In todays story we feature the 1960, 35’ Oliver and Gilpin built launch – Kurangi.

WW does not know a lot about her other than she is powered by a 100hp Ford diesel. When she was advertised late last year for sale on tme, her then owner had had Kurangi for 15 years. Thanks Ian McDonald for the listing heads up

So woodys – did she sell ? And can we learn what she has been up to for the last 60 years.

Mystery Opua Big Game Launch – Its Noelani


The above photo recently popped up on Maurice Sharp’s fb and generated some speculation as to the identity of the launch. The photo is dated 1976.

Several suggested Lady Doreen but the LD that I’m aware of didn’t have any forward portholes and the ones on this boat are very distinctive being a combination of oblong and circular. 

Brian Worthington suggested Noelani (Oliver & Gilpin) but nothing like the 2015 photo of Noelani that has appeared before on WW (refer below) unless there has been some major work done to her or maybe there were more than one sharing the name?

Can anyone correctly ID the launch?

UPDATE – Quite a bit of chat in the comments section, it would appear that the launch above is the Oliver & Gilpin designed and built – Noelani (not the one below). Thanks to Greg Philpott for sending in this link that tells the back story of the Oliver & Gilpin boat building dynasty https://sunlive.co.nz/news/10869-days-when-boats-were-wood.html

(The launch above was launched as Lady Rosaland designed by Owen Woolley and built by Oliver and Gilpin – input ex Brian Worthington)


Back in June 2020 we ran a brief story on the Lake Te Anau based launch – Carousel. At the time Peter Kicker advised that she was in charter and running cruises on the lake with “Cruise Te Anau’ (photo below on the lake) We learnt that she is a Oliver and Gilpin design, approx. 44’ in length. Being O&G she was built in Tauranga for a gent named Sid Gamman and was based in Tauranga before heading south.

Todays photos come to us from David Glen and show Carousel hauled out for some TLC, given her location and role, I can almost over-look the ‘block-of-flats’ 🙂

Nereides II


Nereides II would have to one of the biggest woodys built in NZ in terms pf length and volume – the Oliver and Gilpin built launch was launched in 1974 and is 66’ in length, with a 15’ beam. Tripe skinned diagonally laid kauri with some of that ‘fg’ stuff on top.

A one owner boat she has sent most of her life cruising the Kings and outer islands on fishing and dive trips, hence the fuel tanks – 5,455L. Powered by twin GM Detroit 671s rated at 275hp a side.

Being ex survey, and reviewing the tme photos (thanks Ian McDonald) Nereides II is very well spec’ed.

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 admin@classicyacht.org.nz 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?