photos & story ex Harold Kidd
ROYAL SAXON was built by Colin Wild for Whangarei surveyor Harold Frederick Saxon Charlesworth and launched in October 1930.
She was 33ft loa, 9ft 6in beam and drew just under 4ft. Her original engine was a 35hp Kermath.
In late 1936 Charlesworth sold her to Mrs. G Kendall of Hamilton who kept her on the Waitemata. The Sanders brothers bought both ROYAL SAXON and MOVARIE in 1940. They kept MOVARIE until they bought LADY CROSSLEY in 1956 but sold ROYAL SAXON in 1943 to Gordon Hunter. ROYAL SAXON was a patrol vessel with NAPS from around 1942-1943, under skipper J G Brook as Z21.
Gordon Hunter sold her to R & J F Phillips-Turner in 1945, they sold her to W G Gottwaltz of Thames in 1947; he sold her to J G Browne of Katikati in 1948; he sold her and she was owned in 1973 by Dr. W R Trotter of Epsom. She was owned in Motueka when I saw her and photographed her about 11 years ago nosing her way into the Sandfly (Falls) River on the Tasman Bay coast, still in lovely condition.
The photo of her on the slip at Whakatakataka Bay is probably during the latter stages of the war when she had reverted to civilian control. She’s wearing her wartime reporting number on her bows without which she could have been sunk by the batteries on North Head.
Update from Rick McCay (current owner of Luana)
We owned Royal Saxon from 1989 to 1994. She was a superb first classic launch for us. We bought her from Don Watson who lived on Waiheke Island and to his credit she was in perfect condition. We restored the bridge varnish as she was all white when we got her. In 1994 we sold her as we had fallen under the spell of Luana, and as we all know while owning one old boat is a catastrophe, two is an absolute disaster. We sold her to a lovely man Captain Tom Rowling [brother of PM Bill Rowling] who was skipper of the Golden Bay cement ship. We had a great afternoon on board his ship one time it was in Auckland. He trucked Royal Saxon to Mana and motored her across Cook Strait to her future home, Motueka. Dr Trotter was a keen amateur cabinet maker and Saxon had a lovely interior courtesy of his expertise.
SIDEBAR (ex AH)