The 24’ Lake Rotoiti based woody – Rambler was built by Joseph Anderson in the Big Omaha Valley near Matakana and launched in 1913. It took 3 years to build the boat and she was one of the first boats to be built with a kauri strip plank construction. Rambler was used to travel to Auckland as it was easier by boat than by road. After returning from World War 1, George Anderson, Joseph’s son, used Rambler to travel to Kawau Island for cray fishing, trapping possums and hunting deer. These trips also became the delivery for mail and provisions to those living on Kawau.
In the mid 1930’s, Rambler was sold to the local cobbler in Matakana and the boat was used for fishing trips but later was left in the mud in a sorry state. In the 1970’s Rambler was sold and given a major refit including having a top cabin added.
Rambler was discovered in Howick in 2000 and was brought to Lake Rotoiti, Rotorua by her current owners, where she was refitted with a revamped interior, hand made cedar mast, bronze and brass fittings and a number of other improvements. Approx. 1990 her engine was changed from a petrol Chev 4 to a two cylinder 20hp Chinese diesel. This still goes but needs to be replaced. Amazingly Rambler has had only four owners in her 108 year old life, and now is on the market, awaiting her next custodian. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the tme heads up.
As promised todays WW story is a doozy, we travelled down to the lake very early on Saturday morning and were hosted by the clubs commodore Dave Wilson and wife Glenys, who own the magnificent 1947 Colin Wild built bridge-decker – Haumoana. The launch is kept at the end of the lawn at their lakeside property (photos below) – More details on Haumoana here https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/06/05/haumoana/
Dave lent me is ‘fishing boat’ – the f/glass runabout seen the photo below, to use as a photo boat for the parade – fingers crossed no one got a photo of me at the helm 😉
Close to 80 classic and wooden craft of all shapes and sizes – power, sail, oar and steam participated in the days events – starting with a parade that snakes around the waterfront properties and vantage points. Post parade every one heads off to Wairoa Bay for an old school boating picnic – being lake based, no issue with tides or anchoring, people just nudge up to the shore – perfect for checking out each others woody.
The afternoon activities had something for everyone – adults and kids activities (egg throwing, bucket diving for sweets etc) + lots of cool prizes to be won.Without a doubt its the best organised and executed boating event I have been to – very slick and the bonus – lots of nice friendly people – we like that 🙂
Enjoy the photos. As always – click photos to enlarge 😉 If I missed your boat, sorry but one boat and one camera can only be in so many places at one time – next year.
JEUNESSE photos ex John Wicks, ex John Wright, details ex Harold Kidd
The 37 footer Jeunesse was built for W J Harper and launched in March 1919 as Rambler. Harper changed his mind and renamed her Jeunesse by the start of the summer of 1919-20. None of the magazines or newspapers say who built her but Dick Lang seems a fair bet as she was built-in St. Mary’s Bay. Reportage on such things was pretty scant at that time because of the Spanish ‘Flu outbreak. She was fitted with a 40 hp Reutenberg 4 cylinder engine. Harper sold the launch Kotiro when Jeunesse was built. He kept her until 1923 when he sold her to H Hewson. N C McLean & R Kirkwood owned her in 1926. She spent a lot of time in Whangarei after that. In 1951 she was owned by S H R Smith of Onehunga, Richard Leary in 1990, John Wright in 2003 – who still owns her today.
The b&w photo above was apparently first published in the Weekly News in about 1923. There’s no info on it about the photographer, but in John Wicks eyes it’s good enough to be a Winkelmann. The colour photo is relatively recent, and shows her pretty much as she is now – great to see she has remained so true to original design. Also amazing that she has retained the name Jeunesse” for the last 95 years – quite an achievement considering how many changes most of the launches of her era went through.