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



What Happened To The Viking?


What Happened To The Viking?
words & photo ex Mark Davis

This is a great tale – I’ll let Mark tell it 🙂

“I stumbled across your web site by accident after reading an article in the Otago Daily Times about the Elsie Evans. It got me thinking if anyone may know it’ll be yourself or one of your members. My late mum used to tell me of her life growing up in Waihi. Her dad, my grandfather, Walter Caldwell, used to own a well known fish shop in Waihi, called simply Waihi Fish Supply, (which is now a burger bar). To supply his shop he used to have a small number of boats moored at Waihi Beach. This, I think was sometime between the two world wars. Anyway to get to the point, he purpose built a boat to his own design in the “backyard” of the fish shop. This is the boat my mum talked about the most. When finished and launched at Waihi beach, most of the then town, turned out for the occasion. The boat was christened the Viking. Mum told me the Viking was an excellent sea boat and remembers going out on it once or twice. Of course being a “girl” she didn’t know any of the important stuff. The story continues, as the world was plunged into another global conflict in the late 30’s the government of the day commandeered as many suitable boats as possible for coastal patrol etc, the Viking was one of these boats. That’s where the story could end, but as chance would have it someone told mum the boat ended up at the Auckland Maritime Museum on Quay St Auckland. I’ve looked on line but didn’t find any trace of her, (the boat not mum), so put it down to urban legend or similar.

So that brings me to this email. After taking possession of mums treasures after her death I came across a suitcase of old photos. Amongst the hundreds of unidentified photos is a picture of a boat being built in a “backyard” of what looks to be the rear of the fish shop in Waihi, (I have visited and still do visit Waihi many times). The photo doesn’t show much apart from a hull being laid over with planking and not a lot of detail, however if you like detective novels then this may appeal to you or visitors to your web site. Please let me know if you’re interested, one way or the other, and I’ll email you a scan to have a look. As we now live in North Otago popping down to the Maritime Museum to research this further is not on the cards anytime soon.”

So woodys, can anyone help Mark out? Is there any truth in the Maritime Museum story or as Mark says – is it just an urban legend.

CYA Patio Bay BBQ & Xmas Race Weekend 2015

CYA Patio Bay Weekend 2015
photos ex Alan Houghton & Fiona Driver

Just back from another spectacular wooden boat weekend at Patio Bay, Waiheke Island. The weather was good for the yacht racing but a little rolly in the bay. This put a few owners off anchoring but most bit the bullet & dropped the pick & were rewarded with another brilliant evening ashore at Margaret & Burt Woolicott’s waterfront bach. It had all the ingredients of a classic kiwi boating function – sun, sand, wood fired BBQ’s, the odd cold beverage, a barrel of rum, fire works & lots of nice people.

The evening was made special by the presentation to Chris McMullen of the CYA Outstanding Achievement Trophy for services to classic boating. See the previous ww post for more details.

Even yours truly got a mention in dispatches – I was the surprised recipient of the 2015 Patio Bay Trust Book Award – for my work on/with setting up this site & ensuring that future generations will be able to better experience our wooden boating history.

Enjoy the photos. Sorry that its light on yachts but conditions did not suit bobbing around in a wee dinghy & by now I hope most people realize that a ‘drive-by’ past Raindance almost always ensures a photo on ww 🙂

Must also mention the  magnificent sight of having Viking sailing in the fleet.

I have posted on the CYA forum photos from the yacht post race prizing giving  – link here

Yacht race results here

10-12-2015 Sailing Photos below ex Carolyn Anderson (Waimiga)