Alpheus – A Peek Down Below + Lady Ava In Trouble

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ALPHEUS – A Peek Down Below

Alpehus has previously made a brief WW apperance and today we get to have a peek down below. The 42’ carvel kauri planked Alpheus was built in 1962 and launched in 1963, thought to be a McGeady design, built by Ben Hipkins.
Power is via a 120hp Ford diesel that gets her along at 8>9 knots.
From the photos (thanks Ian McDonald for the tme heads up) she is very well fitted out, a little ‘dark’ for my taste but who am I to comment 🙂
I have been advised by Cameron Pollard that Lady Ava has had a wee opps.  A fine ship in her day, good enough to have caught the eye of Harold Kidd. Lady Ava, built in 1931 by Ernie Lane (Picton) was once named Miss Ava has popped up on WW b4, links below. + recent photos below.
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2006 – Mahurangi – Jason Prew

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Auckland Harbour – John Wright

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John Wright

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2015 – Panmure River – Jason Prew

Update – photos below taken by John Bullivant in Feb 2019 of LA on the Tamaki River.

Erinor – A Peek Down Below

Erinor e

Erinor a

Erinor d

ERINOR –  A Peek Down Below

Back in August 2014 Erinor made a brief appearance on WW, link below, lots of chat in the comments section.
What I can tell you is she was built by McGeady in 1953 for Gordon Collie and measures 33’6” x 10’8” x 3’6”. Powered by a Ford 120hp diesel.
In a previous life she was named – Lady Allyson.
Thanks to tme we get to have a peek down below.
Note To Self – Don’t Raft Alongside Trinidad – tends to lead to ‘short pants’ syndrome 🙂

Lady Ellen Restoration June ’19 Update


Just received the above photos and story below from Bruce Mitchinson, as before, I’ll let Bruce talk you thru the report.
“Over the weekend we cleared out the boatbuilders shed ready to lay out the plywood cores for the cabin coamings, which are to be clad in Iroko inside and out.

This is the last of the major woodworking, apart from the engine box and associated trim and accessories, and fitting the coamings back on the boat.
Galley is complete ready to go in after the interior paint job.
Below deck the cabin woodwork is done and ready for paint, which is all white, with varnish door frames and jambs.

Unfortunately our painter has a hand injury so we are on the lookout for a new painter at the moment. 

We also lost our engineer, Ken Jaspers, who looked after our engine through its recondition, sourced all the new parts and running gear, and had things primed ready for assembly and paint.
Ken battled bone marrow cancer for the last year and was still working on our job up to a week before he checked out.
There will be a plaque for Ken, ‘Engineer to Lady Ellen’ that will go on the bulkhead in the engine bay. 
The trailer and engine which became a feature in Ken and Eileen’s driveway for over a year, is now up in the boatyard, ready for Brian to finish the assembly.
All the finished parts are stacked in the shower cubicle in the shed, ready to bolt on.
Still a lot of work to do, but it looks like a boat now.”

A Mystery Launch – Arcturus

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A Mystery Launch – Arcturus

If you believe her trade listing the above 33’ launch is a McGeedy design and built in 1956. McGeedy’s a new name to me, spelling maybe? Or maybe I’m slow off the mark.
Typical broker listing e.g. no mention of the vessel’s name and no details on the motor. 
All that aside a nice boat.
Update: Ken Ricketts has advised the launch is Arcturus built by Supreme Craft, (Mac McGeady) in the late 1940s or early 1950s (refer below) for Mr & Mrs John Warren.
She was originally powered by a 4 cyl Buda diesel which he replaced, by approx. 3>4 years later, by a 6 cyl Ford diesel. The Buda had been installed by Tracey Nelson,  as were the majority of the McGeady boats.
She was however built several years before 1956, as John Warren sold the Buda to Ken’s father in 1956, who put it in the Juliana that year, when he sold her, which replaced a 6 cyl Leyland diesel. (edited by Alan H)
Input from Harold Kidd
The name is ARCTURUS. She was partly built by McGeady’s company Supreme Craft in November 1950 for John Warren of Mission Bay who finished her off at home and eventually launched her in late 1952 (Sea Sprays of November 1950 and March 1953). Her lines were in the November 1950 issue. Named amend AH









A story from Stu Mannington on Arohanui – below in his words:
“I brought Arohanui in 2004 though Half Moon Bay marina brokerage salesman and family friend Wayne Kidd. I had her surveyed by Jack Taylor, he found some rot in her and a few other things but what do you expect at something of that age. I nearly did not buy her but I liked her looks just like a old hot rod car she was a bit run down so I decided I should remodel her a bit. I took a month off work and had her hauled out at Half Moon Bay marina, they had a round barn shed I hired. I lived at Waiheke Island, my brother lived in Howick so stayed at his place, started each day at 6.00am and worked until 9.00pm at night. 
I had help from an old school boat builder named Kevin Reynolds who used to to work for my father’s friend Roger Preist years ago. Kevin fixed a few things and put a teak cockpit in. My father fitted new power steering in the top and bottom as it would not steer in a straight line + new controls and gauges + dash steering wheels. We had all new stainless rails made + crane. I fitted a bimini on the fly bridge then decided to close in with new canvas covers. I repainted (myself) and sprayed the vanish.
When you went in a bay people would comment on her looks,
I sold her only one week after putting on the market, my wife and kids cried when it left our bay in front our house at Waiheke Island. I should have kept her.”
You can see / read more on Arohanui at this WW link

Lady Ellen Restoration Update


LADY ELLEN  Restoration Update

Just had an update on Bruce Mitchinson’s Lady Ellen restoration project, I wish everyone was a s good as Bruce is in sending in work-in-progress reports 🙂

Bruces words – “Strut and rudder all back in place, below waterline fairing is going on at the moment.

Fairing done on the topsides, final fill and longboard, all over, will happen over the next few weeks.
Toe rails and beltings have been repaired and reinstalled.
Looking to undercoat topsides, deck, and below waterline early next month.
Inside we have stripped the paint off the underside of the cabin top and the decks, ready to be sprayed, along with the rest of the interior, as we move from aft, for’ard.
Cockpit complete with draining floor and seating, plenty of locker space, and gas bottle enclosure.
The existing rod steering, that used to be buried under the old water tanks, has been refurbished and can now be accessed through the new lockers.
Galley and saloon trim underway this week.
Painting inside the hull, to get ready for fitting out below deck.
Keeping the original layout apart from opening up the hanging locker into the for’ard cabin with a McGeady style window opening through the bulkhead.
No guesses as to what I will be doing this Labour weekend.”
Remember – click on photos to enlarge 😉

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)


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.

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

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



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 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


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.


The launch of Albacora


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

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.

Awatere (mcgeady)

Awatere (mcgeady)


AWATERE (mcgeady)

Photos & details ex Peter Findlay

Today’s post on the 1954 McGeady built launch Awatere is a cracker & only came about as the result of a friend of Peter Findlay’s casually mentioning the waitematawoodys weblog to him. I have only lightly edited the story Peter sent me, it was just too good to muck around with – I’ll pass over to Peter …..

“I recently heard of your waitematawoodys from a good friend (Geoff Preston) who has seen Awatere over the years and was a salesman in my motor business in Henderson (Peter Findlay Motors) and helped with work I did on Awatere on moorings off the Akarana Yacht Club in Okahu Bay.

The above photo of her when in our family owner ship, shows me at the helm as her skipper, taken c.1965 near Rangitoto. The photo does not do justice to the varnished finish on her topsides. We always used Epivar 2 post varnish (which was new on the market then). Was a much longer lasting finish and fair superior to the white painted finish I understand she has had at times.

 Awatere was a Lloyds registered vessel & I still have a copy of the green embossed leather ‘Register of Yachts 1963, First Supplement’. Her number was – Ship No 611, 199080, which was carved in her beam aft cabin.

Awatere was in my eyes a class ship that I loved and improved and maintained her meticulously on her moorings at Okahu Bay, just below where we resided.

I also have her logbook that records me doing the detailing work as well as adding things to improve her including removing the English Parsons 4 cylinder diesel and installing the new Ford 6 cylinder 100hp diesel supplied through Auckland Ford dealer – John W. Andrew.

We bought Awatere on the 10th February 1962 off a Mr. Rex McCracken, who had her built by McGeady, Supreme Craft in Auckland in1954 . Apart from the new motor installation which we did, all the other major work was done by tradesmen at Shipbuilders, Freemans Bay, always to a high standard. They put in the aft stern boarding platform, which eased ship boarding, and I think the rear dinghy davits, which were great in a following sea.  I think they were there on purchase but not operational.  

Lots of interesting things we came across as well, e.g. when we fitted the new motor we were advised to replace the 5 blade prop 21X21 with 3 blade 22×20.  Unfortunately when going off the cradle down into Okahu Bay, I selected reverse on the new hydraulic gearbox gate and we climbed up the cradle having been sold the wrong prop rotation. Not very happy, so up again and re entered a few days later with the correct prop. The 5 blade had been smoother but not very good astern. However the main reason was to improve the over heating problem over 1800rpm which became endemic despite my efforts to improve. Changes were made to the heat exchangers etc, water pumps, thermostats changed rating, different types, even thermostat out.

Take her up very slowly to 2000rpm and we got about 12 knots whereas cruising at 1800rpm was 10 knots. Still an improvement on the old Parsons of 8 knots.  John W. Andrew were very helpful in all this period but I would like to know if it was finally solved or just endemic for that motor.”

Peter has promised to have a hunt thru the family files & see if he can uncover anymore photos from the past, he would also like to pass his kind regards to subsequent owners. He commented that she was a fine ship and he and the family had lots of lovely times aboard but the pressure of the motor business, Rotary, and the Henderson Borough Council + young children meant he did not spend as much time on-board as he would have liked.

When I first received Peters email I was scratching my head trying to place Awatere, it was familiar but I old mind was drawing a blank, even the trusty ww search box was not playing ball. So I banged a quick txt off tp Nathan Herbert & he pointed me in the right direction. Back in March we uncovered a raft of photos on her but other than Harold’s input mostly uncover little . So Peter Findlay’s email has rounded out what we know about Awatere & posed a few question for the woodys.

Below is a collection of photos over the years, including some of her in her current berth at Milford Creek or Wairau Cove as Murray Deeble likes to call it 🙂

You can read more about her & the photos of her at this link, make sure you scroll down to the comments section


AWATERE - R.H.S. -  & ALTAIR L.H.S. at OKAHU BAY c1950s




Before Awatere the family owned a Scripps V8 powered 32’ launch called Doraleen which they renamed Yasawa after his folks love of a beach over on Waiheke Island which took their fancy. A Mr. Bill Bright owned Doraleen before their ownership.

Yasawa is a nice little 32’ bridge deck launch,10’ 3” beam, sleeps 6 and very quiet but petrol 😦

Yasawa is pictured below & more photos and details can be viewed on this link.


Interesting In Input From Keith Ottaway

Have just read the above article by Peter Findlay .

What caught my attention is the comment that they replaced the 4 cylinder Parsons.

I know this sounds kinda unusual – but we acquired one of those engines (they are a bit rare – particularly those early 1950′ versions)  by a convoluted process  – that supposedly came from a re power of a launch about that time.cIf so this engine was a well loved and respected member of the family for many years.
It sat in storage till 1977  – then was in service till we sold the boat in  2009 – was finally replaced last year from the most recent information.
It did amazing service throughout that period – yes it had a few repairs – a bit of abuse beyond what should be expected . But was a very good unit.

One trip home from the Barrier in particularly nasty weather – I was ready the kiss that thing by the time we coupled up to the piles in the Panmure River . It had managed to get me and my  family home safe and sound. The boat was a mess – my wife and children were sick  – and I was hugging the engine trying to extract some heat out of it to warm me up. Can remember huddling over it and thanking it for what it had done. Was not a good day for boating.

So Peter may be able to either confirm or deny if it is the same engine.

So not sure if engines count on the woodies site – but this one deserved a good funeral – it had earned it.




photos ex Pam Cundy

The above photos of Awatere were taken by Pam over the 2015/16 Xmas / NY period. I’m assuming that she is from the McGeady stable, can anyone from the McGeady fan club confirm?
What else do we know about her?

More photos below ex Karen Moren, Ken Ricketts & Hylton.




photos & details ex Lyn McGeady, Karen Moren, Brian Worthington, Sea Spray Magazine & Ken Ricketts. edited by AH

Altair was launched on 30th November 1961 by the floating crane at Auckland, having been one of the later boats built at 1A Summer St Ponsonby by Mac McGeady, (Supreme Craft), as production ceased in 1965. She was built for Stan Horner.
Altair is 43′ x 12′ 6″ beam, is single skin with 1 & ¼” kauri planking, mahogany coamings, laminated marine plywood cabin tops, supported by laminated mahogany beams & kauri decks. She was powered by twin 6 cyl., 100hp, 590E, naturally aspirated, Ford diesels, fitted with Paragon 2 to 1 gear box & reduction gears. The engines were marinised & supplied by John W Andrew Ltd when launched & installed by Tracey Nelson. Cruising speed was originally 9½ knots at 1800 RPM over the measured mile.

She is one of the comparatively small number of bridgedeckers designed & built by McGeady & is probably one of the best examples of this concept he ever created. The interior is all mahogany & the layout was done by Stan Horner for their family needs. The majority of the interior was carpeted. One interesting feature is that she has “round” portholes in the flare of the bow, a rare departure from the McGeady “trademark” of the “oblong” concept as used an almost all of his boats post WWII.

Below are photos of the log she was created from, not many boats can trace their provenance this far back.


Services Convalescent Hospital & Its Boats

The Services Convalescent Hospital & Its Boats
photos ex Queen Elizabeth Hospital Community Trust – Kay Taylor Collection

Karen McGeady-Moren sent in a few photos of the hospital motor launch El Alamein (now renamed Ranui) & when I checked the web I discovered an amazing collection of boating images related to the hospital & surrounding area, most dated from the mid 1940’s.

The Services Convalescent Hospital, Rotorua was opened in 1942 under the command of Wilfred Stanley (Stan) Wallis, providing rehabilitation to soldiers returning from World War II. It was renamed the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 1948 and began to specialize in the treatment of rheumatic disease.
Boating was obviously an enjoyable pastime for the patients.

Remember you can elarge the photos by clicking on them 😉

More recent photo on Ranui can be viewed at the link below

FYI – Yesterdays ‘Woodys Weekend’ post was a record day for the number of individual people visiting the ww site & the views were the highest in over 3 months.

Koala (Amaryllis)

Koala (Amaryllis) photo ex Sandy Richards (wife of the late John Richards, refer below) details ex Ken Rickets, edited by Alan H She was built by “Mac” McGeady at 1A Summer St. Ponsonby c.1955 for H T Morton a prominent businessman on Auckland’s North Shore. As an aside, a number of streets are named after him & his family on the North Shore e.g Dianna Drive (after Dr. Dianna Morton), Rosalind Ave., (after Dr. Rosalind Morton), his daughters, Morton Ave., & Varlene Tce. He was also a pioneer private aviator, who owned his own aircraft right back in the 1920s. She started life named Amaryllis (later changed to Koala) & followed on from Morton’s last boat, the McGeady built c.1938 bridgedecker Varlene, which was originally named  Lady Sunshine (bought off Com Hardley c.1949) which in turn had followed her predecessor, Spindrift. Dam launches & names changes – makes life hard 🙂 Originally powered by 2 x 4 cyl. Lees converted 80 HP Ford Diesels, installed by Tracey Nelson & was used by Morton for extensive coastal cruising right up to North Cape, one of his favorite spots was Mangonui & he spent much time there through many summer months. Ken recalls that in her earlier days Morton had a habit on running her on 1 engine at a time, at slow speeds, for longish periods, as a slightly embarrassing result of this, he completely wore out 2 gearboxes, as the shaft would spin on the engine not in use (he never locked the gearbox in forward gear, or fitted shaft clutches) & in due course this was the result. She was sold in the 1960s by Morton to a friend of Kens, John Richards, who was the owner that changed the name to Koala. Can anyone update ww on what became of her post John Richards ownership?


photo & details from Karen Moren

Karen is the grand daughter of Mac McGeady & is attempting to track down / record as many of the the McGeady / Supreme Craft boats as she can. All she knows about Sceptre is that she was 36′ & built for a Mr. Stuart Dalton in the Archers Road factory off Wairau Road, Takapuna. Possibly c.1965.

Does anyone have any more info on her ?

29-10-2016 Photo added – is the photo above & below the same boat ? I took the photo during the Launch Parade at the 2016 Mahurangi Regatta.



TEMPEST – #3 Fairlie Launch in a series of 4
photos & details ex Ken Ricketts, edited by Alan H

Tempest is approximately 30 feet long & is the 3rd of 4 boats that Norm Fairlie had built for him in the 1950s -1970s period.

She was the second by McGeady & built in his Summer Street Ponsonby premises  & purpose built for him in early 1964, specifically to fish for Tuna in the World Game Fishing Competition held in NZ in March of that year.

Tempest’s hull had been started by McGeady to be a boat he had intended to build for himself but he was persuaded by Norm F. to sell her to him &  finish her to Norm’s requirements i.e. for the sole purpose of Tuna fishing as above, which he won in her.

He owned her simultaneously with his other larger McGeady boat the 38 foot Challenger which McGeady built for him in c.1962. He fished for tuna in the contest off the Tempest, & bill fish off Challenger & came second in the overall contest, for his combined efforts in the 2 boats.

He only owned Tempest for a few months & then sold her to his then business partner Mr Bert Grimshaw-Jones, who lived on the banks of the Tamaki River, where he kept her at the bottom of his garden, for a number of years, at least in to the later 1960s.

Now fast forward –  she was bought in the later 1980s  by Des Finlay of Whitianga, who along with his partner Christine Johnson, had bought her in a derelict state at Gt. Barrier, taken her to their home in Whitianga & worked on her for a couple of years on their lawn, then relaunched her & sold her a year or two later to the Bennett brothers of Panmure.

The Bennetts have owned her for approximately 14 years, they love her to death & keep her in the Tamaki River, in great condition, by what we can see in the photos.

Norm F. told Ken that the original engine installation, was done by Bert G-J., assisted by Tracey Nelson, the usual marine engineer, used by McGeady for the majority of his boats. She was originally  & still is powered by a 6 cyl. naturally aspirated Ford diesel & the Bennetts believe she almost certainly still has the original engine.


CHALLENGER     #2 Fairlie Launch in a series of 4

photos & detail ex Ken Ricketts, edited by Alan H.

Challenger, 38′ long, was built c.1962 by McGeady & originally powered by a 6 cyl Ford Diesel. She was built  for Mr Norm Fairlie, an Auckland businessman, who was a hugely dedicated & enthusiastic game fisherman, &  who mostly  fished at Mayor Island.

Challenger was the first of 2 boats built by McGeady for him in his Summer St Ponsonby premises,  the second being the 30 foot Tempest, a purpose built boat, he had McGeady build specifically for him, to fish for tuna, in the World Game Fishing Competition held in NZ in the 1960s. He won this competition with Tempest & sold he shortly afterwards. Sadly he never had any pics of her.

However Fairlie retained Challenger which he used, to fish in the “big game” section of the above event, in which he came second.

Fairlie kept Challenger until she was replaced by the 42 foot Commander One, which he had built by Alan Williams in 1967.

The story of her ownership is rather unusual.

Norm F. sold Challenger to a Mr Brown of Whangarei c1967 when Commander One was built, who later sold her to the Bradshaw family, of Rotorua.

Bradshaws later wanted to buy Commander One off Norm F. & he agreed to buy back Challenger off Bradshaws, as part payment for Commander One. Just after the deal was done, some people known to Bradshaws, heard about the Bradshaw’s deal & said they had always wanted to own Challenger, so rushed up to Auckland & bought her straight off Norm F., almost immediately after he had re-inherited her.

Ken lost contact with Challenger around this time, anyone able to shed some light on what happened to her & where she is now? In the photo above she is an impressive sight on her launch day in the early 1960’s, a launch that size does not disappear behind someones shed, so fingers crossed on more info.

Ken & ww appreciate the input from Norm Fairlie & John Bradshaw which has helped make this post possible.


Photo (c.1960’s) added 15-06-2015 ex Ken Ricketts ex B Worthington

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17-04-2016 I added the photos (ex Hylton Edmonds via Ken R) below only for the record – I will not comment on whats happened to her. If you must, click to enlarge.

31-05-2016 photos below ex Noel Kelly via Ken Ricketts (c.2000) No comment on the plywood dummy block of flats other than how could you get a peek at what it will look like & still do it?


Erinor (Lady Allyson)

ERINOR (formerly Lady Allyson)
Snapped this rather fine sedan top launch moored off the the wharf at Sand Spit this morning.
Anyone able to help with more details on Erinor?

Lots of activity happening up there with the new marina construction well underway.

Saw more dolphins today than I have in the last 2 years.

04-07-2017 Update from Dean Wright

Dean snapped the photo below of Erinor on a swing mooring in Opito Bay, B.O.I.. She had just appeared there & Dean was wondering if she had migrated north?




Lady Dianna


Lady Dianna


photos & details ex Ken Ricketts

Lady Dianna, 36ft., was built by McGeady in his premises at 1A Summer St Ponsonby for Colin Lannam, a furniture manufacturer of Pakuranga c.1949.

Mr Lannam finished the interior himself at his business premises & did a superb job.

Ken & his parents were friends of the Lannams & Ken was on L.D. several times. He took the above photo in Mansion House Bay, Christmas 1949.

LD more recently belonged to a lawyer, who Ken thinks kept her in Thames, post 2000 & she was powered with a Ford Diesel.

Harold Kidd Update

LADY DIANNA and LADY DIANA got thoroughly confused in yacht registers, club lists and so on.
Colin Lannam was a cabinetmaker and lived in Lemington Road, Westmere. He finished the interior after McGeady built her. Lannam didn’t keep her long as she was owned by S.L. Wallath of Okahu St, Orakei by 1953. Later owners include H.C. Thomas of Inga Rd, Milford in 1973 when her dimensions were given as 36’x35’x11’x3’6″, her engine as a 100hp Ford diesel.and her build year as 1948 in her APYMBA record card.
According to Capt. Barry Thompson’s book “Deeds Not Words” on the Coastguard service, Trevor Kelly owned LADY DIANNA around 1985, but that’s probably a typo for LADY DIANA.

27/02/2015 – ex Karen Moren

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ANTARES 1954 CYRIL PARKER Builder Mc Geady


photos & details from Ken Ricketts & Harold Kidd

Built by Supreme Craft, – (McGeady), – on the corner of Summer St & Ponsonby Rd., Ponsonby, in the 1950s, she is a great example of the McGeady craftsmanship. She originally had a 4 cyl Ford diesel, later replaced with a 100 HP 6 cyl Ford. Her engine installation was done by the late Tracey Nelson, an outstanding marine & automotive engineer of Bell Rd Remuera, as were almost all of the McGeady boats, certainly from the 1940s onwards.

She was originally owned by Cyril Parker a self employed motor engineer, who’s business premises were in Kohimaramara Rd., Kohimaramara.

Apologizes for the quality of the photos, if anyone has better please email the to waitematawoodys@

15-07-2015 Photo below c1986 ex Laurie Webb, when owned by Ron & Shirley Phillips, who owned > c2006

Arohanui (McGeady)



Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 9.11.41 AMArohanui fishing off WaihekeArohanui @ Pah Farm Jetty Kawau 1998


photo & details ex Ken Ricketts

In Kens eyes, she was one of the best sedan top examples that McGeady ever built, having the forward section & forward deck longer than usual & giving a further aft helm position, which means a smoother ride for the helmsman & crew in rough weather being further aft than usual & a sort of more sleek laid back concept to her & excellent balance of line.

She was built for Tucker Brothers food product manufacturers (Sunshine Jellies etc) in Khyber Pass Aucland., circa 1952, in McGeady’s Summer St Ponsonby premises & had the usual Ford 6 cyl Diesel fitted by Tracey Nelson. She was the second boat built by McGeady for Tuckers, the first being a bridgedecker built circa 1939 called Lady Sunshine, which was owned just after WWII by Com Hardley, M.D. of Hardleys Plumbing Merchants, of Morrow St Newmarket, who renamed her Varlene, the name as far as Ken knows she still has today.

Varlene was sold to H.T. Morton, a lawyer of Cliff Ave Belmont & Auck Hospital board Member in the later 1940’s. If anyone has a photo of Varlene, Ken can do a post on her, as he knows quite a bit about her early days.


To view more WW stories & photos on any subject, just key in the ‘subject name*’ in the search box, click your computers enter key & related posts will appear. Scroll down to view & click on each post to view details.

*designer,builder,type of vessel e.g. launch or yacht,CYA only vessel,period launched e.g. 1920 etc

05/03/2105 – New photo ex Karen Moren – sent in by Ken Ricketts

Photo ex Ken Rickett’s – Tauranga Harbour

09/04/2015 more photos ex trademe

13-07-2015 Update sent in by Paul Newell ex Sea Spray ex NZ Classic Game Boat

White Cloud


A 1968 McGeady bridgedecker, the current owner knows little about her past other than she is believed to have been a charter vessel at one time.

Can anyone provide some more details?

Harold Kidd Update

According to APYMBA’s yacht and launch records WHITE CLOUD was built by Supreme Craft (McGeady) in 1966 for J.S. Menzies of Hill Road, Manurewa and was fitted with an 80hp Foden diesel. Her dimensions were 36’10” x 34′ x 12′ x 4’3″. Menzies still owned her in 1973.

26/01/2015 Photos below (ex Ken Rickett) show White Cloud leaving the Supreme Craft shed/yard.

Unknown Launch 08/11/2013 (probably Antares)


Unknown Launch 08/11/2013

Unknown Launch 08/11/2013

Arcturus  b

Arcturus b

Arcturus a

Arcturus a

Arcturus c

Arcturus c



photo from Helen & Richard Andrew’s family collection (grand daughter & her husband of Henry Allen -Tiromoana) ex Ken Rickitts.

Given the chat on the previous post re McGeady boats I have posted this c.1950 photo that is ‘tagged’ as a McGeady launch, interested in your views as to if this is correct & the vessels name & anymore details.

Also interested in ID’ing the launch in the background.

17/03/2015 Update
Ken R is confident that the mystery has been solved , the launch is Antares – In the photo above & you will see the white peaked cap always worn by Cyril Parker every time he went to sea, the cap was evident in all pics, also the mast & placement thereof, is identical, although the lower half of the coamings had been painted by the time the photo in question was taken & therefore Ken tends to think in the later 1950s for this one.





photo & details ex Ken Ricketts

Built by McGeady c.1947 for a Mr Stewart, an accountant of Suddley St. Orakei, (right opposite Henry Allen owner of ‘Tiromoana’) she was to have had 2 Redwing petrol engines, but Stewart changed his mind during construction & fitted 1 Ailsa Craig instead. Stewart sold her in mid to late 1950s to Aubrey Webster, the founder & owner of Trimol Laboratories, who replaced the Ailsa Craig with a 6LW Gardner, about 1960, which Ken thinks she still has today. He owned her until the mid to late 1960’s & sold her to Humphrey Beale, who owned until at least the late 1980s or early 1990s. Beale was a real estate agent, who used her extensively for taking clients to Rakino, Waiheke & Gt Barrier. Ken lost track of her after he sold her. Webster was a family friend of Ken’s, as also was Beale, who Ken shared the same occupation with (real estate) for many years.

Harold Kidd Update

ALCYONE was built for Noel Stewart of Sudeley St Orakei by Supreme Craft (McGeady) and launched in January 1951, fitted originally with a 6 cylinder Ailsa Craig diesel engine. Stewart sold her to A.A. Webster of Takapuna some time before 1964 when Webster had her registered with Lloyd’s Yacht Register, still with the 1950-built Ailsa Craig. Webster still owned her in 1973 according to APYMBA records.The image above was taken during the welcome for the GOTHIC on its arrival in Auckland for the Royal Visit, 23/12/1953, when the AMYC was out in force.

30/03/2015 New photo ex Sea Spray ex B Worthington ex Ken Ricketts