Rosemary – Leon Warne

ROSEMARY – Leon Warne
The above photo of the launch Rosemary popped up on Lew Redwood’s fb – the caption read ’the Rosemary, Feb 1950 at the wharf, Otehei Bay, Bay of Islands. Seen here ‘bearing the pennants of a striped marlin and black marlin’.

A little research via the WW comments section, un-covered input from Harold Kidd and Ray Morey that matches the above launch – in summary, that she was designed / built by Leon Warne in 1920 at St Mary’s Bay, Auckland and was approx. 36’ in length. Rosemary was prominent in game fishing in the B.O.I. . All that seems to match today’s launch, so we now have a photo of Leon Warne’s Rosemary in the 1950’s. Photo below of her in the 1920’s running alongside Ozone, built by Collings & Bell in 1912.

View/read more on her early days here

Anyone able to enlighten us on what happened to her post this 1950 photo?


The above game boat photos was included in the bundle of Ken Warne’s photos of his launch Marline – can we uncover more about her, a very distinctive looking woody. Also maybe Jason Prew could just walk across the boat shed at the Slipway, Milford and ask Ken – he is there most days working on Marline.

Speaking of Marline the ’new’ / stripped down dog-house is coming along nicely – photos below. 


Marline Gets A Top Chop

MARLINE – Gets A Top Chop

Back in September 2019 I spotted the launch – Marline coming up Milford Creek on-route to The Slipway yard. As it turns out she was being hauled for a heart transplant – a wonderful new Yanmar 120hp was being installed. The top two photos above show here in the ‘creek’. At the time I thought – very nice woody, but ……….. pity about the low rise block of flats on top.

So you can image how pleased I was last Thursday to walk in to The Slipway shed and see a team in the process of demolishing the flats. Marline was built in 1950 by Leon Warne in St. Marys Bay, for his own use. Son Ken gave me a guided tour of the boat and detailed the work in-hand. And she will be returning to a more traditional configuration 🙂 Marline is approx 35’ x 11’ 4’ and draws 3’6”. She had a reputation as ’the party boat’ and once aboard its easy to see way – an 11’+ beam on a 35’ boat makes for a lot of living space.I love the original cabin lights – Leon Warne cast them, son Ken still has the mould……….. now that has got me thinking 😉

The gallery of photos below, ex Ken, give us a peek into her past, as you will see, she was successfully used for Game Fishing for many years, out of Tauranga

Mason B – Bay of Islands Woody Launching

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Mason B – Bay of Islands Woody Launching

 The caption on the photo / press clipping (ex Lew Redwood) reads “A new fishing launch takes the water from the builder’s shed. Mr W. Mason Bayly is the owner”

It was also tagged “Early preparations for the forthcoming dee-sea fishing season at Russell, North Auckland”
The date is August 1926.
Can we put a name to the boat, designer/builder, location?
Harold Kidd Input – She is MASON B, designed and built for W. Mason Bayly by Leon Warne and launched in August 1926 from Warne’s shed at Russell. She was30′ x 8’6″ and had a 30/40 hp Kermath. She replaced Bayly’s GISPA (ex-GLADYS).
Help Wanted
Any one have a base like the one circled below, tucked away anywhere? Or something similar. A woody friend has a spotlight but no matching base.  Any condition ok.
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Rosemary was built in St.Mary’s Bay by Leon Warne in December 1920 for himself and his brother George and was taken north for game-fishing out of Russell. The Warne brothers then set up boat building, repairs as well as game boat chartering at Russell. Rosemary originally had a Scripps 4 cylinder but was later fitted with a Redwing. Originally launched as a dashing flush decker

She was a very successful in promoting the deep sea angling sport in the Bay of Islands, both from Russell and Whangaroa.

Today’s photos are ex the Auckland Museum, Tudor Collins collection, email to me by Ken Ricketts. Vessel details ex Harold Kidd



photo ex Harold Kidd

OK trainspotters you have had a good break – its time to test your skills again. Clues are – she is a 1922, 38′ bridgedecker (built that way originally). When launched she had a 6 cylinder Alpha engine.


See the comments section for lots of input – but the answer ex HDK is ……..

Leon Warne was the builder and she is IORANA (Tahitian for “Gidday”). He got a lot of work from Whangarei because he took ROSEMARY north every Christmas and raced her at Onerahi and Russell. Warne built IORANA for Selwyn Blake of Whangarei who had just sold WILD THYME. IORANA was originally painted glossy black but was repainted white in her second season. Blake came to live in St. Mary’s Bay in 1924 and brought IORANA with him. He sold her to C.D. Sellars who sold her to W. Joll of Ponsonby and then she went to Whangamata and, around 1950, to George Manktelow of Paeroa, where he kept her moored in the willows on the Ohinemuri River near the Puki Bridge alongside GLENIFFER. The above image was taken there.
Is she still around?

Photo below ex Papers Past from the NZ Heard 22nd Oct 1931, shows Iorana getting ready to float off with the incoming tide at St. Mary’s Bay

Ethel Clare


 Ethel Clare
photos ex Baden Pascoe
Ethel Clare is currently on the hard at Te Atatu, post a wee trip to the bottom. Her subsequent hauling out revealed a ‘few’ bits missing. Lets hope this time she gets the attention she deserves & needs 😉

To read more & see her afloat click these links:


ROSEMARY – but which one?

Feature photo & background info ex Harold Kidd.Ozone & Rosemary photo ex classicboatsnz. Other photos & email ex Melvin Adams

There has been a lot of chat / debate recently on ww concerning the the launch Rosemary in regard to her origins & what became of her over the years. Things are complicated by the fact that there have been / still are several Rosemarys out there. You can read the chat here

Todays post is focussing on the launch that was built in St.Mary’s Bay by Leon Warne in December 1920 for himself and his brother George and was taken north for game-fishing out of Russell. The Warne brothers then set up boatbuilding, repairs as well as gameboat chartering at Russell. Rosemary originally had a Scripps 4 cylinder but was later fitted with a Redwing. She was one of several launches that were very successful in promoting the deep sea angling sport in the Bay of Islands, both from Russell and Whangaroa.
Rosemary was originally launched as a dashing flushdecker. As pictured in the photo above from “N Z Vintage Launches”  of her on the Waitemata in the 1925 Anniversary Regatta.

Enter Melvin Adams who has a launch named Rosemary, moored in Mill Bay Mangonui. Melvin has owned the boat for approx 10 years & has been tracking her past & is confident that his Rosemary is the same boat (Leon Warne) pictured above. She has a more ‘spacious’ cabin these days.  One of Melvin’s photos below indicates the areas where he can clearly see the areas where portholes used to be.
Below is a photo montage showing Rosemary thru-out the years – I’ll let you be the judge if Melvin’s Rosemary is the Warne built ex game boat.

Make sure you read the e-mail from one of her previous owners – Don Jansen to Melvin , is a good tale of life as a ‘commercial’ fisherman.

As always – click on photos to enlarge 🙂

ETHEL C (Ethel Clare)


ETHEL C (Ethel Clare)

Some days ww rocks – yesterday was one of those days, the planets lined up & everything fell into place.

Last weekend Nathan Herbert was out & about nosing around the Whau Creek with Jason Prew in one of the classic picnic boats when they came across the very neglected tram topper, Ethel Clare,  sitting on a pile mooring. Ethel Claire (as spelt on the name board) became the ww posting on Wednesday.

Next thing I get an email from CYA member Neil Chalmers, SY Gleam, telling me a RYC member, Colin Clare, has been trying to track down his father’s old launch – ‘’Ethel C’’. Neil had spoken to Colin and described the launch in photos that appeared on ww. In Neil’s words “I think you may have struck gold !.”

Next I contacted Harold Kidd who confirmed that ETHEL C was built by Leon Warne in late 1922 for Billy Clare. HDK thinks she was in fact started by Leon and finished off by Dick Lang as Leon went to Russell at that time and Dick took over his premises.
Ethel C was 30’x8′ and HDK supplied two b/w images which leave no doubt that Ethel Claire is in fact Ethel C. The close up shows a young Colin Clare sitting on the salon top.
HDK commented – “that she has a provenance a couple of yards long!!!”

Next I contacted James Mobberley at Moon Engines & Transmissions who is a member at the Te Atatu Boating Club on the Whau Creek & a classic nutter. James advises that the boat is known around the club as Ethel C & is owned by a Te Atatu Boat Club member who has owned her for between 10 >12 years. The current owner bought her off a gent by the name of Jimmy Sands who had her sitting on his front lawn in Avondale for 20 years.

Now I want this to have a happy ending – wouldn’t it be great to see her rescued & back in the hands of the family of the original owner 🙂

Make sure you check out the RECENT COMMENTS section to view ww follower feedback

Lady Joyce 40yrs On


I was sent by CYA member Ian Kohler (Ngaio) this c1973 photo of Lady Joyce when see was owned by Sally Cassells Brown. Looking at the photo of her I took earlier this year at Mahurangi, its wonderful to see how she has survived over 40 years & retained her original configuration. Her owner for the last 20 years, John Foreman, needs a medal.

To me what these two photos also show is how the addition of varnish (or possibly wood effect paint in those days) to the coamings can so significantly enhance the look of a classic craft.

For more details on LJ – use the ww search box or click the link below

And to show we are a caring sharing bunch – compilments of HDK via Paperpast is the “Joyce” of LADY JOYCE 🙂


18/06/2014 – A correction / error to the story- ex Paul Baragwanath

The error relates to the above picture. The Lady Joyce was in fact named after my grandmother, Joyce Winstone, nee Harrowell. Lady Joyce was owned by my great-grandfather, Shirley Harrowell. The photograph above is of her brother Bill Harrowell, Joyce’s brother, and the lady in the photo is Bill’s wife, known as Eddie, but whose name was also Joyce. An easy mistake to make!

I think that my grandmother was born in 1918, If they bought her in 1932 Joyce would have been 25… I am surprised they didn’t buy the Lady Joyce earlier… because Joyce was already married with two children (or so).
They lived at 44 Ranui Road, Remuera and Joyce’s husband Don, my grandfather, bought his first house over the road… and commissioned my little Corsair (Frostbite number 47). Don’s uncle had the big yacht Nga Toa.