Boating NZ : FREE TO READ March 2014
Sr’s 17ft clinker lug-rigged Whitehall- type skiff Ida, built in 1880 and owned by “Babs” Webster for many years. Babs was one of Auckland’s best-regarded yachtsmen with his crack straight-stem keel yacht May Belle (E11, Logan Bros, 1892). He used Ida to commute daily from his waterfront property in Norwood Road, next door to Ron and Michele and now owned by them, to Mechanics Bay and then walked to his manufacturing jeweller’s shop in Parnell Rise. Stored for many years, the fragile craft has suffered from time, but Ron intends to have her sailing again this coming summer. She is reputed to be a sensational craft on a lead in a brisk breeze and flat water, often the conditions off Ron’s property in Shoal Bay. Jim Cottier got Neil Beken to take her lines and built a clone. Colin Brown built another but the real thing will be something to watch. Also fortunate to be in Ron’s care are some historic centreboarders. Clare (X50) is a Billy Rogers-built 14-footer. There is the Arch Logan designed Silver Fern class 12-footer Tamariki Jr, built by George Tyler in 1940 for Harland Thompson, the younger brother of Bressin Thompson who later owned the A-Class keel yacht Prize. In 1940 both brothers owned the crack Collings 22-footer Tamariki. Also in the stable is the Silver Fern Matariki Jr, built by Roy White in 1946 to the Bill Couldrey- modified Arch Logan design of 1933. Another interesting boat he has is the clinker dinghy from the crack 26-footer Starlight of 1919 (H7), one of the few boats to give Corona a nudge in her later years. So there you have them, Ron and Michele Copeland, a couple who has contributed a huge amount to the maintenance of Auckland’s yachting heritage. Nomad, restored on launch day, 23 November 1986. INSET: Tom Townson, reflective at the helm of Nomad, 1986. 0314-5 $ 750,000 subscribe online at www.mags4gifts.co.nz/boating-nz 101 Vintage Perspectives March14.indd 101 18/02/2014 5:54:09 p.m.
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