Busy Morning – One Down & One Up

As purchased

Busy Morning – One Down & One Up

Yesterday the 30’ 1978 Roy Parris built launch – Waikaro, slipped back into the creek at the Slipway, Milford, looking very smart post a lot of work both in and outside. A Jason Prew paint job and 15+ coats of uroxsys were just the icing on the cake + lots of work on her systems and ‘lets keep the water on the outside’ eg new windows etc.

No sooner had Waikaro vacated the cradle, the 38’ 1937 Sam Ford built launch – Menai (below) was climbing into a warm bed. After a lot of deferred maintenance work, Menai had been ’settling down’ eg taking up on one of the Milford marina berths before getting her final top coats. The new bow-thruster certainly made manoeuvring in the creek easy. 

UPDATE 12-07-2022 back in the water after the JPPJ at The Slipway Milford.

Classic Woody Yard Mooching

Update 05-07-2022 1st coat of the shinny stuff goes on 

Classic Woody Yard Mooching

Dropped into The Slipway Milford the other day, very pleased to see the 1937, 38’ Sam Ford built launch – Menai, getting some serious TLC after languishing at the CYA’s Heritage Landing for many years, dockside chat was it was a permanent fixture. 

As with most things in life, boat ownership goes in cycles and with new owners she is get the attention she deserves. Always nice to see painting prep well executed i.e. back to bare wood – that kauri looks as good as the day Sam Ford fastened it.

I understand a new engine has been installed so the TCL is serious – we like that 🙂

See more on Menai here https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/09/11/menai-a-peek-down-below-2/

While there the 1945 K-Class – Jenanne was getting a Jason Prew Paint Job, the photo is coat one of two top coats, already very slick.

Now a tip on how to get marine engineers to come down to your boat – keep your engine room as ship-shape as the 1965 Owen Woolley built launch – Adonis – the man from the Moon didn’t even have to put his overalls on 🙂

Classic Launches – Lady Karita, Menai, Valsan + Others – 1947 NZ National Film Unit

Classic Launches – Lady Karita, Menai, Valsan + Others – 1947 – NZ Diary #8 Movie

Following on from yesterday story on the launch – Lady Karita, Robert Phillips sent in a link to a 1947 movie tagged – ‘NZ Diary #8’ from the NZ National Film Unit. Its a great look back at post war life in Auckland. The movie is only 5 1/2min long so watch it all but if you’re time poor – go to 1.43min in and to 2.07min where it shows Lady Karita motoring on the Auckland Harbour in 1947 with someone wake boarding (or Aqua-Plane as they called it back then ) behind her. Carrying on further and we see more wake boarding at Kawau Island with Menai and others in the background. Later in the video, more wake boarding, this time behind the launch –  Valsan.

Wonderful to see all the launches and yachts, most of which are still around 75 years later and looking as good or better than in 1947.


Woodys Classics Weekend Cruise To Clevedon – Call for RVSP’s
The dates for the next Woody Weekend Cruise to the Clevedon Cruising Club are Saturday 21st > Sunday 22nd May 2022.As always due to wharf and river size numbers are restricted – so Woodys if you are interested in doing this event RSVP to address below ASAP to avoid disappointment. Send – Your name > Boat name > and if you know approx. numbers on board. Well behaved dogs are welcome. 

RSVP TO   waitematawoodys@waitematawoodys

Flashback Friday – Menai and Valsan

Menai c.1947/8
Menai c.1947/8
Valsan c.1947/8

FLASHBACK FRIDAY – MENAI AND VALSAN 

Recently I was contacted by Pat Menzies the youngest son of Clive Menzies who bought the launch Menai from Arnold Baldwin. In a previous WW story Harold Kidd refers to Clive as ‘C.B. Menzies’, link to that story below. After reading the numerous WW stories on Menai, Pat decided to share a little more information that he hopes may be of interest to us. It is a good yarn so I’ll hand over to Pat and let him tell the story.  https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/09/02/menai-valsan-her-owners/

“First, a little background about Arnold Baldwin “Baldie” to his friends (unsurprisingly). He is referred to as “involerd in the paper and printing industry”. But he was a bit more significant than that. Born in Canada, he emigrated to New Zealand some time pre-war and founded Universal Business Directories Ltd. By the 1950s and continuing through most of the next half-century UBD’s metropolitan provincial editions were the first place to look for detailed information about businesses of all and any sorts and the advertising revenue they engendered had made Baldie quite a rich man. Very rich by the standards of the day. I presume he must have been in the RNZ Volunteer Reseve pre-war and was appointed skipper of the Menai during the war years when it was commandeered the Navy and put to Coastal Patrol duties.  (I believe that virtually every harbour which had a fleet of launches had some commandeered by the Navy for this purpose, but the Menai is the only one I know about. After the war I understand Mr Reynolds, the original owner did not want it back and Arnold was able to buy it. By the late 40s he was looking for a bigger boat and bought the Valsan, selling the Menai to my father.

Dad and Arnold were at the time (and for a number of years thereafter) flag officers of the Auckland Motor Yacht Club and were able to organise the various transfers to suit their calendars and cash flow. Dad sold the “Taufale” a 28 footer launch which he had bought in 1944 (I think. May have been 1945.) I was only about 5 at the time so my memory of such details is non-existent.

Dad owned the Menai through to some time in the early 1960s when he sold it to a then well-known local architect – surname Dalton. I did know his first name but have long since forgotten it. He, after quite a short period on-sold it to Alan (I think) Martin who was at the time CEO of TVNZ Auckland and did a lot of work on the boat. It then went through a number of owners before Peter Smith bought it and turned it into the film star beauty she is now.

The reference to Horry Whimp as an owner is quite mysterious.  He was, as stated, the manager of the UBD printing works, had worked for Arnold for many years and had the perk of being boat husband, first for the Menai and later for the Valsan.  It could very well be that Horry had the use of the Menai over the 48-49 season while Dad and Arnold were trading their paths to each owning only one boat – and that Ken Ricketts (who is/was a couple of years older than me) simply assumed he owned it.

Menai was powered by a flathead Ford V8 with a marine conversion by OSCA, rated at 100hp. Whether that was as a car motor or marine I don’t know. It had a 2 to 1 reduction box and we cruised at 1750rpm on the rev counter.  Dad went through about three propellers and numerous re-pitchings and re-cuppings and finally achieved claimed figures of cruising speed of about 6.5 knots and petrol consumption of 1 3/4 gallons per hour. Pushing it up to 7 or 7.5 knots resulted in it squatting at the stern (“digging a big hole in the water” Dad used to say) and consumption soaring to about 4 gallons/hour.

Dad also fitted a Ford 8 auxiliary motor following a rather nasty experience when the motor stalled (a scale of rust in the fuel line, I believe) and left us powerless on a lee shore, either down the Bottom End or over on the Coromandel. I was about 11 or 12 and getting ready to drop the 45lb big pick when the motor fired up again. He also fitted another smaller motor to charge the batteries so we didn’t have to go cruising to have  electricity. He also fitted a gas powered freezer box under the starboard seat in the bridgedeck. Larger boats such as the Valsan generally had such facilities but the Menai was well up-to-date for its age and size. One of the perks of being one of Arnold’s friends was that ownership of the Valsan came with one of the boatsheds on Ngapipi Rd – the third from Tamaki Drive. Arnold ran a tight timetable. He had the shed from about Easter to near to Queen’s Birthday and then Dad and several other of his friends each had about 2 weeks or so, during which we worked hard to complete the season’s maintenance. Dad would go to the shed each evening direct from work and I would pitch on at the weekends working from dawn to as late as we needed. I remember varnishing the coamings in half-light of a winter evening was a truly awful task. But better than doing it in the open at Vos Bros or any other shipyard. At least we didn’t have dust to contend with”.

Moa Ra and Menai Update

MOA RA

The above photos of the launch Moe Ra just popped up on Lew Redwood’s fb (via Te Papa > Christopher Bede).They are dated 1969, not sure if thats the build year of photo year, could be both.
The boat draw a total blank with me, so suspect its had a name change along the way. Can we learn more about her?

Harold Kidd Input – MOE RA was built by Alan Orams in Whangarei in 1966.according to APYMBA records when first owner Eric Lane registered her.


MENAI – Has a new owner 🙂 after many years of being almost a permanent structure at the Classic Yacht Association’s viaduct marina – yachty Bruce Tantrum has in his words “moved over to the dark side” and bought the classic launch – Menai. (Disclosure: not a Wooden Boat  Bureau sale) We look forward to seeing her out and about again on the Waitemata.

Speaking of the CYA marina (Heritage Landing) if you are a CYA member and have a well presented (NZ designed & built) classic launch and are looking for a marina, Put your name on the CYA waiting list (I’m told its a very short list e.g. no one on it) Added bonus I understand it costs less than $100 a month 😉

Total Wooden Boat Porn

Total Wooden Boat Porn

Over the last week I have had numerous woodys asking if I had seen the YouTube video on one of the UK’s stunning new motor boats – the Spirit P70. My answer was yes I had, so today I thought I had better share it with you. Built by Spirit Yachts to a very simple owner brief – it must be able to cover (non-stop) 1000nm at an average speed of 18 knots, she tops out at 23.5 knots. And budget? – somewhere between 4 and 5 million pounds. That woodys gets you are very swanky vessel, every single item is bespoke – check it out.

Menai

MENAI – A Peek Down Below


Menai is one of those launches that no matter what angle you approach her from, she looks stunning. She’s a superb example of her type from a boat builder, Sam Ford, at the peak of their craft, restored by an owner with an exacting attitude to authenticity and originality. Menai was built in 1937 from full length since skin kauri, overall length is 38’, with a beam of 10’, drawing 3’.

She underwent a refit in 1983 and then got very lucky when she was purchased in 2007 by the late Peter Smith, who undertook an extensive restoration that returned her to her former glory of one of Auckland’s smartest classic wooden launches. She looks bigger than 38’ and whilst a bridge-decker, her configuration makes her a very relaxing vessel. The wheelhouse even has a wine cellar 🙂 Powered by a very economical 60hp Lees Marine Ford.

1940’s

Mahurangi / Warkworth c.1961

Mahurangi / Warkworth c.1961

photos ex Ken Ricketts

Todays post show 2 photos taken c1961, most likely at Xmas & show a collection of launches tied up at the wharf at Warkworth. The really neat thing is hat most of these craft are still a float today & in as good, if not better condition.
It would be nice to see some of those varnished coaming again 😉

Several of these launches will be at todays Mahurangi Regatta & weather & numbers interested – maybe making the trip up the river to Warkworth for lunch.

Ken has attempted to ID the launches – see below.

PHOTO 1
Front row Gay Dawn, Ken can’t identify outer 2 boats.

Top left row, tiny bit of bow too small to indentify next to wharf next is
Cherokee & next is Menai. Ken can’t identify outer boat of that group

PHOTO 2

Bottom left Gay Dawn, Ken can’t identify the other 2 boats.
Next row to right is Faye at wharf, next to her is Royal Falcon & next is
Cherokee & then Menai. Ken can’t identify the outer boat.

Far row to right –  boat at wharf is Southern Belle, may have been owned by Stan
Blundell, the outer boat next to her is Lady Karita.

Boat at anchor Reelemin II

Menai & Valsan & her Owners.

Menai & Valsan & her Owners.

details & b/w photos from Ken Ricketts. edited by Alan H 

In the late 1930s, earlier 1940s, Arnold D. Baldwin, a successful business man involved in the paper & printing industries purchased the 1936 (’37?) Sam Ford launch MENAI & used her regularly until 1948, when he bought VALSAN, off Peter Annan, who had renamed her LADY EDITH, which ADB changed back to VALSAN.

ADB sold MENAI to his factory manager, Horry Whimp who loved her, at least as much as ADB & continued to pour money into MENAI, as ADB had before him. HW owned MENAI well in to the 1950s. During this stage of her life MENAI had a flat head Ford V8.

Ken Ricketts met HW’s son, Barry Whimp, as a 3rd former at Auckland Grammar in 1950, they were in the same year & became good friends, & had many happy moments together whilst away on their parents boats, especially at Kawau, at Christmas.

(b/w photos taken by Ken Ricketts show Menai over Christmas 1948 /1949  just after the Whimps had bought her, & taken at Issy Bay & Kawau. The photo of Valsan in Schoolhouse Bay was taken during Christmas 1948 just after ADB had purchased her)

Menai Specs ex Alan H

Sam Ford, Ellerslie, designed and built Menai for Mr W T Reynolds of Whangarei and she was launched at Panmure Basin on 24th of December 1937.She immediately left Auckland on launching and arrived at Whangareri 25.12.1937.

She has a most interesting history, during WWII as a Navy patrol vessel she towed lifeboats from SS Niagara to safety.  She spent many years big game fishing both off Tutukaha and Tauranga and she is fine sea boat. In 1985 new owners did major renovations including the superb varnished interior. In 2007 she was purchased by the late Peter Smith who spent 3 years bringing her back to the wonderful condition she is today.

She is characteristic of the Ford design, a bridgedeck displacement launch, 10.97m (38 ft) length, beam 3.05m and draft 0.97m. Although there have been some substantial upgrades both the exterior lines and interior layout are original.

Construction: Single kauri skin (full length planking) over bolted and riveted frames and floors. The original upper works were built of kauri. In a 1985 major upgrade they were overlaid with 5/8 in teak and varnished.

Power: Lees-Marine 60hp Fordson diesel with 2:1 Lees-Marine hydraulic gearbox.

Harold Kidd Update

A few minor things about the above. MENAI was originally fitted with an 8 cylinder Lycoming engine which was changed to an Osco Ford V8 marine conversion, possibly during her NAPS service. Arnold Baldwin bought MENAI in 1942 when he was skippering her with NAPS and registered her as a British Registered Ship in 1948. According to those records and to the contemporary APYMBA records, Whimp did not own her at all, but that may well have been because he didn’t want to carry on the BR. Certainly, however, the BR records and the RNZYS records show that MENAI was 100% owned by C.B. Menzies from 1950 onwards. How Whimp and Menzies fit together, I have no idea.