Mystery Launch On The Tamaki River

Mystery Launch On The Tamaki River
I spotted the above launch a couple of weeks ago while mooching up the Tamaki River onboard Angus Roger’s launch – Centaurus . She looks very well cared for and well rugged up for winter. Can one of the river rats tell us the name and any known background on the launch?

Input from Mark McLaughlin = The mystery boat is ORA-KIA, designed and built by Snow Waters in 1963.

Also Up The River

Unless you were traveling by boat, you wouldn’t normally see the dry stack (I think its called something like – Tamaki Boat Park) on the banks of the upper Tamaki River. Appears to be well populated and anything that gets people towing boat trailers off the road during weekends gets my tick 🙂 And if you are wondering what happens to all the trailers – some boats are ordered new without one, but for those with trailers, there is a smaller staking system on-site for empty trailers

Korara at the Milford Slipway

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Korara at the Milford Slipway
The 1962, 37’ Snow Waters built motorsailer Korara is currently hauled out at Auckland’s only true railway hail out facility – the Milford Slipway (previously owned by Geoff Bagnall)
Owner Anatole Perry in his words hauled her out for a ’tickle up’, well already thats grown into stripping the decks and resealing them – I’m sure the TO DO LIST will get even bigger 🙂
Korara has been fortunate to have had some very salty owners in her past, who will be very happy to see that she is in good hands with Anatole (with Jason Prew looking over his shoulder)
A couple of WW links below to see / read more on this woody.

Photos below ex Nathan Herbert of Korara in the Milford Marina on-route to the The Slipway.


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Back in Feb 2015 I did a story on the 1960 Snow Waters built launch ‘Poaka’ & questioned where she was today. Nathan Herbert gave us a heads up in Feb 2017 that she had popped up on trademe & she is still there today.
Looks like she has had some TLC & being a Waters craft she should be a solid ship. Interesting the difference between the painted cabin, versus the ‘as launched’ varnished finish (photo below), certainly looks sharper with the varnish (in my eye)
Powered by a 72hp, 4 cyl. Ford Diesel.
A nice entry level woody that with a little more work, could be a pretty classic.
See / read more about her here
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Yesterdays winner of the Auckland On The Water Boat Show tickets was – Tim Christensen – owner of the classic launch ‘Yvonne’

WAIATA II – Sailing Sunday II

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WAIATA II – Sailing Sunday
Waiata II was Snow Waters personal yacht, designed by Alan Mummery, and launched in 1971 /2 – Alan Sexton gave me the heads up on the trademe listing & Alan commented that remembers seeing her around Waiheke Island on their first summer on Tarata.

She was featured in Sea Spray August 1971 whilst under construction. The feature noted that Snow was looking for waterline length, in the Innismarra (or even further back William Garden’s Oceanus) style, ie long (55′) and narrow.

She is single skin strip planked kauri glued with steam bent ribs. No doubt with the 6 cyl. Ford she motors at a good pace too.

Waiata II has been owned by current owner for 41 years in NZ, with the last 3 years being based in the Australian East Coast, where she is 4sale. The current location making her perfect for someone wanting to cruise the Queensland Coast, Whitsundays or further north.

Yesterdays Quiz Winner – WW T-Shirt

Mr M Deeble – proof that the early bird does catch the worm, with his 6.00ish entry 🙂






Korara was built in 1962 by Snow Waters to a design by naval architect, John E. Powell, UK.  The 37’6″ design is for a ‘sport- fishing’ motorboat which can cruise at a good speed in the rough conditions of the English Channel without slowing.
She is a very practical boat with an extremely well built kauri carvel hull. Zoom zoom comes from a 120hp Ford diesel that sees her cruises at 8 knots using very little diesel. While she probably can sail without the engine, her owner has never tried. She has a main stored on the boom under a brand new cover (beige, not shown) and a couple of headsails which have never been out. The main works excellently as designed, to steady her in a sea.
Some specs:
• There are two large plastic fuel tanks in a walk around engine room with about 5ft headroom. Engine room even has its own porcelain hand basin!
• Her propeller and rudder are bronze, the rudder being supported by a large, beautifully cast solid bronze shoe.
• Sleeping is via – 5 singles and 1 double berth.
• Decks are double (possibly triple) diagonally laid with no leaks and no movement save for the odd small seam crack.
• Coamings are all varnished teak including skylight, hinged 2 ways and removable all on bronze fittings, over the aft double cabin.
• Interior is in excellent condition, with all solid teak mouldings. Floorboards are teak and all wear areas are very thick teak (staircases, steps, handles etc)
• Gas stove / grill / oven is used very little. Water in 3 basins is fed from a header tank which is topped up by manual pump from a large stainless underfloor tank.

Korara is a special boat that has been fortunate to have been owned by a very talented & passionate woody. This owner is asking a very reasonable price – $75k ono, I hope a good buyer steps up soon & buys her, she deserve to be passed onto someone who will continue to appreciate her & care for her.
I’m not always a fan of the high gloss varnish coamings but Korara would look like a million dollars if you did the Uroxsys (Awlwood MA ) varnish treatment on her 😉

I very rarely post trademe links but I like the owners & I like the boat – so here you go – buy it.






Today’s ww story one of the ones that makes it all worth while – Alan Sexton contacted me a while ago trying to track down a launch his father (Howard) owned in the 1970’s – Tarata. Never confirmed but the family believed the 32′ sedan launch was built by Snow Waters, possibly to a Couldrey design. Alan had not photos of her & the last known where abouts was that she was moored in the Tamaki Riv just up from HMB.
Alan’s father sold her to a Wayne Kidd (the broker at HMB) and a partner in 1979.
Now Alan works overseas & returned to NZ last week from Chile & was in the Pakuranga area last Thursday and having been advised that Allan Keane at HMB Brokerage had some history on Tarata, Alan took the opportunity to drop into to his office. He kindly searched thru his sales records and found  the last transaction he had done in 2003 and gave Alan his display photos (as above). Attached are scans of the photos.
As a result of Alan’s time with Allan Keane & other sniffing around he has been able to assemble the details below on Tarata. Still very keen to learn details on her recent history & current where abouts.
” Tarata was built by Snow Waters and launched in 1962 for Lloyd Kitchen (of the H.C. Kitchen formica family). Designer is believed to be Bill Couldrey but this is not certain. She is 32’ x 10’6” x 3’, hull is 7/8” single skin kauri on steam bent ribs with solid timber floors, decks are one diagonal and one fore and aft tongue and groove sheathed with canvas & fiberglass. Cabin coamings are solid timber and cabin top appeared to be plywood over solid beams with the surface between the beams Formica lined. Original engine was a marinised 60hp Fordson Super Major with a Paragon 2:1 mechanical gearbox. The engine installation was quite cunning, the engine is mounted forward of the main cabin and offset slightly to starboard to allow sufficient width for the passage to port and a narrow bunk. The drive train consisted of truck assembly double universal and sliding spline shaft, with thrust from the propeller taken by a rigidly mounted thrust bearing. All tanks were copper as were the bow rails and cabin top hand rails. She has a mast approx. 6m tall fitted with a jib used as a steadying sail.

The Kitchen’s sold her about 1967 to Arthur Wagner and my father, Howard Sexton bought her in 1971, owning her until 1979. She was then bought by Wayne Kidd and a partner who owned her until approx. 1983. She has had a number of owners since and last record is that she was sold to Barry and Jane Radford from Kerikeri in 2003.

She was re-engined sometime in the 80’s with a slightly larger 85hp 4 cyl Lees Ford and a hydraulic gearbox. Otherwise she appears virtually unchanged, at least in 2003 when the photos were taken. She was a tough little launch and would plug on thru just about any sea. There is at least one sister ship, Yin Yang at Westpark, who has had her cockpit extended. At one time we were told Snow had built up to 6 of this design but this is not certain.”

Input from Robert Brooke – Tarata was built by Snow Waters to a modified ” Mapuna” design of my fathers



photos & details ex Harold Kidd ex John Blundell

In 1960 Stan Blundell had Alan (Snow) Waters design and build him this pretty little launch, Poaka, although Stan had a big input into the design. Her dimensions were 26’ x 25’6” x 8’9” x 2’9” and she was powered by a 90hp Zephyr engine. In 1962 Stan sold her to Athol Mellars of Ohinerau St., Remuera who had always expressed the wish to buy her if she ever came on the market. Athol died in 1972 and she was taken over by his son John who kept her at Whangaparapara, Great Barrier Island.
Where is she now?


photos & details ex Scott Taylor
In the early 1960’s Mac Taylor of HM Taylor Shipbrokers drew up the lines for Siren & had Snow Waters build her c.1962. The Taylor family used her to cruise the gulf & sold her c.1966.
In the launch day photos above, the tractor driver is Flap Martiningo, Tony Mason provided the trailer and Snow Waters is encouraging Scott’s mother to smash the bottle on the anchor, Scott recalls it took six attempts 🙂 Mac Taylor is on the foredeck.

Scott is curious to find out where she may be now and what state she would be in.

click photos to enlarge

Update from Dave Jackson 13/07/2014

She is now renamed “Nancy Belle” and lives on moorings behind the Whangaparapara wharf, Great Barrier Island. Owned by Max Howard. Topsides have been painted white. He uses her as a cray boat.




photos & details ex Nathan Herbert

CYA member Nathan Herbert who is currently restoring the Coultard launch Lucinda is seeking more info on his other classic, Korara, the 37′ motor sailer built c.1960 by Alan (Snow) Waters for Ron Gurr.

Korara’s design came from a UK designer John E. Powell, Nathan has supplied reference material on Mary Islay (magazine pages) ex the Jack Brooke collection. See below.

Specs: LOA = 37′, Beam = 10’6″, Draught = 3’9″, Disp = 10.5 ton, Sail Area = Mizzen 107sqft – Genoa 277sqft, Engine = 120hp Ford, Speed = 9.5knts

There are big gaps in her history that Nathan would like to fill in.

click any image to enlarge

Some proof below of the wide readership of waitematawoodys.

A message from Paul Mimmack in the Channel Islands

“I was checking out ‘John E Powell’ on Google when I came across the page on KORARA.
I was very interested in her details and pictures as I am the present owner of MARY ISLAY!   I purchased her in 1992, but over time, work (Asst Harbourmaster & Coastguard SMC in Jersey CI) has got in the way of using and looking after her as I would like. But I retired 3 weeks ago so will give her some TLC over the next few years, starting when the weather improves in spring.
It is interesting to compare her with KORARA, having less cabin space as she was built as a Motor Fishing Yacht for Sir Giles Guthrie – a banker & chairman of BOAC – in 1957 at Aeromarine Ltd, Emsworth, Hampshire. Originally moored at Hamble, near Southampton until he sold it in 1962/3. There is no accommodation astern of the wheelhouse – just the walk-in (via short ladder each side) engine room.  The afterdeck was left open for fishing and has RNLI lifeboat type bronze wash ports.
As the specification says – built mainly of teak on an oak keel, there is some electrolysis in the oak around the rudder tube, which I need to sort out.
In 2004 I changed the original 2 stroke Foden 70hp diesel for a rebuilt Gardner 4LW of 62hp. It fitted, is quieter, more economical and more importantly I can still get spare parts.
She is rather a ‘wet’ hull, thus the Kent clearview screens get used in over f3 head winds, but comfortable. Her 10ft beam seems very ‘narrow’ for a boat today (but typical of the time), the steadying sail helps stop rolling in beam seas.
[I do have NZ contacts as my wife is from Auckland, she still has a brother, sister, aunt & uncle in town, with other relations spread around the country – we hope to be out next December]
Kind Regards
Paul Mimmack
St Lawrence
Channel Islands”


MAPUNA  – yes again 🙂  but I was sent today a wonderful collection of old photos by her current owner (Mark McLaughlin) that he received courtesy of the Robert Brooke family collection.

The young lady breaking the champagne over the bow on launching day is Elizabeth Brooke, daughter of the original owner A.R (Bill) Stephenson. A.R Stephenson was the principal of Avondale College at the time. As mention in the post below, Robert Brooke built her at Snow Waters’ yard and then married Bill Stephenson’s daughter after proposing in the forward cabin during construction!

Mark believes Snow Waters’ yard in the photos was located near where the Mitre 10 Mega store at Wairau Park is now. Jack Brooke is the man wearing the tie walking past Mapuna as she is being extracted from the shed. Snow Waters is crouching down next to the cradle, nearest Brooke.

CYA member Neil Chalmers (Gleam) sent me the Nov. 1963 Sea Spray article.