Thursday, December 28, 2006

Fleetwing - new photos

I located some early shots of Fleetwing:

These shots will most likely have have been taken at Wharehunga on Arawapa Island, perhapos in the late 1940's or early 1950's.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Rogue 1892


...and yes it is 1892!

Avanti - late '60's, Curious Cove

2007 NZ A Class Nationals

Coming up, January, 2007, Howick

To be sailed in conjunction with the NZ Paper Tiger Nationals.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Fleetwing - a bit more floating history

My family owned Fleetwing for a time. She was initally brought down to the Sounds by my great uncle Charlie Scott, then passed to my Grandfather - Seymour Scott - who used her as a commuter boat between Picton and my grandparents farm at Wharehunga on Arapawa Island for many years (approx 1950's - 1960's) . She is quite possibly the launch in the following advert for Collings and Bell on page four of the fine book "Vintage New Zealand Launches".

Later she passed to my great uncle, Rex Tosswill, who, I believe, had the dodger added by Poppa Jorgensen at Jorgensens Boatyard in Waikawa Bay.

I have never seen a photo of her in her original state but I believe she is the boat that was a NZ water speed record holder for a time. I also believe she held the Masport Cup.

Also: "Fleetwing was Collings' pet name and he used it on many boats from outboard racers to cruising launches. This one was built in September 1920 and had a 45hp (rating) Van Blerck, which had a Packard block I think. When Collings sold her in June 1925 to H Empson of Point Chevalier he obviously kept the hot Van Blerck because Empson replaced it with a 6 cylinder Studebaker car engine. Collings seems to have put the Van Blerck into his next Fleetwing" (with thanks to Harold Kidd for this information).

Later (1980's onwards) she was used as a support boat in the Marlborough Sounds Aquaculture industry. There is a photo of her in Carol Dawber's fine book "Lines in the Water".

Now she looks like she's waiting patiently for a new custodian, or at least some TLC.

I am looking for some original photos which are hard to find...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Hot: AQ Bags

Not just for the corporate yachtie, my new NZ-made briefcase is attracting a lot of attention, here's the link:

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Fast Sunburst - not an oxymoron!

This was a windy day at WBBC in Wellington in 2004. Andrew Patterson took the shots. This is 1781 Envy.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Elliott 5.9 Rudder by Ron Bull Boats (Akl)

Ron just finished a new rudder for my E5.9. A great job, down to weight and to a NACA shape designed by by Brett Bakewell White. The old one was cracking into two pieces down the leading edge so it'll be nice to go sailing and not worry about it splitting into two.

Due to the E5.9 rules, there's no carbon but usually Rob would put some around the stress areas. He builds blades, foils and dinghies for many NZ classes.

Ron has made a really nice job - there's not too many people around prepared to hand make timber or composite blades at a very reasonable price.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Robb White - RIP

I was sorry to read of Robb White's passing in the USA recently - May 2006.

I only knew of him through articles in WB magazine but I enjoyed his common sense approach and pragmatism.

He shared freely some unique ideas and approaches to building small wooden skiffs and dinghies.

The latest (last?) article on a modified Rescue Minor (below) was a beauty.

Zane Grey - 35' Collings & Bell

A lot of history here! Collings and Bell, built in approx 1926 for Zane Grey's fishing party.

Regardless of whether you are a fan of keeping these fine ships in their original state or not, the new wheelhouse, higher foredeck and altered sheer (they aren't original) make for sympathetic and classy additions.

It might have been a Captain Williams who drafted the changes. He was then harbourmaster at Whangarei and he owned the boat for a short while.

In my opinion the side profile is perfect.

The builder who did the modifications is unknown.

Lovely... Last seen in Opua January 2011

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Clever Bits - Elliott 7 mainsheet

Saw this on Sailing Anarchy - interesting way to get aft sheeting without the weight of a traveller:

Not sure whether the advantages are there but different all the same...

And from the other side....

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Class Catamaran

The A Class is the most beautiful boat to sail and will beat a Tornado and F18 to windward in light to moderate breeze. At 75kg on the water, they often weigh less than their skipper.

Above - Steve Brewin AUS, Egner Flyer

Below - 2004 Worlds, Drummond (NZL234), Manning (NZL230), both AHPC Flyers

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Elliott 5.9 North Island Travellers Series - 2006

The next regatta on the E5.9 Travellers Circuit is the 2006 Icebreaker in Rotorua in September 2006.

There will be details on the website and

We always hope for 15+ boats and there's a lot of interest around in the class.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Another family boat, Dad built Ventora (a Vindex 30 stretched to 32') in the early '70's at Curious Cove in the Marlborough Sounds.

Here she is (above) in early 2006, in Northland.!

Saturday, April 22, 2006


The T cat is the hottest cat of them all. Even before the big rig came in post 2000 they were a fabulous boat to sail, sheer power coupled with responsiveness and a very highly refined package.

The top photo is of the very successful crew of Rex Sellers and the late and quite unique Chris Timms.

The bottom shot is taken at the Bermuda Worlds in 1997.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tarepo - 36' Stillwell Bridgedecker

I'm a big fan of old classic boats and what better place to start than one that's in the family. My father owns this lovely old launch, Tarepo, based on the Marlborough Sounds.

At 36 feet long, she's perfect for cruising around and weekending.

A bit bedraggled when he bought her early in 2006 (top photo), she's having a spruce up and is already being well used.

One day I'll finsh playing with sailboats and get myself a launch instead...or as well.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Mystery Boat 1 - Cosmic?

Saw this on Trade-Me recently - reputedly a 'Cosmic'. Anyone have any details? Looks like a Phase II, scaled up and with a crafty deck trench for a small crewperson or kite chute. Intriguing.

Clever bits - Maverick E45 again

I really liked the transom and cockpit treatment (above) and the rotating mast base (below).

A lot of thought went into each area and they are beautifully executed.

The Mast base has some nice guards to prevent stray sheets.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

News - Rythymandswing takes 2006 Sunburst Nationals

Congratulations to Brett and Alice Linton (Worser Bay, Wellington) who won the 2006 Sunburst Nationals at Mercury Bay at Easter.

At 8 years old, Alice must be one of the youngest ever national title holders in any class.

This is Brett's third title and is also the third national title for Rythymandswing (1530) which was built by Tim Willets.

Results at

Willets also built other successful hulls like defending champion Greg "Bubble" Wright's Embers (1322) ), Nigel Lloyd's Vagrant (1424) and Catch 22.

Brett runs his own sailmaking business in Wellington and made many of the sails in the fleet.

The class association runs a website

A Class repair

Well, not so clever - a brand new AHPC Flyer (A Class cat) damaged in a trailer rollover in gale force winds. The whole side panel has been pushed in - you can see the crease just below (above!) the gunwhale.

Here's the challenge; Fix the boat to race condition - i.e. under weight and strong ... The hulls weigh about 17 kg each.

Cutting away the damaged hull left a much larger hole. I used a router carefully set to leave a approx 20-30mm lip on the inner skin to glue the patch to.

The blue tape marks the shape of the patch required. This tape was carefully repeated on the undamaged hull.

I took a mould off the undamaged hull and then laid up the patch using a vaccuum pump. Here's the finished patch (approx 2.5m long):

More to come...

Elliott 45 Companionway blister hatch

Saw this on Maverick (Elliott 45) in the nRound North Island Race a few years back - nice!

I want one for my E5.9.

Clever bits - Catamaran Kite Sheet lead

Saw this one a few years back in some shots of the Worrall 1000 - the additional sheaves add to the gripping power of the Harken ratchet block......nice

Class Summary - International One Meter

These yachts have strict limitations on the rig design but have very few restrictions on hull shape other than the minimum weight (4.0kg) and the maximum hull length of one metre. In the 1 Metre class you will see many different hull shapes. These yachts are sailed to the same rule all over the world with world championships held annually.

One such World Championship was held in Wellington in 1997, with a fleet of 60 yachts Competitive second hand 1 Metre yachts typically change hands for between $NZ500 and $NZ3000 for the leading edge international versions.

Building your own yacht from scratch is encouraged within the rules and some boats have been built for quite minimal cost by those with the skill and patience to do so.

Class Summary - AC15

Designed by Wellingtonian Alan Bryant, these are large and fast yachts and provide spectacular racing and amazing downwind speed in stronger winds. Members of the Wellington Club (WRYC) have developed these boats from scratch primarily with match racing in mind and many of the early yachts followed the colour schemes of one of the 1995 America's Cup yachts.

They are now built exclusively club members and now have a rigid one-design set of rules, which are administered by the club.

Quite a few were built as display models, and many more for the various AC syndicates.

The boats are match raced and fleet raced in Wellington

Class Summary - Sunburst

The fleet was created by the Brooke family back in the 50's with the aim of providing a versatile sailing vessel for the average sailor.

The Sunburst is actively raced all over the Country, with representation at most clubs.

The class website is

Class Summary - Elliott 5.9

The Elliott 5.9 was designed by Greg Elliott in 1980 and was first released in 1983. Conceived as a a out and out trailer yacht racer, the Elliott 5.9 boasts an efficient single spreader fractional rig, well balanced sail plan, practical deck layout and a performance hull that offers responsiveness and maneuverability.

From the start the E5.9 destroyed the more traditional boats and starred at the 1983 NZ Trailer Yacht Nationals.

More than 100 boats have been built, and there are fleets in NZ, Australia, Vanuatu and at least one boat in the UK.

The class has always provided good fleet racing and has attracted some top sailors over the years. In recent times a strong class association has revitalised the racing with a well attended and cut throat North island Traveller Circuit.

The class association now owns the moulds for the Elliott 5.9 and the availability of new boats will further invigorate the already thriving class along with the Appleton Estate Rum Traveler’s Trophy Series.

In 2006 there are regattas in Tauranga, Auckland, Whangarei, Rotorua and Turangi to supplement the 2007 Nationals (which will be held early in the new year to be hosted by Evans Bay Y&MBC, Wellington).

Fleets get up to 20+ with the close racing expected of a restricted design.

The E5.9 continues to be an excellent syndicate boat with competitive second-hand boats available for $10,000 to $15,000. [Pictured is Voodoo, 2nd in 2006 NZ Nationals and one of the first hulls built - launched 1984]

More details