Spindrift – The Build & Launching

Spindrift – The Build & Launching

On Friday we featured the launch – Spindrift and asked for more details – well as you can see from the above photo gallery we certainly got an answer 🙂
Firstly Spindrift is a new build, launched in early December 2021 – designed by Gary Underwood (design #71) and owner built by Hilton and Melva Ward. 
To quote Hilton she is a 10 metre, multi-chine ply passage maker powered by a 35hp Beta (Kubota) engine.

Hilton has a very informative blog on the whole back story from design to first cruise, link below. I have just ‘cherry picked’ a selection of photos for todays story.  https://thenewspindrift.blogspot.com/?m=1

Spindrift calls Ngunguru Estuary, Northland home, but there are plans for some serious cruising this summer. The build commenced in early 2016, but Underwood did the design work two years prior  – see sketches below + model Hilton made to see how it would look in real life.

As always – click on photos to enlarge 😉

Spindrift + Save A Classic From The Chainsaw


One of my ’spotters’,  Dean Wright, in the north sent in on Wednesday night the above photo of Spindrift. Dean commented that Spindrift was a newbie to him and myself also.

The photo shows her coming up the Kerikeri Inlet (Doves Bay). 

Can anyone enlighten us on Spindrift, there is an interesting mix of styles going on, but overall she looks very salty.


We have a long weekend coming up – Labour W/end – OCt 22nd > 24th) historically we tend to point the bow towards Kawau Island, weather permitting, if the weather gods are nice the plan is a catch up / drink ashore on Saturday at the Kawau Boating Club. Always very informal, so probaly around 3.30>4pm. If your around drop in.


The classic launch Parma recently had an oops and sank – story here https://waitematawoodys.com/2022/08/04/classic-launch-parma-sinks-under-harbour-bridge/

The insurance surveyor has advised they have offered up Parma at no charge other than removal costs from Hobsonville Marina Hardstand – if no takers by Oct 21st – she sadly will be cut up. Interested parties contact Simon Marshall via email simon.marshall@nz.sedgwick.com

Mooching Around The Gulf #2

Mooching Around The Gulf #2

Todays gallery of woodys comes to us from Barrie Abel taken last week while mooching around the bottom end of Waiheke Island and Kawakawa Bay, the ‘home’ of his armada of classic woodys. We have Trinidad, Pleasure Lady, Spindrift, Rehia and Gytha. Below are links to Spindrift and Gytha – one day we will befriend the owners of Pleasure Lady and get a peek down below of this very smart Roy Paris design, Monty Rae built launch.

GYTHA https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/07/05/gytha/
SPINDRIFT https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/08/08/spindrift-2/


Spindrift CCC Picnic

Spindrift 1953 Waipu Landing

Weather permitting as you read this we will be on-route up the Wairoa River to the Clevedon Cruising Club, so it seems fitting that today I feature a local boat.
In the above colour photo we see the launch Spindrift heading to the Clevedon Cruising Club picnic at Ponui Island, the ‘crew’ were the the McKenzie family, owners at the time. Read the page ex the CCC 75th Jubilee booklet for details, but quick headline – Gordon McKenzie purchase the 30’ 1934 Spindrift from Harry Morton in 1948 and owned her for 34 years, she sold in 1987 to the current owners, the Renall family.
The CCC Jubilee booklet was written by Merle McKenzie.
In her early years Spindrift had an interesting life as a work-boat, refer story.
The black and white photo, shows Spindrift  in 1953 alongside the Waipu Landing.
(Thanks to Barrie Abel, Colin McKenzie and Jess McKenzie for photos & input)
I love the poem below – very on the mark 🙂

Not Spindrift (now a mystery launch)

Spindrift -2

Spindrift -7

Spindrift -3

SPINDRIFT   Mystery Launch

I have been sent the above photos of the launch Spindrift by Christoph Hoessly, whose grandfather, Ken McLeod owned her prior to having the launch Marquerite built.
At some stage in the 1940’s she may have been owned by Auckland (North Shore) identity – HT Morton.
The last known where about of Spindrift is a note (Feb 2016) in the WW comments section by Rob Lees, advising that the boat was then owned by Bruce Ashby and moored at Kawakawa Bay. Rob also commented that other than having her varnished coamings painted white, she looks the same, as launched.
Can anyone update us on the current whereabouts of Spindrift and any photos? + details on builder / launching date.

Seems woodys we have a wee issue with todays story – numerous people have contacted me and advised that the launch pictured above is not the boat owned by HT Morton.
The big question is – were there two launched named – Spindrift ? Or has Christoph Hoessly got his photos mixed up, it is after all over 70 years ago that his grandfather took these photos. As one woody commented it appears the stories have become ’tangled’.
The photos below, ex the Clevedon Cruising Club 75th Anniversary (2017) commemorative book (by Merle McKenzie), clearly show the Spindrift that was owned by HT Morton. (Thanks to Barrie Abel, Colin McKenzie and Jess McKenzie for photos & input)
So woodys can anyone help us clear up the confusion? Identifying the launch above in the b/w photos would be a big step.
Spindrift CCC Picnic

Woody Mooching Around Mana Marina



Dean Wright was recently reviewing his extensive photo library (he is a professional photographer) and found a file labelled ‘Mana Marina’ and sent it off to me asking if he had already sent it to me 🙂 my answer was no, so today we get to enjoy Deanand his camera mooching around Mana marina, Porirua, Wellington.

The photos we taken last year, no doubt at the start / end of one of his southern cruises.
The windy city woodys are not afraid to splash a bit of colour around when painting their boats 🙂
ps each to their own opinion – but I do like the lines of Ajax.

Spindrift – A Short Movie – Sailing Sunday

Spindrift – A Short Movie – Sailing Sunday


The NZ On Screen link to this 9 minute 1968 movie was sent to me by Hamish Stanaway.
Its a cracker with lots of familiar boats & faces – bare with the 1st 1:30 minutes, the sailing starts approx then. Enjoy

Launches at Waipu Landing 1953

Waipu Boats

photo & details ex Colin McKenzie ex New Zealand Herald Jan 1953.

A flotilla of launches & the scow Rahiri seen here at the Waipu Landing at the start of the celebrations to mark the arrival of the Nova Scotian settlers there 100 years previously.
From the left:
#1 Bridge decker on left (was owned by Mac Kelly, Beachlands) Colin has forgotten the name of the launch.

#2 Highland Lass (Jim Somner, Waipu)

#3 Bluebird, (John Munroe, Papakura)

#4 Spindrift, (Gordon McKenzie, Clevedon – Gordon was Colin’s father & Commodore of the Clevedon Cruising Club)

#5 Rahiri (Jock McKinnon, skipper). The remains of Rahiri are now to be seen in the sands/beach at Blackpool, Waiheke Island.