Tamaroa + Mason Bay


Marcus Petraska sent in the above photos that he snapped on Easter Monday, in Opunga Cove in the Bay of Islands. Tamaroa was built / launched in 1953 by Collings & Bell, she last appeared on WW back in September 2020, where thanks to Eric Stevens, a previous owner (1994>2010) we got to have a peek down below and read a brilliant history lesson on her. Link below.

Mason Bay – would have to one of the saltiest woodys afloat. Built by Curnow & Wilson c.1956/57 – and this time thanks to Gary Underwood you can read her history at the link below to a September 2015 WW story. Gary owned her then, not sure if he still does?

Input from Brian Kidson – The builders of Mason Bay were Curnow and Wilton, not Wilson, of Nelson. George Curnow and Maurie Wilton were boat builders with ER Lane of Picton until moving to Nelson in the mid ’30s to start out on their own. They stayed in business till their last fire in 1966 when Nalder and Biddle carried on their boat building and repair work.
Mason Bay was launched on the 11 April 1956 as the San Giuseppe for Mr T Lamacchia of Island Bay, Wellington. That was from the workshop fore-mans notebook at the time of building.

Sometimes I crop / trim photos down, but today’s photos are as taken – the water and light is just so BOI’s 🙂

Summer Woody Boating in the Bay of Islands

Summer Woody Boating in the Bay of Islands

Waitematawoodys resident B.O.I. woody – Dean Wright sent in the above gallery of photos from around the B.O.I.’s  over the Christmas > NY period.I’ll let Dean tell the story.

“A few pics since Christmas Eve, not too many woody’s about.That is a floating jacuzzi. Just when you thought you’d seen everything 🙂 Zooming in looks like a woodburner mounted for’ard.
A beautiful Townson in Opunga have forgotten the name, owned by a boat builder, complete with Townson dinghy. Gary’s Mason Bay in the background.Tamaroa also in Opunga Cove. Pics of the Fleming 55 on fire. Thank god the flames didn’t make it onto land. Moturua upwind or Motukiekie downwind.”

As always if you spot anyone or thing that might appeal to the WW readers, pull the phone out and snap a photo and send in to waitematawoodys@gmail.com
Most of you will know that I like my food – the cheese scone below from the Beach Store, Onetangi, Waikehe Island – would have to #1 ever. Worth getting a wet ass relaunching the dinghy in the Onetangi beach waves 🙂

Bay of Islands Eye Candy





Bay of Islands Eye Candy

Today’s post is again from the camera of Dean Wright & will put a smile on the face of the Work Boat boys. The first two photos show ‘Mason Bay’ making her way in from Piercy Island past Bird Rock. And the second two show ‘Swanson’ heading out the the Bay towards Piercy.

Now imagine putting the head on the pillow in Deep Water Cove for the night & being woken in the morning to the dulcet tones of ‘Vibrant Curiosity’s’ helicopter taking off 😦  The super ‘yacht’ (below) snuck into Deep Water Cove under the cover of darkness. I’d be looking for the 12gauge 😉

I received the message below yesterday for a potential woody owner. Please read & if you know of anyone that could help – contact Hamish at hamish@artandobject.co.nz

“I am hoping you might be able to assist me with a recommend. I am looking at acquiring a wooden boat – located in Masterton. I am struggling to get down and inspect prior to purchase. Would any of the ww members or persons down in the Wairarapa be able to inspect and report back to me?. I am happy to pay for this service. Regards Hamish”


Mason Bay

photos & details ex Gary Underwood

Mason Bay (originally named San Guisepp) was built by Curnow & Wilson c.1956/57, while she has spent most of her life as a work boat she is now a very comfortable pleasure craft.
Details: LOA 14m, BOA 4m,.DR 1.5m 22Tonnes, 1500l diesel,800l water. Engine is a 6BD1 ISUZU 3 with a  Capitol box, prop = 29in X 17in. The hull is 3 bl. 32mm Kauri copper fastened on 3 stringers/side. Below is a summary in chronological order of her life – her present owner Gary Underwood would like any input to confirm or add to these details.
To view more details on her & the restoration visit gazzabomasonbay.blogspot


1956/7   Built Curnow and Wilton, Nelson for Tony Bonica, Island Bay Wellington as a day fisher. Launched as “SAN GUISEPPE”. Powered by a Lister JP3 (tbc)
1974      Ian Boyce went to Napier as she was for sale as “MARY LW”. Owned by Willy Watson. Had a Fordson (6?) and the Capital 3:1
1974      Late 80’s in Port Chalmers.
1978      Big NE blow (see newspapers) and 8 boats caught off the Nuggets, Otago bar closed “SEAWITCH” (sistership to DORADE) lost with 2 crew, Warren Wilson skipper & Les Walker (leadboots) MASON BAY all ok. ( Not sure if those 2 guys were on Mason Bay or Seawitch)
1985     Big refit at Miller and Tunnage. new bulwarks, and the 6BD1 Isuzu was installed with the 3:1 Capitol box. Then sold to a Mr. Hall in Nelson/Motueka. He also had “PEARLY SHELL” I believe
1993     Bought by Ian Boyce (from whom a lot of this info comes). Based in Tauranga with the “SEA BEE” and fished tuna off the west coast of the South IS.
1995     Sold to “Blondie”who had her for 2 years and ended up in Bluff
2001     Seen and photographed fishing in Lyttleton Hbr.
2007     Bought by Russell Keen from a finance company.
2009     Sold to Gary Underwood
2010     Motored north to Whangarei in Jan.
2010     May – hauled at Norsand boatyard for refit/rebuild and conversion to pleasure.  Shipwright was Marcus Raimon
2012     Re-launched and now home port is Whangarei Town Basin.