Greg Noble sent me the above stunning photos of Maxie; Logan Bros built the launch in 1903. These photos mostly show her in The Sounds. Greg’s granddad owned Maxie through the 1920’s. In recent times, Greg has seen her on Lake Taupo, with topsides reworked by Bruce Askew.

Now here is where the story gets a little unusual – Greg’s interest these days in the launch, is only as a working boat, not a cruiser. He has set his sights on building her anew, with original hull and sheerline, open fore and aft of a small doghouse, somewhere between what she had and that of Matareka 1 (her sister). None of the mod cons, oiled timbers rather than varnished, a tiller rather than a wheel and an electric power train and batteries stored in-line with her keel below waterline. He wants to build her on the grass 10m from the shore and in a very traditional and economic way. He has native timbers at hand: pohutakawa for her prow, keel, stern and gunwales and kauri for her splashboard and fore and aft decks, doghouse and floorboards.

However, Greg wants to have her hull delivered in two pre-made fiberglass pieces which he will fit either side of her spine. The whole job done in 3 months start to finish for two (older) men – Greg, a very hands on architect and his brother, a life long sailor.

Greg is seeking help / advice from the WW brains trust – he would like to talk this built concept through with some of your wiser members. He is thinking of guys who know the timbers well but in particular, needs help in confirming the exact dimensions of her hull – could any original drawings exist? He has sent a message to Bruce Askew who might have measured and drawn her in the early 1990’s. Any advice & leads would be much appreciated.

Input from Greg Noble“Yes, two boats appeared in Alan’s original article – both sets of photos are from my grand dad’s journal and I thought it opportune to share with WW at the same time. Of the two, the Maxie was my grand dad’s boat (Perceval Noble), my dad often talked of her and my aunt most recently recalled her being mored in the lower reaches of the Hutt River, close to Percy’s home, so she must have crossed the straight many times. Maxie is the sister to Matareka 1, both Logan, 1903. I have looked at her in Taupo and am delighted to see her alive and loved, but also frustrated that she has moved on and gone “up in the world” and is beyond any possibility of a return to her routes a working boat. By way of explanation for what might seem to most – madness, I believe the world is losing control of growth and that we all need to step back and refocus on a what is immediately around us. I find that I cant discuss this without an overwhelming negativity descending on both preacher and listener. So, I have set my mind to doing it – using traditional processes, local materials and skills together with the appropriate modern technologies in a creative and positive way that will serve a regenerating local environment and need. So, for anybody who dares to open the discussion with me, I promise to focus entirely on the creative task ahead, and I will spare you the drudgery of knowing the reasons why. Fingers crossed and thank you the air time”.

16-02-2018 Input from Ray Morey

MAXIE got an 8 page write-up in the “Wooden boat magazine” August 1995 no.125 story by Peter Freeman. There are some beautiful photo’s in there too.
Greg Noble, your concept has been done here where I live in Sth.East Queensland Australia. The boat concerned was built around 1900 and used to tow log rafts and later, log barges before becoming a fishing boat. The owner built an outside skeleton then stripped the inside, all ribs framing and such then used the hull as a female mold and layered up a fibre glass skin. He retained the original backbone, stem-keel deadwood and stern post. The power unit is a 110 hp. Iveco Fiat with 2:1 red. She is ready to go in the water now but the owner has health issues and probably won’t finish her. Photos below

Rawhiti – Revisited

So far there have been over 2,000 classic wooden boat stories featured on waitematawoodys & the viewing numbers (3,300,000) have grown from a dozen people to over 80,000, I have had some loyalists from day one but the big numbers have happened in the last 2 years – so not everyone will have been exposed to all the stories. Over the Christmas / NY period I have decided to take a peek back in time & feature some of the gems from the early days. Enjoy.

Have a great holiday & remember to take the camera / phone with you & snap a photo of any woodys you see. Email them to


Rawhiti – A Once In Your Life Time Opportunity
photos ex Classic Boat, Chris Miller, Alan H & owner

Firstly – a challenge – can anyone dispute that Rawhiti is New Zealand’s finest classic yacht afloat? From all angles she is simply beautiful, a true classic from the drawing board of Arch Logan & built by Logan Bros.
Rawhiti was completely rebuilt by Peter Brookes at Brookes Boatbuilders in 2011. For her owner Greg Lee, it was a pure labour of love, he extensively researched every aspect of the project & worked alongside Peter on a daily basis, the end result being a Logan that is better than launch day in October 1906 & thats pretty bold statement to make about a Logan.

Yachts like Rawhiti only come along once in a life time, to get the chance to buy one is even rarer. That opportunity now exists, to do that – to own this beautiful piece of New Zealand’s maritime heritage, a floating work of art.

So my 2nd challenge today is to all classic boating aficionados – gather your friends or business associates & form a syndicate, sell that bloody ugly Colin McCahn, sell a few shares, sub-divide that section – do what ever you have to do, to put the money together to acquire Rawhiti.

Interested? – read on

Without boring you with details, Rawhiti’s owner is serious about selling her & now via another business transaction has the opportunity to offer Rawhiti for sale to the right owner for a fractional of the restoration cost i.e. in the $400k range.
The time window in which the business transaction is available is short and therefore there is a limit to how long Rawhiti will be marketed in this price range. If you are interested in discussing the sale, please initially, contact the owner Greg Lee on the email address below.
For anyone with an interest in acquiring Rawhiti who is unsure what they might be doing with her in the short term (but wishing to secure the opportunity to acquire her now), her owner has had provisional discussions with Peter Brookes about storing her under cover at his yard at favourable rates.

Owner email contact:

Memories of Ariki – A3

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Memories of Ariki A3

I was sent the great story below by Mark Newcomb via woody Brian Fulton, Mark wrote it for a recent Ariki (the 1904 Logan Brothers gaffer) reunion. Enjoy the read, it’s a great peek back into yachting in the 1960’s, so many familiar names & locations. Thank god the claret & lemonade early morning eye-opener drink did not make it into the 21st century. (photo above ex Mac Taylor collection)

“I started crewing on Ariki around 1963, aged 19, and sailed with the team for some 15 years, continuing through to the Northerner with them.

Hugh Littler worked as a valuer for Neville Newcomb Ltd., and dad (Pat) of course knew Arthur Angel well through RNZYS, as did my uncle Hal.

The crew then was going through a bit of a change as the friends of Hugh were getting married, children, etc.  Arthur and Hugh shared ownership I think.  Cove Littler had own Kitenui at that stage.

Regular crew when I joined were Jim (Boom Boom) Bailey, Ted Grey (plumber Devonport), John Downer, Dr Ray Talbot, Bill Donovan, Bob Fenwick, young Bruce McKay, Peter Svenson, Peter Cooper, and I introduced John Compton, Laurie Gubb, and Tom Taylor. John Denley sometimes crewed.  Also some others, can’t remember! Warwick Jones (subsequent owner) joined the crew a little later. 

The yacht was moored at Devonport near the RNZN dockyards.

There was keen competition between Bruce, Peter, and myself to become the main topmast hand, as we saw this as a glamour job.  I loved coming into a bay with all rag flying, and showing off my skill at whipping up the mast and letting fly the gaff topsail.  Peter, Bruce, and I became the main foredeck hands.  Hugh was sailing master, Arthur main helm, Jim B on main and spinnaker, John D and Bill D on headsail trim.  Foredeck was pretty dangerous with wildly flapping wooden blocks on clew strops and stiff canvas, big sails.  No winches at all. Bob was enthusiastic steward.

A racing crew of around 13.  Sometimes full 12 hands on main sheet, stretched out along leeward deck, up to your knees in rushing water.

Double purchase ‘handybillies’, rove to advantage, were used to get the last few feet in on the sheets.  New set of Rattray(?) sails a big deal. 4500 sq. foot sail, huge spinnaker, and newfangled genoa/gennaker. Heavy gear.

Seamanship was necessary. The most wonderful powerful yacht, a sailing delight.

Winter haul out at Devonport Yacht Club, old winch, and dangerous shunting of 19 ton ‘Rik on ways greased with mutton fat and timber jacks.  Old local guy always took charge of this, a big day.

Masonic Hotel was very close and ‪6am opening was a constant attraction for crew when we were supposed to be scrubbing down, sanding, varnishing, Singapore Copper antifoul, etc.  Pin line on hull was picked out in gold leaf, but this was changed to gold paint in later years.

After winter make over, trip down to ‘Drunks Bay’, (Islington) under motor, with minimal rig, then the big task of stringing up the running rig.  Ropes everywhere, but fun.  Ropes to be spliced, whipped, wormed/parceled/served/, and riven through the many blocks etc.

Another young man’s job was releasing the fixed prop and shaft prior to racing.  One of us young bucks would dive over and dive down with the heavy bronze 3 blade prop and 2 meter shaft (secured with a lanyard to the top), insert the shaft into the A Bracket, push it home into the stern gland, knocking out the internal wooden bung, to be attached to the engine drive. Then untangle the lanyard, and surface.  The test was to do this in one breath!  A whiskey/milk was usually the reward.  The process was reversed at the end of the race, often in a crowded anchorage, much to the astonishment of the observers.  Another glamour job!  Unbelievably, a few years earlier this job was done by Hugh, who not being a diver, was strapped into a diving bell made of a kerosene can with a glass window puttied into it.  This was put over his head, he sat in the Bosun’s Chair with some chain wrapped around him for weight, then was lowered over the side from the swung out main boom.  A rope slung under the stern pulled him under the counter to line up the shaft with the A Bracket etc.  It had some sort of bicycle air pump, and I think a speaking tube up to Cove on deck.  I saw this contraption under their Vauxhall Road home, and now wish I had saved it! (Mark, later discovered that this tale was an urban legend, created to motivate junior crew members (i.e. Mark) to go over the side)

Having no prop power meant a lot of our manoeuvring was under sail only, often including back winding and stern boards, highlighted the skills of these sailormen,.

Our competition included Ranger, Rawhiti, Ta Aroa, Kahurangi, Achernar, Moana, Thelma, Fidelis, and another dozen or so.

With our gaff rig, no winches, heavy boat, we struggled to take line honours, but did OK on handicap. After a few years the light displacement yachts started to appear- Innnesmara, Infidel and Buccaneer, Neville Price’s Volante, etc.  We expected these new wonders to fall apart, but usually just saw them zoom past us.

The fleet was littered with strong personalities, Joe Kissen, Tom Clark, Lew Tercel, the Duder’s, Bressen Thompson, Jim Davern, Andy Donovan. Fraters, Arnold Baldwin, Peter Cornes, Gordon Pollard, Bill Endean, Roy McDell, Wilf Beckett, Cove Littler,  ……. the list goes on, and on.  Of course there was our own Arthur Angel, Hugh Littler, Ray Talbot, Jim Bailey. Kahurangi under Willie Wilson always seemed to have a team of female followers, as did Arohia with Speed Alan and Pussy Catlow coming to mind.

We had many notable visitors on board- Lord Cobham, Francis Chichester, Adlard Coles (Heavy Weather Sailing), etc.

Cake days, normally a Sunday, were always great fun.  Long Christmas cruises to Bay of Islands very special- my uncle Hal based at Opunga keenly awaiting his play mates Bob, Arthur and Hugh.  Cruises up to Whangaroa wonderful.  Te Kouma race and Squadron Weekend at Kawau.  Somehow, being another era before the cell phone, we all stayed away on endless adventures without a thought, or the means, of rushing home.

Gordons Gin and water was the tipple of the senior members, beer for us- and plenty of it.  A strange drink, Claret and Lemonade, was often our early morning eye opener.

There was a strong sense of heritage, ceremony and formality amongst the merriment.  Flags, watch keeping, dress, respect of senior members, nautical customs, shipshape and Bristol fashion! – not strongly enforced, just understood and expected.  Arthur an ex Commodore, and Hugh a Flag Officer- later Commodore on Northerner- so expectations high.

These are just some random memories- there are many others.”  

2017 Centreboard Cup – Herne Bay Yacht Club – TODAY  9th Dec –  @ Sloanes Beach, Herne Bay

Starting at midday today, the Herne Bay Crusing Club are hosting their legendary Centreboard Cup Regatta. Its one of the coolest sailing events in town & the venue is rather special.

Details here

And check out my photos from a previous regatta.


Pirate – Sailing Sunday

Pirate being built at Little Barrier Is.

Under construction c.1903 at Little Barrier Island

Pirate Port Fitzroy GBI

Port Fitzroy GBI – May 1903

Pirate in cave

Big cave – NE Coast – April 1904


Ilex & Pirate Port Fitzroy

Ilex & Pirate at anchor – Port Fitzroy GBI – May 1903

Pirate Ashore

June 27 1907

Pirate wrecked again


Pirate wrecked & final resting place

Final resting place

PIRATE – Sailing Sunday

Pirate was built by Robert H. Shakespear in a shed alongside his house on Little Barrier Island c1903.

Shakespear was a talented boat builder & worked for the Logan Bros and was involved in Ilex (seen in the above photos) and built Frances at Logans’ yard as a close twin to Victory.

He also had the Logan built clinker keeler Pandora to service his little farm on Little Barrier where he was custodian for a while.

Sadly, Little Barrier was not a friendly home to Pirate & she was ‘wrecked’ twice, the first time during a hard SW gale in June 1907, she was repaired but the second in July 1908 was fatal & she was winched ashore & put to rest under the tress on the Island.

(Photo credits & details – J Russell via the Hocken Collection, University of Otago, Nathan Herbert & Harold Kidd)

The 1895 C&W Bailey Yacht IDA For Sale

Ida resides in Australia these days & her owners have advised that they are interested to hear from anyone that would consider purchasing her (& hopefully repatriating her home).

Harold Kidd has commented on WW that IDA was built by C. & W. Bailey for the Jagger brothers and Frater and launched on 21 December 1895. She was a contemporary and competitor to the other 5 rater of that season, the Logan Bros’ MOANA. You can also view/read an excellent article on Ida by Harold in the November issue of Boating NZ (pages 148>151), on sale now.

Interested parties can contact Catherine Shirley

You can read more about Ida here.

UPDATE: Photos below ex Harold Kidd of IDA hauled out at Noakes yard in Sydney last week.


Ariki Restoration


Ariki – photo ex J. Prew esq

The 1904 Logan Brothers designed & built gaffer Ariki is currently hauled out at Okahu Bay, Auckland & under going an extensive restoration, lead by master craftsman Robin Kenyon. Yesterday her owners Charlotte & Andrew held an open day to allow the classic woody community to view the project. I understand they have a target to be at the CYA Patio Bay celebrations this year (1st week Dec), that appears a rather large challenge……….. but as they say – many hands make light work.

Prowling around the yard I spotted the classic launch Wanderer looking a little sad – hopefully awaiting a large dose of TLC.
You can see/read more about Wanderer’s past here

The sunny day saw woody Baden Pascoe break out his recently restored 1929 Riley Tourer, when I say recently, I mean as in on-the-road. The Riley has been in the Pascoe family a very long time & Baden has been working on her on & off for years. Attention to detail is amazing, but I would expect that from Baden 😉



Seacraft Woodys







I was recently contacted by Chris Laird & his first words were “are you guys interested in small woodys?”. My answer was ‘if its wood, its good’ 🙂

The above photographs show two dinghies that Chris restored  a couple of years ago. The 12ft 6in Seacraft Tuna has been stripped back and had new rib sections, one or two splines to cracked planks, seats, foredeck trim and beltings before being painted up to original Seacraft colours with original badging.

The varnished 12’6″ Brin Wilson has been stripped back, seats  etc removed, some rib sections scarfed in, several splines to cracked planks and varnished / painted up to original colours.
Chris commented that it is a lovely boat to row.

Also included are photos of a 6hp Norman and original cone clutch that is in a 16′ Seacraft cabin boat that Chris is currently rebuilding. I have asked Chris to send in photos of that project.

Over the Anzac weekend a lot of the classic fleet headed north to Kawau Island. Anchoring room near the Kawau Boating Club is always at a premium on long weekends & no one likes a long row in the dark……….. but even the old salts can get it wrong – the crew on the  1905, Logan Bros, ex pilot boat ‘Ferro’ must have been in a hurry to make the KBC as they anchored rather close in. As it turned out, too close in – the below photo was 1/2hr before low tide & mid Sunday morning – would have been a long / embarrassing day waiting for the tide 😉

Ferro @ Kawau April2017

Queenie – Whangaroa Harbour



Queenie On The Whangaroa Harbour

Woody Robin Elliott sent in the above photos of Queenie sailing on the Whangaroa Harbour over the xmas / ny period. Queenie was built by Logan Bros & launched January 1904 for James Kirker.  She is a ’25-foor Linear Rater’.  Her current owners are Henry and Theresa Roberts of Whangaroa.