WANDERER II – A Peek Down Below

WANDERER II – A Peek Down Below

The 39’ launch Wanderer II was built in 1965 by Owen Woolley in his boatyard on the Tamaki River.

Powered by a 100hp Ford diesel, she cruises at 8 knots. Current home is the Bay of Islands and thanks to Ian McDonald spotting her tme story we get to have a gander below.

More details and photos at the link below to a Oct 2020 WW story https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/10/21/wanderer-ii-2/

At the risk of ruffling Cam Pollard’s feathers – I include the two photos below to show / support my personal view on varnished coamings and the addition of a fly bridge 🙂

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)

Awariki – A Peek Down Below

AWARIKI – A Peek Down Below

Back in November 2021 after 32 years of ownership we sold the 1922 Dick Lang built launch – Lady Adelaide (link below) for Kerry Lilley. In reply to the question “what’s next” Kerry walked me along the dock to Awariki, a 32’ 1967 Owen Woolley built woody. Kerry has a long connection with the boat having worked on her when he was an apprentice.

First thing that hit me was the space – compared to Lady Adelaide, Awariki was a ballroom down below. As purchased she was a little tired, but no better person than Kerry to take her on.

Fast forward to the 2022 Woodys Classic Weekend at Clevedon Cruising Club and we get to have a sneak peek at the almost completed refit. As you would expect, very impressive. 

LADY ADELAIDE https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/11/22/lady-adelaide-a-peek-down-below/

2022 WOODYS CLASSIC WEEKEND CLEVEDON CRUISE https://waitematawoodys.com/2022/09/19/woodys-classic-clevedon-cruise-report-sept-2022-50-photos/

KOROWAI (Korawai) – Getting The Treatment – Updates


In late January 2022 I help relocate the 1962 Owen Woolley built 36′ sedan launch – Korawai to her new home in the Bay of Islands. Her new owners had big plans for her and it’s great to see that a refurbishment program is now under way. 

Korawai has recently been hauled and now tucked away in the shed at Ashby Boatbuilders in Opua. First item was to remove all the glass (to be replaced) and restore the varnished coamings. The owners have very good taste so I’m sure there will be more on the list 🙂 

We will keep you updated.

10-03-2023 NAME SPELLING CORRECTION -input ex Harold Kidd

Relocation trip https://waitematawoodys.com/2022/01/25/korawai-heads-north/

A Peek Down Below Story https://waitematawoodys.com/2022/01/24/korawai-a-peek-down-below/

UPDATE 14-09-2022 Say goodbye to the old varnish

UPDATE 15-09-2022

UPDATE 24-09-2022 Primer & one coat.  7>9 to go 🙂

Happy Owner

UPDATE 16-10-2022 lots of progress, new glass is in – varnish 97% done – just 3 more coats on the beading.

UPDATE 18-10-2022 Less than 24hrs from re-launching

RE-LAUNCHED TODAY 19-10-2022 – WoW

04-11-2022 Back in her happy place



The 36’ Centauri was designed and built by Owen Woolley in 1964. Hull built from kauri with mahogany and kauri interior.

Forward motion is via a Perkins 6 cyl. diesel engine. Home port is Mt Maunganui.

That is all her tme listing tells us, so can we expand on where she has been for the last 50 odd year?

Have to shout out to all the new WW followers, over the last month individual daily viewing numbers have grown to the current level where they have more than doubled. Biggest day in a long time was the story on the ex fishing vessel – Joan, so its not all about varnish and polished bronze 🙂 These new followers are also impacting the cumulative viewing numbers as they are ’surfing’ the WW back library.

Classic Woody Yard Mooching

Update 05-07-2022 1st coat of the shinny stuff goes on 

Classic Woody Yard Mooching

Dropped into The Slipway Milford the other day, very pleased to see the 1937, 38’ Sam Ford built launch – Menai, getting some serious TLC after languishing at the CYA’s Heritage Landing for many years, dockside chat was it was a permanent fixture. 

As with most things in life, boat ownership goes in cycles and with new owners she is get the attention she deserves. Always nice to see painting prep well executed i.e. back to bare wood – that kauri looks as good as the day Sam Ford fastened it.

I understand a new engine has been installed so the TCL is serious – we like that 🙂

See more on Menai here https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/09/11/menai-a-peek-down-below-2/

While there the 1945 K-Class – Jenanne was getting a Jason Prew Paint Job, the photo is coat one of two top coats, already very slick.

Now a tip on how to get marine engineers to come down to your boat – keep your engine room as ship-shape as the 1965 Owen Woolley built launch – Adonis – the man from the Moon didn’t even have to put his overalls on 🙂

Korawai Heads North

Wild Duck
Russell Waterfront


Following on from yesterdays story, I’m just back from sliding up the coast to Russell in the Bay of Islands, delivering the 37’ Owen Woolley built launch – Korawai, to her new owners BOI home. After a few unexpected hiccups we eventually departed Gulf Harbour marina late Thursday afternoon, first stop Kawau Island. Had to sprint to hit the Kawau Boating Club before the kitchen / bar closed. Awoke to perfect conditions so dropped the RNZYS mooring at 6.30am and pointed the bow North – 11 hours later we rounded Cape Brett and eventually dropped anchor in Otaio Bay for the night. Saturday we picked up a friends mooring at Russell and hit the cafe for a coffee. The owner / skipper immediately re-fuelled, collected his better half and was off for a few days cruising. Sad to see the boat head north but, her new owners are a cool creative couple that will spend the time and $ to return Korawai to the condition she deserves. The new owners first thing when he stepped aboard was remove the ‘rocket-launcher’ fishing rod holder from the cabin top and toss it in the marina dump bin – so that bodes well for the future of this woody 🙂 We will follow the boat as the rolling restoration happens. As we rounded Cape Brett I got a great view of the lighthouse and ex lighthouse keepers house – 24 hours later my daughter and friends were doing the 32 km walk to the same spot – the sign says 8 hours in and 8 back, they did it in 4 hrs (each way) but split with an overnight in the now Dept. of Conservation controlled house. The report was its a stunning but tough walk, included a few photos.

Spotted a few woodys once we had made it into the bay – 
• Mike & Robbie Quilter’s Salthouse designed – Tapui • Wild Duck, the 1932 JB Jules built ex flying boat tender • Marline, the Warne family 35’, 1950 launch, designed and built by Leone Warne. Video below of the family heading out for the day, on Saturday – love the jetski being towed 🙂


Korawai – A Peek Down Below

Korawai – A Peek Down Below

Korawai has been somewhat of a mystery boat on the classic scene, very really seen out and about in recent years, now thanks to tme, we get a peek down below. I can report she has sold and has new owners – more on that tomorrow 🙂 At 37’ she enjoys a very spacious cabin. Built by Owen Woolley c.1962.  Forward motion is from a Ford 120hp diesel, that sees her cruising at a comfortable 8 knots and topping out at 9.5 knots – I have seen an out of water photo and she is very flat aft, so a nice Hino transplant should see her moving along at a few+ more knots.

Read see more on the launch at these WW links https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/07/16/34705/

Around The Yards – Adonis

Around The Yards – Adonis

I received an invite to poke my nose into the Leader Boat Builders shed on the Panmure / Tamaki River during the week to catch up on the latest woody to grace Dave Patterson’s shed. The 45’ Owen Woolley built Adonis, in for some serious TLC. Meet her owner of many years, John Fleming and got to discuss the planned work. We will catch up again on Adonis and update with more detail. You can read and see a lot more at this link to a previous WW story  https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/09/04/adonis/

I have said it many times before but one of the coolest classic wooden boating entities is the Off Center Harbor website. A day wouldn’t you by without me pointing someone to the site, and they always find a solution, answer, guidance to what they needed / wanted to know.

On the site there are 800+ videos about wooden boats.  And woodys best of all most of the content is informative, educational and entertaining. The Off Center Harbor team are celebrating their 10th anniversary and have an amazing offer for WW woodys – TEN months membership for US$10* – (normally US$49/year).  CLICK THIS LINK  https://www.offcenterharbor.com/join-10th-anniversary-10-10-month-2021-holiday-ww/ And because they like us Kiwis, when renewal time comes around, all NZ memberships will be in NZ dollars, so we don’t have to suffer from the unfavorable gap in the exchange rate.

The best value, bang for your buck, woody Christmas present ever (well 2nd best – #1 is a WW t-shirt) – sign up today 🙂