Kereru (Pamela)

KERERU (Pamela)
photos & details ex Ken Ricketts, edited by Alan H.

According to her owner, Mike Rowe, Kereru was designed by Couldrey & built by Atkinson. She looks totally original, is  28′ & powered with a Perkins diesel. Rowe has owned her for 25 years.

She has amazing similarities to the Brin Wilson built Kereru, featured in an earlier ww post & seen on the front cover of the June edition of Sea Spray, back in 1960.

Anyone able to shed some light on her past & confirm the design/build?

09-05-2016 @ Gulf Harbour (Ken R photos)


10-05-2016 Harold Kidd Input

Interesting letter from Bill Longhurst’s son attached. I was rather flattered that he thought this was my site. Naturally I put him straight and copied to Alan.

“Hi Harold,  
Saw the photos of Kereru on your Wooden boat site.    Funny enough  I googled Bill longhurst, who was my father and  I see his name come up on Wooden boats, and I go into the site and the first photos come up of the Kereru……28 foot launch.

Just to put the record straight the 3 photos are definitely that of Dads launch the Pamela.
Built by Keith Atkinson, and designed by Bill Couldrey that happened to live in the same street in Northcote- Heath Avenue.

Dad owned the launch for only 4  years or so, and then sold it to a guy that lived in Picton I think, it  was road transported to Wellington and sailed to Picton.

Dad sold it due to poor health, he was a Art teacher at Northcote College for  26 years and retired at 55 years of age due to a heart condition, he had a hard life due to being a navagator in the Air force in World war 2, and died at the age of 62 from cancer.

I can tell by the photos that  you have that this is Dads boat  by the water deflecters he made, that look like boonarangs at the end of the cabin on both sides, and have photos that are identical to this.

I have since seen the boat on a pile mooring in the Weti river at Stillwater.

Amazing to see these photos of Pamela again………..

Hope some of this information has been helpful to you.

Regards Robb Longhurst.      

And yes the engine was a Perkins 4107 diesel- 60hp”

So there’s a “new” Couldrey launch for us.

09-12-2022 UPDATE – ex John Oates. I have reverted back to the as launched name of Pamela on my Couldrey designed and Atkinson built launch (photo below). The main reason being that I couldn’t get my head around the idea that a seagoing vessel should have a land bird name. It also helps that my Herreshoff SK (Stuart Knockabout) 28 day sailer is named Pam. I like that connection between them 

17 thoughts on “Kereru (Pamela)

  1. Talking to John Oates, the likely purchaser of KERERU, we have confirmed that PAMELA/KERERU is Design number 72 in Bill Couldrey’s plan book and built originally for Bill Longhurst by Keith Atkinson in 1975.


  2. I am the stepdaughter of Frank Wilkins and grew up watching the Kotare being built in our back yard in Northcote. I may have some information of the Kotare that could be of interest to somebody.
    Joan Jameson


  3. KERERU update;
    Have just sent pics of to Alan taken today & she is still owned by Mike Rowe, still has the 4 cyl; Perkins, still looks absolutely original & stunning, & Mike tells me he has owned her now for around 30 years & bought her off a Wellingtonian called Campbell, who used her in the Picton area.
    He also told me she has an edge glued Kauri hull & commented that he believes she was built by T K Atkinson possibly to a Couldrey design. — KEN R (edited by AH)


  4. Phil, I’m not faintly interested in being “right”, just in providing accurate information based on 30 years of assembling a database on launches as an adjunct to a much bigger one on yachts. Launches were built by the same people as built the yachts and often for the same customers, so they are an integral part of the same scene.
    I’m totally disinterested in guesswork, anecdotes and some self-appointed guru’s (usually) prepubescent memories unless they can be verified and cross-referenced by contemporary reports.
    For example, my sources for PIRI MANU were Salthouses’ build list, Couldrey’s design list and notes, AYA and RNZYS records plus a little bit of owner’s anecdote which is substantiated by the hard stuff.
    But aside from the anorak stuff, PIRI MANU is lovely, and that’s what really matters!


  5. Harold.. I dragged out the old contract and spec sheet.. You, as always, are right.. should not rely on memory at that time of night. I sold her to a John Croft, who made beds, then a year later (1996) to Dennis Craig.


  6. PIRI MANU was designed by Bill Couldrey for Bill Macindoe in 1968 but built by Salthouse Bros. She was a 1948 design originally. Macindoe and Couldrey both put some work into her construction.


  7. Harold, Pirimanu was designed by Cauldrey and purportedly built by Wilson, for Bill MacIndoe..I had the pleasure of re-acquiring and selling her to Scott MacIndoe many years later, who gave her a huge birthday, and I then later sold her to Dennis Craig, who still owns her..she sits on a mooring in Matiatia


  8. As a result of the recent WAIRUAMA attribution to Couldrey, I’ve been scouring through his personal list of boats built by him or to his designs in an effort to tie in some of the many “ghost” Couldrey launches to his designs. In doing so I came across a few records of his designs where he had little information on the production of the boats themselves and I’m now worried by a few to which he ascribed little detail. All were quite late builds, 1960s and 1970s, and some appear to have been carried out by Keith Atkinson at Atkinson’s request. For example Atkinson got two designs from Bill Couldrey for Gordon Kells, one a 30 footer and another a 40 footer.
    But there was another which may indeed correspond to KERERU which, if KERERU, is a lot later than the Noakes’ KERERU which was built around 1963. Needless to say there have been a large number of launches built in this country called KERERU.
    Bill’s entry on this one is “Design 72, 28ft launch (Bill McIndoe) being built for Bill Longhurst by Atkinson. Started Jan ’75 (hull only, finished by Longhurst)” Quite what the reference to Bill McIndoe is, escapes me.
    So, I will obviously have to eat humble pie over KERERU if she ties in with this un-named Alkinson-built boat. Apologies to all on WW if that’s the case, but great to cement the provenance.
    If 1975 fits, I’ll get a copy of Design 72.


  9. Mike told me this a few years ago and I was too polite to disagree while we were having a convivial lunch with Rodney and Maureen Wilson at Matakana. The resemblance to the Brin Wilson KERERU at Rotoiti is superficial.
    I can’t see how the design can be attributed to Arnold Couldrey. Arnold himself didn’t do so in the list he prepared of his builds/designs. He mentions just one boat built to his designs by Keith Atkinson, the 22 footer MANU-ITI for N.W. Yates. I wonder if there was confusion with the similar Couldrey-designed and similarly-named KOTARE, built by Frank Wilkins?
    My own feeling is that she was designed by Keith but “in the school of” Couldrey.

    Alan has given me permission to say on WW that I’m preparing a long series of articles (probably 5) on Arnold Francis (“Bill”) Couldrey for Boating NZ. I would very much appreciate any Couldrey input from WW followers, particularly photographs. email is or phone 09 4441279 (home).


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