Alan Sexton contacted me the other day concerning Hinera, the Roy Steadman designed / Shipbuilders built 38’ launch. Alan believe that she may have been the last boat built by Shipbuilders. She appeared on the cover of ‘Boating World’ October 1971 edition – copy of article below.

Alan has commented that you can see her obvious lineage from Fiesta, Romany II et al. And maybe built to a budget as the rubber mouldings securing the windows, more appropriate for caravans and fizz boats, did not exactly enhance her.

As launched power was from twin T6 – 354 Perkins that gave her a top speed of approx. 20.5 knots and cruised at 17.9 knots. Alan recalls she was berthed on I pier at Half Moon Bay when first launched, all launches moored bow-in in those days, and her heavy stem and huge flare looked very imposing to an 11 yr old.

Hinera went off Alan’s radar round the 1970’s, do we know what became of the launch?

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 🙂


photos ex Alan Sexton & Alan H, details AS

Both Alan & myself spotted a rather striking launch last weekend at the 2016 Mahurangi Regatta – Jocelyn.
Alan commented that if he recalls correctly she was a Stevenson boat and used to be kept in a Hobson Bay boat shed in the winters, she still has the folding mast. Alan also thinks there was once a Sea Spray magazine feature on her, so woodys dig out the old back issues 😉

From her lines Alan & I would guess she could be a J Hacker (USA) design, built by Lanes & with Cat engines. Alan commented that when she came thru Stockyard Bay last Sunday night she sounded like she may well have been re-engined with a grunty pair.

What do we know about her?

Off to Lake Rotoiti today for the 2016 Classic & Wooden Boat Parade this Saturday (details below) – to use that old Australian saying “I’m as excited as a dog with two dicks” 🙂



photo ex Pam Cundy

Realized today that we have not had a ‘mystery launch’ quiz in a while so here we go – she was berthed in the estuary behind the Whangateau Traditional Boat yard.

When looking for a suitable photo to post this one just jumped out as it also features a rather special boat, the steam ship Romany II. I was gifted the tiller one day by her Captain, Russell Ward, on a misty morning on Lake Rotoiti & I was hooked on steam.

So woodys – who can ID the launch?

Update ex Pam Cundy
Strange coincidence Alan, Sarina is going back in the water at the top of the tide today, see photos below. She’s been out for 8 months having a refit – out with the BMC Commodor and a reconditioned Perkins in as the replacement.
The builder does remain a mystery.  Current owner, Kevin Lawton, took over his fathers boat after his passing. Sarina has been in the family for about 25 years.
Kevin seems to recall mention of Jack Telford building her at Milford around 1961-2. Can any one verify this ?


Romany II


photos & details ex trademe & Ken Ricketts

Romany II, a double skin kauri bridgedecker, designed by Roy Steadman &  built in 1964 by Shipbuilders.  A distinguishing feature of Steadman’s designs was the half circle foredeck, which resulted in a very pronounced flare (refer birds-eye photo below). Steadman’s own bridgedecker, the 28′ Nauty Girl (thats nauty as in nautical) , that he built for himself in the early1950s also had this feature & may well have been the first of this concept. Does anyone have any photos of Nauty Girl?

Romany II is 44’x14’6″x3′ & powered by twin Ford 150hp engines.

Keep an eye out on Saturday, I have a promotion with a very cool prize. Details on Friday 😉
ps anyone can enter but if you are a ww ‘Follower’, entry will be faster & for this promo – the first correct answer wins 🙂 so sign up now.
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