Safari

SAFARI HISTORY
 
From recollections of Zelda Batterton (Nee,  McGuire) eldest daughter of Trevor Innes McGuire.
8 December 2012
 
Safari was built by refrigeration engineer and inventor Trevor McGuire during World War II.
Trevor was a business ownerwho had several businesses over the years. One of these was a business making refrigerators for Bond and Bond, Fisher and Paykel and McAlpine. He also had a building business in Fiji and a sawmill in Samoa. Trevor was also a founder of the Royal Suva Yacht Club. Prior to McGuire refrigeration he owned a saw mill located in the Waitakere ranges where the firm ran a Kauri logging business.
 
During the war the refrigeration business manufactured sectioned coolrooms and commercial refrigerators, which were invented by Trevor. Some of these were used by the Americans to store their deceased soldiers in before they were shipped back to America. The business was originally in Manukau Rd in Epsom, with about 6 employees, and the boat was built in a field out the back of the factory. A new factory was later built at 25 Fairfax Avenue Penrose. The refrigeration business was eventually sold to Fisher and Paykel around 1947, and the Paykel families were known to be onboard Safari during for weekend excursions.
 
Boat designer Dick Lang was a friend of Trevor’s, the two met in Fiji and the plans used for the boat were Dick Lang’s. A sister boat,  “Zephyr” was built later using the same plans. Zephyr was built by the Ellerslie Mayor at the time Horace Whyte, also a friend of Trevor’s . Zelda recalls going into the forest to collect Pohutukawa for the knees. Apparently they had to be carefully selected to be the right shape but in those days it was okay to chop up native trees. The NZ sourced kauri timber Safari was built from came from Newmarket, most likely from Odins Timber Company.
 
Safari was launched around 1940 in Mechanics Bay after being shipped by truck from Manukau Rd.
Trevor’s wife Madge did not like the water but she always came out on Safari to do the cooking. As “petrol” was still scarce, anyone coming out on Safari would donate war time petrol coupons. Trevor always wore a hat and had a cigarette dangling from his lips. He also had a ‘twinkle in his eye.” Zelda says they were very lucky children to have such fantastic parents and a brilliant childhood. Many hours were spent on the boat although due to the shortage of petrol this was mostly around Waiheke and Rangitoto Island.
 
[Just between us Zelda say’s with a smile] Safari had 26 people on board to go out and meet the NZ warship Achilles. Trevor took Safari across the bow of Achilles and a loudhailer boomed out “Will that launch please get out of the way”, whereupon Trevor apparently said “We’re smaller than them, they have to give way.” Madge was not impressed.
 
During the war Safari’s boat ID number was 1263. All boats had to have a large number for identification. A boom was placed from Devonport to Bastion Point to deter enemy vessels, with a small gap in the middle that was closed at night. Trevor came back too late one day to meet the curfew and had to stay outside the boom, where spotlights would be beamed across the boat during the night.
 
In the early years Safari was extended in length by Trevor McGuire, Zelda seems to think from 33 or 34’ to 38’ 

2 thoughts on “Safari

  1. Pingback: Waiheke Island Causeway Haul-Out | waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news – updated daily

  2. Addition ex Ken Ricketts

    “This boat is part of my personal life, 50s to 70s, as the late Karl & Buhler Kasper owned her from about the late 1950’s through to the late 60s or 70s, & the Kaspers lived right next door to my parents, on the Tamaki River waters edge, & the Safari lived a few feet from mum & dad’s back door. Refer above photo of Gay Dawn & Safari, with Karl & my Dad, (Ralph Ricketts), having a chat during the winter overhaul on the “hard” (softish muddy little beach actually), which was between their 2 houses taken circa 1964/66 & one I took of her in the later 50’s in her Kasper heyday. There is a corner of Kaspers house showing in the background.

    Had many happy times cruising with the Kaspers — I used to date their daughter Lynn Kasper, in my early post school days, even took her to the Grammar Old Boys ball one year.

    Engine recollections were, old truck engine originally, replaced by 6 cyl Kermath, replaced by 6 cyl Ford Diesel by Karl.

    Kaspers had also owned a very ancient counter stern circa 1800s launch, with an old double banger engine before Safari, (did about 2 knots!!!), a terrible old thing called Josephine. They did of course own the Pearl Kasper, the scow, for many years altogether, it was in the family before Karl.”

    Like

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