Great Row to Riverhead

Today we embarked on Wee Tawera’s first major adventure with a 4nm row to the upper reachs of the Waitamata harbour, joining in the Classic Yacht Association of New Zealands launch cruise to the historic riverhead hotel.


We had decided this was to be a fun day and with a dozen people keen to have a row or simply come along for the ride we had organized a small powerboat to join us and enable us to swap rowers to give everyone a turn.


This is the first time we have really had time to stretch out and settle into a decent rythum. I must say this boat is incredibly enjoyable to be around, from its stunning good looks to the way it slides through the water its hard not to be hooked immediately.


In a little over a hour rowing at an easy pace and stopping to swap crews to give everyone a go we arrived at the historic Riverhead hotel where we joined 20 classic launches and their crews for a most enjoyable lunch before embarking on the return journey.


Changeover of crew.


The upper reaches of the waitamata harbour make for ideal smooth water rowing.


The return trip was just as enjoyable and with a tail wind we fair flew along, again swapping crew around and having turns at rowing, steering and taking photos from the runabout.

All up a most enjoyable day and many favourable comments on our beautiful St Ayles skiff. Already the people that joined us today are hooked and I’m sure there is going to many more to come.

The St Ayles Skiff has landed in NZ


Like many great ideas, the St Ayles skiff project in NZ started life over a quiet beverage in the cockpit of a classic yacht .

Only a few months later and with boat one Wee Tawera finished and ready for action and boat number two ready to be turned over and fitted out we are well on the way to seeing a fleet of these beautiful rowing craft plying the coast, rivers and lakes.

Our original vision was to see school groups and corporates join together to form partnerships and race these boats for fun and recreation, team building etc. However along the way it has become obvious that this is only a small part of the opportunities that abound with such beautiful and seaworthy craft. Already we are thinking of adventure trips about the Hauraki gulf, river journeys to great destinations like the Riverhead hotel, Warkworth and many other opportunities.

The possible benefits from being involved in these great craft seem endless, the opportunity to build one with a group of friends, or perhaps if that seems too daunting get a hull and finish it off, maybe just the painting? right through to competing in the next world champs. With over 100 of these boats already built around the world this proves to be a huge global community of classic wooden boat enthusiasts.

Wee Tawera will be on display at the cloud on Queens Wharf over labour weekend. as part of the tall ships visit so if you are in Auckland drop in and say hi.