Ida Mae (Playmate)


IDA MAE (Playmate)
photos ex Peter Sample (owner for 25 yrs)

Following on from the post on Playmate 2 days ago, above are photos of the launch when she was Ida Mae.
The black and whites photos are from Ted Swales, the original owners son. He thinks they were taken in 1942 just before she was sold to the Air Force.
The later, colour one is at Owhiti Bay Waiheke in 2006.

Harold Kidd Info
She was built by Sam Ford in 1936 for Roy Swales of Epsom. Her original engine was a 2 cylinder National 20hp diesel, later replaced with a Fairbanks Morse while in RNZAF service. Harold suspects she went to Nelson after she was sold off by the RNZAF.

Click link to view photos of her during the war in Fiji https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/09/02/playmate-ida-mae/

Recent photo (Kerikeri) ex Nathan Herbert

Update from Peter Sample (former owner)

I owned Ida Mae from 1982 to 2007.  I had known Ted Swales, the original owners son, for a few years beforehand and when he found we had just bought a Sam Ford launch,named Ida Mae he told me about the one his family owned when he was a boy, named Playmate.
He told me that the RNZAF had purchased her in 1942 for service in Fiji and as far as he knew she had never come back.
He showed me photos of her in Whakataka Bay.
A couple of years later when I was burning multiple layers of paint from the hull I came across the old wartime registration number scribed in the timber. Something about that number rang a bell so I got in touch with Ted and asked him what the number was on their Sam Ford  launch. He told me number 414.  I said to him we have her in my back yard.
He was rather speechless for a while and within a couple of days was at my place sitting inside.
He confirmed evidence in the hull that she had been twin screw.for a while. She had originally been launched with a single Ailsa Craig engine which was far too small. This was shifted over and a second Ailsa Craig fitted. It was plain to see where the shafts had been as the cut ribs still existed where the shafts went through the hull and the replacement pieces of planking of a couple of feet long where the shaft logs had been. I later replaced the ribs along with many others but the twin shaft evidence still exists.Ted said she was fitted with a single Fairbanks Morse when the RNZAF had her but I do not remember if this was done by the Swales or not.
Whenever Ted was on board he always referred to her as Playmate.
The logs I had showed she was in Napier in 1970 probably in her original state. She had a 90hp 6 cyl BMC sealord in her at this time and was still in when I sold.
She made a few sailings up the coast to Tauranga while based at Napier for Big game fishing at Mayor Island and it made interesting reading in the log of the non stop voyage up the coast stopping at Gisborne for fuel.

Owners I am aware of
Wyness of Auckland who I think had Shipbuilders do the alterations in the early 70’s
Eric Boisen of Auckland up to about 1981
George Mabey of Coromandel
Peter and Liz Sample Westpark 1982 to 2007
Aksel and Susan Jepsen Kerikeri

09/03/2015 – Photo pre WW2 ex Ken Ricketts ex B Worthington

08-01-2016 photo of Playmate in Opito Bay, Kerikeri ex Baden Pascoe

Playmate Opito Dec:Jan2016

8 thoughts on “Ida Mae (Playmate)

  1. I confirm that her first engine was a 16/24hp Ailsa Craig diesel, a 2 cylinder engine that was described in the NZAFMS report as a “2 cylinder 20hp National diesel” for some reason. KORAMA/THETIS had the same engine and other Sam Ford boats had Ailsa craig diesels of varying horsepowers.
    The RNZAF put in the Fairsbanks Morse for spares rationalisation and to provide the power needed for her work towing barges of fill for the construction of the airport at Lauthala Bay and then acting as a control launch for the flying boats there. The RNZAF paid Roy Swales 2000 pounds for her, an enormous sum at the time.

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  2. I knew & visited the Roy Swales family from the 1947 in to the 50s, they lived in a 1920s-30s bungalow at the top end on the RHS in Fernleigh Ave Epsom, (off Pah Rd), just around the corner from Ambury Ave where I was bought up, & I remember Ted when he was not that much older than me. Roy owned NZ Lead Works Ltd., in Morrow St Newmarket. — They owned the LINDA by then, & I went on her a good few times both with the Loews Knight petrol engine, & a bit later with the Detroit 6-71 diesel — their ownership of PLAYMATE was unfortunately before my time, although they spoke of her with much fondness. — KEN RICKETTS

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  3. I owned Ida Mae from 1982 to 2007. I had known Ted Swales, the original owners son, for a few years beforehand and when he found we had just bought a Sam Ford launch,named Ida Mae he told me about the one his family owned when he was a boy, named Playmate.
    He told me that the RNZAF had purchased her in 1942 for service in Fiji and as far as he knew she had never come back.
    He showed me photos of her in Whakataka Bay.
    A couple of years later when I was burning multiple layers of paint from the hull I came across the old wartime registration number scribed in the timber. Something about that number rang a bell so I got in touch with Ted and asked him what the number was on their Sam Ford launch. He told me number 414. I said to him we have her in my back yard.
    He was rather speechless for a while and within a couple of days was at my place sitting inside.
    He confirmed evidence in the hull that she had been twin screw.for a while. She had originally been launched with a single Ailsa Craig engine which was far too small. This was shifted over and a second Ailsa Craig fitted. It was plain to see where the shafts had been as the cut ribs still existed where the shafts went through the hull and the replacement pieces of planking of a couple of feet long where the shaft logs had been. I later replaced the ribs along with many others but the twin shaft evidence still exists.Ted said she was fitted with a single Fairbanks Morse when the RNZAF had her but I do not remember if this was done by the Swales or not.
    Whenever Ted was on board he always referred to her as Playmate.
    The logs I had showed she was in Napier in 1970 probably in her original state. She had a 90hp 6 cyl BMC sealord in her at this time and was still in when I sold.
    She made a few sailings up the coast to Tauranga while based at Napier for Big game fishing at Mayor Island and it made interesting reading in the log of the non stop voyage up the coast stopping at Gisborne for fuel.

    Owners I am aware of
    Wyness of Auckland who I think had Shipbuilders do the alterations in the early 70’s
    Eric Boisen of Auckland up to about 1981
    George Mabey of Coromandel
    Peter and Liz Sample Westpark 1982 to 2007
    Aksel and Susan Jepsen Kerikeri

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  4. Sure looks like RAUTANGI (Collings & Bell May 1929) built for mechanical engineer Les Stericker and fitted with a 75hp RD6 Thornycroft. I believe he still owned her when he died in 1962.

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  5. That will be RAUTANGI behind PLAYMATE in the WWII photo in Whakatakataka Bay because that is exactly where she moored at that time — KEN RICKETTS

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