania in 7 days time for a holiday, so being the nice person I am I give her my ’Things you must do / see in Hobart’ speech. I then open the photo gallery on my iPhone and back the story up with photos. She comments that there are a lot of boat photos and I explain why and tell the waitematawoodys story. 

Snap – she knows the site and was in fact about to email me concerning her grandfather > fathers launch named Venture.

After that long led in I’ll let Penny tell her story – 

“This is Penny , I met you on the Waiheke ferry the other day and we discussed the fact that I would love to know what happened to my father and grandfathers boat that he used on the lakes in Rotorua as a charter fishing launch . 
I think that it operated out of the fishing camp on the Ohau channel , and the Harvey family lived in a house on Lake Rotorua on the other side of the channel .
As you will see from the above photos the launch was called Venture, and the Log book below begins in 1937 and finishes in 1941. 

No one in the family knows what happened to the boat but I had a feeling someone thought it may have been sold to someone in Auckland .
I was delighted to meet you and you sounded so positive that you may be able to find the boat for me .
In the bottom photo my father John or “Jack” Harvey is on the left . He was distinctive as he had a wooden peg leg having lost a leg on the western front in WW1. All his life despite his disability he was a marvellous fisherman and boatman. I grew up in Torbay so was always in boats as a kid, Dad building many dinghy’s for us .

Thank you Alan , I would greatly appreciate finding the boat and maybe the original logbook needs to be reunited with the boat”

So woodys can we help Penny in her search for the launch Venture and along the way learn more about her and what became of her.

17-03-2023 INPUT ex HAROLD KIDD – VENTURE was bought by K H Wilson of Rotorua in 1947 and fitted with a 52hp Graymarine engine. He kept her until at least 1955.

I’ll reward the woody that is the most helpful with a WW cap.

VENTURE LOG – Might be a familiar name featured

San Rosa

San Rosa 

Todays woody is the 18m ex workboat – San Rosa seen in the above photos (dated 15 April 2022) ashore on the beach at Tikitiki, near East Cape, North Island. The story goes that she had been recently sold and the new owners were sailing her from Tauranga to the Marlborough Sounds. Her engine failed when she was 10 nautical miles off Tokomaru Bay and the crew made a mayday call. The Lowe Rescue helicopter winched 3 people and a dog (nice) off San Rosa and the vessel was abandoned. 

Being a solid old girl she drifted for 6 days including being caught in the gale force winds and huge seas brought on by ex-Cyclone Fili, which had hammered the region for days. Then surprise surprise she washed ashore in what appears to be good condition.

Can any of the Workboat Group tell us more about San Rosa’s past?

Interested to hear what became of her – hopefully somehow saved. Thanks Ian McDonal for the heads up on the story 🙂

07-05-2022 UPDATE – ex ‘The Gisborne Herald’ via John Newsham and Geoff Bagnall 

19-05-2022 Update Below ex John Newsham

21-05-2022 – Update Below ex John Newsham

25-05-2022I nput from Dave Stanaway – Dave uncovered this photo of a commemorative Sanford plate from the Dec 1955 launching. Dave’s father had a matching ashtray. Dave commented that San Rosa was top of the line when built for Sanfords. 

UPDATE 13-007-2022

Ian McDonald sent in this link to a story that appeared on the STUFF website

John Newsham sent in the press clippings below from the Gisborne Herald

05-11-2022 UPDATE ex Geoff Bagnall

In The Mean Time

I have been contacted by Rob Bark the new owner of the 16’ clinker run-about below. The first photo, dated c.2015,  shows the boat as purchased by the previous owner (who was based in Rotoiti, Lake Rotorua) – who very quickly removed the cabin and hot-house. Second & third photos show her as a work-in-progress.

Her new owner would love to learn more about the clinker – even a possible build date.

Mystery Lake Rotorua Launch – 1946


The photo above popped up recently on Maurice Sharp’s fb. The only details we have is its dated 1946, was taken by N. Bennett for the NZ Herald.

It is a very cool photo and given the year, just after WWII so the boat could have been abandoned while her owner was doing their bit overseas for all of us. I’d like to think some of these rascals went on to own their own boat.

It was commented that the small yacht was an Idle Along.

Anyone able to put a name to the launch – big ask I know 🙂

Trolling On The Lake – Mokoia


Trolling On The Lake – Mokoia

The above photo, ex Harold Kidd, is of Mokoia, fishing on Lake Rotorua. The question of the day is – when was she built and who built her?
The first correct answer in the ww comments section, after 6.30am, scores a 2017 Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Calendar.

Harold Kidd Input – MOKOIA was built by Bailey & Lowe in December 1903 for the Hot Lakers Steam Navigation Co. Typical “settler’s launch” by Bailey & Lowe, very similar to Chas Bailey Jr’s MILKMAID type. There were hundreds of these all over New Zealand.