MYSTERY SPEEDBOAT – Russell, Bay of Islands

MYSTERY SPEEDBOAT – Russell, Bay of Islands

The photos above were sent in by Steve Taylor who spotted the framed photo on the wall in the Duke of Marlborough waterfront hotel in Russell, Bay of Islands. The location is obviously in front of the Duke in Russell.

Steve commented that with those canards on the bow she looked like a c.1930’s racing / record attempt craft. 

Can we shed some light on the craft?

Anyone Know This Woody And Skipper

Jim Brown

Anyone Know This Woody And Skipper

On Monday we ran a great tale on the yacht Imatra and her passage to New Zealand from Barbados back in 1949 – link below to that story.

During the week we have been refreshing the story as more content on the vessel, her crew and the passage have been uncovered. Most of the ’spade work’ was done by Deidre Brown, the daughter of Albert (Jim) Brown who was one of the crew on the delivery voyage. In conversations with Deidre she mentioned that her father in and around the 1960’s owned a yacht and whilst the family had photos, they have no record of the boats name, design / builder etc – so today woodys we are asking if the name Jim Brown and the above photos ring any bells with you. 

The woody that supplies the best intel will receive a WW t-shirt and cap – I’m feeling extra generous today 🙂 

Replies either via the WW Comments section or to

Bel Air


Today we have another mystery launch from the Tauranga City library collection, coming to us via Nathan Herbert.Total blank on the vessel , so very keen to learn anything about her and where she is today.

INPUT FROM KEITH NICHOLSON AND HEATHER REEVE – the photos below show Bel Air back in 2010 – before and after a refurbishment (prior to sale) N&H are previous owners of ML Paea and have advised that the vessel alongside Bel Air in the top photo is not a ML.

22-07-2022 INPUT ex Ray Morey – The unknown boat alongside “Bel Aire” is “Hamutana” built in Hamilton by the electric fence inventor, Bill Gallagher, 90 ft steel with a pair of cummins engines.The cabin and other works came from an HDML (404???) which he took around to Raglan and scrapped for the parts. She later grew a pair of masts and was mother-ship on a trans-Tasman race, sold up to Tonga and wrecked up there shortly after. His first boat built in Hamilton was “Seddon Park”. Twin screw, 1 cummins and 1 5LW Gardner.

Looking to give your woody that old salty game boat look?

A WW reader has alerted me to the teak game poles below – most likely from the 1940>50’s period. Note: photo of boat is an example only – not the actual poles. Drop us an email if you are interested.

Milford Sound – Mystery Boat

Milford Sound – Mystery Boat

The above photo is rather stunning, and comes to us from Lew Redwood’s fb. Its date c.1940’s – and woodys is all we know.Hopefully we can ID what appears to be a commercial boat, given that she is boarding passengers attired for tramping.The poster below were used to promote the area in the 1940’s.

Seeing we didn’t have a winner to the WW t-shirt quiz last week, the most accurate (you’ll need to explain e.g. it could be XXXXXXX that was contracted to the NZ Tourist and Health Resorts Dept etc) answer wins a WW t-shirt – entries via email only to –

Two Ends Of The Ownership Cycle

Two Ends Of The Ownership Cycle

Back in December 2020, B.O.I. woody Dean Wright, sent in a few photos taken when he was mooching around the Te Puna and Kerikeri Inlet area.The top photo is a very salty looking and well cared for yawl rigged yacht, no name. The black cat looks fake – seagull detergent?

The yacht in bottom photo – possibly named – Sinope and shows her home port as Mangonui, has her hand up for some serious TLC. Lets hope her owner used lock-down to bringer back.

Mystery Woody – Lake Okataina

Mystery Woody – Lake Okataina
Today’s woody popped up on Richard Wooders fb. All we know is the location – Lake Okataina, the date – c.1954 and the name of the photographer – John McFayden.

It must have been a very impressive run-about back in the 1950’s. Can anyone ID the boat for us? There was speculation it may have been in charter.

For the overseas WW readers, Lake Okataina is the northern most and largest of 4 small lakes lying between Lake Rotorua and Lake Tarawera in the Bay of Plenty region of NZ’s North Island.

Following on from yesterdays pink elephant in the room CYA story – I have never had so many emails and txts concerning a WW story – 99% supporting the call for a review of the vessel eligibility policy for the new Heritage Basin classic marina (if you missed the story, scroll down).

I would like to clarify something – I am a passionate believer in the CYA and its right of place in the classic boating movement. It just concerns me that as a group we are all equal and there is no inequity around what vessel you own or do not own, at the end of the day, it is all about the boats, not the people.

But, sometimes strong tactics are required to bring attention to issues and believe me the proposed segregation policy isn’t what the broader CYA membership is all about. There was a lot of chat in the WW comments section yesterday – but one comment stood out from the others – the author was Simon Smith, I have reproduced his sage words below.

“Having seen a number of classic boat displays overseas including USA, Australia and England it is the VARIETY of craft being displayed that has been the attraction. Case in point is the Tasmanian Wooden Boat Festival where the range of vessels covers wooden yachts, launches, dinghies, fishing vessels, square riggers, models etc. As an owner of a wooden yacht I am drawn to all types of wooden craft on display ,NOT JUST YACHTS and thus firmly believe that to attract visitors to Auckland’s  proposed display, a range of wooden craft is required and of varying ages thus highlighting the variety and influence of local designers we have produced in NZ.”

I’ll finish on an observation: Of the newly elected 9 CYA members on the executive committee – probably only one (someone might like to correct me if I’m wrong) owns a classic vessel that would ‘qualify’ for a berth in the new Heritage Basin, and guess what? Its a launch, so dam that is a 0/9 score. The first ex committee meeting could be interesting……

Read more

A Woody Quiz – Win a OCH cap

A Woody Quiz 
Name the vessel, location, what’s happening in the photo and if you are really good – the decade the photo was taken.

All correct entries go into the draw to win an Off Center Harbor cap (made in the USA). Competition closes at 8pm 27 July, 2021 – Entry via email only to

Mystery Run-About

The above photo is dated 1965 and that rig (car & boat) would have been very special back then. The location is outside Pomeroy’s Garage in Hamilton, that later became Dominion Motors and then MZ Motor Corporation. Photo and details ex Lew Redwood.

Quite a distinctive car and boat – anyone able to tell us the design of the boat ?

Rakino Island This Weekend? See below – All happening in Woody Bay (open Friday & Saturday as well)

Who Can ID The Yacht On The Rocks

Who Can ID The Yacht On The Rocks & Win A OCH Sailing Cap
The above two photos come to us from the camera of woody Paul Drake and I have Paul’s word that they are ‘never before seen’ photos of the yacht aground off Rangitoto Island in the early 1960’s. Paul was a teenager at the time, staying with a school friend and his parents in their Rangitoto bach. They spent their time messing about in the family’s seagull powered clinker dinghy and came across the ‘wreck’ by chance. They rendered what assistance we could. Paul commented that the crew seemed quite relaxed about their predicament and no doubt she came off with the next tide.
So woodys first correct answer, with the yachts name – emailed to wins an Off Center Harbor sailing cap. Entries close at 8pm 05-03-2021

Varnish Porn

If you need a dose of varnish porn to rid the CV-19 blues, check out the 1924 Fife classic schooner – Adventuress featured in the video below. Thanks to Mark Erskine for pointing WW in the direction of the video ex Yachting World.

Mystery Workboat Conversion

Mystery Workboat Conversion 
According to her tme listing (thanks Ian McDonald) the above woody is – 44’ in length, built of kauri, powered by a 1978 Detroit 150hp diesel and calls Waiheke Island home. And that woodys is all we know.

I’m sure we can uncover more details. The conversion looks very tidy and the wood stove would indicate she has spent time in the our southern waters.

Stunning weather afloat, photo below of Raindance in Garden Cove, Waiheke Island – we sneaked in before the fizz boats and SeaLegs arrived.