New Photo (Water Gipsy) ex Harold Kidd 16/04/2014
ROBIN GAE (CONNIE V)
CONNIE V was built by Lane Motor Boat Co in 1949 for Valentine of Hamilton and originally had 2 x Chrysler 75hp Ace engines, hopefully the article reproduces well enough to read. The photo shown in the article was taken in 1938 at the long demolished Mechanics Bay wharf.
Harold Kidd Update 16/04/2014
I’ve had a chance since posting the above to review all the above material and to compare images of WATER GIPSY and CONNIE V. Morrie relies heavily on the Register of British Ships and it leads him into a whole bunch of traps because, for various reasons, the information is frequently dodgy. I’ve discussed this with him before. He infers that CONNIE V was built new in 1935 for Valintine, and that’s exactly what I’ve always thought until now.
WATER GIPSY (another image attached) was launched in October 1934 for C. Miller by Cox & Filmer (Speedcraft Boat Co) with dimensions 32ft x 8ft 6in. She was a slightly extended version of a 30 footer built by Cox & Filmer for one Martin (haven’t identified her yet). Miller used WATER GIPSY for a while (eg Marjorie Miller visited yacht LITTLE JIM from her on 2/2/35) and then she “disappears”.
Now, if you compare my image of WATER GIPSY with the image of CONNIE V in Paul Titchener’s highly erroneous article above (I assume whoever posted it had PT’s copyright permission), which was based solely on family anecdote I imagine, as Paul married Valintine’s daughter, you will clearly observe that the two boats are identical back to the aft end of the clerestory.
It is obvious to me that the truth is in the cracks between the various versions.
I think this is what happened.
WATER GIPSY was obviously a bit of a problem, ergonomically. She had no cockpit, had a pair of davits across the counter, and would have been a pain to handle. Valintine bought her in 1937, renamed her CONNIE V after Mrs. V, had her lengthened to her final dimension of 38ft, with the provision of a cockpit, coaming and dodger over…..much more user friendly. The work was undoubtedly done by Lanes who also fitted her with a Chrysler Crown in September 1939. That was after the Kawau petrol fire in January 1939 when Valintine scuttled her by chopping a hole in her hull, saving the boat. It may also have been after he sold her to E.M. Henry (Lambourne bought her from Henry).
She remained in the Lambourne family until 1956 or so but Lambourne obligingly changed her name to ROBYN GAE on 14/11/49 at the time Lanes launched the second CONNIE V for Valintine.
There’s a whiff of assumption in the above which I detest in others………………….