Arethusa & Winsome

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The Boats of H Pickmere

photos ex Dean Wright. details by Alan H

Arethusa was used extensively by Hereward Pickmere during WWII when he was employed by the Lands & Survey Dept. to survey Northland’s coastline. Arethusa started off life as a gaff rigged cutter (see b/w photo with a 30’ long boom), she was built in 1917 by Bob Brown at Sulphur Beach, Northcote. Carvel planked kauri – 33′ 4″ with a 11′ 7″ beam.  She was converted to a launch in approx. 1955 after being wrecked & salvaged post a grounding on Farewell Spit on a passage from New Plymouth to Nelson. You can view some wonderful old images of her & the Pickmere family cruises on Dean’s website:

Arethusa was sold in 1943 & the Winsome acquired. She is described as a 34′ flush-decked launch built by Bailey & Lowe (that will please HDK) in 1918 with a draft of 2′ 7″ & had previously been owned by Hereward’s father since 1923.

Both boats still live in the Bay of Islands & you can view further details on Arethusa here:

photos – the 2 colour photos of Arethusa and Winsome together were taken by Dean earlier this year in the Bay. The b/w sketch below of Winsome is ‘borrowed’ from Pickmere’s Atlas of the Northland coast.


Update 25-07-2018 ex Arethusa owner, Dean Wright. The cutting below show Arethusa leaving Auckland on-route to Suva.



12 thoughts on “Arethusa & Winsome

  1. Pingback: Arethusa’s New Woody Wheelhouse | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news – updated daily

  2. Pingback: Around the Yards – Opua | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

  3. Arethusa presently has a 135 hp Ford Diesel, but will shortly have a 4LW Gardner, which is being made ready to replace it.


  4. Haven’t got immediate access to my ’55 “Sea Sprays”, but I think “Arethusa” was wrecked at the entrance to Whanganui Harbour, at the northern end of the West Coast, rather than Farewell Spit itself.


  5. Harold
    The copy below if lifted direct from Pickmere’s book / atlas –

    “During the Second World War Hereward was employed by the Lands and Survey Department to survey Northland’s coastline for military mapping purposes”

    Alan H


  6. I question your statement that “Pick” was employed by the Lands & Survey Dept to map the Northland coast. I think it was a labour of love.


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