Nelson Marina Mooching

Nelson Marina Mooching

Shamus Fairhead, owner of the very smart woody – Sequoia, sent in a photo report from a recent sortie to Nelson.

Above we see the launches – Lady Dorothy > Rarangi > Kanona. Shamus commented that Lady Dorothy had Oliver & Gilpin written all over her. Rarangi has made several appearances on WW – link here

The other two are WW virgins i.e. have not appeared on the site before, so keen to learn more about these wooden craft.

26-01-2023 INPUT EX MARK MCLAUGHLIN – KANONA was built in Havelock by Sonny Johnson in the early 1960’s and was used until the early 1970’s by the Johnson family for the mail run there. She was then used as a commercial passenger boat out of Havelock under different owners (Eric Huddleston was one, there may have been more) until the mid 1990’s when she was sold to Nelson. The flying bridge and cockpit dodger roof and covers are additions since her time in Nelson. I travelled on her once on the way home from a high school camp in the Sounds and she is quite fast.

Eye Candy

One of my Waiheke spies sent in the photo below of Lady Crossley and LC’s owners daughters launch at anchor – we like woody families 🙂

Nelson Marina Dockside Mooch

Lady Karita

Nelson Marina Dockside Mooch

One of my southern spies (in the summer months) John Burland sent in the above gallery of woodys that he spotted while patrolling the docks. From top to bottom we have Katoa – all spruced up, then Kelvin and then two unknowns. Finally the very regal Lady Karita, who is looking very well turned out these days, more on her tomorrow.

Update – 4th launch down is – Rarangi – WW story here

Rarangi – A Peek Down Below

RARANGI – A Peek Down Below

The bridge – decker Rarangi was built in 1951 by the Lanes Motor Boat Company using kauri planking. She is 39’ in length, with a beam of 12’5”, and draws 3’11”.

The forward motion is via twin Ford 80hp diesel engines, reconditioned 100 hrs ago by Moon Engines. Being a Southern boat (Nelson) Rarangi is very well spec’ed. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the tme heads up, Ian commented that Rarangi had been quite a famous Mayor Island game fishing launch. Run for many years by Bob Gray and then his daughter Jill. A photo of Rarangi at Mayor Island at the WW link below –


Ordering details here

Classic Launches at Opo Bay – Mayor Island

Screen Shot 2020-04-04 at 6.46.32 AM


Screen Shot 2020-04-04 at 6.46.21 AM


Screen Shot 2020-04-04 at 6.45.51 AM

Classic Launches at Opo Bay – Mayor Island
The above photos are dated 1959 and feature several launches in Opo Bay at Mayor Island, Bay of Plenty.
The top photo shows the launch Rarangi with its bow nudged up on the beach. Can we confirm the launch is Rarangi and do we know anymore about her?
Also like to ID the launch in the middle photo and the boat on the right in the bottom photo.
photos ex Lew Redwood fb
Update. – Brian Worthington has confirmed the launch in the top photo is Rarangi and she was built by Lane Motor Boat Co. When photographed she was a charter boat owned and skippered by Bob Gray.

Brian and Ken Ricketts agree that the middle photo is Marline, and Brian comments she was built by and owned by Leon Warne. When photographed she was a charter boat owned and skippered by Peter Brasting.
Ken is of the belief that the bottom photo is the launch – Wakatere.

Yesterday’s Project


My ‘barn-find’ clinker dinghy has been in storage for over a year, prior to this it had been in a garage for over 25 years. It was a lake boat so I suspect its never seen saltwater.
When I collected her, she had 25 years of dust on her, you could have grown potatoes in her 🙂
Given that I’m on top of my to-do list on the home front, I got the green light to do some boating stuff, so out came the sugar soap, sponge & a tooth brush.
She measures 7’6” x 4’ and is built from kauri ply, so very light. She is a tad more elegant than ‘Peg’ (photo below) the current #1 in the dinghy fleet.
The big question is the degree of prep prior new paint / varnish – back to bare wood or ??
Top photos – post cleaning, below – as found.
Screen Shot 2020-04-20 at 10.20.51 PM
A Real Feel Good Moment – Look at the look in the wee ones eyes, please can I stay here 🙂 Sent in by Colin Pawson.