Woody Trip To The Riverhead Hotel
Woody Trip To The Riverhead Hotel
Working Waterfront Boatbuilders Shed – 50 photos
As I’ve send many times before, if your want a stunning day weather wise, schedule a Classic Yacht Association event – the hit rate must be 9/10.
Over 100 CYA members & friends made the trip north to Lees Boatbuilders at Sandspit – our host for the day, Greg Lees, turned on a brilliant woody event – we had everything – woody projects underway, the best collection of 1/2 models I seen outside of the RNZYS walls, a photo montage recording the history of the yard & the vessels built over the years.
Center stage was Jenny & Angus Rogers – Mahanui, in the shed for a new deck, alongside her was a very original Chris Craft that was getting a restoration.
The varnish guru Dale has already applied 23 coats, with 6 more to come. Compared to our old girls, these American woodys are very lightly built, amazing that so many have survived.
Outside we had Anna & Nic Davidson’s – Juanita, on one slip & Barbara & David Cooke’s woody flagship – Trinidad, alongside the wharf. In midstream was Yvonne, waiting her turn in the shed.
On the hard was a selection of small craft built by either Greg, his father Tim or other local craftsman. Not woodys but certainly classic were Greg’s two English built, aluminium Albatross runabouts – the very rare 4 seater is next on Greg’s to-do list. Included are a few photos of other woodys in or out of the water.
Greg gave an articulate talk on his families boatbuilding history & how they came to be situated on the Sandspit foreshore. At the end he announced the official launch of the 2018 Rudder Cup launch race to be run on Friday 14th December to Sail Rock & back. See flyer below, I encourage all woody owners to consider participating. At this stage we (I’m on the race committee, along with Jason Prew, Nathan Herbert, Baden Pascoe & Barbara & David Cooke) are calling for expressions of interest in racing – entry to the race is by invitation, as per the original race format in 1908.
Big ups to Greg & family + staff for turning on the day, including BBQ. Special thanks also to the CYA committee members that pulled it all together.
Lastly a little something below for the petrol heads – Greg had on display his Jesser BSA 500cc twin, hill climb racer. Built in 1962 by Les Jesser, she is a 2 time Australian class champion.
Classic Woody Riverhead Hotel Cruise
Not wanting to sound like a parrot but the CYA has an amazing track record of aceing the weather for its launch cruises to the waterfront Riverhead Hotel.
The forecast was average, but it just never eventuated & subsequently the boats that made the trip had a great day.
So cool to have one of our yachties make the trip, that center-board helped 😉
Highlight of the day for me was seeing John Wright’s recently restored launch – Nana. Nana was designed by C. Bailey Jun. & built by C. Bailey & Sons in 1934. You can view more on Nana’s amazing journey, from rescue to re-launch at this link https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/02/01/nana-resuced-restored/
John has one of the best eyes for how a woody should look, the final details on Nana make her look perfect, in my eyes. John, you should have finished the trip & come up to the hotel, I have a WW tee-shirt for you – email me your postal address – firstname.lastname@example.org
Also had a peek at the publican’s – Paula & Stephen Pepperell’s 1967 Jorgensen launch -Volantis, that is nearing the end of an extensive re-fit, Stephan is another woody with a great eye for detail.
Below are a collection of photos from the camera of Simon Smith who was perched on the Greenhithe Bridge – they give us another perspective on some of our classics. Pity Simon wasn’t there for the return trip – Raindance & the motor-sailer Korara, were just passing under the bridge, being good woodys, traveling to starboard of a large plastic yacht (a Hanse) that was approaching the bridge – when all of a sudden the yachts bow shot up out of the water & the yacht shot backwards. The reason – you guessed it – mast hit the bridge (photo of dent to the bridge, below) luckily they were travelling slow, any faster & they might have lost the mast. I suspect there was a change of undies needed for the crew.
Upper Harbour ‘V’s’ Yacht Oops
HDML – Kuparu – P3563 Looking Rather Smart
MANAIA – Launch Day
The above photos of Manaia were sent to me by Paul Drake – I’ll let Paul tell the story behind them.
“The first four I took on launching day. I was 15 and in the midst of School Certificate. No exam that day, so off I went on my bike from home in Balmoral, camera in my bag.
In the second pic, Capt. Warwick Dunsford can be seen in charge on the foredeck (white boiler suit and black beret).
In the third pic, Percy Vos himself is clearly recognizable just by the fore foot.
The last two photos I have had since the 1960’s & most likely come from the camera of TW Collins. Great photos, especially the one from the port quarter, and show MANAIA at work.
MANAIA is certainly very original, but note that the stem now has an unattractive (to me) hook near the top. Much better straight in my view. Also note unusual chine aft. Double ender but hard chine aft. That’s why she can do 15 knots if required!
MANAIA was about the last of the large wooden pilot vessels built for New Zealand ports. About the same time as AKARANA and 10 years after TIAKINA (Wellington – and also a Collings design). TIAKINA of course built in England and steamed out via Suez Canal.”
You can see photos of Manaia today, looking very smart & read extensive details on her past here https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/01/26/manaia/
Volvo Round-the-World Yacht Race -Auckland Start
Photos Below In The Order They Passed North Head
And a couple of Woodys amongst the sea of plastic boats
Upper Harbour Cruise to the Riverhead Hotel
Yesterday had the makings of a stay at home day – the forecast was looking very average & the All Blacks ‘v’ Ireland test was kicking off at 9.00am. Unfortunately the gods only smiled on us once – the weather never eventuated but the AB’s dropped their guard & for the 1st time ever lost to the boys in green. Given the location – Chicago, I say it wasn’t a real test 😉
The following classics from the CYA launch fleet made the trip – Mahanui, Te Arahi, John Dory, Te Hauraki, Trinidad, Lucille, Juanita, Raindance, Matira, Lucinda, Kumi & the motor-sailer Bliss. These were joined by others who traveled by car. Over 100 gathered on the outer decks for lunch & one or two cleansing beverages.
Another great day & special thanks to the organizer – CYA Launch Captain Angus Rogers, Tony Stevenson for the use of the Tino Rawa Trust tender ‘Whistleblower’ & the publican, Stephen Pepperell, always nice to greeted at the wharf on arrival.
Over winter Angus Rogers (CYA Launch Captain) booked Mahanui into Greg Lees yard at Sandspit for a wee facelift. Mahanui has been a frequent visitor to the surgeons – she was built by Keith Atkinson in 1977 & originally launched as Jacinta II. Eight years ago her then owner changed the name to Mahanui & converted the portofino stern topsides to conventional topsides and added a new duckboard. He also shortened the flying bridge coamings.
Angus purchased Mahanui in February 2012 & in May 2012 she went into Lees Boatyard at Sandspit for a 9 months total refurbishment that included new engines – full details can be found here https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/05/10/mahanui-jacinta-ii/
This winter saw the canopy over Mahanui’s cockpit replaced with a permanent structure & the finished article is a perfect fit. But as I have said before, we expect nothing less from the team at Lees Boat Builders. Compare the first two photos above & I think you will agree. Below is a ‘as launched’ photo.
A serious boat shed
Greg Lee’s shed (Lees Boatbuilders) at Sandspit is the real deal, no concrete floor here, the tide comes & goes twice a day. You have to wonder how many tools have been dropped into the tide over the years.
The launch in the shed is CYA member Angus Roger’s ‘Mahanui’, built by Keith Atkinson & originally launched as Jacinta II – photo taken in Jan 2013 while she was getting a 9 month major makeover that included two new Perkins Sabre M135′s with Newage PRM gearboxes. That deep shine on the coamings is ex a tin of Uroxsys.
Their tug boat ‘Karewa’ (a CYA register boat) was built in 1951 by Lidgards for the Department of Works to push barges on the Piako river for the construction of bridges. From there she went to the Tauranga Harbour Board as pilot/survey vessel, finally coming to Warkworth in the early 1980s, where she has been working tirelessly since. In the photos above she along side Steve Horsley’s yacht Ngatira.
In the photos the number 8 on her side I assume is her ‘race’ number from when she won the Parry Trophy (tugboat award) as the Best Presented Survey Commercial Tugboat in the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta in January 2008.
When I was there in 2011 I spied the very cool ‘Auck Motor Yacht Club’ sign, that should be in a museum – hang on, it is – The Lee’s Museum 🙂