photos & details The Plowman Family & Ken Ricketts & Karen Moren
Australis was built by “Mac” McGeady (Supreme Craft) in 1955 at 1A Summer St Ponsonby for Auckland businessman Jack Plowman. She is 42′ long & was originally powered by 2 x 6 cyl. 100hp Austin ‘Skipper 100′ petrol engines, which were replaced with 2 x 6 cyl Ford Diesels about 2 years later by Seagars.
Mac McGeady once comment to Ken & his father that Australis was unique in the history of Supreme Craft, as she was the only boat he had built (at that time anyway), where his instructions were that she was to have the food in the cupboards & the liquor in the cocktail cabinet & be ready to go for a 3 week cruise to Great Barrier Island, an hour after she went in the water.
Jack P owned her until he replaced her with the John Salthouse built 60’ Biscayne (photo below) in 1969 at which time she was sold to a Mr Morry (or perhaps Maurice) Ralph, of John Courts Ltd.
Below is a press clipping of a ‘International Marine’ 4sale advertisement, NZ Heard May 1991, which gives an indication of her possible current configuration.
Just been advised by ww follower ‘SeaRover’ that this is not” Australis”. It is in fact “Maranoa” about to go back in the water after a hull repaint. It is up the Clevedon river on Murray Inglis ( who owned ALTAIR at that time) slip and that is me standing on the foredeck.
She appears to have disappeared off the radar – name change ? or what? Anyone able to help with info / photos?
01-05-2017 Update ex Alan Burdan
I’m Alan Burdan and have owned “Australis” since Feb 2001. I purchased her from Whangarei and the previous owner said he owned her for 11 years.
I have only just found and read your article on Australis and the history of Supreme Craft. I wish to thank you for filling in a lot of holes in my knowledge of the history of Australis.
Australis now is berthed in Seaview Marina, Wellington.
From my knowledge the repower to “2 x 6 cyl Ford Diesels” is incorrect and it was 2 x 4 cyl Ford Diesels.
The previous owner then did a repower to 2 x 6 cyl Ford Diesels in about 1990, claiming he put in the 6 cyl motors in as they ran smother.
Other changes he made was to extend the hull by 800mm by fitting a boarding platform and putting in a walk through transom.
Please see below photos of how she looks today