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

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

Kiaora – Opua, B.O.I.

Opua, Bay of Islands – Kaiora

Todays woody might not be a woody, there has been speculation it could be a swimming pool i.e. built from ferro cement , but if you enlarge the photo there appears to be planking visible. I’m sure a northern woody came advise on this. There is an ‘interesting’ mix of styles on show, might be the camera angle but the pilot house appears a tad out of proportion (in my humble opinion)

The photo was taken by Jimmy Ginger and comes to us via Lew Redwood. Its dated June 2022, so recent, sadly looking very neglected.

Can we ID the boat and dig out any more on her history?

01-09-2022 INPUT ex Cameron Pollard – Cameron advised that the vessel is named Kiaora or Kia Ora – which then jogged my brain – WW did a story on her back in Nov 2016, link below – sadly in the last 6 years she has gone backwards. Quite a salty looking woody back then. In the WW article Harold Kidd commented that she had sunk and been salvaged 3 times in her life, so a very lucky boat. Cameron Pollard supplied the b/w photos below from one of the sinkings.

Opua Marina / Hardstand Mooching

Sea Mate

Woody Dean Wright snapped the above selection of woodys that he spotted at Opua at the weekend.I have supplied links to previous WW stories below. I know I’m a broken record, but Luana …………. 🙂

Ngapuhi Ex pilot boat, more on this one later in the week


Typee.   No details known

Sea Mate (Birdsail 52 on the marina) – No details known 

Dean didn’t catch the name of the ‘long’ keeled yacht in the last photo above – any one able to supply details?

Input from Neil Chalmers – Could be ‘Restless’  – Lou Tercel  / John Alden   April 1920.

Input from Simon Smith – The long keeled yacht is indeed the Tercel yacht Restless. 100 years old and owned by Russell resident Tim Beattie who being a master painter has her in beautiful condition. Always sails in the Tall Ships Race but with her ocean cruising rig needs a strong breeze to show her mettle.

Opua Mystery Launch

Bay of Island woody, Dean Wright, sent in the above photos of a launch he spotted on a mooring at Opua. At the time Dean I was idling around waiting to go up on the travel lift.No name, but I’m sure someone will be able to tell us more about the boat.

Putting aside the obvious neglect – there is a nice woody hiding there, crying out for a serious dose of TLC.

Woody on tour at Opua, BOI



Donna Maree

Woody On Tour at Opua, Bay of Islands 

Woody Ian McDonald was recently in the winterless north & popped down to the boatyard at Opua, in the Bay of Islands & snapped the 3 woodys above.
The first photo is Christina, a big heavy woody – obviously a workboat in her previous life, & set up for game /tuna/charter.
Then we have the very pretty Leilani, out for a spruce up. WW link here
Last up is Donna Maree, featured on WW as Donna “Marie” with a Dean Wright photo & an article entitled “Some days are just made for a wheelhouse” (link below). She has a very beautiful hull.

Happy New Year



Happy New Year
Hopefully a lot of you will be anchored somewhere nice & your head will not be too sore after seeing in the New Year.
I’m still land based but hoping to get away on Raindance tomorrow – long overdue ……………. but family commitments was the trump card this year 🙂

Today’s story features two what appear to be identical woodys hauled out at Opua. Their sterns both list their home port as California – Resolute showing Long Beach & Puf Fin showing Newport Beach. Baden Pascoe sent in the photos & commented that he believes one belongs to the owner of the yard.

Any of the woodys able to supply more info on the two yachts ? Baden thinks they have a New England /Maine style to them.

Around the Yards – Opua



Around the Yards – Ashby Boat Yard, Opua

Dean Wright has just had his classic Arethusa hauled out at Ashby’s, thats her in the first photo above – she is one of those vessel’s that look fast even when stationary, very pretty lines. You can read all about her provenance here

Dean is a pro photographer & snapped a few other woodys at/off the yard. There is Waitete from Russell, see/read more here  & the ‘spirit of tradition’ classic boat hauled out is Southern Star, owned by ex Fosters darling 🙂 Craig Pippen. These days both the boat & Craig reside at Opua. Craig can be found at Cater Marine Opua – check out their website – lots of classic friendly bits & pieces there 😉

The moored boat is Waimana & normally kept in Opito Bay.

Looking for an on-the-water buzz this summer?
Have a go rowing a St.Ayles skiff @ St Heliers beach, most Saturdays this summer. Check out the flyer below or visit



New Golden Hind

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New Golden Hind
photos ex Gavin Bedggood & Roger Welch

Yesterdays story on ww featured a great photo of several motorboats & yachts on the beach in front of the Deemings Yard in Opua, Bay of Islands. The photo came from the Coralie Hilton collection, Coralie’s maiden name was Deeming (her father) & her mother was a Bedggood, so that’s how Gavin came by these photos.
In yesterdays story the ‘main actor’ was the 93′ ketch ‘New Golden Hind’, today I have posted more photos from Coralie’s collection, these ones show her build & post launch.
The New Golden Hind was a Chas. Bailey Jr. design & built Deemings for a Mr. Jenkins.

Below is a link to a great blog read about a Pacific cruise aboard the New Golden Hind. The story is by Roger Welch & documents his father, Henry Thomas Welch, on a 1940’s cruise aboard the New Golden Hind to the Pacific Islands . Some of the photos above relate to this story. They are more photos at the link below  “My Dad, Henry Thomas Welch, was raised in the little country town of Te Awamutu in the Waikato area, the mid North Island of New Zealand. He was an only child, and grew up during the Great Depression. His Dad, Thomas Henry Welch, was by all accounts a hard-working man, with a strong Christian sense of duty to his wife and family. In those days everyone had to work, so it was the case that Dad virtually grew up working in the family butcher shop. I have a framed black and white photograph in my boardroom of Dad on horseback in the 1920s outside the butcher shop. Despite gaining his University Entrance exam (UE) at Hamilton Tech, he was unable to afford to go to University in Auckland. By 1940, at the age of 26,  I suppose that he was frustrated with a small town existence and wanderlust took over. Dad got away to crew on a 90 ft yacht that was sailing to the then remote Pacific Islands, a young man’s dream. As far as I can determine he had no previous sailing experience.  From a short note signed by Mr. Jenkins (the owner of the boat) I  gather Dad signed aboard as a paying crew.  Very much on “a wing and a prayer” as there was precious little money in the family kitty in 1940.

I recount the story of Dad’s trials and tribulations aboard the ketch he called “Golden Hind”, named obviously for the famous ship that carried Sir Francis Drake on his epic voyage around the world. According to a newspaper clipping (“Auckland Star”) at the time the ship was actually named the “New Golden Hind”, and owned by Mr. H. R. Jenkins. The ship was a 94 ft schooner, although subsequently dimensions are given as 93 ft overall, with a 22 ft beam, and 10 ft draft. The ship in the previous year had made a similar trip, which constituted her maiden voyage. According to the “Star”, “She behaved well in all weather encountered, and the engine which was used much of the time as the winds were light, never gave any trouble.” In addition to Mr. Jenkins, and the crew, the party aboard includes Miss Culford Bell, and Mrs. Harrison, of Auckland, Mr. W. E. Mitchell of Nelson, and Mr. Welch, of Te Awamutu.  Dad paid a princely sum of five pounds a week for the trip, as working crew, and in this regard, please see letter in the gallery from Mr. Jenkins”


‘New Golden Hind, Chas. Bailey Jr. Deemings, 1939, Okiato (Opua)’

Nathan, well done.  I email you re which framed print you want from Robert Brooke’s boat – Beautiful Boats.

23-06-2016 update from Harold Kidd – photo below of Chas Bailey Jr. wishing Jenkins well on the departure of the yacht on its Pacific voyage.


Mystery Launch at Opua

Selwyn Deeming  3

Mystery Launch at Opua
photo ex Deeming family collection via Gavin Bedggood

The above photo was taken at the Deemings yard at Opua. We are not sure of the year or the ID of any of the boats. Any woods able to help out?

And a wee bonus – click the link below to view the latest (May>June 2016) issue of the USA on-line Classic Yacht magazine, lots of woody photos & stories in this issue 😉

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04-06-2016 Photos of Arline ex B Worthington via Ken Ricketts