See also: New Zealand Yarns, New Zealand History,
Polar Exploration

  • Salt in our Blood
  • With the Wind Behind Us
  • K Class.
  • Classic
  • Launching Dreams
  • Thoughts on Clinker Lapstrake Dinghy Construction
  • The New Zealand Clinker Boat.
  • Des Townson. A Sailing Legacy
  • The John Spencer Story
  • The Jack Brooke Story
  • The Story Of Bandit.
  • Semper Fidelis
  • All Hands on Deck. Pt Chev Sailing Club 1919-2019
  • Ponsonby Cruising Club
  • Devonport Yacht Club
  • Emmy
  • Lee Rail
  • Galloping Ghosts

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    By Ivor Wilkins. Hardback, 2.64kg, 260mm x 307mm, 462 pages, Full colour photographs and illustrations. Published 2021.

    In the tumultuous summer of 2021, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron celebrated its 150th anniversary.
    This is the story of how this institution grew from small beginnings to become one of the most respected clubs of its type in the world.
    Through the dramatic technological changes from wooden hulls and spars to carbon creations that fly across the ocean surface, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has been associated with campaigns that have succeeded at the highest levels of international sailing, its trophy cabinets have played host to some of the most revered prizes in the sport.
    The history of the club and the achievements of its members epitomise the can-do spirit that has seen New Zealand compete and succeed in a wide range of endeavours on the world stage.
    This truly is a book worthy to be in every collectorís book case.

    NZ$155.00 + Delivery.

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    Stories that made New Zealand a Sailing Nation
    By Matt Elliott. Softback, 0.45kg, 153mm x 235mm, 253 pages, Black & White Images. Published November 2020.

    From red socks to kauri yachts, these are the stories that made New Zealand Aotearoa a sailing nation.
    Stretching back to the Pacific navigators and the great migrations from Polynesia to the humble 'P' class dinghy and the world-beating success of Team New Zealand: With the Wind Behind Us is a celebration of the stories that gave us our legendary sailing reputation.

    NZ$40.00 + Delivery.

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    The Hauraki Gulf's Iconic Racer-Cruiser
    By Jenni Mence. Hardback, 2.03kg, 242mm x 295mm, 359 pages, Colour, black & white, sepia photographs, plans and drawings. Published December 2019.

    Emerging from the drawing boards of some of the most talented local and international yacht designers, the K Class fleet has graced the sparkling waters of the Hauraki Gulf for the past seventy years. Although the fleet is small in numbers, their reputation for competitive racing and comfortable cruising has endeared them to many sailors.
    Amply illustrated with images from professional photographers and family albums, this book highlights the joys of sailing these beautiful boats and captures the spirit and history of the class; offering a glimpse into what it was like for those lucky few who raced and cruised on them.

    NZ$70.00 + Delivery.

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    By Ivor Wilkins. Hardback, 2.79 kgg, 260mm x 310mm, 448 pages, black and white, sepia, and colour photographs. Published 2010.

    Now Out of Print but we have stock available!

    The first pure racing/pleasure yachts were built from the 1880s onwards by the famous houses of Logan and Bailey, and more than 100 years later many of these masterpieces are still going strong ó largely due to New Zealand's very durable, beautiful kauri timber. Their remarkable life stories of success, neglect and restoration tell the story of New Zealandís history.

    Renowned yachting writer and photographer Ivor Wilkinsí stunning coffee-table book celebrates the power and grace and the people who have restored these beautiful yachts to their glory. Waitangi, Rainbow and Ariki, Little Jim and Rona, are the names of but a few of these grand ladies of the Waitemata, and are a few of many ambitious reconstruction and restoration projects which have seen the yachts returned to racing trim.

    Each boat is a tribute not only to the original builders 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 is a landmark book that anyone with an interest in yachts, launches and sailing dinghies, craftsmanship and design or New Zealand's heritage, coast and history, will cherish.

    This book is now out of print, but we have managed to source an overseas supplier with stock.

    NZ$200.00 + Delivery.

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    By Baden Pascoe. Hardback,985g, 245mm x 290mm, 152 pages, black and white, sepia, and colour photographs. Published 2013.
    A sumptuous pictorial and historical record that celebrates the life of Auckland businessman and renowned boatbuilder Percy Vos, his boats and the people who worked with him.

    Percy Vos had a lifelong passion for leadership and imparting his knowledge to others, which he considered his personal responsibility. As a young man he fought for his country in World War 1, came home and got on with life and gained a huge respect from his staff, customers, and the boatbuilding industry at large.

    An outstanding Aucklander, with an absolute passion for leadership. Percy Vos was one of the greats in our marine industry. His legacy lives on today with the reconstruction of the Vos shed and slipways.

    NZ$50.00 + Delivery.

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    By Peter Peal. Hardback,0.94, 230mm x 300mm, 108 pages, Black and White, sepia, and colour photographs. Line drawings and Plans. Published 2017.
    Peter Peal started working at Percy Vos Ltd, boatbuilders as an apprentice in 1937. From the outset of his career he always believed that attention to detail gives a good result and this is a critical fact when building clinker dinghies. This book is a reflection of his trade values and is a must for anyone who wants to build one of these boats or is just interested in the magic of clinker boat-building.

    The intention of this book is twofold, firstly to explain the art of clinker boat-building as it was previously done, and secondly, the way it is now, with different timbers and power tools.

    The first section of the book takes you back in time to the late 1930ís via a story line were you can almost feel the day to day atmosphere of the Percy Vos boat yard. A time when young men were immersed in knowledge and exposed to an experience were they got to know what a nice shear line or lay of a plank should to look like. A place where they learnt to touch a piece of timber and instantly know itís capably of strength and durability. Working with wood was what they loved to do and they played with the results of their work during their weekends sailing, rowing and steaming their floating works of art that were so kind on the eye. The method used to build these boats without the aid of moulds or temporary frames made the task even more challenging but once mastered it elevated these young men to go on to be the legends of our marine industry that are now the cornerstones of the world class marine industry we now have.

    The second part of his book his based on much the same principles as in the first section but ply planking can be employed instead of timber. Laminates can be used instead of natural crocks and to make it easier and moulds or temporary frames are recommended to control exact shape.

    In the third section Peter offers three of his designs with full lines off sets and construction drawings. Boat 1 being a traditional launch or yacht tender, boat 2 a small rowing or pulling boat and boat 3 a clinker large enough to be a small out board run-a-bout. (He also recommends designing your own boat)

    Section four is a short glossary of the terms and slang used in the Auckland boat yards during his time in the trade.

    NZ$65.00 + Delivery.

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    By Tino Rawa Trust. Softback, 0.17kg, 210mm x 297mm, 31 pages, Colour, black & white, sepia photographs. Published in 2017.
    The art of building clinker or shiplap dinghies and boats was one of the skill sets of the shipwrights that immigrated to New Zealand during the early colonisation years. This skill was simply considered a must if they were seeking employment on a ship or as a ships carpenter.

    Tha Auckland Province was fortunate that several Scottish families landed here. The most notable being Henry Niccol, who, with his family arrived here in late 1842 as passengers on the Jane Gifford. His arrival, and a few of his extended family members, began to desigh and build the first watercraft and ships in Auckland. This was the beginning of the industry..

    Looking back over the many yachting classes that were clinker built, New Zealand produced some of the best, if not the best, high performance clinker boats in the World.

    This book is a celebration of the Clinker boat in New Zealand.

    NZ$18.00 + Delivery.

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    By Brian Peet. Hardback, 1.8 kgs, 242mm x 286mm, Full colour and black & white photographs and images. Published September 2019.
    Yacht designer and Boatbuilder Des Townson was responsible for a unique body of work which filled a special niche in New Zealandís rich boating history. He possessed an analytical mind, an innate feel for sailing boats and a wonderful eye for their visual balance. As an accomplished racing helmsman, he applied his once-in-a-generation set of skills to his creative art. During a five decade long design career he produced some of the most eye-catching, easily handled and well performing maritime craft to ever grace New Zealand waters. The fact he was self-taught and worked almost his entire career alone only intensifies the achievements of this remarkable man.

    This book chronicles his life and design work through his own recollections and those of his family, close friends and associates. Combined with photos, boat plans and press reports, a detailed record of his impact on the New Zealand sailing scene is preserved.

    His legacy continues to this day through the thousands of yachts still bearing his name.

    NZ$80.00 + Delivery.

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    By Peter Tait / Tino Rawa Trust. Paperback, 0.34kg, 210mm x 297mm, 67 pages, Colour, black & white, sepia photographs. Published in 2020.

    John Spencer, (1931-1996) was a brilliant NZ yacht designer, an innovator and free thinker, outstanding craftsman and a champion of the amateur boat builder.
    John was responsible for designing some of the best-known sailing dinghy classes and racing keelers both in New Zealand and internationally including the Cherub, NZ Javelin, Firebug and Flying Ant classes.
    His influence in yacht design and construction was wide ranging and his fast sailing dinghies were a major part in the 50s/60s sailing boom in NZ/Australia. He remained thoroughly committed to light, fast, fun and inexpensive boats.
    John's influence spread to keelboats, again very much with the aim of designing boats that the ordinary bloke could build and have fun sailing. His boats were always light and very quick. He designed the light and medium displacement keel boats Infidel and the Sydney to Hobart winner Bucaneer.

    This book celebrates his life, his work, and his legacy.

    NZ$35.00 + Delivery.

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    By Harold Kidd. Paperback, 0.19kg, 210mm x 297mm, 30 pages, black & white photographs. 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.

    NZ$25.00 + Delivery.

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    THE STORY OF BANDIT. Sir Peter Blake's First Keel Boat
    By Shirley-Ann McCrystal Softback, 0.11kg, 250mm x 210mm, 10 pages, Colour Photographs. Published in 2019.
    An account, with many photographs, of the building of Bandit, in a temporary shed, by the 19 year old Peter Blake, and his younger brother Tony.

    The Van de Stadt hard chine design of 24 feet began life in the Bayswater backyard on Auckland's North Shore. The Blake brothers (and friend and crew member Crawford Duncan) would spent all their spare time, rain or hail, on creating and building Peter's dream...
    On January 20 1968, on completion, the boat was launched at Devonport yacht Club, although not all went according to plan. The high tide was missed, the cable on the slipway too short, which prevented her from sliding all the way off the cradle. Only her bottom got wet!
    The next day, all came right and Bandit was christened. Peter's dream became reality.

    This is the story of little Bandit, her history, the anecdotes, her racing career, her restoration, and her final resting place at Auckland's Maritime Museum.

    Bandit may never sail again but she will remain within the sound of the lapping waves, and is proof that anyone can achieve a dream with determination and passion and the will to succeed.

    NZ$25.00 + Delivery.

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    By Sandra Gorter. Softback, 170mm x 230mm, 172 pages, monochrome and full colour photographs.
    Planted in the sea 1200 miles from the nearest significant landmass, New Zealand was always going to be a nation of sailors. As the era of immigrants arriving by boat was coming to a close, those already there had turned again to the sea for their recreation conducting the battles of peacetime on the water.

    First had been the Logans with their aristocrat Ariki, leading the fleet for three decades. Then came Ranger and another thirty years of men and boats battling for supremacy on the Waitemata. Gradually but surely as the sailors, designers and sailmakers learned from the innovations that were changing the world, a boat would emerge to topple the latest king of the Waitemata. But before that happened, while men still dreamed in timber, a boat did come along that was capable of toppling Ranger. As New Zealanders took their sailing skills to the world a new champion emerged, and after proving she could beat Ranger, instead of confronting the cosy competition on the Waitemata, her owner chose instead to take the competition to the greatest, most vicious ocean race in the world and win the Sydney Hobart.

    Little did he know that years after, having raced in every condition the Pacific Ocean had to offer, the boat, like so many Kiwis before her, would one day call Australia home, and earn her place as one of the premier classic yachts racing out of Sydney Harbour.

    Like the ocean she raced on, she could be fickle, harsh, uncompromising and brutal. But she was also a fabulously beautiful boat who captured the hearts and souls of all the men who owned and sailed on her.

    She was: Fidelis

    NZ$10.00 + delivery.

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    By Ed. Kirsty Macdonald. Softback. 0.43 kg. 85 pages. 210mm x 295 mm. Published 2019
    Celebrating 100 years of sailing and community of the Point Chevalier Sailing Club, this book is full of archival photographs, tall tales and fascinating PCSC stories from the earliest days to the present time.

    The Point Chevalier Sailing Club was established in 1919 when a group of enthusiasts acquired a piece of land in the area of Joan St and Harbour View Road. In 1922-23 the club tendered for the defunct Isolation Hospital building and used the timber for the first clubhouse which was opened in 1923. The club become an incorporated society in that same year. Access to the water was an ongoing challenge due to the terrain and no roadway. Investigation into reclamation sites continued for many years, and finally got traction in the mid-1960s when agreement with the City council was reached for one at the end of Raymond Road. In the late 1980s, the ground started to slip at the old Harbour View Road clubhouse. A new clubhouse was designed for the Raymond St Reserve by architect Alastair Madill, and was opened in 1990.

    NZ$50.00 + delivery.

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    PONSONBY CRUISING CLUB, The First Hundred Years.
    By Harold Kidd and Robin Elliott. Pbk, landscape 240mm x 210mm, 101 pages, monochrome and full colour photographs.
    This book starts off with a top pedigree as the authors are well known as historians of the New Zealand recreational boating scene. They have together and separately written several fine books on this topic, as well as magazine articles in the New Zealand boating press. It is very refreshing that both are practitioners of the sport, in particular Harold Kidd who has a background as New Zealand's national yachting coach.
    The Ponsonby Cruising Club is something of an icon in New Zealand yachting and yacht racing circles; this book has ingested much of the flavour and personality of boats, skippers and crews racing on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour since 1900, when the club was founded. The narrative is very well illustrated, using black and white and latterly colour photographs of yachts and racing in Auckland. Robin Elliott has an enormous resource of such pictures available to him as a result of his previous mainly-Auckland based research.
    The five chapters of the book trace the early days of Auckland yachting leading to the foundation of the club, and trace the history of the club through two World Wars, concluding with the move from Saint Mary's Bay to neighbouring Westhaven. In conclusion three appendices give full records of trophy winners, the Mullet Boat Register (which I suspect is an indulgence Robin could not resist!), and a full list of officers from the inception of the club 1900.
    Understandably this book might be regarded as just another in-house club history. It is, however, far more than that. The pedigree of the authors, the breadth of their narrative and photographs, and the position of the club in the Auckland yachting scene make this book as much a part of Auckland's general yachting history as, say, the books Emmy, Winklemann's Waitemata, Vintage New Zealand Launches and The Logans.

    NZ$40.00 + delivery.

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    Edited By Harold Kidd. Pbk, 296mm x 210mm, 225 pages, monochrome and some colour photographs.
    Lady Blake: "The Devonport Yacht Club is a true institutional part of the maritime heritage of Devonport. Situated on one of the most prominent waterfront sites of the Auckland Harbour it is indeed significant that this prime piece of land has been a shipyard for nearly a hundred and fifty years. It is doubtful whether any other yacht club in New Zealand can claim such a distinction.
    Long before the Club was formed in 1905 the Devonport foreshore was the centre of the country's largest shipbuilding industry. Also this was the cradle for yacht racing in New Zealand as evidenced by some of the Club's magnificent trophies dating back as far as the 1870's. All the fascinating history leading up to the formation of the Club and its subsequent activities over the past one hundred years is now contained in this splendid publication with its wonderful illustrations.
    As so many yachtsmen and their families, public figures and other institutions have been involved in some aspect of the Club's activities over these past years this book will appeal to a far wider section of the community than the Club's current membership. It should certainly form part of any dedicated mariner's library."

    NZ$30.00 + delivery.

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    EMMY, Seventy Years of M-Class Yachting.
    By Robin Elliott. Pbk, 185mm x 250mm, 352 pages, monochrome photographs.
    This book started something big in the world of New Zealand maritime books. Robin Elliott worked very hard for a long time collecting the research material needed for an in-depth history of one of New Zealand's iconic classes. The resulting material was so broad that it has led on to further books and a video on other events and classes, in the history of New Zealand recreational and sports yachting.
    The M-Class is one of Auckland's most notable centreboard classes and completed its seventieth continuous racing season on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour in 1993. This will undoubtably take the class into world record ranking for unbroken seasonal racing longevity.
    Designed by Arch Logan in 1922 as a seaworthy cruiser/racer, this 18 foot clinker-built centreboarder, popularly known as the Emmy after its class registration letter, grew in both strength and reputation to become one of the aristocrats of the centreboard scene.
    Despite fluctuations in its fortunes and dramatic changes in yacht design and construction over the last forty years, the Emmy has survived and is held in abiding affection by generations of yachtsmen.
    This book is an authoritative and detailed account of the M-Class and places the development of the class in the larger context of yachting on the Waitemata.

    NZ$40.00 + delivery.

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    LEE RAIL, A Centennial History of the Richmond Yacht Club 1903 ~ 2003
    By Harold Kidd and Robin Elliott. Pbk, landscape 240mm x 210mm, 135 pages, full colour and monochrome photographs.
    This club history is about one of New Zealand's best-known yacht clubs, one of the "Westhaven Four", and is written by two of New Zealand's best-known yachting historians.
    The book is full of stories and photographs describing major events in Auckland's yachting history from the beginning of the 20th century until this year. There is a profusion of photographs showing yachts in full flight, in particular some stunning shots of X and Z class dinghies, and others, on the plane with up to 4 large adults hanging over the transom as ballast!
    The Richmond Yacht Club has always been a family club, and this culture continues today. There is still a link with at least one of the club's earliest classes (the M class - also the subject of a Robin Elliott book Emmy). The club is very much alive and well, which I am sure is in part due to the influence of the immediate past commodore, Vigette Worters, who I know from personal experience is a very fine lady and a fine sailor, who knits sailing groups together as though they were her own family.
    One of the special joys in reading a book such as this is the large number of personal acquaintances that Auckland yachties will easily recognise, and possible see in photographs. This book is a must for sailors who have been involved in club sailing on Auckland Harbour.

    NZ$35.00 + delivery.

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    By Robin Elliot. Softback 0.87kg 224 Pages Published 2012
    With every scrap aloft, carrying more sail than many larger keel yachts, and the crew driving her as fast as possible on the edge of control, no other yacht captures the attention quite like an 18-footer in full flight.
    This is as true today as it was 100 years ago.
    From its origins in the 1890s as an over-canvassed, over-crewed 18-foot dinghy to the 7-man skiff types of the 1930s, and from the trapeze-driven moulded vaneer creations of the 1950s, to the carbon fibre flying machines of today, the 18-footer has retained its appeal for both sailor and spectator.
    Its evolution from one form to another was not always welcome. Friends and enemies were lost and created as the battle lines were drawn, either to protect the old or promote the new. On both sides of the Tasman breakaway clubs were formed and old alliances broken in the heat of arguments as clubs sought to maintain their visions of what a true 18-footer really was. Through it all, the 18-footer survived and evolved.
    For the first time, this 18-footer back-story has been put into context with the State, Interstate and Inter-dominion racing that has made the class so famous.
    Galloping Ghosts tells the full story, from the controversial origins of the Sydney Flying Squadron, the NSW 18-footer's Sailing League and the Auckland Sailing Club, right up to Len Hefferman's Aberdare of the mid-1960s. All the familiar names are there, Australian II, H.C.Press II, Aberdare, Taree, Intrigue, Myra Too, Envy, The Jantzen Girls, Taipan, Venom, Schemer, as well as the men who made them fly.
    Meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated, Galloping Ghosts is the history of the 18-footer as it has never been told before.

    Was NZ$50.00 + delivery.
    Now NZ$10.00 + delivery.

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    See also: New Zealand Yarns, New Zealand History,

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