Waitematawoodys has a sister  – its called the Wooden Boat Bureau and we sell classic wooden boats – launches, yachts, big and small. We like to fly under the radar, as do most of our clients. Someone asked me what I did the other day – below sums it up (sounds a bit fluffy, in reality I just sell boats.

Inform and enthuse interest in the joys of owning and sailing traditional and classic wooden boats. And we do this by promoting partnerships between the boats, the sellers and the buyers, for the benefit of all. At the end of the day – its all about the boats, as most will out live their current owners.

To view a sample selection of classic woodys berthed at the virtual Wooden Boat Bureau dock, click this link –

Myself and David Cooke (MV Trinidad) are almost always available to offer advice to sellers and buyers – in the interests of marital harmony – in the first instance email to the below

Korari II

Korari II a


Received an email the other day from Paul Clarke who purchased in December 2016 the very original 35′ Mason Clipper Korari II. She came from Picton, where she had spent many years, her last owner was a Jeremy Daley. Korari II came north to Auckland in February 2017. Her zoom zoom comes from twin 135hp Perkins.

Paul would love to know more details on her build & past.

3/4’s a Woody – Wild Horses





Taupo woody’s Cathy & Shawn Vennell own a rather special zoom zoom woody, Judy H – a 19’6″ Chris Craft replica speed boat, which I have had the pleasure of skimming over the top of Lake Rotoiti in. For an 8 knot woody, doing 75kph+ is like space travel 🙂 You can check out Judy H here

Last weekend the Vennell’s turned up at the Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat weekend with a floating bach – a Mason Clipper named Wild Horses. Now this addition to the Vennell fleet was not a total surprize to me as we had chatted on & off last winter about the suitability of a MC for Shawn & the family.

Wild Horses has a plastic (f/glass) bum but there is enough wood else where to get the ww tick. Zoom zoom comes from a very grunty V8 (Shawn will chip in soon with details)
Already Wild Horses has made a lot of Vennell love & looks stunning – can not wait till next year to see what else they will (tastefully) do to her 🙂

Mason Clipper 24′




Classic Mason Clipper 24′

This 1971 24′ Clipper is another ‘almost a woody’ – having a f/glass hull & wooden cabin top / interior. A friend of Rod Marler’s was contemplating buying her late last year, if her had any sense he would have 🙂 She featured on the cover of Sea Spray Magazine in 1971.
She was completely rebuilt in 2006, with a new 270hp fuel injected Volvo V8 engine & stern-leg fitted in 2010. She sits on a 2012 custom built Prescott trailer with 4 wheel disc and sensor brakes., Tows The engine had a full rebuild in 2015 and has only  done 8 hours since.

With the trailer setup she is a fine example of a very user friendly classic, with I imagine a good turn of speed 😉


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photos ex trademe

Not all classic woody owners are content with sub 10 knot cruising, well if that’s you & your looking for hassle free woody boating at the speed of light today’s post on Ka-iwa the 28′ Mason Clipper will appeal. Built in 1968 she is a true kiwi classic, with a great maritime history being originally owned by the Stevenson Family & possibly the first twin engine Mason. She has some serious off shore racing history, therefore was built very strong & in bad weather, leaves most boats in her wake. Post racing is was then returned to the Mason yard in Auckland & a custom hard top made. Then retired to Stevenson’s bach up north as their holiday launch.

Powered by twin 350hp, Chev’s Ka-iwa will do over 45 knots, but is happy to cruise at 25 knots at low revs. She underwent an extensive bare wood restoration approx 5 yrs ago & as you will see from the photos also received a total refit inside. The Mason Clippers are very family friendly kiwi classics & this one can sleep upwards of 8. At her length she is a perfect dry-stack boat, which helps solve the where do I keep her dilemma.

So woodys if you own an oil (petrol) well & are into retro classics that go like a cut cat – Ka-iwa could be for you



1966 Holiday’s on the Waitemata

1966 Holiday’s on the Waitemata
photo ex the Gordon Miller family archive, sent in by Adrienne Miller

I have been sitting on this photo for a few weeks – aside from being a very cool photo, its a hoot because it shows two very well known boating people in the photo. The pic was taken in the Christmas 1966 period & shows two Mason Clippers. One person is easy to ID – in the background we have Tony Mason and his family on their Clipper.

The question of the day is – who is the ‘lad’ in the foreground snoozing on the stern of the Clipper ‘Diana’?

ps I’m in hiding – I might get a clip on the ear for posting this 🙂

Capri IV

photos & details ex Michael Fann

Danger – Alert – Not A True Woody 😉

Today’s post breaks one of the fundamental ww rules, it has to be wood………….. but sometimes rules need to be broken (not too often).

Capri IV is a Mason Marine Clipper 24 built in the early 1970’s & if you believed the company hype back in those days “the finest powerboat in the world”.
In recent weeks I have had the pleasure of sharing some time with the her present owner, Michael Fann & her previous owner, Tim Evill. Both gents are wonderful, passionate classic boaties but I understand that it was the owner prior to Tim, a Taupo resident who painstakingly restored her.
Capri IV is 24′ long with a beam of 8′, these days she is powered by a Volvo Penta 5.7L V8 that has her comfortably cruising at 22>24 knots & topping out at 32>34 knots -thats quick for a boat of her size. I imagine that Michael is on first name terms with the the fuel jetty jockey 🙂

I have dropped a copy of the May 1971 boat test from Sea Spray magazine into a slide show for viewing, see below. Click to pause & enlarge.

When launched the Clipper 24′ had a quite a revolutionary launching set-up with a sliding cradle trailer (see photo), further proof of the build skills of the team at Mason Marine, Capri IV is still using the same trailer today – thats over 40 years later.

Some of the sales advertisements make amusing reading, as do the features on Tony Mason.


Sea Spray – May 1971

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Remember to click images to enlarge 😉



Fidelis + Ranger + Mason Clipper


Fidelis + Ranger + Mason Clipper

Fidelis + Ranger + Mason Clipper

photos ex mason clipper facebook page

On the day when the CYA’s Classic Yacht Regatta should be being decided on the water, I thought it very approximate to publish the photo of Fidelis & Ranger sitting on the hard along with a Mason Clipper. Photo was taken at the Westhaven main ramp in 1968 when the A Class keeler ‘Fidelis’ was owned by Jim Davern left and on the right ‘Ranger’ owned then by Lou Tercel.

Unfortunately the weather gods have not been kind & the regatta was cancelled. My waterfront spies tell me both yachts + Te Aroa did race in the RNZYS Friday night harbour race with Fidelis pipping Ranger at the finish.

I have also posted a few stunning Clipper photos below.
One of the great mysteries of the classic boating movement is why these wonderful vessels were never really adopted by classic motorboat followers. Any where else in the world you would see groups of them restored to showroom condition. Only in the last few years have we seen the restoration of a few.

Maybe the reason has something to do with a tale told to me by an old yachtie. It went something like this.

In the early days of boating on the Waitemata, yachting was the big thing, interrupted occasionally by (slightly) managed motorboat racing. With the arrival of boats like the Mason Clippers, almost overnight there were scores of boats capable of exceeding 40mph, these boats were able to be purchased almost like a motor car & were as easy to ‘drive’. A whole new group of people entered the boating scene. You only have to look back at the list of the original Clipper owners, to see that to the whos who of Auckland business, owning a Clipper was the thing to do. The quiet bay & anchorages of the past the yachties treasured were now being invaded by a new ‘set’.

Is it possible that back then, the Clipper was ‘tagged’ by yachties like most of us now tag jet ski’s ?, remember this was in the days before big fast outboards were common.

(I read somewhere that it was 5 years before Sea Spray featured a Clipper in the magazine, further proof that they were not openly accepted?)

C’est La Vie


details & photos from Ken Ricketts & Mason Clipper facebook page

In 1964 Tony Mason designed and built C’est La Vie, a 33 ft Clipper, for Tony Betts, from Masterton, to be based on Lake Taupo, the second of only two 33′ Clippers. In 1966 she was moved back to Auckland so the Betts family could cruise the Hauraki Gulf.

Powered by twin Interceptor 427 BBL Ford petrol V8s, at 300hp each, through Borg Warner velvet-drive gear boxes, to Henleys 19×18 props., on SS Shafts, she had an impressive top speed of 35 mph. Fuel capacity was 600 litres. She needed those tanks 🙂


Update – this may possibly be the above boat – ????

Arona (Martini)

ARONA (Martini)

details & photos from Ken Ricketts & the Clipper facebook page

A Mason Clipper that was the end result of Tony Mason’s good friend Chris Shields asking Tony in 1961 to design and build a 33ft Sports Fisherman for him. It was the first of only two 33s ever built, power was Detroit Diesel 6V-71 giving her a top speed of just over 30mph. She had a huge cockpit and large saloon and all the Clipper creature comforts, a great launch that still lives today and still as good as the day she was launched. (comments ex Tony Masons nephew on the Clipper facebook page)

Chris Shields sold Arona which was her original name, to an old, now deceased friend of Ken Ricketts,  the late Rick Brown. Rick bought her in the early 1970s & owned her for about 2 or 3 years.

He sold her still with her original name, but somewhere along the way, someone changed it to Martini. The name of Arona can be seen clearly by the tuck on the side of some of the photos if enlarged.

Rick had quite a number of boats, in his very full & busy but short life.

She was sold with the 6V-71 going beautifully & in well very loved condition, as far as Ken knows she still has the 6V-71, but this may have been replaced later with a 8V-92. According to Tony’s son, she is, or was, when he saw her last, in Tauranga, which is where the painted combings pics were taken. It is always so sad to see the beautiful varnished mahogany finish has disappeared off so many of Tony’s masterpieces these days.

The 1961 launching day photo was taken at the main ramp at Westhaven Marina & shows Tony Mason sitting on the foredeck, Richard Hart, Tony’s factory foreman, also aboard, and Tony’s wife Red, bottom left.

Ken would love to fill in some of the gaps in her life, if anyone knows anything of her history, post here on ww or email Ken on

Lots more Clipper photos & info can be viewed by searching Mason Clipper on facebook.