ANTARES + WIN More Tickets To The Auckland On The Water Boat Show
I was contacted recently by Bryce Strong who had just discovered the WW site & it spurred him on to have a dig in the old photo album for some woody photos.
The photos above of the 34’ Supreme Craft ‘Antares’ show her back in Feb 2005, when owned by Bryce’s brother-in-law Ron Philips.
Two More Boat Show tickets to give away – today’s question below. All entries via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6pm 28-09-2017.
To save your fingers, the people who entered yesterday but were unsuccessful, will go into today’s draw.
Q: Name one of the 5 Auckland On-the-water Boat Show sponsors
Ps yesterday’s winner was – Graeme Finch – owner of the launch – ‘Te Arahi’
White Cloud Movie – Leaving The Shed + Launch Day
Today’s post is based around a movie of the launch White Cloud, being shoe-horned out of the Supreme Craft shed at 1a Summer St., Ponsonby & making its way to Fodenway Motors, Penrose for engine fit out. And then the final leg to launching at Panmure in June 1965. The movie was filmed by her original owner, Len Buckby & shared with ww by his daughter Pam Mare via Ken Ricketts.
You can see & read more about White Cloud here
The Building & Launching of White Cloud + A Peep Inside 1A Summer Street
1A Summer St, Ponsonby was an unlikely location for boatbuilding, particularly for large launches. The building was built on to the rear of a retail shop, on the corner of Ponsonby Rd & Summer St., Auckland. Summer St was & still is an incredibly narrow side street, dating back to the late 1800’s.
To date on ww we have never seen good photos of the interior of the yard/shed, now thanks to the generosity of Pam Mare, we have access to the above photos. Pam is part of the Buckby family, that had White Cloud built at the yard by Ben Hipkins, to a McGeady design. Ben bought the Supreme Craft, off Mac Mcgeady. Other craftsman at the yard were boat builder Garry Wheeler & Tracey Nelson, a marine & refrigeration engineer, who did the vast majority of the engine & machinery installations, in the Supreme Craft vessels, — along with looking after all the Ponui Island mechanical work, from all the farm tractors, power generators, to George Chamberlain’s Lane built, tram topper, Falcon.
Such was the shortage of space at the building, that every boat that emerged, meant ,the picket fence of the house opposite in Summer St, to have to be removed & later replaced, to facilitate the exit from the building on to the transporter.
White Cloud left the shed in June 1965, to go to Fodenway Motors, Penrose, for engine installation & finishing. The photos below show her leaving the shed & later, on route to launching. Sorry for the poor photo quality, stills photos taken from old ‘home’ movie footage, recorded by Len Buckby or his wife & made available to us by his daughter Pam Mare.
Special thanks to Ken Ricketts for pulling the individual pieces together.
1945 – 32′ Classic Kauri Launch
Now this launch is for sale & if you had a peek inside you would be very impressed & at the asking price of $78k you might think its a great buy. Well it is a great buy, but I do not think there will be a queue of classic woody buyers lining up – why? because someone has stolen its mojo – the thing that makes a boat special. Her name is Ranui & in another life was called El Alamein, you can read about her here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/08/03/el-alamein-ranui/
The Readers Digest version of her history is that she was launched in January 1945, specifically for use on Lake Rotoiti to help convalescing returned servicemen from World War II, many in wheelchairs, ease back into civilian life.
Now I have another life outside of being a wooden boat blogger & that is in the world of consumer & B2B marketing – mostly via the digital channels these days – so I can hear you asking yourself whats the relevance of this to today’s story? Well Ranui is in charter & these days calls Lake Taupo home – So wearing my marketing hat, if I owned a boat with the provenance that Ranui / El Alamein has I would be doing two things:-
1. leveraging every inch / ounce of her life story to make a trip on her something special, hell I’d even by donating $xx dollars from every ticket to the local RSA etc etc.
2. The other thing I would be doing was making her look as classic as possible – that’s her X-factor – the tourist’s would be telling people “I went for a very laid back lake cruise on this amazing 1945 wooden boat that used to help with the rehabilitation a returning WWII solders etc etc.
So what has someone done? bought a few sheets of plywood & put a top hamper on her. Well it is their boat & they can do what they like (see Cameron P – I’m softening) – I’m sure the attraction of getting a few more paying passengers aboard won them over. But in my eyes they have knocked $25+k off her sale price & halved the visual / emotive appeal of the charter business.
If I was a few years older I’d buy her & borrow Mr Prew’s tungsten tipped chainsaw 😉 & go make a few bob on the Lake. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the heads up on the boat.
Have a look below at the photo of her back in the 1940’s, what she looked like in 2015 & as she appears today on treadme. As they say “different strokes for different blokes” – Its still a good buy for a 32′ motor launch – But not me.
Photos & details ex Peter Findlay
Today’s post on the 1954 McGeady built launch Awatere is a cracker & only came about as the result of a friend of Peter Findlay’s casually mentioning the waitematawoodys weblog to him. I have only lightly edited the story Peter sent me, it was just too good to muck around with – I’ll pass over to Peter …..
“I recently heard of your waitematawoodys from a good friend (Geoff Preston) who has seen Awatere over the years and was a salesman in my motor business in Henderson (Peter Findlay Motors) and helped with work I did on Awatere on moorings off the Akarana Yacht Club in Okahu Bay.
The above photo of her when in our family owner ship, shows me at the helm as her skipper, taken c.1965 near Rangitoto. The photo does not do justice to the varnished finish on her topsides. We always used Epivar 2 post varnish (which was new on the market then). Was a much longer lasting finish and fair superior to the white painted finish I understand she has had at times.
Awatere was a Lloyds registered vessel & I still have a copy of the green embossed leather ‘Register of Yachts 1963, First Supplement’. Her number was – Ship No 611, 199080, which was carved in her beam aft cabin.
Awatere was in my eyes a class ship that I loved and improved and maintained her meticulously on her moorings at Okahu Bay, just below where we resided.
I also have her logbook that records me doing the detailing work as well as adding things to improve her including removing the English Parsons 4 cylinder diesel and installing the new Ford 6 cylinder 100hp diesel supplied through Auckland Ford dealer – John W. Andrew.
We bought Awatere on the 10th February 1962 off a Mr. Rex McCracken, who had her built by McGeady, Supreme Craft in Auckland in1954 . Apart from the new motor installation which we did, all the other major work was done by tradesmen at Shipbuilders, Freemans Bay, always to a high standard. They put in the aft stern boarding platform, which eased ship boarding, and I think the rear dinghy davits, which were great in a following sea. I think they were there on purchase but not operational.
Lots of interesting things we came across as well, e.g. when we fitted the new motor we were advised to replace the 5 blade prop 21X21 with 3 blade 22×20. Unfortunately when going off the cradle down into Okahu Bay, I selected reverse on the new hydraulic gearbox gate and we climbed up the cradle having been sold the wrong prop rotation. Not very happy, so up again and re entered a few days later with the correct prop. The 5 blade had been smoother but not very good astern. However the main reason was to improve the over heating problem over 1800rpm which became endemic despite my efforts to improve. Changes were made to the heat exchangers etc, water pumps, thermostats changed rating, different types, even thermostat out.
Take her up very slowly to 2000rpm and we got about 12 knots whereas cruising at 1800rpm was 10 knots. Still an improvement on the old Parsons of 8 knots. John W. Andrew were very helpful in all this period but I would like to know if it was finally solved or just endemic for that motor.”
Peter has promised to have a hunt thru the family files & see if he can uncover anymore photos from the past, he would also like to pass his kind regards to subsequent owners. He commented that she was a fine ship and he and the family had lots of lovely times aboard but the pressure of the motor business, Rotary, and the Henderson Borough Council + young children meant he did not spend as much time on-board as he would have liked.
When I first received Peters email I was scratching my head trying to place Awatere, it was familiar but I old mind was drawing a blank, even the trusty ww search box was not playing ball. So I banged a quick txt off tp Nathan Herbert & he pointed me in the right direction. Back in March we uncovered a raft of photos on her but other than Harold’s input mostly uncover little . So Peter Findlay’s email has rounded out what we know about Awatere & posed a few question for the woodys.
Below is a collection of photos over the years, including some of her in her current berth at Milford Creek or Wairau Cove as Murray Deeble likes to call it 🙂
You can read more about her & the photos of her at this link, make sure you scroll down to the comments section https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/03/03/awatere-3/
Before Awatere the family owned a Scripps V8 powered 32’ launch called Doraleen which they renamed Yasawa after his folks love of a beach over on Waiheke Island which took their fancy. A Mr. Bill Bright owned Doraleen before their ownership.
Yasawa is a nice little 32’ bridge deck launch,10’ 3” beam, sleeps 6 and very quiet but petrol 😦
Yasawa is pictured below & more photos and details can be viewed on this link.
Interesting In Input From Keith Ottaway
Have just read the above article by Peter Findlay .
What caught my attention is the comment that they replaced the 4 cylinder Parsons.
I know this sounds kinda unusual – but we acquired one of those engines (they are a bit rare – particularly those early 1950′ versions) by a convoluted process – that supposedly came from a re power of a launch about that time.cIf so this engine was a well loved and respected member of the family for many years.
It sat in storage till 1977 – then was in service till we sold the boat in 2009 – was finally replaced last year from the most recent information.
It did amazing service throughout that period – yes it had a few repairs – a bit of abuse beyond what should be expected . But was a very good unit.
One trip home from the Barrier in particularly nasty weather – I was ready the kiss that thing by the time we coupled up to the piles in the Panmure River . It had managed to get me and my family home safe and sound. The boat was a mess – my wife and children were sick – and I was hugging the engine trying to extract some heat out of it to warm me up. Can remember huddling over it and thanking it for what it had done. Was not a good day for boating.
So Peter may be able to either confirm or deny if it is the same engine.
So not sure if engines count on the woodies site – but this one deserved a good funeral – it had earned it.
photos & details ex Lyn McGeady, Karen Moren, Brian Worthington, Sea Spray Magazine & Ken Ricketts. edited by AH
Altair was launched on 30th November 1961 by the floating crane at Auckland, having been one of the later boats built at 1A Summer St Ponsonby by Mac McGeady, (Supreme Craft), as production ceased in 1965. She was built for Stan Horner.
Altair is 43′ x 12′ 6″ beam, is single skin with 1 & ¼” kauri planking, mahogany coamings, laminated marine plywood cabin tops, supported by laminated mahogany beams & kauri decks. She was powered by twin 6 cyl., 100hp, 590E, naturally aspirated, Ford diesels, fitted with Paragon 2 to 1 gear box & reduction gears. The engines were marinised & supplied by John W Andrew Ltd when launched & installed by Tracey Nelson. Cruising speed was originally 9½ knots at 1800 RPM over the measured mile.
She is one of the comparatively small number of bridgedeckers designed & built by McGeady & is probably one of the best examples of this concept he ever created. The interior is all mahogany & the layout was done by Stan Horner for their family needs. The majority of the interior was carpeted. One interesting feature is that she has “round” portholes in the flare of the bow, a rare departure from the McGeady “trademark” of the “oblong” concept as used an almost all of his boats post WWII.
Below are photos of the log she was created from, not many boats can trace their provenance this far back.