Wooden Boats @ Whangarei Town Basin







Wooden Boats @ Whangarei Town Basin

Two weeks ago David Cooke and myself pointed the car north and did a day trip to Whangarei to view a few candidates for listing with the Wooden Boat Bureau. We were blessed with a stunning day, which made the quay side area at the Town Basin very pleasing to the eye. As we mooched around I snapped the above photos. With the boats shed owners taste in decorating you cant miss them 😉
A nice mix of sail and power, with a lot of live aboards.
I was pleased to see James Mobberley’s old classic – Falcon on a pile mooring, one day she will come back to her home – the Waitemata 🙂

Ruahine > Whizzbang SOS

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Ruahine, previously named Whizzbang is in need of urgent help / saving. The Taupo Harbourmaster has put the 26’ woody up for disposal (landfill) if no one acquires her before 21st July.
Ruahine was previously berthed at Nukuhau Marina, Taupo – where she was abandoned. She can be viewed on the hard at Lake Taupo Marina.
She was appeared before on WW (2013) but sadly she has ’slipped’ in terms of maintenance / presentation – hopefully someone will save her and return her to her previous state. Make sure you read the comments section. https://waitematawoodys.com/?s=Whizzbang&submit=Search
Powered by a 4 cya. Isuzu diesel.
There must be a woody looking for a low entry ($) project. Photo below of her in 2013, looking very smart.
If no one steps up and she is heading to the landfill – I want the forward cowl 😉

Update ex Paul Drake

The photo below shows RUAHINE  in happier times (c.1970’s) at Waihaha, Lake Taupo.
On her foredeck is Ray Perry who saved her the last time she was abandoned.
Paul commented that he wondered how many boats have the distinction of being abandoned twice in their lives, nearly 50 years apart?
She is certainly worthy of saving, and can get along quite quickly with her Isuzu.
Ruahine c.1970 ex Paul Drake
UPDATE 29-07-2019 GREAT NEWS !!!!

“Well, now I’m the new owner of ruahine formerly whizzbang.
She was delivered to my driveway last Saturday 27/7/19.
She seems to be in good nick. I plan to strip the hull, repair and repaint.
There is rot in the cockpit and a bit on the gunnal. So after hull it’ll be replace and rebuild the top. Inside will be a new refit.
Engine appears to be in working order, will give that an overhaul in time as well.
My go is to have her back in the lake by summer…..

I am very interested in any of her history, so if anyone can provide me with some leads on getting further info I’d really appreciate it.
I’ll keep you all updated with my progress.





waitematawodys has been contacted by Graeme Johnson, the grandson of Harold White, a previous owner of Whizzbang, who is seeking more information on her past & current whereabouts.
Graeme was able to supply the sepia photo above of Whizzbang from his grandfathers photo collection, the only image he has of the boat.

Harold Kidd believes that Whizzbang is now ‘Ruahine’ & like Graeme is keen to shed more light on the old girl.

I have also included below some photos of Whizzbang on Lake Taupo.

Percy Vos Lake Taupo 16' Boat + Whizzbang (middle) Picture%201 Whizbang480a

Harold Kidd Update

A few thoughts, probably wrong.

1. Because of the name, I guess Harold White was a returned soldier with experience of the German shells popularly called whizzbangs in the trenches in France.

2. There was a 25ft x 6ft 6in launch hull plus 17-25hp Sterling engine for sale by auction at Collings & Bell in June 1922 at the instructions of the “Taupo Steamship Co. Ltd”. Could this be WHIZZBANG?

3. If so, who built her, Collings & Bell or Bailey & Lowe who would have at least supplied the Sterling? Either builder is a possibility from the look of her, although I would pick Collings & Bell.

Update from Paul Drake (11/12/2013)

WHIZZBANG is going strong at Taupo, as RUAHINE, and is in the marina at the north end of the lake. She is in very good order. She is almost unrecognizable, having had a bow lift and new cabin some years ago – about 1960 – and was sold to Taupo man Ray Perry in the early 70’s as an abandoned vessel by the local boatyard to defray storage costs. Presently owned by local man Rod Campbell. My father used to tell me that the name WHIZZBANG related to her single.cylinder engine and the way it sounded.

Currently (15/03/2014) for sale on trademe