Designed & built by Joe Slattery in 1919 , she was owned by Secombes, accountants, of Remuera, in the later 1940s & 50s, moored at Whakatakataka Bay, & hardly used. — they replaced the original engine, which I think may have been a Lowes Knight, with a Leyland “Comet,” marine diesel, she also had a 4 cyl Graymarine wing motor. Later owned by Bob Cleave.
Photo of Rainoa below taken by Russell Ward 29 December 2013
23/02/2015 – photos below off Onetangi, New Year 2015, ex Peter Loughlin
2018 photo below
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Matthew is right, MOLLIE/ALCESTIS/RAIONA was not lengthened despite several old hands who shall be nameless insisting that Colin Wild lengthened her with a canoe stern at the time he did considerable alterations to her topsides in 1928 and when her Twigg was taken out and a Stearns put in. Some of the confusion may have arisen because Cecil Leys’ Lanes MOLLIE was rebuilt as the first RONGO in the twenties too. Colebrook had bought her in 1914 and sold her to Leys in 1919.
According to 1919/20 newspaper reports, MOLLIE/ALCESTIS/RAIONA was 44ft overall when launched by Joe Slattery for P.R. Colebrook and still is 44ft I understand. QED
Comment below transferred from the ‘How Can We Help’ WW section’
“Hi l am after some information on Raiona, it has been said that she was not built with a canoe stern but this was added,having just stripped all the many layers of anti foul from the hull it would appear that this is not correct unless the complete hull was replaced at the time as the planks are single pieces running from bow to stern. Any ideas why this would be.
Josh Hawke and Colin Brown are carrying out the work and both agree.
Any pictures of Raiona would be very helpful especially from her early days as Mollie or alcetis
Hi Matthew – the comments about the 1928 work carried out by Colin Wild came from some of WW’s most knowledgeable readers, most given it was almost 100 years ago, there is always room for info to be muddled. Lets see if we can uncover more. Kind Regards Alan H
Hi there I have just purchased Raiona from Michael and am intending to carry out some work on her,any photos of her in her earlier format would be great to see,especially intrested in her rigging and hand rail design.
I hope that:
-Raiona stays in the Hauraki Gulf and remains visible
-She sells to someone who is realistic and committed to older boats, as opposed to someone who wants to know her fuel usage and cost of berthage! (cheapest parts about an old boat!)
-She sells to someone who can afford to insure, maintain, improve and keep her
Raiona is now on trade me $1 reserve Someone will get a bargain…..
Raiona was owned by Parry Brothers in the sixties. Buster[Norman] Parry and cousin Eric Barker ran the firm at this time .She was kept in the Pukapuka inlet on the Mahurangi Harbour where the Parrys’ owned land. and Ivor Owen Parry[WW1 soldier] and brother HenryTrevor[Harry] started Parry Brothers early 1930’s ?I and others went for a couple of days cruise, me being sick as it rolled badly at times. Eric Barker was my Uncle
New photos added. AH
Another fragment of MOLLIE/ALCESTIS/RAIONA lore; Alf Seccombe had her fitted with an auxiliary engine in November 1936, an A2 Kelvin sleeve-valve driving a folding propeller and fitted on the port side of the main engine. There will be traces of that installation still, I guess.
Fantastic detective work Nathan & Harold – I’m sure Raiona’s current owners Michael & Sarah White will be pleased to know their pride & pure was not the star of the show 🙂
Good spotting Nath!
You could have fooled me,
DUCHESS and RAIONA were remarkably similar, or rather MOLLIE/ALCESTIS/RAIONA was lengthened to 44ft and altered to look like remarkably like DUCHESS by Colin Wild in 1928.
The 40 footer DUCHESS was built in late 1920 by Bailey & Lowe for R.L. Stewart Sr.
This pic is of DUCHESS, not RAIONA, on Eel Rock off Cowes Bay on 1st January 1934. She ran on the rock just after high tide and was refloated the next day with slight damage (2 planks stove in).
Stewart sold her to the Government in August 1935 as a tourist launch. In the Auckland Star of 10th August 1935 there’s a full description of her and a photograph which confirms her configuration is very close to RAIONA’s. She had a 3cylinder heavy duty Twigg engine.
I’m not terribly sure what happened to her after the Crown/PWD bought her.
The ‘on-the-rocks’ photo came from Ken Ricketts & was labeled ‘RAIONA wrecked Kawau North Harbour Rick 1930’s’.
Can you email me a copy of the one captioned Duchess?
Does anyone have a photo of Duchess?
Is the photo on the rocks Raiona? Or is it as captioned in a paper, R. L. Stewart’s Duchess.
PS. As an attractive young lass, Sue Seccombe ran a 1931 or 1932 Silver Crossley sports car (6 cylinder Meadows push-rod engine) which went very well indeed. She probably still has it.
I suspect that the Crossley connection might have persuaded Sue and Mike to purchase LADY CROSSLEY.
RAIONA was launched by Joe Slattery at Judges Bay for Percy Colebrook in January 1920 as MOLLIE. Colebrook sold her to Spedding and Ellingham in 1927 and they sold her to Guthrie (of Guthrie Bowron) in April 1928. He commissioned Colin Wild to lengthen her and put on a canoe stern and her topsides were raised forward from 15ft from her stern. Wild installed the Stearns engine from H.O. Wiles’ LADY MARGARET I (ex THISTLE) at the same time. Guthrie renamed her ALCESTIS a little later, around 1930. Guthrie sold her to R.W. Butcher around 1934 and he sold her to Alf Seccombe in June 1936. Alf was a Director and major shareholder in Lion Breweries Ltd. RAIONA is pig maori for “LION” so she got that name, just as WIRIHANA = Wilson. Alf put a Leyland Comet diesel in her in the late 40s early 50s. I knew him well in the Vintage Car Club where he was prominent with his Bentleys. His son Tim and his daughter Sue were great people too, Sue later marrying Mike Coleman of LADY CROSSLEY.
Alf sold her to Parry brothers for their own use and then she went to the McGregor brothers.
The Shenandioah as far as I know is in the Te Atatu creek, & until at least fairly recently — 4 or 5 years ago — by chance, also had a Leyland Comet,
Is the Guthrie the same one that had the Isle Of Arran built by Col Wild in the late 40s or early 50s, which icidentally, also had a big Leyalnd even more of a coincidence?
Hallo chaps, thank you so much for all your comment about our lovely Raiona.
Very much appreciated by both Michael B and myself.
I have a picture of her with the canoe stern in the early 1930’s so will copy it and post accordingly. In addition we have a newspaper article about her being commissioned so will also find that. But any and all remembered information is very welcome.
I enclose a picture of Raiona sailing out of the north chanel – Kawau island the day of thetidel wave from Chile!!!!
Kindest regards to everyone, Sarah Cx
It was definitely a Leyland as my father had a Leyland Cub in his boat the Juliana & she was the only other boat we knew at that time with a Leyland. I aso saw the engine on a number of occasons & made comparisons in engine design when i saw it — it was painted a darkish grey
I knew Tim when I was young & it was his father (who may have been called Alf )who was the original Secombe owner
I am delighted to have this real in depth info –obviously her name should be changed back to her original – I have known her all these years & can still learn sonmethong
When the Guthrie family owned her the canoe stern was very evident as will be seen on the photos I will shortly post…..so any alterations must have occurred very early in her life.
I am sure Buster Parry owned her as a family launch. Buster is son of Ivor Parry one of the founders of Parry Bros Ltd , Sea Tow, now PB Seatow. Buster received a DFC for photographic work during WW II in a purpose built Spitfire. He later steamed this plane to Burma and I think he did work there as well. He passed away late last year. Quite a man! I think Percy Vos may have done the modifications on her as Russell mentions and this may have formed the relationship he had with Frank and Tim Secombe.However I think this boat formaly belonged to another Secombe. There is always a problem trying to identify what was done when these old boats were modified is the wormanship was perfect and honest. Hot hard to identify modifications done by home handy men and some trades people of today.
Raiona, prior to the Secombe family who were involved with Lion Breweries, was called the Alcestis. The name came from one of our families sailing ships that used to freight NZ produce back to the UK via Cape Horn and was eventually lost at sea.The Alcestis was owned by my grandfather, H D Guthrie, in the 1920’s and I have a number of photos of her cruising in Bay of Islands and further north over the Xmas of 1931/32. These will be put on the posting shortly. They show her cruising in the company of the recently discovered Lady Margaret ( the Wiles family) and the Shanandoah…which some years ago was the mother ship at the mussel farm at the eastern end of Waiheke. My understanding from Michael is that Raiona is the Maori word for Lion….hense the connection. More soon.
Lovely ship -another of my “Ngapipi Rd clique” of the late ’50s. She was originally built with a tuck -transom. The canoe stern was added later -I think it was Bob Cleave who told me- with the first dodger I quess. I remember seeing over her when she had the Leyland (or was it an AEC). They were nice engines. When you look at her aft quarters, you can see that the canoe was a later addition.