story & photos ex Russell Ward

Bridgedecker “Movarie” was built for W Macpherson by W & G Lowe St. Marys Bay and launched in 1938. I was told that she was largely the work of Cyril Tercel (Lew’s brother) who was not long out of his time. The Motor Boat and Yachting 17 June 1938 article records that she was built as a “game fishing vessel and was very successful”. It seems that WW2 got in the way of Macpherson’s plans and HDK elicited that he apparently died in 1953 back in England.

We are not sure of the origin of her name –Macpherson’s house in the UK was called “Movarie”. I had always assumed the name was a contraction of the daughters’ names -as were many boats names– but not so. Doubtless Harold will find out in time.

Macpherson sold “Movarie” to Vic and Robbie Sanders not long after launching and they had the wheelhouse lowered and a dodger put aft. It gave her a purposeful, striking and handsome appearance, but IMHO she is not pretty. Her hull is gorgeous though.

“Movarie” was chartered to the navy and served on offshore patrol duties for the duration of the war. The second picture shows her in this role. .

After the war, the Sanders kept her until 1956 and later bought “Lady Crossley”. “Mpvarie” kept her original 40hp Russell Newberry engines until 1960 when they were replaced with Fords. One of them still survives albeit rather rusty. You can still buy them in the UK though very expensively. Lovely engines and easy to live with, popular with the barge people. Despite what you might expect, her shafts were inward turning –outward turning gives maneuverability, inward gives power. Anyway she would handle as a twin-screw boat but just more ponderously. Our RNZN minesweepers “Inverell”, “Kiama”, “Echuca” and “Stawell” had the same arrangement and were a handful too as many captains found.

We owned “Movarie” for five years from 1996 –you will recall that, in another Woodies entry, I blamed my buying a fizz boat on Andrew Johns and “Ruamano”. I was sad that the last surviving Sanders brother had died not long before. His son John said he would have been delighted to talk about her and gave me a lot of information and a few family photos.

Frustrated by her run down state and machinery, I took her out of the water for a couple of months early ’97. I replaced the flogged out Fords with newer ones and took the opportunity to replace the fuel tanks, the tops of which were rusted through. I put new steering gear in, attended to some interior woodwork and generally tidied her up. I also put her back to the original type masts.

She is a magnificent sea boat we enjoyed her company.

09-04-2016 – photo added – Movarie & unknown game fishing boat. Photo ex Hylton Edmonds via Ken R.


32 thoughts on “Movarie

  1. Thanks for that Terry. She still is a fine ship but ready for a bit of a makeover… I will follow up on your lead. Thanks.


  2. I remember doing some interior work on her when she was in Milford when I worked for John Gladden. It was owned by Allan Cruikshank.His son Craig from north shore canvas centre may have something.She was fine ship


  3. I bought Movarie after seeing your post on her Trade Me listing back in June/July. I intend to commence a long term restoration of her in the new year, after enjoying her over the summer and I would like to get her back towards how she looked in her early years including restoring her masts etc.

    I would be very interested in talking to any previous owners who may have photos or info on her early setup that would be useful to me as I go through this journey.


  4. Pingback: Movaire | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news – updated daily

  5. Pingback: Movarie | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

  6. MOVARIE UPDATE 20.1.18
    Today, (20.1.18), I have been talking to Davis Ballantyne, owner of HINEMOANA III, who told me, his father, Don Ballantyne, owned MOVARIE between early 1960s & 1974, & by the time he bought her, she had 2 x 4 cyl Ford Diesels, one of which retired, & he replaced it with a newer one the same.

    David B told also me, his father sold her, to a Mr Stevenson, of Paeroa, who kept her at Coromandel, who replaced the 4 cyl Fords, with larger Fords, & later sold her to a Mr Cruikshank.

    So 2 gaps now filled in, in her provenance. – KEN R.


  7. Hey, scan some of them and sent them off to Alan and he will post them. Nice to see her when she was with your family. She was a terrible mess when I took her over.


  8. Yea thats correct. Ivan Hanes. I have all his photos of the boat. I managed to collect them when he passed away


  9. Sure did, Chris. 18th day of May 1978 to 5th day of May 1982. Ivan Hanes. I think I rang him when I had her and filled me in on his time with her. She had a short, rakish mast on the wheelhouse: I put the longer masts on her that were akin to those she wore from new (although the mizzen was longer then. Improved her looks a bit I thought. Also I had a small headsail off Gloaming that I wore once -knocked the roll out of her a treat on a bumpy trip across from Tiri to Kawau. She had quite a quick roll if encouraged but don’t we all!


  10. I am unsure of the years but my Grandfather owned this boat i would think around the 70s and early 80s before my time.

    I have a few pictures of the boat floating around. I do know that the boat is currently in the Mt Maunganui Marina



  11. On The Atchison,Topeka and the Santa Fe.

    Do you hear the whistle down the line?
    I figure that it’s engine no 49
    She’s the only one that will sound that way
    On the Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe

    See the ol’ smoke riseing around the bend
    I reckon she knows she gonna meet a friend
    Folks around these parts get the time of day
    From the Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe

    Here she comes
    ( Ooh, Ooh, Ooh )
    Hey Jim you better get the rig
    ( Ooh, Ooh, Ooh)
    She’s got a list of passengers that’s pretty big
    And they’ll all want lifts to browns Hotel
    ‘Cause lots o’ them been travelin’ for quite a spell

    Here she comes
    (Comin down the line)
    Raa du raa, du ra du, raa raa raa
    (On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe)
    She really ravin down the line
    Looky, looky, looky, look, look, look
    (Atchison, Topeka And the Santa Fe)
    Oh boy were huffin and a puffin on the 49


  12. When you talk about Dylan, they think you’re talking about Dylan Thomas, whoever he was! (Paul Simon -A Simple Desultory Philippic) Dunno about the others mesel.


  13. Who Bob Dylan? How about “On the Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe” or “Yellow Dog Blues” (that’s one for Robin E…..”where the Southern crosses the Yellow Dog…”)


  14. Well these are Canadians, and one would expect a somewhat more accommodating approach. Some North Americans are very good, though. Yesterday I emailed two people in upstate New York for assistance in getting my grandfather’s apprenticeship records with the New York Ontario and Western Railroad’s workshops (STEAM!!). I had replies with 6 hours.


  15. I sometimes get the impression that some American firms are back in the quill pen, inkwell and wax seal era. Either that or there are so many emails, they get overwhelmed and go for the ones with big orders.


  16. Negative. I sent reminder emails a few times but my emails were probably junked too. They’d probably suspect I was a lunatic if I rang them.


  17. I guess you never got the reply from Movarie Trading Co in Vancouver, HDK. John Sanders, had a company here called Movarie Ltd or something similar some time backas I recall.


  18. I’ve written to MOVARIE Trading Co Ltd in Vancouver asking why the name. Will let you know if and when they reply.


  19. I know you will be anxious and nail biting about this, but Harold and I have discussed the possible origin of Movarie’s name over the years. I had assumed it was a compilation of some girls’ names (as so many boats were so named). eg Deblin Anne, possibly Valsan but not Kenya ll: Len Herd told me he was reading a book about Kenya… How’s that for name dropping?

    We now know (thanks be to HDK) that Macpherson’s house in Surrey was called “Movarie”. His obit in the Gazette shows this and that he was a merchant and also lists an address as c/- The National Bank of India. Wondering of it was an Indian word, I asked an Indian co-worker and he said that Movarie is not Indian but Marwari are an ethnic group in India.
    Since Brits couldn’t get their tongues round Mumbai and anglicized it to Bombay as well as many other liberties taken with other races’ cultural heritage, could it be that Movarie was a Brit attempt at saying Marwari?
    If Macpherson was trading with the Indian south west, it could be the connection we seek.


  20. Talking about that “pop”, it is a familiar sound to Vintage car buffs. High performance (for the time) big capacity petrol engines…Bentleys in particular, had that ring or pop which was the product of the closing of the exhaust valve closest to the downstream end of the exhaust manifold. Russell is well qualified to comment on that, having once built up a 3 litre Bentley starting from a set of pistons, something that would be unthinkable today. I tuned an ohv Nash 6 cylinder engine very highly and it produced that same sound at idle, a noticeable popping ring as No. 6 exhaust valve slammed shut. It’s a purely acoustic effect.


  21. PS On reflection, Fairbanks Morse diesels were not uncommon amongst NZ launches, particularly working boats like HEDA, LA REINE and AWHITU, but also were fitted to KENYA II (ab initio) and MATANUI amongst others. Some got their engines ex USN during RNZAF service in Fiji, like PLAYMATE and KURI, as spares rationalisation, some got them cheap as war surplus. Ernie Lane fitted a number eg ENDEAVOUR.


  22. Russell makes it quite clear in the first posting that her RNs were replaced by Fords. That info is supported completely by her RNZYS records. I think Ken’s Fairbanks Morses are probably imaginary.


  23. I remember the Movarie very well from the mid 40s to 60s, & was told at that time, by the them owners, that she had 2 x 4 cyl Fairbanks Morse engines.. I particularly remember it, as I only knew of one other boat with these engines, & that was the Clarke Lady Margaret. They were rare in NZ pleasure boats in my personal experience. I heard them running on a number of occasions in Movarie. The exhausts were adjacent to each other at the centre of her cruiser stern just above the waterline, the engines were slow running & they had a little “pop,” (a slightly louder sound if you like,) on 1 cylinder which some diesels seem to have. This information could of course have been given to me wrongly, but if it is possible to check it through official records, it would perhaps be interesting to comfirm one way or the other if at any time she did in fact ever have Fairbamnks Morse installed.


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