Where Are We Today – Lake Tahoe, Lake Como, Ft. Lauderdale, Or…


None of the above. Today we are in Lake Rotoiti, New Zealand. Thanks to fellow Woody Boater Pete Rainey, we are getting the opportunity to see some images of antique & classic boats from the other side of the world. And based on what we can see, the antique & classic boating hobby is alive and well in New Zealand. The 12th Annual NZ Antique & Classic Boat Show is on deck for this weekend, and in Pete’s words…

“We are running the NZ Antique and Classic boatshow this Saturday and Sunday here at Lake Rotoiti about 300 miles north of Christchurch which has suffered the most devastating earthquake last Tuesday (as I’m sure you know). Many from Christchurch are coming to the show to find solace and lift spirits.”

“Classic boating makes a difference to peoples lives!!”

Michael's Seresin's Riva Tritone "Lola" - Lake Rotoiti 2007

With that said, we thought it would be fun to travel down to New Zealand for a few days (via the Internet) and check out another part of the world, and experience first hand how they do it down there. But first, a quick geography lesson. Lake Rotoiti is located in Nelson Lakes National Park, just south of Nelson which is located in the top Northwest Corner of the South Island.

New Zealand is a small country of approximately 4 million people. It is made up of 2 main islands, the North Island, which contains the majority of the population and the South Island, which abounds with lush scenery. This is the ideal country for a holiday. A pocket of paradise in the top northwest corner of the South Island, Nelson has a positive, creative attitude to life – and it’s easy to see why. To learn more about the area, you can click here to go to the Official New Zealand website. 

Inspiring landscapes and all kinds of creativity – The region, which is the sunniest in New Zealand, has for many years attracted residents who love to use their imaginations. There are more than 350 working artists and craftspeople living in Nelson, including traditional and contemporary Maori artists. Their work is often inspired by the region’s exceptionally beautiful geography – coastal, forest and valley landscapes provide places to wander and dream.

Lake Rotoiti & Nelson Lakes National Park - Just South of Nelson

The 12th Annual NZ Classic & Antique boat show looks to be very different from what we are used to in North America. It’s truly a celebration of all things boating, and appears to reflect the unique lifestyle that the folks in New Zealand embrace. Something for the whole family… and I think the whole family came together in the “O. Rat” the white clinker below. That looks like fun! On the web site they refer to the event as ‘Glorious Hydromatic Relaxation’.

O. Rat - Clinker With a Full Load

Our new friend Pete Rainey e-mailed us this boat show outline which highlights the diversity of the big event this weekend.

N Z Antique & Classic Boat Show
Lake Rotoiti, Nelson Lakes
South Island, New Zealand March 5 & 6 2011

Clinkers, canoes, classic sail boats, seagulls, inboard clinkers, runabouts, classic hydroplanes and race boats, steam launches, old fiberglass boats and their owners come together for three days of classic boating, display, talk and the odd race. Set in the stunning setting of St Arnaud township nestled on the edge of beautiful Lake Rotoiti, Nelson Lakes National Park, New Zealand

For Information including accommodation, boat registration, and weekend activities contact Pete Rainey (00643)5456591, PO Box 568 Nelson, email: pbrain@xtra.co.nz.

Here’s a link to their website at NZ Antique & Classic Boat Show

But before you go there, check out some of these cool images from the last few years of the event. There are boats of all sizes and types that gather for the show, and some very different boats, which is what makes this event so interesting. For example… “Three Nought Three” is a 1953 Glen L design with fins.

Three Nought Three - Finned Beauty

In 2010 the new award for Best Steam Boat went to the 24’ R Sewell Steamboat, “Billy Boy” owned by Gavin Bain of Lyttelton. This award commemorates Ron Culley, one of the earliest attendees of the show who is no longer well enough to take part.

Billyboy - New Zealand Steamer

“Belvedere” won the award for Best Overall in 2002.

Belvedere - Show Winner

Sailing is a big part of the weekend’s activities, and the crowds came out to watch in 2010.

Here’s fellow Woody Boater and 2011 Boat Show Organizer Pete Rainey getting ready to go out in his hydro. We have Pete and Alan Doak from Borderdogstan / Flickr to thank for the wonderful images from New Zealand both today and tomorrow.

Fellow Woody Boater - Pete Rainey

Pete Rainey - Heading Out To Play in his Hydro

In 2006 Alan Doak captured some images of this fellow who was determined to set a new trend for human powered boating at the boat show. A floating bicycle… It looks like he just came from a wedding in Wellington… Could he be a mate of fellow Woody Boater Phil Andrew’s? Phil – are you there?

But just as he has getting up to speed and impressing all the people on the beach, the wheels (or pontoons) came off and his day was done…

Stay tuned to Woody Boater tomorrow for Part 2 of our trip to New Zealand… I guarantee you will see some wooden boats like you have never seen before. And then stay tuned for our live-ish report directly from the 2011 NZ Classic & Antique Boat Show on the weekend, Pete Rainey is now officially our NZ South Island Roving Reporter joining with Philip Andrew, Woody Boater’s North Island Roving Reporter! Hey wait, how come these guys get all the good assignments?

Thanks again to Alan Doak at Borderdogstan/ Flickr for providing us with some of his beautiful images for our story.

And lets all take a minute to think of the folks in Christchurch this week.


10 replies
  1. Mike M
    Mike M says:

    Last week we got to donate to a good cause and this week we’re learning about different parts of the world. What are you guys trying to do, make us smart?

  2. Rick-Posting from the northern hemisphere
    Rick-Posting from the northern hemisphere says:

    Love the bicycle craft. Interesting, I thought pics from the other side of the world would be upside down. Ah the magic of the computer. Great looking boats down there and the setting looks wonderful. Good going mates.

  3. matt
    matt says:

    Soory to make every look smart and good. If it helps i will not use spell check anymore…… yes i use it… my spell check aint that great obviously

  4. Philip Andrew
    Philip Andrew says:

    Oh the agony , the humanity!!! I cant be there this weekend. Every year I plan on taking one of the Centurys to the show and each year something prevents me. This year the Resorter isnt quite finished, the Arabian is waiting for distributor parts and they are in the container bringing the Palamino over. Arghhh.
    I will call Pete today and introduce myself and prep to take all three next year!
    My friend Johnny who Pete enquired about has just bought a Chris Craft Racing Runabout from Antique Boat America so that should do the trick at the show next year too I reckon.

  5. Skinny
    Skinny says:

    Hi Texx – just a clarification – I think I took ALL of the photos on this page – including the one in the header 🙂 For everyone else reading this there are heaps more pics from previous boat shows here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/skinnylaveal/sets/

    The Antique and Classic Boat Show is a fantastic event, even if you don’t have a boat. After photographing it for nearly ten years I decided I may as well join the team and so built a Minimax which I’m taking down this year. I’ve just installed a steering unit to my 5hp Mariner – top speed of 27.5 kph – lots of fun.

    I like your website. Well done.

    Alan (Skinny)

  6. Texx
    Texx says:

    Thanks Alan (Skinny) for providing us with access to your images from New Zealand.

    We are working on Part 2 of the NZ Boat Show story today which will be published on Wednesday morning (Thursday morning in New Zealand).

    We also have included a shot of a Minimax Racer from 2009, very cool…

    Mike M – Pay close attention, there may be a Pop Quiz on New Zealand boats next week…

  7. Philip Andrew
    Philip Andrew says:

    Your chosen subject is little known facts about new Zealand.
    Your first question is…
    Q.The highest mountain in the world is Mt Everest. Name the first climber to conquer it and his nationality and give me his famous quote.
    A. Sir Edmond Hillary. New Zealand. ” We knocked the bugger off.”
    Q. Name the scientist who is attributed with discovering nuclear fission by splitting the atom and his nationality.
    A. Lord Rutherford. New Zealand. Not sure what he said at the time. Maybe. ” holy cr#p! ”
    Q. Name the first man in the world to fly in a heavier than air aircraft and his nationality. ( controversial I hear you say. )
    A. Richard Pearce. South Island Farmer 31st May 1903.
    Thats just a couple of months before the Wright Brothers.
    9 months actually.
    So there ya go. how about that.

  8. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    Phillip, here’s a famous quite from Ernest, Lord Rutherford of Nelson, New Zealand:

    “The energy produced by the breaking down of the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms in talking moonshine.”

    It’s admirable to know that “The father of nuclear physics” and the first man to split the atom had no intention or ambition to invent the atom bomb.

    Late in his lifetime he did produce hydrogen atoms with 2 neutrons better known as tritium but didn’t realize the impact that it would have in the future. He died in 1937 and was laid to rest near the tomb of Sir Isaac Newton in Westminster Abby.

    Thought all you Woody Boaters needed to know a little history of this great scientist who’s a New Zealand native.

  9. Thomas
    Thomas says:

    I ship modeler and I am very interested billyboy steamer, which I would like to build.
    So please if you would have scanned my plan, + some photos
    Thank you in advance for your answer
    Thomas Blahutka

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Thomas – Thanks for tuning in to Woody Boater.

      I sent you an e-mail with the contact information you were looking for. Good luck.

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