Nautical, Maritime and Boating History. Page three.


NEW ZEALAND RECREATIONAL YACHTING AND BOATING HISTORY


See also: New Zealand Yarns, New Zealand History,
Merchant Shipping, Polar Exploration

  • Launching Dreams
  • Thoughts on Clinker Lapstrake Dinghy Construction
  • Mullet Boats'n Quotes.
  • The New Zealand Clinker Boat.
  • Zephyr.The First 60 Years.
  • The Mullet Boat
  • Des Townson. A Sailing Legacy (Pre-Order Only)
  • The Des Townson Story
  • The Colin Wild Story
  • The Jack Brooke Story
  • The Story Of Bandit.
  • Our Secret Weapon
  • Semper Fidelis
  • All Hands on Deck. Pt Chev Sailing Club 1919-2019
  • Ponsonby Cruising Club
  • Devonport Yacht Club
  • Emmy
  • Lee Rail
  • Galloping Ghosts

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    LAUNCHING DREAMS - PERCY VOSS, THE BOATS AND HIS BOYS
    By Baden Pascoe. Hardback,985g, 245mm x 290mm, 152 pages, black and white, sepia, and colour photographs. Published 2013.
    A sumptuous pictorial and historical record that celebrates the life of Auckland businessman and renowned boatbuilder Percy Vos, his boats and the people who worked with him.

    Percy Vos had a lifelong passion for leadership and imparting his knowledge to others, which he considered his personal responsibility. As a young man he fought for his country in World War 1, came home and got on with life and gained a huge respect from his staff, customers, and the boatbuilding industry at large.

    An outstanding Aucklander, with an absolute passion for leadership. Percy Vos was one of the greats in our marine industry. His legacy lives on today with the reconstruction of the Vos shed and slipways.

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    THOUGHTS ON CLINKER LAPSTRAKE DINGHY CONSTRUCTION
    By Peter Peal. Hardback,0.94, 230mm x 300mm, 108 pages, Black and White, sepia, and colour photographs. Line drawings and Plans. Published 2017.
    Peter Peal started working at Percy Vos Ltd, boatbuilders as an apprentice in 1937. From the outset of his career he always believed that attention to detail gives a good result and this is a critical fact when building clinker dinghies. This book is a reflection of his trade values and is a must for anyone who wants to build one of these boats or is just interested in the magic of clinker boat-building.

    The intention of this book is twofold, firstly to explain the art of clinker boat-building as it was previously done, and secondly, the way it is now, with different timbers and power tools.

    The first section of the book takes you back in time to the late 1930’s via a story line were you can almost feel the day to day atmosphere of the Percy Vos boat yard. A time when young men were immersed in knowledge and exposed to an experience were they got to know what a nice shear line or lay of a plank should to look like. A place where they learnt to touch a piece of timber and instantly know it’s capably of strength and durability. Working with wood was what they loved to do and they played with the results of their work during their weekends sailing, rowing and steaming their floating works of art that were so kind on the eye. The method used to build these boats without the aid of moulds or temporary frames made the task even more challenging but once mastered it elevated these young men to go on to be the legends of our marine industry that are now the cornerstones of the world class marine industry we now have.

    The second part of his book his based on much the same principles as in the first section but ply planking can be employed instead of timber. Laminates can be used instead of natural crocks and to make it easier and moulds or temporary frames are recommended to control exact shape.

    In the third section Peter offers three of his designs with full lines off sets and construction drawings. Boat 1 being a traditional launch or yacht tender, boat 2 a small rowing or pulling boat and boat 3 a clinker large enough to be a small out board run-a-bout. (He also recommends designing your own boat)

    Section four is a short glossary of the terms and slang used in the Auckland boat yards during his time in the trade.

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    MULLET BOATS "N QUOTES.
    By Noel Mitchell. Softback, 0.65kg, 210mm x 297mm, 156 pages, Black & white Photographs. Published in 2000.
    A fascinating insight into one of New Zealand's most historic sailing craft.

    Compiled and written over a number of years, this book was a labour of love for the late Noel Mitchell. Filled with interesting facts, photographs, illustrations and good old-fashioned yarns, this is the definitive history of Mullet Boats in New Zealand.

    We have been fortunate to obtain a few copies of this (now out of print) book from the Mitchell family. For which we are very grateful.

    An extract from the Noel Mitchell poem Mullet Boat

    A fleet of Mullet Boats, is a great sight to see
    Be it to weather or down to the Lee
    With their gaffs peaked high and their headsails setting
    One can tell by the wake the speed they are getting
    Whether it be on the wind or running free
    It's a sight not forgotten by all those who see.....

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    THE NEW ZEALAND CLINKER BOAT.
    By Tino Rawa Trust. Softback, 0.17kg, 210mm x 297mm, 31 pages, Colour, black & white, sepia photographs. Published in 2017.
    The art of building clinker or shiplap dinghies and boats was one of the skill sets of the shipwrights that immigrated to New Zealand during the early colonisation years. This skill was simply considered a must if they were seeking employment on a ship or as a ships carpenter.

    Tha Auckland Province was fortunate that several Scottish families landed here. The most notable being Henry Niccol, who, with his family arrived here in late 1842 as passengers on the Jane Gifford. His arrival, and a few of his extended family members, began to desigh and build the first watercraft and ships in Auckland. This was the beginning of the industry..

    Looking back over the many yachting classes that were clinker built, New Zealand produced some of the best, if not the best, high performance clinker boats in the World.

    This book is a celebration of the Clinker boat in New Zealand.

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    ZEPHYR. THE FIRST 60 YEARS.
    1956-2016
    By Manly Sailing Club. Paperback, 0.17kg, 210mm x 297mm, 50 pages, Colour, black & white, sepia photographs. Published in 2016.

    'The Zephyr was given its name from a similarly titled gentle breeze in the Greek Islands. My boats tended to be gentle little boats, sweet in their line so I called it a Zephyr'
    Des Townson 2006

    The Zephyr lines drawing was completed in April 1956, but the genesis of this creation began a number of years earlier. At that time, Des Townson was a fledgling boat designer/builder in the very early stages of his self-taught journey, having started in 1952 as an 18-year-old with a plan for an 8-foot plywood rowing dinghy. Seven more designs followed; five cold moulded dinghies and two 12-foot Pennant class yachts. He never received formal maritime design or building tuition, so his development was solely by intuition, observation and experimentation. The first Townson commercial commission was from John Peet in 1954 for a two-handed yacht to race in the newly formed 12 ft skiff ‘Q’ class. Nimble represented a marked change from common thinking of the time, being light, flat bodied and modestly canvassed. The boat was successful both locally and on a wider stage. Under the helm of Don Brooke, it became the highest scoring New Zealand boat at the inaugural 12-foot Skiff Interdominion Championship in Sydney. The Nimble hull form was the forerunner to the Zephyr....

    The history and development of the ZEPHYR.The First 60 years.

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    THE MULLET BOAT.
    A New Zealand Yachting Icon
    By Harold Kidd & Robin Elliot. Paperback, 0.17kg, 210mm x 297mm, 45 pages, Colour, black & white, sepia photographs. Published in 2016.
    A frequently question asked is "What is a Mullet Boat, and why is it called that"? The answer is it is a small ballasted centreboard yacht that is unique to Auckland, descended directly from a type of small fishing boat of (roughly) of 140 years ago. When Auckland was founded as the capital of New Zealand in 1840 most of the harvest for the growing population was carried out by Maori Fisherman who rapidly added European-built craft to their formidable fishing techniques. As the fish stocks depleted other fisherman of various mixed races began to dominate the industry. By 1875 these had morphed into two types - The 'Schnapper' boat (usually a 10 ton keel yacht used for line fishing) and the'Mullet' boat (4 Ton centreboarder for netting mullet in the shallows),.

    While today we take them for granted as part of the local scenery, the 'Mulletties' have done an enormous amount for NZ yachting, both as a training ground for its yachtsmen and as background inspiration to generations of yacht designers.

    This book is a celebration of the 'Mullet Boat'. A New Zealand Yachting Icon.

    NZ$25.00 + Delivery.

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    DES TOWNSON. A SAILING LEGACY
    By Brian Peet. Hardback, Published in 2019.
    Yacht designer and Boatbuilder Des Townson was responsible for a unique body of work which filled a special niche in New Zealand’s rich boating history. He possessed an analytical mind, an innate feel for sailing boats and a wonderful eye for their visual balance. As an accomplished racing helmsman, he applied his once-in-a-generation set of skills to his creative art. During a five decade long design career he produced some of the most eye-catching, easily handled and well performing maritime craft to ever grace New Zealand waters. The fact he was self-taught and worked almost his entire career alone only intensifies the achievements of this remarkable man.

    This book chronicles his life and design work through his own recollections and those of his family, close friends and associates. Combined with photos, boat plans and press reports, a detailed record of his impact on the New Zealand sailing scene is preserved.

    His legacy continues to this day through the thousands of yachts still bearing his name.

    NZ$80.00 + Delivery.

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    THE DES TOWNSON STORY.
    By John Macfarlane. Paperback, 0.17kg, 210mm x 297mm, 30 pages, Colour, black & white, sepia photographs. Published in 2015.
    Des Townson was the creative genius behind some of the most well known classes in New Zealand sailing, including the Starling, Zephyr, Mistral and Pied Piper, Unmatched in his ability to draw 'pretty' yachts, the boats of Des Townson boats generated fiercely passionate and loyal ownership, with some 3,500 yachts and boats carrying the Townson name.

    Townson was born in Auckland in 1934 and from his father developed a passion for sailing. He won the Tanner Cup, the premier teenage yachting championship in 1950 and at the age of 17 designed his first boat, a small dinghy. Over the following fifty-seven years he designed eighty-two different boats ranging from an 8ft rowing dinghy to a 72ft keel boat. His influence on New Zealand yacht design during the 1950s to 80s was as significant as that of the famous Logan family during the colonial yachting era.

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    THE COLIN WILD STORY.
    By Harold Kidd. Paperback, 0.17kg, 210mm x 297mm, 30 pages, black & white photographs. Published in 2012.
    Colin Wild was in the top rank of New Zealand's pleasure craft designers and builders. Every one of the yachts and launches he built during the period from 1919 to 1955 was of the highest quality by any standards, local or international, within its design parameters. He was one of the few builders that Arch Logan would approve to build to his designs; the reasons for this will become apparent in this booklet.

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    THE JACK BROOKE STORY.
    By Harold Kidd. Paperback, 0.19kg, 210mm x 297mm, 30 pages, black & white photographs. Published in 2013.
    Jack Brooke was one of this country's most important yacht designers as well as being one of its most important practical scientists. He was a positive product of the tough times of the Great Depression of the 1930s. He had two qualities in abundance, initiative and leadership, and was passionate about promoting them in others. Another hallmark of Jack was that his source of inspiration was more from the United States rather than from "Home" as we still then called Britain. With the exception of Colin Wild, under whose influence he came, Jack Brooke was on his own in this at the time, and that American influence was a breath of fresh air. The rest of the story you will have to read in this fascinating booklet.

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    THE STORY OF BANDIT. Sir Peter Blake's First Keel Boat
    By Shirley-Ann McCrystal Softback, 0.11kg, 250mm x 210mm, 10 pages, Colour Photographs. Published in 2019.
    An account, with many photographs, of the building of Bandit, in a temporary shed, by the 19 year old Peter Blake, and his younger brother Tony.

    The Van de Stadt hard chine design of 24 feet began life in the Bayswater backyard on Auckland's North Shore. The Blake brothers (and friend and crew member Crawford Duncan) would spent all their spare time, rain or hail, on creating and building Peter's dream...
    On January 20 1968, on completion, the boat was launched at Devonport yacht Club, although not all went according to plan. The high tide was missed, the cable on the slipway too short, which prevented her from sliding all the way off the cradle. Only her bottom got wet!
    The next day, all came right and Bandit was christened. Peter's dream became reality.

    This is the story of little Bandit, her history, the anecdotes, her racing career, her restoration, and her final resting place at Auckland's Maritime Museum.

    Bandit may never sail again but she will remain within the sound of the lapping waves, and is proof that anyone can achieve a dream with determination and passion and the will to succeed.

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    OUR SECRET WEAPON.
    By Gun Caundle. Softback. 228 Pages. Black & White Images. 0.36 kg. Revised Edition June 2015.
    Our Secret Weapon looks at the history of the P Class using a mix of anecdotal stories and technical detail. It shows the resourcefulness of the young sailors and the fun they had with this demanding little boat. Changes were made to the p class over the years in order for it to survive as a competitive class. yet it never lost its recognisable features or its quirky characteristics. This tiny yacht has added to the richness of New Zealnd's family life over the years and helped forge the characters of many young New Zealanders. Many became famous National and International sailors.

    The stories collected are from all types of sailors. "All hell broke Loose" is how Chris Bouzaid recalls an incident while sailing his P class from Great Barrier to Coromandel. Ray Davies tells how he rescued Dean Barker in his P Class and Jo Aleh describes the difficulties she and her family had to overcome in order for her to sail a P Class.

    Each story reflects the special place the little yacht has in the hearts of the sailors, which makes this an engaging and entertaining read for anybody, whether they be sailors or not.

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    SEMPER FIDELIS - 50 YEARS OF THE OCEAN GREYHOUND.
    By Sandra Gorter. Softback, 170mm x 230mm, 172 pages, monochrome and full colour photographs.
    Planted in the sea 1200 miles from the nearest significant landmass, New Zealand was always going to be a nation of sailors. As the era of immigrants arriving by boat was coming to a close, those already there had turned again to the sea for their recreation conducting the battles of peacetime on the water.

    First had been the Logans with their aristocrat Ariki, leading the fleet for three decades. Then came Ranger and another thirty years of men and boats battling for supremacy on the Waitemata. Gradually but surely as the sailors, designers and sailmakers learned from the innovations that were changing the world, a boat would emerge to topple the latest king of the Waitemata. But before that happened, while men still dreamed in timber, a boat did come along that was capable of toppling Ranger. As New Zealanders took their sailing skills to the world a new champion emerged, and after proving she could beat Ranger, instead of confronting the cosy competition on the Waitemata, her owner chose instead to take the competition to the greatest, most vicious ocean race in the world and win the Sydney Hobart.

    Little did he know that years after, having raced in every condition the Pacific Ocean had to offer, the boat, like so many Kiwis before her, would one day call Australia home, and earn her place as one of the premier classic yachts racing out of Sydney Harbour.

    Like the ocean she raced on, she could be fickle, harsh, uncompromising and brutal. But she was also a fabulously beautiful boat who captured the hearts and souls of all the men who owned and sailed on her.

    She was: Fidelis

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    ALL HANDS ON DECK. PT CHEV SAILING CLUB 1919-2019
    By Ed. Kirsty Macdonald. Softback. 0.43 kg. 85 pages. 210mm x 295 mm. Published 2019
    Celebrating 100 years of sailing and community of the Point Chevalier Sailing Club, this book is full of archival photographs, tall tales and fascinating PCSC stories from the earliest days to the present time.

    The Point Chevalier Sailing Club was established in 1919 when a group of enthusiasts acquired a piece of land in the area of Joan St and Harbour View Road. In 1922-23 the club tendered for the defunct Isolation Hospital building and used the timber for the first clubhouse which was opened in 1923. The club become an incorporated society in that same year. Access to the water was an ongoing challenge due to the terrain and no roadway. Investigation into reclamation sites continued for many years, and finally got traction in the mid-1960s when agreement with the City council was reached for one at the end of Raymond Road. In the late 1980s, the ground started to slip at the old Harbour View Road clubhouse. A new clubhouse was designed for the Raymond St Reserve by architect Alastair Madill, and was opened in 1990.

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    PONSONBY CRUISING CLUB, The First Hundred Years.
    By Harold Kidd and Robin Elliott. Pbk, landscape 240mm x 210mm, 101 pages, monochrome and full colour photographs.
    This book starts off with a top pedigree as the authors are well known as historians of the New Zealand recreational boating scene. They have together and separately written several fine books on this topic, as well as magazine articles in the New Zealand boating press. It is very refreshing that both are practitioners of the sport, in particular Harold Kidd who has a background as New Zealand's national yachting coach.
    The Ponsonby Cruising Club is something of an icon in New Zealand yachting and yacht racing circles; this book has ingested much of the flavour and personality of boats, skippers and crews racing on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour since 1900, when the club was founded. The narrative is very well illustrated, using black and white and latterly colour photographs of yachts and racing in Auckland. Robin Elliott has an enormous resource of such pictures available to him as a result of his previous mainly-Auckland based research.
    The five chapters of the book trace the early days of Auckland yachting leading to the foundation of the club, and trace the history of the club through two World Wars, concluding with the move from Saint Mary's Bay to neighbouring Westhaven. In conclusion three appendices give full records of trophy winners, the Mullet Boat Register (which I suspect is an indulgence Robin could not resist!), and a full list of officers from the inception of the club 1900.
    Understandably this book might be regarded as just another in-house club history. It is, however, far more than that. The pedigree of the authors, the breadth of their narrative and photographs, and the position of the club in the Auckland yachting scene make this book as much a part of Auckland's general yachting history as, say, the books Emmy, Winklemann's Waitemata, Vintage New Zealand Launches and The Logans.

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    DEVONPORT YACHT CLUB.
    Edited By Harold Kidd. Pbk, 296mm x 210mm, 225 pages, monochrome and some colour photographs.
    Lady Blake: "The Devonport Yacht Club is a true institutional part of the maritime heritage of Devonport. Situated on one of the most prominent waterfront sites of the Auckland Harbour it is indeed significant that this prime piece of land has been a shipyard for nearly a hundred and fifty years. It is doubtful whether any other yacht club in New Zealand can claim such a distinction.
    Long before the Club was formed in 1905 the Devonport foreshore was the centre of the country's largest shipbuilding industry. Also this was the cradle for yacht racing in New Zealand as evidenced by some of the Club's magnificent trophies dating back as far as the 1870's. All the fascinating history leading up to the formation of the Club and its subsequent activities over the past one hundred years is now contained in this splendid publication with its wonderful illustrations.
    As so many yachtsmen and their families, public figures and other institutions have been involved in some aspect of the Club's activities over these past years this book will appeal to a far wider section of the community than the Club's current membership. It should certainly form part of any dedicated mariner's library."

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    EMMY, Seventy Years of M-Class Yachting.
    By Robin Elliott. Pbk, 185mm x 250mm, 352 pages, monochrome photographs.
    This book started something big in the world of New Zealand maritime books. Robin Elliott worked very hard for a long time collecting the research material needed for an in-depth history of one of New Zealand's iconic classes. The resulting material was so broad that it has led on to further books and a video on other events and classes, in the history of New Zealand recreational and sports yachting.
    The M-Class is one of Auckland's most notable centreboard classes and completed its seventieth continuous racing season on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour in 1993. This will undoubtably take the class into world record ranking for unbroken seasonal racing longevity.
    Designed by Arch Logan in 1922 as a seaworthy cruiser/racer, this 18 foot clinker-built centreboarder, popularly known as the Emmy after its class registration letter, grew in both strength and reputation to become one of the aristocrats of the centreboard scene.
    Despite fluctuations in its fortunes and dramatic changes in yacht design and construction over the last forty years, the Emmy has survived and is held in abiding affection by generations of yachtsmen.
    This book is an authoritative and detailed account of the M-Class and places the development of the class in the larger context of yachting on the Waitemata.

    NZ$41.00 + delivery.

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    LEE RAIL, A Centennial History of the Richmond Yacht Club 1903 ~ 2003
    By Harold Kidd and Robin Elliott. Pbk, landscape 240mm x 210mm, 135 pages, full colour and monochrome photographs.
    This club history is about one of New Zealand's best-known yacht clubs, one of the "Westhaven Four", and is written by two of New Zealand's best-known yachting historians.
    The book is full of stories and photographs describing major events in Auckland's yachting history from the beginning of the 20th century until this year. There is a profusion of photographs showing yachts in full flight, in particular some stunning shots of X and Z class dinghies, and others, on the plane with up to 4 large adults hanging over the transom as ballast!
    The Richmond Yacht Club has always been a family club, and this culture continues today. There is still a link with at least one of the club's earliest classes (the M class - also the subject of a Robin Elliott book Emmy). The club is very much alive and well, which I am sure is in part due to the influence of the immediate past commodore, Vigette Worters, who I know from personal experience is a very fine lady and a fine sailor, who knits sailing groups together as though they were her own family.
    One of the special joys in reading a book such as this is the large number of personal acquaintances that Auckland yachties will easily recognise, and possible see in photographs. This book is a must for sailors who have been involved in club sailing on Auckland Harbour.

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    GALLOPING GHOSTS.
    By Robin Elliot. Softback 0.87kg 224 Pages Published 2012
    With every scrap aloft, carrying more sail than many larger keel yachts, and the crew driving her as fast as possible on the edge of control, no other yacht captures the attention quite like an 18-footer in full flight.
    This is as true today as it was 100 years ago.
    From its origins in the 1890s as an over-canvassed, over-crewed 18-foot dinghy to the 7-man skiff types of the 1930s, and from the trapeze-driven moulded vaneer creations of the 1950s, to the carbon fibre flying machines of today, the 18-footer has retained its appeal for both sailor and spectator.
    Its evolution from one form to another was not always welcome. Friends and enemies were lost and created as the battle lines were drawn, either to protect the old or promote the new. On both sides of the Tasman breakaway clubs were formed and old alliances broken in the heat of arguments as clubs sought to maintain their visions of what a true 18-footer really was. Through it all, the 18-footer survived and evolved.
    For the first time, this 18-footer back-story has been put into context with the State, Interstate and Inter-dominion racing that has made the class so famous.
    Galloping Ghosts tells the full story, from the controversial origins of the Sydney Flying Squadron, the NSW 18-footer's Sailing League and the Auckland Sailing Club, right up to Len Hefferman's Aberdare of the mid-1960s. All the familiar names are there, Australian II, H.C.Press II, Aberdare, Taree, Intrigue, Myra Too, Envy, The Jantzen Girls, Taipan, Venom, Schemer, as well as the men who made them fly.
    Meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated, Galloping Ghosts is the history of the 18-footer as it has never been told before.

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    NEW ZEALAND YACHTING AND BOATING HISTORY. Page Three



    See also: New Zealand Yarns, New Zealand History,
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