Maroro + Special Boat Shed Invite

Thames woody – Brian Thomas, sent me the above photo of his launch Maroro, that he and his son have spent the last 8 years rebuilding at Kopu. Since her recent relaunch she now resides at Thames Marina. The above photo was taken of her from the Thames Wharf Cafe. In his note Brian mentioned a blog that featured the rebuild but I have been unable to trace it or get more intel from Brian, so today’s story is a bit of a ’name & shame’ i.e. hopefully Brian will see this and be in touch 🙂

From the photo it appears to have been a very smart restoration.

SPECIAL INVITATION –  A Peek Inside One of Your Best Wooden Boatbuilders Shed

You are invited to an open afternoon at Brookes Boatbuilders, to view the restoration of:

  1. Fife Yacht, Impala
  2. Refit of K class yacht, Katrina II
  3. Restoration of Launch, Amakura II
  4. The many other wooden boats at the yard – Matia, Ladye Wilma, Kotiri, Pilot Cutter, Kenya II (Peter’s own classic launch)

DATE: Sunday 1st November

TIME: 2pm-7pm

ADDRESS: 108 Woodhill Park Road, Waimauku, Auckland
These invites only happen every 3>4 years so woodys do not miss out, it will be an amazing afternoon.

Amakura II

Amazing Maroro Sequel

Maroro - launching day 01, 27 Dec 1957

Amazing Maroro Sequel

Sometimes ww struggles with a story & then other times she rocks. Yesterday as part of the Sailing Sunday story we profiled Russell Ward’s H28 woody Maroro & the fact that she was reluctantly for sale. The story flushed out a connection to one Kenrick Mitchell, son of the late Stuart (John) Mitchell – the builder of Maroro.
Kenrick emailed Russell a treasure trove of historical photos on the building, launch & sailing of Maroro. There are even photos of her on Sydney Harbour post winning the 1961 Trans Tasman race.

I have taken the liability to reproduce the email that Kenrick sent to Russell & also below is a link to Stuart Mitchell’s biography –  both excellent reads 🙂    Mitchell, Stuart – excerpt from Mitchell family biographies by Kenrick Mitchell and Shona Wright

“Hi Russell,
Fascinating who one bumps into occasionally in life! It was my cousin who mentioned he’d seen Maroro for sale and as he has a yacht of his own at Stillwater I might bring him along when I visit.

Dad built Maroro beside his parents’ house in Rust Ave in Whangarei while he was in his early 20’s. He worked on farms and on the wharves at Whangarei to raise the money. He did some coastal cruising in her, including a fruit picking trip to Marlborough with some mates. The 1961 trans-Tasman race was won on handicap (I have the trophy) with a crew of four and was followed by a cruise up as far as New Caledonia. In 1963 he set off with Mum on their honeymoon which was to have been a more extensive cruise. However legend has it that Mum threw a wobbly of significant magnitude when the first decent seas were encountered and they returned to leave Maroro in the hands of friends in Whangarei while they took a ship to the U.K. for their OE. Dad worked in a boatyard during his time away. When they returned and built the family home in Ngunguru (I turned up on the scene in 1965) it was with the ambition of establishing a boatbuilding business. Des Townson was Dad’s best man and it was a Townson 32 that first took shape under our house. This was followed by commercial wood turning to fund a crayfishing launch which, after several seasons of fishing, funded a decent shed next to the house – just in time for the infamous 40% luxury tax on boats and caravans to kill the industry. He went on to build numerous boats over his lifetime, ranging from metre long dinghies for my infant brother and I, to the 40’ dive charter cat ‘Pacific Hideaway’. Interestingly, the Townson 34 ‘Slice of Lemon’ is currently also on TradeMe being sold by her original owner at Pine Harbour.

I recall Dad being approached by an owner of Maroro in the 90’s to see if he’d be interested in either looking after her or doing some work on her, but the state she was in served to extinguish his curiosity.

Dad passed away in 2004 at the age of 70 of mesothelioma (asbestosis). I have many photos of his boats and the cruise in Maroro which I’ll put on a stick for you. I the meantime I’ll attach a few teasers here for you. You might be interested to learn that Dad built Maroro II in his retirement and I’ll attach a photo of that too as it really was a flying fish.

Sadly, after a childhood and youth spent helping Dad on boats and playing around in centreboarders and surfcats, I drifted out of boating. However the boating never drifted out of me and for the last few years I’ve been fortunate to score a place as crew on the 1897 Logan classic ‘Thelma’ which is skippered by Tony Blake. There are more albums on Thelma and Maroro II on my Facebook page if you happen to frequent this corner of the cyberverse.

Will look forward to meeting you, though it may take a couple of weekends to make it up your way as my wife and I have recently belatedly taken an interest in the breeding game and it takes a couple of weeks’ of accumulated brownie points to earn a leave pass from a couple of three month old kids and their shattered mother.

Kind regards, Kenrick Mitchell”

Maroro II

Slice of Lemon

Slice of Lemon - on launching day, 1976

Sailing Sunday x3


CYA Classic Yacht Regatta Oops
If you ever thought classic yacht racing was a little ‘soft’ i.e.  “let them thru, they are nice chaps” think again, its serious racing – proof? During race one of last weeks regatta the 1898 Arch Logan Rainbow was involved in a wee incident that resulted in her samson post snapping, it takes a lot of force to break a 5” square piece of kauri. The main player in the incident was the bowsprit that compressed under impact and combined with the ‘dead’ force of the backside from the deck, something had to give & fortunately the Samson post took all the load. Effectively became a safety valve, and halted any collateral damage to the deck or bowsprit.
End of the race for Rainbow & potentially end of the regatta – but in steps master boatbuilder Paul Tingey who worked around the clock and did an outstanding job, gluing up, turning and re-installing the new Samson post to get Rainbow on the start line for Sundays racing.


Ngatiawa, below, is a A class keeler that was  owned by Nathan Ross for many years, from the 1940s on wards. Later ownership passed to his son Clive, a school mate & young R.A.Y.C. associate of Ken Ricketts .
Ken’s photo was taken at Christmas 1952 in Mansion House.  Do any of the woodys know more about Ngatiawa – designer / builder / year of launch & what became of her?


H28 Classic Wooden Ketch 4sale

Maroro was professionally built in 1957 in Whangarei & proved herself by winning the 1961 Trans Tasman race and is featured in the NZ book ‘proper NZ yachts’ by Richard Endean.
Maroro is a traditional sailing man or woman’s boat, set up with jib and staysail self furling + spinnaker. She has a near new Yanmar 10hp engine with 60 hours on clock & F & R gearbox. Three berths, toilet in separate compartment. Force 10 diesel heater. Simon Lawrence anchor winch. All ground tackle.  Her mooring at Mahurangi is also available long term.
Owner Russell Ward commented that at the asking price of $18,500 she is would provide a lot of fun for a real sailor.

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Rahemo #2 Post

RAHEMO #2 Post

ww was contacted by the present owner of Rahemo & the information & photos the Rod Turner has supplied deserves its own post, read below
The Chrysler Crown 125s I replaced were “mirror” or a contra-rotating handed pair. They were rugged and reliable, dedicated marine engines. No change of rotation occurred in the gear boxes. They were supplied and installed by Todds as New Zealand agents, not the Navy. Rahemo never had diesel engines before 1987. The “one family from new” is my mistake as I was not aware of Mr Butchers 2 year ownership. I thought the Todd family owner her from new. The Trademe listing was done by Vinnings Brokers. Rahemo returned to Auckland in the 1950s to be used for deep sea fishing in the Bay of Islands before making a second trip back to Wellington.

Richard has supplied 2 photos of Rahemo on the hard showing her under-water hull shape & a stunning black and white is of Rahemo and another family boat, the “Maroro” taken in Onahau Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound in about 1948. Maroro is a Chris Craft from about 1932 still in his families ownership awaiting restoration.




Maroro (leading)

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photos & details ex Harold Kidd & Alan H

This story starts in 1907 when an Auckland family (Matheson brothers) built in St Marys Bay on Aucklands waterfront a 32 ft launch MARORO (flying fish in Maori). Her plans came from the USA Rudder Magazine and she was therefore rather unusual in design in the local New Zealand context. Maroro has a great history but her claim to fame was she won the  Rudder Cup, a night race around Sail Rock & back, held on the 12th December 1908.

Fast forward 100+ years (August 2009) & Harold Kidd, Colin Pawson & myself flew to Great Barrier Island to check out Maroro where she was ‘resting’ at Okupa in Blind Bay, you can view photos from that trip on this link

Maroro was subsequently transported back to Auckland & is now resting again at Marco Scuderi’s yard in Helensville, while her fate is decided. You will see in the Great Barrier photos she was / is as they say in the real estate game – a little distressed. There are lots of posting on the Classic Yacht Association NZ forum on Maroro if you are interested

The purpose of this waitematawoodys posting is to reveal that at long last the original plans for Maroro have been tracked down by super sleuth Harold Kidd, who obtained a copy of the August 1906 edition of the Rudder magazine off Ebay. Featured were the basic layout /plans of a motor launch named Susie. She was 3rd in the Knickerbocker YC long distance power boat ocean race in June 1906, the 2boats that finished ahead of her were much bigger & more powerful. When you compare the photos of Maroro & Susie , disregard the cabin top & focus on the bow & stern, they are almost identical. It would appear that the Matheson brothers were impressed with Susie’s performance in the Knickerbocker race & built a clone.

The above photos include a shot of Susie , the plans, a photo of Maroro winning a race on the Waitemata Harbour & a rather spectacular close up shot of Maroro. What do you think – peas in a pod? (you can freeze the slideshow by clicking on a photo)

Note: the discovery of these layout / plans could help decide the future of Maroro.




Maroro – built in 1907 by the Matheson brothers at St Mary’s Bay for themselves. Her plans came from Rudder magazine and she was therefore rather unusual in design in the local context. For example she has a “spoon” bow and a vee transom. She gained fame from being the winner of the RNZYS Rudder Cup Ocean Race of 1908. A foray was made to Great Barrier on Saturday 22nd August 2009 by Colin Pawson, Alan Houghton and Harold Kidd to inspect Maroro at Okupu and make decisions as to whether the launch was worthy and capable of restoration and the logistics of doing so. The launch is in extraordinarily original condition. The only major additions to the hull are a very sensible dodger which was built on to her in 1920 by the Lane Motor Boat Co. and sponsons both sides.
Late 2009 Maroro was barged back to Auckland & is now in storage awaiting restoration.