Info from Harold Kidd & Mark McLaughlin

Maristella was a 40 footer, built by Sam Ford in December 1936 for Mr R.W. Wills of Epsom and fitted with a 50hp Ailsa Craig diesel. During WW2 RNZN patrol service she was fitted with a Gray for spares rationalization purposes.

Maristella was for sale recently and was advertised as having a 4-71 Detroit. She was renamed “Faye Michelle” for a time and has now reverted back to Maristella.

The b/w photo shows her on launch day & minus the flying bridge.

New photos – 12/08/2014

9 thoughts on “Maristella

  1. my Mum’s cousin Pat Wills was married to Bob Wills. Mum recently told me a wee story about a boat that Bob and his brother Charlie had, which was called the Maristella. Mum remembers going with her aunt and uncle (Pat’s parents) to stay at Russell during Summer holidays, and going out on the Maristella with Bob and Charlie Wills. Around 1939 maybe. Mum thinks she was about 8 years old – she was born in 1931. She says Bob and Charlie offered the Maristella to patrol the coast during the war, and Pat ran the post office at Russell.


  2. Pingback: Mystery Launch 27-08-2019 | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

  3. I purchased Marestella in January 2014 in Tauranga and brought her up to the Bayswater Marina in Auckland.
    She now has a 471 Detroit diesel and is a lovely boat that is used regularly.
    Paul Willer


  4. My father remembers Maristella when she was owned by the Dimock family of Nelson, circa late 50’s / early 60’s, who used to manufacture Dimock cash registers and the like.


  5. I saw her there in the distance in the earlyish eighties, as I dove down a local road, which would have been at Mana — I knew I had seen her in that area, as above, — she looked absolutely pristine at that time, from what I could see. — KEN R


  6. Can’t remember who owned her in Wellington but she was an early Mana Cruising Club boat; almost from the founding of the club, IIRC. Was on board her in the Sounds a couple of times as a boy – my lasting memory is of a small coal heating stove installed on the port side of her bridge deck. Bet that wasn’t there when she was in Auckland. Not at all sure of this, but I think she may have participated in one of Mana’s early group cruises down to Fiordland. Is the photo recent? Do we know where she is now?


  7. Great to see she has arrived in the system, I remember her so very well under Wakatakataka bay Bridge just by Tamaki Dr circa 1946/47 by which time she had her flying bridge & Graymarine Diesel — always loved her, especially for the flying bridge which was a “special” part of my love of boats even in my very young days. Always regretted I never had a chance to get a pic of her before she went to Wellington ( actually I think it may have been Plimerton) — KEN RICKETTS


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