Flying Without Wings.......Waitemata II........! by Roy  Massicks

Currently unavailable for purchase

Available to buy on…

Flying Without Wings.......Waitemata II........! by 

’Waitemata II’ is a Pilot vessel on the Auckland harbour, New Zealand. She was built in 1990 as a replacement for the old wooden 63ft ‘Akarana ’ which I served on as skipper for over 20 years.
My last two years in the pilot service were on the ’Waitemata II’.
She was rather radical for her time, called a Stolkraft, designed in Queensland, Australia and built in Auckland, New Zealand with a Cathedral hull made of Aluminium. This was similar to having a Trimaran hull at the front and a catarmaran hull at the stern, with the twin 408hp diesel engine’s – this rammed air in at the front enabling her to lift up onto the plane, like riding on a cushion of air.
The propulsion units are Arneson surface units which means the propellors are on long shafts that extended out beyond the rear of the hull by about 2ft and when on the plane would produce a large rooster tail because the tips of the propellors were out of the water.
She could handle over two mtr waves before you had to drop her off the plane and handle her as you would a conventional vessel.
One of the reasons Ports of Auckland decided on this type of vessel was the fact that at speed (32 knots) she produced virtually no wash at all – a wash could be a problem to other vessels inside the harbour.
Because of the rougher ride you could encounter at these speeds, she was fitted with seven air-rest seats, similar to those found in large trucks.
She is still in service today as the second Pilot vessel having been replaced as first by a similar sized semi-rigid ( rubber duck !) vessel.
A few statistics for the ‘Waitemata’ are:
Cost to build $NZ600,000 in 1990.
Length: 12.9 mtrs (40 ft)
Crew 2.
Two 408hp M.A.N. 6 cylinder diesels.
Fuel consumption: Taken from my log book -
20 knots ( 78 ltrs per hour)
28 knots (109 ltrs per hour)
32 knots (138 ltrs per hour)
Aren’t you glad your car doesn’t use that amount ?
It was still economical as it did away with the need for the second Pilot boat due to the fact that it could do just about all the jobs required at that speed.

From a Pentax P30N film SLR and print scanned and digitised.


  • Roy  Massicks
    Roy Massicksalmost 2 years ago

  • Larry Lingard-Davis
    Larry Lingard-...almost 2 years ago

    This is called “Flying Without Wings”…?

  • I stuffed up Larry and forgot the title…..! So, borrowed your ’ Flying Without Wings ’ ……..ta ever so !

    – Roy Massicks

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELalmost 2 years ago

    Brilliant capture of a moving target Roy… lovely work

  • Thank you very much Andrea – I loved my days on these vessels.

    – Roy Massicks

  • David Davies
    David Daviesalmost 2 years ago

    Who was going faster. Roy? lol

  • Definitely the ’ Orange Roughy ’ David. I took this photograph from the old ’Akarana. ’

    – Roy Massicks

  • We used to have some fun with the Seagulls when this boat first came out. We were the fastest boat on the harbour and the Seagulls hadn’t seen anything like it – so, we used to come up behind them sitting on the water, the’d leisurely take off, casually look behind them and see that we were gaining so the’d fly faster then start zig-zagging and we just followed them. They soon learned to drop ballast, usually on the windscreen and fly highher… ! No Seagulls were harmed in the telling of this yarn !

    – Roy Massicks

  • gail woodbury
    gail woodburyalmost 2 years ago

    What a cool shot – beautiful work Roy xx

  • Many thanks Gail – I loved my work but this one was fun for the first few hours of each day but on 12 hour shifts, quite stressful. For a laugh, see my reply to David, above.

    – Roy Massicks

  • Rita Blom
    Rita Blomalmost 2 years ago

    Well I guess the photo is self titled! Amazing capture Roy, it looks as though it is really moving.

  • Thank you Rita – sorry about the untitled, I forgot to put one in but it does have one now. It certainly did move – see my comment to David, above. It could do 32 knots !

    – Roy Massicks

  • Rita Blom
    Rita Blomalmost 2 years ago

    But Roy it IS titled, how strange it came up as ‘Untitled’ I only noticed it was titled when I clicked out.

  • Yes, it is now Rita – this is what happens when you post something in a hurry and forget to put a title in !

    – Roy Massicks

  • peaky40
    peaky40over 1 year ago

    Fabulous capture Roy!

  • Thank you so much Roy for the lovely comment and favorite. This boat was so different to operate than the old boat.

    – Roy Massicks

  • Poete100
    Poete100over 1 year ago

    Great one Roy..

  • Thank you so much, it was the next best thing to flying.

    – Roy Massicks

  • Rita Blom
    Rita Blomover 1 year ago

    I enjoyed the story Roy! Serves you right copping the ballast they sort of got their own back. lol.

  • the deckhand did the clean up.

    – Roy Massicks

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait