Classic Wooden Boats At Waikawa Marina

Classic Wooden Boats At Waikawa Marina

Following on from last Mondays story where we shared Dean Wright’s recent Southern trip and a gallery of photos from the Havelock marina todays photo gallery comes to us from the Waikawa marina. Some stunning woodys and remember – click on photos to enlarge 😉

A lot of woodys that are new to WW and they will morph into WW stories in their own right.

Enjoy 🙂


The big bridgedecker with 4 ports is RAHEMO (launched as Strathmore), built by Dick Lang.

Others I can positively identify are (from the top):

VECA (Arthur Sang)

VAGABOND (Joe Jukes)





HUNTRESS (possibly McManaway designed/built?)

VARUA (Bob Swanson)

OSPREY (Harold Saunders)

PALOMINO (Bob Swanson)

TOANUI (Roger Carey)

Yacht ANNA JANE (?)

NUKUMEA (American “Bartender” design by George Calkins)

YVONNE (Bob Swanson)


Unknown fishing boat

KATOOMBA (Dorman Engineering, Nelson – not wood, built in Corten Steel!!)

Unknown (possibly Bruce Askew?)

CORYLUS (Bruce Askew)

TAREPO (launched TAREPA)


? (looks like a McManaway or Morgan fishing boat design?)

? (under the covers)

CRISTINA (Athol Burns)


Most of these have featured previously on WW, so a quick look in the search bar will glean more details if interested.


The above photos were sent to me by Bill Brown, Bill’s family were a previous owner of my launch so I always open his emails asap.Bill’s  family owned Yvonne for a couple of years in the early 1970’s keeping her in a boat shed at Kissing Point, Whangarei. She was kept there prior to our purchase and Bill’s father approached the owner to buy her even though she was not on the market at the time. These black and white photos were taken on a box brownie while Yvonne was at anchor in the harbour.I saw Yvonne 2 weeks ago motoring past Greg Lees shed at Sandspit, I think post some work at the Greg Lees Boatbuilders yard. Yvonne last appeared on WW in 2014

Also from Bill was a heads up on a rather sweet 2.2m Ian Oughtred design sailing clinker dinghy for sale on tme – search Ian Oughtred and it will pop up. Perfect eye candy for the Lake Rotoiti bach 🙂

Working Waterfront Boatbuilders Shed – 50 photos













Working Waterfront Boatbuilders Shed – 50 photos

As I’ve send many times before, if your want a stunning day weather wise, schedule a Classic Yacht Association event – the hit rate must be 9/10.

Over 100 CYA members & friends made the trip north to Lees Boatbuilders at Sandspit – our host for the day, Greg Lees, turned on a brilliant woody event – we had everything – woody projects underway, the best collection of 1/2 models I seen outside of the RNZYS walls, a photo montage recording the history of the yard & the vessels built over the years.

 Center stage was Jenny & Angus Rogers – Mahanui, in the shed for a new deck, alongside her was a very original Chris Craft that was getting a restoration. 

The varnish guru Dale has already applied 23 coats, with 6 more to come. Compared to our old girls, these American woodys are very lightly built, amazing that so many have survived.

Outside we had Anna & Nic Davidson’s – Juanita, on one slip & Barbara & David Cooke’s woody flagship – Trinidad, alongside the wharf. In midstream was Yvonne, waiting her turn in the shed.

On the hard was a selection of small craft built by either Greg, his father Tim or other local craftsman. Not woodys but certainly classic were Greg’s two English built, aluminium Albatross runabouts – the very rare 4 seater is next on Greg’s to-do list. Included are a few photos of other woodys in or out of the water.

Greg gave an articulate talk on his families boatbuilding history & how they came to be situated on the Sandspit foreshore. At the end he announced the official launch of the 2018 Rudder Cup launch race to be run on Friday 14th December to Sail Rock & back. See flyer below, I encourage all woody owners to consider participating. At this stage we (I’m on the race committee, along with Jason Prew, Nathan Herbert, Baden Pascoe & Barbara & David Cooke) are calling for expressions of interest in racing – entry to the race is by invitation, as per the original race format in 1908.

 Big ups to Greg & family + staff for turning on the day, including BBQ. Special thanks also to the CYA committee members that pulled it all together. 

Lastly a little something below for the petrol heads – Greg had on display his Jesser BSA 500cc twin, hill climb racer. Built in 1962 by Les Jesser, she is a 2 time Australian  class champion. 



CYA Rudder Cup 2018 flyer


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The 38′ classic launch Yvonne was built in 1954 by Swanson in the Marlborough Sounds. She is a very distinctive design & with a 160hp Isuzu diesel she must left her skirt & really get up & go. Based in the Sounds & after 22 years of ownership, Yvonne is now ready for a new owner. Thx to Ian McDonald for the trademe heads up 🙂

Anyone able to supply more details on her?

Input from John Wicks
“Very “avante garde” styling for the time – and still looking good!!!
Bob Swanson built her at Blackwood Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound, for Jack Thompson, a farmer out Ward way, who kept her for many years – could be she’s only had 2 owners? Jack named after his wife, Yvonne, a very gracious lady.
Can’t remember what her original engine was, but I do recall Jack talking about the possibility of putting in a small gas turbine. At the time there were experiments overseas with these, but I don’t know how serious he was.
Jack was a friend of my father’s (Sorry Alan) and when the first Picton marina was built they moved into adjacent berths. IIRC this involved a certain amount of the testing of water purifying fluids.”

05-05-2017 – A Peek Down Below
Thanks to the photos below ex Jo Utting (owners family) via Ken Ricketts we get a glimpse of what must be her original  interior.


Where Is She Now?

Photo 2006 Mahurangi Regatta ex Jason Prew

All I know is that I saw her a couple of years ago hauled out at the Te Atatu Boat Club & last year I snapped a photo of her leaving the Viaduct Basin one afternoon.
Its claimed that she is possibly built by Lanes c.1924 – and I can hear Harold Kidd going “and weren’t  they all” when he reads this 🙂

She may have been a CYA boat in the mid / late 2000’s.

Harold Kidd Input

I can’t find the exact provenance for YVONNE but she was in existence in January 1924. Her long term owner (and possibly her first owner) was Andrew Ernest Graham of Browns Bay, later Takapuna. He was a painter and decorator by trade and kept YVONNE in Milford Creek. Later he moved to Te Aroha and sold YVONNE to H. Henderson in 1930. Henderson sold to B.G. Gribbon in 1936. In 2001 she was pretty derelict at Te Atatu but was nicely overhauled by Tony Broughton to her present state.
The story is that she was built by Lanes and that is entirely likely, but she could just as well have been built by any number of Auckland builders from, say, 1912 to to 1924 and may even have started life as a flushdecker under a different name.

PS However, I think she was brand new in January 1924 when she was scratch boat in the Anniversary Regatta launch race for launches under 7 knots, indicating probably that she had not raced before. The following year she was in the race for 7 to 9 knots but broke down..