Unknown Launch (15/09/2013) Almost Known

Unknown Launch (15/09/2013) Almost Known

Last year (15/09/2013) Ken Ricketts asked about a launch that he had photographed c1948-9. He commented that at the time he took the photo she was seen regularly around the Kawau Island area.
We had no joy in ID-ing her but it now appears that the ‘powers’ of ww have worked.  At the weekend Nathan Herbert was out & about nosing around the Whau Creek when he spied the launch above, a little digging into the Papers Past archive reveals that this is most likely Kens mystery boat. A 28 foot, 1939 Coulthard built in Onehunga for a Mr E. G. Webb. As the Papers Past photo (excuse the quality) shows she was trucked across from Onehunga & launched at Auckland.

Still do not know her name but getting closer – anyone know the boats current owner or more details?

Photos below of Dawn as discussed in the RECENT COMMENTS section – click to enlarge

39 thoughts on “Unknown Launch (15/09/2013) Almost Known

  1. Hi Everyone,
    My name is Tony Bedford I owned Lucinda from 1995 to 2000 she was 26ft long and built in 1928 we repowered her with a nissan LD20 in 1995.I have photos of her but dont know how to put them on line.If interested ph 3763353 auckland.


  2. Her name is Sunseeker.
    She is currently for sale on trademe & hopefully have a new owner on this Wednesday 4th nov 8:00 pm



  3. Harold’s info is most interesting, especially the photo. A photo of DAWN with 19 persons on deck follows (from BOATS OF TAUPO). .

    Of course, this is quite a different DAWN to the Coulthard DAWN discussed above. The Drake’s have nothing to add. It is all said in dagwood67’s offering above, which is a direct quote from Charles Cox’s/Taupo Museum’s BOATS OF TAUPO.
    Harold mentions PIHANGA as being for sale by auction in 1925. PIHANGA’s bow (the first couple of metres) survives, and was from 1995 until recently on display at the Taupo Museum. A most interesting exhibit, which the museum has clearly got sick of, sadly, and this piece of history now languishes out in the weather in the Harbour Master’s yard, adjacent to the Control Gates Bridge at Taupo, awaiting its inevitable fate.
    The steamer hull mentioned by Harold would have been RMS TONGARIRO, built at Taupo by Bailey and Lowe, in 1899. She ran a regular and reliable service between Taupo and Tokaanu for 25 years, until the road was built in 1924, and TONGARIRO became redundant. .


  4. Piecing together bits and pieces, my version of the provenance of DAWN is as follows.
    1. Built by Bailey & Lowe in Auckland in September 1912 for M. McLaughlin as RHODESIA and fitted with a 7hp Standard engine.
    2. I have a slight worry that the McLaughlin boat may have been KINGFISHER and that RHODESIA was built for Marshall, Ryan & Co.
    3. RHODESIA was certainly owned by Marshall, Ryan & Co in 1920 when Roy Forrester, the well-known boatbuilder from the Kaipara, ran her for a season on Taupo. (pic on its way to Alan).added 😉

    4. RHODESIA was for sale by auction in September 1925 when all of the assets of Taupo Shipping Company (ex-Marshall, Ryan) were being liquidated. These included a 65ft steamer hull, and the launches TAINUI, MAORI, PIHANGA and RHODESIA.
    5. RHODESIA was described as 30′ x 8′ x 2’9″; 7hp Standard HD (heavy duty)engine, tuck stern, forward steering gear and controls, low tension coil and magneto, portable masts, brass propeller etc. That conforms to the spec of the boat built by Bailey & Lowe for McLaughlin in 1912.
    6. I reckon TUWHARETOA could have been a different launch because she was owned by Sam Crowther who advertised her for hire only from February to May 1923, although it may have been a brief change of name.
    7. DAWN is DAWN by January 1929 when she’s reported with trout catches on the lake.
    8. Other history can be gleaned from the HSBT site, but it’s scarily anecdotal. It brings in the names DOREEN and DOREENA too.

    That’s probably not the end of the story. The Drakes will probably have some valuable commentary.


  5. From the site: http://www.promotionalart.com/index.htm

    Is it the same boat? 28′ could = 30′ but the name change???


    Dawn is one of the oldest boats on Lake Taupo. She is one of the best-remembered boats because she was owned at various times by two of Taupo’s well known identities of the past, George Davis and Ralph Ward.
    She was built in Auckland earlier this century and plied on Lake Taupo in the 1920s and 30s. At this time there were only about half a dozen commercial boats for hire on the lake and then they only ran during the season from September to May. During the winter months, most of the boats were taken out of the water and stored on blocks. Like others, George Davis would do another job during the winter months.
    In those days boats like the Dawn were used to take families for picnic trips to Acacia Bay, Western Bay and for day-long fishing trips. It was the time before the family boats and outboard motors and a trip on to the lake in a boat like the Dawn was one of the highlights of a trip to Taupo.
    During this time Dawn changed her name to Tuwharetoa and it is believed that at one time she was called the Rhodesia.
    She was sold to Ralph Ward in the early 1940s. Ralph, who had tuberculosis, had come to Taupo to help overcome this often fatal condition. He bought Dawn and used her privately, often going over to the Western Bays for long periods of time.
    She had a six-cylinder Studebaker car engine in when he bought her but Ralph wanted to put in a one-cylinder open crankcase engine. He had it transported down from Tauranga where he bought it and arranged for Don McLeod to install it.
    This engine arrived in boxes. As it was so big and hefty it had been stripped down and packed in these boxes. The flywheel weighed about a quarter of a ton and as they couldn’t get that off the crankshaft, both came fixed together. There was no order to the parts and no instructions and it took Don one winter to put it together. He had to alter the engine beds to fit the large cast-iron crankcase. After getting that in he put in the crankshaft and flywheel, did the bearings, and gradually the engine took shape. Nothing was missing. She was put back in the water and with two pulls of the crank-start, the engine started.
    Dawn was 30ft long. She was a planked-hull, all-kauri boat. After Ralph sold her she had another engine put in and soon after left Taupo.


  6. True. I guess there’s no way of knowing. I recall when my father had Lanes do some work on her, an old guy there said she was “pre war”. Now I’m unsure of which war he was referring to!


  7. Hi Harold, I knew TAUFALE, the family & the boat well, & I took the pic — I could not make a mistake on a thing like that. & a I am sorry, but you are wrong this time, it is TAUFUALE in the post relating to her, — I gave the owners a copy of it when I took it, however in so saying, the TAUFALE pic does not appear in this post & I never intended to infer that it was. The pic in this one as, I said, I never knew the name of, & am very pleased to know that she is called DAWN & still around. Trust this clarifies any confusion — KEN R


  8. DAWN’s story is of interest. She seems to have had a string of enthusiastic owners and has had lots of home ports. Add to that Taupo, where I knew her as a boy in the 1950’s. The other Coulthard boat at Taupo was DESTINY – a bit bigger than DAWN. Whilst at Taupo she acquired a new cabin, and became a bridge decker. Quite well done.


  9. Ken, somehow or other you are missing the point here. Your 1948 pic is NOT TAUFALE. Secondly you’ve told us all about your and your family’s personal relationships with the Menzies, the Baldwins and the Whimps several times already on WW. Spare us further repeats for pity’s sake?


  10. TAUFALE was owned by Clive Menzies at the time I took the pic c. 1948, I knew the family well, & had an association with his 2 sons Michael & Pat in our youth, which continued with Pat & his wife Val in to adult life with some real estate transactions. & TAUFSALE definitely had a hard chine. the Menzies were very close friends of Arnold Baldwin ( VALSAN) , & Horry Whimp (MENAI) — KEN RICKETTS


  11. I am delighted to learn that TAUFALE was built by Les Coulthard. I would really like to know what her name was between 1933 and 1946 when Menzies called her TAUFALE. I have copies of Jenny Pine’s pics of TAUFALE and will post them tonight. Perhaps Alan could start a new thread on her?
    As for DAWN, Les Coulthard built an (un-named) 35′ x 9’6″ launch for the Marine Department for the Kaipara in early 1938 for tending to the lights and buoys on the harbour. She was a plain workboat equipped with a derrick.
    But then, Coulthard was a builder of choice for west coast workboats from Westport to the Hokianga as there were (slightly) less delivery problems and costs, eg the New Plymouth pilot boat in 1931 and the big fishing boat HELENA for Westport in 1934. CINDY/GLADYS on the Kaipara was allegedly Coulthard.as was ECHO in Totara North (and more).


  12. We purchased off a guy that I recall was using her for commercial fishing -possibly flounder. It’s a few years ago now and I was only around 7 years old but he could have been based in Pahi??


  13. Harold, that is surely Taufale with the original cabin top. When dad bought her in 1954 after selling Oreti she had the swooping cabin top and the Chrysler engine. That darned engine used to frequently kick back on cranking and get a belly full of seawater. Many a time I recall a quick head removal and cylinder dry out before heading off to Herald Island or Motuihe for the Sunday picnic. Wonderful things, those side valve engines!
    I could recant numerous memories of that boat including nearly drowning off it in Issy Bay at the age of 7 or so and subsequently promptly being enrolled at the Shelley Beach baths for swimming lessons.
    Unfortunately I have no photos of the boat from that era. I think my cousin, Jenny Pine may have . I will see what I can unearth.


  14. That one certainly looks like TAUFALE but what happened between 1933 and 1946 when Menzies registers her with the Squadron? Obviously she went under a different name.


  15. Taufale?

    Mystery is round bilge, as looks Dawn, and another slightly more modern ‘Cauldrey style’ 26ft sedan in similar Coulthard launch photographs.


  16. This thread is chock full of nuts. I have always thought that TAUFALE was built by Chas. Bailey & Son Ltd in 1939 but that’s based on anecdotal evidence from a former owner (and, depending on the source, I rarely believe unsupported anecdote). If she WAS built by Les Coulthard it makes a lot of sense. BTW she had a Hudson 8 from 1946 to 1950 when a Chrysler was fitted by Clive Menzies. But isn’t TAUFALE hard chine and the mystery boat round bilge?
    Whatever the mystery boat was, she was owned by a Squadron member when Ken took the pic in 1948/9, so she’ll be on the RNZYS list. I’ve scanned through that list for the relevant period and the only launch with a Morris was TINKER, owned by Harold Baxter.
    DARLEEN was supposedly built by the Fairley brothers in 1932 (which is what was on TradeMe but I can’t find any corroboration for that).
    As for DAWN, FWIW Percy Vos sold a DAWN to the Kaipara in 1933.


  17. And the mystery boat has a very similar look to the larger Darleen in Westhaven , who was at Patio Bay with us all last year


  18. I think Hijack away.. Being as this benefits me 😀

    Yes Lucinda is 27 feet long. Do you have any older shots of Taufale at all? Would love to see, as all I Have of Taufale is current trademe, and launching in newspaper.


  19. Taufale was 28ft and was owned by my father and uncle in the 1950s. I always thought Lucinda was a bit smaller.
    Interestingly Taufale has had 3 different cabin tops that I am aware of. The earlier photos show her as a bridge deck type cabin, then a horrible single profile aft swooping version and finally to this current single flat cabin top.
    These were great hulls and if I recall correctly Taufale could crack 15kts with her 80hp Chrysler Crown. The subsequent owner put a 60hp Ford diesel in that completely killed her performance.
    Sorry to hijack the thread!


  20. At the risk of a thread drift – apologies if this isn’t the done thing….

    Certainly not the same boat but I do see some similarities to our old similar sized family launch Dawn which my father owned from 1975 to 1998ish.

    Not sure if I can post photos but an old scanned photo of her just after we took ownership is here: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/1DGmvp_PFOSGhWWFd_NSyh2YqzBJk2oZRISOzU2Mfh0?feat=directlink



    I’ve tried to get more on her history with no luck so far…

    She was sold to us as a probable amateur build in the 1950’s and later had “experts” say 1920 was more likely. A later owner listed her on Trademe as a Coultard which was news to us…

    We purchased her on the Kaipara and moved her to Panmure, then Glendowie, then Pine Harbour. Next owner had her at Pine Harbour. Next owner was Northcote Point, then another took her to the Hokianga before being sold and brought back to the Tamaki River. I’ve heard recently she’s back at Pine Harbour.


  21. Fair call on stock item, but I wonder just how many were made? I see the advert for my boat as “Standardised V- bottom cruisers” but were there many more than Lucinda and Taufale?


  22. A little bit more; she was “a modern streamlined type” built for “an Onehunga yachtsman” (Webb was from Onehunga) and had a “4 cylinder Morris marine engine” and was 28’6″ oa. Webb had had launches on the Manukau for years but, like the Rushbrooks, had obviously decided it was more fun on the Waitemata and the east coast.


  23. PS The upheaval caused by the outbreak of war in September 1939 probably resulted in this one being laid up for the duration.


  24. Be cautious here as this 28ft design appears to be a stock Coulthard item and it’s likely that he built more than one.


  25. Hi Everybody,

    Great to be back in NZ last night, after an overseas trip & an inevitable absence from woodys, & how exciting to come back, & find this “mystery boat,” that I took the original pic of, so very many years ago, is still alive & well. Will be doing my bit myself, in the next week or so, to see what I can do, to update the story & get the name of this lovely little craft that is still so very original — KEN RICKETTS


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