Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

The Logans- Thelma and Gloriana restored and sailing again in Auckland

by Alan Sefton on 15 Jun 2012
Thelma and Gloriana (background) are the latest additions to Auckland growing Logan classic fleet. © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz

The Logans (father and sons) feature large in New Zealand’s maritime history.

Scottish immigrant Robert Logan Sen began the celebrated family boatbuilding dynasty on Auckland’s North Shore in 1879.

His sons - Robert Jnr, Arch and John - left their father’s business in the early 1890s to set up on their own.

Two of the finest examples of the work of the legendary yacht designers and builders – the Gloriana and the Thelma – have been tracked down and acquired by The Classic Yacht Charitable Trust, brought home to Auckland and fully restored to their original. They are now regular star performers in the growing Classic Yacht racing fleet and both are also on display at the Voyager Maritime Museum in Auckland.

Gloriana was the first yacht built by the fledgling Logan Brothers firm - on spec and in the boys’ spare time. The 10.36-metre gaff cutter was a scaled down version of the great Nat Herreschoff-designed Gloriana and incorporated all the latest thinking of the new Logan firm.

Launched on 14 November, 1892, Gloriana blitzed everything on the Waitemata Harbour, quickly became the flagship of the new firm and brought them a lot of business.

Marine historians Robin Elliott and Harold Kidd, in their book 'The Logans', noted: 'The boat (Gloriana) was an absolute cracker, the platform for the later success of Logan Brothers as New Zealand’s premier yacht builders.'
The 18.29-metre gaff cutter Thelma, was launched by the Logan Brothers in 1897.


Marine historian Kidd, writing of the period 1890 to 1910, has said that Auckland, at that time, had a group of highly skilled yacht builders and designers who still had access to stocks of superb-grade long lengths of kauri.

Kidd wrote: 'Under the influence of Scottish immigrant Robert Logan Senior, these builders had developed a three-skin diagonal monocoque construction which was immensely strong. The hulls produced were extraordinarily long-lived, being highly resistant to rot and damage. Hulls of more than 100 years old are therefore unremarkable in New Zealand.'

Thelma, the Logan Brothers’ first really large yacht, was built for marine merchants William and Alfred Jagger. Designed by Arch Logan, then only 32, she was launched from the Logans’ yard on October 30, 1897.
Thelma immediately became the scratch boat on the Waitemata, eclipsing the two former heavyweights Viking and the Sydney cutter/yawl Volunteer.

Thelma was bought, in 1912, by J.L.R. Blomfield (the original owner of the Viking) and then, in 1920, by W.D. Wilson and, in 1927, by H.R. Hume and G.E. Creagh who, in turn, in1941, sold her to commercial photographer R.E. Johnson.
Johnson, a confirmed pacifist, equipped Thelma for a lengthy cruise and set off for the then neutral United States. Unfortunately for him, Thelma was impounded in the Pacific and, somewhat ironically, ended up in the employ of the United States Navy in Honolulu, where she was used for military R&R.

At the end of WWII, she gravitated to California where she was acquired by Australian IT developer Phil Dickinson who spent two and a half years restoring her before taking her to the Mediterranean, based out of St Tropez, where she was eventually discovered and purchased by The Classic Yacht Charitable Trust and brought back to Auckland (for the first time in 70 years) to be fully restored.

Robert Logan Senior

'Builder of Yachts, Steamboats, Sailing Vessels, etc., Customs Street West, Auckland'

'Mr. Logan has been well named the Fyfe of Australasia, as, like his prototype in Scotland, he is unrivalled as a designer of champion yachts and coastal steamers. He was born in Dumbarton, Scotland, in 1837, and was educated in Glasgow, where he also learned his trade with a well- known firm of shipwrights. In 1874 he migrated to Auckland by the ship 'Zealandia,' and worked as a journeyman until 1879, when he began to build and design yachts, at the North Shore.

Since then and up to the present time he has designed and built the following coastal steamers:—The s.s. 'Neptune,' p.s. 'Birkenhead,' s.s. 'Kotiti,' s.s. 'Kapanui,' s.s. 'Kawaii,' 'Waimarie' and 'Taniwha,' and also the well known cutter-yacht 'Jessie Logan,' and the celebrated yacht 'Waitangi,' now owned by a Wellington yachtsman, who has long annually come out first in the yacht races held at Port Nicholson. At present (1900) Mr. Logan is building a steamer of 120 tons register. She is to be named the 'Dueal,' and is intended to be used as a ferry boat by the Wellington Steam Ferry Company.

Mr. Logan has erected a new shed, with a capacity of 120 feet long by 50 feet wide; and this will enable him to build vessels under cover up to 120 feet long, and under most favourable conditions. The shed is fitted up with all the latest appliances, known to Mr. Logan as a past master in the art of designing and building vessels. Seasoned spars are always kept in stock, and all orders entrusted to Mr. Logan receive his best, attention, as everything is done under his own supervision in a thoroughly tradesman-like manner, by experienced workmen.- The Cyclopedia Of New Zealand (Auckland Provincial District, 1902)




Zhik Isotak Ocean 660x82Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

A Q&A with US Sailing’s Malcolm Page about the Sailing World Cup Miami
I spoke with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s Olympic chief, about the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami I talked with Malcolm Page (AUS), a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the Men’s 470 class and the chief of Olympic sailing at US Sailing, to get his pulse on the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami and discuss some recent coaching changes within the Olympic-sailing program.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Kiwis sign Olympic Cyclist for the Tour de Bermuda
Ttop cyclist Simon van Velthooven, a 2012 Olympic Bronze cycling medallist had been signed by the America's Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand put in a second foiling display on Auckland's Waitemata harbour ahead of the official launching of their AC50 tomorrow. With brighter skies the cycling team took their places on the pedalstals and used leg power to provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to run the AC50's control systems for the foils and wingsail.
Posted on 15 Feb
A Q&A with Shawn Macking about the StPYC’s Sailing Center and OD fleet
I talked with Shawn Macking, the StPYC’s waterfront director, to learn how the club is getting more people out sailing. I caught up with Shawn Macking, waterfront director of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, via email to learn more about the club’s Sailing Center, its hefty investment in a new fleet of ten J/70s, and how the StPYC is using this infrastructure to expose more people to the sport we all love.
Posted on 13 Feb
A Q&A with Karen Angle about the 2017 Conch Republic Cup race to Cuba
I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event. If you’re like me and have arrived at saturation with winter’s cold rain and snow, imagine racing to Cuba as part of a 13-day cross-cultural event that’s designed to lower barriers of entry at a time when some Americans see a need for taller walls. I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event and the adventures it affords.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Anna Tunnicliffe about her return to competitive sailing
I talked with Anna Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing. Anna Tunnicliffe won gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the Laser Radial before shifting her sights to the Women’s Match Racing event for the London 2012 Olympics. Here, she came up shy of expectation and left sailing for the CrossFit Games, but now she is returning to her roots. I talked with Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Dick Neville, Quantum Key West Race Week’s RC chairman
I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for the Quantum Key West Race Week, to learn more about the event. For the past 30 years, international sailors have gathered in Key West, Florida, each January for Key West Race Week, a regatta that has achieved legendary status due to its calendar dates, its location, and the impressive level of competition and racecourse management that this storied event offers. I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for this year’s Quantum KWRW, to learn more.
Posted on 16 Jan
A Q&A with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Race’s new deputy race director
I talked with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Round The World Race’s new deputy race director, to learn more about his role. I was fortunate to sail with Daniel Smith [36, SCO], skipper of “Derry~Londonderry~Doire” for the 2015/2016 edition of the Clipper Round The World Race, when the fleet reached Seattle last spring. Now, Smith has been hired as the event’s deputy race director-a job that will test many of the skills that he polished as a skipper. I caught up with Smith via email to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 9 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016