A Pot-Pourri Of Woodys

Viveen @ Te Komua 
Raira @ Te Kouma

A Pot-Pourri Of Woodys

Today’s collection of classic launches come to use from a collective of woodys photographers that are cruising the Hauraki Gulf and outer waters – thanks to Angus Rogers, Murray Deeble, Colin Pawson and Lindsay McMorran.

And if you need a reminder of the cleverness of Chris McMullen, check out the link below to the story of his Herreshoff steam launch – just updated with shed photos post her ‘pretend’ (waterline check) launching.  https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/04/26/chris-mcmullens-herreshoff-steam-launch-2/

A Woody Tour of the Tamaki River – 70 photos

A Woody Tour of the Tamaki River – 70 photos

Todays story so needed to be done, and woodys, John Bullivant is a legend for grabbing his camera and heading out on our behalf. I’ll let John tell his story 🙂

“Thought it was about time I got a few photos on the Tamaki River boats before they disappear, (and they are going fast by the look of some). There are only a fraction of the numbers of wooden boats that were moored there in the 1960s and 1970s and as I previously mentioned, living on the waterfront at Bucklands Beach for around 25yrs I had seen most of them go by (was like Queen St on Friday nights most summer weekends) I did 2 trips down from Orewa and took pics from Panmure Boat Club and up to and under the new Panmure Bridge, end of Gabadore Pl (off Carbine Rd), the old Panmure Marina, (going with many houses from Panmure to Pakuranga Town centre, to make way for new highway widening), along the Tamaki River walkway for about 4km (Rotary Walk,- starts at the old Panmure Marina and goes all the way to Gills Rd in Howick, for those who like walking), Half Moon Bay and Bucklands Beach.

I also went down to the 1960s site of the private ex RNZAF W1  haul-out ramp below the old Alright property (well covered in bush now and a near vertical climb down a 30ft bank), – lost a bit of blood but well worth it for me, as I last stood on that spot 50yrs ago when we sneaked on board W1 to have a look around while she was up there. Original ramp and haul-out dolly is still there (see pics) although time has taken its toll. I’m amazed, looking at the crude set-up today, how Mr Alright got a 64ft boat weighing many tons, sitting on rubber tyred dollies (which ran in grooved concrete) lined up and hauled out with a winch and by the looks of it, the large tree in line with the ramp, not to mention getting it back out again (I’m assuming he must have winched it back out somehow). Massive effort not only to build the ramp on mud, (all by hand, no concrete pumping trucks) but to be able to use it.

Hope these photos are of interest to people who may be able to identify some of the mystery boats (especially the light blue launch with the chrome ventilators and light, (looks ex RNZAF ?). The yacht hidden near the big boatshed is around 45ft looks very old and has been there for many years, as has poor old Imatra, a once grand yacht which is in a very sad state and in urgent need of care (must have been there 30 yrs odd now). I have included a few other launches and yachts to show the sad state of many good looking (and once expensive) boats on the river crying out for attention, but I guess many people have other priorities and sadly their dreams are just floating slowly into oblivion. It’s pretty hard to get rid of a rusty rotten hulk, so there they will stay till it’s “business time” (flight of the Conchords) for the 20 ton digger.

I may have some of the boats names wrong as I was using a telephoto lens for most of the pics and with enhancing colour, contrast etc was as near as I could get. I’m sure someone will correct any if wrong.”

NOTE: With the photos that John has named, I have tagged the photos with those names. Scroll over the photos to view the names 😉
I could have used the individual images on WW over an extended period, but they need to be together in one spot. Enjoy 🙂

RAIRA – A Peek Down Below

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RAIRA – A Peek Down Below

Raira was launched in Devonport in February 1915. Built by the McLeod Brothers to a Collings and Bell design.  She has appeared on ww before but now thanks to her trademe listing we get to have a look inside 🙂
The great looking interior is the result of a full restoration completed in 2011. This included: new steamed ribs with copper fastenings, new bulkheads, new keel fastenings, all paint removed back to timber and her hull re-caulked + just about everything else on board was replaced or upgraded.

In late 2016 Raira was repowered with a 120hp Ford on an zero hour rebuild, that pushes her along at between 7.5>9 knots. At  the same time she was treated to exterior paint job.

Woody Ian McDonald commented that when he used to slip his boats at Omokoroa in the early 1980’s, Raira was on a swing mooring there & unless mistaken, the game poles are just as they were back then.

She is a pretty boat, but I’m not sure about the ‘poop’ deck 🙂

ps sorry about yesterdays story & the link not working, technology let me down 😦



photo ex Brian Fulton

Brian took the above photo in Woolshed Bay, Coromandel over the 2015 Xmas / New Year period. She is called Raira & is based at Panmure.

Interested to learn more about her.

Harold Kidd Update

RAIRA was designed by Charles Collings but built by her first owners, the McLeod brothers, Ted and Ray, and J. Verran, at Bayswater and launched in February 1915. She was 38′ x 38′ x 9′ x 3′ and was originally fitted with a 3 cylinder 30hp heavy duty Twigg, built in Auckland. She usually cruised with AUMOE after Alex Foster (of Fosters) bought her in 1919/20. The bridgedeckerisation was done by W.G. Lowe & Son in 1937 when owned by N.J. Campbell.
Her lines were published in the N.Z. Yachtsman magazine in 1914.

Photo below ex Jason Prew (Wairiki) of Raira crossing the Firth of Thames on the 27-12-2015

08-01-2016 Input from Jonathon Aston

Raira has been our family launch for the last 13 years and have many great memories. In 2009 we put Raira onto a large shed and over the next 3 years completely re-ribbed, refastened & re-corked her hull with thousands of copper nails & roves just like the McLeod brothers did when building her all those years ago as well as replacing all her keel bolts with new silicon bronze bolts. The stern deck was added in the 70’s & the bridge was added in 1982 by a local boatbuilder while based in Tauranga. She was brought back to Auckland in the early 90’s & has been based at the Panmure  Yacht & Boating club since.

Original lines & recent photos ex Jonathon Aston