The New Zealand Antique and Classic Boat Show March 3-4, 2012.
PART 2. The Big Show and Big Story – by Philip Andrew
In Part 1 of our adventure to the 2012 New Zealand Antique & Classic Boat Show (click here to see Part 1) we covered our journey from our home near Wellington, New Zealand (on the north island) to Nelson and then to Lake Rotoiti on New Zealand’s south island. When we arrived at the Alpine Lodge on Friday afternoon, we learned that there was a “Severe Weather Warning” issued for the area, forecasting heavy rain, severe gales and even a possibility of snow at the same elevation as the lake. Remember this is our summer season here in New Zealand…
Now it’s 7:00 AM Saturday morning and its snowed overnight. We are down to 39 degrees (4c). Theres nothing for it but to get to the boat show and set up.
Grandad Pete and I have brought a tent with us called an Ezi-Up – thinking it would give us some shade during the blistering heat we would encounter. It was so windy we had to tie it to the ground and my carefully planned American themed display quickly turned into a shambles.
We had Polo shirts embroidered with our boats name “Principessa”. Ice cold Coke and albums of photos of the restoration. Too cold and too windy to display.
Saturday was scheduled to be an onshore display and walk around for the public followed by an afternoon of activity on the Lake, but it soon became apparent that despite the weather conditions abating we would need to wait for Sunday to see most of the boats out on the water.
Regardless of the less than ideal conditions there was still a “Field of Dreams” to check out.
“Tinkerbell” (below) was made by Wellington artist Tom Sladden.
Many of the boats at the show are home made. There’s a tradition in New Zealand of guys building stuff in the “shed out the back” and that’s where a lot of these boats took shape. There were some amazing examples of boats built by truly clever men, none more so than this one.
This humble lapstrake had the most ingenious power system with a straight prop shaft that could be raised or lowered for shallow waters – Similar to the famous Dippy (Disappearing Propeller Boats) from the 1920’s in Canada.
All made in the shed out the back. La Beach? La Genius I think.
And this super cool wooden Hydroplane. Based on the documentation that was displayed with this old hydro, I was interested to see that this boat had been faster at 117 mph than Len Southwards Redhead that we reported on a few months ago. (You can see that story by clicking here) Unfortunately this old girl needs some TLC and probably won’t be ready for the race on Sunday.
And how about this little boat built by the British Aircraft company De Havilland to “Jet Age Standards”. (We never stop learning here at Woody Boater – I was not aware that De Havilland ever designed and built aluminum boats back in the day, thanks Philip – Texx)
My friend from Wellington, Johnny Malthus put on a big display arriving to the show with his Chris-Craft Racing Runabout “My Love” overflowing with kids and bunting and candy for all the other kids. Later in the day he launched her and shouted everyone a “My Love” cocktail. By the time she got her bottom wet Johnny had nailed the popular “Peoples Choice” award!
Pete does a great job of organizing the show and is a passionate boat collector himself. (Nice work as always Pete. He and I communicated by e-mail a few times just prior to this years boat show and Pete extended an inviation to Woody Boater to travel down to New Zealand and join them for the event next year. What an exciting experience that would be. – Texx)
And with the sunshine and warmer weather on Sunday, the antique & classic boaters took to the water on Lake Rotoiti to enjoy thier classic boats. And another fine looking wooden runabout out of Wellington Bruce Judge’s recently imported beautiful Chris Craft 20′ Custom “Blondie”.
And Callum McLeod was quick to follow with Pete Rainey’s vintage Hydroplane, and Alan Doak was right there to catch the cool shot of Callum ready to get up on plane.
We finally got “Principessa” in the water. After nearly 3 years of “Sand Varnish, Sand Varnish, Sand Varnish, we did two laps of the course and the water pump crapped out. Nice. Hey at least I got her wet.
We have to extend a special thanks to fellow Woody Boater Alan Doak for allowing us to share his awesome images of this years event with us here at Woody Boater. Alan also kindly shared his photos with us last year for our live-ish boat show coverage, and it was fantastic to work with him again this year.
As I was going through Alan’s 2012 boat show photo album, these next three photos of Alan out on his MiniMax race boat with his son Harper, teaching him how to safely operate the boat and taking the time to share his knowledge just says it all for me… This is the future of classic boating, getting the next generation out to enjoy the hobby, on the water. – Texx
I just love the traditional Captains Cap Harper is sporting while learning to operate the MiniMax with his father.
And big smiles all around for Alan when they arrived back at the shore. Thanks again Alan for all you do with your wonderful photography and for the hobby in New Zealand!
And a great shot of “My Love” the “Peoples Choice” award winner for 2012 resting at the end of the dock.
We said our farewells and set off to catch the Ferry home but not before calling in to see my friend Graham Orphan at Omaka airfield. Graham trades and builds old planes and also publishes an aviation magazine. We found him in the hanger starring at a pile of twisted metal that he assures me was once a P-40.
Cheers – Philip Andrew, Woody Boater NZ Bureau
Also a big thanks to fellow Woody Boater Pete Rainey for all your help organizing the 2012 New Zealand Antique & Classic Boat Show event again this year and offering to share it with us here at Woody Boater.