Recently I was sent the above photo by John Dawson who recalls it popped up on fb 2>3 years ago.

In the photo the launch is moored in Totara North, Whangaroa Harbour, you can just see the Whangaroa Wharf across the bay.

John was asking for confirmation of a comment that Harold Kidd made at the time that the launch was probably the Lanes built – Mapu, if so she is still in ownership by the Lane family – a search on WW reveals a June 2013 story that confirms Harolds thoughts re the design and ownership – link here

FYI – HDK has a 95% success rate – just ahead of Nathan Herbert and a lot ahead of me 🙂

WW Caps – the new low profile, canvas cloth caps have been a winner – the new understated colour topped with the dark brown WW embroidered logo has a dash of understated style. I have reorder 3 times and stocks are getting low – order today – just click the email link here and tell me your name, postal address and number of caps required ( best order was x5) I’ll come back to you with payment details – $38 + $6 p&p.

Dauntless – A Peek Down Below

Dauntless – A Peek Down Below

Recently Dauntless popped up on tme as a project boat that failed to progress to actually being a project.She was possibly built by Lanes in 2027, but this is unconfirmed and there is a lot of chat in the comments section of WW in a past story 2013 WW story – link here

Powered by a Isuzu diesel – that is just about all we know.

Le Reine > Patina


Todays photos were sent in by Mike Mulligan and are of his families old launch Patina which his father sold to buy the launch Ngaranui (tomorrows story) in the 1970’s

The 39’ Patina was built  by Erine Lane at Picton in 1913, from double planked kauri. Lane built her for C.W. Philpotts of the Sounds Motor Launch Co. as a passenger vessel. Originally named La Reine (The Queen). 

As launched she was fitted with a 20hp Bolinder semi-diesel reversing engine. Late she went fishing out of New Plymouth with a Fairbanks- Morse and also spent time in Tauranga. Around this time she was converted to pleasure use.

In Sept 2019 she was for sale at Chaffers marina, Wellington.In Feb 2020 she was still for sale – photos below and here –

(thank to Harold Kidd for early details)



Todays double ender 36’ woody launch just popped up on tme (thank you Ian McDonald) and is just such a looker. Home is Waikawa Bay in the Marlborough Sounds. Currently only set up with two berths, she is crying out for a full conversion to pleasure use.

Power is via a 80hp Ford diesel, that according the the tme story has a wee oil leak.

Who ever choose the colour scheme and name font as a good eye. I hope I have the spelling right?

Can we learn more about the boat?

INPUT ex Dick Hall – Correct name ‘Bonita’. Built 1923 by Ernie Lane in Picton as a typical sounds passenger boat with two cockpits both forward and aft of the wheelhouse. Originally powered by a 12hp Kelvin benzine engine. Modified for fishing in 1959 for the Guard Brothers of Port Underwood. Lately used as a pleasure boat by various owners.

INPUT ex Richard Neighbour – Bonito (launched Bonita) 1926, sister ship to Mariner (Shakespeare Bay- Queen Charlotte Sounds) I have emailed the history up to 2016 as given to me by Beth Gordon (original owners daughter). Bonito is a lovely old girl. My wife and I hope to find a suitable owner that will maintain her for many years to come as we have moved from Marlborough and don’t get back as often as we hoped to. Bonito has many years left in her yet, with much credit to the Ruffles family (previous owners of 40 years).
Richard & Helen – current owners.

Falcon – Gets A Birthday

Falcon – Gets A Birthday

In the early days of WW the 1930, 38′ Lane Motorboat Co. launch – Falcon was all over the WW site. Her then owner James Mobberley (Moon Engines) hardly ever let the engine cool down.

Always a fast boat, James transplanted a 180hp Hino engine into her and she was probably the fastest in the classic fleet e.g. >18 knots. 

When you have small children a fast narrowish classic woody is not that practical, so sadly James and family moved on to a big white plastic boat – but he will be back, that I’m confident about.

Falcon passed thru several owners and was starting to show her age on a swing mooring in Whangarei Basin.

Then a good thing happened – one of Moon Engines talented engineers bought Falcon and relocated her back to Auckland. The next year was spent giving Falcon a makeover in terms of her running gear, systems and home comforts – the above photos give us a peek into how things should be done on a boat – still a little bit of tidying up, but a perfect opportunity to view the installation work.

Remember to click on the photos to enlarge 😉


One shows us how its done and another how it comes undone 😉

Ngawini – R.I.P.


The 1924 Lanes built launch Ngawini first popped up on WW back in March 2014 via tme listing, at the time I commented that she appeared to be aloof boat for the asking price ($20k).

Fast forward to January 2016 when Rod Marler spotted her anchored in Tryphena, Great Barrier Island. Link to those references

Fast forward again and I spotted Ngawini in May 2017 hauled onboard a salvage barge off Bayswater Marina. She appeared to have suffered significant damage to bow and underwater areas and had either sunk or partially sunk. The vessel was taken to the Waitakere Transfer Station (dump) and offered up as parts. Refer WW story below

Fast forward again and Jason Prew spotted Ngawini ‘repurposed’ as a land based hut at Te Arai, near Mangawhai. In the absence of a white knight stepping in to save her, this has to better than going into the land fill. She is in good company – scroll down to yesterdays story to see Ngawini’s flat mates.




Thetis – A Peek Down Below

THETIS – A Peek Down Below

Thanks to a heads up from Glenn Martin and a tme listing we get to have a peek down below on the 1955, Lanes built, 45’  bridge-decker – Thetis.

Lots more to read about her past at the WW link below

Valerie Update


The 1929 Lanes built, 40’ launch – Valerie, has appeared on WW a few time (link below – use the WW Search Box for more) but now thanks to a tme listing we get to see the results of the recent work done to her, including a heart transplant.The Yanmar 112hp is a perfect match for her and I imagine she has a good turn of speed. 

I spotted Valerie hauled out at Opua just over a year ago when she was getting the transplant and some serious TLC.

Yesterday I was mooching around the Toi Tu Toi Ora exhibition at the Auckland Art Gallery (well worth a visit) and spotted the clinker below. The wife wasn’t impressed “can’t go anywhere without a wooden boat popping up. You knew this was here didn’t you” 🙂




Last month I was contacted by Rowan Lane who had seen the painting of the launch Zephyr I posted on WW, refer photo below. 
Rowan is a blue blooded woody eg his surname – Lane, links him to the clan whose craft frequently appear on WW
pages. I have posted the note Rowan sent me below
“The June posting of the painting of “Zephyr” on the Whangaroa Harbour
prompted a rummage through the family albums. My father Major Lane (family
name not title) rescued Zephyr from the foreshore of the Whangaroa Harbour.
Dad was nephew to Richard Ernest (Ernie) Lane who had relocated from
Whangaroa to Picton.
Zephyr was in a sorry state inviting each incoming tide inside for a chat through its cracks and opened seams. My father set about repairing the hull re-ribbed and re fastened throughout and installed a Gray Marine petrol engine. This was in the 1930’s. 
Zephyr was seconded to the NZ Army during the war years and was used to deliver supplies to the Army post at what is now Kingfish Lodge at the entrance to the Whangaroa Harbour.
In the top photo above we see Zephyr moored at Kingfish Point. Zephyr’s dodger was modified after the war when Zephyr became a commercial fishing vessel RL 36.
My father sold Zephyr around 1950 to Joe Mueller who had emigrated to NZ from South Africa. Joe used the ‘anglicised’ spelling Millar I believe to ally any fears that he may have been of German descent. Joe continued commercial fishing for a while before changing Zephyr to a game fish charter launch.”




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In the photos above we see Movarie in the 1953 welcome fleet for SS Gothic. To her left in the 2nd photo are two other launches, the closest I would pick to be Nor’West the Lane  (Panmure) built c.1948>50. You can see/read more on Movarie here
The one on the hard left, is a mystery me – anyone able to ID her?
We do not score many wins in the game of ’spot the block of flats’ game but Kerin Owen deserves recognition – last week I received an email from Kerin and the subject line read “No Chainsaw Was Used”, opening it up I found  before and after photos of Kerin’s Jorgenson built launch  – Sharnda Leigh, they were taken during a recent haul out at Manganui. Now with a 1988 build date, she almost fits into the ’ spirit of tradion’ category, helped along by being triple skin diagonal planked. She is powered by a 135hp Ford Dover. 
Well woodys – all I’ll say is – what a difference a haircut makes 🙂
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