Mystery Lake Boat and Location + Quick Poll

Mystery Lake Boat & Location

WW was sent the above photo by Shelley Campbell, who uncovered the photo amongst some old slides that belonged to her grandparents. Shelly resides in Australia and commented that she had family in NZ and took cruises from Australia to visit them in the 1960’s and 1970’s. 

Unfortunately none of the slides are labelled so Shelley has been trying to figure out where the photos are taken using Google image search, the WW site came up in one of those searches for the above photo. 

So woodys the question today is – can we ID the location and launch – Shelley was thinking possibly Lake Taupo or Lake Wanaka. 

Mystery Launch + Woodys Stillwater Picnic New Date

Jack Brooke Mystery Launch

Todays woody is only a mystery because the seller didn’t disclose the vessels name 😦

What we know is she is 36’ in length, with a 10’ beam. Built in kauri utilising carvel construction and launched in 1962.

Powered by twin Ford 65hp Diesel engines, cruises comfortably at 8>9 knots.

Anyone able to tell us more about the boat – name, builder, history etc 🙂


Mystery Whangaroa Launch 1930’s

Mystery Whangaroa Launch 1930’s

Todays woody is a big ask to identify – the caption is captioned ‘1930’s Whangaroa’ but the vessel is unnamed.Its mooching around a large school of Kahawai so no doubt is trolling a lure.

The photo comes to us from the British Museum via Lew Redwood fb and the photographer is probably J.M. Booth.

Are we able to put a name to the launch?




Todays woody is what appears to be a very smart sub 30’ double-ender launch, seen in the above photo anchored in Napier’s Inner Harbour. 

The photo comes to us from a late 2022 Maurice Sharp fb post.

Would love to put a name to the launch and an approximate date to the photo.

Tall Ships At The 2023 Australian Wooden Boat Festival Short video to given you a quick overview of the Tall Ship eye candy at the festival – all earning their keep doing inner harbour cruises. Enjoy 🙂

Tall Ships @ AWBF 2023

Mystery 40’ Bridge Decker

Mystery 40’ Bridge Decker

Todays 40’ woody if you believe her tme listing (thanks Ian McDonald) was built / launched in 1928 by Miller and Tulloch.

Forward motion is from a 120hp Ford diesel. Home port is Tauranga. And that woodys is all we know about her.

I did have a note I had written with the name – Aoroa on it, but I can’t remember if that is the vessels name or not.

Anyone able to ID the boat and tell us more?

INPUT ex WILLIAM BROWN – Check out an earlier WW posting

Someone please buy her and restore her to her former glory!

Mystery Two Masted Launch

Mystery Two Masted Launch

Recently Brian Peet shared with us a selection of old boating images that came from a family album. The photo above does look vaguely familiar but I can’t recall a name, so if it has appeared on WW before it must be a while ago.

Very unusual looking cabin / dog house + the twin masts make her very distinctive, so hopefully we can ID the vessel and learn more about her.

Weather gods permitting I’m off to Lake Rotoiti (Nth Is.) tomorrow for the annual Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade, always a great day afloat. If you are around the central north island over the long weekend and looking for something to do, check out the parade. The best shore based viewing is from the public picnic area 200 metres south of the Okere Store, starting at 11am. There will be an MC announcing the boats as they pass. More details on the parade here:

Mystery Launch + Competition

Mystery Launch + Competition (Posiedon > Bontia)

Yesterday I was contacted by Brian Peet regarding the above photo. I’ll let Brian tell the story-

“My late father’s cousin Graham Hamblin gave me a photo of a launch owned by another long departed family member, Percy Hewitt. We don’t have a name or any other details for the boat, but to my untrained eye, it looks under 30ft long, 1950s with possibly American influences. The bow looks most unusual and not a styling that got picked up by NZ designers to any extent. Percy lived at Bucklands Beach and apparently raced the launch a few times in the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta”. 

INPUT EX KEN RICKETTS – well that was easier than expected, KR advised the boat was named Posiedon, later changed to Bonita – details here in her 2013 WW story

 So woodys has anyone ever seen this launch before? Might be hard to confirm the accuracy of suggestions, so how does this sound – the most believable / entertaining suggestion will get a WW t-shirt and Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat calendar. Suggestions in the WW comments section please. Closes off midnight 21/01/23.

Waitangi Hotel – Mystery Launch – Quiz

Waitangi Hotel – Mystery Launch – Quiz

Todays photo comes to us via Lew Redwood’s fb and the quiz is – name the launch in the middle of bay, out from the Hotel Waitangi.

All answers to closes 6pm today (23-12-2022) All correct answer go into the draw – PRIZE is a 2023 Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Calendar.

Seaway At Waikawa Marina

Seaway At Waikawa Marina

Todays woody comes to us from the camera of Dean Wright, taken on his recent southern jaunt.

Can we learn more about Seaway?


The nice folks at Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat have produced another impressive calendar, limited print run so order today. See link below to order a copy – $15 or three for $40

Mystery Lake Okataina Launch – Can We Now Confirm Her ID

Mystery Lake Okataina Launch – Can We Now Confirm Her ID

Back in February 2022 we ran a story, link below, on an unknown launch (2nd photo above) at an unknown location. At the time the location was ID’ed as Lake Okataina, Rotorua. The was a couple of potential ID’d on the launch from the two of the WW wise men 🙂

Harold Kidd suggested it may have been the bridgedecker – Merlin, owned by Beamish-White, that later went to Kawhia

Paul Drake was keen on her being the launch – Karina, that was in commercial service at Taupo in the 1960’s, owned by Jim Story.

Today thanks to Greg Philpott uncovering the top photo from the Archive NZ collection – taken by JG Duncan, we get a much better view of the launch, which was tagged 1951, Lake Okataina – so hopefully we can confirm her name and builder etc

Link to previous WW story