Balsona + Classic Launch Parade

Hobsonville Marina based woody – John Wicks sent in the above photo of the Oliver & Gilpin built launch – Balsona that has been undergoing a gradual rolling restoration for some years. John commented that before the Chain(saw) Gang take umbrage, in his eyes the under-construction flying bridge is going to look more fitting than the previous excrescence, when it’s finished. She is a big old woody and we would love to learn more about her.


Each year the Saturday morning classic launch parade at the Mahurangi Regatta gets bigger and better, the format is simple  – we meet off Scotts Landing at 10am and then head off in single file (alpha order) following CYA Launch Captain – Jason Prew’s launch – MY GIRL to Sullivans Bay to do two laps of a pre-laid (buoys) course, that sees us weaving between the anchored boats and the shore line. 

This year again we will have Grant Cossey, a woody friendly shore based commentator that welcomes and backgrounds each boat as they motor past. This broadcast is heard both on-shore and across the bay. 
Now woodys entry to the parade is free, but it would really make things a lot easier and slicker if you helped out by letting Joyce at the CYA know some details on your boat eg Boat Name, Designer, Builder, Year Launch ,Owner (eg John Smith or Smith family) + any special items of interest about the boat (eg totally rebuilt in 1986) Send the above in a simple email to AND DO IT TODAY PLEASE.

If you have any flags or bunting  on-board – hoist them up. AND remember to wave when you go past RAINDANCE, I’ll be taking photos 🙂

Ana Maree



Just before Christmas I was contacted by Mark Skinner the owner of the launch – Ana Maree.
Mark sent in the above photos detailing the refit he did on her. Her home is Pine Harbour. Nice to see she got a top-chop, in my eyes 100% better looking 🙂
I do not know anymore about her but assume she is the same Ana Maree that appeared on WW back in November 2013, WW link below. Making her built in 1965 by Oliver & Gilpin and originally named Joanne.
There was a lot of chat re re provenance in the Comments section 🙂

Woodys Cruising The Bay of Islands – Summer 2019/20 – Part One



Linda – 1927 – Colin Wild


Nautilus – Oliver & Gilpin


Darleen – 1920 – Possibly Bailey & Lowe


Echo – 1935 – Les Coulthard



Thetis – 1955 – Lane Motor Boat Company


Lady Crossley – 1947 – Colin Wild


Lady Ngaio – 1928 – Collings & Bell


Manapouri – 1960 – Parkes


Just got home yesterday from 10 days mooching around Waiheke and while clearing the in-box I spotted an email from Dean Wright, now Dean is a Bay of Islands based professional photographer with a passion for wooden boats. He even owns one  – the 1917, Arethusa.

Now any email from Dean normally contains some stunning photos and yesterdays one was a cracker – too good to run all as one, so I will split them in two.
Today we have featured pleasure launches – the first being one of the smartest classic wooden launches in our fleet – Linda. She has appeared on WW many times so if you want o know more just enter Linda in the WW search box.
I love the photo above because its the personification of our classic wooden boating movement.
Below I have included a photo of the 2018/19 built ‘spirit of tradition’ launch – Grace, and with her beautiful lines, she could only ever be a Salthouse 🙂
I have captioned the Woodys that I have been able to ID. To read more on the boats featured, use the WW search box 😉


Grace – 2019 – Salthouse



Lady Vee (Laura May)

lady vee

LADY VEE (Laura May)

Todays woody is the launch Lady Vee, photo ex Peter Loughlin & taken on Peter Xmas / NY cruise on Lady Margaret (Colin Wild).

LV drew a blank with me, but no doubt she will be well known to some of you, so don’t hold back – what do we know about her?

Input from Brian Worthington – She is ‘Laura May’ ( renamed Lady V ) built by Oliver and Gilpin .
Has had a few modifictions on topsides since it was launched.

Photo below of Lady Vee in Chamberlains Bay ex Jason Prew

lady vee chamberlains bay


Waimarie II




Waimarie II was built by Oliver & Gilpin. The photo above was taken in 1984 & comes from Dean Wright’s recently digitized collection.

Dean commented that she was bought by Gerard Fitzgerald in 1986 and run as a charter boat in the Bay of Islands for two years, then someone bought her changed her name to Kiwi Cruiser and ran her for many years. Sadly Waimarie II hit Tapeka Point (B.O.I.) one night and was a total loss.

Do we know any more about her?


Lady Lynn > Lady Sophia > Tide Song




Lady Lynn > Lady Sophia > Tide Song

The photos above of the game boat Lady Lynn weighing in her catch at Russell are from Dean Wrights collection.

The 48’ Lady Lynn has had several name changes since leaving the Oliver & Gilpin shed c.1970 (b/w launching day photo below ex Brian Worthington). Launched as Lady Lynn, she then became Lady Sophia & today is named Tide Song. You can view & read more about her at this link

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 11.59.08 am

Lady Karen

Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 8.20.31 AM

Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 8.20.46 AM

Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 8.20.18 AM

Lady Karen was built in 1957 by Oliver & Gilpin & measures approx 41′. Power comes from 2 x Ford diesels of 80hp each giving her a cruise speed of 8kts.
Based in the Marlborogh Sounds & in MOSS survey her fit out & condition is very well presented for sale & could provide her purchaser with the ultimate boating / working lifestyle.

Do we know anything more about Lady Karen’s past?

28-03-2017 Some information on ‘Lady Karen’ ex Gordon Low
I am the current owner and have had Lady K for around 20 years. I purchased the boat from a Nelson boat builder and his wife, Dale & Jenny Pomeroy. They had owned the vessel for around 9 years after purchasing her from a Wairapa farmer, Hugh Beatham. He was the second owner.
She was built in Kauri & Mahogany near Tauranga and launched in 1957. I believe that she was the first of the larger launches built by Oliver & Gilpin primarily for game fishing out of Tauranga.
When we purchased Lady K, the idea was to develop a small boutique style charter business in Queen Charlotte Sound. We placed her in survey and have built up a successful business taking small groups of tourists on a stunning Sounds experience. She continues to be maintained to a high standard and received her new MOSS survey in December 2016.
I reluctantly placed Lady K on the market in February and hope that any prospective new owner will get as much pleasure out of her that I have.
I had the great fortune some years ago of being visited by one of the original builders, John Oliver. He had prepared for me a photographic history from Kauri tree to launching. This valuable piece of history takes pride of place in the wheelhouse and offers an insight into the effort that goes into building a classic timber launch.

Tide Song



Tide Song

Built by Oliver & Gilpin c.1970, Tide Song is 48’ long & built with single plank kauri. Powered by the original 2 x 70hp Perkins marine diesels.

Over the last year she has under gone an extensive refurbishment that included – engines, hull, cabin, most of the mechanical bits & all the safety fruit.
Her owner says the refurbishment is 95% complete but due to poor health Tide Song is on the market.
A pretty boat, just a shame about the patio doors 😉  still a good wooden boat builder could correct that.
Thanks to Ian McDonald for the trademe tip off, Ian wondered if Tide Song is her original name & suggested she may possibly be a re-modeled Lady Tana.

So woodys – what do we know about her?

Update – Brian Worthington has advised that Tide Song was in fact Lady Lynn, photo below of Lady Lynn on launching day. He says she was built at the Oliver & Gilpin shed in the Wairoa River & there would have been input from Willy & John Oliver. Ted Gilpin owned her for a while & renamed her Tide Song from being Lady Sophia.


Update 12-10-2020 The photo below of Tide Song (Lady Lyn) steaming in from Cape Brett was sent to me back in 2018 – opps that on slipped between the cracks 🙂

Lady Margaret (Oliver & Gilpin)


photos ex Dean Wright

There have been numerous Lady Margarets featured on ww, it was a popular name & must have been a good luck charm, as most as still afloat.

The above LM is 42′ in length & was built in Tauranga by Oliver & Gilpin c.1958. Harold would say ‘she has the typical O&G flair for dramatic style’.

She spent a lot of her life chasing game fish. The photos above were taken by Dean Wright in the Whangaroa Harbour.

Ana Maree



photo & details ex Ken Ricketts

Built by Oliver & Gilpin in 1965 for Sir William Stephenson for his lakeside property at Lake Rotoiti.

She was built for the Queen to use, whilst she stayed at his property, for the Royal Visit of that time, according to Roy & Shona Markovina, the present owners.

They are unsure as to whether or not the Queen actually went on the boat, but are fairly confident she did so.

As one can see, she is a very classic & original Oliver & Gilpin, with the possible exception of the flying bridge, which may have been added later.

The boat was sold to a gentleman, unknown at this stage, who took her to Auckland, who sold her to a Mr & Mrs Graham & Margaret Radford, who had her for a number of years & kept her at the Sandspit. They eventually sold her to the present owners, who have had her for 21 years & she has been moored at Gulf harbour for all of that time.

She presently has a 6 cyl., 135 HP Ford Diesel, but originally had a Chrysler petrol engine, in her early days on the lake, according to info Ken has been given by Roy & Shona.

She is presently (Nov 2013) on the hardstand at Gulf Harbour in the process of a hull repaint.

Harold Kidd Update

I spoke to my cousin Ted Gilpin about this boat, as so many launches were built in the Oliver & Gilpin style and claim O&G provenance and she’s not on the list he prepared for me some years ago of true O&G launches. Ted does remember building her for Bill Stevenson but doesn’t remember her under that name and doesn’t think the Queen ever went on her.

PS I got a shade worried about Ted’s recall so rang his younger brother Jimmy to find that Ted is actually going into a home today, and has lost a lot of his memory. Jimmy clearly remembers the commission. They had built JOANNE for Bill Stevenson which impressed him greatly. He ordered a smaller version for his Lake Rotoiti property. Ted and Jimmy went to the Lake and measured up Stevenson’s boatshed and Ana Maree (he thought she was called ANNE MARIE) was built to fit it. She was launched in May 1965 with a 220hp V8 Chrysler Crown. Jimmy is sending me up a press cutting of her launching which I’ll post.

B/W Photo added ex Brian Worthington of Ana Maree / Anne Maree / Anna Marie (spelling?)