1930’s Mystery Launch and Location

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1930’s Mystery Launch and Location

When this photo appeared on fb, no one was able to ID the vessel or confirm the location. Location suggestions were Judges Bay Parnell and Takapuna Beach.
Can we do any better?
Reminder – if you like plastic boats the Boat Show is on till Sunday down at Auckland’s Viaduct – new venue as Team NZ are squatting at the Events Centre. Lots of ’stuff’ for your woody on display / sale.
Harold Kidd Input – It’s certainly a puzzle Although the hull is very similar to Seagars’ REHUTAI (but I think a tad smaller) she still retained her funnel after she was dieselised and her wheelhouse was taller. Also, why would the Seagars pull her out at Judges Bay when they had a secure spot in the Devonport Yacht Club’s yard just along the road from their nice house in Jubilee Avenue?
Who Owns Safari ? photo below. Contact me on  waitematawoodys@gmail.com I may have something from the boats past that might interest you 😉
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Woodys Cruise To Riverhead Hotel


Blue Fin


Silens – 1912 Harvey & Lang


Volantis – 1965 & Raindance – 1928 Lane MB Co.


Lady Margaret – 1927 Colin Wild

Woodys Cruise To Riverhead Hotel

Talk around the dock was that a few woodys were itching to give their classic woody an airing prior to this weekends CYA Xmas Party at Patio Bay, Waikehe Island. So a few of us decided to mooch up the harbour to the Riverhead Hotel for lunch & a fizzy beverage. Conditions were perfect & we had a great time, sometimes fewer numbers are good – you get to talk to everyone & the expended wharf, hosted most of us. 

Nice to see new CYA member John Mildenhall make the trip on Blue Fin. The 1935, C. Bailey Jun. designed & built by C. Bailey & Sons launch Nana, was at the meeting spot at Lucas Creek but didn’t do the creek trip, I passed them heading back & for once didn’t have the camera out – very smart classic. There is a great story about her rescue & rebuild – read here https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/02/01/nana-resuced-restored/

Publician Stephen Pepperell’s 1965 launch – Volantis, was berthed at the wharf & her refit is coming along nicely, the plan was to have her finished for Patio Bay weekend but completion is a little way off, but she will be a stunner when finished. View more on her history here https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/04/20/volantis-joins-our-classic-launch-fleet/

On the return trip I snapped a few photos of some classics moored on-route – see below 



Te Hauraki – 1920 William Clare


Safari – c.1940 Trevor McGuire


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Wairangi has appeared before on ww (link below) but has recently had a big dose of TLC. The above photos are a mix of some taken by owner Owen Foster (via KRickets) while anchored at Rakino Island & mine that show her over Easter anchored in Man o War Bay, Waiheke Island. The newly varnished cabin/wheelhouse looks stunning & combined with a lot of other work, she looks very special – in fact I would be happy to call her mine 🙂

Also looking very smart in one of the photos is Safari, her owner Neil took the below photo of Raindance during the Sunday afternoon squall that hit the bay mid afternoon – rain, hail, wind = boats dragging their anchor all over the bay – fun & games but no damage.



11-08-2018 Update – Photos below taken by Owen Foster using a drone, while at anchor at Oneroa, Waiheke Island. emailed in by Ken Ricketts

Update 19-07-2019 ex model maker John Whyte

Back in February I was contacted by John Whyte seeking info on Wairangi, John was doing the drawings of Wairangi for model maker Paul Berntsen (Havelock North). Earlier today John sent me the photos below of Paul’s finished model. John commented that the wharf behind it is a 1.34 scale model of the Opua wharf which measures just over 6 metres in length. John plans to build a lower wharf for the pilot boat with a ladder coming of the higher wharf.
The boat measures around 450mm long and 110mm wide.
Paul is obviously very talented, I struggle maintaining my own boat – building  something like this would be a recipe for disaster for me 🙂
Wairangi 1

2016 Floating Bach Award Finalist


Would this be a Finalist for the 2016 Floating Bach Award?

Regular ww readers will have heard me talk about the growing interest in the ownership of classic wooden launches & how I have tagged it the Floating Bach trend. Well yesterday Scott Taylor having just returned from a holiday at Lake Waikaremoana* sent me some boating photos. One of which (Rawene, above) would have to be the epitome of that tag, complete with poop deck 🙂

Interested to learn more on the other woodys below (Safari, Camaron, Rawene) & get some details on their past & how they ended up at the lake + there are a couple of plastic Logans that I’d be keen to name.



Note: for the overseas ww followers – Lake Waikaremoana is situated in the Te Urewera National Park, in the North Island of NZ. Some spectacular walks & just wow scenery. A few photos below.

29-12-2016 Update – Photos below of Rawene – sent in by Toni Metz – read more about the boats history in the comments section below. These photos were taken in the 1930’s at Waikaremoana. In the second photo, Rawene is the last boat in the line below the shed.



08-06-2020 Input from Jason Clough – owner of the launch Cameron in one of the above photos. Turns out its not a woody, but comments added for the record.

“I aquired Camaron just over a year ago. It is a Vindex 32 , launched 1972 , was built by Jim Young. Possibly #9 (purely guessing by thats what I found when sides were being sanded down) I have pretty much all of its history. Camaron is one of the first ever sandwich construction GRP hulls , with a Balsa Core.The topsides, trim are teak , Cedar , and a laminated ply roof. There is also a bit of other timbers in the trim . It was on Lake Taupo from 72 till about 86 as a fishing charter boat. (I even found an original business card under the nooks and crannies)The rear canopy was shorter , It had a upper deck ( if thats what u call it) It ran 2 x 200 hp stern legs. From there it went down south and was owned by the Otago Harbour board. Under the paint , I found in giant lettering “SURVEY” written down the sides. and , clearly hull repairs made where large Transducers had been fitted. It would be reasonable to assume is was bottom surveying / sounding for shipping channels. From launch right thru here , it was in survey , i have pages of its tickets.
Somewhere around 1994 /5 It must have come out of the water , and had its engines removed , rooftop taken away (made to a “saloon”) , and the rear roof line extended another 1200 mm or so , and sold on
It was purchased by previous owner around 1996 , from a broker in Marlborough with 2 x Honda outboards on pods fitted and converted to its present state.
From There , it was Transported to Waikaremoana , where it has been since.
About a year ago , It Was in pretty bad shape, and looked like it needed rescuing before it was too late. I have put a lot of hours into it , and it is looking great again. It has a new laminated roof , foredeck , glass laminating , completely gutted out and every square cm has been touched. The hull structure and integrity was in surprisingly good shape – kudos to the original builder and their skills, expansive use of epoxy sealing and quality work , materials.
I have kept Camaron as original as I can , with just a bit of modern in the comfort dept and where necessary. Even the big old polished brass compass is staying put !
Coincidentally today , We just popped up to Waikaremoana to have a look at the mooring to get and idea whats needed to sort that out, which led me to this site trying to figure out I am looking at the right one!
Camaron is now pretty much ready to be relaunched again in the next few weeks- just waiting on a bit of trim n upholstery , and is looking great.”