Gypsy People

Arch Logan

Arch was born in 1865 at Greenock in Scotland and came to New Zealand with his family in 1874.

His family’s history and achievements are well documented elsewhere, but suffice to say here that Arch initially worked with his father and brothers in designing and building vessels of all types and sizes and in 1900 became the principal designer for Logan Brothers in Auckland.

This business closed down in 1910 and Arch went on to continue designing and building boats in his own right.

As stated elsewhere, he designed Gypsy in 1939 and she was built by Bill Couldrey in the same year.

Arch died in March 1940.

You will find much more information on all the Logan Family in the wonderful publication “The Logans” by Harold Kidd & Robin Elliott.

Bill Couldrey

Bill Couldrey built Gypsy at his yard at Sulphur Beach (Northcote Point Auckland) in 1939.

Born Arnold Francis Couldrey at the sea side town of Maraetai near Auckland, Bill was bought up in Maraetai and moved to Northcote when he was 15.

His first job was as a boatbuilding apprentice at Bailey & Lowe and early on, caught the eye of Arch Logan. He became one of the few boat builders recommended by Arch to build and repair Logan boats.

He established his Sulphur Beach Yard in 1921 where he built 42 yachts and launches of his own design as well as many vessels of other designers such as: Arch Logan and Arthur Robb.

Bill spent his war years supervising the building of Fairmiles and wooden tugs. After the war, he joined the Civil Service but continued designing until 1975.

During this latter period, he produced another 38 designs including the K Class Vessels Thelma & Jenanne.

Bill died in 1994.

Alan Leyland

Alan Leyland was the first owner of Gypsy and, we believe, commissioned her design and subsequent construction.

Alan’s family owned the Leyland Obrien Timber Company, which also owned and operated a number of scows around the New Zealand coast.

Alan in fact, crewed for a time on the ill fated Rangi, which sank shortly after he finished working on her.

John Pryor

John Pryor owned Gypsy for a number of years. After she sank and the decision was made to rebuild her, a trust was set up (The Gypsy Trust) to own her and fund and manage her restoration.

The rebuild took a couple of years and although some funds were raised, John was the biggest contributor and saw the work through.

Following her relaunch, he took on the role of Skipper and caretaker and over a two year period, introduced over 120 people to the pleasure of sailing on Gypsy.
Unfortunately, personal health issues meant that he could not continue to do this.

The trustees agreed that Gypsy’s ownership should revert to John as full settlement for the loan he made to the trust. It was also agreed to wind up the trust, which was done.

After this, John generously donated Gypsy to Dimitar Penchev and his siblings (Lora and Vessie), on condition that they maintain and sail her and preserve her for the foreseeable future. John continues to be involved with Gypsy and he is considered her godfather.

John has cared for a number of classic yachts including: Gypsy, Kia Ora (1904 Arch Logan), Kiariki (Jack Brooke designed K class) and Mahutonga (1965 A. Orams cutter).

Gypsy was his clear favourite and all his latest energies have been concentrated on her.

Jill Hetherington

Photo by Tony Stevenson

Jill has been involved with Gypsy right from the beginning of the current ownership.

A very experienced yachtswoman and keen competitor, Jill first started sailing as a teenager in centre-boarders and then went on to round-the-buoys racing on a Farr 1104.

Always a valuable sounding board and advisor she has been an indispensable member of the Gypsy crew since Gypsy first came to Kawau.

She sailed on Gypsy at the Easter Rally 2017 and introduced her to the new owners. This was the Penchev’s 1st race on Gypsy. Jill’s advice was invaluable and she is always welcome on board.

Colin Frankham

Colin Frankham has been associated with Gypsy since he was a teenager.

At the age of 13, he went out with Alan Leyland in Gypsy enjoying cruises around the harbour and Gulf as well as crewing in various races.

When Gypsy was sold to Hutch Hutchinson  Colin continued to crew on her and recalls many memorable  outings with Hutch and his wife.

Colin now lives in Beachhaven in Auckland

Bert Tyer

Bert owned Gypsy for longer than any other person, in fact for 36 years.

During that time, he both raced and cruised Gypsy covering a large number of sea miles during that time.

Bert & Gypsy’s voyages took them all around the Hauraki Gulf as well as further afield to Great Barrier Island and the Bay of Islands.

Bert finally handed over guardianship of Gypsy to his grandson Mark Blazey.

Mark Blazey

Mark took over Gypsy from his grand father Bert Tyer, in 1993 and looked after her until 2001. During this period, Mark and his family continued Bert’s tradition of racing and cruising also covering many sea miles. Mark was an early member of the Classic Yacht Association and competed successfully in a number of Regattas.

Graham Russell

Graham first became aware of Gypsy while living next to Allan Leyland as a youngster (Graham that is not Alan).

Enthused with stories of the beautiful Gypsy, Graham developed an affection for the Arch Logan Classic which was rekindled when he saw her pulled out on the hard at Sandspit in 2008.

Contact was established and from there, Graham crewed on Gypsy during most of her current ownership including racing in: various Mahurangi Regattas, three Classic Yacht Association regattas and a number of other events.

A real debt of gratitude is owed to Graham for the amazing amount of work and effort he put into helping us following the sinking of Gypsy.

We hope to have him back sailing with us in the rebuilt Gypsy.

Robert Brooke

Robert is a scion of the famous Brooke family who between them know more about Classic yachts than virtually anybody else.

Robert has been a tower of strength both prior to Gypsy’s sinking and following that unfortunate event.

Once Gypsy was recovered from the bottom of Auckland Harbour, Robert spear headed the attachment of temporary bracing to hold her together when she was craned on to a cradle lent by Robert.

Since her removal to the Auckland Traditional Boat Building School, Robert has been tireless in assessing the work involved in repairing Gypsy and has volunteered his time to supervise that.

We owe him a huge debt of gratitude.

John Sinclair

Photo by John Crawford

John Sinclair has also been involved with Gypsy since her arrival at Kawau and has crewed on her in various events from 2007.

John combines incredible skills as a racing sailor with a deep and abiding passion for classic New Zealand yachts. He has been both mentor and adviser and is largely responsible for our later racing successes.

We hope his association with Gypsy will continue.

Colin Brown

Photo by Lin Pardey

Colin carried out most of the major structural work of the restoration of Gypsy prior to her sinking in January 2012.

A shipwright trained in traditional boat building methods and techniques, Colin possesses skills and knowledge rarely available in this modern age of fibreglass and carbon fibre.

Based at Sandspit, but working anywhere in the North Island, Colin’ skills and experience are highly regarded.

Josh Hawke

Photo by Lin Pardey

Josh has been working on classis wooden boats for a number of years and completed a boat building apprenticeship under the supervision of Colin Brown.

Josh has carried out work on Gypsy prior to her sinking and is now working on her again with Colin Brown.

Lin & Larry Pardey

Photo by Michael Marris

Lin & Larry are well known for their extraordinary career and lifetime of cruising the globe and have won numerous awards for their contributions to the world of sailing.

Now living on Kawau Island, Lin & Larry have taken an interest in Gypsy since her arrival there and were good enough to carry out a survey of her when she first arrived at the island.

They have now made the very generous offer to donate all the Teak required for Gypsy’s rebuild, for which we are most grateful.

Lin is also contributing hugely to our efforts to publicise the rebuild operation and thus helping us with fund raising

Grant Watters

Grant and a partner owned Gypsy between 2001 and 2006. During this time she was based at Okahu Bay and used for cruising in the Hauraki Gulf

Dave Herd

Dave is a retired marine engineer/oilfield Maintenance specialist who has owned amongst others: a Ganley Pacemaker and a Grand Banks 36 wooden twin screw launch. Now retired and living in Taupo, Dave is very kindly making all the traditional wooden blocks for Gypsy.

Dimitar Penchev (Mitko to his family and friends) is the current custodian of Gypsy. He has extensive sailing and boat building experience. He started at an early age in Bulgaria and was the proud owner of a Stratus before being granted full responsibility for Gypsy. He is in charge of Gypsy’s ongoing renovation and improvements while working full time as Architect in Auckland.