Romance II

ROMANCE II

As I said on yesterdays post one of the highlights for me personally of attending the 2015 Mahurangi Regatta was getting to see Pauline & Harold Kidd’s 1919 Bailey & Lowe launch Romance II post her restoration under the hands of Marco Scuderi. If you asked Marco he would tell you that Harold was VERY clear in the project brief, in fact I would suspect there has not been a launch that has been so thoroughly researched & documented 😉 The brains trust of classic wooden boats were all over this project, Harold even had Robert Brooke swinging the caulking mallet.
There are still a few projects to be completed but visually the team have nailed it.
Unfortunately I did not manage to get a photo of her at speed, she was just to quick for Raindance. She did look very smart leaving the harbour on Sunday morning at ‘full chat’ (a HDK term).

Harold Update

We took about half a ton of modern excrescences out of her, sink bench, stove/oven and that huge hideous dodger, leaving only coms, stereo, deep freeze and head. Marco repositioned the Morse control so that we can now get full revs (probably 3500) out of the lusty Moon Engines-set up Hino diesel.
Walter Bailey designed her for 17 knots with a 100/150hp Sterling so she has the lines but is much lighter without the Yankee benzine-gobbler.
She now gets up on what passes for a plane earlier than before but we carried out no full power trials and didn’t get anywhere near “full chat” at Mahurangi, just hurried along to catch up with and photograph the lovely JESSIE LOGAN and WAIRIKI heading home on Sunday morning. I reckon she’ll nudge 20 knots when we summon up the courage.
On the other hand, she handled the nasty easterly jobble coming home from Bon Accord early on Monday morning well, ticking over at 1200 rpm and making 8 knots (plus flood tide).
When the Navy did a survey of launches available for patrol purposes in 1927 she had a 100hp Stearns, the “hot” engine of the time. The comment was “good seaboat”. We confirm that.
The Mills family of Devonport, who commissioned her from Bailey & Lowe in 1919, lived in Huia Street where I lived for many years, so there are multiple resonances for us.

17 thoughts on “Romance II

  1. [Frank Aspden owned her]She was deck cargo on scow “Alma” in 1961 having been loaded on board with another 36ft launch Jack Lidgard owned at Birkenhead wharf and set sail for Tairua XMas holidays. Jack had his phase 1 vanguard station wagon on board as well. The vanguard was unloaded after bringing scow up to road bridge in Tairua at low tide .We moored scow just off where present jetty is and unloaded the two launches for running around in over to mayor and white islands . Frank motored back to Auckland later where as Jacks boat and his station wagon where bought back on “Alma”

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  2. Hi Robert; different ROMANCE. That’s the Collings & Bell ROMANCE built as a workboat for Meynell in 1930. Still around too!

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  3. My old friend (now deceased) Doug Horsfall told me his family had the Romance and the Tawa as work boats around the Waitemata, towing materials barges when he was a kid. Mb around 1930? He recalled an incident of the heavily loaded barge hitting the abutment of th old viaduct counterweight opening bridge when going through the gap, causing major damage to the viaduct piling and deck. Ho!!!
    This would be the same old “Romance”?? Does this page of her history figure in the records?

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  4. Already have a classic launch among the fleet, as seen at Riverhead 2013, not much cast iron in evidence though!

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  5. PS As always, my mind defaults to vintage automotive analogy; she’s our 3 litre Red Label Bentley (with picnic set), not a Daimler limousine.

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  6. She didn’t have those things originally, just a Primus in the cockpit and an enamel basin/galvanised bucket. We have modernised to the degree that we use a “Mr. Stove” one-burner propane stove ($49.99 at Bunnings) and a plastic bucket (red) and are perfectly content with their utility, lack of bulk and avoirdupois..

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  7. Thanks for the update Harold, I get the feeling she might be quite a handful at 20kts! I think I’ll leave the sink, stove etc on board Lady M and settle for less speed and more cruising comfort.

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  8. Murray when are you jumping the fence and purchasing a classic “cast iron spinnaker” powered vessel ? We can possibly put you in touch with some good stock in the 80 to 90 plus year old bracket if u are up for the challenge.

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  9. We took about half a ton of modern excrescences out of her, sink bench, stove/oven and that huge hideous dodger, leaving only coms, stereo, deepfreeze and head. Marco repositioned the Morse control so that we can now get full revs (probably 3500) out of the lusty Moon Engines-set up Hino diesel.
    Walter Bailey designed her for 17 knots with a 100/150hp Sterling so she has the lines but is much lighter without the Yankee benzine-gobbler.
    She now gets up on what passes for a plane earlier than before but we carried out no full power trials and didn’t get anywhere near “full chat” at Mahurangi, just hurried along to catch up with and photograph the lovely JESSIE LOGAN and WAIRIKI heading home on Sunday morning. I reckon she’ll nudge 20 knots when we summon up the courage.
    On the other hand, she handled the nasty easterly jobble coming home from Bon Accord early on Monday morning well, ticking over at 1200 rpm and making 8 knots (plus flood tide).
    When the Navy did a survey of launches available for patrol purposes in 1927 she had a 100hp Stearns, the “hot” engine of the time. The comment was “good seaboat”. We confirm that.
    The Mills family of Devonport, who commissioned her from Bailey & Lowe in 1919, lived in Huia Street where I lived for many years, so there are multiple resonances for us.

    Like

  10. Yes she looks a picture, with the doghouse very tastefully done parallel to the waterline as it should be not drooping aft, H probably wondered what the Townson with all the flags on was doing snooping around. 🙂

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  11. Great stuff ! The sheer chocks give a pleasing lift to the deckline forrard 🙂 so many of that style look like they droop at the nose. And the lamp for hoisting at “civil twilight”….Nothing wrong with a bit of good old tradition

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