Final prep to Eileen Patricia for a relaunch this weekend (photo below)
The very regal Brooke family launch – Linda, was eased out of the shed after nearly 2 months of serious TLC, most at the hands of grand daughter Grace and partner Calvin. Fantastic to see 3 generations helping with the relaunch. Robert Brooke commented to me the other day that Linda has never looked so good – thats high praise from Robert. Also nice to see Robert back on the tools, my lips are sealed as to why his services were called upon :-)I caught up with son Russell and he was full of praise for both the standard of workmanship and facilities at the Slipway Milford, the project was split between the family and the Slipways Cam and Jason delivering another showroom the paint job + a few engineering odd jobs. Russell was also like Robert, over the moon with the kids (his word) diligence on the project. The future of the classic wooden boating movement is looking very rosy when you see two early twenty year old piloting Linda down the Milford Creek on their own.
As soon as Linda had slashed, the Slipway boys were hauling Nathan Herbert’s launch – Pacific, out for her turn in the shed – photo/video below.
Today’s photo gallery of woodys comes to us from the camera’s (phones) of Jason Prew and Nathan Herbert and were taken over Easter weekend in and around Kawau Island. Boats featured are Jason’s – My Girl, Nathan’s – Pacific, Peter & Jenni Mence’s – Eileen Patricia, Jason & Yan Davies – Lucinda. Plus cameo appearance from Paul Tinghy’s yacht -Wotan and Madeline Rundle’s launch Hami (previously Wanda / Wanda II).
Lucinda was built in 1930 by LC Coulthard and has just been re-launched after undergoing some running repairs at The Slipway Milford. Work included re-powering – out went the 50hp Perkins and in went a 100hp Isuzu, giving her a top speed now of 14>15 knots.
Saturday was a first (in a long time) on the classic launch scene – we had a launch race around Rangitoto (+ Motutapu) , now a race is not that unusual , but female skippers only (helms person) is – the winning skipper on Kumi would have failed a chromosome test but the race committee (Jason Prew) was swayed by the skippers attire 🙂
The post race BBQ at Islington Bay proved more popular than the race and 11 woodys dropped anchor in the bay for the BBQ. We all tend to forget about this location, great sunsets and easy anchorage. Cool video of My Girl sliding back down the harbour at dusk. On route I caught the tail-end charlies in the yacht fleet who also raced around the island – photos below.
A question – if you’re a large A-Class gaffer (no names but its painted black) and you constantly finish at the back of the fleet, as you did again on Saturday, why would you sail so close to a mark that you hit it? The rules say you are out of the race for that – BUT what makes it worse is when the mark is a classic launch and it is the finish boat, and all the yacht crew do is laugh 😦 The invoice for repairs will be in the mail. Yachties wonder why launch owners do not put their hand up when asked to perform this task, I suspect they will struggle even more for ‘volunteers’ in the future 🙂
UPDATE– Combine the above with another A-Class yacht (no Prize for guessing which one it was) colliding (yacht in the wrong) with a very large classic launch at Mahurangi and the yacht skippers / crew post collision arrogance – the CYA maybe needs to have a wee chat re rules and manners. Just because your are a classic yacht you don’t get any special privileges 😉
Last Wednesday we saw the 1917 Joe Slattery classic launch – Pacific sliding back into the H2O after a 5 month refit (link to that story below). Over the weekend, owner Nathan Herbert took the 105 year old out to stretch her legs post the installations of a brand new 100hp FPT / Iveco N45A engine. The old Lister in her was a beast of an engine (1500kg v’s 450kg new engine) and mounted well forward, I would not be the only one to have commented previously that she had a certain “heading down hill” look to her – well as you can see in the top photo, she almost looks like she is about to pop up on the plane. Nathan says no, its just camera angle – but to the eye she sure looks smart.The installation project was not a simple – out with the old & bolt in the new procedure – you can see in the photos below it was a major, but the Nathan is an engineer (mouse in hand not spanner) so the attention to detail is certainly there 🙂 She always was a looker – but she is now a stunner – well done Mr Herbert, your forebears , same family ownership since new, would be very happy to see her today. I’m told that the inflatable will be replaced with her original clinker – currently being restored at The Slipway Milford yard 🙂
“If anyone is wondering- a few notes about the re-engining process:
-The new engine was barely smaller than the old one due to the Lister having had many remotely mounted parts eg. heat exchangers, oil tanks etc. -The engine beds had to be widened to accept the new motor -In stripping the bridge and for’d cabin out completely I found around 24 completely broken ribs- some in a row which were very dangerous. New red beech ribs were fitted by Jason Prew. These ribs would have written her off in a survey as is so often the case these days when you see $1 reserve classics. -The 4 cylinder engine vibrates much more at idle than the 6cyl Lister did with her large flywheel. The GPS does a dance as it shakes around. -The tanks were unexpectedly difficult to replace. after the old copper ones were stolen I had two 4mm aluminum 170L units fabricated which to install necessitated disassembly of the cockpit seating area with a new stern ‘bulkhead’ built and so on and so forth. -Steering is a little harder in a fresh/choppy seaway now but this may just be perception as I now have more power which I’m probably using where before I didn’t. -The bow no longer pushes water like a bulldozer, and in a slight chop actually has positive buoyancy to lift over waves instead of submarine through them. -Despite being beamier than other launches of her era, she is still as much of a pig when rolling at anchor. And please- enough with the comments about adding ballast- there is still a line of huge lead ‘AUSTRALIS’ ingots along each chine in the saloon which require two people to lift each ingot. The engine is not a lightweight, and there is over 100m of chain in the bow plus some pretty large anchors. -Speed: 11.5 knots in the photos, cruise has gone up from about 8 knots, to about 8.7 knots. Higher speeds get a bit noisy.”
ID THE ENGINE QUIZ – The correct answers were
MAKE & HP: Stearns MDR 125hp
AGENTS: H. O. Wiles
BOAT FITTED TO & WHEN: Romance II – 1925 No one got all the answers correct – but Jason Prew and Nathan Herbert were tied at 3 correct elements (but not the same) so its a tie – they can decide what bits of the prize pool they each want 🙂
YESTERDAY WAS A RECORD BREAKING DAY ON WW
As you can see from the graph below – Mondays story (the pink skyscraper) on Mahurangi weekend was off the charts – so many people here and around the world logging in to view. No doubt helped by it being winter in a lot of the countries and the ongoing CV-19 lock-downs – I use that old Fred Dagg line – “We Don’t Know How Lucky We Are”