Ngarunui – A Peek Down Below

NGARUNUI – A Peek Down Below
Following on from yesterdays story on the start of the Whangarei to Nouema yacht race, we successfully Id’ed the mid 1950’s Jim Young designed and built launch – Ngarunui. And now thanks to the camera of Ken Ricketts back in December 2015 we get to have a look down below.You will also find a lot of backland of the boat at the WW links below, she had a very challenging start to her life afloat.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/08/22/the-building-of-ngarunui/
https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/06/03/mystery-boat-03-06-2015/

23-07-2021 Input from Kerin Owen – The photo below is of one of the two dories built by Jim Young in 1957 as fishing dories to accompany Ngarunui. This one is Nancy Barbara, owned for many years by Len Hayman at Great Barrier Island, now by me. Am not certain what timbers were used but she is still very sound, being 16′,with a planked bottom and lapstrake sides. She will plane, lightly loaded, with an 8hp outboard, and is still fulfilling her original purpose of a very handy fishing dory.


Lady Janet (Poco Lento) Fixed Price Sale – $48,000

The Wooden Boat Bureau has been instructed to sell this amazingly well appointed woody – so if you or anyone you know is looking for a bargain Roy Parris launch, check her out. But be quick, at sub $50k its a great buy. More details below https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/08/07/poco-lento-lady-janet/  Contact waitematawoodys@gmail.com to view

Ngarunui – 1967 Whangarei > Noumea Yacht Race Start

Ngarunui – 1967 Whangarei > Noumea Yacht Race Start
The above launch appeared in a series of photos the Lew Redwood had on his fb, all taken in the days leading up to and including the 1967 Whangarei to Noumea yacht race.The boat looks very familiar to me, but before I make a fool of myself (again) I’ll call for input from the WW readers as to its identity.

As correctly ID’ed by several eagle eyed woodys – the boat is Ngarunui – WW links below for lots of photos and details 🙂
https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/08/22/the-building-of-ngarunui/
https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/06/03/mystery-boat-03-06-2015/

The other day, Bay of Islands woody – Hylton Edmonds draw my attention to the May 2021 issue of the UK magazine Classic Boating and the editors (Stefan Meyric-Hughes) page 5 editorial column. Which I have reproduced below. I’m sure you will all agree with Hylton’s comment to me – “It’s  succinct, brilliant, and a poignant reminder for all wooden boat “nutters“ around the world not least us in NZ who persevere under, at times seemingly,  never ending odds,  to final success and that long dream of re-launch day…

Mahurangi Weekend – Biggest On-The -Water Wooden Boating Event Down Under  – 200+ Classic Wooden Boat Photos

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Mahurangi Weekend – Biggest On-The -Water Wooden Boating Event Down Under  – 200+ Classic Wooden Boat Photos

I think I should start today by apologizing to all the partners and bosses out there – I can see a very slow start to the week, might take a few hours to digest the above photo gallery – a selection of photos from Friday night thru until my trip home on Monday.
The weather for Auckland’s long weekend was just ace – for everyone, launches and yachts, for the whole 4 days.
As always the turnout for the regatta was incredible, I would predict record numbers afloat. The woody launch parade saw 25 launches register and another 17 (approx.) joined in on the day. One of the photos above shows some of the parade launches snaking across the harbour. Well done woodys.
If the attendance count was based solely on the number of dinghies at Scotts Landing for the Saturday night party, again it would have to be a record.
I apologize for the lack of photos from the Saturday night party at Scotts Landing, I was unable to attend, I was banned . Now I can imagine maybe one person on any committee could be a dog hater, but for the ‘Mahurangi Action’ (formerly  known as ‘Friends of Mahurangi’) committee to agree on a total 48hr dog ban ashore is hard to believe. But then I was told by a very public figure in the area – none of them have ever had to buy contraception in their lives – they use they personalities. So my question – Is it actually their ‘role’ to decide on whether boat owners can bring Fideo ashore?.
Maybe Mahurangi Action should stick to their core reason for being i.e. the Mahurangi Harbour.
I can imagine the relationship between the Mahurangi Cruising Club, the promoters of the actual boating regatta – the reason we all attend and Mahurangi Action, who run the shore based activities at Sullivans Bay and the Saturday night party, must at times be interesting. If I was MCC I would be appointing an event manager and running a solo event, including a function that the revenue from, would help fund the club. The weekend has got too big – I and a lot that I have spoken to would buy a ticket to attend – food for thought MCC ……..
Ps There were numerous dogs ashore, I was just one of the unlucky one that were apprehended coming ashore. What a waste of rate payers money to have professional security there + a dog ranger……….
A special thank you to Roger Mills for the aerial (drone) photos of Scotts Landing and the launch parade. Also Graeme Finch for topping up my photos with some of his own – thanks Graeme.
The photo below, while out of focus due to distance and 2 moving boats – sums up woody boating perfectly. The launch is Linda and the gathering of life jackets on the bow is the Brooke clan 🙂
Monday also saw the CYA running a launch race as part of the Auckland anniversary day regatta – coverage of this later in the week.
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WAITANGI DAY WOODY BEACH PICNIC – FEB 6 – Put A Circle In Your Diary, All Woodys Welcome. RSVP Below
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The Building of Ngarunui

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The Building of Ngarunui

I was recently contacted by Frank Young, son of Jim Young, who designed & built Ngarunui in 1954 > 1955 for a Mr. Burrell, a strawberry farmer in Birkdale.
Ian had read the Ngarunui story on ww & wanted to record the facts not guesswork surrounding the vessels early days. The below is based on personal experience and knowledge as Jim Young’s son.
“Ngarunui was originally designed for regular trans-tasman trips with a high economical cruising speed, heavy weather capability, long range, and reliability. Power was to be an 8 cylinder Gardner diesel and she was designed around that with regular crossings to Sydney intended. The smaller auxiliary was not part of the original design or construction as can be seen in the photographs at the time. It was apparently added later with the change in main engine plans.
Construction started in 1955 at the J H Young Boats Ltd Little Shoal Bay boat shed using kauri planking and ribs, and pohutukawa knees.  When the hull had been completed and closed in she was launched without machinery or interior work done. On launching she immediately listed 45 degrees due to no ballast or internal engineering. That caused some trepidation among those attending the launching party. Interior work continued with the boat in a cradle next to the slipway but there were increasing problems with payments. The strawberry crop that year was apparently very poor and the money ran out. The partially finished vessel was then sold by Mr. Burrell to a company he had taken a stake in and the building contract revised. Northern Hygienic Fishing Supplies was to use her as a fishing “Mother ship” towing a number of 16 foot dories from which gill netting or long-lining could be done. Design details were changed and work commenced on installing large ice boxes in the hull and two 16 foot flat bottom punts were built as part of the fishing dory plan, with more to follow. One of those dories became the “Nancy Barbara” owned by the Hayman family at Great Barrier Island for many years. Then the money dried up again and Northern Hygienic Fishing Supplies was liquidated. With no money coming in, Jim Young in serious financial straits as a result, and an uncertain future outcome for Ngarunui in a part finished condition she was left in the cradle by the slipway at the Little Shoal Bay boat shed where the interior work had been continuing. Holes were drilled in her bottom to allow the tide to flow into the hull so it could not potentially be removed or stolen while legal and financial issues took their tedious course. She languished there untouched for about a year.  She was the subject of an arson attempt during that period but perhaps due to the wet interior the fire did not take hold. 

Eventually the Auckland Official Assignee (coincidentally Jim Young’s father)  who was responsible for the liquidation of Northern Hygienic Fishing Supplies sold Ngarunui in as is/where is condition to Messrs Spicer and Pollard. Henderson and Pollard was a well known Auckland timber merchant company and Ngarunui was then completed using their resources. The originally intended Gardner diesel was never installed. At a price then of around  3600 pounds it was far more than the price of the rest of the boat (or even the price of a house) so the much cheaper, and lower power, option of a (single) 175hp GM diesel went in.

Ngarunui finally became a well appointed Auckland launch in 1957 or early 1958 after a somewhat difficult early life. Messrs Spicer and Pollard put Ngarunui to great use and they were active supporters of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. Ngarunui became well known for her role in various high profile activities of the RNZYS, and acted as flagship for many events with the Governor General or other notables aboard.”

2016 photos of Ngarunui can be viewed here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/06/03/mystery-boat-03-06-2015/