Bay of Islands Woodys






Bay of Island Woodys

Dean Wright has just sent in a few more photos from the BOI, as always stunning photography.
We have Alma G and Winsome fishing off Onewhero and Tapui coming through Kent Passage.
Hopefully I’ll be afloat this weekend and in case it slipped you by – next weekend is the BIGGIE – Mahurangi Regatta, the biggest woody event in NZ.
If you believe the MCC website – there is a classic launch parade, I understand the CYA are behind it, but details are a ‘little’ light’ 😦
I have cut and pasted below what appears on the MCC website and marked the parade assembly area / time i.e. 10.15am at Scotts Landing.
As per previous years, entry is a formality that a lot turn a blind eye to, you can just rock up on the day – as long as you are a classic and made of wood 🙂
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Remember to slip $20 cash into your pocket to pick up a copy of the Mahurangi Cruising Club year book – its a cracker
MCC YB 2020 Cover

Winsome (#3)

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Today’s story features a launch by the name of Winsome, there are already x2 Winsome named launches featured on WW (Winsome & Winsome II), today’s one is a 3rd.

I was contacted by Sonny Gough on behalf of their friend Lois Wood. Lois remembers her father’s launch, Winsome, being moored at Cox’s Bay Auckland in the 1950’s & Lois is curious to know if it still exists.

The above photos, although low quality, are the only ones she has of the vessel.

Input from Janet Watkins (Nee Pickmere)

“Attached (below) is a photo of Winsome in 1909 from a copy of the NZ Yachtsman, Dec 3. Looks like the same hull. She featured in those early magazines as an “Oil Launch” and racer and was owned & raced by Mr Cooper? When she was altered is unknown. 

My Grandfather, A.R. Pickmere, bought Winsome in 1924, A.H.Pickmere inherited her in 1943 and she is still owned by my brother in Whangarei (& currently in the Bay). We have not been able to verify when she was built and launched but from old records it was prior to 1918 possibly as early as 1914. Thanks to old diaries her story is well recorded with photographs from 1924.”


Input from Harold Kidd

The Pickmere WINSOME was built by Bailey & Lowe in 1918 for J H Foster. W A Wilkinson bought her in 1921 and renamed her WILMA. She soon reverted to WINSOME. Wilkinson sold her to Dr Phil Andrews of Russell in 1923. Janet’s grandfather A R Pickmere of Whangarei joined the delivery voyage North in June 1923 and bought her from Andrews in 1924. She had a 20/35hp Sterling from new.
The WINSOME pictured in NZ Yachtsman in 1909 WINSOME was a torpedo-stern 34 footer built in November 1907 by Bailey & Lowe for F J Cooper with a 12hp Hercules originally. Cooper sold her to C A Whitney of the Colonial Ammunition Co in 1920. Then there’s a name change I guess because she soon disappears under that name. It looks like she reverted to WINSOME later. There’s little doubt that the pic above is of the 1907 WINSOME.

I mentioned the other day the amount & size of wood floating around in the Waitemata Harbour. Barbara Cooke sent me the photo below of this monster log that was towed into Opua boat ramp earlier this week. The recent king tides and storm have more than likely released this thing from a beach or the likes. Oysters and other marine life were flourishing over it so would have been submerged for some considerable time. Scary stuff. Imagine hitting that…even at anchor would be enough to do a spot of damage.




photos ex Dean Wright

Winsome was built by Bailey & Lowe in 1918. More details can be viewed by searching her name in the ww search box.
The other launch in the photo is Arethusa, built in 1927 by Bob Brown & now owned by Dean Wright , again view more via the ww search box.

Photo below ex Harold Kidd of Arethusa under sail – rather fine looking

Arethusa & Winsome

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The Boats of H Pickmere

photos ex Dean Wright. details by Alan H

Arethusa was used extensively by Hereward Pickmere during WWII when he was employed by the Lands & Survey Dept. to survey Northland’s coastline. Arethusa started off life as a gaff rigged cutter (see b/w photo with a 30’ long boom), she was built in 1917 by Bob Brown at Sulphur Beach, Northcote. Carvel planked kauri – 33′ 4″ with a 11′ 7″ beam.  She was converted to a launch in approx. 1955 after being wrecked & salvaged post a grounding on Farewell Spit on a passage from New Plymouth to Nelson. You can view some wonderful old images of her & the Pickmere family cruises on Dean’s website:

Arethusa was sold in 1943 & the Winsome acquired. She is described as a 34′ flush-decked launch built by Bailey & Lowe (that will please HDK) in 1918 with a draft of 2′ 7″ & had previously been owned by Hereward’s father since 1923.

Both boats still live in the Bay of Islands & you can view further details on Arethusa here:

photos – the 2 colour photos of Arethusa and Winsome together were taken by Dean earlier this year in the Bay. The b/w sketch below of Winsome is ‘borrowed’ from Pickmere’s Atlas of the Northland coast.


Update 25-07-2018 ex Arethusa owner, Dean Wright. The cutting below show Arethusa leaving Auckland on-route to Suva.