One of the great things about the WW site is its ability to bring together past owners of woody classics with the current owners. Two examples in recent weeks
1. Alan Warren dropped me a note re the launch – Pirate , that was owned by Keith Warren in the period 1989>1994. Alan included the above stunning photo and commented that the photo was mounted near the kauri saloon table. Collectively we were able to get a high res copy of the photo to Pirate’s new owners.
2. Over the last year I have been trying to coordinate with Kennedy Warne for his 90+ year old father Ken Warne, son of Leone Warne who designed and built Pirate, to visit the boat – covid popped it’s head up every time there was a planned meeting – well last weekend the stars aligned and the family got to visit Pirate at Pine Harbour marina . Owners Tracy and Alan were shocked and thrilled when the Warne’s handed over the original line drawing done by Leone Warne for the boat.
UPDATE ex Kennedy Warne
The below photo (of Dad with the Gilders in Pirate’s saloon) was taken when we meet the owners. It was just so good to reunite Dad with a launch that he had seen being built when he was a nine-year-old boy at Russell. We were able to supply Alan and Tracy with a couple more photos from when she was launched, and, as you noted, with the pencil plans, with their edges well chewed by sliverfish. Interestingly the plans showed she was originally planned as a 42-footer. At some point Leon must have decided that wasn’t enough, and she grew.
There is an interesting story of how she was named ‘Pirate’ – it’s recounted in Neil Illingworth’s book ‘Fighting Fins’, refer the relevant pages below.
01-10-2022 UPDATE: There was a NZ National Film Unit movie made under the same name ‘Flying Fins’ the youtube link below was sent in by K Ricketts. An interesting insight into the Big Game fishing scene in the far North – but all too cruel for me. As an aside I tracked down a copy of the ‘Fighting Fins’ book mentioned above – stashed away for summer cruising reading.
Friday was one of those special woody days – I travelled out to Pine Harbour marina to see the re-launch of Pirate, the Leon Warne 1939 built, 46’ launch.
Why was it special? Well back in March the launch Kokoru was ravaged in a dockside fire, just weeks after a total refit / restoration, links below to Kokoru. One of the few salvageable items were the brand new twin Yanmar 75hp engines.
The owners made the tough call and decided to purchase another classic and use Kokoru as a donor. The lucky woody purchased was – Pirate. And she became the recipient of Kokoua’s engines.
For the last 6 weeks the transplant and associated bits – new shafts, props etc and a lot of work to the tankage – size and location, has been happening.
Still a work in progress but back in the water and ready for the next stage of the project. Amazingly Pirate did not take on any water, probably the result of her owners hosing the hull down twice a day while hauled out.
WW will visit again when Pirate is ship-shape and knowing the owners – sparkling 🙂
A big shout out to the owners – it takes special people to (1) restore a woody (2) recover from seeing her destroyed (3) leaping back in and buy another – well done Tracy and Alan. I read somewhere the other day a quote that “beautiful boats attract beautiful people” – seems to fit this story 🙂
( fyi – Kokoru went to a good home and we understand, overtime will be rebuilt, so a happy ending)
Over the weekend I had cause to visit an area that I had often passed by boat but never on land – the area I refer to is the ‘Old Cement Works’. Home these days to the very funky Mahurangi Marina. Its just 5 minutes from the Warworth township and as well as dockside berths, offers halibut and hardstand facilities.
There is a nice selection of woody / classic craft tied up and with the ruins of the cement works as a backdrop, its very pleasant. The grounds I imagine would be a popular picnic spot and there’s even a fresh water lake, photos below.
STELLA Approx. 4 weeks ago on WW we ran a story on Iorana > Stella, she is now sitting on a paddock in Northland – crying out for restoration. As tends to happen on WW that story and photos (link https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/10/06/iorana-stella-sos/ ) flushed out a previous owner / family connection. I was contacted by Dave and Pat Cochran who supplied the above photos and the story below – I’ll let Dave tell you about the family link to Stella.
“My father Max Cochran (John Maxwell Cochran,) bought her together with Eric Berry when I was about 15, so about 1961. I believe she was sitting in the Tamaki River then, pretty scruffy but caught dad’s eye. We lived in Northland, dad was Head Teacher of the Ohaeawai Maori School and Eric owned the Northern News in Kaikohe. So the boat came up to Waitangi in the Bay of Islands and we set about cleaning her up. River stones covered in diesel and oil as ballast under the floor, so she stank of that for a long time, even after the stones were all dumped into the Waitangi river ! She was moored above the bridge at Waitangi, initially on a mooring then onto the piles when they came. She had a 4cyl Fordson in her, a mast and steadying headsail, and a long deep keelson running all the way to the bow. Made her hard to turn in tight manoeuvres, but supposedly was to assist a previous life long-lining. I was aware she had had a Maori name but could not have told you what it was.We took the mast away after a year or two of in and out under the Waitangi bridge and we cut away the deep forefoot to the keel line you now see. Originally the belting along the side was lower, as you can see in the other photos, but the subsequent owner, Peter Sharp, modified it to give more width to that lower side-deck. Unfortunately, to my eye at least, it really spoilt her lines.Dad and Mum retired to Paihia, and bought Eric out of the boat after a few years. He subsequently owned her for I believe 26 years. I did a hell of a lot of work on her from all the usual grinding off thick old paint and antifouling to quite a lot of wood work in later years. Replaced/doubled up damaged ribs, quite a bit of planking, a new starboard belting, etc.She was a boat that became well known in the Bay, dad was a stalwart of the Bay of Islands Yacht Club from it’s beginnings, and she was hauled out every year at the club slipway.He sold her to Peter Sharp about 1986? Peter was the Acting Harbour Master at Opua, and put her in the powder sheds there for about a year to give her another ‘birthday’. She was in need of new garboard planks, they were tired and couldn’t be properly caulked, plus things like moving the beltings, as I mentioned.I noticed in the recent WW photo’s of her in the paddock, the port side-deck hatch-way has been taken out of the aft dodger, I’m not sure if Peter did that when he added the beltings to the lower side-decks or whether it was later. It was quite a neat, and relatively unique feature.”
Below I have included a reproduction of the original ‘For Sale’ listing that Dave’s father wrote for Stella when he was selling her. Dave commented that at that time Peter had left Paihia and moved to Whangarei and the maintenance was looming a bit large for his father. She really needed some refastening in the bottom by then, and Dave thinks Peter Sharp had that done when he put her into the shed when he first bought her, about 1986.
WE HAVE ANOTHER CYA COMMITTEE ZOOM MEETING TOMORROW 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
IORANA > STELLA – SOS Back in January 2015 Harold Kidd sent in a wee bit of a mystery quiz, a photo of a bridge deck launch (b/w photo below) and told us she was built in 1922 and measured 38’. Plus, that when launched she had a 6 cylinder Alpha engine.
There was lots of speculation but we uncovered that she was designed and built by Leon Warne and named – Iorana (Tahitian for “Gidday”). HDK told us that Leon Warne got a lot of work out of Whangarei because he took the launch – 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 the launch – Gleniffer. The b/w photo below was taken there.
Whist we learnt a lot about Iorana, we were not able to discover if she was still around – then SNAP early this week – WW comes good again – I get an email from Cole Gordon – see below
“Hi there I was wandering if anyone had any information or history on my late fathers launch “Stella” , 36ft Lanes bridge decker 80 horse Ford, paragon gearbox. Possibly once named “Wendy Frances” we have had it since the late 1990’s purchased from Peter Sharp of Opua. I am unable to find any photos of her former glory days, but I have endless memories of long summer days spent on her as a child in the Bay of Islands. She was pulled out of the water around 2012 because the fastenings on her bow lost their grip. We never got the time or resources to fix her and now she’s far to gone for me to have a chance at fixing her. She has to be broken up as my family are moving off the land. I will save the bronze brass and kauri. I am interested in knowing more about her past.”
Very quickly I did two things – #1 asked Cole to grab the handbrake on the demolition #2 sent photos of to Nathan Herbert, Nathan’s reply below:
“F_ _k, I think you’ve uncovered the Leon Warne ‘Iorana’. Search WW”
So I did and it appears that Nathan is right, so woodys we have a gold nugget here that needs saving. The boat is currently sitting on a farm in the B.O.I.’s and I imagine could be acquired for a modest sum.Even if you aren’t ready for a project – can we not find a suitable home for her until the right person comes along. You would struggle to find a more original classic of her era.
Also keen to learn more about her past, there are a few big gap in time that need filling 🙂
12-10-2021 Update – Cameron Pollard sent in the photo below of Iorana hauled on Waitangi slipway. The photo was posted on fb by Guy Ross Thorburn who said she was owned by his grandfather under the Stella name. Update unknown, possibly late 1970’s? This photo would have to be a good incentive for someone considering taking on the restoration. She is certainly a looker.
25-01-2022 Update ex Neil Hammond (potential next owner) who has advised that Stella was unfortunately blown off her props in that storm that hit northland a week ago. Hylton Edmonds kindly had a look at her for Neil to check on the damage. His assessment was that she is now too far gone to be able to realistically save. I very sad end to an old girl on her 100th birthday.
Photo below ex Greg Philpott, of Pirate next to the Deeming’s boat shed at Tapu Point across the water from Opua.
PIRATE – A Peek Down Below
Unless you are a Warkworth river rat, mooching around the upper reaches of the Mahurangi Harbour you wouldn’t have seen much of the stunning 1939 46’ launch – Pirate. Launched in 1939 at Matauwhi Bay in Russell, Bay of Islands, designed and built by Leon Warne. She has spent a large chunk of the last 18 years berthed alongside the old Cement Works. She always makes an appearance over the Mahurangi Regatta weekend and is one of those boats that just look right from any angle.
Pirate is constructed in full length kauri carvel plank and has twin Ford 6 cylinder 100HP diesel engines.
Pirate has an interesting provenance having been built for a German wool buyer (Otto Sommer), commissioned by the NZ Navy in World War II and used in degaussing operations, and subsequently in 1944, became Auckland’s second Police launch, replacing Tirimoana. Later she was a well known big-game fishing boat in the North, hosting among others Lord Mountbatten, who signed the Log Book.
She is a fine example of a classic launch restored and cared for by passionate owners (18 yrs), these owners have just made the hard decision that it is time to pass Pirate onto her next custodian – so woodys, this is a unique opportunity to own a classic wooden boat of the caliber of Pirate. Expressions of interest should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org BUT – do not hang back, boats of Pirates size, presentation and provenance find new owners very quickly
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.
MARLIN 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.
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
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).
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.