Maka Maile + Waitematawoodys Hits 3,000,000 Views

Maka Maile-7

Drunken (Isslington) Bay Dec1938>Jan1939 – Aft hand = Eric Clay

Maka Maile-13

Drunken Bay 1938 – Speed = 10 knots

Maka Maile-11

Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island

Maka Maile + Waitematawoodys Hits 3,000,000 Views

Today’s photo essay on the 1937, Sam Ford built, Maka Maile to me is what makes WW so special – out of the blue a comment gets posted on WW by Perrin Reilly advising that he has a collection of photos of Maka Maile that belonged to his Grandfather-in-law, one Eric Clay. Eric crewed on Maka Maile in the late 1930’s. When launched Maka Maile was 41’ in length, with a 10’5” beam & powered by a Chrysler 77 petrol engine that pushed her along at 12 knots.

Perrin emailed the above photos to me & now instead of gathering dust in some one’s bottom draw, they can be shared with the classic wooden boating community. You can read more about Maka Maile’s past on this link Milestone – 3 Million Views

When I started this weblog I never imagined that it would grow into the site that it is today, with just over 2,000 stories & followers/viewers from almost every corner of the world. Obviously NZ tops the list with the USA & Australia 2nd & 3rd, after that its everywhere. As always with sites like WW, it would be nothing without the input of people like Perrin Reilly who take the time to send in their stories & photos, so to all of you –  many thanks for sharing. And on that topic, please keep sending in content – whether it’s old photos / stories, restoration projects or just you enjoying your woody.

I would like to slip an apology in – in the first 6>12mths of WW, I only really had 6>8 people who sent me content, I can tell you it was a real challenge doing a daily story back them, now I get over 100 emails a day. So the apology is for not always being able to answer your emails, it’s not that I’m lazy or rude – just busy working on the tomorrows story 🙂

Enjoy today’s WW story & remember there are over 2,000 more in the back library 😉

Alan Houghton


Marjorie Rosa



Marjorie Rosa

Marjorie Rosa these days is owned by a friend of mine, Fraser Wilson & lives on Lake Rotoiti (Nth Is.) She is a very different looking vessel from when she was launched by Sam Ford in 1930. You can view/read more about her past at the link below.

I was sent the photos above of her, when she was named Juliana, from Lindsay Thatcher, whose family owned it before the Algies. The top photo was taken when she was used to take people on picnics to Kawau Island from the boarding house and the other is when used from Algies as a commercial fishing boat.
At my count there are 20 people aboard in the top photo & I assume they were fare paying passengers – I would predict that there wouldn’t have been a life jacket aboard, not even for the skipper 🙂

Most of the classics still afloat today have lived thru numerous lives & owners & it’s wonderful to see so many in recent times being restored to as new condition. The ownership & restoration of classic wooden motor boats is at an all time high & will remain so. The sad /good thing is that the re-sale market is so depressed – BUT that means it’s a great time to buy 😉


Lady Karita






I very happy to be able to advise that the 1938,43′ Sam Ford designed bridge decker Lady Karita is now in the hands of a new woodys friendly owner, Murray Shaw. Murray also owns the Collings & Bell bridge decker Kawhiti so the man has been bitten by the bug 🙂 . Work is already underway to return her to her former glory, see photo above, ex Steve Thomas, of ‘work-in-progress’ restoring her brightwork. The immediate plans are for her to remain in the Nelson region, but hopefully one day we will see her back on the Waitemata.

Lady Karita was built in Kauri for a flag officer of the Ponsonby Cruisng Club, Mr Victor Salek. Powered by Ford 130hp diesel, shaft drive, sees her cruising economically at 8.5 Knots. For many years she has been based in the Pelorus Sounds.

Back in June, CYA member Mark McLaughlin (Mapuna) alerted me to the fact that LK was on the market, Marks father has been Lady Karita’s caretaker/skipper for the last 15 years in Havelock & supplied the 2 press clippings below.


04-04-2018 Photo below ex owner Murray Shaw of Lady Karita hauled out in Nelson. In the background is Lady Ellison – nice to see the two Sam Ford built launches together 🙂



The Meteor


photo ex Mac Taylor collection

Until seeing the above photo I was not aware that we built anything like this sedan runabout in NZ. The Meteor was owned by Mr. W. Goodfellow & cost approx. £1,600 to build. She was 30′ long & capable of a speed of 30 mph. The forward closed cockpit had seating for 8 persons & was upholstered in grey leather.

So woodys – who built her, when, what powered her & what became of her?

Harold Kidd Update

METEOR was built for William Goodfellow in May 1931 by Sam Ford. She was 30ft x 7ft and constructed of Honduras mahogany with a double-skinned bottom. Her original power was a 225hp Kermath. She was capable of 30mph. He kept her in one of the sheds in Ngapipi Road where her nameplate is still on the wall.
Goodfellow sold her to the NZ Coastguard Service just before WW2 when she was taken over by the military. The Government disposed of her by tender in May 1945. Lanes remodelled her for Beamish-White for use on Lake Okataina where she was kept as a tourist attraction for many years. I have a nice pic of her there which I’ll send to Alan.
She’s still around; no doubt other WW followers can bring her up to date.

I took the photo below, of her old name board – while visiting one of the Ngapipi Rd boat sheds to view Matareka II, back on March 2014.


Lake Okataina photo below ex Harold Kidd

29-05-2016 photo below ex Nathan Herbert

Meteor ex NH


Lady Ellison

photos & info ex Mark Jarvis for Steve Simms

Lady Ellison was built in 1950 & given her shape & those trademark windows in the side of the centre cabin coamings she is most likely of Sam Ford pedigree. Length is 36′ , beam 11′ 4″ , draught 2′ 9″.

Her present owner Steve Simms of Motueka lives aboard & has had her for 8 years. Steve sails her regularly in the Abel Tasman Park & across to the Marlborough Sounds. He believes she has always been called Lady Ellison.
Previous owners were Bruce & Betty McNab & they owned for 37 years & kept her in Havelock. They replaced the BMC commodore for the current Ford 120hp.

It is believed that she went to Paremata after leaving Auckland but no dates. As a kid in the 1950’s Mark Jarvis lived in Paremata & remembers a similar looking Sam Ford moored in Browns Bay, Paremata with a yellow painted cabin, he suspects it was this boat. Adding to this is when Steve purchased her she was yellow and green (see photos below) & Steve then raised the centre cabin by 9″ & gave the windscreen a visor & added side moldings to the cabin edges.

Anyone able to confirm the Sam Ford link & supply more info on her ?

Photos Below As Purchased

Harold Kidd Update (edited by AH)
The hull was built by Sam Ford c1952-3 for Albert Ritchie Hammer of 22 Dommett Ave Epsom. Hammer worked on her for 6 months at Sam’s yard and she was launched at Okahu Bay. Somewhere I have a pic of her on her way to be launched. The treatment of the coamings and Ford trademark windows is a bit clumsy compared with Sam’s usual treatment of them, but probably a combination of the current owner raising the center cabin by 9″ & Hammer’s handy work rather than Sam. She was first registered with APYMBA in 1953 with the call-sign ZMZL and was still in Auckland in 1957.

PS Hammer died in 2001 aged 84 but his descendants may be able to fill in LADY ELLISON’s early history.

06-072015 Harold Kidd Update

John Blundell has emailed me to say that he knew Bert Hammer well. He ran a second hand furniture shop (and was an auctioneer) on Broadway Newmarket. John got to know him when he started work at the family firm, Fisher & Blundell around 1953-4 and sailed with him on Hammer’s keeler VECTIS (Bert Woollacott, 1929, originally B15, then C15, then F15). They broke the mast on one night race to Kawau.
John’s later memories of Hammer were when he owned BOUNTY which was famous for its escapades in the South Pacific when owned by Errol Flynn (?)…..any comments on BOUNTY.?She’s outside my timescale. She was part of the fleet that went to Mururoa to protest against the French nuclear tests. She was about 40ft oa and a heavy double-ended ketch.
Finally John makes the point that Bert Hammer never married so he doubts if we will hear from any descendants!

Nohomoana (Rasputin)

NOHOMOANA (Rasputin)
photo & details ex Russell Ward

As Russell says – no prizes for guessing whose stable this woody came from, pretty obvious its a Sam Ford.

When Nohomoana was in the ownership of Capt. John Watson (c.1967) who was a great friend of Russell’s  father, they cruised together for many seasons in their launch Naiad. Prior to Noho, John had Wanderer the 30 foot old woody. Russell’s Dad had Ngakiwa at that stage.
Russell was told that Nohomoana means “She floats on the water”. Engine was a 6 cylinder Ford Lees Marine conversion.

Russell would like to know where she went and whether the name was changed. He has spoken to Bill Belton about whether his boat Moana was her.
Noho spent a lot of her time filtering the waters of Half Moon Bay through her planking and a lot if time was spent pumping the bilge.

Harold Kidd Update

This one has always puzzled me.
First, the maori name. “E noho ra” is a common way of saying goodbye, by a person leaving, to a person staying behind. The verb “noho” means “remaining”, “being in a place”, so I guess “nohomoana” could mean exactly what Russell says, “floating on the sea”, in a nicely poetical way.
As NOHOMOANA, she first pops up in 1952 owned by W.S. Wagstaff. In 1953/4 to 1962 at least she was owned by J.R. Butcher. Her engine was a Graymarine (unspecified). Again her build date is stated to be “1941” which is implausible.
J.R. Watson owned her in 1973. Webb & Taylor owned her in 1983 when they (allegedly) sold the rights to the name NOHOMOANA to Gary Barnett of VALHALLA and renamed her RASPUTIN.
As to her origins, there were a couple of Sam Ford standard express cruisers being built at the outbreak of war in 1939 which “disappear” and I think she’s one of those, LADY NGAIRE, for example, which he built for Shelley B. Atkinson and the boat being built alongside Atkinson’s launch as a replacement for Vern McGeady’s burnt out LADY PAT.
MOANA was on Lake Taupo in the 50’s. I don’t know how she fits into this conundrum but I’m sure she does.
Someone out there will have the answers.

30-07-2015 – photos of Rasputin at Westpark Marina ex John Wicks

Ida Mae (Playmate)

IDA MAE (Playmate)
photos ex Peter Sample (owner for 25 yrs)

Following on from the post on Playmate 2 days ago, above are photos of the launch when she was Ida Mae.
The black and whites photos are from Ted Swales, the original owners son. He thinks they were taken in 1942 just before she was sold to the Air Force.
The later, colour one is at Owhiti Bay Waiheke in 2006.

Harold Kidd Info
She was built by Sam Ford in 1936 for Roy Swales of Epsom. Her original engine was a 2 cylinder National 20hp diesel, later replaced with a Fairbanks Morse while in RNZAF service. Harold suspects she went to Nelson after she was sold off by the RNZAF.

Click link to view photos of her during the war in Fiji

Recent photo (Kerikeri) ex Nathan Herbert

Update from Peter Sample (former owner)

I owned Ida Mae from 1982 to 2007.  I had known Ted Swales, the original owners son, for a few years beforehand and when he found we had just bought a Sam Ford launch,named Ida Mae he told me about the one his family owned when he was a boy, named Playmate.
He told me that the RNZAF had purchased her in 1942 for service in Fiji and as far as he knew she had never come back.
He showed me photos of her in Whakataka Bay.
A couple of years later when I was burning multiple layers of paint from the hull I came across the old wartime registration number scribed in the timber. Something about that number rang a bell so I got in touch with Ted and asked him what the number was on their Sam Ford  launch. He told me number 414.  I said to him we have her in my back yard.
He was rather speechless for a while and within a couple of days was at my place sitting inside.
He confirmed evidence in the hull that she had been twin screw.for a while. She had originally been launched with a single Ailsa Craig engine which was far too small. This was shifted over and a second Ailsa Craig fitted. It was plain to see where the shafts had been as the cut ribs still existed where the shafts went through the hull and the replacement pieces of planking of a couple of feet long where the shaft logs had been. I later replaced the ribs along with many others but the twin shaft evidence still exists.Ted said she was fitted with a single Fairbanks Morse when the RNZAF had her but I do not remember if this was done by the Swales or not.
Whenever Ted was on board he always referred to her as Playmate.
The logs I had showed she was in Napier in 1970 probably in her original state. She had a 90hp 6 cyl BMC sealord in her at this time and was still in when I sold.
She made a few sailings up the coast to Tauranga while based at Napier for Big game fishing at Mayor Island and it made interesting reading in the log of the non stop voyage up the coast stopping at Gisborne for fuel.

Owners I am aware of
Wyness of Auckland who I think had Shipbuilders do the alterations in the early 70’s
Eric Boisen of Auckland up to about 1981
George Mabey of Coromandel
Peter and Liz Sample Westpark 1982 to 2007
Aksel and Susan Jepsen Kerikeri

09/03/2015 – Photo pre WW2 ex Ken Ricketts ex B Worthington

08-01-2016 photo of Playmate in Opito Bay, Kerikeri ex Baden Pascoe

Playmate Opito Dec:Jan2016