A Mystery Launch – Arcturus

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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

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Kaiteriteri – collection point

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Royal Saxon

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Split Apple Rocks

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Anchorage Bay

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Anchorage – northern end

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Golden quartz sand

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Anchorage – southern end

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Varlene

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Mapua Wharf

Burlands Deck

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

 

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1940’s

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2015

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2017

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