Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

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)




Southern Spars - 100Ancasta Ker 33 660x82Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
Debriefing the Rio 2016 Olympics with Team USA’s Helena Scutt
I talked with Team USA’s Helena Scutt to hear about her Olympic experience, and to learn more about her post-Rio plans. The 49erFX was introduced to Olympic circles when it replaced the Women’s Match Racing event following the 2012 Games. Not surprisingly, it drew high-performance sailors for the Rio 2016 Olympics, including Team USA’s Paris Henken and Helena Scutt. While Henken and Scutt were Olympic first-timers, they put on a strong show. I caught up with Scutt to hear more about her Olympic experience.
Posted on 8 Sep
A Q&A with Peter Bresnan ONE Palma’s founder and director
Sail-World interviewed ONE Palma’s founder Peter Bresnan to learn about the company’s partnership with McConaghy Boats For the past eight years, ONE Palma (formerly OneSails Spain) has been building a strong name, first as a sailmaker and later with refit work. Recently, ONE Palma and McConaghy Boats-legendary boatbuilders who have crafted some of the planet’s fastest sailboats-entered a business partnership. I caught up with Peter Bresnan, ONE Palma’s founder and director, to learn more about this new direction.
Posted on 2 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ train late on the Waitemata Harbour
Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. The team were sailing their recently launched AC45 Surrogate test boat which features an articulated rudder gantry - taking the AC45 close to the geometry of the AC50 to be used in the 2017 America's Cup.
Posted on 1 Sep
Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug