Mark Erskine was prompted when reading the recent WW article on the 1957 Owen Woolley launch to dig out the above photos of the 1967/68 Owen Woolley, twin 140hp TS3 powered launch – Promethius.
Todays photos were sent to Mark  by the then new owner, Terry Poole in November 2018. Terry had just purchased the launch – that had been moored in Wellington for years and had the launch transported by road to Auckland. The launch had been neglected and remained unused for many years before selling to Terry, and both TS3 engines – that would have been fitted from new – had done low hours. In the 3,500hrs range each from memory.


Both engines have rare, locally made, cast alloy marine conversions, including water cooled exhaust manifolds, coolant water reservoir that bolts to the engine thermostat housing, incorporating a mounting for Lees type heat exchanger, separate oil coolers, etc. Mark commented that he had seen this marine conversion on a previous single TS3 engine launch and although that conversion was badly corroded by decades of mindless neglect, the conversions appeared well designed and made. Mark doesn’t know who designed them or where in NZ they were cast, but possibly a long gone foundry in Otahuhu.

Mark has not seen Promethius in person and like us would be keen for an update on the status of the vessel. She does looks very similar to the Wellington based 1968 Owen Woolley launch – Acheron (also twin 140HP TS3 powered), but without Acheron’s  6 foot extension to the stern.

So Woodys – does anyone know where Promethius is (Gulf Harbour?) and intel on her?


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Launch With No Name .  Aries
Todays 45’ launch was built in 1957 by Owen Woolley. She is built from twin planked kauri and powered by 120hp Ford diesel engines that push her along at 8>10 knots.
She is big old girl – with a 14’ beam.
The photos probably do not do the boat justice, on face value – she appears to be very well appointed.
Thanks to Ian MacDonald for the tme heads up.
Can anyone put a name to the boat – she calls Gulf Harbour name.

Owen Woolley 45’ Launch – Aries

Owen Woolley 45’ Launch – Aries
This Owen Woolley is currently on trademe but given the lack of photos of the exterior, you would have to wonder how serious the broker is in selling her 🙂
What we know is that she was built in 1957, is 45’ in length, with a beam of 14’ and draws 3’3”. The propulsion comes from twin Ford 120hp diesels, pushing her along at 8>10 knots.
Her 14’ beam makes her a very roomy old girl, so with some TLC you could have a very liveable woody to enjoy. But as always – best to get a survey. Broker comments she would make an excellent live aboard, which she would.
So woodys who can put  name to her? Thanks to Mark McLaughlin we now know she is called Aries
Input from Harold Kidd – ARIES was built by Owen Woolley in 1957 for E.C. Carter and was originally fitted with twin Commer diesels of 105hp. By 1959 she was owned by W.A. (Max) Burnett of Arney Road, and by 1964 had twin 100hp 6 cylinder Chrysler Crowns of 1943 vintage.


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Beverlene was built in 1968 by Owen Wolley & measures 39’, has a 11’9” beam & draws 3’3”,  & has a kauri planked hull.

Zoom zoom is from a 120*hp Commer diesel engine that sees her cruising at a comfortable 8 knots.

* trademe listing (thanx Ian McDonald) also states 140hp

Home is Tauranga so she is off the WW radar – can anyone tell us more about here?


Looking for a Woody + Stop Auckland Council Stealing More of OUR Harbour

Looking For A Woody?

Two classic woodys have recently come on the market – one best described as a ‘rolling restoration’ & the other a ‘turn-key’ craft. The asking prices reflect their for presentation.

Lady Noeleen is a 32’, 1952 Dick Lang built bridge decker that now sports a small-is flying bridge. I nice boat for someone looking for a not to hard project. If I bought her I’d be borrowing Jason Prew’s tungsten tipped chainsaw & removing you know what 😉

You can view more on her at this WW link.

Waiari is a 36’, 1962 Owen Woolley seden cruiser, just screaming out for someone looking to go classic boating – now ! Her owner has moved up to a much bigger woody.

Again more on her at this WW link.

Auckland Council Stealing More Of OUR Harbour



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Woodys – read below & please take the time to send a submission, we all need to record our concern at this intrusion of our water space – its very simple – see blue section below. Submissions close 8 October 2018,

In accordance with the Resource Management Act 1991 the above-mentioned application will be advertised in the New Zealand Herald on Monday 10 September 2018 and the submission period closing on Monday 8 October 2018.

For full details of the resource consent application, including plans and supporting documents, please refer to the Council webpage:

How to lodge a submission:

Should you wish, you may lodge a submission in support, neutral or opposition to any part of the application. If you make a submission, you must serve a copy of it, as soon as reasonably practical, on the applicant at the address for service stated above.

The submission must be dated, signed by you and include the following information:

  1. Your name, contact address, telephone number and email address (if applicable);
  2. Details of the application in respect of which you are making the submission, including location and consent application numbers;
  3. Your reasons for your submission;
  4. The decision you wish the consent authority to make; and
  5. Whether you wish to be heard in support of your submission.

Viewing the full application:

For full details of the resource consent application, including plans showing the exact location of the work may be viewed:

  • on the Auckland Council website: in search field type in notified resource consent applications open for submission and in results select this heading and then look through list which is by location.
  • at Auckland Council Service Centre, 35 Graham Street, Auckland Central
  • at Auckland Central Library at 44-46 Lorne Street, Auckland City

If you have any queries regarding these applications, please contact 09 353 9356 (planning helpdesk number) or email



Maureen R >> Moana Roa


Original Bostaki Bay

Bostaquet Bay c.1962

Maureen R

Orams 2000

Mooring Stanmore Bay

Stanmore Bay

MAUREEN R  >> Moana Roa
I love stories like this, out of the blue my email inbox goes ping & I get sent the below – thats one of the cool things about WW, the huge group of followers who help me keep the site alive. And on that subject, don’t hold back sending in photos & intel on vessels – where I can I’ll use it. Sometimes it may not be enough to warrant a story, then out of the blue, someone else sends we stuff on the same boat & we have the makings of a WW story 🙂
Stuart Johnston sent me the above photos of the Owen Woolley built launch – Maureen R. As far as Stuart is aware it was one of Owen’s early builds in his Tamaki River shed.
Maureen R was built for Ross Reid of the earthmoving company of the same name and named after his wife. Stuart’s father purchased her in late 1962 from Ross who had a new Patiki built which Stuart recalls was named Maureen II.
In regards to her size, Stuart thinks she grew under his Dad’s tutelage but he recalls she was 28′ but maybe 30′ overall and was powered by a 40hp Parsons Pike which could be started by hand with a crank through the bulkhead if the batteries were low.
The family continued to keep her in the Tamaki opposite the yacht club but was also moored her at Stanmore Bay on Whangaparaoa for much of the time and they spent many hours in and around the Kawau area.
When purchased by the Johnston’s the coamings were all painted and one school holiday -Stuart, his brother and a mate spent hours sanding off the paint including red lead to wood and varnishing, the end result which is seen in the photos above, when she is moored at Stanmore Bay and also launching from the beach after another seasonal paint job. The side on shot at anchor with a number of people on board is in Bostaquet Bay probably the summer of 1962 or 1963. The coloured image taken at Orams around 2000.
The family sold her to a Mr Maltby who used her from Tindalls Bay for some years and its believed she later found her way to Samoa and word would have it that she was used for charter work.
A somewhat ugly aircon unit was fitted to her cabin top which Stuart spied at some point on her return, he was told that she had hit a reef whilst in Samoa and was returned to Auckland for repairs when salvaged.
Stuart commented that she was a very pretty little vessel but did not like a following or beam sea. The fiberglass dingy seen swinging off the davits in some photos is still owned by Stuart.
So woodys – the question/s of the day – where she is today? and can anyone correct Stuart’s memories and or fill in some gaps?
Input from Harold Kidd– APYMBA records of her start in 1957 when she was owned by R.C. Reid of 27 Tamaki Bay Drive, Pakuranga with dimensions of 29’x27’x9’x2’9″ and had a 40hp diesel. Later owner C. J. Johnstone. All of that squares with Stuart’s memories. I have nothing after Stuart’s father.
Photos below ex Paul Drake

Norman and Jocelyn Pointon, at Waihora Bay, Lake Taupo.

Input from owners – Norman & Jocelyn Pointonn –  Maureen R >> MoanaRoa is berthed at Lake Taupo. We purchased her from the Fransham family in 1999 and had Bernie Dale renew the teak decks plus raise the dodger for sun protection and headroom in the cockpit. The builders plate states that she was built by Owen Woolley at Panmure in 1957
We have found her to be a good boat on the Lake, she does not like a beam following sea very much but apart from that a very comfortable and safe boat. We have continued to maintain her, new teak and holly floors, squabs, toilet, holding tank, stove, GPS and servicing of the Ford four cylinder engine and Paragon gearbox. 
The best useage that we have had is 40 trips in a year, so she is  well used and loved.
The story about her going to the islands was told to me by the previous owners plus the grounding a  coral reef. It was suggested that she made her way to the islands under her own power but that seems unlikely considering the amount of fuel required for the trip
The photo below shows the addition of the dodger, moored in Mine Bay where she spends a lot of time.
Alan on Moana Roa
And more photos ex Bruce Pullan – Feb 2018





Yesterday we ran a story on Jim Greenaway. Jim & wife Lesley owned Korawai in Tauranga from about 1973 to 1981 / 82.
Jim’s main trade was a cabinet maker but he was also a semi-pro boat builder and did a lot of work on Korawai – new galley, teak deck, etc. The family spent many weeks aboard her – including five weeks or so at a stretch every summer at Mercury Island.
Korawai was built by Owen Woolley in 1962 for a F. Niel of Bridge St, Panmure. She is a sister ship tp Taree. Previous owners include Beau Farrell. I photo below I took in January, 2010, anchored off Oneroa, Waiheke Island. (details ex Harold Kidd & Colin Pawson)
Do we know where she is now?
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Waiari – Gets A Top Chop


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Waiari – Gets A Top Chop

I first featured the 1962 Own Woolley sedan launch, Waiari back in June 2014 & added updated photos in May 2017. While she looked very smart, she had a wee addition on top that in the eyes of some, was a little like ‘a pimple on a pumpkin’.

I’m pleased to be able to say that her owner, Tobias Forsyth has done the deed & given her a haircut J Photo below of the b4 & after. I know which I prefer.

You can read more about her in the comments section of the WW link below.


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Proteus was built by Owen Woolley in 1968, she is 38’ in length & powered by twin Commer diesels. Current home is Chaffers Marina, Wellington. That folks is all her trademe listing tells us, can’t see her leaping of the listing sheets with that level of info……………..   Thanks to Ian McDonald for the listing heads up.

Do we know any more about her?




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Aries was built by Owen Woolley in 1957 for Max Burrett. Peter Walsh, who owned her for 2>3 years c.1982, watched Woolley building her. Her original engines were twin ex-USN 6 cylinder Chrysler Crowns of 1943 vintage. These were later replaced, with twin Commer diesels, when Ed Carter bought her c.1967.

The photos above were taken during Peter Walsh’s ownership c.1982. The photos were sent to me by Allan Keane who commented that Aries was in a sorry state when Peter Walsh purchased her, she had a leaky Commer 105hp engine and very bad bilges.

Peter did a substantial refit at his yard in Onehunga & repowered with twin 135hp Commers, which gave her an impressive 14-15 knots.

Peter sold her to a farmer up in the Bay of Islands and says he shed a tear when she sold – he really loved and admired her.

The photos are at Connells Bay wharf, McMullen and Wings marina, and at Peter Walsh’s yard Onehunga.

Thanks to Harold Kidd & Russell Ward for details on her past ownership & means of propulsion.

Any woodys able to supply more info on her past?

View 2015 photo of Aries in previous WW post




ADONIS BY O WOOLLEY 1965 - EX TRADE ME 10.8.17 - 1

ADONIS BY O WOOLLEY 1965 - EX TRADE ME 10.8.17 - 3

ADONIS BY O WOOLLEY 1965 - EX TRADE ME 10.8.17 - 6


Adonis was designed & built by Owen Woolley & launched in November 1965 & has a waterline of 40′. Her first owner was Martin Uren & while there are a few holes in her ownership records – we know that Bob Green (who owned Mahara prior to Adonis) had her for a period in the 1970’s. She was also owned by a Robin Congreve from May 1986 until Dec 1994 & then by current owner John Fleming since then. 

She is currently powered by 2 x 120hp Ford diesels. In the August 1966 edition of Sea Spray magazine its recored that she was powered by 2 x 6 cyl. Fordson 86hp diesels, so somewhere along the line she has been re-powered, but not during the Fleming period (23 years). In the Sea Spray article (below) she appears to have a dodger when new, which she does not have in the later photos.

So woodys – anyone able to fill in the ownership black holes?

Details & photos ex John Fleming via Ken Rickets. Other photos ex trademe listing. 

Sea Spray Aug 1966 a

Sea Spray Aug 1966 b

Sea Spray Aug 1966 c

Sirius – A Peek Down Below

Sirius 1

SIRIUS – A Peek Down Below

The 1956, 32′, Owen Woolley built launch, Sirius, has appeared before on ww, you can read all about her at this link
Now thanks to a trademe listing we get a peek below. Quite a smart classic, just not too sure about the mast > main > jib set up (there is a photo of her motor sailing in the link above). Not what you would expect, but I’m sure they do the trick, because its been like that for a long time. Again thanks to Ian McDonald for the heads up.



AIan Sexton took the above photos of the Owen Woolley built ‘Takitimu’ at Whangaroa. Takitimu was launched in 1975 for the then GM of NZ Forest Products, Doug Walker. She is 42′ and was powered with a horizontal 250hp Volvo, possibly still is looking at the smoke coming from her 🙂

The Walkers started boating the same time as Alan, their first launch was Gay Dawn in 1971, a couple of years later they purchased the Woolley Karere II, followed by Takitimu. They owned Takitimu for approx 10yrs then downsized to a 10.5m Woolley flybridge launch. Doug’s son Paul later ran the Woolley launch Alchemy in charter.
The only change to Takitimu since launching is the raised flybridge windscreen and solid canopy.


Taree – A Peek Down Below

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Taree, the 1966 Owen Woolley designed / built 36′ launch changed ownership in Dec 2015 & new owner Don Bruce undertook an impressive refurbishment that started in June  2016, at the Brin Wilson Shed, Gulf Harbour.
Between June 1 & December22,  2016, approx. 1500 hrs went into boat building, engineering, replacing glass, painting, varnishing, plumbing, re-wiring & re-chroming. Don himself spent 12 hours every day,  Monday > Sunday working on the boat.
The results are impressive & Don speaks very highly of the Brin Wilson team & associated contractors that worked on Taree.

I saw Taree just after her re-launch, in late January 2017 at the Mahurangi Regatta weekend, the first photo above, I took there, the refurbishment ones are ex the owner, emailed to me by Ken Ricketts.
Previously on ww we had a peek at the work-in-progress & when she first left the shed, you can view / read that story here




Taree, the 1966 36’ Owen Woolley sedan launch has appeared before, briefly, on ww.  Back in the late 1980’s I even looked at buying her. I think she held a few records:

(1) the longest trademe listing for a classic launch
(2) the number of failed surveys

So to see her in the hands of a new owner & one thats sympathetic to woodys is a very good thing. From the photos above, some ex her owner & some 2016 emailed to me by Ken Ricketts, she is getting the attention she deserves.The name Taree  means “sticks” in Aborigine, I assume a link to the fact that she is built with kauri, carvel planked over jarrah ribs, the Australian hardwood. She has teak coamings.
Power these days is via a GM 165 hp V8 Diesel fuel pincher, installed by the previous owner in 2009. This sees her easily cruise at 8 knots.

She was bought by present owner Don Bruce in Dec 2015 & is now kept at Gulf Harbour. He  bought her off a  John Graham, who owned her for  23 years & kept her at Pine Harbour

Her current owner believes she was built for Emmitt Keenan and had a Perkins 46109 installed when launched.

Gray Mathias, possibly the 3rd or 4th owner,  fitted a 2 stroke Detroit in 1985 and after one more owner Mike McDonald, John Cameron bought her in 1988. The Detroit lasted till 2005 and the 165hp V8 fuel pincher was fitted in 2009, at a cost of $17000.

Recently she has spent time in the Brin Wilson shed at Gulf Harbour (see photos above), receiving some serious TLC.
Always good to see a classic get lucky & find a good home – well done Don Bruce 🙂

Peter Peal  Book Winner
The winner of yesterdays quiz for a copy of – Thoughts on Clinker Lapstrake Dinghy Construction.
Is Nathan Herbert with – Z Class. Lots of people sent in Silver Fern & Frostbite but surprisingly only one – Z Class entry.
Well done Nathan.





I have deleted my comments about this boat – yes its for sale but be careful. The 4 sale story & her actual past appear to not add up.

I repeat – be careful – in fact refer the last ww story on her – link below

26-11-2016 UPDATE

This weblog is many things to many people, one of those things is to ensure that the classic wooden boating community is kept abreast of happenings in & around the many marinas & boat yards scattered across NZ.
We get sent 100’s of photos of boats hauled out, photos of work-in-progress – both good work & dodgy work, I publish most things, often just an addition to  previous story, that way future owners can get an insight into a vessels maintenance history. Quite often an owner gets a surprize to learn that at some stage in the past their pride & joy may have hit a rock, or even been to the bottom. In fact I learned this about my own boat.

So folks when I hear things that appear to be not right, I alert you to them – the launch Vacuna is a case in point – I have NEVER had so many phone calls or emails about one single vessel, all I’ll say is that I would not buy her 😉

Also at waitematawoodys we very rarely moderate what others post in the comments section – the seller of Vacuna has attempted to post 9 comments that we have chosen to not publish – the last will be enough to get them banned from waitematawoodys, only the 2nd person ever.
I have repeated the comment below – this was their reply to a comment made by one of waitematawoodys most loyal & knowledgeable woodys.

“Get your facts right before you comment on marking a quick Buck.
Who the hell are or what are you. A lose mouthed women that has no idea about anything trying to get a name for her self at the expense of others.”


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VACUNA – a woody project?
Vacuna is a 36′ Owen Woolley launch, designed and built in 1958. Unfortunately she has had a wee oops, to quote the insurers she was flooded to the top of her twin Perkins diesel engines, not sure how that happened but we are told the engines were immediately flushed & inhibited.
At the moment Vucuna is hauled out at Half Moon Bay & available for inspection. Bidding starts at $5,000 & closes 23 August.

Now if it stays low, someone will get a nice woody that appears to not need too much to bring her back.
Do we know anything about her past ?

Input from Paul Drake
My understanding is that she was built for a Mr Bull (Jack?)by Owen Woolley. She was built of totara, since she was destined for Taupo, and her owner was wary of rot which, in some quarters, is associated with fresh water boats. She was at Taupo for many years under the same name. Mr Bull had previously owned KATOA, well covered in WW. This information is as I have always understood it, and was recently confirmed by the original owner’s son, who I chanced to meet down at the boat harbour here in Taupo.  It is interesting to note the beamy, hard chine VACUNA compared with the narrow gutted, round bilge KATOA. No doubt the Bull family had had enough of rolling around. A VACUNA story was related to my brother Michael only two days ago. VACUNA was on a temporary mooring off the beach at Kinloch. She came free in a sou’westerly and was about to wash up on the beach. The call went out to the local holiday population and dozens of them entered the water in an effort to save her, much like a beached whale. One of them, a strong swimmer, took a line back to the mooring buoy, and VACUNA was hauled off the beach.
Below is a pic of VACUNA, it shows her on her mooring in the Taupo boat harbour in the early 1960’s. The other launch is EL ALAMEIN, now RANUI, already featured on woodys.
The boatsheds in the background are long gone, sadly. SIR FRANCIS occupied the shed seen here over the stern of EL ALAMEIN. The door is open and our car parked on the road outside. The photo I took, of course, from SIR FRANCIS.

L>R Ranui > Vacuna
photo below ex Ken Ricketts




info ex Les Sharman via Ken Ricketts

Sirius was built by Owen Woolley in 1956. She is 32′ long & is powered by a 4 cyl Ford diesel, which owner Les says is 90 hp.
Les bought Sirius in 1999 off a retired car dealer called Fraser Chapman. She was moored in Thames at that time.

Les spoke to Owen Woolley before he died, when he lived in the  Warkworth area &  Owen told him she was the first boat he built, after he completed his apprenticeship & she was built at Panmure. Sirius is berthed at Gulf Harbour

Any of the woodys able to supply more info on her earlier days?

Harold Kidd input

According to APYMBA records this SIRIUS was built by Owen Woolley in 1956 with dimensions 32’x29’8″x10’4″x2’9″ and had a 52hp Fordson diesel. Her owners in the period 1960-73 were G.D.B. & J.M. Chambers of Hinemoa St., Birkenhead. There seems to have been another SIRIUS in 1957 owned by D.H. McMillan of Lunn Ave., Mt Wellington, with a different registered number but it could be the same boat, I suppose.

Off Gt. Barrier 2003


17-04-2016 photos c.1990’s, ex past owner Fraser Chapman via Ken Ricketts


Photos & details from Nigel Drake (owner)
Freelance was designed and built in 1964 by Owen Woolley for Ken Williams, an Auckland builder (Nigel thinks from Papakura).
She lived on a mooring in the Clevedon river but spent the summers in Tutukaka where she was well known with the game fishing fraternity. In 1978 Ken built Freelance II, a 45 foot Salthouse design (now also in Tauranga) and sold Freelance to Richie Hoban of Tauranga. Richie owned her for 32 years until his death in 2010. During the 32 years the family owned her they spent nearly every summer on the boat in the Mercury Islands and Great Barrier.
In 2010 she was put up for sale and Nigel purchased her in 2011. After a major refit she now continues to live in the Tauranga Marina at Sulphur Point and cruises the northern coast during the summer.

as always click photos to enlarge

Ann Michelle


CYA members Janet and Bruce Pulman purchased Ann Michelle in July 2013 from Ken McDonald who had owned her for approx. 18 months, before he moved to Kerikeri. All the Pulmans know about owners prior to this is that she was owned by someone at Tanners Point for about 30 years, it has been suggested that she was built about 1952. The photo alongside the wharf, sporting blue paint is a ‘as purchased’ shot.
Any help would be appreciated in uncovering more about Ann Michelle. Hopefully with such a distinctive name someone will have rubbed up against her.

waitematawoodys network again provides the answers – very impressed 🙂

The two posts below will make the Pulmans happy.

Shamus Fairhall
I believe from Ken McDonald she is a Owen Wooly designed and built boat. Now berthed back at Owens old boat shed by the Panmure bridge ( Now Leader boat builders ). Great lines and a good example of Owen’s ” eye ” for proportion. Well done on the tidy up, looks great.

Des Workman
She was built by Owen Woolley for the Flecther family in Tauranga. Woolley built 3 x 26 fts. Anne was the last & best.My wife & I owned her for about 6 years & really loved her. I sold her about 1966 to someone from Tauranga. So I guess that would be the folk from Tanners Point.