WAIAPU – Sailing Sunday
photo & details from Merv Stockley ex Don Ross
Now the photo of the keeler pictured above is named on the back of the photo as Waiapu and it shows N9 on the mainsail & came from Don Ross. The photo was discovered by Merv Stockley when he was preparing / sorting out Don’s property in Whitianga. Don has lived there for 64 years.
Can any of the canvas & stick brigade confirm the yacht is Waiapu & possibly supply more details on her?
Harold Kidd Input
For a start, she’s a bona fide 20ft MULLET BOAT, not a keeler. WAIAPU was built in December 1912 to the Mullet Boat Restrictions for 20 footers by Harvey & Lang at Freeman’s Bay for Syd Eslick. Fred and Roy Lidgard bought her around 1920 and won the 20 footer Championship with her. Subsequent owners were F. Newman, J.C. Willcocks, L. French, A.E. Follas, the Douglas brothers, R.H. Wood who sold her to Ashton-Baker of Whangarei in 1937. She was eventually sold to H. Hemphill of Suva in 1940ish.
She had a spell on the Manukau between 1927 and 1929 owned by Leo Bouzaid, the rather famous sail maker.
When the alpha-numeric sail numbers were issued in 1922, she was allocated N9. The N Class was for bona fide mullet boats, 20ft loa and under. The V Class 18 footers of “mullet boat type” were not regarded as genuine mullet boats for a number of good reasons, the principal of which was historical, 18 footers were never used to net mullet, because they were too small to get a viable catch, commercially.
This image must have been taken after 1937 when she was converted from gaff to bermudan.