Classic Wooden Boats At Waikawa Marina

Classic Wooden Boats At Waikawa Marina

Following on from last Mondays story where we shared Dean Wright’s recent Southern trip and a gallery of photos from the Havelock marina todays photo gallery comes to us from the Waikawa marina. Some stunning woodys and remember – click on photos to enlarge 😉

A lot of woodys that are new to WW and they will morph into WW stories in their own right.

Enjoy 🙂


The big bridgedecker with 4 ports is RAHEMO (launched as Strathmore), built by Dick Lang.

Others I can positively identify are (from the top):

VECA (Arthur Sang)

VAGABOND (Joe Jukes)





HUNTRESS (possibly McManaway designed/built?)

VARUA (Bob Swanson)

OSPREY (Harold Saunders)

PALOMINO (Bob Swanson)

TOANUI (Roger Carey)

Yacht ANNA JANE (?)

NUKUMEA (American “Bartender” design by George Calkins)

YVONNE (Bob Swanson)


Unknown fishing boat

KATOOMBA (Dorman Engineering, Nelson – not wood, built in Corten Steel!!)

Unknown (possibly Bruce Askew?)

CORYLUS (Bruce Askew)

TAREPO (launched TAREPA)


? (looks like a McManaway or Morgan fishing boat design?)

? (under the covers)

CRISTINA (Athol Burns)


Most of these have featured previously on WW, so a quick look in the search bar will glean more details if interested.




Mooching around Queen Charlotte Sound, we saw some stunning front-front residences, the above photos showcase one of my favourites. 

An impressive collection, with a classic motor-salier & numerous water toys.

The stern of Vagabond lists Wellington as her home port – any southern woodys able to enlighten us on her provenance ?

11-07-2021 Input from Rick Holmes

Jock Holmes was my father, he handed on responsibility for looking after Vagabond to myself around 35 years ago. Jock had the original cabin house replaced around the same time as our sister ship, the Nereides. Both vessels were constructed in a large shed in Balaena Bay, which is the first little bay inside Evans Bay in Wellington Harbour. We actually had our private slipway in Baleae
na Bay from 1926 until we were forced to have it removed around the 1970’s.Many other vessels were slipped on our slipway over that time, all pulled up on a hand operated winch !
Since that time I have had two major restorations to ensure Vagabond stays afloat & looks ship worthy!
For the last 30 years Vagabond has been moored in Waikawa Marina, as I have a bach in Kumutoto Bay nearby.
There can not be many owners of classic vessels in NZ that can say that their boat has never been sold since 1926 & shortly Vagabond will be handed down to another family member, the fourth generation, hopefully after 2026, when we intend bringing her over for her centennial celebrations.

Vagabond – Sailing Sunday

VAGABOND – Sailing Sunday

Story alert ex Frank Stoks

Frank who owns the classic vessel Atatu sent me a link to this very cool story that appeared in ‘The Marlborough Express’ newspaper on the 28-12-2015, written by Kat Guggan.

Marlborough woman Viv Murray’s 1926 yacht, Vagabond, has been passed through generations of her family.
Viv said that she has grown up with it, her grandfather had it built and when she was 5 years-old he handed it on to her father, so we started cruising the sounds.
Built in Wellington, Murray believes her grandfather based the design of Vagabond on boats the Americans were building at the time, having seen similar styles in boating magazines from the era.
She and her brother, Rick Holmes, have made alterations to the boat, including an extension to the cabin, but kept its decor largely the same.
“It’s still in the old style … we have changed a few things but we put in old-fashioned things rather than modernising it,” she said.
Vagabond was kept at the Port Nicholson Yacht Club until about 30 years ago.

Click the link below to read the full story – it’s a great tale 😉

Harold Kidd Input

VAGABOND was primarily a launch, a motor sailer, or at most an auxiliary like her later near sister NEREIDES. Both were built by B.J.L. (Joe) Jukes at Balaena Bay, VAGABOND for Arthur Moody Holmes (Jock’s father I believe) in late 1925 and NEREIDES for C.H. Mitchell, launched in October 1926 with 28-36hp Ailsa Craig power.
VAGABOND had a 45hp Thornycroft in 1937 but that replaced an earlier unspecified 24hp unit.
She was in NAPS as a patrol vessel 1942-3.
Both these Jukes boats were built for Cook Strait work. No wonder they have survived so well.
Arthur Holmes’ first boat was the little keel yacht NANOYA in 1907 and he was a staunch Port Nick sailor for many years until his death in 1963.