One of my roaming woodys sent in yesterday the above photos of the launch – Raider, on the hard at Okahu Bay. I imagine the Harbour Master has parked her there. Anyone know what happened to her?

She appears to be a Parris or once was before someone got creative with a few sheets of ply. Perhaps a sister to Cherokee / Mistral?

Ever Wanted To Have a Peek Down Below On One Of The Classic Yacht Association’s A-Class Gaff Yachts

This weekend and next, drop down to Auckland’s Viaduct harbour and you can check out the likes of – Thelma, Rawene, Rainbow, Waitangi, Rawhiti & Frances. Details below.
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CYA Classic Yacht Regatta 2019 – Race #1 – 37 Photos


Rawhiti & Ariki




Little Jim




CYA Classic Yacht Regatta 2019 – Race #1 – 37 Photos

At the end of the day I shot down to Devonport Wharf with the tele-lens & just caught the fleet sliding down the harbour, a little overcast but that would have been a + for the crews.
I’ll attempt to ID the yachts – scroll over the photos to see names – if I get it wrong, let me know 😉
As you read this I’ll be winging my way south to Lake Rotoiti (Nelson Lakes) for the 20th NZ Antique & Classic Boat Show, mooching around Nelson for a few days so should have some good southern content next week.

MAHURANGI REGATTA  2019 – The biggest & best classic wooden boat regatta in NZ – 90+ photos































MAHURANGI REGATTA  2019 – The biggest & best classic wooden boat regatta in NZ – 90+ photos

WoW what a woody weekend – simply stunning on all fronts –  sun > wind > location > people & of course the boats. On my estimate, the biggest turnout of classic wooden craft ever. Record numbers for Saturday mornings launch parade.
I’ll go out on a limb & repeat a comment made to me on the deck of Lidgard House, Kawau Island on Sunday night by one of our most prominent & influential classic wooden boat people – “Mahurangi is the real Auckland Anniversary Weekend Regatta” & after cruising back into Auckland today, & not seeing a lot of yachts, I would have to agree.
On Saturday between Jason Prew on My Girl & myself with Raindance we hosted three of the wooden boating world’s superstars – if you read or follow the WoodenBoat magazine, Classic Boat & the hottest property on the block – the vblog,
then the names Maynard Bray, Benjamin Mendlowitz & Steve Smith will be very familiar to you. These gents were motored around the harbour & very selectively photographed / filmed our beautiful woodys. When I mentioned that I had cancelled my trip to next months Hobart Wooden Boat Festival, one commented “why would you go – it’s all here” & woodys – it was.
I have never attempted to understand the ‘politics’ / issues between the Mahurangi Cruising Club & The Friends of Mahurangi people – but between them they turn on a wonderful day, that equals anything on the world classic wooden boat calendar. As with anything, a few wee niggles e.g. crap PA sound system at the beach prize giving meant most people didn’t know the results – but I can tell you that Tony Blake & the crew on Thelma gave all the other A division skippers as master class in regatta sailing. It was wonderful to see the big 5 Arch Logan yachts – Thelma (1897), Rainbow (1898), Ariki (1904), Rawhiti (1905) & Rawene (1908) all on the same race track together, for the first time ever (I think I’m right – Harold?) The results were:
Thelma, followed by Rawhiti, followed by Ariki, then Rainbow & Rawene.
As a result of playing driver for the overseas crew – I’m a little light on sailing photos, but you can see from the gallery above that it was a special day.
Well done MCC and F. of M. for another magic weekend.
If anyone else had the camera out & captured some goodies, email them to
We bailed out of Mahurangi on Sunday morning & headed to Kawau Island for some family R&R – photos below.
Question – what do you do when there is no shotgun to signal sunset & the lowering of the burgee? – well a few lads decided to bang some pots together, then drop the flags at Lidgard House – me thinks there might be a letter in the mail to certain members 🙂




Check out the video below of Rawhiti – sent in from Benjamin Mendlowitz from Off Center Harbour


Update – due to not all launches completing 2 laps of the launch parade – I missed photographing a few boats – photos below ex Justine Ricketts (edited by myself)


AND MORE – link below to the Off Center Harbour video of the 2017 regatta, featuring Steve Horsley’s stunning 1904 Chas Bailey Jnr – Ngatira

UPDATE ex Graeme Finch of the A Class fleet racing Saturday + one of Raindance showing myself & Steve Stone from Off Center Harbour filming / clicking away 🙂

As always – click photos to enlarge 😉

rd @ mr2019

Also from Graeme – one of Bruce Tantrum’s pride & joy – Paramour + Graemes stunning ship – Te Arahi 🙂




UPDATE – An early Saturday morning drone fly-by over Sullivans Bay, Mahurangi. Filmed by Neil Lawton, heads up on the movie from Ian Gavin.

30-01-2019 Update – photos of Laughing Lady ex Jason Prew

Update 11-02-2019 photos below ex Angus Rogers.



Hinemoa – Sailing Sunday

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HINEMOA – Sailing Sunday
photos ex Ron Wattam

The top photo I think is of Hinemoa A1, any of the woods able to confirm & fill in the gaps on her design / built / age etc ?
The photo below shows ‘Little’ Thelma (K3), A17? & A8? – must have been a close race.

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I was sent the youtube link to the this very funny video of ex Australian PM Bob Hawke telling a joke at an America’s Cup lunch.

A tour of the waterfront



A tour of the waterfront

After the decision on Sunday to pull the pin on racing, David Glen took Rainbow for a wee cruise around the waterfront docks to check out the talent. Below is a pot-pourri of vessels – some classic, some wood, some glass & some very exotic.

Enjoy the cruise, we did 🙂


Sea Devil was hauled out at the hard stand for some TLC, if she was mine I would be taking the power plane to those anti-roll bilge fins. Very agricultural, the ones on my Raindance were similar & post some feathering / shaping the drag effect was noticeably reduced.

Classic Reproductions

Classic Reproductions

Today’s post profiles the work of Wayne Spicer, a very talented modeler who has built an impressive number of our classic fleet. Wayne has been modeling for approx. 17 years & is a volunteer model maker at the Maritime Museum in Auckland (on Tuesdays). Wayne has built a number of square riggers including Endeavour, Bounty (3), Victory (3), Spanish galleon.

While at the Museum Wayne meet Rod Marler, the owner of the Logan yacht ‘Little Jim’, Rod commissioned Wayne to build a model of LJ & this got Wayne hooked on Logan boats. Wayne told me that he enjoyed the classic lines of the Logans and how they showed the evolution of sailing designs since the late 1800’s. You will see from the the list below that he has built quite a few.


Jessie Logan (2)
Little Jim (2)
Tawera (2)

Most of Wayne’s models are made from scratch which means they are not kit sets, fyi below are some photos of the model making process for Nomad.

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Thelma / Vera


Thelma / Vera


photos & details supplied by Bruce Yarnton. (Russell Ward added)

From the story below you will learn that Thelma has had a fascinating life & now her ‘bones’ sadly reside on the roof of the Lake Ohau Lodge, for protection after numerous backpackers decided kauri made good firewood 🙂 The lodge owners are interested if anyone has any old photos or tales for her past.
The tale of Jock Edgar & his gambling adventures are worth the read alone.

In the b/w photo above Thelma is berthed at Lake Wakatipu (Frankton) with the Remarkables in the background. There is no date to the photograph but sources have confirmed its pre 1920’s.

The History of Thelma (Vera)

The Thelma was built in Auckland in 1903 by Mr C Bailey, and engined by Messrs W A Ryan & Co, also of Auckland. Thirty five feet long with a six foot four inch beam, she was fitted with a 5 horse-power Union oil engine, and could accommodate thirty passengers. She was brought new to Dunedin by Messrs Hayward & Garratt to demonstrate the Union oil engine. She was not christened Thelma but was the Vera for the first few months of her life. The Vera’s maiden voyage was on the Otago Harbour in September 1903, and she was then bought by Mr Searle of Queenstown and by October 1903 was providing tours on Lake Wakatipu.
Six weeks later Vera had been overhauled by Ryan & Co after her bearings gave trouble, and was re-named Thelma at the same time.
Subsequent owners were Jno C McBride who took her over in 1906, and then Jock Edgar.

Quoted from “The Mount Cook Way” by Harry Wigley, first published 1979.

Jock Edgar was one of the characters of the district. A confirmed batchelor, an inveterate gambler, he had no family ties and not many other responsibilities, and would periodically go on a bender for two or three days. Jock who was never known to hurry, had a Southland drawl, and when he told one of his innumerable yarns, often against himself, his eyes and florid face would light up.
In his youth he was once lined up before the local magistrate – who happened to be his father – on a charge of being drunk and disorderly, and in due course he was fined 7s 6d. After listening to the magistrate make his pronouncement, Jock said in a loud voice: ‘You’ll have to pay it, Dad.’ He went off to the South African War and gambled his way round that country with varying degrees of success, finally arriving on board the ship which was to take the contingent home with not a penny in his pocket, and only the clothes he stood up in. He claimed that when he stepped ashore in New Zealand he owned nearly all the loose cash on the ship, as well as a wide range of saddles and bridles, watches and other gear.
Returning to his hometown of Queenstown, he bought a graceful old launch – the Thelma, with a yacht-type counter stern and a slow-revving single-banger engine – and with this he ran trips to the many parts of the lake not serviced by road. The old Thelma was later used on Lake Ohau for a number of years until she went ashore and was damaged beyond repair, and as far as I know she is still lying on the beach below the Lodge.
To cope with the expanding traffic Jock had built a modern passenger launch, the Kelvin, and he also developed walking trips up the Routeburn Valley and down the Greenstone, using a series of mountain huts and packhorses to carry in supplies. He ran the business from a small building on a piece of land he owned on the waterfront across the road from Eichardts, and it was this building which was moved to the Crown Range and later on to Coronet Peat to establish skiing there.
In the mid 1920s the Company bought the whole of Jock Edgar’s business, including the launches, the land on the waterfront, and his huts and horses. A modern building to replace Jock’s hut was erected on the waterfront site to house the branch office and staff. Once a year Dooley Coxhead, who was then Company secretary, did a round of the Routeburn and Greenstone Valleys to check the huts and count the horses, but it was not until some years later we found that the ones that Jock had sold to us actually belonged to the Tourist Department!

In a book called “All Aboard” by RJ Meyer which was about the old cargo boats, firstly yachts then latterly steam, it mentions the Thelma in the winter of 1933 being roped in to help with the mail and service run to Glenorchy. While the Earnslaw was having boiler repairs the Ben Lomond also developed boiler trouble and the Thelma was called on to serve the lakeside stations. The Thelma then had engine trouble and the Kelvin and the Muritai had to carry on the service.