View Full Version : NZ classics, a covert mission.

John B
05-01-2001, 11:49 PM
For reasons I am unable to reveal but have to do with not supposed to be being there, I was able today to participate in a covert expedition to capture these images of a rare and reluctant study.
The beast in question is a boat built in 1894 and although retro fitted with a phenomenally ugly cabin top retains many of it’s original components.
Like , for example, its hull, decks, forehatch, pinrail, skylight, tiller and basic integrity.
I cannot reveal it’s location or its pedigree, but believe me, it’s as good as it gets in this country anyway .
How often does one get to gaze upon a weary but restorable wooden boat from what, the 19th century.
Well, gaze is a bit of an exaggeration , because although I do know the owner and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind in the least, this was sneakily yet brazenly done without the formal approval a good guy like me normally looks for.
Thus, “look quickly” is probably a more appropriate description.

What we must do in the spirit of wooden boat compulsion.
Note the absense of frames/ribs typical of NZ boatbuilding at the time.Floors, Stringers and 2 or 3 skins fastened with copper rivets.I'm not sure whether L.....(oops.... nearly said it) is 2 or 3.

[This message has been edited by John B (edited 05-02-2001).]

05-02-2001, 03:16 AM
Since it looks as if she has been burned off and her seams are being stopped up with white lead putty in the top photo, is that red the natural colour of kauri? I have only seem kauri decks in this country - rare (usually pre-WW1) and faded to grey!

Zane Lewis
05-02-2001, 03:57 AM
Hi John,
Could you give us the designers name. I am tempted to ask the location but that may be like giving the owners names away.

Also what is the boat next to her. It looks like a centre boarder of a sharpie type? I assume that since I could see a chain plate it was a yacht. I have a strong personal interest in the Preso sharpie type.

John B
05-02-2001, 03:57 PM
Andrew, what you see is red lead paint.
That aft section is the only part of the boat which has been worked on in the last 15 years approx. The rest is still the same as it was when the boat was hauled circa 1985.
3/4 of the port side and half the starboard side is unstripped .
In other words, since 1985, stuff has been pulled off the boat but nothing apart from what you see has been constructive.
It's an unfulfilled dream.

Kauri finishes to a golden colour with a lustre to it. It cuts like MDF, smells pleasant and seems to last forever given half a chance. It came in massive trees which had straight trunks for 2/3 of the height of the tree and then a bole where the branches started .In short, a dream wood for boats.
Naturally enough, the resource was raped and its now in short supply. Loads of demolition timber available though.

Zane, have I a deal for you......
har, har.
The other boat is Dolphin ex Rebecca. there's a book written on her restoration in the 70's called "Rebecca". She is from around 1900 I believe, and was skinned in the 1980's after a mishap.She is plumb bowed and counter sterned.Not a Sharpie.
She is for sale and needs a GOOD owner. I could find out a contact if you were interested.

[This message has been edited by John B (edited 05-02-2001).]

Zane Lewis
05-06-2001, 07:29 PM
Hi John,
Right at this time my wife is too busy being a mother to go to work and provide me with enough discressionally income to own anything larger than my 3.7 Hence for now I am restrited to dreaming and providing labour for other peoples boats.

I pulled those pictures and had a closer look. Unfortunally Rebbeca does not seem to meet my other prerequisite. Shoal draft.

John B
05-06-2001, 11:37 PM
Whats a little 3ft6'or so to worry about.
sure you couldn't be tempted?

05-07-2001, 06:00 AM
She could get anyone to move to NZ!

Zane Lewis
05-08-2001, 05:37 AM
Hi John,
That could sure temp me, and 3'6" does mean you can drop people off on the beach with out having to mucking around wiht dinghies etc.

Sorry John but on this one your timing is out.
PS any more details avaliable, LOD Sail area etc, and would she cope with regular trips around Cape Colville at night.

(Do you have an alternate life as a car salesman.)

John B
05-08-2001, 04:01 PM
A man came up to me at a regatta this year and said
"You're passionate about it aren't you".
I don't know whether he meant my boat, old boats, gaff rig, sailing, boating in general or what. He had me sitting back on my heels ( as it were) thinking about it and I suppose I am.
There are boats sitting here that people in other countries would kill for but Kiwis haven't realised their value yet.
So I make my opinion known.

Now about the cars......theres this nice little Toyota, one lady owner......

05-08-2001, 10:08 PM
Gidday John, sad but true. I think it's time you stop the cloke and dagger stuff and expose this immenant tragedy from happening. A good start here in the forum but lets get it in the open locally, get hamish on the case when he returns, if he hasn't already, or post notices around the clubs. How many really know about this? I didn't until you told me. As Alan D. commented in the Thelma artical posted 4.11.2001. Do we all stand by and watch it deteriorate further and ultimatly see it disapear altogether or get an overseas buyer pump some funds and get the thing moving and saved. I know present historical /heritage laws constrict boats from leaving NZ waters or do we just let it sink? Hey I've heard about a restoration thingy happing up north... now there's a thought. Itt'll have to wait though.

Then there's Koteri !

Still undecided.

John B
05-08-2001, 10:33 PM
Uh oh, Ngatira is in the bay again.

John B
07-22-2001, 11:50 PM
I know I risk hexing it.... but tomorrow there should be a new owner.... I'm a going along to watch/help/photograph.

John B
07-23-2001, 11:37 PM
Well I didn't hex it. I spent most of the day messing around with a boat so I'm happy.

The boat, "Ladye Wilma" is an 1895 Robert Logan snr design built by the Logans yard has changed owners to a man with a pedigree and history of restoring old yachts. This boat was sailing when I first got Waione in 1983 , but soon after changed hands and was taken out of commission.
Peter and Mary Brookes are the new owners so I'm confident that in 2 years or so Peter will have her back sailing in immaculate and restored condition.( Peter was responsible for the restoration of an entire class of boats, The West Solents sailing out of Ian Wright's territory, Heybridge Basin.)

Bit of a tight fit on the way out
Into the light of day
here I was in my 1995 car following this 1895 boat.
Nearly home
She's been parked up at a neighbours place until spring, when the ground has firmed and when Peter will build a shelter for her next to his house.
Great news I reckon... another one as good as saved.

Art Read
07-24-2001, 03:16 AM
Is it just me or do the Kiwis seem to have an awfull lot of neat old boats laying about?

John B
07-24-2001, 04:08 PM
It is a finite resource. My thing is mostly keel yachts but of course there are probably hundreds of small craft out there languishing in garages and boat sheds that I don't know about.
There is no doubt that Kiwis in general don't really realise the value of what we have.( In many respects)( not just wooden boats)
I'm just over the moon that this one is going to make it.