Aquarius – SOS

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AQUARIUS – SOS 
Aquarius has been mentioned on WW before – link below . To remind you she is a 38′ ex big game fishing boat built / designed by McGeady/Supreme Craft and she was the first boat worked on by Ben Hipkins when he started his apprenticeship in 1955.
This time she appears as an SOS. I have been contacted by Murray Smith who has been looking for a project boat for some time and came across Aquqrius advertised on trademe. Murray has viewed the boat but she is a bit small for him, so on behalf of her current owner Phil Tarr, he has asked that we do a shout out on WW to find someone to take her over.
Currently she is sitting up on the hard in a storage yard on Waiheke. Phil pulled her out to renovate her (2012?) and has lots of the interior cabinetry safe n dry under his house. He has brand new fuel tanks ready to go back in then everything else should slot in. Sounds easy but this gives the new owner the chance to build the interior how they want. The engines have not been started for a few years and condition is honestly described as seized, more likely just reluctant to turn over, as Phil has had them overhauled prior to loosing focus. Sadly she is showing the signs of neglect one would expect, but her heart is sound.
A little history – she had been built for and was working in the B.O.I. and has been owned by many big names including Lofty Blomfield and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s mum.
I’m told the trademe photos are very poor & do not do her justice , also that the owner is very negotiable on price.

Gaza (Astra)

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GAZA (Astra)

Mooching around the wharf at Sandspit a few weeks ago, I spied Gaza tied up alongside the Kawau Island ferry berth.

Any Sandpit  woodys able to enlighten us on her?, she appeared to be a well looked after classic. Next week I’ll do a story on the woodys berthed at the new (ish) Sandpit Marina.

Ken Ricketts believe’s Gaza was previously named Astra & most likely a McGeady design.

 

The Continuing Issue of Electrochemical Damage To Our Wooden Boats – Lady Ellen

 

The Continuing Issue of Electrochemical Damage To Our Wooden Boats

 I recently received an update from Bruce Mitchinson on the restoration work underway on his 36’,  McGeady built (c.1950) classic launch, Lady Ellen. Unfortunately the old lady has a been struck with a dose of electrolysis.

You can see when the secondary shaft log was removed, electrolysis had destroyed the planking around the plate fastenings. The same problem around the main shaft log, and strut fixings, through structural members, which were all bonded together. The affected timber has been removed and new kauri blocks glued in and around the shaft log, keel bolts and floors.

The to-do list this week includes laminating up pilularis frames insitu, to replace the 15 broken, or electrolysis affected members that have been removed.This will complete the inside structural work, below the waterline, that had been put off until things dried out enough.

Other work has seen the old fuel tank removed and a clean up around the bilge in the engine bay Following this Bruce will be working his way forward with stripping and refastening on the outside of the hull.

The shaft, prop and drive couplings have gone down to Whangaparoa for adjustment, set up, and balancing.

Hats off to Bruce for doing the best of Lady Ellen. To read more on this problem, the causes & remedies – visit Chris McMullen’s WW story – link below. Its the most referenced story on WW.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/05/15/electrochemical-damage-to-wood-the-marine-version-of-leaky-homes/

Read more on her past & current restoration work at the links below.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/06/25/mystery-launch-25-06-2015/

https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/07/14/lady-ellen-restoration/

ANTARES  + WIN More Tickets To The Auckland On The Water Boat Show

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ANTARES  + WIN More Tickets To The Auckland On The Water Boat Show

I was contacted recently by Bryce Strong who had just discovered the WW site & it spurred him on to have a dig in the old photo album for some woody photos.

The photos above of the 34’ Supreme Craft ‘Antares’ show her back in Feb 2005, when owned by Bryce’s brother-in-law Ron Philips.

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Two More Boat Show tickets to give away – today’s question below. All entries via email to waitematawoodys@gmail.com by 6pm 28-09-2017.

To save your fingers, the people who entered yesterday but were unsuccessful, will go into today’s draw.

Q: Name one of the 5 Auckland On-the-water Boat Show sponsors

Ps yesterday’s winner was – Graeme Finch –  owner of the launch – ‘Te Arahi’

 

The Building & Launching of White Cloud + A Peep Inside 1A Summer Street

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The Building & Launching of White Cloud + A Peep Inside 1A Summer Street

1A Summer St, Ponsonby was an unlikely location for boatbuilding, particularly for large launches. The building was built on to the rear of a retail shop, on the corner of Ponsonby Rd & Summer St., Auckland. Summer St was & still is an incredibly narrow side street, dating back to the late 1800’s.
To date on ww we have never seen good photos of the interior of the yard/shed, now thanks to the generosity of Pam Mare, we have access to the above photos. Pam is  part of the Buckby family, that had White Cloud built at the yard by Ben Hipkins, to a McGeady design. Ben bought the Supreme Craft, off Mac Mcgeady. Other craftsman at the yard were boat builder Garry Wheeler & Tracey Nelson, a marine & refrigeration engineer, who did the vast majority of the engine & machinery installations, in the Supreme Craft vessels, — along with looking after all the Ponui Island mechanical work, from  all the farm tractors, power generators, to George Chamberlain’s Lane built, tram topper, Falcon.

Such was the shortage of space at the building, that every boat that emerged, meant ,the picket fence of the house opposite in Summer St, to have to be removed & later replaced, to facilitate the exit from the building on to the transporter.

White Cloud left the shed in June 1965, to go to Fodenway Motors, Penrose, for engine installation & finishing. The photos below show her leaving the shed & later, on route to launching. Sorry for the poor photo quality, stills photos taken from old ‘home’ movie footage,  recorded by Len Buckby or his wife & made available to us by his daughter Pam Mare.
Special thanks to Ken Ricketts for pulling the individual pieces together.

WHITE CLOUD -- LAUNCHING DAY -1965 - 6

The launch of Albacora

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The launch of Albacora

Thanks to Hylton Edmonds there is a very detailed & accurate history of Albacore already on ww (link below). What we were missing was launch day images. Thanks also to Hylton Edmonds for the above photos showing her being splashed in 1954.
Albacora was a McGeady, which is surprising as she was rather pretty, she measured 38′ & was purpose built for big game fishing. Albacora spent the early part of her life in the Bay of Islands & was then freighted to Fiji in 1968. Sadly she was a victim of the 1983 Cyclone Oscar but prior to this she very neglected. Post the cyclone her fate was a bulldozer & a box of matches 😦

Full details here  https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/07/06/13148/

El Alamein

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EL ALAMEIN

The above photos of El Alamein (now named Ranui) show her c.1956 when she was in commercial charter on Lake Taupo. (photos ex Google ex Karen Moren via Ken Ricketts)
Some history below from the Ranui website

Formerly known as El Alamein, the ‘great dame’ of Taupo charter boats started her sailing career on Lake Rotorua after World War II.

Ranui was launched as El Alamein on 29 January 1945 for use by patients of the Rotorua Convalescent Hospital after the Second World War.

Named after that part of the Middle East where New Zealand servicemen distinguished themselves in action, the 32-foot kauri cabin launch was donated to the convalescent depot by the Patriotic Fund: Joint Council of the Red Cross and St John. Specially designed for use on Lake Rotorua and for passage through the Ohau Channel to Rotoiti, she was built by McGeady and was capable of seating up to 40 passengers.

For the first 4 years of her life Ranui was an open boat, with a small cabin and bunk room up forward captained by William J. Pollock. She was a familiar sight, often carrying up to 40 convalescing soldiers, many in wheelchairs, on Lake Rotorua excursions as part of their rehabilitation. She played a big part in easing the soldiers back into civilian life.

Ranui was sold in August 1949 as the numbers of ex-service patients dropped and maintenance costs rose. She was trucked to Lake Taupo on 24 August 1949 and purchased by Ron Martin – the money from the sale was returned to the Patriotic Fund Board.

Two years later one of Taupo’s old-time residents, Noel East, put on a full cabin and was first to have Ranui surveyed.

The next owner was from Hawke’s Bay and used her privately before selling her to one of Taupo’s most familiar commercial boat operators – Jim Storey. He had Ranui surveyed and used her commercially for many years, taking visitors out on Lake Taupo tours for fishing and sightseeing.

In 1980 Ranui was purchased by Graham Twiss and he continued taking visitors out on Lake Taupo tours and fishing for a further 34 years.

Ranui has recently been refurbished by her present owners, Sarah & Jamie Looner & again is operating as a charter boat on Lake Taupo. Click link below to view photos of her today.
https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/08/03/el-alamein-ranui/