Mason Bay

The rebirth and conversion of a New Zealand fishing boat-and maybe her further adventures. Other boats and observations will happen from time to time.....

Monday, November 24, 2014


Just come back from Nelson in the South Island. I helped Davey take his 1929 ex fishing boat down from Tauranga about 450nm.The Island is the active volcano WHITE Is. in Bay of Plenty.Sails were used when possible but the JP4 Lister rumbled away at 2.5 nm per litre and 630rpm.Very easy to live with.

Now getting ready to move aboard Mason Bay for the summer.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I have posted some fotos and the work that has gone into this 1901 Logan motor-sailer.Unfortunately the presnt owners have over extended their budget and now want to sell.It is very hard to put a figure on her. to some people she is a treasure. to others a liability.But she must find a new owner.
Loa54ft, Boa 13 ft 22tonnes 5L3 Gardner on 2:1 3skin Logan construction on heart Kauri copper rivitted. Lots of history around.Berthed in Town Basin Whangarei.Contact me if interested.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Whenwe were in Falmouth UK on our way round we got to know the local club race scene. Wednesdays and Sundays the local hot shot sailors race these Falmouth Workboats. 28ft displacement yachts. Crewws can vary up to 12-15 plenty of room with the deck at waist level. There is a cuddy up forward for the sailos and beer. When used to go to the Sail-ins in France they put the camping gear up forward with an awning for the cockpit. Now this is the sort of craft a lot of club racer/cruisers should have. And if you think they are slow you would be mistaken. (CURLEW)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Found this artist who specialises in schooners and cod fishing off Nova Scotia. Go looking ....

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Finally re-installed the mizzen mast which has an extention to the exhaust pipe up it.It sort of worked ok before, but not quite right. The mizzen got hot- not enough to bubble the paint but too hot for the hand. So we hardly ever used the mizzen. Also you may recall had a bit of over-heating on the last tow job. All been fixed and new ss heat deflector installed just in case.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


This photo was taken some years ago. Sweet little boat, one of Roger Carey's However have heard on the grapevine it is hauled out in Havelock and does not look promising. Some rough additions to wheelhouse and destruction to bulwarks. Gardner Diesel. any further news?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Been spending some time lately on finally getting my book of designs,doodles and sketches finished. It will be home printed, max 100 copies and will be numbered and signed. About 380 pages ,A3 landscape with a wire binding so it can be laid flat. Covers designs up to number 57.( at 70 now) Will later try to get it on my website   Could be much later when I can get someone to help!

Friday, July 11, 2014


Kitenui is one of our 'K' keelers. This one has just been bought by a local couple and needed a tow up from Algies Bay about 50nm south. She has been neglected and had been on her mooring for a few years.The tow was tough with mussels on her bottom.We were not the only tow on the coast- this tug and barge passed us, we were doing 4.5kts I guess they were a knot faster as they took a couple of hours to pass us.The weather was kind and we had a lovely window in the middle of winter...

Friday, July 4, 2014


Have just recieved some photos from our guest over last summer and these are a pick of them. He was with us for a couple of weeks a nd cooked some lovely feeds.We enjoy having him and hope he will return thia year.
On another note leaving Saturday for Kawau IS., about 50 miles south to bring a K class back to Whangarei.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Nice big gaff ketch now based in Auckland. In fact Mason Bay ended up with the Mizen and Jib off her via a mutual friend. Thats Rangitoto Is in the background at the entrance to the Waitamata harbour.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


 The 1:10 working model of the 10m low powered motor cruiser has been launched! see video below.It has been balastewd to float on its waterline- took quite a few diving weights...

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Always a pleasure boat but designed by Roger Carey, who was famous for his Fishing boats.Quite nicely detailed and is on the market I hear. I prefer the galley on the main deck tho......

Monday, June 9, 2014


We have all had to move out of 'C' dock as they replace the old wooden floats with new concrete ones. We have had to wait untill most of the overseas cruisers have left for the islands to accommodate us all. Mason Bay has moved over to the main wharf, in the background you can see her.They say it will be about a month. There is dredging going on as well.....

Monday, June 2, 2014


This delightful little craft is 13ft3in by 6ft 8in mini Mullet boat.Photo taken in the 1960,s in Omaha Bay from my 18ft hard chine mullety. Double diagonal kauri hull, 2 bunks below.Drew 4ft 6in with the steel plate keel bolted in. Normally dries out without, but haul her down with a halyard and tie to a dinghy and fit the keel between two angle irons with 5 bolts. Last seen on the beach at Point Chevalier some years ago- may still be around?  

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


One of my previous yachts.56ft by 16 ft about 42tons. Huon Pine built in Cygnet,Tasmania 1929 by Wilson Bros.Lost its rudder and 4t lead keel on NW reef off Gladstone.Swapped my 35 ft TERRAL for her and motored her back to NZ via Lord Howe IS. Ford 6 96 hp diesel. Crew 2 and had to steer the whole way - not fun! I spent a couple of years in Russell restoring her before sailing her back to her home of Tassie.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


 Came across this wonderful photo the other day.  It is set in USA by the look of the cast wheel.

Thinking I may add some nautical  shots of interest as I come across them.Winter time here now...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Visited this Nordhaven 43 out at the Barrier. American flagged. All very comfortable in the living area but the engine 'room' was a crawl space!.Had to go thru a panel in the shower and crawl on hands and knees. How you would do a engine inspection on passage is beyond me.....

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


I have been busy going through all my old photos and digitizing them. Some are in poor condition.These from1967 have been round the world in Alice Alakwe.
On the left is the 18 ft mullety 'SUN' built by George Honour.
The other is "LADY RUIA" 13ft8in by 6ft 8in a 2skin round bilge mini mullety.It had a steel plate keel that you bolted in when you wanted to sail, tying the boat on its side while the keel is bolted between two angle irons.Drew 4ft6in  The SUN had steel bilge-keels.
Both have 2 bunks down below and both are gaff cutters.I have some shots somewhere of a cruise in company up the NE coast of NZ.

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Myth is now launched with an added deck house and reduced rig. A sign of our ages!.This photo of the model was taken at Manchester Pl in 1988.Building such a large 50+ft steel boat singlehandedly takes some doing and some years!
Digitizing all my old fotos ,so maybe some more coming.....

Friday, May 9, 2014


Taioma is a 1936 Fred Lidgard kauri sloop of 28 ft.We bought her for  $5000 in 1995 and did a 60 day full refit at the 'Bolthole' in Auckland.She was a great liveaboard for a year alongside our boatshed in Whangarei while we were building 'BOOTSTRAP'.
Note the full bulkhead at the mast which gives an end to the saloon and provides support for the table, which lowers to give us a full double bunk athwartships.Its like a kind of 'dresser'.The f'csle has a portapotti and bosubs store, access thru the fore hatch. Also stiffens the boat up as she had a big rig.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Taken in Suva Fiji 1979.
Lady Sterling , after Alden, built by Bailey Bros in Auckland 1921 all heart kauri with mottled kauri panelling. Saloon 13ft long ans 13ft wide.Orignally fitted with a 7/8 size iron framed piano.
Schooner rigged but with 120hp Ford now.I did first ocean passages on her in 1772 and George taught me celestial navigation.
Great boat for passagemaking.
In the background is my black Tahiti Ketch - More about that later.....

Friday, May 2, 2014


One last job for Mason Bay was to tow our old boat down from the Bay of Islands to Whangarei here.The towline is 100m of 25mm double plait so it dosnt come out of the water. A steady 5kts was fine at 1300rpm. Both Paul on AA and myself were single-handing. The weather was peachy.! Thats Cape Brett in the background. She will be hauling out here and I will get a shot of her underwater lines.