Kingfish Lodge – Whangaroa – Old Movie

I was sent todays movie by Sam Jaffe, whose grandparents Kevin (late) and Wendy Gilligan ran the Kingfish Lodge for several years in the 1970’s and owned the launch – Tuatahi. The movie is actually a 12 minute promotional movie for Marlin depth sounders, made in c.1975/76. Sam and his Nana (Wendy) had it converted from an old 16mm film earlier this year. As you’ll see, it’s set in Whangaroa and Sam is fairly certain their old launch Tuatahi is visible at 2:46 and at several other times – Sam also spotted – Margaret Anne and Lady Doreen.

At 3:26 Sam’s grandfather Kevin (known to most as Kev) is the guy who steps out of the plane and later is seen reeling in the ‘marlin’. The whole playing of the marlin was made up – Kev was just playing a bucket for the cameras according to Sam’s Nana because they didn’t catch anything the day they went out. Nana is visible at about 10:14 with Sam’s Mum pulling in a small fish on their speedboat. 
Its a great movie for a chilled out Boxing Day – enjoy 🙂

Whangaroa Big Game Fishing Launch


Whangaroa Big Game Fishing Launch

I have been sent a great collection of photos from the Whangaroa area, I need to digest them and pull the best together for a WW story – in the meantime I thought I would share one of the boats with you.
For once I know its identity – but can anyone give us a name and some history?
Des Townson – A Sailing Legacy Book Winner
The winner of yesterdays quiz to name the boat designer whose name has appeared the most on WW is Warren Jack. The correct answer was Colin Wild, lots of entries for Logan and Lane but the answer needed to be the designers name – not the ‘brand’ of boat. Warren was the only one with Colin Wild. There has always been a lot of discussion around the man and his yard, not just his boats on WW.
The consolation prize – a WW hat, was won by Simon Adams. Prizes in the post 🙂
Check out Fridays WW story for another great woody prize to be won.

Mystery Whangaroa Launches

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The above 1962 photo comes to us from Lew Redwood’s fb and shows several Woodys at anchor. The bridge decker in the centre looks familiar but I can not put a name to her, I’m sure Nathan Herbert will be able to ID her.
The smaller launch on the right  looks quick even at anchor – any ideas on her?
I was recently sent the link below by Australian woody – Andrew Christie. Its a register of Australian and New Zealand builders plates, a little light on kiwi content but its a start – worth a look.

Whangaroa 1971 + CYA Pub Cruise Details


Whangaroa Harbour 1971

The above photo (by G. Riethmaier) is dated Jan 1971 & show several craft in the bay of the Northland Lodge (later to become Kingfisher Lodge)

Can any woody ID the launch on the left?

CYA Riverhead Pub Cruise – Tomorrow 

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Don’t forget that tomorrow (Sunday) we will have some of the classic launch fleet cruising to the Riverhead Hotel for lunch. Boats are departing at 11.30am from under/around the Auckland Harbour Bridge, then proceeding to the Riverhead with an estimated ETA of 1.00pm. As always it’s fairly casual, so you can join in at any stage on-route. For the newbies – follow the leader & you will be all good in terms of navigating the ‘creek’. Remember to bring a dinghy. And if you are boat-less, come by car.

There is always a good turn-out of waitematawoodys there (photo below)

If the sun shines, there will be some good photos on WW on Monday

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My Big Woody Adventure – Trinidad


My Big Woody Adventure 

Several months ago David Cooke tapped me on the shoulder & asked if I would like to join Barbara & himself aboard their 1965 Salthouse built classic motor-yacht, Trinidad, on the first leg of their circumnavigation of New Zealand – Bay of Islands (East Coast of the North Island) > down the West Coast to Picton (top of the South Island). The short answer was hell yes.

Fast forward to Saturday January 20th 2018 & the Cooke’s, myself & Jamie Hudson (owner of near sister ship – Lady Crossley) are having our last land based dinner at the Whangaroa Sport Fishing Club. Very appropriate that it was fish & chips. An early night was called & we woke at 5.30am Sunday morning to prepare for departure – photos & trip details below – read on & enjoy the journey – I did 🙂

A slightly different format today – magazine style i.e. photos & copy to support them, have also captioned some. When you are doing 3 hours on 3 hours off watches, food plays a big part of the day – so there are a few food shots. When Barbara deemed I needed to be punished for some misdemeanor she would not tell my what was for dinner & keep me guessing all day. To a serious foodie, that was cruel.


Dinner at Whangaroa Sports Fishing Club

We left Whangaroa early on Sunday (21/01) – approx. 515 nautical miles ahead of us. Conditions were a little damp & a combination of sea mist & low cloud meant we saw little of the Northland coast. In fact North Cape / Cape Regina was only an outline.


We crossed the top of the North Island mid afternoon. Gave the Pandora Bank a very wide berth & pointed Trinny in a straight line to the South Island. The rain and drizzle continue into the first night but after that it was a dry run. We had a 10>15 knot breeze from NE most of the way & a 2>3m swell. The combination of a steadying sail & a wee headsail worked a treat, not for speed but simply to help steady the rolling motion. When both are set the wheel can be left and Trinny will hold her course.

They say an army marches on its stomach – well the Trinny crew certainly had no complaints with the gallery – we dined well 🙂


Stunning sunset


Stunning dawn, off Taranaki

The clock on the GPS says 3:58am & we were just off New Plymouth, the gas well / rig lights being the first thing we had seen other than H2O. Mount Egmont poking thru the clouds / mist. This was the view most days – same > same but very wow.

Lots of dolphins (& the odd shark)


The crew – Barbara, David, Jamie & myself below


Closing in on Stephens island at the northern end of the Marlborough sounds, the weather gods smiled on us for the trip across Cook Straight & with the GPS reading 9.6 knots it was a happy crew. It had been a dry trip, so we were hanging out for a cold beer once we had dropped anchor in Queen Charlotte Sound.

We arrived in Resolution Bay at approx. 6pm, a total travel time of close to 60 hrs. And immediately rafted up with friends of Barbara & David’s –  Rob and Mandy Carpenter who own the Warwick designed launch Pandanoosa. When the engine was killed it was so peaceful, but saying that the faultless beat of the 6LX Gardner was quite hypnotic.

I lost the bet on how long the trip would take (only by 45mins) & was forced to wear a bar napkin, take orders and serve drinks while displaying my best manners……….

We had a great night & a superb meal of Blue Cod aboard Pandanoosa.


Captain Cooke – peeling the potatoes for dinner


Bay Of Many Coves Resort



The Crew, brunch & bubbles

We awoke after a great sleep – we had been doing watches of 3 hours on / 3 hours, to the magnificent beauty of The Sounds. It’s just so big & so stunning. The next 2 days were spent mooching around the bays & coves sucking up the scenery(Pickersgill Island, Blumine Island, Endevour Inlet, Anapawa Island). Brunch at the Bay of Many Coves resort was a special treat, as were drinks at Furneaux Lodge.


This is my pick of the waterfront properties we saw. I will do another WW story soon on the boat sheds – some stunners.


Cabin boy Jamie doing his morning chores


A little sad when we had to berth Trinny at the Waikawa Bay marina & clean / pack up. End of the line for Jamie & myself but just the start for the Cooke’s – you can follow their cruise on the Trinidad Travels facebook page – link below

The return journey – I had always wanted to do the Wellington > Auckland scenic train trip, so suggested to Jamie that we took the overnight ferry from Picton > Wellington & caught the train home. A great plan, just had to kill 5 hours in the middle of the night in Wellington. I think Jamie thought Mermaids was a seafood restaurant………..

Train was very cool, a few issues with brakes overheating that extended the travel time – but I would do the trip again.


  1. The crew – Barbara, David & Jamie – perfect mix & just outright 100% nice people
  2. Trinidad – anytime aboard her is a treat, she is such stunning old lady, who has lapped NZ before, crossed the Tasman to Sydney & cruised the Pacific Islands.
  3. The food
  4. The sunsets & dawns off the West Coast of the North Island
  5. Queen Charlotte Sound & Picton town, very cool place to own a woody – I’ll be back.

For the overseas viewers I have included below a few photos of Trinidad, a rather magnificent ship – looking as always very regal. You can see / read more about her here



Whangaroa Walk-About





Sapphire & Waimana

Sapphire and Waimana

Whangaroa Walk-About
photos ex Dean Wright

Dean took the camera on a wander down to the marina at Whangaroa on Saturday. From the photos above it appears the north are also enjoying our stunning autumn weather. These photos are just what they call ‘happy snaps’ to view some of Dean’s professional photography work click here

I went to the Hutchwilco Plastic Fishing Trailer Boat Show on Saturday & was pleased that I was fortunate enough to have not had to pay the $22 entry fee. There was not much there to excite a woody, but saying that I was surprized by the number of woodys I did bump into, mostly sniffing out small tenders & new fishing gear.

The speedster below was the exception & I only discovered it on the way out 🙂


Mooching Around Whangaroa




Mooching Around Whangaroa
photos ex Nathan Herbert

Last weekend Nathan took a break (based on the weather forecast) from working on Lucinda & headed north to Whangaroa for some R&R. He reports the fishing was good.
This collection of photos show some of the woodys Nathan spied in the harbour (Totara North) while aboard Korara.


leilani 2


photos & details from Brian Candy

Retired commercial fisherman, Brian Candy told ww that his friend, Michael Hayes,  who owns ‘Leilani’, which was Bill Hall’s first game fishing boat, has been trying to find out more on the history of her. They believe that Leilani was built by Tabbet and Cardot but that is all Michael has been able to find out.
Michael has spent a lot of money on her over the last ten years rebuilding and upgrading her to her former glory. Michael uses her for big game fishing and cruising & she is based at Whangaroa.

If any woodys  can come up with some history on her, both Brian & Michael would be very grateful.




photos & details ex Crispin Waddell

Crispin has owned the 1926 Collings & Bell launch Manaaki since 2013. Manaaki’s specs are – length: 11m, beam: 2.5m, draft: 1m & her current engine is a  1970’s Lees Marine Ford diesel 75hp. She is carvel planked, with full-length 32mm heart kauri planks over steam bent and laminated ribs, with less than 200mm spacing.
She cruises at 8knts. & tops out at around 12knts. but unlike some other boats of her era, Manaaki has more of planing hull & is flat at the stern & could do up to 16knts. with the right engine.
She is one of 6 boats build for the Zane Grey fleet – Alma G, Otehei & Avalon were the names of some of her sisters. Manaaki was originally fitted with a petrol Redwing engine.

Crispin has been involved with the boat since he was a child, (now 29). He bought her off the Hunt family. Like most of us he is always keen to find out stories and collect any old photo’s and history of the boat. She lived in the Whangaroa for around 30 years & there are a few photo’s of Manaaki on wall of the pub & records of all her catches in the Game Club up there.

Electrochemical Wood Damage
Crispin came across  the ww article about electrochemical damage & the timing was great as he is having problems with it occurring on Manaaki. It’s mainly happening in the area where the prop shaft sleeve comes through the keel under the floor. The kauri fluffs up around this area and he get lots of salt crystals. Thanks to the ww article he is hoping to get on top of this as it’s just started over the last 3 years.

If anyone knows the boat or has any old photo’s send them into ww, Crispin would also be interested in getting in contact with anyone from the boats past.

24-02-2018 Manaaki was anchored alongside me today at Motuihe Island, looking very smart 🙂




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Story & photos by Mark Lane

Built in 1914 by Lane Motor Boat Company for TM Lane and Sons who were timber millers in Totara North, 30′ x 7′.6″  She was taken north to Whangaroa.  She was a classic flat decker and I am not sure with what she was origonally powered with other than it was an air cooled motor.

My grandfather Clarence Lane (son of Thomas Major Lane) who was instrumental in setting up the Lane Motor Boat Company) went away on his honeymoon on Mapu in 1916   She was originaly built as a pleasure and workboat where her role primarily towing logs out of the local rivers and towing barges a role she filled over the next 30-40 year.

In 1939 she came back to Auckland to be repowered with a Scrips marine conversion of a Hercules truck motor producing 110hp.  This made her the fastest boat on the whangaroa harbour pulling around 22-24 knots

During the war she acted as the supply boat for the local gun emplacement at the heads of the Whangaroa Harbour and also towed for them targets between the heads and Stephenson Island.  My father Trevor Lane (son of Clarence) used her for crayfishing around this time as well. She was re-fastened in 1950.

By the 1960,s she was primarly a pleasure boat used by my father and his brother and their families for fishing picnicing etc.   In the 1970 she was repowered with a Fordson deisel  but by the mid 1980s she was largely unused and stored intially in a boatshed on the Lane and Sons property and subsequently in the tide in the “barge shed” where her seams having opened so much the tide came in and out of her.

In the late 1990,s Lane and Sons was being wound up and I brought her in an as is where is state.  Thus I am the 4th generation of my family to own her….

Trevor Ford (son of Sam Ford and a retired boatbuilder from the Lane Motor Boat Company) assessed her and undertook to rebuild her.  He showed me a hand-drawn picture of Mapu with a cabin and dodger and then proceeded to rebuild and repower her.  The project took him over three years in a barn on his property in the Bombay hills.

She was repowered with a Nanni convesion of a Kubota deisel (50 hp)

She was relaunched in 2003.  She heads north  in summer to Whangaroa her “home” for then retrns to Auckland at the beginning of winter and is berthd in Pine Harbour Marina.  She competed in the 2008 Rudder Cup race around sail rock and came second in her division.

Cruising speed  is 8.2 knots and full speed about 9.7-10.4knots depending on the cleanliness of her hull!!!.

I suspect the owner of Raindance will acknowledge she is pretty quick for her size and power.. (edited – the owner of Raindance hopes the CYA launch handicapper reads waitematawoodys 🙂  )