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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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.