Classic Woody Riverhead Hotel Cruise
Not wanting to sound like a parrot but the CYA has an amazing track record of aceing the weather for its launch cruises to the waterfront Riverhead Hotel.
The forecast was average, but it just never eventuated & subsequently the boats that made the trip had a great day.
So cool to have one of our yachties make the trip, that center-board helped 😉
Highlight of the day for me was seeing John Wright’s recently restored launch – Nana. Nana was designed by C. Bailey Jun. & built by C. Bailey & Sons in 1934. You can view more on Nana’s amazing journey, from rescue to re-launch at this link https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/02/01/nana-resuced-restored/
John has one of the best eyes for how a woody should look, the final details on Nana make her look perfect, in my eyes. John, you should have finished the trip & come up to the hotel, I have a WW tee-shirt for you – email me your postal address – email@example.com
Also had a peek at the publican’s – Paula & Stephen Pepperell’s 1967 Jorgensen launch -Volantis, that is nearing the end of an extensive re-fit, Stephan is another woody with a great eye for detail.
Below are a collection of photos from the camera of Simon Smith who was perched on the Greenhithe Bridge – they give us another perspective on some of our classics. Pity Simon wasn’t there for the return trip – Raindance & the motor-sailer Korara, were just passing under the bridge, being good woodys, traveling to starboard of a large plastic yacht (a Hanse) that was approaching the bridge – when all of a sudden the yachts bow shot up out of the water & the yacht shot backwards. The reason – you guessed it – mast hit the bridge (photo of dent to the bridge, below) luckily they were travelling slow, any faster & they might have lost the mast. I suspect there was a change of undies needed for the crew.
Upper Harbour ‘V’s’ Yacht Oops
HDML – Kuparu – P3563 Looking Rather Smart
Another great collection of photos from Dean Wright’s collection of photos he has scanned from old negatives. The ones above show the privately owned game boat – Venture about to weigh in a very impressive marlin at Russell Wharf in the Bay of Islands. Skippered by Norm Hudspith at the time.
Normal questions – what is she & where is she today?
UPDATE – Thanks to HDK’s memory (or ww search skills) we now know all about her. She appeared on ww back in November 2015 (link below), make sure you read the comments section – lots of chat there. Cheers Alan
photos ex AH, Chris Miller & Rod Marler
On the weekend CYA cruise to the Riverhead Hotel we were joined by (to me) a new classic on the CYA scene, Venture. Keen to learn more about her & what lies underneath the ‘addition’.
Neil Lineham has advised Venture was built in 1961 by Morrie Palmer and apprentice Chris McMullen for Stuart and Peter Opperman. The boat built after her (1963) was Neil’s fathers boat Oranoa, built in the old police station at Clarance St Devonport. Oranoa is still owned by the Lineham family.
04-11-2015 Input from owner Jeff Norris (edited by Alan H)
Venture was built by M. G. Palmer at Devonport launched in 1964 the first owner was a Mr Hudsmith he owned her for 30 years . The design for the 36′ Venture was ‘influenced by’ Colin Wilde. She is powered by 86hp 6cyl Ford Trader she used to have a 30hp Perkins wing motor it was removed by the owner before Jeff. Jeff has owned venture for 15years and is in the process off doing a tidy up and a repaint off the top sides . They are going to glass the hull next year and maybe a re-power as the trader is getting very old but still runs perfectly, Morrie told Jeff , there is a sister to Venture but it is a bridgedecker , Morrie built Venture for himself but had to sell her before she was finished . Venture was a very good game boat in her day but now she is just a cruiser.
02-05-2016 Photos of Venture at the CYA Raft-up at Salthouse Boat yard (Alan H/Ken R)
And just in, a trip report from CYA chairman Rod Marler, currently in New York. Rod did a circumnavigation of Manhattan on this fine ship yesterday. I would say she is a replica but her heart is in the right place 😉
Bucklands Beach – c.1968
VENTURE – Sailing Sunday photos & detail ex Don Ross ex Merv Stockley. With lots of input from Harold Kidd The history of Venture (E38) goes something like this – she started life as a carvel lifeboat built on the Northern Wairoa by Barbour then was converted to a keel yacht by Bob Shakespear. Alan Coates (later a Magistrate) owned her about 1931 and sold her to Dick Bakewell in 1936. Harold imagines Dick sold her on when he bought JEANETTE from Ted Le Huquet in 1948. Don Ross purchased her from Dick Bakewell about 1939-40 (dates a bit out, but you get that), Don thinks she was built of island kauri and thought she had been built in the islands and sailed to NZ, this contradicts Harold’s records but Don’s version is only ‘dock chat’. She was only 18ft and a carvel double-ender. Don later swapped Venture’ for the launch Ngaroma from Snow Harris who Don believes was a well known yachtie in Mullety circles from Auckland. At the time Snow lived at Hansen’s Island (after Charlie Hansen had passed on) and wanted a yacht instead of a launch. Don lived for most of his younger years in Auckland and sailed all round the Gulf. One of his favourite trips was to sail up to Hansen’s Island for the weekend. He has a number of letters from Charlie Hansen. In 1949 Don,his wife and daughter Lyn headed off to Whitianga in Ngaroma where he used her for game fishing until 1962. Merv Stockley believes they saw Venture up on Bucklands Beach in Auckland around 1968 and took the above photos. Some of her original keel had been removed then. Merv has commented that of all Don’s boats Venture was closest to his heart as he & his late wife, Joan, did a lot of sailing in Venture & he would love to know if she is still around. Harold Kidd Input Merv is undoubtedly right that Don bought her from Dick Bakewell c1939. My date of 1948 was the most recent limit date, logically. The first mention of her I can find (amongst a scrum of other VENTUREs) is in 1933 when she took part in an Otahuhu Sailing Club race to Bucklands Beach, so she was obviously up the Tamaki at that time. Dick Bakewell told me she was built by Barbour as a lifeboat for ARATAPU which he built in 1878, a sister-ship to HUIA. ARATAPU was sold overseas in 1932, so that kind of works. Did I say Alan Coates owned her in 1931? All I know about his ownership is that he sold her to Dick Bakewell in 1936. Alan was a keen yachtsman in his earlier days and was associated with the Richmond, Otahuhu and Manukau clubs.Lovely bloke. It’s possible that he bought her when ARATAPU was sold, and had Bob Shakespear convert her to a deadwood keeler, but that’s conjecture. She was registered as E38 when it became necessary to wear sail numbers during WW2. Update from Russell Ward – 12-05-2015 1987 photo below of Venture moored at Okahu Bay, off the slipway over towards Pooh Pt. Russell had just launched SL Gypsy and admired Venture’s style. In typical Mr Ward style he warns us to not get sidetracked by the elegant steamer centre frame 🙂
My Memories of Supreme Craft by Ben Hipkins
Story & photo sent to ww by Karen Moren/Lyn McGeady ex Ben Hipkins
(Disclaimer: Story as from memory)
This is a great read & compliments all the recent McGeady/Supreme posts on ww – read on & enjoy Ben’s story. Alan H
Mac McGeady – (A good Boatbuilder and Designer)
“I first met ‘Mac’ in 1955 at his boat factory in 1A Summer Street, Ponsonby. I was 16 years old and I now know he would have been 55.
‘Mac’ was a very intimidating looking man to me and I had a daunting job to convince him that I was the right boy for him to apprentice.
When I started work (at £2-16-0 a week!), the staff comprised of five men. Mac, Barney Glasgow, Peter Williams, Bluey Jacobsen, Graeme Kitchen and me.
Graeme Kitchen had been in the same class as me at Takapuna Grammar School and had started with Mac McGeady as an apprentice a couple of months before me. He had suggested that ‘Supreme Craft’ was a good yard to work in and to ask Mr. McGeady if I could work for him. It took some time to wear Mac down but eventually he took me on.
The first boat I saw in the boat yard was AQUARIUS, a game fisher for a Bay of Islands client. She was 38ft with twin gray marine engines and capable of 16 knots on trials.
The second boat was AUSTRALIS 42ft twin screw launch for Jack Plowman.
The third boat was ASTRA 30ft launch for Mr. Percy Ward.
The fourth boat was AMARYLLIS 40ft twin screw for Mr. H.T. Morton.
The fifth boat was a 38ft launch for Mr. Stan Suter. I can’t remember the name of this boat.
Graeme Kitchen had left by this time and did not complete his indentures. Bluey Jacobsen and Peter Williams had also left.
Mac had sold his twin screw launch AQUILA to Mr. Chub Sibun.
At this time 1959, Mr Norman Fairly came into our lives. He owned a 26ft plywood boat named REEL EM IN built by Don Norton and used to game fish from Tauranga and up to the Poor Knights area. He convinced Mac McGeady to skipper this boat to Mercury Islands and Mercury Bay area. Fairley and Bert Jones were car dealers and visited our boat factory quite often.
Mac had decided to build a boat for himself and designed a forty foot launch for this purpose.
At this time, only Barney Glasgow remained in the work force and myself. We took on a new apprentice, Gary Wheeler, a good keen boy.
When this boat was planked and ready for superstructure and decks to be constructed, Mac and Mr. Fairley agreed for Fairley to purchase the boat and for it to be finished to Fairleys’ requirements. This boat was named CHALLENGER. At this time it was noted that neither Lila or I knew of this ‘deal’. Mac seemed confused about this whole episode.
McGeady had been a good boss and a fair person but now seemed to be confused and unable to work effectively.
The after work drink session would become an ordeal as Mac would not leave until all the alcohol was gone. The business was failing and many of the suppliers were concerned.
Another boat was built (by me and Gary). This boat was 38ft designed by me. She was called WAIMARU and owned by Mr. A.C Gray.
On the shakedown cruise of this boat, Mac acted very strangely, staying at the helm exclusively, not sharing the controls at all. At the conclusion of the trip, we entered the boat harbour of Okahu Bay in the dark when Mac opened the throttle to full speed. The speed limit in this harbour was 4 knots – no wash.
Fortunately we, crew removed Mac from the wheel and no damage was done. All on board were most concerned with Mac’s behaviour and all agreed he needed medical help.
We received an order from Mr. Wal Brebner for a 30ft launch which Gary Wheeler and I built.
Our accountant Athol Nigro laid down the law regarding SUPREME CRAFT. He stated that I must make Mac work, must stop him drinking and smoking or have him retire and buy SUPREME CRAFT myself. What choice!!! I couldn’t make him work, I couldn’t make him stop drinking and smoking. I could leave……….. so I did.
I worked for Alan Williams yard at Milford. This was a good change for me and I was well respected.
After a year or so it was 1961, I received an offer from Mac to return to SUPREME CRAFT and receive a 50% shareholding and ran the factory; this I accepted.
We received an order for a 43ft motor launch from Mr. Stan Horner. This was a twin screw bridge deck boat with a fly bridge. The name of this boat was ALTAIR and was launched in November 1961.
Mac’s condition deteriorated and he was very confused and at this time we received an order from Gordon Collie for a 48ft bridge deck motor launch.
Mac still had the ability to design the hull. This boat was too big to build in the factory in Summer Street, so we built the backbone and frames in the factory and built the boat in a shed supplied by Mr Collie on a poultry farm at Pakuranga.
Gary Wheeler and I built the hull up to deck level and Gordon and his cousin Ralph laid the decks and built the superstructure and furniture, a truly excellent job. The name of this boat was RANGIORA.
By this time, Mac could not drive and was incapable of getting about. Lila was his carer.
At the Accountants insistence, I bought the remaining shares and Mac retired. He and Lila went to Snells Beach to live.
Mac’s career with SUPREME CRAFT began in 1936 and ended in 1962. He was a skilled man and good designer.
There are many mysteries regarding his early years and his birth in Pilliga NSW, his time in Fiji, his time in the motor business and the formation of SUPREME CRAFT in 1936.
The future of SUPREME CRAFT is a story that needs to be told.
After RANGIORA was completed, Gary and I returned to the factory in Summer Street to begin work on a 36ft launch which had been ordered by Mr. Len Buckby of Fodenway Motors at Penrose. This boat was powered by a Foden engine.
As construction proceeded the owners were most interested in the progress and quality of materials being used. This boat was called WHITE CLOUD.
Mr Buckley and his accountant called on me and announced that he would like to become owner of SUPREME CRAFT with Fodenway Motors supplying engines and me building the boats.
I thought this would provide stability and security for the future and agreed to the proposal. Almost as soon as this was done, the factory building in Summer Street was sold and we had to move!. We rented a factory in Archers Road, off Wairau Road, Takapuna.
We built a 36ft motor launch for Mr. Stuart Dalton in this factory. This boat was called, SCEPTRE. We also built a 36ft sister ship for Mr. Fred Bales called VENTURE.
Our relationship with Fodenway Motors grew and as they were situated at Penrose, they were keen to relocate SUPREME CRAFT closer to their business of truck assembly so we were moved again and rented a shed at the Lane Motorboat site at Panmure.
There we built a 34ft Express Cruiser for Mr John Furley. This boat was called, NIKASIA. Fodenway Motors had orders for a 43ft passenger launch and a 36ft cruiser.
Decimal currency was coming to New Zealand and disaster struck with a financial downturn. Fodenway Motors two orders were lost and they decided to liquidate SUPREME CRAFT.
I then took up a position in a ship yard in Suva, Fiji and after this, moved to Australia where we still live”.