In Case You Are Hiding At Home, Wearing 2 Masks And Wondering What You’re Missing This Weekend – Check Out the 2019 Mahurangi Regatta

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 Stone 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.



The Marine Photographer’s Eye, Benjamin Mendlowitz – OCH Video Featuring Kiwi Classic Wooden Boats

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The Marine Photographer’s Eye, Benjamin Mendlowitz – OCH Video Featuring Kiwi Classic Wooden Boats – The best photos of our fleet you will have ever seen!

Today’s story is rather special as the team at have given waitematawoody readers access to their latest video that features woodys from this years Mahurangi Regatta. The OCH site contains over 500 videos (& 500 articles) that range from boatbuilding, to trimming sails, to a complete course on understanding every aspect of your marine diesel engine. There’s even a 42-part series on how to build a Caledonia Yawl camp cruiser. The collection of videos features mariners and craftspeople at the very top of the boating field, showing exactly how they do things, and which products they use in their work.

One of the OCH founders is Benjamin Mendlowitz who, in my eyes, is the worlds finest photographer of classic wooden boats, this January, Ben and his co-founders escaped the US winter and headed down under. Whilst in NZ their #1 mission was to attended the Mahurangi Regatta and to this end on the Saturday Jason Prew with My Girl & myself with Raindance hosted – Maynard Bray, Benjamin Mendlowitz & Steve Stone for a Regatta photo shoot.

In the 11 minute video, Ben talks us through his day on the water filming woodys. In the opening section when Ben is commenting on our classic fleet he says “I was newly inspired in my photography”. When a photographer with as much experience as Benjamin Mendlowitz says that – that is saying something about our woody fleet. Plus the video is a master class for anyone interested in marine photography.



The OCH site is 100 percent membership driven, and they do not accept advertising. Not lining their pockets with advertising enables them to provide OCH members with the unvarnished truth, straight from legendary masters of their craft – without worrying whether they piss off an advertiser 🙂

In addition to allowing WW woodys to view the video at no-charge, they have also put together a one-off subscription offer for WW readers.

They are offering 50% off the annual rate – thats an amazing US$24.50 – BUT woodys be quick it will not last for long + there is a Risk Free Guarantee – try it for a few days, if your not happy they will provide you with a 100% refund. I’m a subscriber – I love the site, I have watched one story probably 10 times.



  • FULL ACCESS to everything on the site for 1 full year (including our growing library of over 1,000 videos and articles)
  • Your membership includes three full “how-to-build” video series (80+ videos worth over $500 that you get free)
  • You can get your questions answered in the “comments” section under each video and article
  • Join our community of “off-center” boating enthusiasts around the world




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I have featured Tiromoana several times on WW, mainly because she is just such a gorgeous classic woody. One of those vessels that looks just right from any angle.
She was designed and built in 1937 by Bill Couldrey, from double skinned, diagonal planked kauri, and measures 38′. Current zoom zoom is from a 60hp Gardner 5LW
Tiromoana has an interesting background – having served as a Naval patrol vessel during WWII and later as Aucklands first police launch.
Below decks her layout is very original and features anything and everything one would want and expect of a vessel of her class.
She is for sale on trademe and includes a 12m marina – which are as rare as hens teeth in Auckland these days.
Anyone looking for a very smart classic woody should check Tiromoana out 🙂
To view more on her – click this link
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Tiromoana, Orinda II & Omana

Tiromoana, Orinda II & Omana
photos ex Helen Andrew ex the Coggan Collection

Several nice early photos of Tiromoana, Orinda II & Omana from the Coggan Collection. Ken Ricketts commented that the one  below of Tiromoana with PT105 on her stern was when his father Ralph & Roley Gillett (Orinda II) played a practical joke on Tiromoana one night after an evening of celebration & put a new name on her stern, without Joe Coggan’s knowledge of course.

Mansion House Bay c1947

photo ex Ken Ricketts ex Allan/Coggan family

From left to right we have Tiromoana, Awarua & most likely Movarie. All 3 have been on ww before so use the search box to see more on each launch.

Not wanting to get start a lengthy debate, but in a discussion with Russell Ward the other day he commented how a varnished wheelhouse isn’t as obtrusive as a white painted one, he is right (he normally is), they just look so much better & show off the designers lines. I understand the pro’s & cons, I myself have a painted lady, but with some of the advances in bright finishes on the market these days, hopefully we will see more of the ‘as built’ 😉

Tiromoana – a peek into her past

A peek into Tiromoana’s past

photos ex Ken Ricketts

A collection of photos assembled by Ken Ricketts showing Tiromoana in the 1940’s, 50’s & 60’s.

Photos: In Police ‘grey’ – 1943 / With steam ferry in Tamaki River c1960 / On the slip at Okahu Bay c1950 / Okahu Bay c1950 with Henry & Mrs Allen in cockpit / In her modern livery at Coggan jetty c late 1960 / Rickett family aboard xmas 1945



Designed & built by A (Bill) Couldrey in 1937 for W R Craig, she saw serve with the RNZ Navy & Police during WW2 as a harbour patrol vessel. B/W is on launch day & its fantastic to see her 76 years later so close to her launch day configuration. The ‘solo’ colour photos were taken in Issy Bay at the 2012 CYA Cake Day event. The photo with the launch Joan was taken off North Head just prior to the CYA picnic cruise to Stillwater in 2011 (?)

Russell Ward Comment

Beautiful beautiful ship. Every line is just right -look at that sheer and the line of the cabin tops. Even that turtle deck on the “bikini deck” between the wheelhouse and aft dodger: raised to give the headroom but not at the expense of spoiling the line. The detailing of the windows -the work of one of the real masters. Not many boats look ok from any angle -she does. 

She did time as a police launch too, I seem to recall. I also seem to recall (from a visit in the ’60s) that one could service the trusty Gardner while sitting on the throne -useful bit of multi tasking and clearly another design feature!

An update from Ken Ricketts

An insight into Tiromoana’s – (early years 1939 – circa 1988)


As I sit at my computer, at 76 years old, & reflect back, I have realised, there is no doubt, that this, most beautiful Bill Couldrey, double skinned, (1 fore & aft 1 Diagonal), 37ft, 1937 masterpiece of design & build, has had a profound affect upon me, & substantially directed & affected the entire course of my life, since I was a small boy of 7.

It is absolutely certain, that I would never have been able to make the contributions that I am able to do, to this website, if it were not for my beloved Tiro. Ken Ricketts

Early Ownership

She was built in 1938  for a Mr Craig, he however only owned her for a very short time & sold her to a friend & business associate of my late father, Ralph Ricketts. He was a Mr. Henry Allen who owned The Auckland Handle & Dowel Ltd sited in Manukau Rd, Newmarket. He, & his wife, Mrs Joyce Allen, lived in a large villa right next door to the factory where they brought up their 3 children, Jack, the oldest, (who later owned the beautiful C, ( later F), class keeler, C22 “Turangi,” for many years & his 2 sisters, Mavis the older, & Esme the younger.

Henry A  & Mrs Joyce A, moved to No.4 Suddley St  Orakei in 1946-47 where he lived for the rest of his life.

Henry Allen bought Tiro., shortly before WWII & was destroyed, when the Navy took her initially, & then passed her to the Police shortly after, as a harbour patrol boat. The Police painted her grey, & for the next 3 years Henry A., fought tooth & nail to get her back, eventually succeeding in 1943. Such was his joy & excitement, he didn’t even bother to repaint her, but used her for the rest of the season in her grey Police livery,.

This was the point at which Tiro came in to the lives of my parents & me.

Henry A owned her until he died, but long before this, & not too long after WWII, his children all married, Jack Married a lovely lady called “Doreen,” Mavis Married a young businessman called “Doug Millar,” & Esme married another young businessman, called “Joe Coggan,”

The marriage into the Coggan family seemed to my family to be a not only a great love for Esme, but also almost as great a love of Tiro, & for many years in Henry A’s later life, Joe was always seen at his side, whenever “things had to be done,” Such was his love for this boat.

When Henry A eventually passed away, Joe bought Tiro off the estate, & loved her as Henry had before, for the rest of his life as well.

During Henry A’s stewardship, she was moored her entire life at Westhaven, just off the dinghy launching ramp which was there at that time, right in front of the Auckland Motor Yacht Club & she was right next to that other lovely Couldrey classic “Reremoana.”.

When she passed to Joe C,, he moved her to the Tamaki River, at the bottom of his garden, right on the waters edge’ with riparian rites, to the Tamaki River, in Riverview Rd Panmure, & just 2 minutes around the corner, from my parents who lived at No 1 Bridge St Panmure, also on the waters edge, with riparian rites, & my parents used to look at Tiro., every day on her pile moorings a few yards downstream from their home & their own “Gay Dawn.” She remained there for the entire time Joe’s custody lasted, which was also until he died.

A wonderful pedigree for a wonderful boat

Changes to Tiromoana along the way:


When Tiro was built, she was powered with a green painted 4 cyl Gardner truck Diesel, with a huge open flywheel, & detached gearbox, which I think was made pre the days of the “LW” series of engines, as it had 4 separate cylinder blocks, on a separate crankcase with side inspection covers in the crankcase, & could only be started with the crank handle, & by opening the exhaust valves with the decompression levers, whilst one built up flywheel speed & then closed the compression levers. There was a chain drive from the rear end crankshaft between the oil seal & the flywheel to a shaft along the top of the engine to the front end, & one swung on the handle at the front of the engine.

My father & Henry A were both absolutely outstanding precision engineers, & my father did not think much of anyone swinging on a crank handle to start the engine, so about 1945, with the assistance of the entire very extensive facilities, of Mason & Porter Ltd’s (Masport today), machine shop, of which he was manager, he designed & made an electric starter system, for the Gardner, which, as with everything my father ever made, worked perfectly. Its necessity however, was fairly short lived, because circa 1948-49,  my father & Henry A, jointly removed the 4 cyl Gardner & replaced it with a brand new 5LW Grey painted Gardner marine engine, which is still painted grey as far as I know,  & is now, over 60 years later, once again, as far as I know, is still running like a Rolex. I was on Tiro 4 or 5 years ago & it was still just like new then.

Paint, colour schemes, changes, & modifications

I am really delighted that the successive privileged owners of this aesthetically outstanding craft, have appreciated the traditional wonderful balance & beauty she has always had, in her original design, & have not tried to “improve” her, virtually at all. — a different mast is really about all that is visible on the outside, & when I was on board, she was still virtually original inside as well, long may it continue.


Tiro was one of the very first pleasure craft in NZ to be spray painted.  Joe C was a craftsman with a spray gun, & began spraying Tiro’s hull every winter when the rest of us were all laboriously brushing away & trying to get rid of the brush marks to make an “eggshell like finish” to our various pride & joys, as we all did in those days, & Joe achieved an unbelievably better job with far less effort. – I never understood why my father never followed his example with his own “Juliana,” & later, “Gay Dawn.?”

Colour Schemes

Tiro has had a small degree of modification done by Joe C., somewhere around the time he took her over from the estate. From memory I think it may actually have happened when Henry A was still alive.

As you will see, in the pics taken by me, in Christmas 1947, at anchor in Mansion House Bay Kawau Island, & Christmas 1949, at speed, entering Bon Accord Harbour, Kawau Island, with her “brand new 5LW,” she originally had totally varnished combings, which Joe later painted through in white, on the aft cabin section, where the 3 oblong windows are.

Actually, I personally like that present concept, however I feel that the pic on the wheeled trolley with her going in to the water, already on the website may be intended to convey that this was her original concept, as at her launching day, which is of course not possible, because of the pics I took, & that colour concept was not introduced until circa the 1970s.

I think it could very well be, this was taken when she was living in the Tamaki River, & she may have been slipped at the Panmure Yacht Club area. (ww comment – the b/w photo was taken from a 1937 newspaper & is at the launch of Tiromoana)


For a number of years my parents rented a batch on the waters edge of Christian Bay Takatu Peninsula on the farm of a Mr Donald Jones. We looked straight in to Mansion House Bay Kawau Island, from our batch.

One morning, during Christmas 1943, this beautiful looking bridge decker painted grey, came across from Mansion House Bay, in to our bay, & would you believe it, the Allens came ashore & invited us out on Tiro for the day. I can still remember being beside myself with excitement, at being invited out on this “huge” boat.

We had a wonderful experience, which I could not know at that time, was to be the first of many over the next 3 years, until my father bought his first boat the “Juliana” in 1946.

My father had been born in to a pioneering boatbuilding family in Nelson dating back to the 1840s & of course was bought up in, & loved boats of many types.

My mother on the other hand was the daughter farming family, new nothing about boats, or cruising on them, but like me, was besotted with this wonderful way of life,

It had been my parents intention to buy a batch of their own after WWII, but after just a very short time, after being introduced to Tiro, she said to dad one day, “Dad, do you think perhaps we could buy a boat instead of a batch after the war?” — Well, you can imagine what my father said & thus my whole life has been focussed on & revolved around this idyllic lifestyle, & will until I die, almost certainly solely, thanks to the Allens, & Tiro.

Nothing I can think of, has had a more profound effect on me, or my life, than this life long passion for cruising on comfortable pleasure launches, (especially at Kawau Island, which is, & always has been, since 7 years old, my favourite place of any part of any country in the world, I have ever been to.)

Now, to get back to the “Allen, Coggan, Family Dynasty.” I am trying to Liaise with Helen Coggan daughter of the now deceased Joe & Esme, to try to  add correct & timing for various things referred to above & will report further if I can achieve this.– I was actually talking to Helen, within the last 18 months  or so, so hope I can locate her again.

In the meantime may “Tiro” continue to grace us all, with her beauty, for another 75 years

Photos added to posting

# 4 ladies standing on tuck of Tiro in 1945 pic holding on to dodger are L to R Miss Mavis Allen, Mrs Wyn Ricketts, Miss Esme Allen, & Mrs Doreen Allen, (Jack Allen’s new wife).

# 2 photos of Tiro at Kawau Island

# Ken Ricketts as “Santa” at 9 years old, Christmas Day 1944 in the bridgedeck of Tiro with Mavis Allen

An Update for Tiromoana’s Owners 17/08/2013

My husband, John, and I are the current custodians of Tiromoana. Photos 1, 2 & 3 are of John and I (Carolyn) cruising the Gulf. Tiro currently resides at Bayswater Marina, although she is currently in “hospital” on the Westpark hardstand, being treated for rising damp and gribbles behind the keel cooling. With her out of the water for awhile, we took the opportunity to get into all the nooks and crannies, and remove accumulated detritus, including six anchors! And, going on the size of the gaffs we found on board, earlier owners must have caught much bigger fish than us.
I must assume that the head has been moved, since vintagesteamer’s day, as we can no longer multitask from the throne. However, the trusty “new” Gardner, installed in the 50’s, is still going strong. Recent changes we have made is the installation of an electric head, and holding tank, and new batteries and charging system.
As I work in the Operations Room at Coastguard, I have great delight in reminding the Maritime Police of our association as Auckland Police Boat #1.
If you see us around the Gulf, do drop by and say hello.