Parua Bay Woodys






Alistair McRae snapped the above woodys in mid May 2020 in Parua Bay, Whangarei.
The first photo is of Waipeke, once owned by Barbara and David Cooke. 30’ in length, built in 1963. Unsure of the builder.
The 2nd & 3rd are of the 23’, 1932, Ralph Shephard built launch – Mandalay. After a long period on the Clevedon River, Parua Bay is now her home.
The last photo is Aveline, the Roy Parris built launch. A new arrival in the Bay, owned by friends of Alistair’s.
Tomorrow on Woodys we have a great rescue story – a woody recovering from a near death experience 😉


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Annalisa was launched in 1960 and is a 36’ Roy Parris built launch.
Powered by a Ford 120hp Lees diesel engine. Current home is Mangonui, Northland and that woodys is all we know about this woody.
Can anyone tell us more about Annalisa’s past?
(thanks to Ian MacDonald for the tme heads up)

All I Want For Christmas




Is another clinker, but not much chance of that – Mrs H doesn’t read WW 🙂

Woody Alan Sexton spotted this very smart dinghy being built in Lees Boatbuilders boat shed. Alan commented that it is not common to see any new dinghy being built from timber these days, let alone clinker construction.
Chatting with Greg Lees he told me it is being built by his foreman, Dale Collins. The 8’ dinghy is based on Roy Parris patterns. When complete she will be for sale – so woodys who is looking of the perfect tender for their woody?
To view examples of the stunning work undertaken by Greg and his team – click the link below


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Karakia was designed by Roy Parris in 1968 but I suspect somewhere along the line she has been ‘altered’ a tad 😉

She measures 24’ and is pushed along by a 34hp Sole diesel engine that gives a 6.5>7 knot cruise speed.
Currently home is Lake Taupo, note the trailer pictured is not for sale, thanks Ian McDonald for the tm listing heads up.
Harold Kidd Input – KARAKIA was registered with APYMBA for the 1966-7 season to J.S.C. McLanachan of Meadowbank.

Lady M

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Lady M was designed and built by Roy Parris and launched in 1964. Looking at her trademe listing, she will not be on the market for long, this is a very well presented and maintained woody. Parris launches are great boats, as an aside woody boat builder Geoff Bagnall chose one for his ‘final’ boat, that says a lot about them.

She measure approx. 27’ in length and is powered by a 72hp Ford diesel, which should give her a good turn of speed.

Lady M’s previous owner, was a marine engineer and he reworked all the mechanicals and re-wired all electrical cabling. The current owner purchased Lady M in 2010 and has had very well respected craftsman work on her ever since – Geoff Bagnall being one of them. So woodys if you are looking for a turn-key classic to go boating in – get you’re A – into -G, Lady M will not hang around .







One of my roaming woodys sent in yesterday the above photos of the launch – Raider, on the hard at Okahu Bay. I imagine the Harbour Master has parked her there. Anyone know what happened to her?

She appears to be a Parris or once was before someone got creative with a few sheets of ply. Perhaps a sister to Cherokee / Mistral?

Ever Wanted To Have a Peek Down Below On One Of The Classic Yacht Association’s A-Class Gaff Yachts

This weekend and next, drop down to Auckland’s Viaduct harbour and you can check out the likes of – Thelma, Rawene, Rainbow, Waitangi, Rawhiti & Frances. Details below.
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Waikaro + CYA Riverhead Cruise

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Waikaro was built in 1978 by Roy Parris as a 30′ work boat for a Great Barrier family. She has received extensive alterations for comfort and practicality by craftsman boat builder Geoff Bagnall, as an aside Geoff learnt his trade alongside Roy Parris.
Current power is via a 120hp Ford diesel.
As you can see from the photos above ex trademe (thanks Ian McDonald) the standard of fit out and maintenance is very good. Her current owners have had her for 15 years.
CYA Riverhead Tavern Cruise
Unfortunately it appeared that most people took one look out the window on Sunday morning and decided that to stay in bed. If they had checked PredictWind they would have seen that things were on the improve.
End result a rather poor turn out – the upside was 2 new members navigated their way up the river & we had a great catch-up.
So Woodys put a very large circle around Sunday 14th April – the date of the next Riverhead cruise. If you haven’t dined at the tavern in the last year, I can tell you the food is very good – check out my calamari lunch below  🙂

Geoff & Warrick Bagnall’s Achilles Relaunched














Saturday was a very special day for the Auckland woody community – we got to celebrate with Milford boatbuilder Geoff Bagnall as he re-launched the 31’ 1973 Roy Parris designed and built launch – Achilles.
Geoff has built and restored a lot of very fine craft in his 19 years at the Milford yard, but the refit of Achilles is extra special because she used to be his fathers boat. Amazingly Warrick was there to witness the launching and he looked very happy, on two fronts – seeing Achilles back family ownership and it was also his 90th birthday, a cake appeared and a bloke’ish version of happy birthday was sung 🙂
Geoff also served his apprenticeship under Roy Parris so the bond with the launch is deep.
Achilles will most likely be Geoff’s last big project – in a few days he will close the shed for the last time – that is a very sad day for us woody owners but this story is all about Warrick, Geoff and Achilles, more on the future of the shed later. Today we had 4 generations of the Bagnall family coming together for the party.
Over the last 18 months I have watched Geoff crafting over the refit and the standard of workmanship and design smarts is second to none, the man has a very good eye for size, proportion and just what looks right when it comes to boats. I have had the pleasure to have Geoff work on Raindance for over 10 years and she is now twice the boat she was when I bought her in terms of practicality and looks, as a result of Geoff’s input and craft.
Some details on the ’new’ Achilles – she now measures 31’ in length, is powered by a new Yanmar 200hp turbo that will she her dancing along very nicely. That stunning finish comes from being glassed (I quote Geoff- “I don’t want to be bloody working on her again in my life-time”) and she has all the latest features to make life aboard very comfortable. There are still a few wee jobs to complete but I think you’ll agree from the photos above and video below, Achilles is an impressive sight and a wonderful example of Geoff’s skills.


Below is a selection of photos taken ‘in-the-shed’ during the refit.
As always – click on photos to enlarge 😉

To view a selection of launches built by Roy Parris – click this link

Milford Mooching + Rudder Cup Launch Race – Come & See The Start – This Friday @ 7pm – In Front of the RNZYS.





Milford Mooching

I dropped in yesterday to catch-up with Geoff Bagnall at his Milford boat yard. I have talked on WW recently about the sale of the site & how Geoff is locking the door & heading North. The actual date is weeks, rather than months away & the woody owners are queuing up at the door to get work done b4 Geoff leaves the creek for the last time.
In the shed, on the hard & next door are a collection of woodys in various stages of repair. The one that interests me the most is the Roy Parris launch that Geoff is re-building for himself, the boat was originally his fathers (still alive, in-fact turns 90 soon). As you would expect the attention to detail is stunning. I will feature her on WW closer to the relaunch date.
Who can tell us more about Mata Hari , I have only ever seen her moored in front of a Milford Creek house, never seems to venture out – I understand (could be wrong) that her owner was the seller of Geoff’s yard.
Photo below ex Ken Ricketts
The Rudder Cup Launch Race – This Friday – Start @ 7pm in front of the RNZYS – Be There – YOU COULD WIN A WW T-SHIRT – The best photo of the start, emailed to me at will receive a free waitematawoodys t-shirt.
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Aries is a 26’ Roy Parris launch, launched in 1962. She has a kauri hull & mahogany topsides.

Her zoom zoom comes via a Perkins 4-108 diesel.
She is listed on trademe (thanks Ian McDonald) & while she has recently had some TCL to the cabin sides she stills require finishing off.
Her reserve (starting bid) is $500, so there could be a bargain entry level woody to be had here 🙂

Storm Bird

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Built by Roy Parris, Storm Bird is a fine example of the popular 1960’s carvel planked 24’ design, Zoom zoom comes from a Isuzu 4-Cylinder Diesel.

The vessel has been regularly used and serviced by the current owner who has enjoyed years of reliable trouble-free cruising.

Her trademe listing tells us Sandspit is her home, a great entry boat to get into classic wooden boating. If it was me I’d be chopping some height off the cabin, but maybe her owner is 6’6”+ J

Thanks to Ian McDonald for the listing heads up.


A Big Parris

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To the best of my knowledge there were not a lot of big Roy Parris launches built, was there a reason ? shed size?. This one was built in 1960 & is 36′ & made of kauri. Zoom zoom is via a 120hp Ford diesel that comfortably pushes her along at 8 knots @ 1750 rpm.

She has been a very lucky classic woody in that as well as having the same owner for the last 20+ years, she has also been moored in a boat shed during this period.
Do we know anymore about her past?

She is 4sale on trademe, I can’t make out her name, but one of the woodys will recognize her 😉 Appears to be a lot of boat for the money.
As always – thanks to Ian McDonald for the heads up on the listing.

Cherokee – 4sale

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Cherokee  4sale
photos ex trademe
Today’s boat is a nice example of Roy Parris’s work. It’s what I would call a transitional classic. She measures 31′ 6″ & was built in kauri & launched in 1965. Powered by 120hp Ford diesel she has a good turn of speed for an old girl – cruises at 8 knots with a max of 14 knots. From the photos she looks to be very well cared for.
Home port is Blenheim, Marlborough so she is fitted with a diesel heater so a very comfortable cruiser. I understand she is for sale at $39k so in my eyes is a very good buy. The broker obviously doesn’t want to sell it, he has done the usual trick & tried to hide  the name of the boat. Must be sad to be that insecure in your job 🙂
Anyone know her name & anymore details about her past?

12-05-2019 Update ex Robin Smith (current owner)

Robin was the slip master at Bay of Island Boat club and owned and restored the 100 year old log tow launch Huia prior to moving south Marlbourough (boat moored at Moetapu Bay – Mahau Sound), and purchasing Cherokee 3 years ago.
In the photo below of Cherokee, getting a beach for a scrub (seems they can still do it without the greenies catching them). Robin was given the ‘old’ mast and stays by the previous owner and the deck head of the cabin still has the wiring and strong base for the mast. Also the mast stay dead eyes are still on the deck. Robin commented that the mast just doesn’t look right on the boat with the flybridge now so it is fitted to his house with a red duster flying. He also has the original dorade ventilators that the previous owner changed to the plastic ones 😦
Fingers crossed that maybe one day the chainsaw will come out and Cherokee will return to a sedan top.
Robin also commented that there seems to be some evidence of another set of engine mounting holes in the engine bearers. 
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11-07-2020 Input from Kelly Ellis – Photo below of the Roy Parris 1957 Cherokee owned by Robin and Lesley Smith spotted in the outer Pelorous. Rob brought her down the East Coast from Northland
Cherokee 2020


photo & details ex Ross Farrant

Arohanui was built by Roy Parris in 1974 & is 30′ long. Owner Ross purchased her a couple of years ago from a gent by the name of Doug Wood. Ross understands Doug runs (perhaps ‘ran’ now) a diesel servicing business out of Westhaven.

Milford boatbuilder Geoff Bagnall was an apprentice under Roy Parris at the time Arohanui was built, Ross spoke to Geoff recently and he told Ross that he remembers there were 4 of these 30′ launches built, he also recalls that Arohanui was built for a Dick Milburn who is now deceased. Geoff knows nothing of her history after that.

You will notice in the above photo a small cabin top on the foredeck. Geoff Bagnall did that job for previous owner Doug wood at his Milford shed a few years ago, it appears that most of Roy’s boats had a flush foredeck but Doug wanted headroom, and it does work, brings more light into the boat and doesn’t detract from the overall look of the boat.

Arohanui is powered by a Lees Marine conversion, six cylinder Ford truck engine, Ross was amazed at how much oil the sump took when he did my first oil change.

Anything anybody can tell ww about her history would be great as Ross & Sue Farrant are a bit light on details relating to her past.

(sorry about the photo quality, as supplied)

Jolly Roger

photos ex Jason Prew

Back in August 2015 Jason was in Whangarei & snapped a collection of photos at the town basin. Today’s launch is the Jolly Rogers & she shows all the hallmarks of being a Roy Parris boat. I seem to recall she was berthed at Auckland’s Milford Marina for many years, not that long ago.
Can anyone supply more details on her?

21-10-2015 Update from Bruce & Margaret Hunt

We have been the proud owners of Jolly Roger for nearly 30 years. Very much a family boat cruising extensively in the Hauraki Gulf with our son & daughter from carry cot stage!
Launched in September 1956  Jolly Roger was built for Mr Brown of the Smith & Brown furniture store in Auckland. We visited Roy Parris soon after purchase & discovered that he had also owned her for a few years, Jolly Roger being one of his favourites.
We had her berthed at Westhaven until our shift to Whangarei  in 2014.


photo ex Ken Ricketts. Details ex Harold Kidd

Today’s post is of the sedan top launch Cherokee. The photo above was taken by KR c.1972.

CHEROKEE was built for J. W. Farrell in 1958 and, according to Bo Farrell, was a 34 footer. She had a 100hp Gray engine.

Interested in more info on her past & whereabouts today.

A lot of chat on Cherokee & possible sister ships in the ww Comments section.

Beverly Anne


photos & details ex Stuart Johnston

Beverly Anne was owned by Stuarts family in the early- mid sixties. She was built by Roy Parris for the late Bill Doherty who owned Christopher Bede Photography and was moored in Stanmore Bay over several summers. She was either 21 or 23 ft in length (depending on who was talking) and was powered by a flat 6  Gray Marine of 120hp and in Stuart’s opinion a very pretty little boat although at flat out pushed a heck of a lot of water. She was sold to Ron Neil when Bill Doherty had  a larger version built a ‘Chris Bede’ of 26/28 ft, also Gray powered. Later she was sold to Alex Gemmell who refurbished her adding the fixed dodger and bilge keels (work done by Hart Bros Marine). The bilge keels worked a treat and enabled her to plane and was capable of close to 20mph, fast enough to ski behind.

Stuart’s father Gilbert Johnston, was the last Stanmore Bay owner who sold her about 1969, Stuart believes to an owner based in Helensville and was trucked to the Kaipara. Last time Stuart heard of her she was reputably moored at Waitangi and sported a superstructure unbecoming such a pretty vessel.
(the photos above are a mix of as originally built & balance post modifications)

It would be interesting to know if she is still afloat and what she now looks like.



photos & details ex Ken Ricketts, edited by Alan H

Serene was built by Roy Parris in the late 1950’s early 1960’s. She is approx. 36′ long & powered by a 6-354 Perkins diesel. She has had the same owners, Helen & Craig Brown of Whangarei for over 20 years & is kept at Opua & before that in front of their waterfront home in Whangarei.
The Browns bought her approx. 20years ago off an Italian living at Snells Beach who only owned her for 3 or 4 months & he had bought her of Garry Nordstrand who had owned her for a long time. To the best of the Browns knowledge Serene is the boats original name & she has spent all or almost all of her life in Northland from Algies Bay upwards. Her coamings were varnished until fairly recently as the surface had deteriorated so much they reluctantly made the hard call to paint them, with a thin new layer of timber like a veneer, beneath the new paint to improve the surface.

Scamp Sailing on the Manukau – April 1946


Scamp Sailing on the Manukau - April 1946

Scamp Sailing on the Manukau – April 1946, when owned by Jim Jenkin.

photo & words ex Robin Elliott

Built by Roy Parris while working at Shipbuilders during the war from off-cuts from the Fairmiles c.1943/44

The yacht registrations were a bit of a shambles during the War and no record has yet shown up stating that Scamp was ever issued with V-28, but I have no doubt that she was. In 1945 with the Auckland register in a shambles, a serious attempt was made to clean it up but no official list was published until the winter of 1946, by which time Scamp was on the Manukau (carrying sail V-28).
V-28 was issued to Stormbird in 1927, Memutu in 1932, Witch in 1944. Macushla in 1946, Coronet in 1950 and Raven in 1958.

The Manukau yachting administration kept its own register, so the sail number of an Auckland yacht sold over there (or further outside Auckland) became vacant and was available for re-issue. The smaller fleets on the Manukau usually meant that an ex-Auckland boat could keep its existing sail number, e.g. V-28 for Scamp, V-90 for Jeanette rather that be given a totally new number. Later on, if the boat returned to the Waitemata, it was re-registered with Auckland, and if its original number had since been re-issued, then it was issued with a new number e.g. Scamp to V-45 in 1947.