Antares

Antares(1)

Antares (2)

ANTARES
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.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2019/09/25/antares-2/

Who Can Help ID This Yacht
The vessel below was snapped by Cameron Pollard at the entrance to the Tamaki River – Cameron estimate her length around 55′.
20200623_130522
Input & photo below from John Mellars – owner built, spotted Whangaparapara 15 March 2019.
Not very woody though.
image
WCW Riverhead June2020
RSVP waitematawoodys@gmail.com

Aquarius – Restoration Update

IMG-0227

 

IMG-0490

IMG-0569

IMG-0614

AQUARIUS – RESTORATION UPDATE
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.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/09/01/aquarius-sos/

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.
Screen Shot 2020-06-09 at 7.44.00 PM

Woody Photo Gallery

Duke of Marlborough

Antares 3

Arima

Moana

Shalom

Woody Photo Gallery
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
Arima – built in1953 by Colin Wild

https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/12/08/arima/

Moana – built in c.1939 by Sam Ford
Shalom – built in 1973 by TK Atkinson
Anyone Recall Sutton MalcolSham & Co
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.
IMG_20200414_135515130

Riwaka Woodys

IMG_4827

IMG_4829

IMG_4828

IMG_4830

RIWAKA WOODYS
 
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)
 
Can anyone ID the very smart launch alongside her in the 3rd photo?
 
The work-boat it Tina, built in Wellinton to service the Flying Boats, but never did. Spent a chunk of her life pushing logs around the Sounds. Has called Riwaka home for the last 8 years.
Screen Shot 2020-02-04 at 5.37.12 PM
 
 
WBB0003_Banner-980x160

The Launching of Lady Ellen

IMG_2296

IMG_3403

 

THE LAUNCHING OF LADY ELLEN 
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)
Links Below To The Restoration  – including engine
Screen Shot 2019-12-15 at 5.17.47 PM
RUSSELL BOATING CLUB NEEDS A HAND
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 🙂

https://russellboatingclub.org.nz/club/40k-fund/

IMG_3400

Dolphyn – Sailing Sunday

boat

Out of water

DOLPHYN – Sailing Sunday

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.
Screen Shot 2019-12-11 at 6.53.39 AM

Antares

'Antares'- Garden Cove 1955 (Sold Sept. 1962)

Garden Cove, Waiheke Island 1955

'Antares' 1956

1956

scan37a

ANTARES
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.
The photo below is of Cyril when he was honorary radio operator for Auckland Sea Scouts.
Cyril Parker Sea Scouts 1963

Aquarius – Saved?

20190411_112403

20190411_162559

AQUARIUS – SAVED?

Back in Sept 2018, I reported on the launch Aquarius that was wasting away on Waiheke Island, awaiting someone to save her from an appointment with a back-hoe.

Well I can report that the first step towards saving her has been achieved – last week Aquarius came back to the mainland, not under her own steam – on the back of a transporter / barge.
You can see / read more on her here   https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/09/01/aquarius-sos/
I’m unaware as to who owns her now and what the plans are for her. A WW reader named Johanne, commented on WW on Saturday that Aquarius is now on the hard at Half Moon Bay marina.
Thanks to David Browne for the above photos.
Can anyone update us on what’s happening with this 38′, c.1955 Supreme Craft  built ex Bay of Island game-fisher  launch?

A Mystery Launch – Arcturus

Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 9.41.57 AM

A Mystery Launch – Arcturus

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

Royal Saxon & Varlene + A trip to Abel Tasman National Park

IMG_0811

Kaiteriteri – collection point

P1050656

Royal Saxon

P1050659

IMG_0818

Split Apple Rocks

P1050675

P1050697

Anchorage Bay

IMG_0835

Anchorage – northern end

Version 2

Golden quartz sand

P1050710

Anchorage – southern end

P1050705

Varlene

IMG_0848

Mapua Wharf

Burlands Deck

P1050764

Our hosts

Royal Saxon & Varlene + A trip to Abel Tasman National Park
One of the unplanned elements of our recent trip to Nelson to take in the 20th Antique & Classic Boat Show (Lake Rotoiti – Nelson Lakes) was a trip tp the Abel Tasman National Park. Along the way I got to see the 1930, 33’ Colin Wild built – Royal Saxon, one of my favourite boats. The vessel (Wilsons Tours – recommend them) that transports you deep into the park leaves from Kaiteriteri, where by chance Royal Saxon is moored. See / read more on her here   https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/07/07/royal-saxon/
From Kaiteriteri you travel for approx. 1hr on a high speed alloy cat to the drop off point at Medlands Beach. From there depending on your fitness level its a 4 hour coastal / bush walk back to Anchorage Bay for pick up. The walk is not a stroll, its very up and down as it hugs the coastline – but their are plenty of place to rest and take in the stunning scenery. We were very lucky, perfect weather = dry track and not too hot + very few other walkers. You can join / end the walk from several spots so people are walking in both directions. You could ID the nationalities of fellow walkers by their degree of engagement / friendliness 🙂
When you pop out of the bush at Anchorage Bay you are hit with a visual sensory overload – it’s just breathtaking – you could be in Thailand or Europe (but why would you want to be).
While waiting for the boat, the 36’ Supreme Craft build woody Varlene came into the bay, looking very smart, nice to see someone loves her these days. See/read more on her here  https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/04/04/varlene-lady-sunshine/
Post walk, there was a rehydration session at the Golden Bear Brewing Co. on Mapua Wharf. We added a meal of Blue Cod & fries (the BC was 10/10). Then home for a celebratory glass of bubbles on the deck and an early night.
If you get the chance – do the walk, it’s very special and can be as short or as long as your want or can manage.
(apologies if I bored some woodys with the trip report – but there are a couple of boats included)

Aquarius – SOS

IMG_20180819_112015[1]

AQUARIUS – SOS 
Aquarius has been mentioned on WW before – link below . To remind you she is a 38′ ex big game fishing boat built / designed by McGeady/Supreme Craft and she was the first boat worked on by Ben Hipkins when he started his apprenticeship in 1955.
This time she appears as an SOS. I have been contacted by Murray Smith who has been looking for a project boat for some time and came across Aquqrius advertised on trademe. Murray has viewed the boat but she is a bit small for him, so on behalf of her current owner Phil Tarr, he has asked that we do a shout out on WW to find someone to take her over.
Currently she is sitting up on the hard in a storage yard on Waiheke. Phil pulled her out to renovate her (2012?) and has lots of the interior cabinetry safe n dry under his house. He has brand new fuel tanks ready to go back in then everything else should slot in. Sounds easy but this gives the new owner the chance to build the interior how they want. The engines have not been started for a few years and condition is honestly described as seized, more likely just reluctant to turn over, as Phil has had them overhauled prior to loosing focus. Sadly she is showing the signs of neglect one would expect, but her heart is sound.
A little history – she had been built for and was working in the B.O.I. and has been owned by many big names including Lofty Blomfield and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s mum.
I’m told the trademe photos are very poor & do not do her justice , also that the owner is very negotiable on price.

ANTARES  + WIN More Tickets To The Auckland On The Water Boat Show

Unknown-1

Unknown-2

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.

Screen Shot 2017-09-25 at 1.17.59 pm

Two More Boat Show tickets to give away – today’s question below. All entries via email to waitematawoodys@gmail.com 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

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
https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/06/05/the-building-launching-of-white-cloud-a-peep-inside-1a-summer-street/

The Building & Launching of White Cloud + A Peep Inside 1A Summer Street

WHITE CLOUD AT PENROSE - EX PAM MARE - 1

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.

WHITE CLOUD -- LAUNCHING DAY -1965 - 6

1945 – 32′ Classic Kauri Launch

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.

 

screen-shot-2017-02-22-at-10-42-47-pm

1940’s

screen-shot-2017-02-22-at-9-28-40-pm

2015

screen-shot-2017-02-22-at-9-36-09-pm

2017

screen-shot-2017-02-22-at-9-37-05-pm

Awatere (mcgeady)

Awatere (mcgeady)

 

AWATERE (mcgeady)

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/

AWATERE  c1950s OKAHU BAY

AWATERE - R.H.S. -  & ALTAIR L.H.S. at OKAHU BAY c1950s

AWATERE WAKATAKATAKA BAY

DSC_0302

 

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.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/01/10/yasawa/

Yasawa

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.

Altair

ALTAIR
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.

 

Australis

AUSTRALIS
photos & details The Plowman Family & Ken Ricketts & Karen Moren

Australis was built by “Mac” McGeady  (Supreme Craft)  in 1955  at 1A Summer St Ponsonby for Auckland businessman Jack Plowman. She is 42′ long & was originally powered by 2 x 6 cyl. 100hp Austin ‘Skipper 100′ petrol engines, which were replaced with 2 x 6 cyl Ford Diesels about 2 years later by Seagars.

Mac McGeady once comment to Ken & his father that Australis was unique in the history of Supreme Craft, as she was the only boat he had built (at that time anyway), where his instructions were that she was to have the food in the cupboards & the liquor in the cocktail cabinet & be ready to go for a 3 week cruise to Great Barrier Island, an hour after she went in the water.

Jack P owned her until he replaced her with the John Salthouse built 60’ Biscayne (photo below) in 1969 at which time she was sold to a Mr Morry (or perhaps Maurice) Ralph, of John Courts Ltd.
Below is a press clipping of a ‘International Marine’ 4sale advertisement, NZ Heard May 1991, which gives an indication of her possible current configuration.
Just been advised by ww follower ‘SeaRover’ that this is not” Australis”. It is in fact “Maranoa” about to go back in the water after a hull repaint. It is up the Clevedon river on Murray Inglis ( who owned ALTAIR at that time) slip and that is me standing on the foredeck.

She appears to have disappeared off the radar – name change ? or what? Anyone able to help with info / photos?

BISCAYNE BY J SALTHOUSE FOR J PLOWMAN

01-05-2017 Update ex Alan Burdan

I’m Alan Burdan and have owned “Australis” since Feb 2001. I purchased her from Whangarei and the previous owner said he owned her for 11 years.
I have only just found and read your article on Australis and the history of Supreme Craft. I wish to thank you for filling in a lot of holes in my knowledge of the history of Australis.
Australis now is berthed in Seaview Marina, Wellington.
From my knowledge the repower to “2 x 6 cyl Ford Diesels” is incorrect and it was 2 x 4 cyl Ford Diesels.
The previous owner then did a repower to 2 x 6 cyl Ford Diesels in about 1990, claiming he put in the 6 cyl motors in as they ran smother.
Other changes he made was to extend the hull by 800mm by fitting a boarding platform and putting in a walk through transom.

Please see below photos of how she looks today

20140817_125401a

20130302_180742 Crop2

Memories of Supreme Craft

My Memories of Supreme Craft by Ben Hipkins
Story & photo sent to ww by Karen Moren/Lyn McGeady ex Ben Hipkins

(Disclaimer: Story as from memory)

This is a great read & compliments all the recent McGeady/Supreme posts on ww – read on & enjoy Ben’s story. Alan H

Mac McGeady – (A good Boatbuilder and Designer)

“I first met ‘Mac’ in 1955 at his boat factory in 1A Summer Street, Ponsonby. I was 16 years old and I now know he would have been 55.

‘Mac’ was a very intimidating looking man to me and I had a daunting job to convince him that I was the right boy for him to apprentice.

When I started work (at £2-16-0 a week!), the staff comprised of five men. Mac, Barney Glasgow, Peter Williams, Bluey Jacobsen, Graeme Kitchen and me.

Graeme Kitchen had been in the same class as me at Takapuna Grammar School and had started with Mac McGeady as an apprentice a couple of months before me. He had suggested that ‘Supreme Craft’ was a good yard to work in and to ask Mr. McGeady if I could work for him. It took some time to wear Mac down but eventually he took me on.

The first boat I saw in the boat yard was AQUARIUS, a game fisher for a Bay of Islands client. She was 38ft with twin gray marine engines and capable of 16 knots on trials.

The second boat was AUSTRALIS 42ft twin screw launch for Jack Plowman.

The third boat was ASTRA 30ft launch for Mr. Percy Ward.

The fourth boat was AMARYLLIS 40ft twin screw for Mr. H.T. Morton.

The fifth boat was a 38ft launch for Mr. Stan Suter. I can’t remember the name of this boat.

Graeme Kitchen had left by this time and did not complete his indentures. Bluey Jacobsen and Peter Williams had also left.

Mac had sold his twin screw launch AQUILA to Mr. Chub Sibun.

At this time 1959, Mr Norman Fairly came into our lives. He owned a 26ft plywood boat named REEL EM IN built by Don Norton and used to game fish from Tauranga and up to the Poor Knights area. He convinced Mac McGeady to skipper this boat to Mercury Islands and Mercury Bay area. Fairley and Bert Jones were car dealers and visited our boat factory quite often.

Mac had decided to build a boat for himself and designed a forty foot launch for this purpose.
At this time, only Barney Glasgow remained in the work force and myself. We took on a new apprentice, Gary Wheeler, a good keen boy.

When this boat was planked and ready for superstructure and decks to be constructed, Mac and Mr. Fairley agreed for Fairley to purchase the boat and for it to be finished to Fairleys’ requirements. This boat was named CHALLENGER. At this time it was noted that neither Lila or I knew of this ‘deal’. Mac seemed confused about this whole episode.

McGeady had been a good boss and a fair person but now seemed to be confused and unable to work effectively.
The after work drink session would become an ordeal as Mac would not leave until all the alcohol was gone. The business was failing and many of the suppliers were concerned.

Another boat was built (by me and Gary). This boat was 38ft designed by me. She was called WAIMARU and owned by Mr. A.C Gray.

On the shakedown cruise of this boat, Mac acted very strangely, staying at the helm exclusively, not sharing the controls at all. At the conclusion of the trip, we entered the boat harbour of Okahu Bay in the dark when Mac opened the throttle to full speed. The speed limit in this harbour was 4 knots – no wash.
Fortunately we, crew removed Mac from the wheel and no damage was done. All on board were most concerned with Mac’s behaviour and all agreed he needed medical help.

We received an order from Mr. Wal Brebner for a 30ft launch which Gary Wheeler and I built.

Our accountant Athol Nigro laid down the law regarding SUPREME CRAFT. He stated that I must make Mac work, must stop him drinking and smoking or have him retire and buy SUPREME CRAFT myself. What choice!!! I couldn’t make him work, I couldn’t make him stop drinking and smoking. I could leave……….. so I did.

I worked for Alan Williams yard at Milford. This was a good change for me and I was well respected.

After a year or so it was 1961, I received an offer from Mac to return to SUPREME CRAFT and receive a 50% shareholding and ran the factory; this I accepted.

We received an order for a 43ft motor launch from Mr. Stan Horner. This was a twin screw bridge deck boat with a fly bridge. The name of this boat was ALTAIR and was launched in November 1961.

Mac’s condition deteriorated and he was very confused and at this time we received an order from Gordon Collie for a 48ft bridge deck motor launch.
Mac still had the ability to design the hull. This boat was too big to build in the factory in Summer Street, so we built the backbone and frames in the factory and built the boat in a shed supplied by Mr Collie on a poultry farm at Pakuranga.

Gary Wheeler and I built the hull up to deck level and Gordon and his cousin Ralph laid the decks and built the superstructure and furniture, a truly excellent job. The name of this boat was RANGIORA.

By this time, Mac could not drive and was incapable of getting about. Lila was his carer.

At the Accountants insistence, I bought the remaining shares and Mac retired. He and Lila went to Snells Beach to live.

Mac’s career with SUPREME CRAFT began in 1936 and ended in 1962. He was a skilled man and good designer.
There are many mysteries regarding his early years and his birth in Pilliga NSW, his time in Fiji, his time in the motor business and the formation of SUPREME CRAFT in 1936.

The future of SUPREME CRAFT is a story that needs to be told.

After RANGIORA was completed, Gary and I returned to the factory in Summer Street to begin work on a 36ft launch which had been ordered by Mr. Len Buckby of Fodenway Motors at Penrose. This boat was powered by a Foden engine.

As construction proceeded the owners were most interested in the progress and quality of materials being used. This boat was called WHITE CLOUD.
Mr Buckley and his accountant called on me and announced that he would like to become owner of SUPREME CRAFT with Fodenway Motors supplying engines and me building the boats.

I thought this would provide stability and security for the future and agreed to the proposal. Almost as soon as this was done, the factory building in Summer Street was sold and we had to move!. We rented a factory in Archers Road, off Wairau Road, Takapuna.

We built a 36ft motor launch for Mr. Stuart Dalton in this factory. This boat was called, SCEPTRE. We also built a 36ft sister ship for Mr. Fred Bales called VENTURE.

Our relationship with Fodenway Motors grew and as they were situated at Penrose, they were keen to relocate SUPREME CRAFT closer to their business of truck assembly so we were moved again and rented a shed at the Lane Motorboat site at Panmure.
There we built a 34ft Express Cruiser for Mr John Furley. This boat was called, NIKASIA. Fodenway Motors had orders for a 43ft passenger launch and a 36ft cruiser.

Decimal currency was coming to New Zealand and disaster struck with a financial downturn. Fodenway Motors two orders were lost and they decided to liquidate SUPREME CRAFT.

I then took up a position in a ship yard in Suva, Fiji and after this, moved to Australia where we still live”.

How Many Boats Did McGeady Build? Updated 27/10/2015 (& the launch Fantasy)

How Many Boats Did McGeady Build? Updated 27/10/2015

A MESSAGE FROM KAREN MOREN

I would personally like to thank everyone who has contributed to postings and supplied information on Granddads (Mac McGeady) and Ben Hipkins Supreme Craft boats.

Without all of this information and photos it would not be possible to be up to 140 pages and more with further info still to come.

Kind regards
Karen Moren

LIST OF MCGEADY/SUPREME CRAFT BOATS

SUPREME CRAFT was founded in the late 1930’s possibly 1936 by                               my Grandfather Clarence V. McGeady but everyone knew him as ‘Mac’. Due to ill health, he retired approximately 1962 and the business was taken over by Ben Hipkins. The actual builders of Supreme Craft boats are distinguished by the suffix of ”McGeady” or “Hipkins” as the case may be. It should also be noted that some Hipkins boats were based on McGeady Designs and suffixed accordingly. Where McGeady designs were used, and the boat was built by Hipkins this would be suffixed with, “Design McGeady/Built Hipkins

This is a list only. (I know many people have contributed pics and info which is on my acknowledgements page)

ALBACORA – McGeady

ALCYONE – McGeady

ALPHEUS – Design McGeady/ Built Hipkins

ALTAIR – McGeady

AMARYLLIS renamed KOALA – McGeady

ANTARES – McGeady

AQUARIUS – McGeady

AQUILA – McGeady

ARCTURUS – McGeady

AROHANUI – McGeady

ASTRA – McGeady

AUSTRALIS – McGeady

AWATERE – McGeady

CHALLENGER – McGeady

EL ALAMEIN renamed RANUI- McGeady

FANTASY – McGeady (sistership to ANTARES

HUKARERE – McGeady

LADY ALLYSON renamed ERINOR – McGeady

LADY DIANNA – McGeady

LADY HELEN ? – McGeady

LADY SUNSHINE renamed VARLENE -McGeady

MANUIA – McGeady

MARANOA – McGeady

NIKA-SIA – Ben Hipkins

RANGIORA – Gary Wheeler/Ben Hipkins built under McGeady banner

ROTOITI renamed ISLAND PRINCESS – McGeady

SCEPTRE – Ben Hipkins

TEMPEST – McGeady

VALWYN – McGeady

VENTURE – sister ship/hull to SCEPTRE – Ben Hipkins

WAIMARU – Ben Hipkins

WESTERING – Ben Hipkins

WHITE CLOUD – Design McGeady/Built Hipkins

2 x M-CLASS 18 foot Patikis – McGeady

M – 22 MILADY 1945

M – 35 MARIANA 1946

 

Fantasy – below b/w photo ex Karen Moren + colour photos & details ex Ken Ricketts

Built in 1952 by Mac McGeady for Colin Lannam. Ken believes that she was built on the basis of Lannam’s first boat, Lady Dianna e.g. McGeady built the hull & cabin then Lannam finished the interior. Ken commented that Lannam had masterful cabinet making skills.

Neither Karen or Ken know much more about Fantasy – can anyone add more details on her?

Sceptre

SCEPTRE
photo & details from Karen Moren

Karen is the grand daughter of Mac McGeady & is attempting to track down / record as many of the the McGeady / Supreme Craft boats as she can. All she knows about Sceptre is that she was 36′ & built for a Mr. Stuart Dalton in the Archers Road factory off Wairau Road, Takapuna. Possibly c.1965.

Does anyone have any more info on her ?

29-10-2016 Photo added – is the photo above & below the same boat ? I took the photo during the Launch Parade at the 2016 Mahurangi Regatta.

sceptre

Antares

ANTARES 1954 CYRIL PARKER Builder Mc Geady

ANTARES

photos & details from Ken Ricketts & Harold Kidd

Built by Supreme Craft, – (McGeady), – on the corner of Summer St & Ponsonby Rd., Ponsonby, in the 1950s, she is a great example of the McGeady craftsmanship. She originally had a 4 cyl Ford diesel, later replaced with a 100 HP 6 cyl Ford. Her engine installation was done by the late Tracey Nelson, an outstanding marine & automotive engineer of Bell Rd Remuera, as were almost all of the McGeady boats, certainly from the 1940s onwards.

She was originally owned by Cyril Parker a self employed motor engineer, who’s business premises were in Kohimaramara Rd., Kohimaramara.

Apologizes for the quality of the photos, if anyone has better please email the to waitematawoodys@ gmail.com

15-07-2015 Photo below c1986 ex Laurie Webb, when owned by Ron & Shirley Phillips, who owned > c2006

Alcyone

Image

Alcyone

ALCYONE

photo & details ex Ken Ricketts

Built by McGeady c.1947 for a Mr Stewart, an accountant of Suddley St. Orakei, (right opposite Henry Allen owner of ‘Tiromoana’) she was to have had 2 Redwing petrol engines, but Stewart changed his mind during construction & fitted 1 Ailsa Craig instead. Stewart sold her in mid to late 1950s to Aubrey Webster, the founder & owner of Trimol Laboratories, who replaced the Ailsa Craig with a 6LW Gardner, about 1960, which Ken thinks she still has today. He owned her until the mid to late 1960’s & sold her to Humphrey Beale, who owned until at least the late 1980s or early 1990s. Beale was a real estate agent, who used her extensively for taking clients to Rakino, Waiheke & Gt Barrier. Ken lost track of her after he sold her. Webster was a family friend of Ken’s, as also was Beale, who Ken shared the same occupation with (real estate) for many years.

Harold Kidd Update

ALCYONE was built for Noel Stewart of Sudeley St Orakei by Supreme Craft (McGeady) and launched in January 1951, fitted originally with a 6 cylinder Ailsa Craig diesel engine. Stewart sold her to A.A. Webster of Takapuna some time before 1964 when Webster had her registered with Lloyd’s Yacht Register, still with the 1950-built Ailsa Craig. Webster still owned her in 1973 according to APYMBA records.The image above was taken during the welcome for the GOTHIC on its arrival in Auckland for the Royal Visit, 23/12/1953, when the AMYC was out in force.

30/03/2015 New photo ex Sea Spray ex B Worthington ex Ken Ricketts