photos & details from owner John Newton
The 34′ sedan St Clair was built for Lionel Barney by Brin Wilson in 1956 and is kauri carvel construction. ww readers may recall that it was used as a ferry for St Clair lodge at Vivian Bay on Kawau Island . Piers Barney who runs Norma Jean charters has recollections of collecting passengers from Sandspit when he was 10 years old, Piers had to stand on a soap box to see out of the wheel house.
She was surveyed for 39 passengers to Kawau limits and amazingly carried up to 20 x 44 gallon drums of diesel for generators and bags of wheat and meal for all the chooks and muscovy ducks at the lodge, so a really solid little launch.
Piers father Lionel used to enjoy racing it in fun races against other boats off Kawau Island Yacht Club where she did very well reportedly getting up to 13 knts with a 100hp Ford engine. She hasn’t seen that sort of speed since, perhaps because of the new heavier sedan cabin.
St Clair was bought by John and Helen Hager and refitted to a comfortable sedan in 2006 by Robertsons Boats. Current owners John & Natasha Newton bought her in 2011.