Today’s photo is a kosher woody – built from kauri planks, she measures 16’x7’, flat bottomed, and powered by a 4 cyl. Cirrus-Hermes aero petrol engine. She had a top speed of 45mph, consuming 4 gallons per hour. I suspect after one hour you would have been deaf for the rest of the day. And woodys – she was built by one of our boating building royalty – none other than – Percy Vos. (photo ex Andrew Donovan collection)
SEA SPRAY MAGAZINE – Volume 1 – No.1 December 1945
I was ‘flicking’ thru my much treasured copy of the above (thank you Dave Giddens) and my eye stopped on page 23, titled ‘Jottings Of The Month’ which talked about the decommissioning of Auckland’s yachting fleet that had been laid up during WWII.
Page reproduced below – mentioned are – Ariki, Tawera, Little Jim, Rainbow, Tamatea,Ranger, Iorangi, Ngatoa, Prise, Rawene and Aramoana. Also covered in the article is the sad loss of life of the skipper (W. E. Lawrence) of the 1913, Les Coulthard built 22′ launch – Minx. Lawrence drowned in Patiki Bay, Waiheke Island trying to retrieve Minx’s tender that had come adrift while at anchor. See & read more on Minx here https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/06/27/minx/
IRRESISTIBLE Today’s woody is only part woody, the main build material is steel and she was designed and built by Serious Yachts in the Netherlands. The Dutch have a long history of steel construction, probably as a result of lack of suitable trees.
I discovered this stunning craft on Tad Roberts fb post and then checked out the builders website that showcases several other craft upwards of 75’ in length. Link here https://seriousyachts.nl/en
Irresistible is a ‘Gently 36’ Hardtop’ and with a beam of 12’ she is incredibly roomy. Powered by a single Vetus diesel DT44 114hp, she slots into the displacement category with a cruising speed of 9 knots.
Tad Roberts has a wonderful eye for a salty boat, so to get his tick of approval – means a lot. I would have to agree, and I suspect if Colin Pawson wins Lotto he will be placing an order 😉
Interestingly the NZ Classic Yacht Association, I’m sure would accept her as steel is ok with them and it certainly fits the ‘spirit of tradition’ mold BUT no way would it be allowed anywhere near the new Heritage Basin, then again I suspect neither would the stunning 1948 Colin Wild built Lady Crossley ………. or the Percy Vos built Te Arahi ………… or the 1923 Chas Bailey Jnr built Prize …….. or the 1938 Arch Logan designed Aramoana ……… or the 1934 Arch Logan designed Little Jim……..
WoW what a weekend – perfect weather, perfect location and as always stunning boats. We saw a record turn out for the classic wooden boat parade on Saturday morning – the crowd ashore at Sullivans was a little thin on the ground, but if we are honest, we do not do it for them – its all about us 🙂 , a little like going for a motorbike rumble. We need more events where we just ‘hang-out’ together.
The regatta’s main event – the yacht race appeared to be a big success, the A-Class Logan – Rawhiti, in the hands of her new owner – Peter Brookes, cleaned up all the major trophies. As has become the norm at Mahurangi races, the results process was a total balls up, it was very dark and late into the night before the final, final results were announced – fingers crossed its all kosher, last year it took days and numerous oops lets try that again announcements 🙂
The big band beach BBQ, was a hit, perfect on all fronts – weather, tide, the band, bbq’s and the people. Given the number of boats in Bon Accord Harbour, Kawau Island, most people headed there on Sunday. The Kawau Boating Boat was bursting at the seams but handed it well. I have split the photos into 4 galleries – Classic Wooden Boat Parade – Yacht Race – Beach BBQ – More (includes Kawau). If I missed your boat, you were somewhere I wasn’t, or in the wrong light , or your’e boats ugly (joking – sort off). Enjoy a peak at the weekend., click individual photos to enlarge. Next weekend I’m off to the Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Parade – its a biggie – they have 70+ entries
Today’s story and photos comes to us from Little Jim’s skipper and owner James Mortimer and crew – Ash Smith, Rodrigo Salas, Janez Mikec, Max Goutard, Erwann Jooris.
I’ll let James share the story with you, as always – click on photos to enlarge. Enjoy 🙂
“After four long months out of the water at the Milford marina yard over winter, I know that Little Jim had been wanting to stretch her legs and get a good long sail up the coast. She feels fast with her newly reinforced decks, rebuilt rudder, and all over paint job. Or maybe it’s the long winter without any sailing that has made her crew push her along that little bit more.
The weather forecast for Labour weekend had been looking challenging, with light northerlies and rainy weather predicted. On Tuesday night we got together on the boat to go over safety and systems, not at all confident that we would even start the race. Over the next two days the forecast slowly got a little better, with the wind direction moving ever so slightly toward the east. On Thursday night, we made the call to go, knowing full well it was going to be tough.
Early Friday morning and with enough food and beer to supply a small army, we got ourselves into racing mode and set off for Devonport. There is something special about this race, with more than 150 yachts lining up across the harbour, a sense of anticipation building as the gun gets closer, an adventure ready to start.
We made an early call to cross the channel toward Rangitoto and escape the worst of the incoming tide. Little Jim made excellent ground on most of the fleet who were busy short tacking up Cheltenham Beach in very little wind. A long tack due east across the top of Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands allowed us to finally turn north and lay the outside of Tiri Island and and make some miles to the north. As it turned out, the short stretch between Tiri and Kawau Island was to be the best sailing we would get all day, with a perfect NE’er of 12 to 15 kts, and boat speed above 7 kts.
On any Coastal Classic, there is a decision to make off Takatu Point. Is the boat and the crew in good shape and ok to go on. In any adverse weather this is no small call to make. As all boaties know, crossing Bream Bay can be brutal, and there is no decent shelter until Tutukaka. An easy decision this time, and it was champagne sailing as we passed Cape Rodney. It didn’t last though, and as afternoon slid into evening the wind eased away and turned back north. A frustrating night of slow tacking between the Hen & Chick Islands and Whangarei Heads began, with not a lot of northward miles being made. What the wind failed to deliver the night sky made up for, with an impressive meteor shower, a crystal clear Milky Way, lots of phosphorescence, and an incredible sunrise.
At 8.30am, we made the difficult decision to pull the pin on the race just south of Elizabeth Reef. The forecast was light until afternoon and we had little hope of reaching Russell before cut off at 3pm.
Ending the race early wasn’t going to put a damper on the weekend though and we spent the next three days sailing downwind back to Auckland under spinnaker via the Poor Knights Islands, Tutukaka, the Hen & Chicks, and Kawau Island.
Little Jim, built in 1934, was the oldest boat to enter in this year’s race, and it is a fitting testament to the skill of New Zealand’s early boat builders and designers that we can often keep up with boats that are 60 or 70 years younger!
Can’t wait till 2021”
A16 – bermudan rigged, she was designed & built in 1934 by Arch Logan & Bill Couldrey. LOA: 42’10”, LWL: 28′, BEAM: 9’1″, DRAFT: 6′