Jason Prew is currently on a road trip tearing up the highways and backroads of the South Island. I was pleased to see he wasn’t totally engrossed in the world of 4×4, the above photos come to us from the Otago Settlers Museum. Link below
The photos above are of a speed boat named Minx built in 1958 by Les Booth, Les also built the mini-me model in front. This would have caught Jason’s eye – he has a radio controlled model of his very quick classic launch – My Girl. Video of 1st run, prior to finishing below.
The Minx speed boat was originally powered by a Hillman Minx 4 cyl engine, but not long after launch this was replaced with a V8, must have been very quick.
Just back from a near perfect weekend cruising with a great bunch of classic wooden boat enthusiasts, up the Wairoa River to the Clevedon Cruising Club for an overnight shindig.
The weekend had all the right ingredients – great weather, cool boats, nice people + mouth-watering food, that always = a winner. Todays photo gallery comes to us from my cameras and Jason Prew’s new out of the box iPhone 14 Pro (I need one, I’m buying one).
By now regular WW readers will be familiar with the format of the weekend – we meet off the entrance to the Wairoa River and then weave our way up river to the Clevedon Cruising Club. The flotilla berths at the CCC dock, in front of their clubhouse, then we ‘open’ the boats for club member to view. Happy hour tends to start early up the river, and this weekend it was even earlier. Later in the day we retire to the clubrooms for a shared BBQ dinner, and live music.
This year the club organised a number of raffles and a mystery auction – the club and Woodys collectively raised over $3,500 for the new fuel jetty. Well done to everyone involved – I indirectly won a new bilge pump (my cabin boy, bid on a mystery package and one of the included items was the pump – and my bonus – he doesn’t own a boat)
Boats participating in the cruise were – Allergy, Awariki, Lady Clare, Lady Ellen, Merita, Mokoia, My Girl, Ngaio, Ngarimu, Raindance, Smooth Operator, Trinidad, Waikaro.
I’ll let the photos tell the story. Below are two videos which highlight the two extremes of classic wooden craft – Raindance at 7.5 knots and Jason Prew’s – My Girl, doing est. 24 knots 🙂 Thanks to Jason and Ant Smit for the footage.
As always – click on photos to enlarge 😉 ENJOY. Details on more Woodys Classic events below.
Ps that dessert plate wasn’t mine and I’m too nice a person to name the owner…… and equally no story as to why there is a photo of a skipper dipping wet on his duck board 🙂
Woodys Classic Launch Easter River Cruise To Paeroa
The Easter weekend cruise was always going to be a biggie – with most launches having to travel upwards of 10 hours to reach the final destination – the ‘waterfront’ Historical Maritime Museum & Park in Paeroa. Most of the woody fleet gathered Thursday evening in Chamberlain Bay, Ponui Island in anticipation of an early start across the Firth of Thames, to rendezvous with the launches arriving from Thames and to collect our guide / navigator for the trip up the Waihou River. I’d have to say that the straight line trip across the Firth of Thames was 4 hours of my life I’ll never get back 🙂
We meet just off the old Kopu Swing Bridge which was opened specially for us to pass thru – and the welcome / turn out on the old bridge was outstanding. Must have been a quiet day in Thames, maybe it was that it was Good Friday and most things (pubs etc) were closed 😉
We shot thru the gap and 10 minutes later our lead boat, with navigator on board, found a mud bank and were ‘stationary’ for over an hour. Once moving again the remainder of the 4+ hour journey was fun to travel together in close proximity, but the scenery got very repetitive and at 5 knots max – the going was slow. The skippers were kept awake by lots of locals who had gathered at wharfs and in paddocks to wave as we went past. The dodging of the occasional ‘grassberg’ (floating mid-stream) also kept skippers on their toes.
The final short leg from the main river to the Museum dock again saw the lead boat aground and a wait for more tide.
We sneaked in just before dusk, a very long 10 hour day.
Jason Prew and Peter Vandersloot oversaw the shoehorning of the 10 woodys into the docking area. Then it was ashore to stretch the legs and a BBQ dinner/ catch up. The Museum had set up an impressive and most appreciated dining / BBQ area for the crews to enjoy. Post dinner most returned to the boats for an early night.
Observation- it’s bloody cold up a creek in the middle of the Waikato, thank god for hot water bottles.
Saturday was another cracker autumn day. The crews enjoyed a trip on the classic launch – Ariana (skippered by Peter Vandersloot) to the Paeroa township for morning tea at the local RSA – hot scones and pastries – always a winner. To balance out the catering, the river trip was split in two – with 1/2 the crew travelling by bus and boating back and same same in reverse for the other 1/2.
The day saw a great turn-out of locals visiting the Museum and walking the docks. I would encourage you to search the following words Kopu Bridge / Waihou River / Maritime Museum & Park on Facebook – the weekend was covered by so many people – lots more photos and videos to see.
Special mention must be made to Peter Vandersloot who masterminded the weekend and was on hand to provide so many insights into the heritage of the area, vessels and personalities. The Museum’s Chairperson Colin James and partner Gloria (a trustee) who were everywhere when needed and helped the weekend run smoothly.
Lastly none of this would have happened without woodys Jason Prew from The Slipway Milford, and Kerry Lilley for pulling everything together – well done guys.
The return trip back down the river had its challenges, very complicated tide table – but to the best of my knowledge no one is still there 🙂
The Museum and their boat trips are a must do if you are passing thru or around Paeroa. And big ups to the local council and business association – Paeroa is a healthy, well presented town, and a credit to everyone living there.
Over the next week I’ll do additional WW stories on the Museum, the river trip to Paeroa on board Ariana and a few of the launches that made the trip.
(Woodys who attended – My Girl, Raindance, Awariki, Lucille, Summer Wine, Ngarimu, Lucinda, Maroro, Cindy Jane, Kaikoura, and guest appearance by Ariana – refer photos below)
(Photo credits to – Jason Prew, Linus Fleming, Andre Thomas, Andrew & Mechaela Dobbs and yours truly)
Saturdays weather forecast was a wee bit gnarly but with the promise of an improvement later in the day – Harbour bridge > Kauri Point – unpleasant. Kauri Point > Herald Island – average. Upper Harbour > Hotel Good.
The time ashore was perfect, great location, service and the food very good. Return trip ok, except for between the Hobsonville and Te Atatu area – SW wind was whistling thru from the Waitakere Ranges.
We had 10 woodys turn out, 4 of them being newbies to the creek – Awarua, Manu, Margaret Anne and Waione – nice boats, nice people 🙂
Given I have had a very light summer boating wise, we decided to head out on Friday afternoon to Rakino for the night and partake in Auckland’s best wood fired pizzas at Woody Bay.
Again everything lined up – food, good wine and another spectacular sunset. Had a late evening visit from Jason Prew on My Girl, the wife “what’s that noise”. Then we were ‘entertained’ by a plonker and his partner on a Formula 4000, singing karaoke 1/2 the night ……….. they seriously thought they were good, they weren’t 😦
Saturday we headed over to the Weti River at mid day for the Woodys Picnic at the Stillwater Motor Camp. So lucky to get access, with the wharf it just makes the ideal venue for a catch up. Covid made a few gun shy but we had 11 woodys attending and a further 3 owners arrived via car – all in all a great afternoon. Lots of new (restored) woodys and new to the movement owners. The woody launch scene is getting more and more popular.
Post the picnic I pointed Raindance to a new (to me) anchorage and we enjoyed another wow sunset.
NEXT WOODY EVENT IS SATURDAY 26 MARCH – UPPER HARBOUR LUNCH CRUISE TO THE RIVERHEAD TAVERN – More details closer
The answer to yesterdays – name the yacht quiz was ‘Frances – A11’, the 1905, Arch Logan classic from the Class Yacht Charitable Trust stable. Photo below. And no one picked the right answer. So the WW t-shirt, gets to be put up again.
Auckland Anniversary Day Classic Regatta – Launch Drag Race
Monday saw 10 classic launches brave the inner harbour conditions to contest the annual round the bouys, jandal to the floor romp, to see who has the most slippery haul or deepest pockets (big engine and fuel). There is a handicap system but let’s not kid ourselves – its first across the line that gets the glory. This year Kaikoura claimed the honours. Photos from Nick Davidson onboard his woody – Juanita, parked off the harbour port rounding mark close to Orakei Wharf. LINE: 1. Kaikoura 2. Fleetwing 3. My Girl HANDICAP: Fleetwing > Kaikoura > Paika > My Girl > Cindy Jane > Callisto > Waikaro > Kumi > Laughing Lady > Shearwater (Full details below)
Some people take this race very seriously, earlier in the week I witnessed Fleetwing’s keel getting the Jenny Craig treatment (LARGE sections removed) and a new prop added 🙂
Video Footage of the 2022 Mahurangi Regatta A Division Yacht Start
1. What is sail #3445 doing in that stunning line up of classics. Two points (a) its not a classic (b) it pollutes the image
2. Who was calling starting tactics on sail #A11 (Ida) No room at the inn for them. Maybe they also thought 3445 shouldn’t be there and could squeeze them out 🙂
MAHURANGI REGATTA 2019 – The biggest & best classic wooden boat regatta in NZ – 90+ photos
SATURDAY – REGATTA DAY
SATURDAY NIGHT AT SCOTTS LANDING
MAHURANGI REGATTA 2019 – The biggest & best classic wooden boat regatta in NZ – 90+ photos
WoW what a woody weekend – simply stunning on all fronts – sun > wind > location > people & of course the boats. On my estimate, the biggest turnout of classic wooden craft ever. Record numbers for Saturday mornings launch parade.
I’ll go out on a limb & repeat a comment made to me on the deck of Lidgard House, Kawau Island on Sunday night by one of our most prominent & influential classic wooden boat people – “Mahurangi is the real Auckland Anniversary Weekend Regatta” & after cruising back into Auckland today, & not seeing a lot of yachts, I would have to agree.
On Saturday between Jason Prew on My Girl & myself with Raindance we hosted three of the wooden boating world’s superstars – if you read or follow the WoodenBoat magazine, Classic Boat & the hottest property on the block – the vblog, https://www.offcenterharbor.com
then the names Maynard Bray, Benjamin Mendlowitz & Steve Stone will be very familiar to you. These gents were motored around the harbour & very selectively photographed / filmed our beautiful woodys. When I mentioned that I had cancelled my trip to next months Hobart Wooden Boat Festival, one commented “why would you go – it’s all here” & woodys – it was.
I have never attempted to understand the ‘politics’ / issues between the Mahurangi Cruising Club & The Friends of Mahurangi people – but between them they turn on a wonderful day, that equals anything on the world classic wooden boat calendar. As with anything, a few wee niggles e.g. crap PA sound system at the beach prize giving meant most people didn’t know the results – but I can tell you that Tony Blake & the crew on Thelma gave all the other A division skippers as master class in regatta sailing. It was wonderful to see the big 5 Arch Logan yachts – Thelma (1897), Rainbow (1898), Ariki (1904), Rawhiti (1905) & Rawene (1908) all on the same race track together, for the first time ever (I think I’m right – Harold?) The results were:
Thelma, followed by Rawhiti, followed by Ariki, then Rainbow & Rawene.
As a result of playing driver for the overseas crew – I’m a little light on sailing photos, but you can see from the gallery above that it was a special day.
Well done MCC and F. of M. for another magic weekend.
If anyone else had the camera out & captured some goodies, email them to email@example.com
We bailed out of Mahurangi on Sunday morning & headed to Kawau Island for some family R&R – photos below.
Question – what do you do when there is no shotgun to signal sunset & the lowering of the burgee? – well a few lads decided to bang some pots together, then drop the flags at Lidgard House – me thinks there might be a letter in the mail to certain members 🙂
A WEE BIT OF PR GOING ON HERE – WW T’s & OFF CENTER HARBOUR CAPS 🙂
THERE ALWAYS HAS TO BE A FOOD SHOT – KAWAU BOATING LUB, DINNER SUNDAY NIGHT.
Check out the video below of Rawhiti – sent in from Benjamin Mendlowitz from Off Center Harbour
In the last few days I received several messages about the 34’ Woollacott yacht – Korowai, that had popped up on tme with an asking price of $1,000. One of the woodys that contacted me was Alistair Rowe, who commented that he remember Korowai being at Shelly Park Cruising Club in the mid 1970s owned by Eric Roberts. In those days she was powered by a Ford 10 petrol engine and had no reverse gear, so was a bit of a beast to maneuver in tight places. Quite a few years after Eric’s death, and her sale to new owners, Alistair saw her on the hard at Okahu Bay being given a major birthday.
In the tme listing it stated she had great bones for a restoration – well that she does. She was being sold as-is-where-is as she had had a few problems eg a leak in the hull that a bilge pump with a float switch was keeping up with. But she had, had a bilge pump malfunction and there has been water inside. The water level went part way up the motor, touching the motor, however the dipstick hole on the motor remained well above water level. It was stated that the engine was in not running condition. But the sails were described as ‘good sails’. Korowai appears to be a really solid kiwi built yacht and a perfect opportunity for the keen handy person to restore her back to her prime at the right price. The seller was very clear about the sale process eg.
(1) The yacht needs to be out of the marina berth ASAP
(2) The successful purchaser will not be the first person to offer the money but the best and quickest plan for the removal of the yacht from the marina berth
(3) All enquiries must explain how they will remove the yacht and when- if the answer is unsatisfactory then no further time will be spent on the enquire – no time wasters.
Well woodys – must have been a record listing time for a classic yacht – sold to a great new owner and removed from her West Harbour berth and relocated to her new home, last night. Tow boat was Jason Prew’s My Girl – but he assures me he is not the new owner – 2 classic launches and mullet boat yacht is more than enough 🙂
In my travels yesterday I acquired a very dinky 2-1/4″caulking iron – light clean up and it joins the WW global HQ, desktop paperweight collection.