The truely talented boating photographers talk about the ‘golden hour’, the period just before sunset and just after dawn. Rarely in a bay is it an hour, sometimes it is 10>15 minutes before the sun disappears behind the hills or clouds.
On the Thursday before Easter, this average photographer (me) arrived in Chamberlains Bay, Ponui Island at just the right time and captured some special photos of the woody launches gathering for the Woody Classics Weekend cruise the next day up the Waihou River to Paeroa.
Woodys Classic Launch Easter River Cruise To Paeroa
The Easter weekend cruise was always going to be a biggie – with most launches having to travel upwards of 10 hours to reach the final destination – the ‘waterfront’ Historical Maritime Museum & Park in Paeroa. Most of the woody fleet gathered Thursday evening in Chamberlain Bay, Ponui Island in anticipation of an early start across the Firth of Thames, to rendezvous with the launches arriving from Thames and to collect our guide / navigator for the trip up the Waihou River. I’d have to say that the straight line trip across the Firth of Thames was 4 hours of my life I’ll never get back 🙂
We meet just off the old Kopu Swing Bridge which was opened specially for us to pass thru – and the welcome / turn out on the old bridge was outstanding. Must have been a quiet day in Thames, maybe it was that it was Good Friday and most things (pubs etc) were closed 😉
We shot thru the gap and 10 minutes later our lead boat, with navigator on board, found a mud bank and were ‘stationary’ for over an hour. Once moving again the remainder of the 4+ hour journey was fun to travel together in close proximity, but the scenery got very repetitive and at 5 knots max – the going was slow. The skippers were kept awake by lots of locals who had gathered at wharfs and in paddocks to wave as we went past. The dodging of the occasional ‘grassberg’ (floating mid-stream) also kept skippers on their toes.
The final short leg from the main river to the Museum dock again saw the lead boat aground and a wait for more tide.
We sneaked in just before dusk, a very long 10 hour day.
Jason Prew and Peter Vandersloot oversaw the shoehorning of the 10 woodys into the docking area. Then it was ashore to stretch the legs and a BBQ dinner/ catch up. The Museum had set up an impressive and most appreciated dining / BBQ area for the crews to enjoy. Post dinner most returned to the boats for an early night.
Observation- it’s bloody cold up a creek in the middle of the Waikato, thank god for hot water bottles.
Saturday was another cracker autumn day. The crews enjoyed a trip on the classic launch – Ariana (skippered by Peter Vandersloot) to the Paeroa township for morning tea at the local RSA – hot scones and pastries – always a winner. To balance out the catering, the river trip was split in two – with 1/2 the crew travelling by bus and boating back and same same in reverse for the other 1/2.
The day saw a great turn-out of locals visiting the Museum and walking the docks. I would encourage you to search the following words Kopu Bridge / Waihou River / Maritime Museum & Park on Facebook – the weekend was covered by so many people – lots more photos and videos to see.
Special mention must be made to Peter Vandersloot who masterminded the weekend and was on hand to provide so many insights into the heritage of the area, vessels and personalities. The Museum’s Chairperson Colin James and partner Gloria (a trustee) who were everywhere when needed and helped the weekend run smoothly.
Lastly none of this would have happened without woodys Jason Prew from The Slipway Milford, and Kerry Lilley for pulling everything together – well done guys.
The return trip back down the river had its challenges, very complicated tide table – but to the best of my knowledge no one is still there 🙂
The Museum and their boat trips are a must do if you are passing thru or around Paeroa. And big ups to the local council and business association – Paeroa is a healthy, well presented town, and a credit to everyone living there.
Over the next week I’ll do additional WW stories on the Museum, the river trip to Paeroa on board Ariana and a few of the launches that made the trip.
(Woodys who attended – My Girl, Raindance, Awariki, Lucille, Summer Wine, Ngarimu, Lucinda, Maroro, Cindy Jane, Kaikoura, and guest appearance by Ariana – refer photos below)
(Photo credits to – Jason Prew, Linus Fleming, Andre Thomas, Andrew & Mechaela Dobbs and yours truly)
Photos below ex MV Buccaneer (Michelle Bostock & Tim Ord
Woodys Clevedon River Overnight BBQ Cruise
The weekend forecast for the woodys classic cruise up the Wairoa River to the Clevedon Cruising Club was a mixed bag, but as almost always is the case with woody events, it all came good and other a few light showers the 15 launches and one yacht had a ball. We were meet by CCC member Barrie Abel in his classic Sea Craft run-about who piloted the fleet up the river, only one oops that I know of, they were following Raindance and clipped a maker pole, but blamed me as I was taking photos and ‘diverting’ a tad.
Big thanks to all the CCC members that turn out to lend a hand with the berthing, no easy task with a mix of craft and ’skills’ 😉
The afternoon was spent catching up with old and new friends via a spot of boat hopping, followed by a BBQ dinner at our hosts club house.The chef, Bazza was the best, how he remembers which food on the BBQ belongs to who and how you want it cooked is beyond me. A few of us watched the All Black v Australia rugby test (on an iPhone) so the AB’s big win capped of a great night.
Sunday dawned with a perfect day, but the sun might have been a little too bright for one of two of the revellers but conditions were agreeable for the trip home.
Again many thanks to the CCC members for the hospitality and friendship extended to us – we will be back. (Make sure you view the videos, some great dockside footage + thank you those that emailed in photos from the weekend – and as always click on photos to enlarge)
Classic Woody Weekend At Patio Bay – 60+ Classic Wooden Boat Photos
As you will have come to expect, the first weekend in December sees the CYA hosting the annual Patio Bay weekend, for some reason in recent years its morphed into a potpourri of events – these days its – the CYA Xmas party, a cake competition, a motor boat poker rally and what it always was – a yacht race down to the bay for a old school waterfront BBQ. A little busy these days but it seems to work 🙂
This year was the first visit since the ownership of the property changed hands from the Woolicott family (100+ years) to Mike Mahoney. It was comforting to hear Mike talk of their feature plans that include continuing the event.
New to the programme this year was a poker run rally for the CYA launches. Skippers collect a playing card from 5 collection on route and then play a round of poker ashore to determine the winner. The event was sponsored by The Slipway Milford. Winners below:
First Across The Line – Gay Dawn – Mark & Pricilla MacDuff – Burnsco voucher + wine
Poker Run Winner- Kumi – Hayden & Linda Afford – COMPLIMENTARY SLIPWAY MILFORD HAULOUT + 4L ANTIFOUL PAINT + WW T-SHIRT
Shoddy Boat Handling Skills – Lucille – Alan Good (wife name withheld as she was innocent) WW T-shirt A great time was had by all and special thanks must go to everyone that helps pull the weekend together. To me it always signals the start of summer boating.
Most WW readers will be very familiar with the annual Mahurangi Regatta – the biggest gathering of wooden boats in NZ. The MCC also put together a year book that is a one of the best boating reads each year and perfect for on the boat over xmas. So woodys, if your looking for a self present (always the best) or being asked what you want from the kids – at $20 for 108 pages it’s a steal.
While mooching around under the Harbour Bridge waiting for the launch stragglers , I snapped a few photos of the yacht fleet tuning up for the start of the annual Vintage & Veterans yacht race – Photos below
The weather for the launch cruise was almost ideal, after we had arrived at the Riverhead Tavern and had planted ourselves in the bar, the rain started, so while we by dinning and chatting – the old girls got a fresh water wash down – perfect.
A good turn out for late in the season – 16 woodys – made up of 12 CYA members and 4 woodys that joined us for the day. I convinced one to join, but Jason Prew tells me I need to improve on my 25% conversion rate 🙂
Nice to catch up with those that made the trip by motorcar.
As always the food was excellent, just a wee hick-up with a power oops slowed the service down a tad but all good.
Sorry if I missed your woody with my camera – the fleet were very spaced out, so arrive times didn’t suit the need to sustenance 😉
As always, click photos to enlarge.
Rawhiti A2 + Rainbow A7 + Waitangi A6
Rainbow A7 + Rawhiti A2 + Ariki A3 + Little Jim A16
Not sure what these two were up too but the t-shirt gets the WW of approval
Woody Waiheke BBQ
Saturday (30/03/2019) saw a group of hardy, the barometer was not saying summer, CYA members gather in Putiki Bay, Waiheke Island for a post CYA yacht race BBQ. The photos have been enhanced, it wasn’t quite that sunny 🙂
The bay filled up with a good collection of woody yachts and launches. The CYA committee even put on a band – well done guys.
Special thanks to Chris Sadler for the use of his launch – Moeraki as the start boat for the yacht race. Moeraki is a very smart looking woody, I have always admired her – great to see her out on the Waitemata. You can read / see more on her here (lots in the comments section). https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/03/26/mystery-launch-26032014/
Woody launches in the bay included – My Girl, Lucille, Waimea, Puawai, Lucinda, Matuku, Summer Wine, Wirihana and Mahanui – some I suspect were moored there.
Special thanks to Jason Prew and Mark Edmonds for the (phone) photos.
As a special treat for the skipper of Lucille – I have include the youtube video below 😉
Woodys In the North
Another collection of photos ex Dean Wright of classic woodys cruising the the Bay of Islands. Shown is Ranui the NZ built ‘Chris Craft’ at Days Point. Summer Wine off Takou Bay heading North & one of Waipawa – anchored on the south side of Moturoa Island. Meola is also pictured in Frenchmans Bay, Moturua Island but this is back in May 2015.
Can anyone ID the last photo above, she is shown here heading toward Waewatorea in the BOI.
Wash Day on Linda
Woody Robin Elliott snapped the photos below of Linda heading into Opunga Cove over the New Year period. Given the array of laundry flying, it looks like another one of those memorable Brooke family cruises 🙂
Update 10-04-2018 photo below of Meloa, taken by Angus Rogers, shows her at Crowles Bay, Te Puna Inlet.
ARISTOS details ex Ken Rickets & Alan H. photos ex KR
Aristos was launched in October 1985 & designed by Des Townson, in fact the only launch Townson designed that was built. I understand there was a small launch designed but not built. Aristos was built by Noel May, is 36 feet long, 3 skins of kauri in the hull, with solid mahogany coamings & glassed ply decks .
She is powered by twin 60 HP Nissan diesels & cruises at 8 knots.
She sleeps 6 & was built for Ian & Vivienne Stembridge . She remained in the Stembridge family from new until early 2013. Being kept the whole time at Whitianga.
Aristos has recently been sold to Ray Haydon & Sarah Elleray of Auckland.
Note: Noel May also built in 1993 a very similar launch Summer Wine (view her by entering her name in the ww search box)
Summer Wine – could be a very special boat, I suspect she was designed by one of NZ’s most talented modern(ish) yacht designers, Des Townson. He only designed (I think?) one launch & Summer wine could be it. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to iD most Townson boats – not a lot of right angles on them 🙂
I said hello last weekend as I cruised past her stern in Oneroa, I would love to know more about the boat, she was flying the CYA burgee but I can not find her in the database?
ps I might be wrong about her being a Townson, more knowledgable people than I have question my judgement on this launch – so jump in with your view.AH
An Update From the Owner – I was wrong but right 🙂 AH
MV SUMMER WINE (registered as such to avoid confusion with the plethora of Summer Wines) was designed and built by Noel May of Bucklands Beach, and launched in 1993, for his own use in retirement. Noel had been a long time friend of Des Townson and had built a number of Townson keelers, culminating in the build of ARISTOS, the only launch designed by Townson. The two launches are similar, but distinctly different in both dimensions and layout, in that they share the same materials (triple kauri hull, epoxied inside and glassed outside, teak coamings, glassed and clear finished, walnut panelling interior). ARISTOS has recently been purchased from Whitianga and is now in the OBC in the capable care of a jeweller, I believe.
SUMMER WINE hopes to become a classic when she is old enough, meanwhile her owners, most certainly are old enough to be classics, although their construction may let them down a bit, are content to be ordinary members of the CYA, hence the burgee.
My daughter, who knows about such things, took the opportunity to spend some time with Noel May shortly after we took the boat over and scanned a number of photos of the designing and construction and launching which she made into one of those self published book thingies. We have spare copies aplenty by the way, which the CYA is welcome to one of if there is any interest.
We have covered a lot of miles in the three and a bit years past and have found her to be vice free, comfortable, and manouverable due to her little twin Yanmars. Dennis Rule
26-03-2017 Photos below of SW at Pine Harbour – Mar2017 ex Ken Ricketts