W1 & W1 Junior Meet Up

W1 c.1942





W1 & W1 Junior Meet Up

The restoration of the Hubert Scott-Paine designed ex RNZAF, WWII, craft W1 has been well documented on WW, as has been the building of a junior version by master model maker John Bullivant, enter W1 in the WW search box to read > view their stories.

Earlier this year Ken Ricketts played match-maker & intro’ed Francis Uren, the owner  of W1 & John B. The venue was Bayswater Marina where Francis keeps W1. Details & photos ex Ken.

The story started 49 years ago, when John B, had by chance an opportunity to have a look aboard W1. John & a mate, were out & about on the Tamaki River, exploring & they came across W1 & the boys decided to have a good look inside her. John B was fascinated with what he saw & W1 made such a lasting impression that 44 years later, when he started to build a model of W1, he could recall every detail. The build took 5 years, but as can see in the photos, the attention to detail & build quality is amazing.

When Francis Uren, saw W1 Junior for the first time he was blown away,  the intricate detail in build, propulsion & equipment, which is even complete, with the sound of 2 diesel engines being started, when John fired her up, & with water flowing out the exhaust pipes each side, when the engines, (2 special marine tiny electric motors, see photo below), are running.

The meet up resulted in two very happy woodys, who both had huge mutual respect for the each others work.


John Bullivant – The Big / Small Boat Builder




John Bullivant – The Big / Small Boat Builder

John Bullivant owns an impressive collection of boats, even more impressive is he built / restored them himself – how you may ask? – they are radio controlled models of real boats, taken off detailed plans.

The black & white double image above shows John’s model of MTB49 & the real thing, illustrates the amount of detail John achieves.
John took over the bridge-decker he has named ‘Tamure’ as an unfinished project from the previous owner, as seen in the images & installed the present motor & associated equipment. We see the restored Tamure above.

John’s major build has been the W1 project, which we have seen on ww before as work-in-progess. https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/11/05/w1-junior/
W1 is now complete & will feature on ww next week. (photos above ex John B & Ken Ricketts)

John also owns 2 real yachts in the 12′>16′ range,  which he has also rebuilt/restored featured here https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/02/26/small-woodys-sailing-sunday/

W1 Junior




If you are a regular follower of the ww stories you will know that there are a several ‘woody nutters’ out there that have a thing for the ex WWII RNZAF coastal cruiser – W1.
John Bullivant is one of them. John has been building a model of W1 & its very close to completion. The photos above show some of the build process.
John reports that he has purchased some cowl vents from the UK, (made them all rotatable)  fitted new water cooled motors, made rudders, masts, windows, rubbing strips and fitted LED lighting (courtesy of cheap solar garden lights). He has also made a decal pattern for the bow insignia to print out (see bow photo above). John has even bought a miniature water pump so he can have water running from the water outlets when the boat is stopped. This will sit where the centre engine usually sits. He is currently looking for an engine sound module. Thanks to Ken Ricketts for fowarding John’s email to ww.
Details on the ‘real deal’ here https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/09/11/the-story-of-w1-one-of-fastest-boats-ever-on-the-waitemata/


The Classic Yacht Association is holding one of its launch cruises to the Riverhead Hotel on Sunday – we are expecting approx. 20 classics to make the trip. so it should be a cracker of a day. If the sun shines, there will be lots of photos on Monday 🙂

Update below & photos from John Bullivant on his progress  (emailed in by Ken Ricketts)
“I have also re-done the lighting using LEDs from Xmas string lights which are smaller and can be made to fit better. Getting there slowly but it’s almost like building a full sized boat as you can spend hours making the smallest things. The lighting alone took about 3 days, as it’s hard to hide any sort of bulb in a small model and get it shining in a reasonably scale manner, eg trying to get the nav lights shining in the correct arc takes a lot of fiddling and painting but they look the part when they are on so that’s good enough for me. I’m not being too fanatical about the detail as long as it looks ok on the water.
I have a theory about the location of the real W1 in the photo of her with the survivors on board and where she was headed which I am working on with the help of Google Earth and some info I read on the rescue effort. This was regarding the position the survivors were picked up from. I am trying to find the info again but it was in an obscure site (to do with recovering the gold I think) which gave the co-ordinates of the ship and the lifeboats positions before rescue and the crews communications. Just a bit of a fun challenge to see if I can pinpoint the exact spot.”

A Lap of Waiheke





A Lap of Waiheke

Over Labour weekend we did a lap of Waiheke Island in Raindance – bumped into a few classic’s, some will appear on ww in the next few days.
As we approached Oneroa mid afternoon on Saturday the weather was doing exactly as predicated  & the southerly was starting to pick up, coming around the point & it was blowing dogs off chains. Headed over to Little Oneroa & it was almost a mill pond, dropped the pick between James Mobberley (Moon Engines)  & Dan Ranell’s stunning N. Herreshoff designed yacht – Jonquil, pictured above with George Ranell ‘on watch’. Potentially it could have been a disaster i.e. 3 kids under 5 between the 2 boats – but good parenting saved the day. A few late afternoon coldies on Jame’s launch ‘Cartel’ was the perfect lead in to dinner – a wood fired pizza on the beach from the resident pizza caravan. Saturday was a cracker of a day on all fronts. Nice weather, people & boats.

For the first time (that I can remember) we had a peaceful night in Little Oneroa & woke to a stunning day (Sunday), one out of the bag. A quick breakfast ashore at ‘Wai’ & a few provisions from the ‘new’  store on the roundabout, called ‘The Island Grocer’ – its where the old general store (fruit & veg focus was) used to be. Less hairy armpits on display these days & a great hole in the wall coffee operation. Perfect spot to people watch.

Headed down the north side to the bottom end, very pleasant trip & a lot of people both fishing & catching fish. Mooched around a few bays & anchored in Man ‘o’ War Bay. The vineyard operation was a zoo with Island day trippers, so held off going ashore until late afternoon for a drink. Quiet night in the bay, except for 2 sets of very young children doing laps of the bay in dinghies with 2hp outboards – I do not lie when I say it went from 6pm to 10pm, if I had had a gun – I would have popped the tubes.

Slow start in the morning, had to wait for the tide, appears I had discovered a wee mud bank, never went a ground but I draw 2’3″ & the depth sounder was showing 0.700m (27.5″) 😦 So it was a leisurely breakfast 🙂 Th day was overcast & forecast to rain later on, so we headed home at lunch time. As we were leaving MoW, W1 was coming in – first time I had seen her ‘live’ on the water – way more narrow than I expected given her length, but still an impressive sight & a credit to the owner, who under took a lengthy restoration in his driveway in Herne Bay.
Saw Deodar (#1) in MoW looking very smart – photos tomorrow on ww.

A fantastic weekend, only takes a few days of good weather & one quickly forgets all the cursing & swearing over winter about bloody old wooden boats.

Below are a couple of photos from Rod Marler of the classic’s –  Arohanui, Trinidad, Lady Crossley & Nereides (looking none the worse for her oops at the Whangateau boat yard) at Kawau over the weekend. I hear the Kawau Boating Club was going off on Saturday night for the All Blacks v Aust rugby test.

Photo below of Wairangi at West Bay, Rakino Island on Sunday, taken by her owner & emailed in by Ken Ricketts.