House Boat – A Peek Down Below

House Boat – A Peek Down Below

Mooching up the Tamaki River in early May, I spotted this house boat moored in the upper reaches of the Tamaki River. The top two photos are from then. Now thanks to tme, we get a peek down below.

Its 36′, made of ferro cement and started life as a Hartley yacht – that folks is all I’m going to say, I’ll only get myself in trouble 🙂

Mystery Launch On The Tamaki River

Mystery Launch On The Tamaki River
I spotted the above launch a couple of weeks ago while mooching up the Tamaki River onboard Angus Roger’s launch – Centaurus . She looks very well cared for and well rugged up for winter. Can one of the river rats tell us the name and any known background on the launch?

Input from Mark McLaughlin = The mystery boat is ORA-KIA, designed and built by Snow Waters in 1963.

Also Up The River

Unless you were traveling by boat, you wouldn’t normally see the dry stack (I think its called something like – Tamaki Boat Park) on the banks of the upper Tamaki River. Appears to be well populated and anything that gets people towing boat trailers off the road during weekends gets my tick 🙂 And if you are wondering what happens to all the trailers – some boats are ordered new without one, but for those with trailers, there is a smaller staking system on-site for empty trailers

Nau Mai

Cruising up the Tamaki River the other day I was saddened to spot the launch Nau Mai looking very neglected and run-down. Approximately 12 years ago the then owner was a friend of a friend and she was kept at Bayswater Marina near my berth. I believe these days he has moved one step closer to a coffin eg a camper van, but I’m sure he would still be stocked to see the boat these days.

Anyone able to tell us anything about her past?

John Bulivant photos below ex Ken Ricketts

09-05-2021 Harold Kidd Update – Alan Williams built her in 1964 for M.W.Mathieson.

Mystery Tamaki River Launch

Mystery Tamaki River Launch

Have had a wee bit of a technology mishap – so this story could look a wee bit different – will fix up tomorrow 🙂

Travelling up the Tamaki River this afternoon aboard Angus Rogers launch – Centaurus, another story for another day, I spotted the above launch. I would very much like to get its name, it looks very familiar to me. If we can ID her, I’ll bore you with the details.

Sorry, short & sweet today, all fixed tomorrow

A Woody Tour of the Tamaki River – 70 photos

A Woody Tour of the Tamaki River – 70 photos

Todays story so needed to be done, and woodys, John Bullivant is a legend for grabbing his camera and heading out on our behalf. I’ll let John tell his story 🙂

“Thought it was about time I got a few photos on the Tamaki River boats before they disappear, (and they are going fast by the look of some). There are only a fraction of the numbers of wooden boats that were moored there in the 1960s and 1970s and as I previously mentioned, living on the waterfront at Bucklands Beach for around 25yrs I had seen most of them go by (was like Queen St on Friday nights most summer weekends) I did 2 trips down from Orewa and took pics from Panmure Boat Club and up to and under the new Panmure Bridge, end of Gabadore Pl (off Carbine Rd), the old Panmure Marina, (going with many houses from Panmure to Pakuranga Town centre, to make way for new highway widening), along the Tamaki River walkway for about 4km (Rotary Walk,- starts at the old Panmure Marina and goes all the way to Gills Rd in Howick, for those who like walking), Half Moon Bay and Bucklands Beach.

I also went down to the 1960s site of the private ex RNZAF W1  haul-out ramp below the old Alright property (well covered in bush now and a near vertical climb down a 30ft bank), – lost a bit of blood but well worth it for me, as I last stood on that spot 50yrs ago when we sneaked on board W1 to have a look around while she was up there. Original ramp and haul-out dolly is still there (see pics) although time has taken its toll. I’m amazed, looking at the crude set-up today, how Mr Alright got a 64ft boat weighing many tons, sitting on rubber tyred dollies (which ran in grooved concrete) lined up and hauled out with a winch and by the looks of it, the large tree in line with the ramp, not to mention getting it back out again (I’m assuming he must have winched it back out somehow). Massive effort not only to build the ramp on mud, (all by hand, no concrete pumping trucks) but to be able to use it.

Hope these photos are of interest to people who may be able to identify some of the mystery boats (especially the light blue launch with the chrome ventilators and light, (looks ex RNZAF ?). The yacht hidden near the big boatshed is around 45ft looks very old and has been there for many years, as has poor old Imatra, a once grand yacht which is in a very sad state and in urgent need of care (must have been there 30 yrs odd now). I have included a few other launches and yachts to show the sad state of many good looking (and once expensive) boats on the river crying out for attention, but I guess many people have other priorities and sadly their dreams are just floating slowly into oblivion. It’s pretty hard to get rid of a rusty rotten hulk, so there they will stay till it’s “business time” (flight of the Conchords) for the 20 ton digger.

I may have some of the boats names wrong as I was using a telephoto lens for most of the pics and with enhancing colour, contrast etc was as near as I could get. I’m sure someone will correct any if wrong.”

NOTE: With the photos that John has named, I have tagged the photos with those names. Scroll over the photos to view the names 😉
I could have used the individual images on WW over an extended period, but they need to be together in one spot. Enjoy 🙂


Waihora (Mystery Boat 05-08-2015)

photo ex Jason Prew

Today’s post is another photo from Jason Prew’s trip up the Tamaki River with Otira to the Chris McMullen workshop CYA visit. Jason photographed some of the many moored wooden boats moored on-route. The launch is a very well cared for sedan top &  I can just make out a shortish name on her coamings, something like Wai_ora??, I’m sure one of the river rats will be able to ID her & hopefully supply more info on her.

Not a mystery after all 🙂

Lady Ava

photo ex Jason Prew

Another photo from Jason Prew’s camera during his trip up the Tamaki River with Otira to the recent Chris McMullen workshop CYA visit. On route Jason photographed some of the many moored wooden boats.

Lady Ava, originally named Miss Ava, she was built by Ernie Lane at Picton in 1931. She has appeared on ww before (link below). I wonder if her grey colour is a ‘between coats’ finish, she certainly looked smart when white 😉

Wanda , Wanda II


Photos & story below from Ken Ricketts, photos taken in the mid to late 1940’s

Wanda was built for Fred Porter, by Garth Lane on the Tamaki River in 1948 & later finished in the same year at the Mason & Porter (Masport) factory. She had 2 x 6cyl Scripps engines circa 90 hp.

WANDA II as christened* by Fred, as Fred’s first boat (above) was Wanda, *actually launched by his wife, Joan. Ken Ricketts father, Ralph Ricketts, worked for Mason & Porter for 35 Years as machine shop manager & Fred, who was the founder was Ruben Porter’s son. Ken’s late father had his staff make virtually all her engineering & underwater requirements.
Ps. The pic of WANDA was taken from 8mm movie footage & hence poor quality
WANDA II UPDATE – 14/05/13
The Gordon Cole Family, the 2 LADYS NORMA & COLMANA.
Last night (13.5.13), I was talking to Malcolm Cole, (Gordon’s son) & his sister Adrienne, whom I’ve known since the 1950s, & herewith a synopsis of the conversations is respect of the above. —
Had some great social moments with them on WANDA II (during her time as the second LADY NORMA), in the early sixties, which we had much joy last night, in recalling, on the phone. G.C. changed her name to LADY NORMA (no “II” or anything), & had her for a number of years & bought her in the 50s & sold her still with the Scripps petrol engines in the earlier 60s according to Malcolm, & had the COLMAMA, a Vindex, built.
Malcolm told me, his father sold the WANDA II, to a Syd Handysides, who did the right thing, & changed her name back to her “real name,” of WANDA II, which as far as I know, she still is today, (but perhaps somebody may have dropped of the “II” unfortunately, somewhere along the way).
I digress, Gordon Cole bought the first LADY NORMA, in very poor condition, as BLACK WATCH, off the estate of the late Reverend Jasper Calder, an Anglican Vicar, who was a fascinating & colourful person, whom I will endeavour to throw a little light on, in a separate writing at a later date, which hopefully will make a good read, especially if we get input from others who can add to it. I also intend to do a full story on the BLACK WATCH, (the first LADY NORMA),  when I get the pics. — I first saw her under construction at Leigh, in the later 40s The Coles spent much time & money  having Garth Lane, (Lane Motor Boat Co),  refurbish & repair her for them, at his slipway & shed, in Riverview Rd Panmure, whilst the whole family pitched in as well, & did much work themselves, according to Adrienne, who recalls it all very vividly.
I have arranged to get pics of the first LADY NORMA, (BLACK WATCH), WANDA II, & COLMANA, & will do a full story on these boats, when I receive the photos, which will be when Adrienne returns from a trip overseas she is about to commence, & will it be towards the end of August when she returns.
She tells me she has inherited a massive number of boating pics from her father, which are stored away in her garage, & she is going to go through these, & share some of them with us all. — I can hardly wait.
We are all gong to have a lovely social reunion, when she returns & relive all these things together, —  FAB!!!