It saddens me to report the demise of the launch – Lady Gazelle (formally Gazelle), designed and built by Jim Young c. late 1950’s. During the recent Cyclone Gabrille, Lady Gazelle was put on the rocks in the Coromandel Harbour. Owners Mitch and Cathy Edwards commented that she had been struck by another drifting boat and cut from her mooring.
While she will no doubt be written off, the Edwards hope that the four years they spent restoring her has not all gone to waste and that someone will tender for her and hopefully repair her.
Woody Paul Drake, sent in the above photo of the launch Ngaro, formerly named Apache. In the photo we see her on Lake Taupo in the 1950’s. Paul was wondering if anyone knows where she is now. She was at Taupo for quite a long time but has also been gone for quite a long time (slightly Irish statement). Paul believes that she could be a Lidgard and is 28’ in length.
The boat sheds in the photo lasted until 1963. The Drake launch – East Wind occupied the last shed on the left and seventy years later still occupies a berth in the same spot. Their other launch – Sir Francis, occupied the shed seventh from the left and now occupies the berth next to East Wind – view both boats below :
WE HAVE ANOTHER CYA COMMITTEE ZOOM MEETING ON TUESDAY NIGHT
I wonder if anyone in the last 4 weeks has grown some gonads and will front the elephant in the room e.g. clarification of the 40 berth Heritage Basin sub-committees intent i.e. will the classic vessels berthed there be a true representation of the CYA’s Classic Yacht Policy, as per the constitution – “New Zealand or foreign designed yachts, launches, dinghies, boats, vessels of all sizes, description, ages, whether powered by wind, steam, combustion or otherwise’. OR woodys – a parking lot for what I understand the sub-committee openly refers to as ’The Heritage Sailing Fleet’. Read more by clicking the Tui banner above.
The original conceptual sketch*, below, of the CYA’s current marina (Heritage Landing) certainty portrayed a fair mix of craft 🙂 *david barker
Back in 2014 Toroa made an apperanace on WW (link below) and generated a lot interest in the comments section. What we learned was that she was built by Chas Bailey & Sons c.1950’s, is 28’ in length (including the hanging off bits at both ends) with a 9’ beam of and a draft of 2’6”. Constructed of kauri, in 1966 she was bought by Coastguard and used until 1968 as a patrol boat and training vessel. The price was 4000 pounds paid for with the assistance of the ASB Bank and the Golden Kiwi lottery. What became of her after 1968 is a tad cloudy but owners may have been, John Cheswass / Water Keen / Michael McMahon. https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/10/07/toroa/
In approx. May 2014 Brian & Judy Simpson purchased the launch and transported her to Lake Taupo, where she remained for the last 6 1/2 years, before being hauled out for some TLC that included a repaint and anti-foul. Brian advised that Toroa was recently slipped back into the lake after the refurbishment which was done by Judy and Brian, under the watchful eye of Larry Palmer, boat painter extraordinaire at Taupo Marina. Larry also trailer-ed Toroa out of and back into the lake.
Toroa is powered by a 4 cylinder, 4L Ford diesel engine, fitted in the 1980’s. She uses around 4 litres an hour at 1700 revs achieving a comfortable cruising speed of 6-7 knots. In the top set of photos above she is looking very grand. In the 2nd set we see her being hauling out.
Back in June 2016 we ran a story on the 1939, 40’ bridge decker – Victory (link below) now thanks Ian McDonald and tme we get to have look below decks. In the WW link there is some great history on the launch from Paul Drake.
We know that she was designed and built by Jack Taylor in Nukuhau, Taupo. Victory is powered by a 80hp Ford Diesel engine that gives her a cruising speed of 8 knots. As per a lot of lake boats, Victory has a 12hp Yanmar auxiliary engine for trolling .
From 1939 to c.1973, Victory was used as a commercial charter boat by Jack and his two sons. She remained within the family until 1982 when she was sold another Taupo resident.
El ALAMEIN > RANUI – On Lake Taupo The 32’ launch El Alamein, later renamed Ranui, that was built and launched by Supreme Craft in 1945 and has made several appearances on WW (links below to those stories).
Recently I was contacted by Paul London, in regard to Noel East, a previous owner of the launch. Paul has many fond memories of times on the launch at Lake Taupo. Paul was motivated to contact WW to re-connect with a Terry Arnold, a ‘distant’ cousin of his and grandson of Noel East. Terry Arnold made contact with WW and shared the photos above El Alamein during Noel and Grace East ownership period. In the first photo the lad with the red cap holding a trout is Terry, as Terry commented the trout in those days were both plentiful and stout.
In the photo below we see the Lake Taupo marina, where El Alamein / Ranui was berthed when owned by Noel & Grace East. There are some grey area’s as to when the name changed from El Alamein to Ranui but the boats know places of residence are summarised below:
• 1945 – Lake Rotoiti • 1949 – Lake Taupo. Possibly when the name change occurred
• 2020 – Hokianga Harbour. Presently a inner-harbour charter boat.
The clinker dinghy photo sees the grandchildren Terry, Clfiton and Raewyn Arnold out on Lake Taupo in the launches tender.
The name Moerangi appears many times on the WW site, today’s story adds to the list. The photo above pooped up on Lew Redwood’s fb and the accompanying text stated that at the time of the photo, Moerangi was owned by the Capey family, Whangarei Heads. That canoe stern hopefully will make flushing out more intel on her easier. She looks to be a bit of a speedster i.e. long and thin 🙂
INPUT FROM PAUL DRAKE – Moerangi (Logan Bros 1906) has been at Taupo for many years (more than 20?) and underwent a thorough rebuild by Bernie Dale (Dale Boat Builders) some time ago. The first two photos below show her about to be rebuilt, and the third shows her just prior to painting by Taupo Boat Painters. Note the new, slightly raised dodger. The photo above in today’s post shows her with this new dodger. This means that the photo is at Taupo and not Whangarei. The fourth photo shows her about to be launched at Taupo.The fifth photo shows her ‘on the beach’ at Waihaha (Western Bay).
Des Townson – A Sailing Legend Book Winner
The winner to the mid-week competition for a copy of the Brian Peet book – is Murray Deeble. As far as the judges (myself and Brian) are concerned, the correct answer to how many launches did Des design?, is one. However he did do scamp / sketches of two other launches and one open steam boat. Would Des have considered these drawings to be designs? The answer is no. But in the spirit of ‘Being Kind’ (pass me a bucket) any one that answered between 1 and 4 went into the draw. Well done Murray. Book is in the post.
IF YOU HAVEN’T RSVP’ED FOR THE WOODYS STILLWATER PICNIC – DO IT TODAY
The above photo comes to us via NZ Vintage Postcard fb and is captioned – The Landing, Taupo and is possibly from the 1930>1940’s period.
A question for Paul Drake – is the boat ‘closest to the channel‘ your 1914 Bailey and Lowe launch – Romance ? If so, that would date the photo post 1931.
Can we ID any of the other boats?
Input from Paul Drake – Yes the launch nearest the channel is ROMANCE, still at Taupo and owned by the Drake Brothers. She arrived ex Napier post 1931 earthquake as a flush decker, and had her cabin raised when acquired by Jack Taylor and put to work as a commercial boat, probably in 1932. The counter stern boat is KINGFISHER. Thomas Ryan ran the 60 foot steamer RMS TONGARIRO ( Bailey and Lowe 1899 and built at Taupo) until 1925. She eventually rotted away on the foreshore between the Boat Harbour and Acacia Bay – photo below at the Taupo Wharf, before the 2 storied cargo shed was built , so quite early on in the 1900’s.
Input from Nigel Drake – The boat between Romance and Kingfisher looks to be Waihora, about 23 feet in length and probably a Couthard built boat, (not to be confused with the Brin Wilson built Waihora). She was on the lake for a long period of time and ran for hire under local identity “Tabby” Tabernacle.
Lock-down = less going out = more fires, so collected a load of firewood today, life is easy when there is an arborist in the family 🙂
While at his yard, I spotted this magnificent pile of Pohutukawa logs, the coffee cup is there to give you an indication of the size of the 12 logs . A huge tree came down in a recent storm, blocking a road so out with the big chainsaws. Not destined for firewood, I’m told a few coffee tables and bar tops.
Right now Colin Pawson should have been in the USA & taking photos for me at a wooden boat festival, but a speed bump slowed him down a bit & instead he was mooching round the lake front moorings at Lake Taupo.
Most of the above have appeared on WW before but its always nice to get an update & who has been applying the TLC & who hasn’t 🙂
Input ex Paul Drake – below is a 1932 pic of the same two boats. It is regatta day at Taupo. ROMANCE has only recently arrived at the lake ex Napier and is still a flush decker. EAST WIND has already been on the lake for some years. Both boats came into Drake family ownership 46 years ago in 1972.
Now would be a good moment to seek opinions regarding EAST WIND’s origins. She was clearly built as an open boat with motor. She still has the original foredeck and coaming under the newer raised deck. Two clues – she has an external stern gland and has an X etched into her starboard forard sheer strake (see pic). No sign of lifting hooks though.
We would be really interested to discover when she was built and by whom. Her history prior to the mid 1920’s is a mystery. What do the Brains Trust think?
Also below is Paul’s favorite pic of EAST WIND, at Rotoiti, taken by me (Alan H).
Paul has advised that the above launch has arrived at Lake Taupo within the last few weeks. Now if we believe the name plate she is a 1927 Colin Wild boat. Paul commented that its a nice touch having the build year and builder’s name being advertised, but it would be nice with they spelt the name correctly (Wild not Wilde) 😦
Paul believes that if her provenance stacks up, she is probably the only Col Wild on the lake.
The name plate states her home anchorage was Mahurangi, so what more do we know about Princess & how did she end up on the lake ?