Philip & Grandad Pete’s Adventure To The New Zealand Antique & Classic Boat Show – Part 2


Principessa - Philip Andrew's 1958 Century Resorter - Image by Alan Doak

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.

Here we are mid summer wet and freezing. The first boats start arriving.

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.

This beautifully restored sailing dingy “Corsair” was found by the builders Grandson and restored then towed from Auckland to attend the show.

A sea of little lapstrake boats powered by various engines.

This one sporting a “Seagull” outboard, and the smaller boat appears to be driven by the “Stig”.

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.

Barn finds like “Wai Manu”…

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.

New Zealand Antique & Classic Boat Show organizer Pete Rainey brought his beautifully prepared (and operational) hydroplane again this year… More on Pete later.

There were quite a number of Steam powered boats again this year, but none bigger than “Flirt” – An 1890 Mail boat.

Peter Woods old steamer “India” – The steamers are always popular with the spectators and participants at this show.

How sweet is this old thing! Cleaner than a dentists clinic.

You’ve got to love the Jet Boat boys. Any water works for them.

These two rare British made Albatross aluminium inboards were very cool.

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!

Later that day, after struggling to get her to fire, he squirted something in the carbs and loudly declared – “This engine start up proudly brought to you by START Ya BASTARD!!”

Johnny looking suitably sanguine having just been told off by the fun police for blatting it away from the jetty.

The awards banquet on Saturday night was great fun. Here’s Pete Rainey and me sporting contrasting dress codes, me sporting my Woody Boater tee shirt and Pete with his more official attire.

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)

Sunday dawned fine and warmer and the crowds arrived.

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”.

Blondie - Image Courtesy Alan Doak

Blonde - Image Courtesy Alan Doak

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.

Fellow Woody Boater Callum McLeod - Image Courtesy Alan Doak

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

Image Courtesy Alan Doak

I just love the traditional Captains Cap Harper is sporting while learning to operate the MiniMax with his father.

Image Courtesy Alan Doak

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!

Image Courtesy Alan Doak

And a great shot of “My Love” the “Peoples Choice” award winner for 2012 resting at the end of the dock.

Image Courtesy Alan Doak

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.

We arrived home from our Woody Boater adventure in Wellington at 2:00 AM Monday morning just in time for work.

Cheers – Philip Andrew, Woody Boater NZ Bureau

What a great story Philip, and thanks so much for taking the time to share your adventure with us here at Woody Boater – We appreciate the effort.

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.


26 replies
  1. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Looked like a great show despite the weather.  The coverage was pretty good, but I would like to see a little more love for the jet boats next year. You are in the birth place of the water jet so let’s see some of those 1950’s Hamiltons we know you guys are hiding. 


    • Texx
      Texx says:

      m-fine – I just added a cool Hamilton Jet Boat to the story just for you.

      All you have to do is ask… Ha

      • m-fine
        m-fine says:

        Thank you!  That kind of customer service here at woodyboater almost makes up for the naked golfer link. 

  2. matt
    matt says:

    This, right here, on your computer is what we are all about! What a fantastic story and an event full of fun and joy. The can of starter fluid should be an on going trophy to the great folks that see the fun and joy of this lifestyle! Thanks philip for making my week!

  3. Michael Guthrie
    Michael Guthrie says:

    Philip, I really enjoyed your story and all the photos. What a great event and how good is it to see such wonderful character in the people involved and in their boats !Thank you for sharing your experience. Cheers, Michael

  4. Alex
    Alex says:

    Philip, wonderful reporting and wonderful photos.  Cool and unusual (for us) and beautiful boats.  This is worth reading and re-reading at least a few times today.  Thanks so much.  What a treat.

  5. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Also great header photo today!  I noticed those crazy Kiwis are always risking their lives with things like bungy jumping and driving on the wrong side of the road, but even they know you better wear a life jacket when you get in a Century!

    • Philip Andrew
      Philip Andrew says:

      m-fine,  I must admit she did take in a bit of water but I put that down to not having time to soak up.I think I might glass it !

  6. John Martin
    John Martin says:

    Nice story. Love it when people take pictures or more than just the WOOD boats too. Shows like that are filled with more than mahogany and nice one at that. Also like that pic back home. Love looking at a beautiful boat with a couple classics in the background. Looks like a Stearman and a maybe  a Fokker D-VII?


  7. Mike Green
    Mike Green says:

    What a great story and good to see boats from the other side of the world. Philip, the boat looks great!

  8. Alex
    Alex says:

    m-fine, harkening back to the freighter story, better to wear a life jacket when one gets in “any” boat.  Even the “unsinkable” Whalers.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      You are ruining may daily Century dig!  If I can’t count our your support I just might get a late 60’s Cheetah and join the Dark Side.  Their boats might not float, and the Arabians have no style, but you can count on the Century guys to stick together.

  9. Alex
    Alex says:

    m-fine, sorry about that.  But it’s 74 degrees at the house just now (Petoskey, MI) and Tommy Mertaugh reports 54 in Hessel!  Can’t help but feel downright giddy.

  10. RiverRat
    RiverRat says:

    Thankyou Philip and Alan. Lastrakeapaloozza. What a great collection of boats. More lastrakes in one place unless you are at a Lyman gathering. Love the beautiful shed built boats. I will check Alan’s other photos as well.

  11. Alex
    Alex says:

    Also love how these photos can be clicked on to see them larger, then clicked on again to see them super-sized.  More like that, please, WB executives.   

  12. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    great and comprehensive story!!!   I loved everything about it except that picture at the dinner table…what do they EAT over there?  What is that pink blob on the plate in front of Lord Nelson?

    John in Va. 

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