Chamberlains Bay Classic Launches  – Golden Hour

Bottom end of Waiheke Island
Chamberlains Bay
Summer Wine
Sea Fever
Isle of Arran
Summer Wine & Takahoa

Chamberlains Bay Classic Launches  – Golden Hour

The truely talented boating photographers talk about the ‘golden hour’, the period just before sunset and just after dawn. Rarely in a bay is it an hour, sometimes it is 10>15 minutes before the sun disappears behind the hills or clouds.

On the Thursday before Easter, this average photographer (me) arrived in Chamberlains Bay, Ponui Island at just the right time and captured some special photos of the woody launches gathering for the Woody Classics Weekend cruise the next day up the Waihou River to Paeroa.



Had a wonderful response to Mondays story asking for help locating a source of kauri for the rebuild of the fire damaged classic launch – Kokoru. Currently fine tuning the exact requirements and will be back in touch with the good folk that reached out with potential solutions 🙂

EASTER – Looking To Do Something Special

On behalf of WW – Jason Prew has been pulling together an amazing Easter cruise. The plan is to cruise up the Waihou River to the township of Paeroa for the weekend. To ensure a safe passage up the river there will be a local woody piloting.

Due to space restraints the guest list is limited to 12 boats – and as of today there are only 2>3 vacant spots.

Cruising experiences like this trip are rare so contact Jason  for more details and to grab a spot. 

Weekend Overview:

Easter Friday > Meet at Thames / Kopu bridge. Travel in convoy to Paeroa 

Saturday        > do the “tourist things” Museum visit, shops etc

Sunday         > return down river in afternoon

Sunday night / Monday  > free to do your own thing

Part of the weekend will be a visit to the Paeroa Historic Maritime Museum and Park (you’ll be moored in front), the venue is one of the best displays of NZ and local maritime history including Captain Cook, The Northern Steamship Co., Naval displays and many scale replicas of vessels. 

Gay Dawn + Woody Riverhead Tavern Cruise


At the recent CYA round Rangitoto race > cake day > BBQ one of the participating launches was the c.1953 Bill Waters built 34′ bridge decker – Gay Dawn. Gay Dawn has made several appearances on WW, links below, but today we get to also see her underway. Gay Dawn is built like a brick outhouse – carvel planked kauri, hardwood ribs and a pohutukawa stem. 

Forward motion comes via a Ford 120hp diesel engine, that delivers an impressive turn of speed. 

After a spell in the Bay of Plenty (Tauranga) GD is back home in Auckland. 



Update 11-04-2022 Please to see that Gay Dawn has lost the bow rail (ex a Haines Hunter?) – looks very cool nude. Fingers crossed its a permanent thing 🙂


Not to late to RSVP to

Full details will be emailed out to RSVP list.

Mooching Around Dargaville + Woodys Labour Weekend Kawau Cruise 

Mooching Around Dargaville

Back in Nov 2020 Jason Prew took a wrong turn heading north and end up in Dargaville, so being almost as noisy as me when it comes to wooden boats, he popped down to the river and snapped off photos of the above woodys. 

Woodys Labour Weekend Cruise

Details below. Save the dates  – 23 > 25 Oct.

The plan is on Saturday morning is to drop the pick at Sandspit and take the dinghies up the Matakana River to the Matakana Township > Market. Sunday will be a gathering at the Kawau Boating Club. All to be confirmed with more details soon 🙂
Mooching Around Dargaville + Woodys Labour Weekend Kawau Cruise