Classic Steam Launches

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CLASSIC STEAM LAUNCHES

Two Saturdays ago I mooched down to the Salthouse Yard (ex?) / Greenhithe Wharf to catch up with the crew from the Auckland Steam Engine Society gathering. Primary reason for attending was to see the new steam launch – Kotare, which unfortunately was a no show, rumour was he experienced a mechanical oops on-route (update – arrived later in the day, after my departure). The morning was still a winner with 4 steamers present. I have said it before, but I could own one of these, I’m a closet pyromaniac – so fire & classic boats, it’s a win / win.

We had – Tui, Janice Helen & Victoria present + one with one name.

Enjoy the photos – here is a WW link to some photos & details on SL Kotare  https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/03/23/ss-kotare/

The Potae on the gent below, was always going to go for a swim – I lost count of the saves. It sank but floated below the surface long enough to be rescued 🙂

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Three Taupo Boats

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PIRI PONO on her slip at Two Mile Bay, Taupo, in the 1960’s

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PIRI PONO at her final resting place (Maritime Museum)

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LUYVON awaiting restoration at Taupo Oct 2017

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TUI at the Clinker Boat Exhibition

THREE TAUPO BOATS

Post a visit by Paul Drake & his brothers to the 2017 Classic Yacht & Launch Exhibition & a side trip to the Auckland Maritime Museum, Paul sent me the above photos & the story below – which I have re-produced unedited as its perfect as is. Read & enjoy J

 In the mid  1920’s, two gents and their families fell in love with Taupo. Both of them commissioned boats from Auckland builders. Hawke Bay’s Guy Rochfort had TUI (16 feet and clinker) built by Percy Vos. TUI was on display at the recent Classic Clinker Exhibition at the Viaduct in Auckland.  Auckland’s Robert Laidlaw had the 17 foot speedboat  SEAHORSE built by an unspecified builder. After a weather related fright on the lake in 1929, Robert approached Collings and Bell, and the 28 foot PIRI PONO (faithful friend) was the result. Honduras mahogany and bright finished, no expense was spared. PIRI PONO is on display at the Maritime Museum in Auckland.  With her 150 HP straight eight Niagara, she weighed just over a ton and could do about 30 knots. Housed in her boatshed at Two Mile Bay, alongside Laidlaw’s house ‘Monte Vista’, access to the water was via a slipway. A private jetty and offshore mooring completed the picture. 

PIRI PONO was the fastest boat on the lake.  But by 1935, she had a rival in the form of local man Stan Gillies’s  LUYVON, locally designed and built by Jack Taylor and measuring 22 feet. She was light (about half the weight of PIRI PONO) and powered with a Dodge, driving through an outboard drive.  Informal drag races indicated that the boats were very similar in speed.  A more formal test was required. Regatta Day 1936 (probably) was the day. PIRI PONO had her bottom waxed, new spark plugs fitted, all surplus gear removed, and half her fuel pumped out.  The day dawned fine and calm, to PIRI PONO’s disadvantage. LUYVON and PIRI PONO lined up for the 20 lap race. LUYVON had the edge because she cornered faster – PIRI PONO would catch her on the straights.  Robert Laidlaw ordered his crew (son Lincoln) to the aft cockpit to get the bow up a bit. Stan Gillies was still ahead. Back came Lincoln, returning aft with the anchor. This was enough. PIRI PONO won and Robert retained his title as fastest man on the lake.

PIRI PONO was commandeered by the Air Force during WW2 and was the Commodore’s launch at Hobsonville. They replaced the Niagara with a Chrysler (Crown?) and built a cabin over the forward cockpits. Having won the war, the Air Force returned PIRI PONO to Taupo.  She was re-engined with twin Gray’s which are in her to this day. There are conflicting stories as to how this came about. One source has it that she was returned by the Air Force without an engine. Another has it that Laidlaw was disappointed with the speed produced by the Chrysler. Yet another has it that the Air Force wrote off the Chrysler while trying to reverse PIRI PONO off her transporter and into the lake (overheating due to lack of cooling water).

Laidlaw was an enthusiast. He was the founder of Farmers Trading Company. He was a very active Christian, and his name lives on in Laidlaw College, formerly the Bible College of New Zealand, which trains people for Christian ministry. He also has a rock named after him, informally at least. During an early evening spin in PIRI PONO, with 23 POB (so it is said), PIRI PONO struck, at speed, the large flat rock in Mine Bay between the islets and the shore at the eastern end of the bay. The damage must have been enormous and she quickly sank in a few metres of water. Passengers, some of them not-so-young ladies in fur coats, were rescued by nearby launches.  Jack Taylor’s PONUI and VICTORY salvaged PIRI PONO the next day and she was repaired in time for the following summer. 

Meanwhile, TUI led an uneventful life, and lived afloat in a Taupo Boat Harbour boatshed. LUYVON lived in a boatshed nearby, but was kept dry (and light) by being lifted clear of the water on a cradle once in the shed. LUYVON also survives, still owned by the Gillies family, and has been awaiting restoration for some 30 years now. 

The book by Ian Hunter, ‘Robert Laidlaw – Man for our Time’ makes a very interesting read.

UPDATE 01-11-2017 Photo below showing TAMATI in the Lake Taupo Boat Harbour, with the fishing lodge (ex TONGARIRO) in the background, and the Collings and Bell PIRI PONO in the fore ground.   

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Faith

Faith June 2013

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FAITH

I was contacted recently by Neal & Nicki Harding who had just came across an article in waitamatawoodies about the Phil Lange built boat ’Tui’.
The couple own one of his 30′ boats ‘Faith’ built in 1968, they bought Faith in 2006 and trucked up from Careys Bay, Dunedin. These days she swings off a mooring at the bottom of their garden in the Marlborough Sounds where they live. They met Phil Lange briefly a few years ago. Faith has very similar lines to Phil’s other launch, Tui, but without the flybridge.
The 2nd photo above shows Faith coming through one of the Kaikoura road tunnels in 2006, its a very changed landscape today.

The Harding’s have spent many happy hours restoring, scraping, sanding, painting and cruising with Faith.

The Harding’s have photos of Faith going back to her fishing days in Northland and voyage South to Port Chambers, Dunedin, but are particularly keen to obtain any photos of her for the build / launch period if they exist. I have asked the Harding’s to send in the photos they have so we can all see them.

Classic Launch & Yacht Exhibition Next Weekend – Put A Circle In The Diary – 7>8 Oct
This year  the exhibition is celebrating Classic Clinker Boats

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Clinker Event Ad

 

Tui

TUI
Sometimes you wonder how serious someone is about selling their boat, Tui is listed on trade me – as a 30′ inboard ‘beautiful girl’ & is a wonderful sea boat”.

When it comes to specs the seller says “I will need to put all the mechanical details on later all I know is she starts every time first time. Engine, shaft etc will be updated all I know is that I think Tui has a ford tractor engine”. And they want someone to pay $35k+ based on that ;-(
A few hours with a tungsten tipped chainsaw & you could end up with a nice wee sedan top launch, if the price was right. Thanks to Ian McDonald to the trademe tip.

Do any woodys know ore about Tui – builder, year etc?

An apology – if you were wondering what was happening around yesterdays story on Vacuna – I removed the ww story because the vendor was not being upfront with the vessels past & had been very creative with the story. There was over 10 comments that I chose to ‘moderate’ & did not appear on ww, mostly name calling & threats, I’m the only one that’s allowed to do that 🙂  so they got the delete button.

Tui – Sailing Sunday

Tui – Sailing Sunday

I have had to photoshop the above photo as there were a few visible clues.
So the question today is – whats the boat & why she it famous?

After she has been ID’ed I will supply more details on the how I received the photo 😉

Update: The above P-Class is in fact Tui, built in Auckland by David Marks in 1952 and given to Her Majesty the Queen with the suggestion that Prince Charles might like to learn to sail in her. She is presently on loan to the ex Royal yacht Britannia from Portsmouth Naval Base. The photo was sent to me by David Balderston who visited Britannia recently while on holiday.

19-10-2015 Photo below of Tui’s display card was sent in by Greg Fenwick

12-09-2017 Input from Christopher Deane

Last month when we were in Edinburg, Scotland we went for a tour on the Royal Britannia .

I must say it is a very interesting tour. The first Yacht I have been on which carries a Rolls Royce as standard equipment.

Another interesting find was this P Class sailing yacht Tui that was presented to the Queen, during her tour in 1953 .

 

As a bonus today click the link to view some eye candy from the Panerai Regatta in Cannes. Photos courtesy of Classic Yacht / Guido Cantini / Officine Panerai
http://classicyachtinfo.com/2015/09/30/regates-royales-2015-in-images/