The Rebie – V55 – Sailing Sunday

THE REBIE Y55 – Sailing Sunday
David Campball-Morrsion sent in the above photo of the mullet boat – The Reble, which David’s father in law and a couple of mates owned before the war, his name was Arthur Coughlan (Buster) and they kept her in St Marys Bay in Auckland. The bridge motorway put paid to that area years later.The Reble had the skull and cross bones on the main as in the photo.
Buster played for Ponsonby Rugby Club and became a NZ Barbarian just before the war and became a Ponsonby life member and an Auckland rugby selector, also an active member of the Ponsonby Cruising club.

After the war Buster and family moved to Dunedin for ten years which he claimed was his sentence, they then moved back to Auckland to take up the position of personal manager at Pacific Steel when it opened. David would take him out a number of times on the family yacht, then in their launch Arima, but David commented that fishing in his tinny at Coromandel was his love in his later years.

David is keen to learn what became of The Rebie post the Arthur Coughlan (Buster) ownership period. 

Big WW milestone yesterday, the odometer clicked past 6,000,000 views – I got so excited when it went into 4 digits, used to check it every 1/2 hr to see how many and who was visiting the site 🙂 

 Can we put Russell Ward out of his misery? Russell sent in the 2 photos below of a boat named Silver Spray, that dropped anchor on Friday night below him, in Scotts Bay /Landing – from the distance she appeared to be approx. 40’, with a counter stern, slightly Wild Dock looking. Any one know the boat?

Silver Spray when an Island Bay fishing boat launched c. 1938 (photo ex Baden Pascoe)

22-12-20 Input from John Bullivant – Silver Spray at Half Moon Bay Marina. Owner advised she is powered by a GM671

Silver Spray + John Street on the America’s Cup


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The above photos of Silver Spray popped up on a fb post last night via Ngapipip Road boat builder GlenBurnnand. In the past Silver Spray has appeared on WW many times, she was owned by passionate woody Mark Stapleton. Mark restored her and kept her in his Ngapipip Road boat shed. Unfortunately after many years of ownership, poor health forced Mark to sell Silver Spray. I’m guessing but I suspect  Glenn Burnnand bought her.
There is a vast amount of details and photos at the WW link below – but a quick overview – built in 1926 by Joe Slattery for Charles Ravenhall of Remuera. Silver Spray is 26′ LOA, 7′ beam with a 2’6″ draft, powered by a 4108 Perkins. A selection of photos from her past below.
I have held my breath on the addition of the two cabin top hatches, a tad out of place…………… on a 1926 woody 😦

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Every day this week WW are featuring a video filmed at John’s recent speaking engagement at the New Zealand Maritime Museum. NOTE VIDEO IS COPYRIGHT DO NOT DOWNLOAD WITHOUT PERMISSION. Videos edited & enhanced with the help of Andrew Christie 
PART FOUR – America’s Cup (turn your sound up)

MONDAY–         Fosters The Beginning
TUESDAY–        History of The Breeze
WEDNESDAY– The schooner Daring
THURSDAY–     Amercias Cup
FRIDAY –            The steam crane ship Rapaki
SATURDAY–      Tug Boat Racing on the Waitemata

Summer / New Year 2019 Raindance Cruise Photo Gallery – 70+ Classic Wooden Boats













282′ – Available for rent NZD$970,000 week


Very cool packaging design & yum

Summer / New Year Raindance Cruise Photo Gallery – 70+ Classic Wooden Boats

The above gallery is a selection of photos I mostly took at random over the 12 days we were floating around the bottom end of Waiheke Island. I apologise for the quality of some, but the light & direction I was heading were not always my friend in terms of image quality. I just wanted to record & showcase some of the craft out & about over the holiday period. Remember click photos to enlarge 😉
Like most people in the upper north island we were gifted with stunning weather – I rolled the cockpit canopy clears up on day one & rolled them down again when we returned to the marina 12 days later. I can honestly say that it was the best cruise we have had aboard RD, just perfect.
For those of you that were cruising in other parts, email in some photos so we can share.
Even last week the weather remained near perfect, & allowed me to get the sandpaper & Awlwood (Uroxsys) out & re-varnish RD’s trim – 9 coats, looks very smart.
As I write this I’m hoping for some rain, the garden is crying out for a downpour.
Mahurangi Regatta is fast approaching, I say it every year but in terms of vessel numbers & location, it has to be NZ’s premier classic wooden boating event. Put a circle around Saturday, Jan 26th in the diary & make the effort to be there. More details closer.
Check out WW tomorrow for some great photos from the Bay of Islands Tall Ships Regatta – there will even be a photos of Tony Stevenson on the helm of a classic, its been a while 😉

Thank God Diesel Engines Came Along

Thank God Diesel Engines Came Along

Its a wonder not more of the early motor boats didn’t blow up, Ken Ricketts sent me the photo above (ex Dianne Hopson – Ravenhall era) of Silver Spray with three  4 gallon tins of petrol on deck. And the chances are that the blokes would all have been smokers as well.

The Guthrie family were very inventive with their empty containers – photos below of baby Hugh Guthrie, grandson of Hugh Douglas Guthrie, c.1925 taking a bath aboard Alcestis. You would like to think that the tins were well cleaned before being taken ashore and used as a stove cum bbq…….. Roger Guthrie who sent me the photos said “the scorched bush in the background must have been from a “previous person” – yeah right 🙂
The gent tendering the fire is the grandfather, Hugh Douglas Guthrie born 1883, aged 42 in this photo.

Silver Spray


Today’s post has links back to yesterdays post that involved the Ravenhall family.
It starts back in 1926 when Silver Spray was built by Joe Slattery for Charles Ravenhall of Remuera. Silver Spray is 26′ LOA, 7′ beam with a 2’6″ draft, These days she is powered by a 4108 Perkins & has been beautifully restored & maintained by her owner & craftsman Mark Stapleton. Mark also maintains several other immaculate classic launches – Lady Margaret & Kailua for there owners.
The Ravenhall connection goes deeper in that Silver Spray is today housed in one of the Ngapipip Road boat sheds & back in 1930 Mr Charles Ravenhall was responsible for the shed sites in Ngapipi Rd being surveyed off for the construction of the sheds, with Silver Spray being the first vessel to be housed there. The Ravenhall shed was a small building , with a small window on the streetscape. The sheds were built as a result of the construction of the railway bridge across Hobson Bay.

Mark Stapleton had the pleasure of taking Charles Ravenhall’s son, Leslie & his family for a day trip on Silver Spray to celebrate Leslie’s 81st birthday.

The history of Silver Spray includes lives on Lake Rotoiti , Lake Taupo & homed twice in its 90 Years in Ngapipi Rd.

History is a wonderful thing but its now 2015 & Mark is retiring from boating due to health reasons & he has asked ww to help find a new minder for the old girl. To quote Mark “I would like to find another carer for her as I am confident in the right hands this boat has decades more life left in her. She is a delightful little boat & I have had many fantastic adventures with her “. Given the skills of Mark & the attention he has lavished on her, that is an understatement.

Silver Spray comes with a crated complete spare engine &  extensive new parts inventory.
She is in running order with full inventory of kit including – radio, fire extinguishers, life jackets, flares, Epirb, lines, anchors , dinghy, mooring .
Silver Spray is presently housed in her own shed and can be viewed on the hard by appointment. Mark can be initially contacted on email at

The boat shed is also for sale separately. That should excite a few people, these things are like hens teeth & very rarely change hands.

So woodys, who is looking for or knows someone who is, a smaller classic wooden launch with wonderful provenance & maintenance history? This is the perfect boat, size wise in terms of easy maintenance & while I would hate to see her leave the Waitemata, she does have lake boat written all over her.

As an aside – Silver Spray is fast, she has blown the socks off my Raindance & other classics launches twice her size, in numerous CYA Patio Bay Rudder Cup classic launch races. Mark is always trying to squeeze an extra knot out of her – hence the sails in several photos, which he always told the race handicapper were there for safety (steadying) reasons – yeah right 🙂

02-08-2015 Photos ex Lynette Hatrick (nee Ravenhall)

The photos below of the Silver Spray during restoration were taken in the August 2003 before my Dad – Ronald and my mum – Bev Ravenhall went for the birthday cruise on the Silver Spray.

Mark Stapleton was passionate about restoring this boat and we all had a great time looking over it in the shed. That is my Dad in the photos.


Hukarere – 1949 McGeady

Story compiled by Alan Houghton from info ex Diane Hopson (daughter of original owner Les Ravenhall), photos ex Diane & Ken Ricketts
The building of Hukarere, which means ‘foam driven by sea’, involved two key people; Mac McGeady who built the hull & her owner Les Ravenhall, a builder who spent his summer holidays outfitting her. Ravenhall was assisted by his two brothers Ron & Wilf. His three daughters – Diane Hopson aged 11 at the time & her elder sister aged 13 & the ‘baby’ aged 3 were all involved as well. In the summer of 1948 New Zealand was in the middle of a Polio epidemic, so school was out for an extended period, giving the daughters a lot of free time to help out.
It’s said that McGeady based the hull on a Chris Craft design that Ravenhall saw in an American magazine in 1948 (refer clippings below).
Diane recalls the hull arriving & being placed on the front lawn, neighbors in those days must have been a lot more accommodating than they are today as Ravenhall worked night & day outfitting her. Diane recalls that the engine was already installed when the hull arrived. The work must have been undertaken at a cracking pace as the hull arrived in early December 1948 & she was launched at Okahu Bay on Anniversary weekend 1949. Diane says she leaked like a sieve & they had to work the bilge pump the whole way to Islington Bay on the maiden voyage. The building process & this first trip set the scene for a lifetime love of the sea & the boat for the entire family.
A few years after launching (c.1954/55) Ravenhall decided to rebuild the deck house & add a flying bridge. This gave Ravenhall direct door access to the engine room under the flying bridge rather than having to pull up the floorboards of the main cabin. At this time he replaced the original Lees Marine petrol engine with a Perkins diesel.
The Ravenhall family used to spend every weekend aboard, from Labour Weekend to Easter, and all summer holidays.  In the winter she was hauled up into the family boat shed in Ngapipi road  for maintenance. The boat shed had been in the Ravenhall family for years – originally owned by Diane’s grandfather – Chas W Ravenhall who owned the launches Silver Spray and Ismay.

Hukarere was invited to take part as a patrol boat, when the Gothic came into Auckland Harbour, for the Royal visit.  Diane recalls being anchored out in the Rangitoto Channel for about 8 hours in a rough sea, a day she & the family did not forget.  For many years Hukarere was designated the NZ Herald press boat for the Auckland Regatta (refer photos with ‘Press’ burgee flying).  In this role she was often involved in rescuing the little racing yachts when the wind was just too much for them.

As a result of changing family circumstances the descision was made to sell the boat in 1960 & buy a beach house. Hukarere had a new owner at Waiheke Island where she was moored for a number of years.

As always interested in what became of her post 1960 & where she is today.

 Design Inspiration

30-06-2015. An update from Ian Rawnsley (great son-in-law of Chas Ravenhall)

Last week, my wife (youngest daughter of Les Ravenhall) and I went down to the boat sheds on Ngapipi Road to check which shed used to house Hukarere and, thanks to Glenn Burnnand, we were able to establish, as believed, that it was shed 15.

The last time that we saw Hukarere was in March 2000 when, by sheer chance, on a visit to Waiheke Island, we saw her in Matiatia Bay and was owned by a bus driver.
I understand that it has been sold several times since then.

11-11-2015 Photos Added Below

The photos above show the arrival of Hukarere at the Ravenhall family home in Mission Bay. Seen are the 3 Ravenhall sisters (Diane, Barbara & Briar) & a mix of uncles and neighbours on hand to supervise & admire. Photos ex Ravenhall family via Ken Ricketts.





The boat above is Isma owned by Charles W Ravenhall – pictured in the Orakei Basin with Upland Road in the background – obviously in the days prior to the the basin being enclosed.

The proportions & scale on this little launch are just about perfect. I just amazes me how in later years all this wonder design talent was cast aside & ‘sheds’ we built over so many of our vessells.

Note: Charles Ravenhall also owned Silver Spray.

Silver Spray


Silver Spray


Story & photo by Lyn Hatrick

The above boat is the Silver Spray which my Dad has noted as being built by Joe Slattery in Judges Bay about 1925 and was 26ft long. It was powered by an Ailsa Craig petrol engine. This boat is still in existence and has been completed done up and is now moored out by the boatsheds at Orakei. My grandfather owned one of the boatsheds there which he housed the Silver Spray in. These sheds were offered to those affected by the buildingof the pipeline and who owned boats which used to be kept up on the foreshore where the Shore Road/Orakei Road intersection is. The family lived in Orakei Road at the time and then moved to Tuahere Street and loved boating

Note the above was ‘borrowed’ from a facebook page & used based on the fact they we borrowing waitmatawoodys material 😉