Des Townson  – A Sailing Legacy

 

P1060549

 

 

P1060540

IMG_2434

IMG_2435

 

 

P1060534

 

 

 

 

Des Townson  – A Sailing Legacy

Back in July Brian Peet contacted me about his latest book publishing project, Des Townson – A Sailing Legacy. Brian asked if I would like to attend the launch night, a smallish gathering in the dinghy locker at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron – of course I said yes and a few days later an advance copy of the book arrived via courier. Well that buggered my plans for that day 🙂
I later asked Brian if I could sneak a couple more onto the invite list, which happened. Then Brian lets me know that things have snow balled and the launch was now in the main ballroom at the RNZYS, things had stepped up a few notches.
Fast forward to last night and the who’s who of yachting is crammed into the Squadron. My guess would be 400+ people. Speakers were the Squadron Commodore Ian Cook, Des’s younger brother – Bill Townson and Brian Peet. Ian built six Zephyrs under Des Townson’s supervision, won the National Champs in 1980. Bill Townson is a skilled boatbuilder, yacht designer and amphibian aircraft designer/builder.
I sneaked in early any took a few photos and videos of some of the exhibits, which included a Starling, Zephyr, Mistral and a 1956 replica of Des Townson’s first commercial design Nimble. What most caught my eye, was the Townson 2.4m dinghy on display that had just been built by Allan Hooper at the NZ Traditional Boatbuilding School. Its for his own use, but if you ask me it should be should be on display somewhere. Talking to Allan I understand the school will have ‘build your own’ kits and how to classes – perfect opportunity to own a Townson.
I later filmed Brian’s talk / presentation, see below – it is a wonderful insight into how the book came about and challenges Brian had over the 10 years it took to complete it.
 
As I have said before – its a great read, buy it, you won’t be sorry – as Brian said last night – it is a “sailing book, about a sailor, written by a sailor”.
 
Enjoy the video, then buy the book – either via the website https://destownson.co.nz  or if you prefer to do a bank transfer, email Brian with your name and postal address and he will reply with bank account details – its that easy  brian@destownson.co.nz 
 
Oops nearly forgot –  Details on how to win a copy of the book on WW, later in the week.

 

IMG_2454

Westport Work Boat Wednesday

IMG_7274

Westport Work Boat Wednesday

Todays photos come to us from Andrew Hewitt and were taken in December 2018.
A nice collection, including a few laid up old woodys whose fishing days look over.
Any of the woodys owned, worked or rubbed up against these old girls?
Input from Harold Kidd – Great pics of great boats! ANTARES is surely the Roger Carey ANTARES of 1963?
Update – photos below ex Cameron  Pollard

Could This Be Zephyr

Screen Shot 2019-03-19 at 6.03.33 PM

Screen Shot 2019-03-19 at 5.46.40 PM

Screen Shot 2019-03-19 at 5.47.36 PM

Could This Be Zephyr

Woody Nathan Herbert spotted the launch above on trademe – the photo show her name as Belinda Lee and the list says she was built in 1940, is 36’ in length.
Current zoom zoom is via a 1952 Ford 120hp diesel. The photos look a little scary but there are the bones of a good woody here if you had the time and budget to attach the above the waterline issues.
Current home is Christchurch, so that may limit her appeal to woodys north of Cook Straight, but the price at <$5k is right, if the Ford is healthy 😉
(b/w photo c.1948 ex K Ricketts)
So Woodys – was Belinda Lee, Zephyr in an other life?

Mystery Bay of Islands Launch (Raurangi ?) – 14-09-2018

32186909_10155649735310669_2937829669950455808_o

29433310_10155532573780669_8274193975359832064_o

Mystery Bay of Islands Launch (Raurangi ?)- 14-09-2018

In both of the above photos we see a very smart day boat, in the boat house photo we also see beached a motor boat with what appears to be the name ‘Zephyr’ on her bow.
The photos come to use ex Ross Griffin, via the BOI’s Historic Photos fb.
Anyone able to ID the launch? She is rather cute i.e. not a workboat, so chances are someone will recall her, the gent aboard or the boasted.
Update from Hylton Edmonds – who has advised that the photos above originate from the late Coralie Hilton (nee Deeming) Collection via Gavin Bedgegood,  a Deeming relation too.
The new photo below, shows the young school boy (possibly a Deeming?) very proudly standing on what looks to be the same boat, newly launched.
10-07-2019 Harold Kidd Input – H.B. Melton ran her in the Russell Regatta race for launches 6 knots & under in early January 1913. She came third. She must have been launched no later than December 1912. Very up to date with that raised foredeck and neat dodger, an exact contemporary of Collings & Bell C & B JUNIOR, a very similar craft. A very pretty launch.
Coralie Hilton - 137

Safari

SAFARI HISTORY
 
From recollections of Zelda Batterton (Nee,  McGuire) eldest daughter of Trevor Innes McGuire.
8 December 2012
 
Safari was built by refrigeration engineer and inventor Trevor McGuire during World War II.
Trevor was a business ownerwho had several businesses over the years. One of these was a business making refrigerators for Bond and Bond, Fisher and Paykel and McAlpine. He also had a building business in Fiji and a sawmill in Samoa. Trevor was also a founder of the Royal Suva Yacht Club. Prior to McGuire refrigeration he owned a saw mill located in the Waitakere ranges where the firm ran a Kauri logging business.
 
During the war the refrigeration business manufactured sectioned coolrooms and commercial refrigerators, which were invented by Trevor. Some of these were used by the Americans to store their deceased soldiers in before they were shipped back to America. The business was originally in Manukau Rd in Epsom, with about 6 employees, and the boat was built in a field out the back of the factory. A new factory was later built at 25 Fairfax Avenue Penrose. The refrigeration business was eventually sold to Fisher and Paykel around 1947, and the Paykel families were known to be onboard Safari during for weekend excursions.
 
Boat designer Dick Lang was a friend of Trevor’s, the two met in Fiji and the plans used for the boat were Dick Lang’s. A sister boat,  “Zephyr” was built later using the same plans. Zephyr was built by the Ellerslie Mayor at the time Horace Whyte, also a friend of Trevor’s . Zelda recalls going into the forest to collect Pohutukawa for the knees. Apparently they had to be carefully selected to be the right shape but in those days it was okay to chop up native trees. The NZ sourced kauri timber Safari was built from came from Newmarket, most likely from Odins Timber Company.
 
Safari was launched around 1940 in Mechanics Bay after being shipped by truck from Manukau Rd.
Trevor’s wife Madge did not like the water but she always came out on Safari to do the cooking. As “petrol” was still scarce, anyone coming out on Safari would donate war time petrol coupons. Trevor always wore a hat and had a cigarette dangling from his lips. He also had a ‘twinkle in his eye.” Zelda says they were very lucky children to have such fantastic parents and a brilliant childhood. Many hours were spent on the boat although due to the shortage of petrol this was mostly around Waiheke and Rangitoto Island.
 
[Just between us Zelda say’s with a smile] Safari had 26 people on board to go out and meet the NZ warship Achilles. Trevor took Safari across the bow of Achilles and a loudhailer boomed out “Will that launch please get out of the way”, whereupon Trevor apparently said “We’re smaller than them, they have to give way.” Madge was not impressed.
 
During the war Safari’s boat ID number was 1263. All boats had to have a large number for identification. A boom was placed from Devonport to Bastion Point to deter enemy vessels, with a small gap in the middle that was closed at night. Trevor came back too late one day to meet the curfew and had to stay outside the boom, where spotlights would be beamed across the boat during the night.
 
In the early years Safari was extended in length by Trevor McGuire, Zelda seems to think from 33 or 34’ to 38’