Taupo woody Paul Drake  came across the launch Medway the other day, on the hard at Mana Marina (Wellington).Paul recalls that she was at Taupo in the 1960’s and is clearly a sister ship to Lidgard’s Monterey. 

Previously on WW there has been discussion relating to three launches built at the same time, they were Monterey, Almaray & possibly Tangaroa. Paul wondered which of the last two Medway is, as there almost differently has been a name change. WW link below to Monterey, where you can see the Lidgard factory / shed at the time of building.
Paul commented that although in great need of a thorough paint, her good bones show through and one would think that she  will tidy up very well. 

Input from Harold Kidd – According to the APYMBA records, MEDWAY was built by “Woods” of Auckland in 1952. In 1962 she was owned by Larry Bruce Johnston and then had a 100hp Ford diesel.

Ngaro 4sale


Ngaro was designed /built in 1952 & launched in 1953 by Roy Lidgard (Lidgard Ship Yard) in Smelting House Bay Kawau Island. She is 14.78m LOA / 3.88m beam & draws 1.4m.. She is a solid old girl with double diagonal 1/2″ kauri & 1″ longitudinal planks & bronze riveted.  Powered by twin Ford 120hp Lemman’s that were installed in 1965.

Her ‘newish’ owners returned Ngaro to the water last week at Gulf Harbour after a new coat of paint, top & bottom. They only had good things to say about Mike Vitali & his team at One10 Painters, the finished job looks very sharp.
While a few of us classic owners are a little gun shy of travel lifts, the boys at Gulf Harbour would be one of the best operators around, they used four slings on Ngaro. As further proof of their skill – the Tino Rawa Trust has recently hauled out half its classic fleet at Gulf Harbour.

Now back to Ngaro – The owners would like to know more about her past & view any photos that might be out there. So woodys what do you know?

The b/w photos (below) are the only early (possibly launch day) photos they have.

I have featured Ngaro before on ww – she is rather nice – click the link below to be wow’ed 🙂

Update 24-08-2018 Ngaro out again for some TLC at Gulf Harbour






Mill Bay photo ex Ken Rickett

Waitemata photo ex Harold Kidd

The above launch was recently sited moored in Mill Bay, Mangonui by Ken’s daughter.

Like a lot of Mill Bay boats she appears to be crying out for some TCL.

More info on her would be appreciated if anyone knows anything.

SEE HDK COMMENT BELOW – ME THINKS MR RICKETTS WILL BE OFF TO SPECSAVERS ON MONDAY MORNING 🙂 Spelling corrected in headline & categories for google searches.


That’s TAWHITI not TAWHIRI as you can see clearly from Ken’s own image. Someone needs specs.
Recent owners have given me a bunch of information about her, some of which is clearly rubbish anecdote (as anecdote usually is).
The tale must however contain some truths.
It is roughly as follows;
1. TAWHITI was built by Logan Bros in 1908. Even though the bridgedeckerisation obviously occurred in the 30s at the earliest and her name may well have changed several times in her life, I put this down as a myth.
2. She was built as a passenger launch for the Kaipara. Maybe.
3. Known owners don’t go back very far but are George Twitchett, Bucklands Beach, 1955 to 1965 who sold to Stan Honeybun that year, to John Hunt to Jim Duckworth. I think another owner was Rex Norwood c2000.

Clear facts are that her dimensions are 36’x36’x9’3″x? and she was recently powered with a Ford 60hp 4 cylinder diesel. She is single skin and was a flushdecker originally of the period 1910 to 1918. A pity her name is lost.
My database contains several local TAWHITI entries but I have no way of knowing if there was only one or several TAWHITIS without corroborating evidence. There may have been several people who wanted to use the name TAWHITI which is charged with meaning in the Maori language and, with Hawaiki, equates with the spiritual homeland = TAHITI. But it is also the Maori name for Woolshed Bay at the entrance to Coromandel Harbour. She was never registered with the APYMBA.
My first TAWHITI is a launch on the Manukau in February 1919 with no further mention on that harbour. Conjecture, built by Les Coulthard and shipped across after trials?
The second (or the same) is recorded in A.H. Pickmere’s log as being in Bon Accord on 18/4/27. Then groups of people from TAWHITI visited the new LITTLE JIM on four occasions between December 1934 and February 1936. Unfortunately no owner was identified, but surnames involved were Curnow, Hoban, Keely, Barton, Sturtevant, Oborn, Wooley, Graham, Craig, Grant, Seabrook and Wilson. Some of those are well-known North Shore names of that period.
I guess it’s possible that the name was mispelt in LITTLE JIM’s log 4 times, and was in error for the Col. Wild yacht TAWHIRI, but none of the names concur with TAWHIRI’s owners.
I took some good images (see above) of her off Rocky Bay on 2/1/2002 when she was in good order. Those aboard said they had no real idea of her provenance. They kept her in the Tamaki River, just upstream from the Panmure Yacht Club. But I was interrupting their fishing and sheered off.
I saw her again several times later in the the season and the next doing some serious fishing around Rakino.

My conclusion is that she will be a known boat by a good builder whose origins have, as is so often the case, been obscured by successive alterations and (possibly) a name change.

PS My “built in Onehunga” theory may have some legs as Les Coulthard built a lot of boats for ports on the west coast as it eased transport issues mightily if they could get there on their own bottoms or, if small enough, by coastal steamer from Onehunga. For example Les built the 56ft schooner-rigged trawler HELENA for Westport in 1934 and the New Pllymouth Harbour Board’s pilot launch in 1935. So it’s entirely possible that the “passenger launch on the Kaipara” is the truth……………if a little long on assumptions!