I’m sure all of you are aware of Johnny Wray’s book – ’South Sea Vagabonds’ , if you aren’t – where have you been 🙂
In the December 1949 issue of Seaspray magazine there was an article on Johnny’s 2nd boat – the 1946 launched – 44’ Waihape. As part of the story Johnny lists his 6 key essentials for extended cruising.
colour photos ex Dean Wright – info ex Ken Ricketts
b/w photo ex Harold Kidd ex Keith Munro
Ken thinks Waihape was the last boat Johnny Wray built in the later 1940s > early 1950s. He lived on her for many years, based at Surfdale, Waiheke, although he did sail around NZ & the Pacific in her fairly extensively. She had a fairly distinctive aft wheelhouse/doghouse which instantly “clicked” when he saw Dean’s photo.
Ken is certain he recalls seeing her in the mud at Surfdale on the L.H.S side of the bay coming in from the sea. There is even a mention of her in a write up “fun map” of Waiheke on a website Ken discovered.
Can anyone confirm this was in fact Johnny Wray’s last boat?
Harold Kidd Update
She certainly looks like the 44 footer WAIHAPE which Johnny Wray launched in December 1948, the last big boat he built. He put some unusual features into her. From his RNZAF experience she was fitted out with an aircraft-type control panel and had twin engines, small Kelvins I think. She took him to Tonga and back a couple of times and had a fair spread of sail.
14-05-2016 – A message from Helen Lee
My name is Helen Lee and as a teenager I had several cruises on Waihape with Johnny Wray, my parents Cynthia and Jerry Wilcox, my brother Michael Wilcox and once with my cousin Mike Lambert.
I have wonderful memories of these trips [early1960’s] and a few treasured photos. I realized when i saw the ww photos of Waihape that mine are all taken on the boat, not ‘of ‘ the boat. However you may like to see them.
Johnny was a long time friend of my Dad’s as they were both living in Lucerne Road as young men and Dad had worked with Johnny when he was building his first boat, Ngataki.
The photo below taken at Mansion House, Kawau Island, is Johnny trying to look like the coconut he is holding.