Miss Lidgard


Owned by Whitianga idenity Don Ross who landed alot of game fish as a charter boat. Powered by 2 Austin Skipper 100h.p.. Miss Lidgard was in the Tamaki up to last year in a very plastic looking form. Don thought she was the best boat he ever owned and was a very stable boat to fish from. From what I can remember she had a big open cockpit and she was built to take light cargo to the whaling station at Gt Barrier. Dad extended her cabin aft over the cockpit for Don to give more shelter for passengers and anglers.

1st photo & story ex Baden Pascoe. Remaining photos ex current owner

Update 27/01/2015 from Don Ross via Merv Stockley

“Below is a photo of new Perkin’s 4-154 engines going in Miss Lidgard when the Austin Skippers came out.  Strongman’s from Coromandel did the adaption of the existing Parsons gearbox’s to these Perkin’s engines before they went in. As mentioned under Miss Lidgard on Woodys the Skippers were close together and the Perkin’s were too under a single engine box. These two 4-154’s were manufactured by Mazda in Japan and I always wondered why that was as I don’t know of any other Perkin’s which were manufactured in those days out side Peterborough. Recent research I have done on the internet has showed Perkin’s designed the 4-154 and sister engine 6.231 but they were only produced by licencee Toyo Kogyo (Mazda). Later developed into 4.165/6.247 family of engines”.


11 thoughts on “Miss Lidgard

  1. Fished round the sugar loaf with Don when I was 13 (now 60) hooked a big mako but lost it at the boat. The memory etched


  2. Seems very little history about miss Lidguard she was at one stage used as a control boat for TEAL with the Solent Flying boats when the Solents were finished at Mechanics Bay the Air Force took her on along with W 44 I was cox’n on her for a short period and did one trip toGt Barrier to collect Sonar bouys after a Subermarine exercise I don’t rember how long the Air Force had her but it wasn’t long she had the 2 Austin skippers at that time. I seem to remember that the skippers were not counter rotating and she could almost turn in her own length and took half the harbour to turn the other way she was a lovely boat. sorry the old memory is not what it used to be..she had a Civil Aviation No CA….. but I cant remember what itwas


  3. One more thing. — ALL Austin Skipper 100s overheated when being driven hard for longer periods. — My own boat, FLYING SCUD, did excaclly the same thing,– the heat exchangers did not have enough cooling capacity for the size of the engine. — Poor design thereof. — KEN RICKETTS


  4. Gentlemen, Thank you so much for your very informative & interesting additions to the life of this fascinating boat (to me). that I have always liked so much. Gret to know about the 2 x Perkins 4/154s. There is little doubt I beleive, that the variations in the aft quarter happened at the time the extra length was popped on the stern, — it would be unthinkable either Roy & Jim L. would ever have built a boat like that.– Will chase Jim Thonson up for that pic when she was browvn. Keep in touch — my email is kenpat@ihug.co.nz — KEN RICKETTS


  5. I joined your blog as most would because of my interest in classic wooden boats, however I joined also because of Don Ross my father in law has lived with us for the past 2 years. Don will be 91 on the 3rd of Feb 2014. He has mild dementia but otherwise is quite fit and healthy for his age. He remembers a lot from the past quite well apart from getting mixed up at times. Unfortunately his short term memory is very poor and this prevents him from pottering around making or fixing things as he has done all his life.
    Your site has been great for him, since I joined just before Xmas, as I can print out pictures and articles of boats and people he remembers. Willoughby Oliver the other day bought out lots of interest and discussion. Don knew him and his boats well.
    Yesterday `Valsan’ lead me to Miss Lidgard’ which Don owned from 1963 for a number of years. He bought her as the open cockpit boat shown in the first picture posted 5-5-2013 (black and white) but with a different colour scheme. Howard Pascoe (Baden’s father) did the boatbuilding work, with Don’s less expert help, to turn Miss Lidgard into the game fishing charter boat shown in the later photo’s. I printed out for Don all you had about Miss Lidgard.
    We can add a bit more to her history. The Austin skipper’s gave good service game fishing for many years with regular service and an annual valve grind each. They could push her along quite quickly for short periods if needed, but would tend to overheat if the speed was kept up for too long. Probably more a defficiency in the cooling capacity of the heat exchangers rather than a problem with the motor’s themselves. In the 1970’s with some encouragement from a long term client and friend Colin Chadwick Don decided to change to two diesel power units. Colin Chadwick was from Papakura and in the real estate business. Don thinks the company was called Chadwick and O’Shanassey. Don contacted Strongman’s in Coromandel. They came over and measured up the twin Austin installation and researched possible replacement diesels which would fit the existing close together twin engine layout. A further consideration was Don prefered to retain the existing Parsons gearbox’s the Austin’s had been installed with. Strongman’s suggested two Perkin’s 4/154’s although at that time there weren’t any of these engines in service in New Zealand. They suggested Don go to Australia to view an earlier single installation of a 4/154 which he did.
    After this trip two 4/154’s diesel’s were ordered. Dempsey Strongman sourced these as industrial engines and carried out all the marinisation and adapting of the Parson’s gearbox’s in his Coromandel business. When all complete the engine-gearbox units were brought over to Whitianga and installed at the wharf. A new exhaust stainless steel exhaust system was constructed and fitted on Don’s mooring to complete the repower job.
    The Perkin’s 4/154 engines proved to be a great choice and gave Don many year’s of reliable service until he retired from Game fishing. I am an A Grade Mechanic and at the time worked in Whitianga. I can remember only one small problem when new with the 4/154’s. I set the tappets several times for Don on one of the two engines. After a couple of days running they would be noisy again. Looking into this further we found the rocker shaft on the offending engine, had been installed half a turn out into the rocker pedestals, meaning the internal rocker oil supply was blocked off. This corrected, there was never another significant issue with these motors. Don used to go to Tutukaka each year to fish with some regular clients. He still relates he could leave Whitianga on a Friday night, set the throttles on the 4/154’s and steam all night arriving in Tutukaka the next morning ready to go Game fishing for the day. Don still reminisce’s what a great combination these motors and Miss Lidgard were and what a great sea boat she was for game fishing in Whitianga.


  6. Hi Ken
    I’m the current owner of Miss Lidgard. We recently installed a skin fitting in the bottom of the hull for a water intake, and I can confirm she is indeed in two skins with a layer of cloth in between. The two original skins have a total thickness of just under 2 inches.
    The inner skin is saturated in oil / diesel, and the outer skin is completely clean.
    When we had her hauled out at Opua for this work, I met Cal Crooks who skippered Miss Lidgard when she was a tow vessel for the whaling station on Gt Barrier. He recognized the boat straight away!

    Regarding the build, it is interesting to note that she is not symmetrical about the aft quarter. The tumblehome is about 60mm out of skew when comparing each side, and can be clearly seen in the cockpit where the engine is centered, while the sole on each side are noticeably different widths.

    I would love to obtain copies of any other photos or film taken of her in her early days.
    My earliest memory of her is around 1983 when I was a just wee kid.


  7. I have been giving thought to the Scripps light green painted Ford V8’s which I saw in her when she was brand new, Vs Austin Skipper 100s aspect of the writings, on this very interesting boat, (to me anyway), as I was on her, brand new, at Kawau her 1st Christmas in the water, with Jim & Roy Lidgard, on numerous occasions. There is absolutely no doubt that the Scripps V8s were in her at that time, but, as my own sister ship, Flying Scud, which was built a year later, had Austins,from new,
    I think on reflection, we may all be right, as it is very probable by us all having very definite recall on this boat ,that they re-engined her between the 2 Christmases they owned her..Her original engines were definitely in 2 boxes at the outside & you walked up the middle — when I was on her

    They could well have redone the whole thing, perhaps to make her more saleable, or with a paritcular buyer in mind, or perhaps because the Scripps were war assets engines . — who knows ???!!!

    Any thoughts anyone?

    Chapter Two

    Today & have had the joy, & delight, & I guess satisfaction of talking to the one person probably left alive, who can attest to the facts of the story of the above, & a gentleman I have known, since I was about 13 or 14 years old, who is a direct member of the Roy Lidgard family, & was living at the island with the R Lidgards at the time both Miss L. & F.S. were built, in the shed, & he has total & clear recall about many aspects of them, both the in construction details, which I will go back to later, & the engines they had fitted, in an amazingly full detail.

    His name is Mr Jim Thompson, a now retired highly successful tug boat company founder & owner, in his early 70s.

    Jim & I had a great chat earlier today, & will be talking again tomorrow.

    He is sending me a pic of her taken when she was very new, & still painted brown, which is how I first remember her as well,l & is the colour she was painted in some 8mm colour movies I have, which were taken at that time. She was painted brown her 1st & second Christmas.


    1. Jim confirmed to me today, that she definitely was built with 2 x Scripps Ford V8s, with 1 box either side up against each side of the boat.

    2. Within a year or 2, these were taken out, & they were replaced with 2 x Austin Skipper 100s, the same as my own boat, Flying Scud, her sister ship, had fitted from new, (& still had when I bought her in November 1970).

    3. The Austins were fitted to new engine beds, in the centre of the boat in one long single box, with one engine slightly in front of the other, to keep them as close together as possible, & an intermediate shaft on the front engine, to allow the propeller shafts to run at parallel angles. I suspect they were kept as close as poss., for internal room purposes. I think she may have had cavitation problems with the original props., near to the outside edges of the hull.

    So there we are, we were all right, to the extent that we all saw, what thought we saw, & we did actually see both, either Scripps, or Austins.

    Construction methods of both boats.

    I learnt more about my own boat today, in respect of the fact that F.S. & Miss L. were both 2 skins, & both had a layer of cloth sandwiched between the skins, which was apparently a new revolutionary English idea of the moment, when they were built. — I had never known this or even heard about the process.

    Both boats had copper exhaust pipes, which ran just under the side deck level, right aft, & then dropped down to waterline level & out the tuck just above the water & both of them had fully waterjacketed, internally dry exhausts all the way from the engines right to the outlet point at the tuck. — Must have cost a fortune, & been hugely difficult to make.

    As I gain more info., I will let you all know & of course will post the pic of her when new, when she as still painted brown, when it arrives.


  8. Ken seems to think she was powered by twin Scripps engines. I was talking to my brother and he confirms she was powered by twin Austin Skippers. These engines were under one engine box, very close together and you walked around them. I can now recall her props being very close to her keel.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s