details & photos ex Ken Ricketts, Martin Bertold & trademe

Built by Francis Wells of Wakatahuru in the South Island, for himself & was built of double diagonal planking in kahikatea, started in July 1951 & launched in 1960.
Whilst originally built by Wells as a work boat for himself, as you can now see, she is a beautiful, very comfortable, heavy displacement pleasure craft that could go almost anywhere.

Wells owned her until 1981 & after he died in August of that year she was sold by his estate to Murray Harris of Nelson circ. August 1981. She passed to Eric Jacobson between 1985 & 1987, who renamed her Evangeline & brought her to Auckland. In May 1993 she was sold to Brent Haslet & Carol Rush of Auckland who sold her in 2003 to Craig Burrow of Taupaki, West Auckland.

She is presently owned by David Brown of Auckland who advised that the large chrome throttle controls came off the previously destroyed Fairmile Mana.

She is driven by a matched handed pair of Gardner 8L3 eight cylinder in line diesel engines. The motors were originally from the island trader Rana which Brown traveled to Rarotonga to remove, at the end of her life & then bring them to NZ for installation in Valmarie. She had a cruising speed when new of 9.5 knots & top speed of 11 knots.

She has been returned to her original name, somewhere along the way & is currently for sale on trademe.

9 thoughts on “Valmarie

  1. The Valmarie now resides in Whangarei and in on the hard being refurbished. And is owned now by Garry Scott


  2. Hello Allan, sadly I haven’t; when my parents passed away the family photos went to one of my much-loved brothers. Colin has since passed away and the family photos are now with his family. But, I have been in contact with another of Uncle Francis’s nieces and she is sure her side of the family will have some. Is there any chance you could friend me on Facebook? A lot of Uncle’s nieces and nephews are on FB and I know they too would be delighted to see the above photos. Uncle Francis’s wife, Elspeth is still living in Blenheim and will be 91 this year. He daughter Lynda has posted a comment above. Thank you for making contact. Pauleen.


  3. It’s really great to come across this site and see my much-loved Uncle Francis’s pride and joy. Pauleen Wilkinson – nee Wells.


  4. Great to see great uncle Francis boat has been restored and upgraded to a very high standard.
    Amazing to still have the original Gardener engines as well. Had alot of fond memories as a kid at Whakatahuri playing around on the boats and exploring the old wrecks.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Never thought I would see Dad’s boat again, you couldn’t tell she had been burnt out in the 70’s, could not find her on trademe so I guess she was sold.


  6. thats right mate Uncle francis salvaged thoes gardners out of the rana with there own power my father remembers the day that francis returned with them



  7. The old girl is looking a treat, and is more finished now than when she was new. She’s a credit to he time and effort (not to mention money) Dave Brown has put into her
    I went for a run on her around Forsyth Bay soon after she was launched. Impressive when those Gardners were opened up.
    One point; the Gardners were salvaged from RANA (not “Rannah”) by Francis Wells himself. The old wooden coaster was sitting almost high and dry on a coral reef.
    Glad too, to hear David Jones and Huia are still going. That boat was built by Ernie Lane for N R McMurtry as a pleasure boat originally. I remember the domestic couch that was built into her accommodation in those days.


  8. Nice old photo of Whakatahuri. The launch on the hard up against the wharf is Te Huia built by Ernie Lane about 1937. At this time she was owned by David (Davey) Jones, yes the same man who does extreme classic voyaging in Kelvin. The Huia is powered by a Lister JP6 MGR. Davey has had her across the ditch and explored the Eastern Australian coast.


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