Today’s woody is – Juliette , seen above on the slip at the W.G Lowe & Son yard, just prior to launch day. Another photo from the Auckland Libraries Heritage Collection.

Anyone able to tell us more about Juliette and what became of her post launching?

I spotted the illustration below of a concept house / day boat, based on the iconic VW Kombi. Each to their own but I think its very cool – perfect for our lakes.


The launch Msuire was built by W.G. Lowe in Auckland and that folks is all we know about her.Given that very cool canoe stern, someone must know what became of her post launch day. (photos ex Auckland Libraries Heritage Collection)

UPDATE: Nathan Nerbert reminded me Msuire resides these days at the Thames marina.

Input from Martin Howson – (from June 2018 ww )This boat is the M’sieur and was owned by Horrie Mau who lived on the sea front at Bucklands. She was built by Bailey and Lowe and prior to moving North was based in Wellington. After her time at Bucklands she went to Thames and as far as I know she is still there in the mud berths. She was a fine sea boat and had a set of sails as useful alternative in the event of engine failure which happened on at least one ocasion. Mr Mau was not familiar with the Gulf and asked my father in law how to get to Kawau Island ,the instructions were not fully understood because he ended up at Little Barrier instead and could not find Bon Accord Harbour dispite circumnavigating Little Barrier a number of times, he was however a very fine fisherman.

A Face To The Name

We have featured a lot of W. G Lowe woodys of late so its probably appropriate to run a photo of the man himself – very dapper. William George Lowe – died 14 June 1935, aged 68.


My wife Sue and I have owned her since 1988. She was built in 1952 by W B Lowe and Son Ltd in Beaumont Street Auckland for a sheep farmer in Marton – William Dudley Willis. He had a property in Marlborough and she made trips across Cook Strait to this property. I think she had a mooring at Paremata. She is a registered ship No. 191808 and Msuire is Swahili for “This is very good”  according to a note in the original registry document. Msuire originally had a 4 cylinder Thornycroft R, T, R, 4 engine and now has a 4 cylinder Ford of about 70HP. She is 9.75m length, 3.14m breadth and draws 1.26m. She originally had a mast and had a heavy canvas steadying sail but no mast at present. We have enjoyed holidays with our three children to Great Barrier,  Waiheke, Kawau, and the Mercury islands and she has been a safe and reliable ship. She usually sits on a mud berth in Thames but at present is on a mooring near Hannafords wharf Coromandel harbour. About 5 years a German film crew doing a documentary on the Hauraki  Gulf were intrigued with the mud berths in Thames and in their film of about 45minutes there is a 5minute section on Msuire trying to venture off the mud – the link to this documentary is:


Rangi – Sailing Sunday

RANGI -Sailing Sunday

In the top photo we see the B Class yacht – Rangi on the slipway at the W.G Lowe shipyard in Auckland, just prior to the start of the first Trans-Tasman Yacht Race in 1931, I believe there was only 3 yachts entered – Oimara (Australia), Teddy (Norway) and Rangi (NZ) – Teddy won.

In the second photo we see her being towed to the start line, and in the bottom photo, on the left is Alan Leonard, owner of Rangi, alongside Alan, steering the yacht is Master Lowe, the grandson of the builder of Rangi. The occasion is welcoming Rangi back into Auckland after the return voyage from Sydney. 

The race was held again in 1934 with only two boats entered – Te Rapunga (Germany) and the legendary Ngataki, with Johnny Wray at the helm – won by Te Rapunga. 

The photos comes to us from the Auckland Libraries Heritage Collection.

UPDATE: John Newsham has advised that Rangi was originally named ‘Schopolo’ and was built as a ‘schnapper’ boat for the inshore fishing trade – see photos below (ex Little Ships) . She was driven ashore at Cascade Bay, Norfolk Island when the crew was ashore after a wind change (1951)

UPDATE: Photo below, ex John Newsham, of Ngataki and te Raupunga at the state of the 1934 race. Ngataki (photo ex Century of sail) was sailed to Tahiti in the 1930s – John’s father’s cousin – Nip Colebrook was in the crew. John often used to see Wray cruising around Waiheke in his pre-war launch. He would always gave him a big wave  – mid 1960s.