Tangmere Finds Her Way Home






Back in May 2017, WW helped two woodys uncover some of the history on a launch that they were about to start a restoration on. The vessel was the 1949, Shipbuilders built launch Tangmere. 

You can read that story and see a great collection of photos from Tangmere’s past at this link. https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/05/23/tangmere-2/
Read the comments section – lots of chat. The boat changed hands several times in the period 2018 > early 2019 and I can now report she is back with its original owners family, the Endean’s  –  we like that 🙂
Today’Cs story is another that comes to us as a result of the lock-down we have all been in for the last 6 weeks. Via Harold Kidd I received a note from Bill Endean advising that his brother Richard had used the lock-down for good purpose and uncovered the above photos of Tangmere. Chatting with Bill he commented that the hull of Tangmere now sits at their farm shed in Warkworth, about to be restored. 
Bill is a past commodore of the RNZYS with a lot of salt in his veins from sailing, so its especially good to welcome another yachtie to the bright-side (launches) 😉 Brother Richard was also Commodore at the RNZYS.
The photo taken inside the cabin shows Bill’s father standing, eating a pie (as are his mother nearest camera and friend Jean Foster), that woodys was fine dinning afloat back then – no salad in sight. Bill is not sure who the fourth person is. Bill suspects the photo was taken by fathers best friend, Owen Foster, an accountant who spent most of his career as right hand man to Sir Robert Kerridge
Bill commented that his dad returned from the war to discover his father has decided to sell his yacht “Prize” … it seems he decided to go power boating instead. Endean snr. was very able with his hands and established a furniture manufacturing business, hence the high level of finish. Not very PC these days but note the ash trays fitted to cabinetry. He loved gadgets and “Hi Fi”, reflected in the impressive radiogram fixed to main bulkhead.
The Perspex dome harks back to his familiarity with same as a Lancaster bomber pilot during WW2.
The photo taken of her stern looks like anchored at Home Bay, Motutapu or nearby, the 2 boys in the cockpit are Bill and older brother Richard.
We will follow this project with interest, Bill has promised to keep WW updated.

Joel > Lady J

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JOEL > Lady J
Another request from Brian Hewitt – this time regarding the 34’ launch – Joel, that in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s he was part owner of.
Joel was built by Shipbuilders and powered by a Ford 80hp diesel with marine conversion. The launch had full 2M headroom through the interior, a full sized household sized ‘head’, a galley which adequately catered for up to 12 and a table that sat them all.
Brian recalls that one of her few weak points was she was hard to manoeuvre in a brisk breeze so berthing took speed and courage but Joel gave the owners much enjoyment.
When sold the new owner built an open bridge and renamed her, but Brian can’t remember the new name.
He has a suspicion she went to Pine Harbour marina. When Brian & co. bought her, she came with a pile mooring at Westhaven, they later progressed to a marina.
Brian would love to know where she is now. Can anyone help out?
Update from Gordon Cooper – I owned JOEL since about 1995 to 2004. She was a beautiful launch, the owner prior to the one I bought her off had rebuilt her interior, raised the floor so the motor was just under and put a fly bridge on her. She was at Gulf Harbour when I bought her, I kept her at West Harbour. 

The boat was a hunny to back into a berth. When I sold her, she went to Sand Spit where she had her hull re-fastened. I do not think she is there now.
In the 2nd photo below, you see her as I bought her.
I changed her name to Lady J




I have a request from Barrie Abel (MV Matira) in regards to a 19’ Shipbuilders launch that he purchased in 1995 from a long forgotten address in Otahuhu, Auckland.
Zodie is built with double diagonal kauri construction and when purchase was powered by a single cylinder Yanmar 8hp diesel. Barrie replaced the Yanmar with a 2 cyl. Ford which Barrie commented “bounced her along at 5 knots.
Barrie paid $1,500 for the boat and sold her 1997 to someone on Auckland’s North Shore.
Barrie is keen to learn if 23 years later she is still afloat and if so where ?
Update – 2 more photos from Barries  archives –  the Yanmar installed as purchased.
And the Ford installed under new engine box.
Woodys Waiheke BBQ & Pizza




Whilst anchored at the bottom end of Waiheke Island I spotted the 1946 Shipbuilders Supacraft built, Tim Windsor designed – Mahara, looking very smart. I have waited a while to get a good photo of her.
Read and see more on this bridgedecker at the WW links below
The latest, water toy was doing laps of the bay, very cool – approx $12,000 to buy, so I’m told.

Time Piece – A Peek Down Below

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TIME PIECE – A Peek Down Below

The 30’ Time Piece was built by Ship Builders, year unknown. She is kauri planked* and powered by a Ford 96hp, 6 cyl. mark 2 Trader  590 series diesel engine that sees her cruising at 7.5>8 knots. * a question – did Shipbuilders build any carvel planked boats?
Very nicely presented below decks – she has however gone the way of a lot of Ship Builders craft and now sports a second story…………  I’ll sign off before Cameron P bites and points out that people can do what ever they like to their boat 🙂
Recently sold. Thanks Ian McDonald for the heads up.
Email your name & boat name to  waitematawoodys@gmail.com
WCW Clevedon Poster

Lady Ellen Restoration – October Update

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With a December launch date, Lady Ellen’s owner Bruce Mitchinson is on the downhill run – putting all the expensive bits on and hooking everything up.
Bruce’s words below tell us the status / list of things to do + the two videos show us the workmanship that is being ‘applied’ to the Lady.
Looking stunning 🙂

“Started painting the interior last Thursday.

Bunks have been removed to provide room to spray and some of the trim is out and being finished off site.
Moving from the forecastle backwards through to the cockpit, then we will tackle the decks.
Windows all patterned and should be in production tomorrow.

Bronze castings in the system and should be ready in a couple of weeks time.

Old mast is in the process of being remodelled to take hidden conduits for lights and gps antenna, and beefed up a bit to the right scale.
Galley and cockpit timber decking still to do after painting.
Electrics and plumbing gear all sorted but final fix still to go

A Woody Sounds Cruiser

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A Woody Sounds Cruiser

The above launch was built in 1960 by Ship Builders & is just over 30’ in length, with a beam of 10’5”. Her zoom zoom comes via a 140hp Perkins diesel. Home port is Picton.

In true broker style there is no reference on the trade listing to the boats name 😦 thanks to Ian McDonald for the trademe heads up.

Can one of the southern woodys give us a name & hopefully more details on her past?



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Helena was built by Shipbuilders c.1960. 28’ in length & kauri planked. The zoom zoom is via a 150hp Ford diesel giving a cruise speed of 7 knots.

Her trademe listing states that she is ‘priced to sell’ but at $35k she might hang around for a while + you have to wonder at people’s desire to actually sell a boat when you see how they present them in the photos.

Do we know any more about Helena?

Harold Kidd Input – In 1966 she was registered with APYMBA and owned by A.R. Martin of Palmerston North but kept at Auckland.


Thames Mystery Shipbuilder Launch

Mystery Shipbuilders Launch @ Thames

Thames Mystery Shipbuilder Launch

The above photo of the launch hauled out was sent in by Nathan Herbert from a (semi) recent trip to Thames. Any of the woodys able to ID her & supply more details?


A Cool Day Out @ Motuihe Island – Sunday Oct 8th

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von Luckner Centenary Event – Sunday 8th October

On Sunday 8th October Motuihe Trust is commemorating 100 years since the daring escape of Count Felix von Luckner from the First World War internment camp on Motuihe Island. There will be guided walks and interpretive talks while you stand at the locations where the events happened. You will also have the opportunity to visit the regenerating native forest  areas where more than 400,000 trees have been planted and many endangered birds, including little spotted kiwi, plus skinks and geckos and the iconic tuatara have been released and are thriving.

This is a free event but you need to register so we can plan the day.

If you are taking your own boat, register at volunteermotuihe@gmail.com  or phone 0800motuihe.

Bring a picnic and there will be a sausage sizzle and ice creams for sale (bring cash) and tea/coffee for a donation. Wear comfortable walking shoes. You need “walking fitness’ and the walk is not suitable for small wheeled pushchairs.

If you wish to travel with Fuller’s ferry to the event book on https://www.fullers.co.nz/events-plus-deals/akl-heritage-festival-motuihe-event . $32 return for adults and $16 for children.


WW Isn’t Just About Photos of Old Woodys


New Zealand Traditional Boat Building School -Winter Maintenance Seminar
A few weeks ago I featured the re-opening of the school, this coming Saturday (19th), their first Seminar kicks off – the topic is a full day (9>3.00pm) Winter Maintenance Workshop with specialist speakers presenting on topics ranging from Diesel engine maintenance, batteries & electrical, sails & covers, marine sealants & common splicing – of interest to all larger boat owners. I know most of the presenters & can vouch that it will be a great day. Space is limited so check out the courses here http://nztbs.org.nz/files/d53cda0efa9205c5780be1e44b431880-53.html & if you are interested contact the school on this link http://nztbs.org.nz/contact/contact.php
I’ll be there – entry is via a donation – but let’s be clear, it’s not gold coin – given the speakers & that there is a BBQ lunch provided, I would like to think its $50+

Just received details on Saturdays Seminar – see below.

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Woodys Stuff
Via WW I get offered a lot of woody ‘stuff’, stuff that due to a wide range of circumstances the owner can no longer keep / store anymore. In the interests of domestic bliss I try to find homes for it ASAP – If you have anything woody related, before you bin it, send me a photo, that could be a woody that needs it 🙂
3 recent finds:

1. A brokered a deal across 3 woodys that involved a set of copper cowl vents – everyone will end up happy.

2. I was given a collection of Shipbuilders / SupaCraft plans & are currently finding homes for them, Mike Ryan was over the moon to learn I had a set for his launch Mahora. (the ones below are not of Mahora)


3. Woody, Keith Ottaway dropped off an almost mint copy of ‘Gardner Diesel Engine – Operating & Maintenance Manual’ – this will be a much appreciated additional to Jamie Hudson’s Lady Crossley library. Now speaking of LC & Jamie, my daughter was reading a fashion magazine called ‘Simply You’ (Spring/Summer 2017/18) & pointed out “one of those old boats you like” – turns out LC was the location for a 14 page fashion feature & the old sea-dog Jamie slipped in a cameo appearance 😉 See below.




Using WW To Find Something Woody Related

There are over 2,000 stories on WW & 15,000+ photos in the library, so if you are looking for something classic woody related – you have 2 options – either enter the word in the WW Search Box or click on the Tags that appear on the righthand side of the WW page , the tags cover most known boat builders, date/year, vessel length etc etc

And Don’t Forget To Grab A Copy Of The CYA Classic Register – only $15, email here to order one admin@classicyacht.org.nz

Ariki Restoration Open Day

If the suns shining today & you fancy a wee outing – pop down to The Landing @ Okahu Bay between 10am & 2.00pm to catch up on Ariki’s restoration project.

The 1946 Launching Of Mahara


The 1946 Launching Of Mahara

Harold mentioned on the Mahara ww 2015 post (link below) that he had an upcoming article on the Shipbuilders Ltd’s SupaCraft launches in the August issue of Boating NZ magazine. Included in the article is the above great photo taken in 1946 of Mahara being launched. The photo came from boat builder, Tim Windsor’s collection. Thanks go to Harold for sharing Tim Windsor’s photo, its superb quality & showcases what a stunning wooden vessel she was / is.
Check out the link for more photos & details.






I was recently contacted by John Wicks who told me that Tangmere had been purchased by serial boat-restorer Dave Browne, who along with John Wright will be restoring the launch. With those twos credentials we can expect good things. ww will follow the project with great interest.
The guys we asking for any information on her origins and history – well gents thanks to ww & Harold Kidd we can help you, see below.
The photos of her moored off Te Atatu BC below are ex Nathan Herbert, the marina ones above are from John Wicks.

Input below from Harold Kidd ex Bill Endean, W.J. (Bill) Endean’s son & Tony Mason.
1. She was named after the RAF station in Sussex from which W.J. flew Lancasters in WW2.
2. The hull was built by Shipbuiilders Ltd. in 1949.
3. She had a 100hp Osco Mercury V8 conversion originally.
4. W.J. designed and built the cabin. Aeronautical influences are clear.
5. W.J. and Tony Mason were contemporary RNZAF officers and shared a common passion for planing hulls.
6. When W.J. sold TANGMERE to Ken Prangnell,most likely c.1958, he bought a Marlin 19 from Tony Mason and fitted a Ford V8. She was called HUBBLY BUBBLY after the exhaust noise at idle.
7. K. A. Prangnell still owned her in 1973. HDK photographed her hauled out at Te Atatu BC in 2009.

Any woodys able to expand on her ownership details?

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02-02-2018 – Update From JohnSankey  via Ken Ricketts

She has been sold by Dave Brown, to his nephew, John Sankey, who has moved her to the Wade River, where he has big plans for a major T.L.C. programme

30-03-2018 Update – photos below of her hauled out & ready for some serious TLC 🙂





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Sanson was built in 1951 by Shipbuilders & is a carvel planked semi-displacement classic launch, approx. 25′ in length. Zoom zoom comes from a 2 cylinder 25hp Shibaru Ford diesel engine.

That is about all I know about her, can any woodys (Northland based – she lives near Dove Cove) help out with more details?


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photo ex Historic NZ Photos, ex A Turnball Library. details ex Russell Ward

Aorangi was built by Shipbuilders at St Marys Bay. Powered by two Kelvins which was unusual for a side trawler. The above photo of her slipped is reportedly dated 9th September 1949.

So a question for the work boat woodys out there – what became of her?

Input from Keith Munro – She is owned by Colin Silby and is on the hard stand at West Park at the moment. It belonged to Ginger Gibbs as well years ago. Washed ashore at Te Atatu a couple of year ago in a big easterly and was a major to re-float.

Input from Russell Ward –  photo below of her ashore for some TLC and a chat with friends -(photo ex Carol Forsythe-  Marine Compliance website).
Russell is rather fond of ‘St Kathryn’ that is alongside Aorangi.  In his words “A damn good looker that I’d give houseroom any time”



photo & details ex Mike Ryan

Mike’s family has recently purchased Mahara, a Shipbuilders Supacraft that they are in the process of tidying her up after a year or two of neglect. She is currently out at Okahu Bay & Mike reports that Alan Boyd from ‘x-foul-e-8’ has done a beautiful job getting layers of anti fouling off below the waterline.
Mahara was one of four ‘sisters’ built by Shipbuilders Supacraft in the late 1940’s, early 50’s, the others being – Lady Eileen, Rosemary II & Rakanoa. They were designed (Rakanoa part) by the American trained Thomas (Tim) Windsor, the in-house designer at Shipbuilders Supacraft at the time.
I understand that Mahara is slightly shorter than the others ?

Can we supply anymore info on her past? I’m sure Russell Ward will drop in 🙂

The photo below (sorry about the quality) was taken approx. 10 years ago.

Harold Kidd Input

MAHARA was built for Graham Speight in 1946. Keith Kiernander, a well-known Ponsonby real estate agent, had her between 1959 and 1966. In 1966 she went to E & BM Senior of Herne Bay. In our scruffy launch GREENBANK we came up astern of Kiernander in this launch, or his next, perhaps, stationary in the Motuihe Channel with people rushing about on deck and broadcasting a very loud MAYDAY on the double sideband. There were two or three Orcas playing around his boat and he was seeking help in case his boat was sunk and his crew eaten. We split our sides, muttering quite uncharitable things about “bloody land agents”.

Evening Star


photos & details ex Jake Hewitt. edited by Alan H

Today’s post features the 30′ Shipbuilders launch, Evening Star. Jake’s father & uncle purchased Evening Star from Half Moon Bay, Auckland c.1987 & paid $10,000 for her. At the time Jake was 10 years old. She was motored immediately to her new mooring at Whangamata. At the time of purchase she was owned by an elderly gent & had been part of the volunteer coast guard fleet in Auckland.
I’ll let Jake tell the story of his experiences of Evening Star. Enjoy 🙂

Within a few months Dad & Uncle Ray dry docked her at Whangamata and straight away set about transforming her tired state. She had an traditional Shipbuilders full length cabin, that was quickly shortened so we could enjoy her transom/aft area for fishing. For some reason the previous owner had 3 house size kitchen benches placed around the interior as well as many pieces of furniture. I do recall she had a majestic formica style table with an map of the entire Hauraki Gulf detailed onto the formica surface. Within 2 weeks she had received a face lift and lost alot of weight with of her overladen interior accessories now removed.
When we first took her out after the refit … she glided along ever so majestically, the 72hp Ford (marinised by Lees Group) now purring rather than previously labouring with all the extra weight aboard.Her triple skin kauri hull now glowed with fresh paint & was alive.

We enjoyed her for 3 seasons of family fishing, taking her too Mayor Island, the Aldermans & Slipper Island mainly. As time past her cabin structure began too rot & deteriorate. She once more returned too dry dock for a refit. Dad and uncle Ray decided too install aluminum windows and do away with plywood, other than fiber glassing plywood for the roof area & forard cabin structure. It functioned well yet I personally missed her classic bridge decker style cabin lines.

After the refit we continued too use her and enjoy her company … yet with a growing family she lay unused too often.

Unfortunately in 1992 her toilet waste hose split & burst & ultimately nearly fully sinking her on her mooring.  Blessed it be my uncle was a local in Whangamata and quickly organised her salvage too shallow water. Sadly our family wasn’t in the financial position too restore her & Dad sold her too a guy in Waihi for a song including her mooring. I was personally shattered,  as I had always visioned purchasing her from Dad in years too come. Naturally Dad was a silent n sore man as well.

I believe she didn’t last long with her new owner before the new owner burnt a valve, he then trolleyed her too waste away at a nearby local property in Whangamata. As Im so passionate about her, my uncle shared with me, that she had been sold too a new owner in Tahuna whom was going too restore her, I quickly went traveling around Tahuna and found her trolleyed on highway 27. I introduced myself too the new owner & cried as a flood of good memories hit me instantly. The new owner was a nice bloke an very educated in boat building … he explained his plans an we spent hours that afternoon talking about her. Sadly I learnt after he had completed the restoration and enjoyed her with a season,  he experienced a bitter divorce and sold Evening Star for a song too a guy in Auckland in 1996 or there abouts.

If any person has any information of where she is today … or any history of her, that would be hugely appreciated. Jake has received numerous potential sightings of her in the Auckland area recently, the places mentioned have been the Wade River, Bayswater Marina & even  Span Farm boat yard. But nothing confirmed.



photos & details ex Darrin Kennedy

Flyer is a 1966 Shipbuilders 26′ launch. Darrin has owned her for approx. 2 years. Previously she was based in Tauranga, owned by Tommy Verran. Rumour has it Verran used to take her  out to White Island in some pretty challenging seas so she must be a good sea boat. Powered by 110 h.p. Ford with a dry stack. At 26′ with a 110 h.p. motor she must have a good turn of speed. Flyer is currently hauled out undergoing a makeover to bring her back to as launched condition. Can anyone provide more details on Flyer & her past?

Lady Eileen

photos & report ex Hylton Edmonds via Ken Ricketts. edited by Alan H

Ken reports that Hylton, who bought Lady Eileen the 1947 Shipbuilders/SupaCraft bridge-decker approx. a year ago & relocated her to his property at Tapu Point in the Bay of Islands, is now 8 months into an extensive refit/refurb. You will see from the above photos that Hylton has rather a nice ‘shed’ & has retained the services of some true craftsman to undertake the work.
ww followers may recall that after her previous live-a-board owner passed away, Lady Eileen was listed on trademe for a long time. Lady Eileen is a very lucky boat to now have Hylton as her custodian & based on the standard of the work completed to date, despite being 68 years old, she will be relaunched better than new.
We look forward to more update.

Search Lady Eileen in the ww search box to see early photos.

Update from Russell Ward who you will see is a fan 🙂

Oh sterling effort, Mr Edmonds. Ten points/five stars for your effort! And a most deserving ship to lavish all that effort on. A super SuperCraft job!
Tim Windsor was the in-house designer at Shipbuilders at the time and Lady Eileen and her half sisters Mahara, Rosemary and Rakanoa were all just right. Mahara (just the same cabin arrangement) being a much shorter boat still worked OK (and that was hard to do); but Eileen managed to draw it out much better with the extra length.
Have a squint and admire the details. Humour me…. That graceful sheer, little kick up aft, the rubbing strakes that set it off (get one of those wrong and it would spoil it); the curvaceous tops to the toe rail fwd (Mahara was the same) -almost a turtle deck effect. The cabin tops -just a little curve in them fore and aft. Look at the curved edges to the tops of the fwd wheelhouse screens. A lesser designer would have had them angular and would have put three in. He might have put an eyebrow atop them and again detracted from it. Admire the treatment of the alternate windows/portholes aft -all four had that. It is mimicked up fwd too. Yep, everything just right. The flying bridge -a later add on is not bad -works OK because she is a big boat.
I surmise that Shipbuilders still had the men that were there during WW2 doing Fairmiles and the like -the knowledge capital/ expertise. Tim had trained by correspondence from the USA, I heard once. Anyone got anything else on his history?
Oh, say again. Well done (doing?) Hylton!

Work Report from the owner – 23-05-2015

Sadly the cabin sides are well passed returning to varnish (which in any case would have been the old imitation graining system so popular back in that era through to the 60’s, ex Pilot Boat Waitemata was a classic example).

I feel though, with a combination of refurbished varnished pieces and all her refurbished chrome, she  will still look the (glamourous) Hunter’s  Lady Eileen, as follows;

1.    Hand rails (on refurbished stainless steel stanchions – added at time of flying bridge 20 years ago)
2.    Skylight (original)
3.    Dorade boxes (original complete with refurbished Chrome Bronze cowls)
4.    Mast
5.    New Teak Wheelhouse doors (sadly the old ones were full of gravings, repairs and freshwater rot and have been “retired”)
6.    Entire Flying Bridge . The internal panel is painted out now,  accentuating the shear and considered by all –  a great improvement on this “large” addition.
7.    Oregon Boat hooks (with chrome tips) on new Teak cradles
8.    Cockpit Coamings (attached is a photo with just 3 coats of Uroxsys on to protect in the interim before final 6 more coats)
9.    Foredeck Teak Hatch (original)
10.    Name Boards (with chrome letters)
11.    Ensign Mast
12.    And…..if one can procure the original Clinker Dinghy or suitable replacement……

Lady Clair (L) & Lady Eileen at Gulf Harbour May’14

Lady Clair (L) & Lady Eileen at Gulf Harbour May'14

28-04-2016 Work in progress photos ex Ken Ricketts (17 April)



MANUWAI – a Wellingtonwoody
photos & details Paul Kerr-Hislop

Todays post is a Wellingtonwoody & her owner Paul Kerr-Hislop understands Manuwai was built in Porirua in 1960 by Paul Bradey for the Mexted family of Tawa to a Shipbuilders design.
LOA is 30’8” & beam 10’6”. She has a 1 1/4” kauri planked hull which has a hard chine and flat bottom towards the stern presumably to enable semi-planing. A 140hp 135T Perkins diesel engine linked to the prop shaft via a vee drive provides a cruising speed of 9-10 knots and a top speed of around 13 knots. The engine compartment is ventilated by a couple of rather beautiful solid copper vents to two cowls on the cabin roof.

The Mexteds kept the boat on Lake Taupo for around twenty years before it was returned to Porirua and the Mana Marina. There it was used for a few more years by the Mexted family before changing hands and moving to Picton. The boats log book mentions a few trips between Picton and Christchurch in the late 1980’s and subsequently, Paul understands the boat was used by the GP in Havelock (south) to do his rounds in Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds.

Paul purchased Manuwai in Picton in 2009 and moved her to Mana Marina shortly after. The hull is still in pristine condition observed when they stripped back the paint to the bare wood. She is a very sturdy boat – ideal for Wellington and Cook Strait conditions. Manuwai is now in Picton on the “catwalk” jetty and is used in the commute to Pauls Sounds property in Resolution Bay.

Rosemary II


In Mondays RNZYS post there was talk that the launch in the top right of photo 2 (above but small, click to enlarge) could be Rosemary II the 1946 Shipbuilders Supercraft – sister ship to Lady Eileen, Rakanoa & Mahara.

The great photo above of Rosemary II was sent to me by Nathan Herbert ex the National Library.
Whats says the collective brains trust? For whats its worth, I think not – not enough main cabin windows & no port holes between the aft cabin rectangular windows. I could be wrong, I often am 🙂

Todays post will have Russell Ward salivating 🙂

To read more on Rosemary II & see ‘recent’ photos check out this ww link


Russell Ward input

Arrrgh! I’ll go blind! Styleeee!
Yep Rosemary ll in her prime in this and the upper part of the pic of the aerial view of the trot of boats in Westhaven. Ken, I can see Rakanoa in the window/ports arrangement aft and in a lot of the details. When I used to row past Rosemary in Westhaven in the early-mid ’60s she did not have those fashion pieces aft of the wheelhouse and the brightwork was rather severely dark. She was always there and never opened up, just waiting -Just like Crossley and even less used.
Comparing the earlier pix with my Whangarei series of pictures you can see how much style her original layout had. Those aft fashion pieces just softened the profile of what is really quite a high wheelhouse that looks a bit bluff.
OK here is a thought for you style hounds. Compare Rosie’s styling in this pic with Ranui in her original guise -take that aft shed off her present appearance and voila -some similarity. Never say that the local people were out of touch with the latest trends.
Well, I always jokingly say that I spring out of bed in the early morning and feel rosie all over -if she will let me. Yes, Rosemary ll does it for me and I hope she is alive and well and, I hope, not now fitted with a frying bridge aft.

Comment from Neil Manthel
(Neil – you posted this comment in the photo section so it does not appear in the comments section, posted it here Alan H.)

As the teenage son of the first owner,Noël Manthel I can probably fill in any queries about the Rosemary 11. The maiden cruise was to the Bay of Islands but spent its early years in wellington with some memorable crossing of Cook Straits. The twin American Redwing 90hp petrol motors needed to work hard to get to the cruising speed of 10 knots.Your photo could have been taken in the Marlborough Sounds.regards Neil Manthel

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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Lady Eileen


Looking to get into the classic wooden boating scene ? Lady Eileen  is now offered for sale & offers outstanding value for money for a vessel of her size ( L=48.9′ / B=13.4′ / D=3.9′ / 18 tons) &  fit-out. refer trademe listing link below for full details.

A fine example of a Shipbuilders / SupaCraft triple skinned kauri launch. Lady Eileen was launched in 1947 & is a sister ship to Rakanoa, Mahara & Rosemary II.

Given her size & fit-out ‘live-aboard’ is an option.


Shipbuilders Ltd by Harold Kidd



Shipbuilders Ltd by Harold Kidd

SHIPBUILDERS LTD….a few notes.

By Harold Kidd

The advertisement is from the back of a 1946 Sea Spray magazine and shows Shipbuilders Ltd spreading its wings for the bright new post-war world.
Shipbuilders Ltd started in business in Poore Street, now Westhaven Drive, around the middle of 1922 when it was run by T.L. Sharp. It also had an office at 23 Shortland St. Its major work was in shipwrighting, heavy repair work on steamers, scows, barges and commercial craft of all types. Norman Matheson, who had built the Rudder Cup-winning launch Maroro, worked there for many years. The company dabbled in commercial vessel ownership, for example running the scow EXCELSIOR with J.J. Craig Ltd., bringing rusty scrap from the ship graveyard on Browns Island to town for export to Japan.
By 1939 the Manager was S.B. (Hookey) Williams, formerly of Chas. Bailey & Son Ltd, in Beaumont Street, nearby. It had 4 “electric slipways” and went into the war with a good reputation for shipwrighting and good gear.
During the war the company did a lot of work with Seagar Bros building minesweepers and at least one Fairmile. In 1943 it joined with Chas. Bailey & Son Ltd, W.G. Lowe & Son Ltd, Associated Boatbuilders Ltd., P. Vos Ltd and Roy Lidgard in forming United Ship and Boatbuilders Ltd to carry out an unprecedented amount of ship construction for the United States Army and Navy. As a little light relief, they built 5 M Class yachts for American flyers in the Pacific.
In November 1944 there was a race amongst the five 18 footers which were mainly crewed by Shipbuilders Ltd staff amongst whom were Roy Steadman, Tim Windsor, L. Pollard, W. Heerdegen, C. Freeman, H. Yates, Vince Hogan and Roy Parris…pretty important names amongst Auckland’s yachtsmen of the time.

To be continued

Rosemary II

Story & photos by Russell Ward
One of my childhood sweethearts. She lay on the piles just off the Squadron Marina.
She was one of the four Shipbuilders SuperCraft boats built in the ’50s: Lady Eileen, Rosemary 2, Rakanoa (yep I know she started off as a Couldry design) and Mahara. They were designed by Thomas (Tim) Windsor who obviously had a very good eye and was American trained. He was still alive when I last heard and I hope someone has taken a history from him.
Hunters owned her way back then and she was always there when I rowed / sailed / motored past.
I took the pictures a few years back when she was up at Whangarei and available. A little down on her uppers, but still great. The old petrol engines had been replaced by the ubiquitous six cylinder Lees marinised fords and the interior scruffy.
I hope she hasn’t sprouted a dodger aft and a fly (hic) bridge. She was beautiful as she was.



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Story & b/w photos from Ken Ricketts (colour photo ex Russell Ward)
She was built by Shipbuilders Ltd in 1946. A magnificent 56 ft example of artisans work, in both design & build.
She is 3 skins Kauri, is enourmously strong, will last forever, & had the very best of everything that money could buy used, when she was created. She is still kept in beautiful condition at Gulf Habour.
There is no doubt in my view, she is an important part of a real dynasty, & one of the very few boats that have been in the same family from new, for that huge length of time. She was “modernised, in the 60s, & there were moderate combings alterations done in the cockpit area. She is shown on launching day &  pic I took at North Harbour Ponui Labour weekend  in 1948
She was orignally powered by a 671 Gray marine diesel, for one year, then replaced it with a 250 hp Herecules Diesel in 1947, she had this until 1981, when her present Gardiner 6L3 diesel was fitted.
Indeed a vey important part of NZs maritime heritage

NOTE: This posting has been edited on the request of the owner (the late) R Parker, the information supplied by K Ricketts was obtained without the owners knowledge or approval that it would be published in the public domain.

09-04-2016 – photo taken at Gulf Harbour (April 2016) by Ken R.

RAKANOA at GH 3.4.15

Dec 2016 Hauled out at Gulf Harbour – photos ex Ken Ricketts

21-09-2019 Update
Photo below sent to me by John Parker, the ‘great nephew of Ross Parker. It was ex the estate of his late father Wallace Parker.