Another Day Another Woody Boat Yard

Another Day Another Woody Boat Yard

The Milford Slipway was looking very woody friendly this week, the yard full + Pacific was slotted in next door at the Milford Cruising Club yard.

The TCL is continuing on Valsan and Laughing Lady up for a pre summer tickle up.

Spindrift + Save A Classic From The Chainsaw


One of my ’spotters’,  Dean Wright, in the north sent in on Wednesday night the above photo of Spindrift. Dean commented that Spindrift was a newbie to him and myself also.

The photo shows her coming up the Kerikeri Inlet (Doves Bay). 

Can anyone enlighten us on Spindrift, there is an interesting mix of styles going on, but overall she looks very salty.


We have a long weekend coming up – Labour W/end – OCt 22nd > 24th) historically we tend to point the bow towards Kawau Island, weather permitting, if the weather gods are nice the plan is a catch up / drink ashore on Saturday at the Kawau Boating Club. Always very informal, so probaly around 3.30>4pm. If your around drop in.


The classic launch Parma recently had an oops and sank – story here

The insurance surveyor has advised they have offered up Parma at no charge other than removal costs from Hobsonville Marina Hardstand – if no takers by Oct 21st – she sadly will be cut up. Interested parties contact Simon Marshall via email

Woodys Classic Clevedon Cruise Report – Sept 2022 – 50+ Photos

6.45am – The Start
The magic hour for boat photography
Heading up the river
Dave Giddens – Auctioneer Supremo


Just back from a near perfect weekend cruising with a great bunch of classic wooden boat enthusiasts, up the Wairoa River to the Clevedon Cruising Club for an overnight shindig. 

The weekend had all the right ingredients – great weather, cool boats, nice people + mouth-watering food, that always = a winner. Todays photo gallery comes to us from my cameras and Jason Prew’s new out of the box iPhone 14 Pro (I need one, I’m buying one).

By now regular WW readers will be familiar with the format of the weekend – we meet off the entrance to the Wairoa River and then weave our way up river to the Clevedon Cruising Club. The flotilla berths at the CCC dock, in front of their clubhouse, then we ‘open’ the boats for club member to view. Happy hour tends to start early up the river, and this weekend it was even earlier. Later in the day we retire to the clubrooms for a shared BBQ dinner, and live music.

This year the club organised a number of raffles and a mystery auction – the club and Woodys collectively raised over $3,500 for the new fuel jetty. Well done to everyone involved – I indirectly won a new bilge pump (my cabin boy, bid on a mystery package and one of the included items was the pump – and my bonus – he doesn’t own a boat)

Boats participating in the cruise were – Allergy, Awariki, Lady Clare, Lady Ellen, Merita, Mokoia, My Girl, Ngaio, Ngarimu, Raindance, Smooth Operator, Trinidad, Waikaro.

I’ll let the photos tell the story. Below are two videos which highlight the two extremes of classic wooden craft – Raindance at 7.5 knots and Jason Prew’s – My Girl, doing est. 24 knots 🙂 Thanks to Jason and Ant Smit for the footage.

As always – click on photos to enlarge 😉 ENJOY. Details on more Woodys Classic events below.

Ps that dessert plate wasn’t mine and I’m too nice a person to name the owner…… and equally no story as to why there is a photo of a skipper dipping wet on his duck board 🙂

My Girl



Tony Marr sent in the above photo, dated c.1942 of Motukaraka, on the Hokianga Harbour showing the Launch – Omakura that his grandfather, George Harding, owned.

Tony commented that George operated the boat between 1920 > 1950, mainly fishing for mullet. In a previous life, Omakura was a creamery boat.

In the caption it states that the houses on the hill are Wi Gundrys, and the factory managers. The factory is behind the mangroves on the right, with the pump house and water tank above it. At the road there is Gundry’s building and General Store. Omakura is moored in front of the net stand.

Tony is keen to learn more about Omakura and what became of her.

Help Support A Great Boating Club

Next weekend is the Classic Woodys woodyCruise up the Wairau River to the Clevedon Cruising Club, thanks to the woody skippers that have RSVP’ed, fyi we have closed off accepting ‘entries’ but if any woody readers are feeling warm hearted, how about supporting the club in its fundraising for a new fuel jetty – read below the CCC flyer and buy a raffle ticket/s on $5. Lots of cool prizes. The contact for the tickets is Carol Parkes

I’ll be emailing skippers tomorrow with full details on the weekend.

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 




May 23rd – Moon Engines – Diesel Maintenance Workshop DONE

June 20th – Riverhead Tavern Lunch Cruise DONE

August 14th > 15th – Clevedon River Dockside BBQ (overnight) DONE

October 23rd > 25th – Woodys Long Weekend Cruise to Kawau Island (Labour Weekend) – Saturday morning Dinghy Cruise up Matakana River to Markets. Sunday evening dinner / gathering at Kawau Boating Club. POSTPONED – NEW DATE TBA

November 28th – Sunday – Riverhead  Tavern Lunch cruise


February 26th – Stillwater Dockside Afternoon Picnic

The above gatherings are put on to encourage classic boat owners to use and enjoy their boats more, and meet like minded people. 
We point out that the get togethers are not Classic Yacht Association (CYA) organised events. They have a cruising focus and the locations point to participation by launches but we welcome all classic vessels.Invitation to the events is via email and the website. If you would to be sent invites, simply send an email with your name, boat name & mobile # to
Closer to the actual dates, we send more details to attendees.

Madison Rose – A Peek Down Below

MADISON ROSE – A Peek Down Below
The launch Madison Rose made a brief appearance on WW back in Feb 2019, now thanks to tme and Ian McDonald we get to have a peek down below.Her design / builder is unknown, with a possible build date in the early 1900’s.

It is rumoured that in a past life she was a Marlborough Sounds Mail delivery boat. Madison Rose is approx. 33’ in length and powered by a 80hp Ford diesel that gets her along at 8 knots.Home port is Nelson.

If I didn’t know better I would say that Jason Prew had a hand in those davits 🙂 Nothing a small tungsten tipped chainsaw couldn’t fix.

Previous WW story at link below

RSVP – Boat name and approx. # attending to