photos & information ex past owners & Harold Kidd
BETTY / ACHERNAR / ACHINAR
Designed by well known yacht designer R.L. (Bob) Stewart and believed to be the only launch that Bob Stewart designed. 31ft in length, she was built by Collings & Bell in September 1939 for Bob Stewart’s father as BETTY. R L Stewart Senior owned her continuously until 1948-50 as BETTY. She was renamed ACHERNAR (not ACHINAR) when he sold her.
When purchased in 1984, the nameplates installed on the boat had the spelling as “Achinar”, and that is how they knew her during their long period of ownership. The current owners since 2008 have changed it (back?) to Achernar. So any mis-spelling of the name would appear to have occurred between the 1950’s and early 1980’s.
1984 saw a major refit and a flying bridge added at the Lane Motor Boat Co. on the Tamaki River and she was cruised extensively around the Hauraki Gulf and further afield for the next 20 years.
In 1993 the BMC diesel was replaced with a 6 cyl. Nissan diesel.
In 2008 Achernar was sold from Auckland to Lake Rotoiti (North Island). Another professional refit was undertaken for the new owners, including removal of the flying bridge. Achernar is now a regular participant in the annual Lake Rotoiti Parade of Classic and Wooden Boats (the photograph taken on the lake is courtesy of their website.)”
Note: There is dockside talk that the vessel may have been linked to US Navy Admiral William ‘Bull’ Halsey during his WWII R&R in Auckland.