Classico – Launch Day

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CLASSICO

A few weeks ago I was tipped off by Adrian Pawson that one of his buddies – James Ledingham, had ‘acquired’ a very special Frostbite named Classico, one of things that makes her special is that she was built but never launched, so effectively is a new boat. Adrian is the owner of – Kiteroa, the ex Brooke family boat, which Adrian has restored and ’tweaked’ a little, thats her in the photos with the orange hull.

I was onto James quick smart to get more details. But before that I have to say how cool it is to see these ‘young’ sailors getting into the classic wooden dinghy sailing scene. The guys sail out of Taikata Sailing Club in West Auckland (Te Atatu), on a good Sunday there are upwards of 15 Frostbites racing. Both Adrian and James would be too modest to say this – but both work at the very pointy (high tech) end of world sailing, which makes their passion for these woodys even more special 🙂

Adrian also supplied for our review (see below) a copy of Doug Sharp’s secret copy of the ‘Frostbite Go Fast Tips’ by Kevin Lidgard.

I’ll let James tell the story –

“Recently I was fortunate enough to purchase ‘Classico’ a wooden frostbite dinghy.

What made this boat unique, aside from her immaculate timber detailing, was that she was brand new and had never been sailed. Something of a rarity in the frostbite class these days.

‘Classico’ is the result of a labour of love by her builder and previous owner David Strickett (Brother in law of Rex Maddren – a well-known Frostbite sailor and champion in his day). Looking for a wooden boat project and with a love of the clinker style, the Frostbite dinghy was a natural choice for David to get stuck into. Having picked up his wooden boat building skills at Carrington Tech under the guidance of Robert Brooke (son of Jack Brooke, who designed the original frostbite back in 1937) he was certainly well equipped to tackle such a build. Robert helped him source some temporary frames from Wakatere Boating Club and he got stuck in.

The boat is built in kauri, the majority of which was sourced from a farmer in Mangamuka, just south of Kaitia. The exception was the single piece transom, which came from a kauri slab that David already had in his garage.

Many hands make light work and during the build David sought help with the planking and ribbing from Robin Dew, who had built several wooden Frostbites himself. Whangarei boat builder Nick Rodokal also lent a hand in constructing the gunwhale, having previously built David a Lotus 9.2 (Pursuit).

David kitted the boat out with modern aluminum spars, a Quantum Mylar sail, and the latest Harken deck gear. Adding a touch of performance to the classic kauri hull.   

It was a bittersweet moment to launch ‘Classico’ down at Taikata Sailing Club on the first Sunday of March 2020, ahead of the regular afternoon sailing. She would have been equally at home in a museum (or the lounge!) and once wet and raced, unlikely to ever be quite be as immaculate again. However, they are such great boats to sail I was looking forward to getting out and seeing what she could do. She was appropriately blessed by another frostbite legend, Doug Sharp, and champagne was poured. A successful first sail ensued with minimal leaking.

While the quality of the boat couldn’t be faulted her performance was an unknown. However, she certainly seems to be fast (when the skipper sends her in the right direction) so far grabbing a 2nd in the first race of the Taikata Sailing Club winter series held earlier in March.

I plan to race her regularly down at Taikata Sailing Club, where the Frostbite fleet is thriving – with 12+ boats on the start line every fortnight. Wooden boat enthusiasts are welcome to come down to the club and have a yarn. There are a good number of well-kept and restored timber Frostbites amongst the fleet, and no shortage of stories! 

The name ‘Classico’ stems from a holiday dinner in Tuscany where David and his wife were enjoying a bottle of traditional Chanti wine – Chianti ‘Classico’.”

Frostbite Go Fast Tips 1

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Fiddlers Green

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FIDDLERS GREEN

It is believed that Fiddlers Green was built c.1930/40’s and probably started life as a motor launch used for fishing and accessing the holiday homes in the Abel Tasman area. In 1976 she was rescued and converted to a sailing ketch and given the name Fiddlers Green

She measures 14’ in length, has a 5’8” beam and draws 2’6”. Her hull is kauri and the deck, cabin-top and framing timbers were replaced in 1990. She is a regular attendee at the Antique Classic Boat Show at Lake Rotoiti (Nelson Lakes) and in 2018 won the award for best sail boat.

She is for sale on trademe and comes with a custom built (2012) galvanised trailer.

Looking For A Clinker Dinghy?

Chatting with boat builder Greg Lee he told Dale, the yard foreman is currently building a clinker dinghy to a Roy Pariss pattern. So far, Dale has glued all the lands  and just put in the surfboard clear epoxy risen because it is UV stable (photos below)Another coat or two and he will start on the ribs. When finished the intention is to sell her. Knowing Dale and his work she will be a stunner.

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BOAT PORN

Adrian Pawson is mid-way thru a re-fit on his Frostbite – Kiteroa, 1st coat of gloss went on yesterday – looking very smart 🙂

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Jo Marli + Robert Brooke mnzm

 

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Jo Marli

The photos of the above boat – Jo Marli, were sent to me by Nathan Herbert, and were taken during the recent Mahurangi Regatta weekend.
Nathan also sent in the b/w photo (most likely taken somewhere along Beaumont Street, Auckland City) and commented that the boat on the hard left is the same boat.
Can anyone tell us more about Jo Marli?
Input from Harold Kidd
Robert well deserves his MNZOM. It’s just so nice that his life’s work is recognised as having national value.
JO MARLI first appears in 1962 owned by R.R. Miller of 346 Dominion Road and he continues as owner for many years after that. She’s been on the Mahurangi for 10 years or so.

MNZM for Robert Brooke

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In case you missed the news, Robert Brooke was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the New Years Honours.(story ex CYA Sheerlines newsletter)

Mr Robert Brooke has helped preserve New Zealand’s wooden boatbuilding heritage and continues to contribute to and advise pro bono on boatbuilding and restoration to this day. Brooke pioneered and was pivotal in the integration of the ‘Design-and-Build’ mode of teaching and learning into the national curriculum of Workshop Technology. Where previously students copied existing designs or components, under Design-and-Build students conceive the design and see it through to completion. This principle has become the mainstay of technology education and is flourishing under the NCEA environment. He was an advisor in technical subjects for the then Department of Education from 1987 to 1990 and was the National Moderator of the Northern Region appointed to assess National Standards. He has been National Examiner for Ship, Yacht and Boatbuilding and has been a member of the Ship, Yacht and Boatbuilding Advisory Committee for Unitec. He has moderated Ship, Yacht and Boatbuilding Trade and Advanced Trade examinations. He has been General Manager of the Boating Industry Training Organisation. He was commissioned from 2003 to 2005 to design and set up the Boatbuilding Training and Apprenticeship Scheme for the Nova Scotia Boatbuilders’ Association in Canada. Mr Brooke was a leading figure in the establishment of the Auckland Traditional Boatbuilding School.

Message from Robert Brook

A very sincere thank you for all the congratulatory messages.

Education, the Marine industry and Classic boats have been a large part of my life and it has been a great.

Thank you again.

Robert

2018 Classic Yacht & Launch Exhibition – The New Zealand Sailing Dinghy

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2018 Classic Yacht & Launch Exhibition – The New Zealand Sailing Dinghy

This years Classic Yacht & Launch Exhibition, hosted by Tino Rawa Trust, at Karanga Plaza in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter, was a 3 day celebration of the New Zealand Sailing Dinghy.
The event showcased many of the successful designs that created our world class sailors & formed the backbone of your sailing clubs.
I went along on Friday morning to the opening morning tea 🙂 & rubbed shoulders with some of our wooden boating legends, these morning teas are always a special treat. We were entertained by another of Robert Brookes talks – always beautiful delivered & an entertaining insight into Auckland’s sailing past. If you have not seen Robert’s & the Brooke families latest book ‘Memories – Roads of Destiny’ (WW link below) grab a copy at Boat Books in Westhaven – its a must have / read.
I’ll let the photos tell the story of the show – enjoy.
Brooke Book Link