Teddy – Saved from becoming a children’s sandpit



I was recently contacted by Teresa & Don Windley, who earlier this year purchased the 1936 ketch – Leisure Hour. The Windley’s have just restored a very salty looking little woody. I’ll let them tell the story.

“I was called one day by a mate who said get over here now because my neighbour has just put this dinghy and trailer on the roadside with a free  to take away sign on it . I shot over to to find that my mate had seen the neighbour and just stopped the  removal to become a sandpit. Originally called TEDDY this kauri clinker is reputed to have been built in the early 1920’s  by two brothers, the Michelsons of Dargaville for use as an open outboard powered fishing boat for the Kaipara Harbour. 

The Michelsons had a brewery which was eventually bought out by Lion Breweries in Kyber Pass Auckland. The little 12 foot dinghy was aquired by Lion Brewery with the purchase and promptly painted in the Lion Breweries Orange paint (yuk) Teddys fate was to be on permanent display in the showroom of Lion Breweries for some years. When I was given the dinghy by Brian Martin it had been stored in a lean to for many years was very dry and part of her deck . stem and two top planks on either side were dry rotted due to the bow being exposed sticking out of the lean to.

I have done the repairs where needed, repainted her and she is now afloat and will become our tender for ‘Leisure Hour’ our 1936 Reid built kauri ketch (photo below). Although a little big for a tender she will do admirably to carry us,three Grandchildren, and the family dog when we go cruising.

I would welcome any knowledge to add to this history if anyone has any thing to add to this brief history or early photos. Happy summer boating everyone.”

You can see / read more on Leisure Hour here:


Screen Shot 2018-12-03 at 10.22.06 PM

The Wreck of Teddy – Sailing Sunday

Is This The Wreck Of Teddy?

photos & info ex Chris McMullen

Recently Chris McMullen was sorting through a box of old photos from the Wilson, Gould family & came across the two above showing wreckage of some vessel. Pretty hard to tell where or what vessel but Chris feels that the presence of an horizon makes one think it is not in the harbour. Also yacht B16 seems to feature in some other photos.
Chris commented that the gentleman in the image looks rather like the helmsman in Paul Gilberts (Weekly News) photo of the early Wirihana.

Chris wonders, could it be the yacht Teddy wrecked on south east end of Kawau?. He can’t recognize any of the structure to determine whether its a yacht or launch but notes the quite heavy planking. He did a wee bit of on-line searching & found these press clippings on the wreck of Teddy from the Sydney Morning Herald, March 10 1932 (refer below)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Could the Wilson’s have taken some photos, while away on Wirihana (1) for their NZ Herald and The Weekly News? That may explain why the photos are in box.

Chris felt he had seen one of the wreck photos some where else & looked in his copy of “Little Ships” by Ronald Carter.  There are two photos of the Teddy, she was a Norwegian Pilot cutter. The big heavy sawn frames clear in the wreck photo are not typical of a New Zealand built vessel.  She had a big heavy mast and that ties in with that in the other wreck photo.

So the question of the day is – has Chris answered his own question?

As an aside Teddy was featured in Johnny Wray’s book South Seas Vagabond.

Update – Photo below from Chris Leech – he read with interest the article on the Teddy. And located a photo taken at the DYC (age unknown) showing her on the slip. Noting the article extract above it may have been about the same time – 1931?