My Big Woody Adventure


My Big Woody Adventure 

Several months ago David Cooke tapped me on the shoulder & asked if I would like to join Barbara & himself aboard their 1965 Salthouse built classic motor-yacht, Trinidad, on the first leg of their circumnavigation of New Zealand – Bay of Islands (East Coast of the North Island) > down the West Coast to Picton (top of the South Island). The short answer was hell yes.

Fast forward to Saturday January 20th 2018 & the Cooke’s, myself & Jamie Hudson (owner of near sister ship – Lady Crossley) are having our last land based dinner at the Whangaroa Sport Fishing Club. Very appropriate that it was fish & chips. An early night was called & we woke at 5.30am Sunday morning to prepare for departure – photos & trip details below – read on & enjoy the journey – I did 🙂

A slightly different format today – magazine style i.e. photos & copy to support them, have also captioned some. When you are doing 3 hours on 3 hours off watches, food plays a big part of the day – so there are a few food shots. When Barbara deemed I needed to be punished for some misdemeanor she would not tell my what was for dinner & keep me guessing all day. To a serious foodie, that was cruel.


Dinner at Whangaroa Sports Fishing Club

We left Whangaroa early on Sunday (21/01) – approx. 515 nautical miles ahead of us. Conditions were a little damp & a combination of sea mist & low cloud meant we saw little of the Northland coast. In fact North Cape / Cape Regina was only an outline.


We crossed the top of the North Island mid afternoon. Gave the Pandora Bank a very wide berth & pointed Trinny in a straight line to the South Island. The rain and drizzle continue into the first night but after that it was a dry run. We had a 10>15 knot breeze from NE most of the way & a 2>3m swell. The combination of a steadying sail & a wee headsail worked a treat, not for speed but simply to help steady the rolling motion. When both are set the wheel can be left and Trinny will hold her course.

They say an army marches on its stomach – well the Trinny crew certainly had no complaints with the gallery – we dined well 🙂


Stunning sunset


Stunning dawn, off Taranaki

The clock on the GPS says 3:58am & we were just off New Plymouth, the gas well / rig lights being the first thing we had seen other than H2O. Mount Egmont poking thru the clouds / mist. This was the view most days – same > same but very wow.

Lots of dolphins (& the odd shark)


The crew – Barbara, David, Jamie & myself below


Closing in on Stephens island at the northern end of the Marlborough sounds, the weather gods smiled on us for the trip across Cook Straight & with the GPS reading 9.6 knots it was a happy crew. It had been a dry trip, so we were hanging out for a cold beer once we had dropped anchor in Queen Charlotte Sound.

We arrived in Resolution Bay at approx. 6pm, a total travel time of close to 60 hrs. And immediately rafted up with friends of Barbara & David’s –  Rob and Mandy Carpenter who own the Warwick designed launch Pandanoosa. When the engine was killed it was so peaceful, but saying that the faultless beat of the 6LX Gardner was quite hypnotic.

I lost the bet on how long the trip would take (only by 45mins) & was forced to wear a bar napkin, take orders and serve drinks while displaying my best manners……….

We had a great night & a superb meal of Blue Cod aboard Pandanoosa.


Captain Cooke – peeling the potatoes for dinner


Bay Of Many Coves Resort



The Crew, brunch & bubbles

We awoke after a great sleep – we had been doing watches of 3 hours on / 3 hours, to the magnificent beauty of The Sounds. It’s just so big & so stunning. The next 2 days were spent mooching around the bays & coves sucking up the scenery(Pickersgill Island, Blumine Island, Endevour Inlet, Anapawa Island). Brunch at the Bay of Many Coves resort was a special treat, as were drinks at Furneaux Lodge.


This is my pick of the waterfront properties we saw. I will do another WW story soon on the boat sheds – some stunners.


Cabin boy Jamie doing his morning chores


A little sad when we had to berth Trinny at the Waikawa Bay marina & clean / pack up. End of the line for Jamie & myself but just the start for the Cooke’s – you can follow their cruise on the Trinidad Travels facebook page – link below

The return journey – I had always wanted to do the Wellington > Auckland scenic train trip, so suggested to Jamie that we took the overnight ferry from Picton > Wellington & caught the train home. A great plan, just had to kill 5 hours in the middle of the night in Wellington. I think Jamie thought Mermaids was a seafood restaurant………..

Train was very cool, a few issues with brakes overheating that extended the travel time – but I would do the trip again.


  1. The crew – Barbara, David & Jamie – perfect mix & just outright 100% nice people
  2. Trinidad – anytime aboard her is a treat, she is such stunning old lady, who has lapped NZ before, crossed the Tasman to Sydney & cruised the Pacific Islands.
  3. The food
  4. The sunsets & dawns off the West Coast of the North Island
  5. Queen Charlotte Sound & Picton town, very cool place to own a woody – I’ll be back.

For the overseas viewers I have included below a few photos of Trinidad, a rather magnificent ship – looking as always very regal. You can see / read more about her here




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Lysander was built in 1974 by Salthouse in 3 skin kauri. She falls under the category of – Mid Pilothouse Bridge decker. She measures approx. 49’ & is powered by a 325hp diesel that pushes her along at 10-12 knots.

As you will observe from the above photos, Lysander is a very well presented & one could easily spend an extended period afloat aboard.

Thanks to Ian McDonald for the trade listing heads up.


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One for the workboat woodys today, Skagen is a 36’ Danish double ender, built by Salthouse in 1973. She has a beam of 10’7” & draws 4’11” with a carvel kauri hull. Powered by a mighty 5LW Gardner diesel, 4 berths in 2 cabins, toilet, gas cooker, radar, 2 x GPS chart plotters, depth/fish finder, autopilot, hyd. steering, electric capstan, easy walk round side decks, wheelhouse side doors, steadying sail.  A very salty ship that you would feel very safe in.

She spent over 10 years in commercial fishing on the East Coast & has recently been restored.

Look at the Kim Kardashian backside on her – that’s a work of art 😉

Thanks to Ian McDonald for the heads up on the trademe listing.

Input from David Glen –  Skagen’ was moored in the Whangapoua Harbour, off Matarangi Wharf, for the best part of the last 20 years. She was owned by a local resident who worked in the local forests. She caught my eye at Matarangi in 90’s and she appeared to be well maintained, but seldom used. She looks good in the pics.


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The above photos of Arima were emailed to me by Ken Ricketts & according to info attributed to her owner, she measures 36′ & was built in 1955 of planked kauri by Salthouse to a Colin Wild design.
Arima has a 110 hp. 6 cyl., Ford diesel that sees her cruising at 8.5 knots. with a top speed of 10 knots. Home port is Whangarei.

What else do we know about her & is this provenance correct?





I was contacted recently by John Managh whose father (Keith Managh*) bought the 36′ Hoani from Charley Turner in October 1979, Charley designed & built her over a 15 year period in Coromandel. Charley was ‘just’ going to build a little fishing boat for himself and his mate but she grew in size & build time 🙂 He wanted to call the boat Joanne after his granddaughter. However he thought Joanne was much to common a boat name. So he asked a local what the Maori translation for Joanne was and he told her Hoani. So that is how she got her name. Quite some time later it was discovered that Hoani is actually John in Maori.
John recently found Hoani’s original log book, below are the first three pages that give us an insight into her specs, launch day & first cruise.

From the photos above you can see she is a straight sedan top launch. A year after the family bought her, Keith took her to Salthouses. They did an extensive reno to make her suitable for a family of seven. Keith told the story that he gave Salthouses the list of all the stuff that he wanted in the boat. They said ‘you need a 45″ boat’. Dad said ‘you will do it…’ And they did.

John would love to know where she is now & hopefully get the chance to view her.

*A little about Keith Managh. He was a sawmiller in Thames. Owned what was called then Thames Sawmilling Company that is now called Thames Timber. He unfortunately passed away in 2006. He was a natural boatie. Albeit he did not grow up boating. His nick name from the Thames crew was Captain Rock Hopper. He would take her places most boaties would never go. It did come with its misfortunes. The family spent more than a few nights on the hard after Keith run aground going where he should not have. Especially in Mania Harbour.




11-03-2017 Input from Mark McLaughlin
Below are a couple of more recent (10yrs ago!) photos of Hoani as she currently appears. She has been based in Havelock for over 10 years. She is beautifully maintained and is in regular use around the Marlborough Sounds and Nelson region.

Hoani at Havelock Jan 2006

Hoani Tennyson Inlet Jan 2006

Woody, Paul Beachman was down at the Devonport Yacht Club yesterday morning post the big SE blow & spotted a lot of flotsam washed up, including timber & some boat gear. Late morning low tide indicated awash alongside a yellow mooring buoy a foundered launch that Paul fears maybe the launch Grace, that belonged to the late DYC member Ken Smith. A certain amount of material such as squabs, plastic objects was also seen ashore.

Paul understands that Grace was about 7m and had that pre 1914 look. Does anyone know more about Grace & whether she was anchored anywhere near DYC?

Hopefully not another centurion lost.

Turongo + Mahurangi Launch Parade Details




Woody Alan Sexton was anchored in Orokawa Bay, Bay of Islands, last week & while doing a dinghy run ashore he spotted Turongo on her mooring.
All we know about her is that she was built by Salthouses following Trinidad. Alan believes she was originally powered by twin V8 Cummins & is still Cummins powered, the exhausts suggest a pair of largish engines.

So woodys can we provide some more details on her. Given her current presentation, she is very well loved



Photo by Mark Lever

This coming weekend sees the staging of the Mahurangi Regatta, without a doubt, on a fine day it is the most spectacular gathering of wooden craft afloat in NZ. For those that are newish to the waitematawoodys site, just type Mahurangi Regatta in the ww search panel & you can view the previous years regatta’s.
On the day the main gig is the actual Mahurangi Regatta yacht race but in recent times the classic launches have been doing a parade on Saturday morning. The regatta organizing committee are notorious for their laid back ‘it will be all right on the day’ attitude so things are always a tad fluid when it comes to start times etc BUT I can tell you that the assembly point will be off Scotts Landing, we will depart there at 10am (a vessell will sound its horn x3 times), so be there early. We will proceed in ‘Indian file’ to Sullivans Bay. Attempts in previous years to be in chronological order have been a shambles & nearly ended in fistie cuffs -so the order will be a gentlemanly thing i.e. just merge like a zipper 🙂

We will approach Sullivans Bay via the right hand side of the bay, past the flagship – Jane Gillord, from where a specially marked (red buoys) fairway should be roughly in line with the driveway to the right of the old homestead down near the beach. Refer photo below. And also view at this link

We will enter the fairway to port to motor across the bay along the red buoy fairway. We will exit the fairway on a bearing towards Pudding Island, clear of which will be a buoy, refer photo.

If all goes to plan, we will do two laps. Its really very simple, as there will be a lead boat, so just stay in line & follow her. NOTE: There will be a minimum of 2m water in the fairway area.
After the parade, boats can head off to enjoy the rest of the day. Remember, the beach side BBQ at Scotts Landing on Saturday night is a must do – BYO food & drinks but BBQ’s provided. The prize giving is schedule for 6.30pm but most people head ashore around 5’ish. The ‘Prohibition Big Band’ will be playing in the marquee till late.

Whether you own a boat or not there is something for everyone during the day – check out details here

When you go ashore, bring some cash – the Mahurangi CC Yearbook (magazine) at $15 is great value & as always a cracker read.



Photo by Chris Miller

Kailua 2016 Refit



ww readers will be familiar with Graham Guthrie’s 1960 classic Bob Salthouse sedan launch – Kailua. During Graham’s ownership Kailua was maintained by classic woody master tradesman Mark Stapleton & always presented in immaculate condition by Graham, refer first photo above.
Early in 2016 Kailua changed hands & her new owner is Stephen Langton. Classic wooden boat enthusiasts will be happy to hear that Stephen has good woody genes, being the son-in-law of Margo & Jamie Hudson, owners of Lady Crossley.

Now while Kailua’s configuration was fine for Graham’s usage, Stephen had other plans & has engaged the services of West Harbour boat builders – Nautique (Neil Williamson and Ben Freedman) to completely ‘make-over’ her interior & at the same time give the exterior paint and bright work job a very big fright. A new boarding platform has also been added. The workmanship & attention to detail looks up there with the best & I can’t wait to see her again once the Awlwood MA (Uroxsys) is applied. I always gave Graham a hard time about the plastic helm seat, so I’m very happy to see the new one !

Kailua is a very deceptive classic, she is fast – several years ago James Mobberley from Moon Engines, shoe-horned in a 160hp turbo Hino engine & this provides Kailua with the means to lift her skirt & dance. Moon’s have done the same transplant to several other classics (Falcon, Romance II) placing them all in the serious zoom zoom category (for old classic wooden craft).
Splash date is late September so will update you with ‘finished’ photos 🙂

ps a few years ago Graham arrived late to the CYA Xmas Weekend Party at Patio Bay, Waiheke Island & in true Guthrie style proceeded to drop anchor right off the beach (on a dropping tide) – “I’m a local, I know where the best spots are” – fast forward 2 hrs & Kailua is starting to sport a wee lean. Now normally few people see our oops but not today – 150+ classic boat owners & crew all had to row past Kailua to get ashore for the BBQ. Again in true Guthrie style, Graham just laughed it off. BUT he told me if I published a photo, I would never enjoy Waiheke’s finest syrah on Kailua again – well the boats sold now…………. photos below 😉
BW photo also below from her early days when named Lady Beryl.