The Mullet boat Waitomo / Disgraceful
Hello – I wondered if anyone might be able to help, I’m trying to track details on a Mullet boat my brother Neil Thompson, who now lives in Australia, used to own.
The boat was named Waitomo – he tells me she was known as “dizzy” or disgraceful from early 70’s to late 80’s as she was a wreck, laid up on the mudflats of Birkenhead for many years and someone wrote on her side in mud – this boat is disgraceful and the name stuck like the mud!
He is wondering where the boat has got too – all he knows is that it was trucked to the Bay of Islands in 1999 and possibly purchased by a gentleman who belonged to the Opua yacht club.
Sorry it’s not much to go on but I wondered whether this might ring any bells. My brother is coming across in January and is keen to see the boat again if we can locate it.
I tracked down these pics from the web and I’m not sure of the dates.
Many thanks for your help! Lisa – contact email below
Harold Kidd Input
Strictly speaking WAITOMO isn’t/wasn’t a “mullet boat”. She is/was a 16 footer S Class of roughly mullet boat configuration but in miniature.
Her registered number was S40 originally but changed to V244 (as shown in the images) as she was either over 16ft or was lengthened to 18ft.
I think her original name was BUNGAREE and she was built about 1929.
She was called DISGRACEFUL in 1953 when her owner was Charles Lindegreen and Eriksen, followed by Glen Thompson of Westmere.
Alan H Update – I think some wag has had a little ‘play’ with the photos in the past, the helmsman looks a bit too curvaceous & its not from the normal mullet boat diet of meat pies and Lion Reds 🙂
Robin Elliott Update 23/12/13
I’m not so sure that the is/was Bungaree, although one cannot rule anything out.
Bungaree appears as S-40 in 1929 and is around until around 1933 when she vanishes.
In 1938 S-40 was allocated to Leilani, a square bilge ‘sharpie type’ of English design built by Roy Brummell, and famously photographed in the NZ Herald, in serous cruising mode, decorated with RAF roundels and with crew wearing US Navy gob hats. (HDK – see the S-class file of photographs now in your possession).
To also confuse, a 16-foot mullet boat type, but ROUND bilge, named Leilani and carrying S-4 was wrecked in Okahu Bay in 1898 and her hull towed away to the tip.
Disgraceful appears as S-40, owned by Erikson & Lindgreen in 1951, then B.S.G. Keene of Whangarei in 1957. I also have an unsubstantiated note that she was built in Whangarei just prior to the War, and she is similar to a couple of unknown (to me anyway) mullet boat types in an old Whangarei photo album that I must get back from the WCC..
Around 1960 she re-appears as Waitomo registered as V-244 because the AYMBA had stopped registering boats for the S-class and all boats less than 18-feet were registered as V’s. Loads of confusion anyway because the V-200 numerical series was begun in 1955 to cater for the 18-foot Flying Squardon V’s (V-201 Envy, V-202 Quandary, V-203 Quiz). By the early 1960’s when Waitomo came along the AYMBA was only half-heartedly registering 18-footers and probably didn’t give a toss that Waitomo was nothing like a Flying 18.
During this period her owners were :L.K. Murray 1961?/63+?; D.O.(Stuart) Munro (Hamilton East) 1965?/77+? (still shows as owner in 1978 NZYF); and Shane Kelly (ex Sea Spray editor) some time in the early 1980’s.
I remember seeing her on the hard at Okahu Bay in the mid-late 1980’s. She was VERY deep chested and probably drew the best part of 18 inches, quite tubby like a little Loloma which for a 16-footer was really unusual.She was wrecked in Okahu Bay in 1989 & her hull towed away to the tip.
Photos below ex Pam at Whangateau Traditional Boat yard
The top photo is Fleetwing S11 on the left and Des Demona on the right (18 ft mullety), they are laid up in the backyard of 96 Vermont Street Ponsonby in 1942 for war times.
Pam would like to know who built Fleetwing and what happened to her? The photo was given to Pam from Des Pittams a previous owner of Des Demona.
Anyone able to put a make to the van towing Des Demona.