Publications

By Harold Kidd.

Published in 2012.

Colin Wild was in the top rank of New Zealand's pleasure craft designers and builders. Every one of the yachts and launches he built during the period from 1919 to 1955 was of the highest quality by any standards, local or international, within its design parameters. He was one of the few builders that Arch Logan would approve to build to his designs; the reasons for this will become apparent in this booklet.


By Harold Kidd. 

Published in 2013.

Jack Brooke was one of this country's most important yacht designers as well as being one of its most important practical scientists. He was a positive product of the tough times of the Great Depression of the 1930s. He had two qualities in abundance, initiative and leadership, and was passionate about promoting them in others. Another hallmark of Jack was that his source of inspiration was more from the United States rather than from "Home" as we still then called Britain. With the exception of Colin Wild, under whose influence he came, Jack Brooke was on his own in this at the time, and that American influence was a breath of fresh air. The rest of the story you will have to read in this fascinating booklet.


By John Macfarlane. 

Published in 2015.

Des Townson was the creative genius behind some of the most well known classes in New Zealand sailing, including the Starling, Zephyr, Mistral and Pied Piper, Unmatched in his ability to draw 'pretty' yachts, the boats of Des Townson boats generated fiercely passionate and loyal ownership, with some 3,500 yachts and boats carrying the Townson name.

Townson was born in Auckland in 1934 and from his father developed a passion for sailing. He won the Tanner Cup, the premier teenage yachting championship in 1950 and at the age of 17 designed his first boat, a small dinghy. Over the following fifty-seven years he designed eighty-two different boats ranging from an 8ft rowing dinghy to a 72ft keel boat. His influence on New Zealand yacht design during the 1950s to 80s was as significant as that of the famous Logan family during the colonial yachting era.


By Harold Kidd & Robin Elliot.

Published in 2016.

A frequently asked question is "What is a Mullet Boat, and why is it called that"? The answer is it is a small ballasted centreboard yacht that is unique to Auckland, descended directly from a type of small fishing boat of (roughly) of 140 years ago. When Auckland was founded as the capital of New Zealand in 1840 most of the harvest for the growing population was carried out by Maori Fisherman who rapidly added European-built craft to their formidable fishing techniques. As the fish stocks depleted other fisherman of various mixed races began to dominate the industry. By 1875 these had morphed into two types - The 'Schnapper' boat (usually a 10 ton keel yacht used for line fishing) and the'Mullet' boat (4 Ton centreboarder for netting mullet in the shallows),.

While today we take them for granted as part of the local scenery, the 'Mulletties' have done an enormous amount for NZ yachting, both as a training ground for its yachtsmen and as background inspiration to generations of yacht designers.

This book is a celebration of the 'Mullet Boat'. A New Zealand Yachting Icon.


By Johnny Wray.

Published in 1939.

75th anniversary edition of the timeless New Zealand classic of adventure at sea.

Johnny Wray's gripping and often hilarious account of his adventures around the South Pacific has inspired readers and changed lives since its first publication 75 years ago. Fired from his day job during the Great Depression, Johnny begged, borrowed and stole the materials to build his famous yacht Ngataki.

With some mates for company and a sextant to steer by, he set sail for the palm-fringed atolls and islands of his dreams - to discover they really did exist. But South Sea Vagabonds is much more than just a ripping yarn; it is a heartfelt hymn to the possibility of living a free life and truly being the master of one's own destiny.


By Bruce Ansley.

Published in 2013.

A magnificent celebration of New Zealand's long, complex, varied coastline, written by one of the country's finest writers, and with photographs by one of its most distinguished photographers. Several times in 2012 and 2013, acclaimed New Zealand writer Bruce Ansley and eminent photographer Jane Ussher climbed into a car for another stage of an epic road trip around New Zealand's coast. They travelled north and south, east and west, meeting remarkable, sometimes eccentric but always passionate New Zealanders on the way. From surf lifeguards to cray-fishermen, farmers to artists, conservationists to scientists, and everyone in between, in this landmark book Ansley and Ussher document their encounters with affecting words and gripping images. And then there is the coast itself: by turns uplifted, battered, encircling, dangerous, beguiling, sustaining, energising ...it challenged and fascinated and moved them. This magnificent book pays homage to the narrow margin between the ever restless Pacific and Tasman and the fragile hinterland we New Zealanders call home.


By Ivor Wilkins.

Published in 2010.

New Zealand has a remarkable maritime history and many of us have a close relationship with the sea that surrounds us. No sooner had the first European settlers arrived in Auckland than they held a regatta to celebrate, and the first pure racing/pleasure yachts were built from the 1880s onwards, by the famous houses of Logan and Bailey.

More than 100 years later, many of these masterpieces are still going strong, and their remarkable life stories of success, neglect and restoration tell a story of New Zealand's history. Renowned yachting writer and photographer, Ivor Wilkins, showcases the leading lights of the recent classic yacht revival movement: big names such as Waitangi, Rainbow and Ariki, treasures such as Little Jim and Rona, and the classic dinghies and launches which dot our coast.

It is a tribute both to the original builders of these magnificent craft but also to their current owners and restorers, who have gone to what might seem incomprehensible lengths to bring them back to their former glory and return them to home waters. Lavishly illustrated with contemporary and historic photographs, this book tells the fascinating stories of these boats and at the same time tells a story of New Zealand's own history.