Opua Marina / Hardstand Mooching

Sea Mate

Woody Dean Wright snapped the above selection of woodys that he spotted at Opua at the weekend.I have supplied links to previous WW stories below. I know I’m a broken record, but Luana …………. 🙂
Luana    https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/04/01/luana-4/

Ngapuhi Ex pilot boat, more on this one later in the week

Florence.  https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/12/28/florence-6/

Typee.   No details known

Sea Mate (Birdsail 52 on the marina) – No details known 

Dean didn’t catch the name of the ‘long’ keeled yacht in the last photo above – any one able to supply details?

Input from Neil Chalmers – Could be ‘Restless’  – Lou Tercel  / John Alden   April 1920.

Input from Simon Smith – The long keeled yacht is indeed the Tercel yacht Restless. 100 years old and owned by Russell resident Tim Beattie who being a master painter has her in beautiful condition. Always sails in the Tall Ships Race but with her ocean cruising rig needs a strong breeze to show her mettle.

Luana + Patio Bay + Woody Calendar

Luana is a very special woody, in a lot of people eyes, the best looking afloat, sadly these days she calls the Bay of Islands home so we do not get to she in the flesh. Recently woody – Glenn Martin snapped the two yard photos above of Luana hauled out for some TLC at Opua – nice to see you are looking after my boat Rick 🙂 She has made numerous appearances on WW, just type her name in the search box to be wowed, but if you are lazy, this link will give you a gander. Enjoy. https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/04/22/luana/

Woody Weekend at Patio Bay – This Saturday Be There

If classic wooden boats are part of your life, you will know the significance of the 1st weekend in December – its Patio Bay Weekend – the CYA celebrate the end of the year with yacht and launch racing down to Patio Bay, Waiheke Island. This year we also have a twist to the launch event – included is a ‘Poker Run’ – where entrants collect playing cards at 5 locations on route and later, ashore, play a game of cards to win cool prizes. Post racing, the real fun begins – the best old school boatie BBQ ever happens ashore. Probably 2nd only to Mahurangi Regatta weekend for the number of classic wooden boats anchored in a bay. Also back this years is the cake day competition – two prizes  – looks & taste. If you have just arrived from another plant – click this link to see last years gig.   https://waitematawoodys.com/2019/12/02/classic-wooden-boat-waiheke-island-party-50-woody-photos/

If racing is your thing – check out the CYA events calendar for details. https://classicyacht.org.nz/events/patio-bay-cake-day-race/
If you are a cruiser – just slide down to the bay anytime after 2pm-ish. The BBQ (everything BYO) normally kicks off around 4.30pm. BBQ’s for cooking available ashore. Note: to be eligible for the prizes you must be a paid up member of the CYA. If you are not, don’t let that stop you attending 😉

The Perfect Woody Stocking Stuffer

Every year the Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat (Nth Is.) crew produce a very cool calendar showcasing some of the woodys that attended that years event – I have had a sneak peek at the 2021 edition and its very sharp + only $15 – a steal 🙂 Copies available here, but be quick, they sell out every year zea.rachel@gmail.com

A Woody On Tour




A Woody On Tour

Woody Rick McCay & partner Roz have just returned from a jaunt around Europe, during which Rick took the above photos. Some very impressive woodys on show but I would expect nothing less from Rick, he has a very impressive collection of classic wheels & keels, one being the 1920 MT Lane, classic launch Luana.

The photo collection includes some wooden work boats in Syracuse, taxi and hire boats in Venice, Rick commented that some of which have more than a passing likeness to Tony Mason’s clippers. Rick even thought he had found a classic motorbike (below) but on closer inspection that famous Italian maker, Kawasaki, made it 🙂

Roz & Rick made a visit to Circolo della vela Sicilia, the America’s Cup challenger of record, set on a point at a beautiful beach at Mondello, near Palermo. Rick announced they were from Nuova Zelanda and just called in to say Hi. How impertinent of Rick, this guy goes purple in the face and shouts Privato! Privato!, which is pronounced Pi** Off. We are fortunate in this country with our freedoms, imagine the drama if they had tried to sit on their private beach 🙂




The Moana Mutiny


The Moana Mutiny

Today on ww we have a great yarn from Ian McDonald , the yarn was sparked off when Ian came across an older ww story on the launch Moana, which took him back to 1968/69 when he spent a season on her out of Tauranga, dropper lining for Puka. Ian also took the above (recent) photo of Moana.

I’ll let Ian tell the story

“During my time on Moana she was owned by a retired Waikato cocky from Morrinsville [I think] and used for game fishing. During the off-season she was stripped out of the nice squabs & carpet  interior-wise  for the hapuka season, roughly from after Easter through to almost Labour weekend.

Jack Phillips was the skipper and we regularly fished in proximity to two other Tauranga boats skippered by real characters of the local boating fraternity, Goldie Hitchings on Luana and, Ces Jack on Abalone, both terrific seamen and fishsermen [and it must have been a very nasty sea that overtook Goldie a few yrs later off East Cape, when he was bringing his new boat up from Gisborne, they only ever found an hatch cover I was told] ………  bear with me here, I’m getting to the mutiny part 🙂

Moana then, had a ‘Tauranga board’  out over the transom [with game chair fitting] and railings right around it from which we launched the Puka / marker buoys & flags droppers line drums etc, and the hauling in was done from the forward, port side, of the cockpit using a Heath Robinson [but effective] winch arrangement powered by a Briggs & Stratton engine with an AJS motorcycle gearbox attached. From memory we got 50c per kg for Puka, Bass & Bluenose and, any bass over 50Kg, had to have the heads cut off, for which purpose Jack carried a butcher’s cleaver. One day we hauled in a very big Ling which, when unhooked, proceeded to writhe around the cockpit floor and, as I tried to kick it away, latched onto my gumboot with enough bite that I couldn’t get my foot out of it. Jack seized the aforementioned cleaver and starts taking wild swings at the Ling just behind its head, all of this with a rolling boat, a slippery fish and me trying to avoid the cleaver with Jack yelling at me . . . “stay bloody still boy”. I still have my leg intact .

As the ‘deckie’ I was on 20% of the catch which could be ‘chicken one day & feathers the next’  but could often result in me being paid $300 to $400 for a good trip, usually of 3 to 4 days duration. Most of my mates were on about $40 to $50 a week in those days [except the wharfie’s of course].

We generally fished the 90 fathom line, as it was known, which could be from south east of the Barrier and down towards East Cape. We were once close to the Volkner Rocks and the Airforce sent out an Iroquios to tell us to bugger off because they wanted to carry out a live bombing exercise.

But when we were based at Mayor Island the Mona’s owner [called Stuart, I seem to remember] and his drunken little mate Percy, would often come aboard for those few days and, to ‘sustain’  them would bring flagons of sherry and crates of beer, sometimes mixing the horrible stuff 50/50 and, did they get p*ss*d ?  OH YES they did. On those Mayor trips we always returned to Sou-East bay in the evenings and I’d get shouted a feed ashore plus the odd beer by Jack, Stu & Percy.  Usually I’d get a dinghy ride with someone back to the boat and get my head down, while the old fellas increased the game club’s bar takings by quantum amounts.

Unfortunately Jack liked whiskey [by the bottle] which, even more unfortunately, served to give him ‘cancer of the personality’ and, on one occasion, on a rainy night, I said that I was off back to the boat and was told to take the dinghy as the three of them would get someone else to bring them back later.

Much, much later I was rudely awoken by a very drunk skipper demanding to know why I hadn’t heard them all hollering from the beach [turns out they had outlasted all the others in the bar and eventually had to steal a small dinghy to get back to the boat]. Jack was a big powerful brute of a bloke and grabbed me by my t-shirt front & was about to haul me out of my bunk [port-side forward] and whack me, egged on by drunken wee Percy. I sat up, stuck both my feet on his chest and heaved him away – booffa –  backwards across the cabin where he whacked his head on the top bunk & folded into the bottom one. Did I scarper ? bloody hell, did I ever, clad in an old pair of footy shorts and a t-shirt, up the steps into the main saloon, put a fend on old Percy who had decided to grab me, and hopped with alacrity up onto the Tauranga board, and stood quickly on the outside of the rail. Jack emerges from the saloon shouting blue bloody murder and refuses to see why I had shoved him having been suddenly, rudely and forcibly awoken and threatened.  Earlier that evening I had had a few beers in the bar with an old Mount Surf Club mate, Barry Magee, who was out there in his launch Artina with a couple of mates so, after a Mexican stand-off for several minutes, with Jack refusing to be mollified AT ALL, [he apparently had one hell of a lump on the back of his head I was later told], I took the only available option and leapt in the drink and swam over to Barry & the boys on Artina, who were more than a bit surprised when I un-zipped the covers and stepped in wringing wet. Having been supplied with a dry pair of footy shorts and an old footy jersey, I told them what had happened and, then had to spend the next 10 minutes trying to stop them all going over to Moana and giving Jack a hiding. They only stopped when I told them about the .22 semi-auto he had for shooting the mollyhawks that used to pick off our “floaters” when they came off the hooks.

The next morning Jack backed Moana up to us and offered to let bygones be bygones but, knowing his moods when drunk, and that I’d got the better of him, I politely said no – well, maybe not politely.

I picked up my gear from Moana a couple of days later back in Tauranga [with a couple of mates from the Mount footy club for back-up] and got my pay”.

Footnote:  Moana was later moored in Whakatane for a few years and owned by either McKenzie, or Ridley, of the eponymous boiler-making company of Edgecumbe & Kawerau. She also didn’t have the State House on top when I fished on her.

I subsequently came across both Ces Jack and Goldie Hitchings who both said that they were surprised that I had lasted a whole season [well, almost]  with Jack and that, in the fishermen’s drinking sessions in the old St Amand Hotel, Jack had never mentioned the episode – funny that.

(note:  Jack, Stuart & Percy mentioned above are all long deceased)




Sobrine & Luana

Sobrine and Luana

SOBRINE c1989 ex Carol Stewart



photos ex Harold Kidd, Brian Mace & Carol Stewart. info ex Ken Ricketts, edited by Alan H

Following on from yesterdays post on Manuroa (Lady Doreen), Gordon Mac replaced her with Sobrine after selling Lady Doreen to Len Swan of Orakei in 1951, Swan immediately changed her name to Manuroa.

Sobrine’s hull was built by Jack Taylor in Onehunga & moved, after some disagreement with Taylor, to the Lane Motor Boat Co in Panmure, to be finished & she was launched in November 1956.

When launched she was 38′ but had her bow extended by approx 4′ by Shipbuilders Ltd., 1 > 2yrs later. When lengthened Mace moved her original stern exhaust to a short stack on one side of the rear of the bridgedeck cabin top, which had to be on one side because of her internal layout. In the interests of aesthetic balance he put a non active ‘look alike’ on the other side.

She originally had a Graymarine petrol engine when launched, which was replaced with a Gardner 6LW diesel, when she was very new. Gordon Mace’s son Brian advised she needed to have the bridgedeck cabin top cut off, in order to lower the Gardner in place.

In c.1962 the Mace’s had moved to Coromandel, along with Sobrine to live.

Mace sold her to a friend, Jeff Innes of Coromandel. The story goes that Jeff Innes had fallen in love with her Sobrine at first sight & had pestered Mace for some time to buy her. One day Mace on the spur of the moment accepted an offer from Innes & the boat was sold, much to the families disapproval.

Innes sold her to Bruce Stewart, of Thames in c.1980’s.

Stewart sold her in July 1992 to Roy Ladd of Auckland, who still owns her.

Note: The name Sobrine came about by one of lifes little oops moments – Gordon Mace’s eldest daughter, Aileen, when christening the boat mixed up the intended name ‘Sabrene’ (pronounced Sabreeny) with Sobrine & with her being very young at the time, the family decided to stay with Sobrine 🙂





Sometimes I get sent a photo/s & the jaw drops – yesterday was one of those days. The above photos show the 1920 MT Lane built Luana in the Bay of Islands at Easter. Luana is a very special member of our classic fleet & in my eyes is in the top 3. Now there’s an idea – a survey for the classic launch’s that have the wow factor, boats that when you cruise into a bay & see them, you cruise by to get a second look. Post your top 3 in the ww comments section.

For the record – my top 3 (no order) Lady Margaret (Dick Lang) , Luana & Tasman.

Luana has featured a lot on ww – great photos here https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/04/22/luana/ but if you enter Luana in the ww search box you can view more.
Love the ships cat in the top photo, I think there is normally two on-board 🙂

Auckland Woodys Welcome His Majesty’s Ship

photos ex Russell Ward. details ex Harold Kidd

During the discussions on last weeks post on the very fast CMB, Russell sent me the above impressive photos from when HMS Renown (tbc) visited Auckland. An impressive number of woodys featured. How many can we ID? – I have attached a numbered, L>R (1>7) photo below.
There is potentially some confusion as to the date/year of the visit & whether in fact it is HMS Renown or her sister ship HMS Repulse.
Renown came here solo in 1920 with the Prince of Wales and again in 1927 with the Duke & Duchess of York.
Maybe it’s Renown in 1927 but it could be Repulse in 1924 or Renown in 1920 (fyi Luana that can be seen in the photo was launched in late March 1920 only a month before the 1920 visit).

Update from Barry Davis

Robin Elliott is correct in saying that this is the 1920 visit of the Renown. Below are a couple of photos from the Auckland Weekly News dated 29 April 1920, unfortunately they are not that clear. The small steamer in the foreground and to the left in the second view is the Onewa, the tug closing in on the bow is the Te Awhina.

24-09-2015 Photo of Te Awhina below – ex Russell Ward

Te Awhina



Mansion House Bay – Post WW2

Mansion House Bay – Post WW2

photo ex Rick McCay

The above photo of Mansion House Bay was taken shortly after WW2. Its currently mounted on a bulkhead in Ricks 1920 MT Lane built launch, Luana. Thats Luana centre front & Rick thinks that Tasman is over by the wharf.
Is that Little Jim, 2nd yacht in on the right?

Lets see how many we can ID – Ken Ricketts should ace this one, he grew rowing around these boats.

Ken R Feedback

Boats as per my judgement from right to left LADY SANDRA, JULIANA, (partly out of scope of pic), SUNRAY, MANANUI, MOVARIE, ALCYONE, possibly ATLANTA (ROTOITI,) TASMAN, MARO, AMOKURA, WINSOME II, — I should know but don’t recall the boat in the foreground. This is the first pic I’ve ever seen of the SUNRAY before or after, she had her 1930s sedan motor car cab type bridgedeck added, with the tiny rear window, (next to LADY SANDRA)

All the above are anchored in their classic virtually permanent positions. in that bay in that era, — (except at the times (which was very often,)  that the LADY SANDRA was anchored off the end of the wharf with a long anchor line & a rope tying her stern to the end of the wharf) — particularly MARO, LADY SANDRA, JULIANA & TASMAN, who, one could not be blamed for thinking, they actually owned that little piece of the seabed, at that time.
It has to be circa Christmas 1948-49


Luana Keeps Good Company

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Luana Keeps Good Company

The beautiful 1920 MT Lane classic Luana has just been out at the Salthouse yard (classic’s love railway slips) getting some TLC. Of course a vessel of her caliber needs a service vehicle of a certain standard, meet ‘Cloudy’ a new addition to owner Rick’s fleet of classic cars. This one has a provenance to match Luana – NZ new, her first owner was Sir Robert Kerridge (hence the BK plates) the cinema man. Bob Kerridge had great nautical links having owned Pakatoa Island & the legendary hydrofoil Manuwai.

A mini wooden boat show.

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A mini wooden boat show.
Popped down to the Salthouse yard on Sunday to catch up with Barbara & David Cooke & got a very pleasant surprize – 3 of our best classics tied up at the wharf looking pretty wow in the afternoon light. Linda was glowing from her recent coat/s of Uroxsys. (photos ex the iphone) . From left – Trinidad, Linda & Luana.