All I Want For Christmas




Is another clinker, but not much chance of that – Mrs H doesn’t read WW 🙂

Woody Alan Sexton spotted this very smart dinghy being built in Lees Boatbuilders boat shed. Alan commented that it is not common to see any new dinghy being built from timber these days, let alone clinker construction.
Chatting with Greg Lees he told me it is being built by his foreman, Dale Collins. The 8’ dinghy is based on Roy Parris patterns. When complete she will be for sale – so woodys who is looking of the perfect tender for their woody?
To view examples of the stunning work undertaken by Greg and his team – click the link below

Build Me Straight – A Wooden Boat Building Film



Build Me Straight Film

I was sent this video clip (film) by Cameron Pollard of the planning, building & launching of a traditional wooden boat. It is great viewing, but be warned the music is bad 🙂

It is reproduced with the permission of the Scottish Screen Archive & the National Library of Scotland.

Enjoy- it is very good.

And on the same subject, boatbuilding, a wee reminder to CYA members of today’s visit to Lees Boat Builders on-the-water yard at Sandspit. Kicks off at 11.00am, free sausage sizzle. It’s a working boat yard, so wear sensible shoes. See you there.



Mahanui Refit


October 2016




October 2016

Mahanui Refit

Over winter Angus Rogers (CYA Launch Captain) booked Mahanui into Greg Lees yard at Sandspit for a wee facelift. Mahanui has been a frequent visitor to the surgeons – she was built by Keith Atkinson in 1977 & originally launched as Jacinta II. Eight years ago her then owner changed the name to Mahanui & converted the portofino stern topsides to conventional topsides and added a new duckboard. He also shortened the flying bridge coamings.
Angus purchased Mahanui in February 2012 & in May 2012 she went into Lees Boatyard at Sandspit for a 9 months total refurbishment that included new engines – full details can be found here

This winter saw the canopy over Mahanui’s cockpit replaced with a permanent structure & the finished article is a perfect fit. But as I have said before, we expect nothing less from the team at Lees Boat Builders. Compare the first two photos above & I think you will agree. Below is a ‘as launched’ photo.


As launched

The rebirth of Juanita

Juanita 021

The Rebirth of JUANITA
photos Greg Lees & Alan H

Yesterday I was privileged to be asked by Greg Lees to attend the re-launch of the 32′ classic launch Juanita, a 1951 Allan Williams (Milford Creek) built beauty that has  just spent the last 4 months in the Lees Boatbuilder shed at Sandspit. In Greg’s words she was in for a ‘refresh & to bring her back to her original appearance’ – well Mr Lees, I do not think she has ever looked this good before so you have exceeded the brief, but we have come to expect that from the yard. Greg commented that Juanita’s new owners (Nick & Anna Davidson) contribution to the work was huge, every weekend for the 4 month period.

Juanita has had a busy life having called numerious places home – Auckland, Whangarei, Lake Taupo, Whitianga & now Sandspit.

Juanita’s past has been well documented on ww – some links below for details & photos

I took the photo of her below late last year, moored off Greg’s wharf looking very sad & tired as she awaited her turn in the shed. Arohanui was in-residence at the time mid restoration. One of the reasons Nick chose the Lees yard was the long association the yard & Greg personally has had with Juanita, in fact Greg told me that he once got very close to adding a flybridge to her, luckily that never happened 🙂

Again I’m so pleased to see so many of our classic launches being returned to their finery – so woodys who’s next in the shed?

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Took the opportunity to have a  peek at Karros hauled out & chat to Dave Jackson, with a 14′ beam she is a rather pretty big bottomed old girl 🙂