Zoe



ZOE (MYSTERY LAUNCH ON THE KAIPARA)
photo from Russell Ward

Russell was recently mud plugging and gunk holing over on the West Coast – Kaipara, skippering the steam boat Romany when he came across the nice bridgdecker above, tied up  at Helensville. Russell noted that the styling of the windows was very ‘individual’.
Russell was told by a local that it was built in 1948 & was also told her (the launches) name, but forgot it 😦  .

An unusual boat in an equally unusual location – someone most be able to ID her ?

As always – click photos to enlarge 😉

1937-1938-ford-5

18-10-2015 Update from Cherry Bishop

This boat was built by my father Francis Bishop and a boat builder friend who’s name may have been Gladden. It was built from one of the last kauri logs to have been milled in the North island and yes 1948 is the year it was built. He dearly loved the boat and named it after my Mother “Zoe”. During my childhood we often took her out on the Kaipara fishing and netting for flounder and stayed overnight,sometimes for up to several weeks at a time depending on the demands of home and work. We often attended the Kaipara cruising club regattas and other events.We also sometimes moored at the lagoon at the end of the South Head Peninsula and I have fond memories of falling asleep in the bow of the boat listening to ship to shore radio and the sound of lapping waves and peacocks meowing ashore.As children we all fished and swam “with the sharks”.
Since my Father was born in 1910 he was familiar with boats sailing the Kaipara harbour and I once found a series of drawings he had done as a child of “boats” which were very detailed. I think he was really a frustrated boat designer. He left school age twelve during the depression as labour was needed on the farm and he was a farmer all his life. Boats were his hobby and a great love.He died in 1999 aged 89.

37 thoughts on “Zoe

  1. Sylvia! How about hosting a small group of Waitemata Woodies on board Zoe some time?
    All those that have posted about Zoe should get first dibs (!). I’d venture that most of the East Coasters don’t know how lovely the Kaipara can be. (Although there is plenty of evidence of how nasty it can be)
    Just a thought…..

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  2. Hi my grandson Jake found this site while researching the History of Helensville. The boat is still in our family under the care of Sylvia Bishop oldest daughter of Zoe and Francis Bishop. One of the people who can inform you of the building of the Zoe would be Terry Curle of Dargaville and his son Avin Curle.
    The kauri log from which the Zoe was built was milled at the Wests Mill in Helensville. I still have photos of the log. The Zoe still goes to the odd regatta in the Kaipara and out for the odd gishing trip. Would love to use her much more often but no time. The Zoe was build by Johney Gladden.

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  3. East Indiaman is now in Whitianga and in good order. The plaque on board has the launch date as 1982. She has been at Waiheke Is for about 6 years and had come from the Mahurangi area, from what we have been told. Any more information about her would be most helpful. Mr I Hamilton registered her with NZYF in1989.

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  4. Has anyone in this group any information on what became of the steam engines when The minerva was converted to diesel? Kerikeri Steam Trust currently restoring and need engines

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  5. Oops. Just re-reading my post wherein I might have derided the Gladden twin-keelers. Not my intention: I had “Eridani” (24′) and the old man had “Ospray” (26′) in the ’70s. Moved on to “Gloaming” and some quick sailing quickly though!

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  6. Does anyone know the current whereabouts of the Gladden built 36′, bilge-keel, motor-sailer EAST INDIAMAN? Launched 1980 (I think) for A.S. Grant. Lived on the end of K Pier at Westhaven until Alec sold her and last heard of in the mid-nineties at Mahurangi.

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  7. Well done, Zach. Good sleuthing. John Gladden was a great builder. Many associated him with the many twin keelers he built for those in Milford creek and other tidal mooring places. He also built some fine ships. I spoke to his widow long ago and she told me he never kept a list of his boats however much she nagged him.

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  8. Makes sense; I couldn’t see how a farmer, however dedicated and skilled, could have made such a good job without a tradesman of the calibre of John Gladden on hand. It must have been one of John’s first jobs on his own in business.

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  9. Well I’ve done a bit of research and have been told ‘Zoe’ was built by John Gladden,she was built of full length kauri (the tree came from Wainui) and pohutakawa frames.
    She was built and launched on the Bishop farm at the back of Helensville and the hull was towed by dinghy to Helensville itself where the cabin was built.The reason for this was to fit under the Helensville/Parakai bridge.

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  10. Have we left “Zoe” now, well and truly? (Lol). Cool!
    Problem in Kerikeri is the age old argument about whether you modernise with epoxy saturated construction timber and recreate the whole boat in a modern way. Or do you reconstruct with period materials (remembering that a boat is a lot of strangely-shaped pieces of wood fastened together so as to retard the ingress of water) resulting in a continuing need for maintenance as well as costs.
    You would bring to mind when “Jane Gifford” was in Waiuku, she was always having bits of wood nailed and screwed on her and the maintenance overwhelmed them, she composted under the repairs. She had lost her sheer and was a mass of corn husks when Warkworth got her. She is now a modern-made replica hull but does not leak or need patching. No earthly good for working as a scow -she would not flex now as well as she did when built. Putting her on an irregular gravelly sloping shore with 12 tons of gravel on her deck and getting her off in the teeth of a developing onshore gale might not work now. She is a looker and a people carrier.
    No comments on which is a better tack but, man, when ships like “The Minerva” were built, the Kauri trees were there for the taking and labour was cheap. Most of all, men didn’t know that they couldn’t build boats like that, so they went ahead and built them anyway. They were easier to repair.

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  11. I just had to add the the Minerva was sold from the Tamaki to a trust for $1 and towed to the Keri Keri inlet for restoration back to twin steam. That was 5 years ago and i heard they were struggling.

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  12. Yes, of course. It was West who used her on the Kaipara. McLeods were the sawmillers. It is all in the Great Northern Wairoa book. Every book I want to look at is in storage! Now back to Zoe!

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  13. Leaving ZOE for just a fleeting second, MINERVA was built as a steamer of course. She had 2 x 14 nhp Auckland-built Geo Fraser & Sons compounds. Chas. Bailey Jr built her in 1910 for the Clevedon Steam Navigation Co for cargo service to Clevedon and the Firth of Thames. Charles West of Helensville bought her in 1922 for towing logs at his mill along with NOR’WEST, and took her around the top, having a rough trip. Lewis McLeod bought her in 1945. In the 1960s she was used as a crayfishing boat out of Bluff. Quite a survivor!

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  14. “Lady Eva” wasn’t there last weekend, and her previous owner, who did indeed spend a lot of money on her (like all old boats, it often doesn’t show), was working on the stern gear of a nice boat on the slipway. He told me that the lady was up Fordyce Road and that he’d sold her Gardners to recoup, in part, his investment -I guess he’d know if anybody did. Sic transit gloria mundi. But now back to the Zoe…… Oh before we do, Zach, I spoke to Lewis McLeod’s widow in the ’70s (after Lewis had died and the ship was sold) and she told me that “The Minerva” had a single Deutz. And a fellow by the name of Brown, who I spoke to at length at Helensville last weekend, said that Lewis was criticised at the time for not keeping twin engines. NOW back to “Zoe”

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  15. Incorrect Ken, my land lord owned the Lady-Eva since ’91 and spend a lot of time and money even though it didn’t show. She has been sold and taken away about 4 months ago.

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  16. Just Spoke to my good friend Jim Thomson — ( last survivor of Roy Lidgards family in the senior generation, -in his 70s), who’s whole life has been spent on tugs & workboats, & about which, he is hugely knowledgeable, & he says he saw The LADY EVA by the yacht club at Helensville, a couple of weeks ago, in the water, but in a sad state, with all her top gone, with rot problems, & tells me her 2 x 8L3s have been taken out & sold off. Apparently the owner, who has had her for several years, was going to do great things to her, but it has never eventuated.
    Jim says the MINERVA was taken from the Kaipara in the 1950s, to the B.O.I., & refurbished there, & was then more recently, moored in the Tamaki River for a long time, & perhaps may still live there, & was looking quite smart. His feeling was she had either 2 x Ailsa Craigs, or perhaps Kelvins, in the 50s era, & had been converted to a pleasure boat from a tug, whilst still on the Kaipara. — KEN RICKETTS

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  17. Ken, just pondering your comment about and wondering. “The Minerva” was in the Wade in the early ’60s. There was a boat in the area you mention that had two 8L3 Gardners. and that was “Lady Eva”. Her engines were removed recently and sold off. Her hull has been moved inland presumably to rot away. I’m told she is in Fordyce Rd. RIP (maybe).
    But we WERE talking about Zoe!!!

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  18. Back to ZOE too, some of the “Sam Ford” styling cues are a trap as they were shared by many builders who subscribed to the US magazine “Motor Boating”. That Sam Ford type of paired mirror-image windows/ports (call them what you will) in the waist were used by others, even Lidgards (MONTEREY). HENRY Ford used them too eg the back window of the 1937 Ford V8 thorough to the 1939 Mercury. Hmmm was SAM first or HENRY??

    photo of 1937 Ford added to post

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  19. Deutz diesels were reasonably common in working boats; MELODEON had a big one from new, for example, in 1935, but the rise of the Nazis and Empire trade preferences worked against them. Stan Parker had a 65/90 in ARAWA (now REHUTAI) in 1940 which she took with her to Lauthala Bay with the RNZAF although I think it soon got replaced with a standard USN-issue Chrysler Crown.

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  20. Great — Not a lot of those around, Harry Julian had one or 2 in his tugs, & heard of the other odd one in workboats occasionally, but can’t recall where or when — Thanks vintagesteamer — KEN R

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  21. Deutz, Ken. There was a bit of a debate about the wisdom of Lewis making her single screw given that she was originally twin screw to keep the draft down for working the firth of Thames rivers.

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  22. I recall the old MINERVA back in the 1950-70s era, looked about 1910, c45-50 feet at least, with a low bow counter stern, with a large old diesel painted grey, you could see through the portholes, as one looked down from the bank, where she as moored, if this the same boat, just as you are going in to Helensville from Auckland on the LHS where there were a number of boats up on the mud when the tide was out– she looked a bit neglected as if she was hardly used She may have been painted white, with grey on parts of the coamings. — Did she have a Gardner Diesel? — Looked a bit like a Gardner through the porthole. — KEN R

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  23. Lewis McLeod built Sequoia in 1938 and was the founding commodore of the Kaipara cruising club. He then brought the SS Minerva in 1940 and converted her to diesel. According to his son he wanted the biggest pleasure boat on the Kaipara and Minerva was that. BTW he had also built a rather dashing looking sports car in 1932 call the LMC special which he did rather well in on the racing scene. I ll see if i can dig of some period photo’s.

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  24. Thought she was very Ford in the aft cabin windows section, in the coamings but not really a Ford bow section, & no tell-tale engineroom portholes. Indeed one could see some similarities in the bow section to the NAIAD, GEORGELLA, GAYELLA group — a real hybrid in appearance, as I said above. — KEN R

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  25. I didn’t think she had a lot of Sam Ford in her at all. I thought she was a little reminiscent of Naiad and her sisters -a little more drawn out and with dramatically different handling of the deckhouse windows. BTW Lewis McLeod owned The Minerva and converted her to pleasure use and diseasled her. Brought her round to the friendly coast and kept her on the Wade River.

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  26. Of course, ZOE.built by Francis Bishop. One of the few boats that used to go over the Kaipara bar. Now owned by Sonia Bishop as Marco S tells me.

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  27. I think this is SEQUOIA designed and built in Helensville by Lewis McLeod and his brother who were local Ford agents I recall. She was built around 1936 and had a Ford V8 originally. I have a file and images of her at home.

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  28. Absolutely fascinating!!! — Never seen her before, but looks so very much like a hybrid — almost like a combination of LADY RAE’s bridgedeck & dodger, & any one of the Sam Ford boats of the 1930s i.e. MENAI, MOANA etc., in the rear coamings windows concept. I would say at a guess, a Ford boat of the very late 30s or the early/mid 40s – Hope someone can tell us about her. — KEN RICKETTS

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