Today’s woody comes to us from Bryce Strong’s photo collection – another CV-19 clean out bonus.
Above we have the launch Waikere, an unknown to me, so keen to uncover her past and whether she is still around today.
The top photo is dated Easter 1988. The bottom photo lists the location as Ponui Island, and is dated March 1989. This photo comes with an added bonus – the woodys in the photo are (L>R) Lady Margaret (1940 Dick Lang), Altair and Waikere – the bonus is that I have never seen a colour photo of Altair with varnished coamings and pre the ‘block of flats’ she now carries (current photo below).
Input from Jeff Norris – Waikere belonged to my brother Dave Norris back then he used to keep it up the Clevedon river on a private marina along side Altair and a another boat called Apacha. He told me she was 32’ and built by Shipbuilders with a carvel hull and powered by a 100hp Ford
Recently I received from Bryce Strong an envelope of ‘old’ boating photos – the result of a CV-19 lock-down cull of the family photo collection. Its a flash back of woody boating on and around the Waitemata.
The above photos show the 34’ Antares, built in the 1950’s by Supreme Craft in Auckland. I suspect that at the time, Antares was owned by Bryce’s brother-in-law, Ron Philips.
Antares has appeared on WW several times and you can see / read more of her past at the link below, be sure to check out the additional links in the story to experience more.
I have done two previous WW stories on the 38’ Supreme Craft, 1955 built launch Aquarius. In September 2018 it was an SOS reaching out for someone to save her and bring her back from Waiheke Island where she had been hauled out for approx. 6 years. Then in April 2019 we reported that she was being trucked / ferried back to the mainland. WW links to those stories below.
Today I’m rapt to share the above work-in-progress photos ex Dave Brown and John Wright, who are restoring Aquarius. These boys are light on chat, they just get on with the work, which is impressive – we will continue to follow this project with great interest – well done guys 🙂
Photos below – first one is from 2018 and the bottom two are from the island ‘extraction’ in 2019.
The selection of woody photos above was sent in by Bryce Strong, details and links to previous WW stories below. I hate Digital dates on photos but it is a very simple way to record when the photo was taken – two are dated 2013, interesting to see how the vessels have faired in the last 13 years.
The top photo of the steamboat – Duke of Marlborough, is a newbie to me. I’m looking forward to Russell Ward chipping in with her history 😉
Antares – built in the 1950’s by Supreme Craft. At the time the above photo was taken she was owned by Bryce’s brother-in-law, Ron Phillips
I have been contacted by Richard Winthrop looking for information on a boat builder named Sutton Malcolm & Co. Ltd of Mt Roskill, Auckland. Many years ago Richard had a Mason Clipper that had the sticker below on it.
My woody spotter in the Nelson area, John Burland, recently sent in the above photos from the Riwaka Inlet.
The top photo is of the 36’ Varlene, built by Supreme Craft c.1940’s. She has made several appearance on WW and I last saw her in Torrent Bay, Abel Tasman National Park in early March 2019 (photo below)
I have just finished a big few days -Wed>Friday helped Jamie Hudson take Lady Crossley to her summer home in the Bay of Islands and then on Saturday attended a day of celebrations to mark the re-launch of the magnificent Supreme Craft launch – Lady Ellen. Thanks to owner Bruce Mitchinson sending in regular update reports, the restoration of this woody would have to be the best documented project on the waitematawoodys website – refer links below.
The day started with Lady Ellen being transported to the Opua launching ramp, with grey skies and a forecast of rain, no time was wasted getting her back into the water. Hopefully it’s a good omen that the rain held off until Lady Ellen slipped her lines for the trip to her berth just off the Russell Boating Club. Owners Bruce and Annabel were joined by friends and family for lunch and good chat. On a personal note it was great to meet a lot of WW followers and put a face to the names.
Bruce’s list of people to thank was very long – some very talented folk have rubbed up against Lady Ellen during the last 4 years. The master craftsman / boatbuilder Brett Avery was singled out for special recognition – in return he thanked Bruce and Annabel for their vision, faith and tenacity thru-out the restoration.
A special thanks to Hylton Edmonds who assisted with the launching and provided the ‘underway’ photos and impressive video footage of Lady Ellen motoring to Russell.
Lastingly – I have not been to Russell in way too long – what a cool destination, the retailers lightened my wallet + dinner at The Duke of Marlborough on Saturday night was a 9/10 – great venue, great sunset and nice people (Margo & Jamie Hudson + myself & Robyn)
The venue for the post launch celebration was the world famous, well at least in NZ 🙂 , Russell Boating Club. The club also hosts the truely world famous – Tall Ships Race in January each year.
Now they are a wee problem – its sinking – not sure if its burying its self into the mud or its rising sea levels – either way as you will see in the photo below urgent action is needed.
The club is funding raising to re-pile and need $40,000 – so they have set up a donation page – link below. Good news is they are 1/2 way there. So if you are feeling generous this xmas, donate a few dollars to help out 🙂
During the week I was contacted by Joe Pallante who along with his partner has just purchased the 34’Don Brooke designed yacht Dolphyn. Other than the length, possible build date of c.1970 and designer Joe knows very little about the yacht. Via the comments section on WW Robert Brooke has kindly ‘pointed’ Joe in the direction of brother Don.
The yacht was purchased off a Canadian gent and is moored in Shoal Bay, Auckland.
Can anyone help Joe out with some history on the vessel?
LADY ELLEN – Re-Launching
Have spent the weekend in Russell for the re-launch of Bruce Mitchinson’s 1950’s Supreme Craft – Lady Ellen – check out tomorrows WW story to view the action. Stunning weekend in the bay.
Last week I was in discussions with John Parker regarding several wooden boats from his past, in the chat he mentioned he had an old photo album that included several photos of his grandfathers (Cyril Parker) 34’ launch Antares, 1950’s built by Supreme Craft.
The photos above were taken in the 1950’s and show John’s parents (Wallace and Jacqueline) during their ‘courting’ days. John’s grandparents were Cyril and Kath Parker.
John commented that Cyril had given up his famous white peaked cap to Wallace while he had the helm, he must have approved of the young couple as in another photo we see Jacqueline on the helm.
Below are two WW links that have great photo galleries of Antares from the 1980’s and 2005.
If you believe her trade listing the above 33’ launch is a McGeedy design and built in 1956. McGeedy’s a new name to me, spelling maybe? Or maybe I’m slow off the mark.
Typical broker listing e.g. no mention of the vessel’s name and no details on the motor.
All that aside a nice boat.
Update: Ken Ricketts has advised the launch is Arcturus built by Supreme Craft, (Mac McGeady) in the late 1940s or early 1950s (refer below) for Mr & Mrs John Warren.
She was originally powered by a 4 cyl Buda diesel which he replaced, by approx. 3>4 years later, by a 6 cyl Ford diesel. The Buda had been installed by Tracey Nelson, as were the majority of the McGeady boats.
She was however built several years before 1956, as John Warren sold the Buda to Ken’s father in 1956, who put it in the Juliana that year, when he sold her, which replaced a 6 cyl Leyland diesel. (edited by Alan H)
Input from Harold Kidd
The name is ARCTURUS. She was partly built by McGeady’s company Supreme Craft in November 1950 for John Warren of Mission Bay who finished her off at home and eventually launched her in late 1952 (Sea Sprays of November 1950 and March 1953). Her lines were in the November 1950 issue. Named amend AH