Mystery Launch (Tainui)

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Mystery Launch (Tainui) 

I was sent the above photos by Graeme Sapwell who is hoping to ID this launch.

They were taken in Auckland in 1989, the vessel is 26’ in length, but the design/builder unknown. She was at the time powered by 60hp Fordson.

The name on the photos is Tainui, but not the original name. Can anyone identify her?

Brick Smit House

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Brick Smit House

The 31’ Cauldrey launch above really is built like a brick smit house. Built in 1972, she has a triple skin kauri glassed hull, the decks & cabin are ply glassed. And to top it off there is a 4cyl 60hp Gardner dsl (Model LK) engine shoe horned in. With 350L fuel tank, she could go a long time between drinks.

She was built by a retired boat builder. Her current owner has had her for 23 years. Anyone know the vessel’s name?

Thanks to Ian McDonald for the trademe listing heads up


Dick Lang Boats – Lady Jane

Lady Jane - Dick Lang


I was recently contacted by Keith Brady whose grandmother, Lettie Lang (Kennerley) was married to Dick Lang.  Keith experienced Dick’s boats as a child during the summer holidays & he is interested in the boats Dick Lang built over time, wanting to get a sense of the scale of his operation and type of boats he built.

I think I know the answer (no) but Keith was wondering whether there is a repository for details of Dicks boats or records of the boats he may have built. He is also interested in any photographs of other boats build by Dick and of his boat shed used to build these great vessels.

Keith sent me two photos, the one above is of Lady Jane which was the vessel he himself experienced time on. Do we know what happened to her?. The other photo, below, is a different vessel, which Keith has not been able to identify. Can any woodys help out?

Unknown copy

16-02-2018 Input from Baden Pascoe

In the yard photos below (ex Glen & Merv Strongman) Baden does not knew the boats name, but it’s obviously a hard chine launch. Baden thinks the date would be in the 1950’s & one of three boats Dick built at Coromandel.

The only work boats that he can think of are Roa 1927 and Giorgina 1939

Baden encourages someone to start a time line – as a start, Baden has supplied the below.

Awhitu 1925? Was on the Manukau most of its life (pictured below)

Tawa, upper harbour passenger launch.

Eunice and Patsy, 1921 ,towing launches ( in Harold & Robins book page 77)

Miss Brett, Fullers and later Salvation Army

Tasman Star, 1935 fishing boat (still existing)



16-02-2018 Input from Bruce Pullman

Bruce received the two photos below from Bob Wichman. One is of Awhitu when on the Manukau, the other is as reconfigured and name change to Inverness in 1993. Inverness is still sitting in the mud at Thames, condition is quite sad.






OOPS – Last Quiz Of The Year


OOPS – last quiz of the year

The above photo was sent to me by a mate, he recalls the incidence was 3>4 years ago. Interesting to note the 4sale sign on the bow rail….. wonder if it happened during a test run ?

So woodys – the 1st one to correctly name the boat & the location, wins a Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade 2018 calendar. Entries via the WW comments section.

I hope Santa finds your chimney on Sunday night & you get to spend time with the people closest & dearest to you 🙂


Mystery Launch 08-12-2017



Mystery Launch 08-12-2017

Today’s mystery launch started life as a Coulthard sedan launch, the photos above show her in the mud at Whangarei a couple years ago. The photos came from Nathan Herbert, who commented that while working on Lucinda a while back he met a man who mentioned his family had a long ownership of this boat.

So woodys – can we name her & dig up some history on her past life?

09-12-2017 – More photos ex Jason Prew (name plate photographed from a distance)




Lake Rotoiti Launch – Rescued & Lost?


Lake Rotoiti Launch – Rescued & Lost?

The above photo was sent to me by Greg Noble & would have been taken around 1973/4. Greg found this launch half submerged, just south of the Okiri Falls side of Rotoiti, Rotorua, miles from any houses.

Greg got her floating and towed her to a pull out on the Maori Land between the two lakes. Initially Greg lots of ideas of restoring her but as often happens, never got round to it. While she was there somebody told Greg that she had broken a speed record on Auckland Harbor, this impressed Greg at the time but he can’t recall any of the details now, nor her name.

Sadly, she was left there and Greg has no idea what became of her. The thinking was that at least she was safe & people could see her and admire her and hopefully she would be saved from eventually going under.

So woodys – the big question Greg would like answered is – did she survive & if so what became of her.

Would be cool to also put a name to her & confirm the racing pedigree.

What prompted Greg to send me the above was the Mystery Launch story on 08-11-2017 (link below), what say those with an eye for lines – similar / same ?




Mystery Launch 03-12-2017

Mstery Launch 03:12

Mystery Launch 03-12-2017

Another Nathan Herbert photo, this launch is presented in a very different configuration from when she held various speed records. The first woody to correctly ID her wins a Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade 2018 Calendar. NOTE: entries ONLY via the WW Comments section.

No ‘Sailing Sunday’ today – but Mondays story will more than make up for that – don’t forget to check it out.

If you don’t win the calendar, copies are available for $15, a steal – click this link for details on ordering.