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Parade of Classic & Wooden Boats

Lake Rotoiti

North Island, New Zealand.

1940 to 1959


Vintage Launch "Nautilus". Kauri planked launch built by Lane's in Auckland 1948.
Was brought to Lake Rotoiti in 1996 by Buzz Rathbone & Gus Gardner. Before that she was at Tauranga.
Length: 8.5m
Now owned by Robin & Anne Sinclair who purchased her in 2012.
Awarded "Most meticulously presented boat" 2003




"Mary Rose"  Owners: Bill & Cherry Fowler.  4.9 metre steam launch built around 1948 by Alf Dickenson, who at the time owned the Rainbow Motor Camp at Ngongotaha. He built 3 of these kauri clinker dinghies to take his paying guests across Lake Rotorua to Hamurana Springs. The Savage family who had a holiday bach at Ngongotaha bought it and had it for most of its' life. It was salvaged from under a hedge in a derelict state and extensively repaired between 2000 - 2002 by Bill & Cherry Fowler, named Mary Rose and converted to a steam launch. It is now based at Lake Rotoiti. The steam boiler and motor were made by W Larsen. The motor is a single cylinder 2.5 x 2.75 and the boiler a vertical fire tube.
Awarded "Best Boat" 2004 Parade




"Waimata"  Owner: Thomas Corson, Built: 1946, Length: 7.9m. Built in Auckland in 1946 and used on Auckland harbour until moved to Rotoiti in 1952.
Awarded "Best hull built 1940 to 1959" 2003
Launch, Merit Award, 2005 Parade.



"Baldrick" Owner: Don Penn. She was built by Percy Vos, Boat Builder of Auckland for John and Jean Skeates to hand written instructions of Mr Skeates. She was first launched in the Ohau Channel, Rotorua in January 1954.
Then named Ngaku, the Skeates owned her until October 1978.
Length 16', Beam 5'9", Draught 1'7". Original Engine, Stuart 8hp twin 2stroke.
Main materials: Keel, heart kauri.  Stem, pohutukawa natural crook.  Planking, heart kauri.
Timbers, bent mangaeo.  Fore and aft decks, teak.
When Don purchased Baldrick from Mr Roy Douglas of Herald Island in July 1991, there was no name on her. About this time he spoke with Jean Skeates whose husband John had then recently died. Jean talked about the Ohau Channel launching and asked if the original name NGAKU was still on the boat. It was, but it was not until 10 years later when Don stripped all paintwork, that the name Ngaku became visible.
Serious conversion to steam started 8th June 1999 with the arrival of engine plans from engine designer Ray Hasbrouck, USA. With much help from fellow steamboater Murray Hall and also Graeme Wilkinson, a retired mariner and boiler inspector who designed Baldrick's boiler, the project began. Baldrick has consumed about 1000 hours, in what for Don was largely unknown territory spread over 5 years. Baldrick performs well, 5 knots is Graeme's estimate. She has a decent cockpit and can seat 10, although with 8 it doesn't feel crowded.



"Cappy" was built in 1953.
Designer: Bailey,
Length: 8.5m.
Spent early life at Paremata - owned by Mr. Roberts in early 1960's. In early 1980's sold to Mr. Pain and became neglected. A local boat builder Brian Billings was next owner and in 1986 she was relaunched in river at Mana after being completely rebuilt in a shed at Craters Edge. Cappy spent short time at Napier before going to Waikawa where, after owner's financial troubles, she was sold to Ron Spinks of Christchurch in 1988. At Ron's funeral 3-4 years later the story was told of how he, with his mate, his lunch box and a big bottle of gin, had motored "Cappy" to Lyttleton. Purchased by Kevin Wild in 1992 she was altered to make her more comfortable. With her wood burning stove worth its weight in gold during Lyttleton winters, she was always the boat for socialising. Owned by John Anderson since 1998, she was refitted at Peter Marks yard in Tauranga. Now kept at Otaramarae.


Owner: Julie Raw, Length: 5.3m, "Kaiama"  is an ex naval cutter fitted with an Enfield 15 hp. air-cooled horizontally opposed 2 cylinder diesel inboard motor. She first served on the Royal Australian minesweeper Kaiama in 1943 and then spent some time with the Tauranga Sea Cadets and, while with them, she was stuck under the wharf with the tide coming in and sunk. She subsequently sold at auction and extensively rebuilt. She was not used for a period of approx. 10 years and then sold to Sheryl & Malcolm Carter around 2000/01. She was again sold in 2002 to Graham & Julie Raw and is now resident on Lake Rotoiti. Built 1943.




"Howick-Citing" was built in 1955. Length: 6.7m
Owner: Morrin Cooper
This vessel was the original Howick Sea Rescue boat, and was commissioned following the tragic drowning of 3 teenage boys at Howick beach.




"Spray"  Owner: Michael Low, Length: 5.8m 
Built in 1957 by Palmerston North Extension Ladder Co, this Fleetcraft Voyager powered with Volvo Penta B1600 4 cylinder with stern drive. Original colour was white with light blue deck, cabin top and waterline with varnish finished cabin. Used as a small fishing vessel in the Marlborough Sounds. Purchased by Kim Naylor from Wellington and brought up to Lake Rotoiti around 1980. Based at Okawa Bay Motor Camp where it was used with little change until the close of the Motor Camp when the present owner then purchased it in 1982. It has since resided at the Okere Falls arm. The interior has been fitted out with more seating and the fishing gear removed. Still runs original motor and stern leg that to the best of owners knowledge has never had any major work with around 1200 hours recorded on the hour meter.


Built by Patel & Sons, boat builders of Portobello Dunedin in 1959 for the proprietor of a sports shop in Queenstown, "Nicola" boated Lake Whakatipu until purchased by Dr. B J H Insull of Invercargill in 1963. Used mainly on Lake Te Anau, but also on Lakes Manapouri and Wanaka. Powered originally by a Johnson out board, Nicola was fitted with a blue band 65 hp Mercury in 1974. Nicola provided many happy hours of boating, loved by the Insull family for nearly 40 years. Nicola was gifted to the present owners, Angus & Gaye France of Hamurana in February 2001. Length: 4.9m
Over the last 2 years(2004 & 2005) the hull and deck have been restored to original condition.  Both were sanded back to bare wood, the hull has been painted and the deck varnished. The windows have been replaced, a new transom fitted and the interior upholstery renewed also to replicate how it was when purchased by the previous owners in 1963.
Further improvements to the interior are planned, however the plan is to enjoy having her back in the water for a while first!
Grateful thanks to Danny Pearce, boat builder and Grant Kershaw of The Polish Shop for their help and expertise and also to Tony Mitchell for his useful tips and advice.


"Skinny Boat"  Owner: Ross Birchall, This 12'9" Albatross was built in England in 1952 for Sir William Stevenson who owned her until 1990. The boat has lived on Lake Rotoiti all its life and is powered by a Ford 100E engine with a top speed of 33 mph. Although built from aluminium this boat's age and history on Rotoiti  makes it something special.





"Albie"  Owned by Dave Paul. 1955 12'9" Aluminium Ski boat. Built by Albatross Marine Ltd.




"Mickey Mouse" 12'9" Albatross Sports Runabout Mk III. 1956  Owned by Richard Stevens.
This is an NZ new, 2 owner boat and has been on Rotoiti all its life. Privately imported by the Steele family (Moose Lodge Bay), purchased by us in 1967 ($750.00) and used extensively on the Lake as teenagers' transport. Underwent an engine rebuild and repaint (original colour) in 1980 and remained unused until the engine was started December 2010. This boat is otherwise unmolested and all original, including the comprehensive owners maintenance manual and has an alloy luggage rack and rubber buffers on each transom corner which were factory options.



"Little Fizzy" Owned by Greg Lees. 1951 Albatross Marine 12'9" Aluminium speed boat.





Other facts as known or recalled by Richard Stevens:
Factory Dimensions: 12'9 x 4'7 x 1'3
Weight: 575 lbs (261 kg)
Alloy thickness (mm): Bottom 2.56, Sides 2.03, Deck 1.62
Speed: Cruise 25mph @ 3100 rpm, WOT 34 mph @ 4200
Fuel consumption (built-in 25 litre tank): 25mph: 3 miles per litre (75 mile range); 34mph 2 miles per litre (50 mile range).
This model reverted to a single SU carburetor. The manual explains that it gives the same speed with less maintenance and better economy..
Local history (1950s-60s:
Campbell Motors (Queen St Auckland) were the NZ agents.
The Beamish-White family at Okataina Lodge had a fleet as "Drive U-Self" hire boats, including a 4-seater with Coventry Climax version of the engine and one of the two seaters had a factory alloy-framed full height 4-pane glass windscreen.
They also had a set of hull jigs and did all their own maintenance on site including re-skinning.
These boats took a hammering and were eventually replaced by outboard-powered craft.
Les Warner ran a small hire fleet from his home at Hinehopu. (I recall as a kid seeing one as a crumpled mess after crashing into the jetty at speed.)
There was also a hire fleet on the Rotorua lakefront. These were painted red. One allegedly sank and was never recovered.  
There was also a fleet at Queenstown. These may have been the remnants of the Rotorua hire fleet.
The boat in these fleets may be doubleups. I do not know how many boat there actually were in total.
In addition to the Stevensons and ours there were two more on the Lake during the '60s. One was the Annabel family, the other the McDonalds. (I saw their boat in Auckland a few years ago, complete and painted black)
Greg Lees has completed a long-term restoration at his boatyard at Sandspit

These boats are the MG Midget of the water. They don't have excessive power in their standard format, but they are fast, nimble, well designed and beautifully built with excellent handling. They are simple, cheap to run, easy to maintain and, above all, great fun. 
These boats have held classic status worldwide for many years now and are highly collectible.
It is pleasing to see that they are finally acknowledged on Rotoiti.


The 2012 Parade saw the entry of three of these classic aluminium Albatross Speed Boats built in the 1950's
Albatross Marine (1949-1966) was a British manufacturer of very light aluminium speedboats primarily used for Water skiing on lakes. The company was created by two English engineers, Peter Hives (son of the Rolls-Royce Limited director of that time, Lord Hives), and Archie Peace (an aeronautics engineer trained up by the Bristol Aeroplane Company), in St. Olaves (Great Yarmouth, England).
By applying the techniques they knew, and using the after-war surplus of aluminium, they created the first Albatross Mk1 runabout in 1949.
Names of owners included Stirling Moss, Bridget Bardot, George Formby, Prince Rainier of Monaco (owner of six craft), Prince Philip and Jon Pertwee.
Around 1200 Albatross were built, from which 800 two-seaters (600 MkI), and 400 four-seaters.
The Sports Runabout model was a 2 seater speedboat, 12 ft 9 inch long powered by a marinised Ford Prefect engine of 1172cc. It could reach speeds of 30.5 mph.
The Mark I version had a single carburettor, and the Mark II had twin carburetters for extra power.

"Speedy Fossil"  Owned by Cameron Paul. 1952 12' De Havilland aluminium dinghy. The motor was purchased new with the boat and runs like a dream. He has been slowly restoring it between fishing trips.
De Havilland Marine was a division of Hawker de Havilland Australia Pty. Ltd.
Following the downturn of aviation manufacturing in the late 1950s, the Australian subsidiary of De Havilland looked to produce products utilizing the skills and knowledge available to the company. It found a ready market in the production of a range of small aluminium boats made using techniques similar to those employed in the aircraft industry.
Legendary voyages in small production boats men and women have put to sea in small boats since time immemorial. But some of the greatest Australian small-boat adventures seem to be forgotten or, perhaps, buried in history after being considered foolhardy by today's standards. Time to reflect if not resurrect the feats.
Take the mighty De Havilland Sea Topper that two men took by sea from Sydney to Melbourne, a distance of 700 miles, in mid-winter. The narrow-gutted pop-riveted 12' tinnie was billed as a sea-going boat, with the usual safety proviso accompanying subsequent ads.
Today, authorities would consider you foolhardy to attempt such a voyage. But my grandfather was among the many who subsequently bought a Sea Topper based on this promo trip.
In Sydney, Leon Simons and Brian Dodd from De Havilland Marine pulled the cord on their 9.9hp Johnson outboard on July 8, 1965. They planned just two overnight stays - in Batemans Bay and Eden - preferring to run the boat in four hour shifts.
A modified, vee hull, the Sea Topper was touted for its smooth ride. I know from experience it also broached. The boat features built-in foam floatation, while the crew wore Taft life jackets and had a two-way radio.
Eventually, they made it to Melbourne and in such fine form their tinnie was put on display at the Melbourne Boat Show that opened two weeks after they set off.


"Te Huia"  Owner:  Wrey Finucane, Built: 1948, Length: 5.2m. Believed built in Otaramarae and originally named "Miss Vim". Mr W P Taylor purchased the house and boat from a Mr Hartley some 20 years ago. The motor originally came from a Lancaster bomber and was used to open the bomber doors. It was then purchased by Mr John Leary for cash and a bottle of whisky in the late 70's. The whisky is still believed to be maturing. Mr Leary sold the boat to his nephew. The Mains family removed the superstructure and sold the boat to Mr Jerome Cleaver. Mr Cleaver used the boat once and then stored it in his hay barn for 10 years. Present owner acquired the boat in 1999. He restored the hull, built a new superstructure and changed the motor. The motor was an Anolt seamite motor, (American sea motor) and fitted a Morris 8 series E motor. He then renamed the boat "Te Huia" because it had been extinct. The owner would appreciate any further information.


"Aratu" means "The Pathway to Great Heights". Built in 1940 out of heart kauri and is a mullety hull. She is 17 feet (5.1m) long with a 6'6" beam. She boasts two berths and she has been repowered with a two cylinder diesel (Drofin) engine and can strut her stuff at a cool nine knots, (hopefully). Aratu was originally owned by the late Italian commercial fisherman named Nic Nicholais whom legend has it, at the outbreak of WW2 (in case of an invasion) repowered her so she could go faster in reverse than forward! (He reckoned it was in case she was attacked from the rear). After a few rums he used to boast "Aratu" caught more fish per foot of boat than any other Nino in the BOP. He retired and sold her to a keen fisho, Barry Hall of Te Puna, who with his brother won the 1987 NZ Open Game Fishing Nationals with a 190 kg shark. Along with his wife Leslie, Aratu has overnighted at Mayor Island and most offshore islands between Bowen Town to Maungatapu. Present owner: Tom Riddington.


"Ngaru"  Owners: Richard Beaver & Annette Keid, Length: 6.4m. Built by Percy Voss of Auckland in 1955 for his son in law to use on the Waikato river as a charter boat. Later sold to Judd Davy and used extensively on Lake Rotorua for many years. Sold again to Mike Benny and Don Wykes who removed the original twin teak cockpits, fitted a cabin and used her for fishing charter. She stood for 3 - 4 years on the hard in Howick until purchased by Geoff and Joan Bracken in April 2000. They fitted her with a Nissan diesel engine. The present owners purchased her in time for the 2005 parade.



The "African Queen" is 5.2 metres long. The designer and builder are unknown. As far as is known, the African Queen of clinker mahogany construction, was built in Auckland in 1941 and brought directly to Lake Tarawera. A recent owner was Max Huesler of 591 Spencer Road, who kept the boat in reasonable condition and in 1990 put a new 12 hp "Sole" diesel engine in her which probably replaced a Ford 10 petrol motor. He sold the boat with the property in 1999. The new owners liked the boat but had little inclination to restore it and sold it in a dilapidated condition to the present owners, John & Susan Shaw in March 2000. The transom was replaced which was quite rotten, all the windscreens were replaced and additions made to the boats internal storage. At the same time several non original appendages were removed. During this process John's long suffering wife found out that "boat" is an acronym for "bring out another thousand". The whole boat was stripped back to bare timber and revarnished and repainted. Presently used mostly on Lake Ohakuri south of Rotorua.
Awarded "Most original vessel" 2003,    Awarded "Best original Launch, Powerboat or Yacht". 2004 Parade


                                                                             "Courtship"  Owner: Terry Howard, Length :5m.
Purchased by Peter Marks in 1993 as a derelict hull, the boat was converted from a trailer sailer to a cabin boat and fully restored by Courtney Marks and Michael Hawthorne who were both aged 8.
After 4 years of hard work for the boys, removing the centreboard and adding a cabin along with many months spent stripping, sanding and painting, the boat was relaunched on December 6th 1997, Courtney's 13th birthday.
Peter Marks is a professional boatbuilder but restricted his role to supervision. The boys built up "an incredible comradeship" during the restoration which cost very little in financial terms. "When people heard what the boys were doing they donated stuff, and every birthday and Christmas, Courtney would get a can of filler or paint or something else for the boat".
The launching was attended by friends, relatives, neighbours and others who had watched and encouraged the boys progress over the years. Purchased by current owners April 1999. 



"Dab Chick"  Owners: Michael & Jayne Humphries, Length: 5.6m. Carvel kauri launch believed to have been built at Otarmarae late 40's early 50's for McAlpine. Originally named "Wainui". Purchased from Gerald Sheehy. Name changed from "Faugh A Ballagh" to "Dab Chic" in 1999.



"Cygnus"  Owner: John Scudder Length: 6.1m.   Originally a yacht built in the 1950's, She was converted to a fishing boat and spent years longlining and fishing for kahawai out of Whakatane and then Ohiwa. She was bought by Pinetree Pete in 1995 and after a few adventures on the local lakes and Taupo was parked up and forgotten.
 We were talking about going to see the wooden boat parade in 1999 and Pinetree mentioned he had one so we pulled her out from under the scrub and got her in the water the day of the parade to join in unofficially. I acquired her in time for the Millennium parade and as she was rotten from the decks up stripped her completely and rebuilt her in an Art Deco style in time for the 2003  event. She was originally powered by a single cylinder air cooled 18HP Ruggarini diesel engine. She is now running a Toyota 1100cc Petrol with 2 stage auto. Speed has increased from 4 to 12 knots with low ratio for trolling, it is safe to enter the cabin with the engine running and communication with the crew is now possible.                                            Awarded "Prettiest boat" 2003.
  Awarded "Best themed vessel and crew" 2004 Parade.



"Kiri" Owner: Richard Montgomerie , Length 19', he believes the boat was used as a mail boat between Auckland and Kawau Island. The owner would appreciate any information about the boat. Age unknown but probably in this group. Purchased by Ivan Payne, Christmas 2001.




"Gigi"  Owner: Ron Kiernander, Built: 1959 by Lane Motor Boat Co (Panmure), Length: 5.2m. Built for Auckland solicitor Barry Hopkins, GIGI spent the first 30 years on Lake Rotorua. The present owner bought her in 1997. 40 years of paint and varnish inside and out were removed to bare wood. One metre of her mahogany ply planking at the stern was rotten, as were areas of framing and the transom. This was all replaced or repaired. She was then glassed and painted before turning back over. All the seats, rubbing strips, and the main deck beam, which served as an instrument panel were past restoration and were replaced, as were the fogged perspex windows. The fittings imported from the USA by Andrew Donavans were sent for rechroming. Eight coats of varnish nearly finished the job. The last, fitting of the 85 hp Yamaha and new squabs was done by Rotorua tradesmen. With champagne and cheering grandchildren, she was relaunched in October 1998 at Lake Okareka. (Any info on lost 10 years would be appreciated. Ph. 362 8388.)



"Wild Goose"  Owners: ??, Length: 6m. A 6 metre carvel planked kauri hull with a mahogany cabin. Possibly built during 1945 to 1955, with an American Kermith 6 cylinder petrol engine. Previously used for water skiing on the Tauranga harbour and fishing off Mayor Island and Lake Tarawera, then stored in a garage in Morrinsville for the past 30 years. George & Sheryll Beveridge bought the 'Wild Goose' in 2000, replacing the motor with a Volvo Penta 2 cylinder diesel, dual steering and extra roofing added to the aft, with further restoration in progress. Currently used for trout fishing she is berthed on the Okere Arm, Lake Rotoiti.




"Annie"  Purchased by the present owner in approx. 1992 from a farmer in Reporoa who had used it as an extra cow trough in the middle of their home paddock. The original idea was to spend a few weeks doing the boat up and then row it down to the Awahou stream to do some fly fishing. However, 8 years and untold hours later, it has finally hit the water.




Dudley Woollams, the builder, was a craftsman who, at various stages of his life was a furniture maker, a boat builder & designer and had many other pursuits which involved woodwork. For about 10 years he made moulded mahogany dinghies from a variety of his own designs. The boat is the special one Dudley built for his own use around 1950. Dudley was an avid fisherman and the usual motor he used was a particularly smelly and oily 4 hp Seagull outboard. The boat has spent all its life at Te Karamea Bay on Lake Tarawera.Not long after Garth Williams bought the lakeside property from Mr. & Mrs. Woollams, they gave him the boat. It was in a sad state of disrepair. A Rotorua boatbuilder replaced much of the bottom of the craft and he also had to shorten the boat a bit because of rotting topsides and then he replaced the rotting tuck. Garth Williams then removed all the old paint and varnish and started all over again. Tony Mitchell of Lake Rotoiti repainted and revarnished the boat in 2001. "Dudley" is 4.1 metres in length.


"Aroha" Owner: Warwick Hutchinson. Length: 6.4 metres. Carvel planked kauri hull launch designed & built by C E Thompson in Dargavillle for the late Frank & Millie Macklow. Fitted with a Scottish Kelvin Ricardo E4 cylinder petrol (or parafin) engine - 2 sets of 2 cylinders with seperate carbs on each enabling either pair to be switched off. Motor designed by Anton Bergius of Glasgow & many were fitted to Scottish trawlers. Conrad Bergius (nephew) lives in Auckland and is a diesel mechanic. 
Hauled from Dargaville to Rotoiti by road and launched at Mourea in 1950. The launch has spent all its time on Lake Rotoiti at Otaramarae Bay. It maintains its orginal colours, accessories, trims, tools, striped canvas cushions, manuals and warrantee.
Sold in 2002 to Warwick Hutchinson who then named her after his mother (Aroha Avis Hutchinson) "AROHA" - who also had purchased the family holiday batch in Otaramarae Bay in 1950.




"Little Jo" Owner: Simon Ventura. Length: 6 metres. Designed and built by George Rose, 1946.
Awarded "Best Restored launch, powerboat or yacht" 2004 Parade.





"Avlon" Owned by Glenn Ruebe. 23’ planked vintage launch built in 1957
formally known as
"Lady" by previous owners, and apparently "Avlon" sometime prior to that.


"Kotuku"  Owner: Allan Estcourt. This 5.2 m. carvel planked hull was home built by S.G. Estcourt and sons in Blenheim in 1959. The design was published in Popular Mechanics as a tender for small yacht races. A cabin was added and a 1935 Singer Nine car engine installed. Planking is West Coast Kahikatea and decks were canvas covered.
Originally moored in Havelock and used in Pelorus Sound. Moved to Picton about 1970 and a Tohatsu outboard installed. Subsequently sold and repurchased 20 years later. Cabin had been replaced (unfinished) but hull was in original condition.
The last 5 years has seen the cabin modified, hull recaulked and new propeller shaft fitted in preparation for a diesel inboard. The 1970’s Tohatsu is back in temporary service for relaunching December 2004.



"Canta Libre"  Owner: Judith & Nelson Bell, Built: 1955, Length: 5.6m, Designer: Carl Augusten. The boat was initially offered to the present owner free by a member of the Phillips family of Taheke Road, Rotoiti. After a couple of days deliberating, Judith finally informed her husband of the offer who immediately inspected the boat and was most pleased with the design of the boat. The boat, named "Canta Libre" which means Run Free, appeared to be a 1950's ski boat originally powered by a 6 cylinder motor and later powered with a Chev' V8. The boat was mostly complete but suffering from many years of neglect. The Chev V8 motor was partly removed and missing a main bearing housing, which meant that the motor could not be economically rebuilt. The hull was in a reasonable condition with some dry rot. The boat trailer was swapped for the new owner's garden trailer. The reconstruction took approx. 12 months and consumed approx. 8 litres of West epoxy. The boat is to be completed with teak and holly decks, burr elm dash & leopard skin seats.



"Jezabelle" Owner: Dave Churton. Bailey designed and built, this 3.6  Kauri clinker dinghy was built around 1947.
Dinghy, Merit Award, 2005 Parade.






"Solent" Owners: Graeme & Joan MacDonald. Length: 6.6m Vintage Launch







"Uffa"  Owner: Grant Cossey, Built: 1949, Length: 3.7m. Designed by Uffa Fox, Gerald York (printer at Auckland) built the boat in 1948 - 1949 and in 1970 stored the boat in his printing warehouse. It was often admired by Mark Munsford, an employee (who crewed on the boat on the 6th February 2000) and was given to him in 1995. Sold to  William Early in June 1999, it was restored and launched in December 1999. Hull, mast and some fittings are original, sails etc. have been scrounged from wherever. Finish - 3 coats of West System epoxy and 1 coat polyurethane. Purchased by Grant Cossey January 2005.
Yacht, Merit Award, 2005 Parade.







"Aniwaniwa" Owner: Grant Cossey. 3.45m Kauri yacht. Designed by John Brooke and built in1941 by Snow waters.






"Jeanette" Owned by Chris Laird.  12'6" Kauri clinker dinghy. Designed and built by Sea Craft, this 1950 dinghy has been completely stripped and rebuilt to factory specifications including the same timbers and colour scheme.
These were built by the dozen, along with other models, and although this one is outboard powered similar hulls were fitted with 3hp Norman inboards.


The "Elizabeth R" was built in 1952 as a family ski boat by the Richardson family for holidays at Lake Rotoiti. Jack Richardson chose Carl Augustin's light displacement design as it was proving successful for the new popular breed of light speed boats which families were increasingly trailering to the beach or lake. Jack, assisted by sons, Dick and George, built the boat in a shed on the farm at Clevedon. It was built of ply with twin cockpits, fore and aft. The inboard motor was a new Ford 10, chosen for reliability. George made the first set of skis from 6 x 1 pine with much guess work in design and a home steamer. The launching was in January 1953 at the Okawa Bay Holiday camp, Lake Rotoiti. In the 1950's and early 60's during family holidays at Otaramarae the "Elizabeth R" gave much pleasure to many youngsters who lined up to learn to ski on picnic days around the lake shore. In 1983-84 George converted her from inboard to outboard to create the more open layout she has today. She is still fitted with the 1984 Evinrude from that conversion.


"Doris"  Owner: Peter Taylor. She was built in 1950 at the Deeming shipyard in Opua for a wealthy farmer who owned land on the Purerua Peninsular in the Bay of Islands. She has spent all her life in the BOI and was used to pull barges and take supplies from Kerikeri, Opua and Paihia. Her statistics are 24 ft long, 8 ft beam carvel hull with 1 inch kauri plank on close framing. She has a new Kobota 27 hp diesel and gearbox but apart from that, is in original condition. A friend and I motored her down from Kerikeri to Westhaven (23 hours at 6.5 knots and just as well the sea was calm!) and from there she was transported to Rotoiti.
Renovated by Tony Mitchell in 2007 with a total repaint, new roof with 2 hatches and new glass.



"Lisa Jane"





"Piri" 12'6" Dinghy owned by Tim Brown. Unknown designer & builder.
Unknown age, probably in this group.





"In the Meantime"  Owner: Fraser Wilson.  She is kauri planked with copper rivets and was built in the 50's. Used on the harbour in Auckland, the builder and designer are unknown. She was originally powered with a 10hp diesel inboard.




"Coronado"  Owner: Mark Dimock. Built by Century Boats in 1957, the Coronado model was first introduced in 1954 and continued in wood for 14 years in which time 1,743 units were built. Length: 21 feet.



"Carpi" Owned by Ron Dimock, 18' Mahogany Runabout, designed and built in 1957 by Chris Craft.



"Razzleberry"  Owners: Richard & Rachel Thomson. 1948, 17' Chris Craft mahogany runabout.
She was built by Chris Craft and delivered to Macy’s Wawasee Slip in Syracuse on 4 February 1948.
This model was one of Chris Craft’s most popular runabouts (1,880 were built).  Razzleberry is hull number 1193 and she still has her original engine (serial number 50732).   The engine is a “KBL” model based on a Hercules straight-six “flat head” industrial engine block of 236.6 cubic inch displacement with triple Zenith downdraft carbs.  The engine produces 131hp at 3,800 rpm and was the most powerful K-series engine offered by Chris Craft (the vast majority of the 17’ deluxe runabouts featured the less powerful 95hp “K” engine).  She will do 40mph+. I bought her from one Robert Hodgson of Greenwood Lake, New York in early 2009 and the boat was shipped to New Zealand from Cincinnati, Ohio.



"Dutchie"  Owner: Hendrik Metz, Built: 1955, Length: 3.7m. Designed & Built by Evert Metz Snr. Dutchie is a 950 cc class midget speedboat. Length 12 feet with a beam of 4'6". The hull is constructed in varnished double diagonal cedar - the deck being of varnished plywood. The engine is a direct drive Ford 10 with the following modifications: Ported and relieved block; Howard Green cam; Solid skirt pistons; Waco Magneto; and a Ford V8 carburettor.



"Great Scott"  Owners: John & Janette Gibson, Built: 1957, Length: 4.9m. The mahogany (Janet & John boat) was built in Tamaki, Auckland as a day fishing boat for Lake Rotorua. Original owner and builder, Stuart Marsters had a holiday home at Waitete, Ngongotaha, immediately above the footbridge. When he sold the house to Mike Russell in 1979, the boat went with the house. Present owner, who is the 3rd owner, bought the boat September 1999 and started restoring it. Basically just revarnishing and painting. The boat won a 50 mile race in 1959 on Waikato River averaging 42 M.P.H. Original outboard was a Scott Atwater, hence the name.




"Oria"  Owners: Glen & Holly Ruebe, Built: 1947. Length: 16'4"
She is of Kauri clinker construction and has spent most of her life on the Tauranga harbour. Launched into Rotoiti on New Years day 2009.





"Andiamo"  Entered by Mary Fuller.  1954  19' Kauri runabout. Unknown designer, built by Bloomfield.



"J H Lawry"  Owners: Chris & Barb Thomson. Built about 1952 at Lake Tarawera by Auckland obstetrician Dr.J.H.Lawry as a distraction from building his holiday bach on the shore of the lake.
For the last 40 years, at least, this dinghy has rested on her side under the above mentioned bach.
Over this time she was hardly ever used and consequently suffered from neglect and boisterous children,
gaining a couple of holes and open seams over the years.
It is constructed of two skins of kauri diagonal strip glued and copper nailed.
Chris took it over in July 2010 and over the next 15 months cleaned it up and fitted a 36 volt electric motor and tunnel drive. Battery bank is 30 X 1.2 volt nickel cadmium batteries from a Boeing 767 avionics system.
New woodwork was required for keel, foredeck, gunwales, engine and tunnel mountings. 
The steering and throttle are duplicated for control from the centre thwart or the stern.
A simple bell crank system is used for the steering.
Speed is up to about 10kph. Range at trolling speed is about 90 minutes. Plenty of time to sneak up on a trout!




"Silver & Gold"  Owned by Kevern & Craig Rogers. (Son and grandson of the original builder/owner)  1953 15' runabout designed and built by Verdun Rogers. After many owners, Kevern purchased the boat that his father built and he learnt to ski behind.




"Classic Edition"  Entered by Ben Van der Star. 1958 Max Carter designed and built 23'6" runabout. Double diagonal cedar.




"Former Miss" (Solitaire)  Entered by Jason Bain. She is a 1958 20ft Seacraft launch and is a glass over ply build with Teak finishings
The early history of the boat is unclear, from what we can tell she was originally built as a runabout with a stern drive and lived in Auckland.
In the late 60s she was purchased by Bill Hamill (Hamills Marine) in Rotorua. Under Bill's ownership she was converted to an outboard and the cabin was added.
She was sold in 1972 to Reg Turner who used it as a charter boat predominately on Lake Rotorua until he built Solitaire Lodge. She was then used as the lodge charter boat on Lake Tarawera until she was sold to Neil Belworthy in the early 2000s for private use.
 She continued to live on Tarawera for approximately 6 or 7 more years and has been the much loved family boat catching a good many trout and being the setting for fun times and extravagant picnics - and of course the old boys hang out when the wives have driven them round the twist.  
 Former Miss has been out of the water since 2008 and has been handed down to the next generation for what we hope to be many more years of fun.  The 2012 wooden boat parade will be her maiden voyage going back in the water after undergoing a minor restoration.
The name Former Miss has been carefully chosen to reflect the boats heritage as the original Miss Solitaire.



"Ruby" Owned by Jonathan Cole, is an 18' 1957 Chris Craft Continental, all original powered by a Grey Marine V8. She was imported by the Dimock family 6-8 yrs ago and then went to Queenstown for several years. Jonathan secured her a year ago and bought her back to Auckland. She spends her time now at Lake Taupo and now only runs in fresh water.



"Seeke"  Owner: Wayne and Linda Byers, Length: 4m. 13' by 5'8" mahogany ply runabout. Built approx. 1954 by Lidgards. Vessel was built for present owners grandfather Ernie Pasic. On delivery of the boat he painted over all the varnish. Has fished all over the North Island. Name came from free samples of vinyl letter sets you could send away for in Sea Spray magazine in the middle to late 60's. Grandad got a set but ruined the letter "R" so put the name Seeker on without it. Present owner took over the boat approx. 1988 after it had sat in uncles farm shed for many years. Owner stripped it back to bare wood and found the varnish. Removed the cabin and put the seats back where they were etc.





"Judith"  Entered by Chris Laird. 12'6" 1950 Kauri clinker dinghy. Designed and built by Brin Wilson





"Wakarere"  The Endeavour Sea Scouts 17'6" Kauri Naval Cutter. Built 1956.              





"Aratu" Owned by Ross Green. 5.2 metre kauri launch built 1940.





"Helena" Owned by Richard Newbury. A 19' kauri launch designed by Marlin and built by Sutton-Mason Co Ltd in the 1950's.



"Omania" Owned by Jesse Jarlov. 14' ski boat built in the 1950's









"Corsair" Owned by Paul Baragwanath, 1946 Frostbite Sailing Dinghy designed and built by Jack Brooke.
She has an interesting history having been built for Paul's Grandfather, Don Winstone and named after the
planes that Don flew in the war, the Corsair, with the Corsair's profile set into the forward thwart.
In 2010, Don's grandson Paul tracked Corsair down in Nelson, derelict but whole. Two years later, after an extensive
restoration by Brian Kidson of Nelson and Robert Brooke of Auckland, with assistance from Paul Corsair was relaunched.








The following details are recorded but photos are required to complete the page.

"Pram Dinghy"  Owners: Graeme & Raewyn Natusch, this 2.4m ply Natusch family pram dinghy was purchased new as a 1958 or 59 Christmas gift for three young Natusch brothers Barry, Graeme & Adrian. The hull was fibreglassed and painted white with gloss varnish interior and seats, and has been used since then exclusively on Lake Rotoiti. The rear seats and cleats gave way to rot and for many years was used without the rear seat. Repainted all over at some stage in the 1980's, the middle seat and cleats succumbed to extinction at Xmas 2001. After being inspired by the 2002 Wooden Boat Parade, this very humble dinghy was lavished with a great deal of man hours to be relaunched in squadron blue and revarnished to compliment the M.V.Rodney Nelson.

"Kotuku"  Owner: Mike Anderson, Built: 1958, Lenght: 6.1m. Designed and built by C E Thomasen. Semi displacement launch. Triple diagonal kauri over laminated and stapled frames tumble home stern. 50 hp Perkins 4108 shaft driven through 1:1 Paragon box turning 12x8 prop. Launched in Auckland Harbour in 1959 named Alert. Built for a Dr. Whitehead and spent time as a cutter with the Auckland Volunteer Coastguard. Subsequently used as a pleasure launch by the doctor's son on Manganui Harbour and later for commercial fishing in Doubtless Bay. The Moore family from Waiuku subsequently used her for longlining out of Houhora Harbour until she was purchased by another Waiuku local with the intention of refurbishing her. Purchased by Bruce Ohlsen and renamed Olly Pug she was used in the Manukau Harbour until the present owner purchased her in 1994. Again refurbished with wheelhouse raised and used for sport fishing out of Whakatane. Reliable and seaworthy she has an excellent catch record including yellowfin tuna and marlin.

"Marauder"  Owner: Ross Malcolm, Built:1959, Length: 6.4m. Constructed of double skin diagonal kauri ply with a Volvo Penta petrol engine and leg, this boat was built somewhere in the Auckland region and has probably spent most of its early years on Lake Rotoiti. The boat probably had one owner until it sank in its boat shed at Otaramarae. It was sold to the present owner's neighbour by the insurance company as a write off and sat on a lawn as a kids playroom for approx. 2 years. The boat was purchased by its present owner without his wife's knowledge approx. 8 years ago. Many hours of work were spent in restoration. See Boating New Zealand April-May-June 1999 for history of design and production.

"Popeye"  Owner: Shaun Connolly, Length:5.5m. a clinker built launch, has personality and an exceptional sea-kindly manner - a joy to experience. She was built in the Hokianga in the mid-40's for a Mr. Ambler. At this stage we do not know a great deal about her early history. Apparently she lived in a small boat shed near Opononi. In 1985 "Popeye" was purchased by the Bergman's "as a brand new boat". She moved to Whangaroa Harbour where she was sold to the Herbert family of Totara North in 1993. The Herbert family had many happy hours together on the Whangaroa Harbour with "Popeye". In 1997 "Popeye" moved to Auckland where she continues to provide her current owners with an enormous amount of pleasure and fun.

"Sea Woulf"  Owner: Dave Scott, Built: 1954, Length: 5.1m. Designed and built by Seacraft. Kauri clinker construction with mahogany cabin.



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