ETHEL C (Ethel Clare)


ETHEL C (Ethel Clare)

Some days ww rocks – yesterday was one of those days, the planets lined up & everything fell into place.

Last weekend Nathan Herbert was out & about nosing around the Whau Creek with Jason Prew in one of the classic picnic boats when they came across the very neglected tram topper, Ethel Clare,  sitting on a pile mooring. Ethel Claire (as spelt on the name board) became the ww posting on Wednesday.

Next thing I get an email from CYA member Neil Chalmers, SY Gleam, telling me a RYC member, Colin Clare, has been trying to track down his father’s old launch – ‘’Ethel C’’. Neil had spoken to Colin and described the launch in photos that appeared on ww. In Neil’s words “I think you may have struck gold !.”

Next I contacted Harold Kidd who confirmed that ETHEL C was built by Leon Warne in late 1922 for Billy Clare. HDK thinks she was in fact started by Leon and finished off by Dick Lang as Leon went to Russell at that time and Dick took over his premises.
Ethel C was 30’x8′ and HDK supplied two b/w images which leave no doubt that Ethel Claire is in fact Ethel C. The close up shows a young Colin Clare sitting on the salon top.
HDK commented – “that she has a provenance a couple of yards long!!!”

Next I contacted James Mobberley at Moon Engines & Transmissions who is a member at the Te Atatu Boating Club on the Whau Creek & a classic nutter. James advises that the boat is known around the club as Ethel C & is owned by a Te Atatu Boat Club member who has owned her for between 10 >12 years. The current owner bought her off a gent by the name of Jimmy Sands who had her sitting on his front lawn in Avondale for 20 years.

Now I want this to have a happy ending – wouldn’t it be great to see her rescued & back in the hands of the family of the original owner 🙂

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21 thoughts on “ETHEL C (Ethel Clare)

  1. Alan is right. NYRIA was a 32 footer built by Dick Lang in 1922 for C.H. Dryland so the similarities are explainable. NYRIA went through a couple of hands in Auckland but was sold to Hayter in Whakatane in 1936.


  2. After taking a look aboard Ethal Clare ( I had asked the owner) I tend to think she was probably first launched without the dodger. I wonder if there are earlier photos than these around somewhere. Quite a different look.
    The construction of the dodger, from the inside, appears not to have been considered in the new build. And from the outside, with her aged look a tell tale crack or opening of the joinery has appeared. Very pleasantly, when her combings were built, she had a lovely sweeping curve from the top of the cabin side down to meet with the radiused corners of the cockpit combing.
    It seems a shame this pleasant ‘line’ was concealed even with the addition of the dodger.
    I have a couple of photos Alan may put up for me.
    As you can probably tell – I like the old girls style and have offered the owner a hand.


  3. Stage one must have been total neglect involving no covers and not pumping her out regularly or slipping for years. Worm worm worm


  4. RE: SOS Ethel Claire
    Owner states emphatically, not about to be dumped, not free-to-a-good-home. Phase 3 of restoration process underway.


  5. Pingback: SOS Ethel Claire | – the classic wooden boat blog

  6. ethel sank on her mooring the night of 15/16 dec after the storm. Looks like the owner will be taking her home.


  7. Yes and yes to Jimmy sands question. Ethel c lay in the lighter basin at auckland viaduct for years in her “long lining” mode. Had a 4 cyl wet sleeve ford held together with bondifill and stop leak product. ( back when the viaduct area was full of real waterfront characters and not full the “nose up” types that have taken over) c


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