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Todays photo of the above launch is dated c.1930 and comes to us via Historic NZ. The launch has been previously ID’ed by Harold Kidd as Thistle.
What more do we know about her and the photo? Second question is – what became of Thistle?
The waitematawoodys t-shirt is a very well travelled garment – I get sent photos sent in from all corners of the world – the photo below sees woody Graeme Finch (owner of the 1965 Percy Vos classic launch Te Arahi) spreading the WW word outside The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood in Saint Petersburg, Russia 🙂
Nathan Herbert Input – Became Lady Margaret then Maro
Harold Kidd Input – Nathan is spot on. She was built as the 32 footer ISLAY in 1920 for A Dawson by Dick Lang and fitted with a 16/20hp Overland car engine. Dawson renamed her THISTLE in December 1921, she became the first LADY MARGARET after alterations by Colin Wild for H O Wiles in 1925, then MARO when Wiles sold her to Dr Long in 1929. There’s much more, a lot of which is in previous WW posts on the various LADY MARGARETs.
12-09-2019 ISLAY/THISTLE’s cruiser stern was replaced by a tuck stern when she was altered and lengthened by Colin Wild when H O Wiles bought her and renamed her LADY MARGARET. He put in a powerful Stearns which would have made her squat with a cruiser stern. I reckon LADY MARGARET I/MARO always looked a bit awkward in the stern as a result.

THISTLE – Sailing Sunday

THISTLE - SCOW - KAWAU -1940s -01


THISTLE – Sailing Sunday

Last Sundays story on the scows on the Waitemata / Auckland Anniversary Regatta resulted in being sent the above photos of Thistle from the Tudor Collins collection at the Auckland Museum. Emailed to me by Ken Ricketts. The photos show Thistle at Kawau Island c.1940’s.

Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta
Click the link below to view some stunning classic sailing footage of the 1913, ‘Jolie Brise’ that placed 1st in the first race of the recent  Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall ships Regatta. The 2:30 minute video shows her at the start of the race out of Torbay. Enjoy 🙂


Copper Cowls
Picked up the cowls below, on trademe for $30, a serious bargain 🙂 But in real life a little bigger than I imagined (note to self – read the spec’s) Added to the ww stockroom – there will be a home for them one day.


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photos from Helen & Richard Andrew’s family collection (grand daughter & her husband of Henry Allen -Tiromoana) ex Ken Rickitts.

Ken is fairly certain this is Maro, his thinking is based on the fact that he saw Maro regularly in the mid to later 1940’s & given that the owner of Maro (Les Webber) was close friends of Henry & Alma Allen whose photo collection this photo came from. The NAPS number (329) should provide the answer.

Ken is uncertain who built her but suggests she is 34 – 36 ft long, circa 8 ft 6 inches beam, possibly built by either – Baileys, Dick Lang or even the Lanes (not Garth). Or perhaps none of those.

Les Webber, owner & founder of the Plummer Hat Company in Auckland, owned her in the mid to later 40s until 1950, & possibly for a period before that. He replaced her with the Amakura eventually, in 1950 -1955.

When Ken knew her she had a Graymarine 6 cyl approx 90h.p. petrol engine. She was used very regularly & had not been “fiddled with” as far as I could see, at that time.

Help with a positive ID & any details on her would be appreciated.

Remember – if for what ever reason you can’t reply in the comments section or if you have photos of a vessel – you can email me on the link below –

Harold Kidd Update

It’s MARO all right, but certainly was “fiddled with” and Ken is “Wildly” astray.

1. She was built as the 33 footer THISTLE by M. Forsyth of Bayswater in late 1909, early 1910 

2. Harold Wiles and Percy Howden bought her in the winter of 1922.

3. Wiles seems then to have taken over ownership.

4. Wiles re-engined her with a 40hp Stearns, for which he was NZ agent.

5. Wiles handed her to Colin Wild to rebuild in November 1925, replacing her “compromise stern” with a tuck stern and lengthening her by 3′ 6″ in the process.

6. After the rebuild Wiles renamed her LADY MARGARET.

7. When Wiles commissioned Wild to build LADY MARGARET II in 1928, he sold this launch, LADY MARGARET I, to Dr. C.J. Long.

8. When LADY MARGARET II was launched, Long changed her name to MARO, took out the high-powered Stearns, which went into MOLLIE (later ALCESTIS/RAIONA) and put in a Universal 4 cylinder.

9. She remained in Long’s ownership until just before WW2 when L R H Webber bought her and was her skipper with NAPS in 1942-3 as Z25.

and so on…………………