Mahurangi Regatta – Woody Weekend – 196 photos


WoW what a weekend – perfect weather, perfect location and as always stunning boats. We saw a record turn out for the classic wooden boat parade on Saturday morning – the crowd ashore at Sullivans was a little thin on the ground, but if we are honest, we do not do it for them – its all about us 🙂 , a little like going for a motorbike rumble. We need more events where we just ‘hang-out’ together.

The regatta’s main event – the yacht race appeared to be a big success, the A-Class Logan –  Rawhiti, in the hands of her new owner – Peter Brookes, cleaned up all the major trophies. As has become the norm at Mahurangi races, the results process was a total balls up, it was very dark and late into the night before the final, final results were announced – fingers crossed its all kosher, last year it took days and numerous oops lets try that again announcements 🙂

The big band beach BBQ, was a hit, perfect on all fronts – weather, tide, the band, bbq’s and the people. Given the number of boats in Bon Accord Harbour, Kawau Island, most people headed there on Sunday. The Kawau Boating Boat was bursting at the seams but handed it well. I have split the photos into 4 galleries – Classic Wooden Boat Parade – Yacht Race – Beach BBQ – More (includes Kawau). If I missed your boat, you were somewhere I wasn’t, or in the wrong light , or your’e boats ugly (joking – sort off).
Enjoy a peak at the weekend., click individual photos to enlarge. Next weekend I’m off to the Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Parade –  its a biggie – they have 70+ entries  





Woody Photo Gallery

Duke of Marlborough

Antares 3




Woody Photo Gallery
The selection of woody photos above was sent in by Bryce Strong, details and links to previous WW stories below. I hate Digital dates on photos but it is a very simple way to record when the photo was taken – two are dated 2013, interesting to see how the vessels have faired in the last 13 years.
The top photo of the steamboat – Duke of Marlborough, is a newbie to me. I’m looking forward to Russell Ward chipping in with her history 😉
Antares – built in the 1950’s by Supreme Craft. At the time the above photo was taken she was owned by Bryce’s brother-in-law, Ron Phillips
Arima – built in1953 by Colin Wild

Moana – built in c.1939 by Sam Ford
Shalom – built in 1973 by TK Atkinson
Anyone Recall Sutton MalcolSham & Co
I have been contacted by Richard Winthrop looking for information on a boat builder named Sutton Malcolm & Co. Ltd of Mt Roskill, Auckland. Many years ago Richard had a Mason Clipper that had the sticker below on it.

Classic Wooden Boats on the Waitemata




Quo Vadis


Miss Helen




My Girl


waitematawoody poster boy



Pleasure Lady

Last weekend we decided to slipped away to Rakino Island, and in an almost unheard of event, we departed early and dropped the anchor in West Bay at 9.30am.
On route and in and around the Island we spotted a healthy collection of woodys. Some familiar faces and some newbies. Scroll over photos for captions
The sunset on Saturday night was a stunner. When I popped the head out of the hatch on Sunday morning, I did a double take – a very large cruise ship was sliding down the Rakino Channel, spotted again later in the day off Waiheke Island.
Enjoy the photos – can anyone tell us more about the launches – Asereht, Bon Voyage, Poco Lento ?
Input from Geoff Bagnall – Asereht was built by himself and Bon Voyage by Dave Jackson.
Mahurangi Regatta Classic Launch Parade (meeting at 10.15am off Scotts Landing – parade will be in alpha order)
Most likely mooching around Kawau Island area

Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta – Classic Launch Race

Summer / New Year 2019 Raindance Cruise Photo Gallery – 70+ Classic Wooden Boats













282′ – Available for rent NZD$970,000 week


Very cool packaging design & yum

Summer / New Year Raindance Cruise Photo Gallery – 70+ Classic Wooden Boats

The above gallery is a selection of photos I mostly took at random over the 12 days we were floating around the bottom end of Waiheke Island. I apologise for the quality of some, but the light & direction I was heading were not always my friend in terms of image quality. I just wanted to record & showcase some of the craft out & about over the holiday period. Remember click photos to enlarge 😉
Like most people in the upper north island we were gifted with stunning weather – I rolled the cockpit canopy clears up on day one & rolled them down again when we returned to the marina 12 days later. I can honestly say that it was the best cruise we have had aboard RD, just perfect.
For those of you that were cruising in other parts, email in some photos so we can share.
Even last week the weather remained near perfect, & allowed me to get the sandpaper & Awlwood (Uroxsys) out & re-varnish RD’s trim – 9 coats, looks very smart.
As I write this I’m hoping for some rain, the garden is crying out for a downpour.
Mahurangi Regatta is fast approaching, I say it every year but in terms of vessel numbers & location, it has to be NZ’s premier classic wooden boating event. Put a circle around Saturday, Jan 26th in the diary & make the effort to be there. More details closer.
Check out WW tomorrow for some great photos from the Bay of Islands Tall Ships Regatta – there will even be a photos of Tony Stevenson on the helm of a classic, its been a while 😉


Mizpah 1

Mazpah 2


The 1st photo above shows the launch Mizpah at a jetty in Crail Bay, Pelorus Sound, dated c.1900’s.
Harold Kidd has commented that she was built in Dunedin c.1904 most likely by Jas M’Pherson for FJ Sullivan. M’Pherson had him also build the hire launches Moana & Maitai around the same time.
Sullivan bought a fishing company in Pelorus in 1905 & shipped Mizpah up there. By 1909 she was being used as a passenger & hire vessel from Pelorus by JW Taylor of Kenepuru. In 1924 she was taken to Wellington & survived there under that name into the 1930’s. She had a 20hp Standard engine around 1920’s but was re-engined in 1929. Her dimensions were 40’x8’6”x3’.
(photo is ex Lew Redwood fb)
24-11-2018 Harold Kidd Input – I thought I would hasten to advise that MIZPAH was built by John M’Lellan in Dunedin, not by James M’Pherson. Any residual stress occasioned to WW followers by doubts about her provenance are therefore resolved, and they can now resume their normal lives, untroubled by this concern.

Not Everyone Had A Good Holiday Boating Experience




Not Everyone Had A Good Holiday Boating Experience

I’ll keep the names of the photographers that sent me the above photos anonymous 😉

• Moana, the 23’ Max Carter built clinker day boat must have been in a hurry to get back into Milford Marina & cut the corner, not the first to suffer the embarrassment of waiting for the tide in a very public spot & they won’t be the last. It appears very little damage was done, other than a bruised ego.

At the other end of the scale – a very large Azimut ‘kissed’ some rocks in the Bay of Islands at speed – the photos above of her hauled out only show a fraction of the damage – one prop was bent out of shape & the other almost non-existent. The gearboxes ‘exploded’ – a rather large insurance claim me thinks. And some marine engineer will be starting the new year with a big fat repair job.

And another oops below from early evening yesterday, the photo was snapped in the next bay along from Chamberlains Bay, Ponui Island. Low water was 2 hours away from this photo so it was only going to get uglier.  

Seems someone didn’t allow for the downside of the current high tides i.e. very low low tides.

As they say folks – be careful out there.


Arethusa In The B.O.I.

I posted yesterday a selection of photos taken by Dean Wright. Just like me, Dean’s normally behind the camera & we do not see this woody – the Bob Brown built, 100-year-old, 33’ classic Arethusa. The photo below was taken by Grant Anson, skipper of Marie-J.

You can see / read more on this amazing classic’s life at this link


The Moana Mutiny


The Moana Mutiny

Today on ww we have a great yarn from Ian McDonald , the yarn was sparked off when Ian came across an older ww story on the launch Moana, which took him back to 1968/69 when he spent a season on her out of Tauranga, dropper lining for Puka. Ian also took the above (recent) photo of Moana.

I’ll let Ian tell the story

“During my time on Moana she was owned by a retired Waikato cocky from Morrinsville [I think] and used for game fishing. During the off-season she was stripped out of the nice squabs & carpet  interior-wise  for the hapuka season, roughly from after Easter through to almost Labour weekend.

Jack Phillips was the skipper and we regularly fished in proximity to two other Tauranga boats skippered by real characters of the local boating fraternity, Goldie Hitchings on Luana and, Ces Jack on Abalone, both terrific seamen and fishsermen [and it must have been a very nasty sea that overtook Goldie a few yrs later off East Cape, when he was bringing his new boat up from Gisborne, they only ever found an hatch cover I was told] ………  bear with me here, I’m getting to the mutiny part 🙂

Moana then, had a ‘Tauranga board’  out over the transom [with game chair fitting] and railings right around it from which we launched the Puka / marker buoys & flags droppers line drums etc, and the hauling in was done from the forward, port side, of the cockpit using a Heath Robinson [but effective] winch arrangement powered by a Briggs & Stratton engine with an AJS motorcycle gearbox attached. From memory we got 50c per kg for Puka, Bass & Bluenose and, any bass over 50Kg, had to have the heads cut off, for which purpose Jack carried a butcher’s cleaver. One day we hauled in a very big Ling which, when unhooked, proceeded to writhe around the cockpit floor and, as I tried to kick it away, latched onto my gumboot with enough bite that I couldn’t get my foot out of it. Jack seized the aforementioned cleaver and starts taking wild swings at the Ling just behind its head, all of this with a rolling boat, a slippery fish and me trying to avoid the cleaver with Jack yelling at me . . . “stay bloody still boy”. I still have my leg intact .

As the ‘deckie’ I was on 20% of the catch which could be ‘chicken one day & feathers the next’  but could often result in me being paid $300 to $400 for a good trip, usually of 3 to 4 days duration. Most of my mates were on about $40 to $50 a week in those days [except the wharfie’s of course].

We generally fished the 90 fathom line, as it was known, which could be from south east of the Barrier and down towards East Cape. We were once close to the Volkner Rocks and the Airforce sent out an Iroquios to tell us to bugger off because they wanted to carry out a live bombing exercise.

But when we were based at Mayor Island the Mona’s owner [called Stuart, I seem to remember] and his drunken little mate Percy, would often come aboard for those few days and, to ‘sustain’  them would bring flagons of sherry and crates of beer, sometimes mixing the horrible stuff 50/50 and, did they get p*ss*d ?  OH YES they did. On those Mayor trips we always returned to Sou-East bay in the evenings and I’d get shouted a feed ashore plus the odd beer by Jack, Stu & Percy.  Usually I’d get a dinghy ride with someone back to the boat and get my head down, while the old fellas increased the game club’s bar takings by quantum amounts.

Unfortunately Jack liked whiskey [by the bottle] which, even more unfortunately, served to give him ‘cancer of the personality’ and, on one occasion, on a rainy night, I said that I was off back to the boat and was told to take the dinghy as the three of them would get someone else to bring them back later.

Much, much later I was rudely awoken by a very drunk skipper demanding to know why I hadn’t heard them all hollering from the beach [turns out they had outlasted all the others in the bar and eventually had to steal a small dinghy to get back to the boat]. Jack was a big powerful brute of a bloke and grabbed me by my t-shirt front & was about to haul me out of my bunk [port-side forward] and whack me, egged on by drunken wee Percy. I sat up, stuck both my feet on his chest and heaved him away – booffa –  backwards across the cabin where he whacked his head on the top bunk & folded into the bottom one. Did I scarper ? bloody hell, did I ever, clad in an old pair of footy shorts and a t-shirt, up the steps into the main saloon, put a fend on old Percy who had decided to grab me, and hopped with alacrity up onto the Tauranga board, and stood quickly on the outside of the rail. Jack emerges from the saloon shouting blue bloody murder and refuses to see why I had shoved him having been suddenly, rudely and forcibly awoken and threatened.  Earlier that evening I had had a few beers in the bar with an old Mount Surf Club mate, Barry Magee, who was out there in his launch Artina with a couple of mates so, after a Mexican stand-off for several minutes, with Jack refusing to be mollified AT ALL, [he apparently had one hell of a lump on the back of his head I was later told], I took the only available option and leapt in the drink and swam over to Barry & the boys on Artina, who were more than a bit surprised when I un-zipped the covers and stepped in wringing wet. Having been supplied with a dry pair of footy shorts and an old footy jersey, I told them what had happened and, then had to spend the next 10 minutes trying to stop them all going over to Moana and giving Jack a hiding. They only stopped when I told them about the .22 semi-auto he had for shooting the mollyhawks that used to pick off our “floaters” when they came off the hooks.

The next morning Jack backed Moana up to us and offered to let bygones be bygones but, knowing his moods when drunk, and that I’d got the better of him, I politely said no – well, maybe not politely.

I picked up my gear from Moana a couple of days later back in Tauranga [with a couple of mates from the Mount footy club for back-up] and got my pay”.

Footnote:  Moana was later moored in Whakatane for a few years and owned by either McKenzie, or Ridley, of the eponymous boiler-making company of Edgecumbe & Kawerau. She also didn’t have the State House on top when I fished on her.

I subsequently came across both Ces Jack and Goldie Hitchings who both said that they were surprised that I had lasted a whole season [well, almost]  with Jack and that, in the fishermen’s drinking sessions in the old St Amand Hotel, Jack had never mentioned the episode – funny that.

(note:  Jack, Stuart & Percy mentioned above are all long deceased)

Paihia Wharf Launch Hire





Moana (middle)

Paihia Wharf Launch Hire

Photo above of the shed on the wharf at Paihia advertising the various boat rides available, most likely taken in the early > mid 1940’s.
The signs lists Korora, Aroha, Moana for hire. I have photos of Korora & Moana – do not have one of Aroha – any woodys able to help out & also confirm the correct boats/photos?
Photo ex A Turnbull Library

Max Carter & His Boats

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Max Carter & His Boats
details & photos from Chris McMullen, edited by Alan Houghton
(remember to click on photos to enlarge)

Max Carter was responsible for building a huge number of boats of all sizes in a relatively short time, refer lists below. Chris believes that Max producing his modified H-28 /29ft was the first serious attempt at building stock keel boats in New Zealand. Back then there were no fibre glass boats, no marinas and no travel-lifts in NZ. The industry was experimenting with epoxy resin & glass cloth.
Max was supported by Consolidated Chemicals (Epiglass), the Colmore William’s Bros & their ceo Trevor Geldard. The P-Class & other small boats listed below in big numbers were kit sets for amateur construction. These boats also used up what would have been waste wood in the yard. The idea was to introduce young people to sailing & ensure a future for the marine industry. It certainly worked, but Max never benefited from his effort.

When Chris was reviewing Max’s files he found  a copy of a 1989 New Zealand Power Boat Magazine, which he  had never seen it before. There is an article on Sandy Sands and Sea Craft.  It talks about how Sea Craft increased their productivity by using methods learned by Sandy Sands while working for Uffa Fox. Chris’s previous  observation about a possible Fox connection was right. Sandy Sands commented in the article “without people you have nothing”.  Max realized the value of his skilled staff and treated them as friends. He stayed in contact with many for almost fifty years. There was a list of his ex employees and their addresses amongst his files.
When you consider the age of these photos the presence of all the health and safety gear – fluro jackets, disposable overalls & hard hats really stands out. Chris commented that there was the odd accident but nothing really serious.

All Max’s boats were built from medium kauri treated and will last forever (well a very long time). He had huge stocks of timber. At the time most boat builders built hull’s & decks & the owners finished them in their back yard. Max did some hull’s but mainly catered for the few that could afford a finished product.
The shed photos above are more reminiscent of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, Bristol, Rhode Island. While Max was way ahead of his time, unfortunately, New Zealand’s economy and small population was such that his operation could not survive. Sadly but wisely he closed the doors, sold the plant and leased the buildings.

To read the eulogy Chris McMullen gave at Max Carter’s funeral, click the blue link below

Chris McMullen’s comments about the photos:

The photo with the 1/2 model is Max with Les Holt. Of significance in the photo is that the model was made by Chris. It was the Pipe Dream design featured in Francis Kinney’s book. The new version of ‘Skenes Elements of Yacht Design’.
The portrait photo of Max shows the MY Du Fresne in the back ground. The yacht on the hard stand is the Rainbow II. Max has written on the back of the photo. “Built in seven weeks after lofting.! “
Another photo shows the kit set boat production. No CNC machinery, just a good man (Lindsey Stone) on the spindle moulder shown in the left of the photo.
Another photo shows Max with his long time friend Laurie Davidson.
The Stewart 28 is the Hop Scotch.
Seems there are huge gaps. Photographers were always at the yard. Chris believes some photos were lost.
Orinda and White Mischief were both Max’s designs maybe 40 years apart.
The brand new Northerner struck Bollen’s Rock while racing through Tiri Channel. Her first race! Max was her skipper for the day. She was raised and repaired like new. Capt Warwick Dunsford, Owner Boyd Hargrave with the binoculars. (more photos & press clippings below)
The H-29 was an H-28 with the sheer raised. It was an attempt to build a small(ready to sail) keel yacht that people could afford. Tom Beaton, Bryan
Williams and Nick Panich in the photo.
The Du Fresne was built for Mr J M Butland and the first H-29 for his son Mr JR. Du Fresne was a Laurent Giles design. The Butland Family were a well known boating people Thetis, Titan, Sirdar, Dufresne DurVille, Inverness and the brigantine Fritha were commissioned by the family.
The Ta Aroa was a 60 foot Sparkman and Stephens design. A beautiful yacht built for Mr Doug Bremner. She had one of the first imported aluminium masts. A single spreader rig.
The Calypso shown being launched with a crane was built for Max’s own use.
The same design shown under construction is the Tamure. This was a Max Carter
design & the second NZ yacht to do a circum navigation of the world. She
was owned by the late Jerry Challet & Mac Nell. boatbuilder, Dave Baxter
was on the crew. From memory (marine engineer) Terry Burling was part owner
or crew.
All the big Carter boats were launched by the A.H.B floating crane. There were no travel-lifts. Note the ships in the background.

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The Sinking, Re-floating & Repair of Northener

Article below from the New Zealand Exporter magazine that tells the story about
the H-29 better.  In the photo of the three builders bending steamed ribs on a H-29 they are from the left – the
late Eric Wing, Chris McMullen and Peter Sowman.

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Check out the 1967 Prices

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09-08-2016 A Tribute To Max Carter – by Nigel Armitage
Below is a link (in blue) to a downloadable file of rather nice tribute to Max Carter by Nigel Armitage. Nigel worked with Max on the replica scow ‘Ted Ashby’ project that he and Max were very involved in together at the Hobson wharf, Maritime Museum. Its an insight into the amazing work Max did.

A tribute to Max Carter





Back in approx. 2003 I nearly bought Moana, the 23′ Max Carter designed & built clinker day boat. The reason I didn’t was from memory the then owners were asking silly money, they had spent a disproportionate amount of money on her relative to her size & were looking to recover that + the purchase price.

Above are a collection of photos from back in the early 2000’s & fyi below is a copy of a survey that the owners had obtained to gain insurance cover. Moana is powered by a 50hp Perkins diesel.

She has been kept in Milford Marina for a very long time & from my casual observations, well cared for. I was recently made aware that she was back on the market, would make a great lake boat.

Photo below as she is today.

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