Robyn Gae (Connie V)


Robin Gay (Connie V)

New Photo (Water Gipsy) ex Harold Kidd 16/04/2014

WATER GIPSY464

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………………….

8 thoughts on “Robyn Gae (Connie V)

  1. A further update which pretty much closes the circle. In a November 1936 newspaper report “Valintine’s cruiser” is being lengthened 4ft 6in by Dick Lang and a new “canopy top” (dodger) is being fitted.

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  2. 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………………….

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  3. The first CONNIE V was indeed built by Cox & Filmer in 1935 for E.N. Valentine of Hamilton. He sold her to E M Henry in 1939 and had the second CONNIE V built by Lanes in 1949. This first CONNIE V was renamed ROBYN GAE (not ROBIN GAY) and eventually finished up in the ownership of J.B. Turnwald who still owns her. She is on the marina at Westhaven currently.

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  4. An update from Ken Ricketts:

    Firstly I subscribe to the 1937 Philmer version — she could not have had 6 ft put on the back, she would have been much too short & fat before it was done, also looks much to “new” for 1920s.

    I never knew her as CONNIE V, as I came in to contact with the Valentines & the Lane CONNIE V in 1948. She has always been ROBYN GAE since I knew her & this second name comes as a surprise to me.

    I knew all 3 of those boats well from different associations but in fairness, only that Valentines had CONNIE V built, & whilst I had met them, they were not well known by me.

    However, I do know the full & accurate story on the other 2, through a very personal association from new, of both of them, & the following is all fact ( there are some errors in the “Connie V story”).

    WANDA II was Christened, as I stated by Fred Porter, when she was launched (actually by his wife, Joan, a really lovely lady). Anyway my late father, Ralph Ricketts worked for Mason & Porter ( Masport) for 35 Years as machine shop manager & Fred, who was the founder, Ruben Porter’s son.

    My late father had his staff make virtually all her engineering & underwater requirements. She was called WANDA II because Fred’s first boat was called WANDA. She had 2 x 6cyl Scripps engines circa 90 hp.

    DOREEN which is her “real” name, (as you know, I believe the original owner has absolute naming rights for life, of all boats), was later renamed TANGAROA by second owner. She was built for Gordon Mace of 31 Court Cres Panmure, a butcher, builder, business owner, ( he owned the Panmure Billiard saloon as well, which as in his building), & property developer. (built & owned a big block of shops in Panmure in the 40s). She has had from, new a Gardiner 6LW which I presume she still has today. He sold her to a Len Swan an accountant of Orakei in about 1952, when he had the SOBRINE built, & she was built partly by Lane & partly by Taylor in Onehunga. — (SOBRINE later had 6 feet added to the bow by Lane).

    So that’s the real story of the last Connie V & her sister ships.

    Perhaps the Lane CONNIE V should be CONNIE V II if the 1937 CONNIE V had been that name since new?

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  5. Thanks for posting this story. A great photo of Connie V. Can you please tell me the source of this article and the year it was published?

    I am a bit confused with the content as it pertains to the first Connie V. The information that I have been able to find so far indicates that the first Connie V. was built in 1935 by Cox and Filmer, details as follows.

    This seems to be in conflict with the story’s statement that she was built by Charles Bailey & Sons in 1928, and also that she was lengthened by 6′. The latter seems unlikely because dimensions 35′ x 9′ from the British New Zealand Register in 1937 would indicate that she was originally 29′ x 9′. This would have been quite unusual proportions in 1935, even given that the length is between perpendiculars (to the centre of the rudder post).

    Any thoughts on whether Bailey or Cox and Filmer are the builders and when and at what length would be appreciated.

    Regards
    Mori

    Name: Connie V.
    Later names {also Sail or Rego or Fishing No}: Robyn Gae-’49b60
    Material: Wood
    Rig: 1mast (cttr) Rig changes & identification codes: 2
    Type:Cruiser+Yacht Propulsion: Screw single
    Designer:
    Year built: 1935 Yard or Job No:
    Builder: Cox & Filmer
    Where built: Auckland, NZ
    Engines: Motor 30bhp petrol
    Boilers/Gearing:
    Official Number: 157795 IMO Number:
    Dimensions (ft)—Length: 35 Breadth: 9 Depth: 4.5
    Volumetric ‘tonnage’ measurements (1 ton = 100 cubic ft):
    Gross: 13.24 Underdeck: Net: 1.7
    Decks: 1Dk Deck Erections: Cb+RFD/Cw
    Number of funnels &location: 0 Number of bulkheads:
    Tanks, etc: Freeboard:
    Stem: Raked Figurehead: Nil Stern: Transom
    PORTS and owners: AUCKLAND@b37 E.N.Valentine: AUCKLAND’37b39 E.N.Valentine (of Hamilton): ’39b46 Allan Carlton Lambourne
    Fate/Status— Year: Type: Details:
    History and details: Heart of kauri construction. 38′ Loa. Three portligths in port side of RFD and one portlight in port side of hull below and fwd of forward most RFD portlight, three arch-topped windows in port side of aft coachhouse. Named for wife Connie Valentine. 1937/01/15 reported had been at Bon Accord, Kawau. 1937/03/31 registered, Auckland No.5 of 1937. 1938 berthed at Mechanic’s Bay, Auckland. 1939/01/03 damaged by fire after petrol exploded while taking fuel alongside wharf at Kawau, ss Duchess (qv) came to aid with fire extinguishers, launch scuttled in shallow water to quell fire, small hole cut with axe, owner badly burned, launch later drawn up on beach, damage found not to be as bad as expected, owner suffered burns attempting to quell fire. 1960/08/16 register still open.
    References (see http://www.boatregister.net/RANZS_References.htm): Aus3^1937/1/15,1939/1/4:Evp1^1939/1/5:Ranzs46:Wai1(P):Wat1
    Weblink:
    Research notes: Wai1 says built by Charles Bailey &Sons in 1928, then extended 6′ in 1937 by Lanes (sic?)
    Corrections, additions or updates gratefully received via email at mflapan@gmail.com
    If information is published please acknowledge Mori Flapan: Register of Australian and New Zealand Ships and Boats 2013 and any other major contributors listed in References above (usually denoted by capitals).

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