Woody Lake Taupo Boat Tour + Woody Event Details


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One of WW’s most local supporters is Bay of Islands woody, Dean Wright – today Dean takes us on a recent mooch around Lake Taupo’s shoreline, click photos to enlarge –  Enjoy 🙂
Back in November 2019 we had an amazing woody weekend at the Clevedon Cruising Club. At the time everyone expressed a desire to repeat the trip up the Wairoa River asap, then CV-19 popped up, so we pulled the hand-brake.
Well folks the cruise is back on and for now there are two things to do:
1. Circle August 8-9 in the diary
The CCC is a brilliant venue, with dock-side berthing, undercover BBQ / dining facilities and a great group of members that make the trip so special.
And its dog friendly ! – so fido gets to come along.
Woody Classics Weekend Clevedon #2 copy

Lake Taupo Wooden Boats



Lake Taupo Wooden Boats

Right now Colin Pawson should have been in the USA & taking photos for me at a wooden boat festival, but a speed bump slowed him down a bit & instead he was mooching round the lake front moorings at Lake Taupo.

Most of the above have appeared on WW before but its always nice to get an update & who has been applying the TLC & who hasn’t 🙂

Input ex Paul Drake – below is a 1932 pic of the same two boats. It is regatta day at Taupo. ROMANCE has only recently arrived at the lake ex Napier and is still a flush decker. EAST WIND has already been on the lake for some years. Both boats came into Drake family ownership 46 years ago in 1972.

Now would be a good moment to seek opinions regarding EAST WIND’s origins. She was clearly built as an open boat with motor. She still has the original foredeck and coaming under the newer raised deck. Two clues – she has an external stern gland and has an X etched into her starboard forard sheer strake (see pic). No sign of lifting hooks though.

We would be really interested to discover when she was built and by whom. Her history prior to the mid 1920’s is a mystery. What do the Brains Trust think?

Also below is Paul’s favorite pic of EAST WIND, at Rotoiti, taken by me  (Alan H).




Taupo Eye Candy



Morning woodys – over the Xmas / NY break Paul Drake sent me the above photo that shows Romance (Bailey and Lowe 1914 – 26 feet and 6 inches LOA, 1947 Chrysler Ace powered) launch alongside the Acacia Bay wharf at Lake Taupo.
Alongside Romance is Dragon Hunter (Knaggs Brothers – she has a builder’s plate (photo blow) – 12 feet, St Mary’s Bay, Auckland, about 1930).

Both are rather fine classic’s – you can read / view more on Romance here https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/09/22/8829/
and here  https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/12/21/romance-2/





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photos & details ex Paul & Roger Drake

Saturdays  post on the Kinloch Woodys prompted Paul & Roger to dig out at their collections of old  Taupo postcards. The brothers uncovered some great photos of Victory from the 1940>1950 era. Also read below Paul’s comments on Victory.
The first photo above shows Victory on the beach at Waihaha with her skipper on foredeck – Ernie Taylor, son of builder Jack Taylor.

The second photo shows her hauled out at Nukuhau, where she was built. Probably in the 1940’s, when she was quite new. Now she has a larger wheelhouse, but is not much changed apart from that.
Boat in foreground is Ahuriri – an ex surf boat from Napier.
On the other side of Victory is Romance, then Lady Pat – well documented and discussed on WW.

The photo below is dated 1959  shows Victory on the other side of the Waikato river sporting her original wheelhouse. It was altered some time later.
Behind her with bow showing only is the Logan Ponui also owned by the Taylor’s at the time.
This side of the river at the breastwork is Rangatira (Otehei) on the left  and El Alamein (Ranui) 4th from left.
Boat Harbour Taupo

Details on Victory ex Paul Drakes comments on last Saturdays ww post

“VICTORY is very much a lake boat. As Colin says, she was built at Taupo by local boat builder and charter boat skipper Jack Taylor.  She was launched, I believe, in 1942 or 1943. It is said that no power tools were used during her construction. Kauri planks on jarrah ribs with totara  floors. She was built to replace ROMANCE (Bailey and Lowe 1914), who was sold by Jack in 1943. VICTORY became a very busy and popular charter boat. The Taylors sold her in 1982. Although it is said that Jack often wished he had never started building such a large launch (40 feet), assisted by his wife, – his two sons were away at the war – he must have enjoyed her immensely once finished. She was a big step up from the 26 foot 6 inch ROMANCE. VICTORY was perfect for the four or five day charters which were very common in the day. VICTORY is a Jack Taylor design, built from a model which Jack towed behind ROMANCE as he refined the shape. She is of shallow draft – a useful attribute on Taupo  (no tidal rise and fall) – as it allows access to beaches where the drill is to put the bow on the beach and disembark via a ladder (in VICTORY’s case a rather long ladder). She did spend a few years in Auckland (Pine Harbour) during the 1990’s, but for 90% of her 70 plus years she has been at Taupo. She is well looked after and nicely appointed internally.”

Victory June 2016 at Kinloch



photos & details ex Paul Drake

Romance 1 designed & built by Bailey and Lowe in 1914 has just celebrated her 100th birthday. Owner Paul Drake gifted the old girl a new coat of paint & installed an anchor winch – which he told me actually says more about the age of her owners than the age of the boat 🙂

The Drake family have been Romance’s custodians for the last 42 years & she has been kept at Taupo since 1931. She was built for W.C. Mills who replaced her with the larger and faster ROMANCE 2 in 1919, now owned by Pauline Kidd.

Romance had the distinction of appearing on both the front and back covers of The New Zealand Yachtsman magazine of May 19, 1917. See below photos of both covers taken by Paul from an original copy of this magazine he has.

The September 5, 1914 edition of the same magazine included the following: “The launch Romance was hauled up at Queen’s Parade at Devonport on Saturday afternoon last. She is a handsome little craft and is a welcome addition to our fleet of pleasure boats. Last Saturday it was delivered to Mr Mills, a 26 foot tuck stern launch. This boat is of the raised deck type, her engine room being forard and her cabin a roomy compartment aft. The cockpit is spacious and is fitted with the usual seats and lockers. Her motive power consists of a 6 HP 4 cycle engine. She has been named Romance”.

The Drake family saved Romance from the slab sided plywood cabin brigade when they rebuilt the cabin using there own ideas in 1976. They also re ribbed and re floored her, installing a wing motor (an ancient Feltham twin), and a magnificent Chrysler Ace. These engines continue to serve her well.

The above photos show Romance at Waiheke in 1914, as purchased in Taupo in 1972, and as she came off the slip a couple of weeks ago following her 100 year repaint.

More details & photo here https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/05/10/romance/

Ken Rickett photo below – Feb 2014








Romance is the older and smaller sister of Romance II. She was built August 1914 by Bailey & Lowe for W.C. Mils of Devonport who replaced her with Romance II in 1919. Romance was 26ft oa and fitted with an ohv 4 cyl petrol engine. W.E. Utting owned her for many years after Mills.

She then went to Napier and was bought by Sydney Hole and was the Holes family boat for many years on Lake Taupo. Pictured is Ken Hole(Sydney’s son) and Belle Hole standing beside Romance)

In 2006 she was in charter on the lake.

photo ex Alan Good, words Harold Kidd & Alan Good.