Viveen was one of Colin Wild’s early landmark motor launches, built in 1924 for W.G. Rapley of Devonport. She was thoroughly up-to-date for the time, a vee-bottom bridgedecker, very much in the latest American style, her hull design obviously influenced by the square-bilge planning hulls of men like John L. Hacker & William Hand.
Her original power plant was a 35hp Kermath but that was upgraded to an even more high-powered Winton. Her owners raced her consistently until launch racing died out during the Depression when feeding such monsters with benzine became impracticable.
Until recently, Viveen has always been a waitemata woody, berthed in the Milford Marina for years, but not lives in Thames.
The photos show her many & varied styles over the years. The oldest one was taken at Mansion House Kawau Island in 1924 & Viveen is the launch with the black hull on the right. The other b&w photo was taken in 1938 off the Devonport wharf, after she was made into a flush deck. There is one of her berthed alongside other Colin Wild launches (2nd on right) in the Viaduct for the 2012 classic launch & yacht show & one of her today cruising the gulf.
Viveen is currently undergoing a ‘rolling restoration’ in the hands of Mechaela and Andrew Dobbs.
03-10-2018 Update from owners Andrew & Mechaela Dobbs.
We thought you might be interested in an update on Viveen, our 1924 Colin Wild bridgedeck, 7 years ago we bought this lovely lady with every intention of doing right by her, but time, money and circumstances didn’t allow it, so after a few major repairs, a new engine and a slop slap paint job Andrew took her to the Colin Wild exhibition at the viaduct and we used her pretty regularly on the coromandel after that but she started to look pretty sad and we made the decision, it’s happening now, so we’ve done it, she’s been out of the water about 6 weeks now and has had all her many layers of exterior paint stripped off, has had new fibreglass put on her top decks, repairs done to a few leaky parts and is now in the process of getting her hull splined, after that she will be getting a new paint job including a different colour scheme, and a slightly larger duck board but no changes to her classic look, we hope she will look a million bucks when we are done, we will update you with a finished photo whenever that may be as there’s still a fair bit to do.