The Sad Demise of Norwest
Back in early 2013 Zach Matich sent me the top photo of Norwest. Zach also supplied the details below.
This last weekend Jason Prew was mooching over on the West Coast and snapped the photos showings the final resting place of Norwest on the Kaipara Harbour.
“The Norwest was built in Whakapirau in 1909 by Arthur Forester. She was named the Kuaka, the Maori name for Curlew, and had “Kuaka” written on her port side and “Curlew” on her starboard side. She was built for a Mr Adams who had a pear orchard just down the harbour from Whakapirau on what is now the Cullen farm. She was designed so that Mr Adams crippled daughter could wheel her wheelchair around the deck, and was used for transporting fruit to Helensville for the markets. She was powered by a Union Standard single cylinder ‘Make and Brake’ motor and had a swinging cradle for 6 wet cell batteries. This motor is now in the private collection of Darcy Sterling at Maungataroto.
After lying idle for some years the Kuaka was sold to Mr Cliff of Paparoa in 1919. Mr Cliff took her to Pahi and re-corked and painted her and added a new piece to the stern post which was suffering from dry rot. he used her for taking picnic parties down the harbour and moored her when not in use up the Paparoa Creek behind what is now the Paparoa Pub. There was a huge flood in Paparoa in 1923 and the Kuaka was picked up by the flood, carried over the bridge and placed in a paddock on the other side with no damage to her at all. When Mr Cliff passed away in 1924 his sons sold her to a Dr Marshall, from, I believe up Port Albert way who in turn sold her to Mr West who owned West’s Timber Mill in Helensville. It was at this time that she was renamed the ‘Norwest’ after Nora West, Mr Wests wife. She was used for about the next 20 years up until 1945 towing logs all over the Kaipara Harbour, and then in about 1945 Harold Stanaway bought her, followed by Dink Jolly, and then Everard Judd bought her for $250.00 for towing barges. By this time she was in a terrible state so he employed Rodney Morgan, a boat builder to more or less rebuild the hull and cabin.
Everard Judd sold her to Murray Prictor of Port Albert in the late 60’s who is turn sold her soon after to somebody on the East Coast and the history is pretty vague after leaving the West Coast. We do know that some time was spent up the Clevedon Creek and we also know that she has been used as a fishing boat on that coast.
She was brought back to the Kaipara by Stafford and Rosemary Hill.
Unsure who currently owns her.”
Update 11-07-2019. photos below taken in 2015 by Dave Stanaway
Nor’West is one of 2 identical boats built by Lane’s at Panmure circa 1948-50, Nor’West & Sou’East, given the year of their design, they had a very futuristic, low, sleek, appearance.
Both were used extensively for game fishing for many years. You can read more here in the comments section https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/04/27/nor-west/
I was sent the above photos dated 2007/2008 by Frank Stoks who crewed on her back them.
The photos below are from Brian Worthington.
Input from owner Daryl Brighouse – edited by AH
“I own Nor’West, when I bought her in Picton she was a little sad with very tired Ford diesels (two of the 1,000 units imported by Lees Marine ex Germany – and apparently the very first of the overhead cam diesels – now with no parts available world wide so magnificent anchor projects) I have recently replaced the engines with Nissans and at the same time replaced the vee drives that were well past use by date with decent American units. The rest of the vessel is absolutely solid and as good as the day she was built. Based in Havelock now she is still a very pretty and well founded much treasured vessel.
The external fibreglassing on the cabin and some parts of the internal fine paint job had unfortunately covered up patches of dry rot / black water disintegration … in the extended coamings – looks as if, while the original coaming materials were kauri and in perfect condition, oregon or similar had been used to do the extension and end grain water ingress did the damage on the very course grain timber. The silastic put into the hull instead of putty no doubt looked good when first completed however turned into a disaster after a season with all planks and joins showing badly and the silastic peeling out while under way. With putty replacing the silastic and professionally painted she is starting to look as she should. However I am really pleased to say that the heavy work is now done and only the cosmetic touch ups on the coamings and interior are left for me to play with this season / winter – which I do get a great deal of pleasure out of pottering around with, she is a fabulous vessel, handles magnificently and very comfortable. I remembered her as a child sailing in the Bay of Islands watching her thunder past with her nose in the air and stern well tucked down.
Any details from past owners would be well received.
Norwest (Kaipara vessel) owned by Everard Judd
Photo ex Zach Matich