photo & details ex Ross Dawson, owner of the Askew ketch ‘Delight’
Rona W is moored in the Rotopiro Creek, a km east of the Wairoa River mouth at Clevedon. She is currently owned by Mr A Hayward of Kawakawa Bay.
Rona W is 26′ LOA X 6′ Beam X 2′ Draught. The long term previous owner Mr Doug Luke, a well known identity in the Clevedon area who supplied the following information….
Built 1936 by Warmington of Dargaville, originally powered by a Beardmore aero engine. Her hull form is a narrow hardcine which planes reasonably easily. Doug understands she was built to race on the Kaipara. Doug aquired her in about 1969 in somewhat run down condition from Mr Johnny Dill of Clevedon. At that time she was powered by a Chrysler petrol engine, salt water cooled and in tired condition. Also her hull needed refastening. The single skin Kauri hull was fastened by galvanised nails into floors one inch thick and not clenched or riveted. Over a period of time thicker floors and copper fastening was carried out. Doug installed an Oliver 70 petrol tractor engine which was then keel cooled. This motor was replaced c.2005 with a Ford diesel which is capable of pushing Ron W readily onto the plane.
She has been a well known local icon moored at the Luke property at Whakatiri between Clevedon & Kawakawa Bay.
The cabin arrangements have obviously been considerably altered since the original configuration. (there is a photo of the Rona W during her Kaipara days at the Matakohe Museum) She has been a comfortable family cruiser, albeit as Doug once commented….”with her narrow beam, you need to part your hair in the middle in order to stay upright”
Update ex Ross Dawson 21/01/2015
“Doug Luke rang me today to say he had copies of pics of Rona W in earlier guise. The two without dinghy are from the Matakohe Museum and depict Rona W on the Kaipara. They are rather fuzzy pictures but show original configuration. The third was taken in the Wairoa River, Clevedon when in the ownership of Johnny Dill. You can see the doghouse now has four side lights with the cabin being slightly extended aft into what was cockpit. Doug rebuilt the Dill changes to give a much higher wheelhouse giving headroom but at cost to the asthetics I think.
The foredeck and main cabin were unchanged through the three alterations.” Ross D.
Update 11-08-2020 Rona W has been in the care of the Pollard family for several years – last week they called her out at The Slipway Milford for some TLC 😉