Classic Launches at Westhaven Marina c.1971


If you are on fb and have a passion for wooden boats, the name Tad Roberts will be familiar to you, Canadian born Tad has over 1,000 designs in his portfolio and is one of the most prolific postings / commentators on fb. Yesterday Tad posted the above photo and commented “who says a hard-chine plywood sailing yacht can’t be pretty. 40’ design by John Spencer, launched in New Zealand 1971”.

Being plywood and 1971 – Odessa isn’t the focus of todays story, what is, is the impressive line up of launches across the fairway from her. Given its an average day for boating, chances are some you might be spending longer on WW today than normal – lets see if we can collectively put names to the boats, L>R, I have tagged each boating a photo below. Relies via the WW comments section.

Got some very ‘robust’ emails as a result of yesterdays story on the cancellation of the Mahurangi Regatta. But the negative ones were out numbered 7 to 1 by positive feedback. I appreciate them all, especially the negatives on, it can’t be easy typing with 6 fingers. 


1. Kalua (prev Miss Betty)

2. Shipbuilders recently at HMB Marina 

3. Okareka / Fergy

4. Romany II

5. Lady Ethel or sister

6. Wakanui

7. White Cloud

Kinloch Woodys





Kinloch Woodys
photos ex Scott Taylor

Scott was down at Kinloch, Lake Taupo, over Oueen’s Birthday weekend and snapped a few woodys. And another glass Logan 33 replica, seems there are as many of these launches on lakes as on the sea.
One looks like a Shipbuilders but we are unsure about the rest. Victory the big bridge-decker looks very salty for a lake boat so there must be some history out there on her previous life.

Photo below of the marina – it doesn’t get much better than that 😉

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11-06-2016 Input on Victory ex Paul Drake

VICTORY is very much a lake boat. She was built at Taupo by local boat builder and charter boat skipper Jack Taylor.  She was launched, I believe, in 1942 or 1943. It is said that no power tools were used during her construction. Kauri planks on jarrah ribs with totara  floors. She was built to replace ROMANCE (Bailey and Lowe 1914), who was sold by Jack in 1943. VICTORY became a very busy and popular charter boat. The Taylors sold her in 1982. Although it is said that Jack often wished he had never started building such a large launch (40 feet), assisted by his wife, – his two sons were away at the war – he must have enjoyed her immensely once finished. She was a big step up from the 26 foot 6 inch ROMANCE. VICTORY was perfect for the four or five day charters which were very common in the day. VICTORY is a Jack Taylor design, built from a model which Jack towed behind ROMANCE as he refined the shape. She is of shallow draft – a useful attribute on Taupo  (no tidal rise and fall) – as it allows access to beaches where the drill is to put the bow on the beach and disembark via a ladder (in VICTORY’s case a rather long ladder). She did spend a few years in Auckland (Pine Harbour) during the 1990’s, but for 90% of her 70 plus years she has been at Taupo. She is well looked after and nicely appointed internally.

Wakanui & Rakanoa

Wakanui  & Rakanoa – Two classics we don’t see a lot of

The older photos were taken by Gwenyth Herbert from aboard Kotanui. I understand that in the photos Wakanui was only a year old.

Can anyone supply more details on Wakanui?

Harold Kidd Input

According to Salthouses’ records WAKANUI was commissioned by S.G. “Nobby” Clark in 1967. According to Nobby she was finished and launched in early 1968.Bob Salthouse was responsible for her design.

10-01-2016 photo of Wakanui at Great Barrier Island ex Pam Cundy

Wakanui at GB Jan 2016