Omana > Ngaire > Mavis B
photos & details ex Ken Ricketts, with lots of editing by AH
Today’s post follows on from yesterdays Tamaki River boats post & features the launch Omana.
Mavis B was built in 1910 by James Reid for Albie Braund. She started life steam powered & had 2 steam engines in a short period of time (sub 3 years) these were replaced with an oil engine. She retained the steam funnel for many years after the upgrade.
She was later owned by a S B Atkinson, who brought her to the Waitmata from the Manukau and renamed her Ngaire. Atkinson ‘modernised’ her, with a raised flared bow, bridgedeck, tram top, dodger & flying bridge (refer Labour weekend 1947 photo).
During the war years she was owned by Bernie Mc Jinn, who changed her name back to Mavis B. McJinn ran her as a Navy patrol craft (#Z24 in war photo). Her engine had been re-powered with a P6 Perkins diesel engine.
Ken Rickitts first sighted Mavis B in 1946 at Matiatia where she was permanently moored & believes she belonged to a Mr Wheeler of Waiheke Island, who had her in the mid & later 1940s.
Ken next saw Mavis B c.1960, when she was bought by Jack Hayman of Riverview Rd Panmure who lived almost next door to Lane Motor Boat Co & on the waters edge of the Tamaki River, where she was moored. The Hayman’s did a dramatic 3rd generation re-birthing that saw the vessels name changed again, this time to Omana.
The Hayman’s had the Lane Motor Boat Co., along with much personal input from themselves, refit her to the configuration she is today (refer 2012 photo). They also fitted a 6 cyl. Ford diesel which is probably the same one she has today.
Omana may now reside in Havelock in the South Island.
Harold Kidd Update 10-05-2015
MAVIS B and her subsequent history is quite well, if briefly, covered in Robin’s and my book “Vintage New Zealand Launches” on pages 81 and 100 and there are two excellent Winkelmann pics of her, one in 1922 and one in 1928.
The book is still available at Boat Books at Westhaven at a modest cost (plug).
A couple of phtos, below, showing her in her early days as a neat little steamer.
Jas Reid built her hull for marine engineer and famous rugby player Albie Braund who personally built her first engine, a 15hp tandem with a boiler by G.Fraser. She was a sister-ship, hull-wise, to Reid’s SEABIRD which had won the Rudder Cup in 1908. After that she had a more powerful Simpson Strickland steam plant and then a succession of petrol engines including a 6 cylinder Alpha, a 50hp Harbeck, a 140hp Stearns and then became dieselised. She kept her yellow funnel for many years after losing her steam engine.
J Waldrond of Onehunga owned her on the Manukau 1933-7 and changed her name to NGAIRE. At the time she was the biggest private launch on the Manukau.
Shelley B. Atkinson brought her back to the Waitemata in late 1937. He was a great customer of Sam Ford so I guess Sam did the bridgedeckerisation for him.
Bernard Godfrey McGinn (1900-82) (not McJinn) owned her 1937-45 and skippered her with NAPS as Z24 when she was still Stearns-powered. The Perkins came later.
She was returned to Bernie McGinn’s ownership in 1944. He sold her to W.L. and O.E. Wheeler in 1945. Jack Hayman of 5 Riverlea Ave (not Riverview Road) was the next owner. From then on Ken’s tale is accurate enough. Jack was a builder and did much of the work converting her to her OMANA configuration.
She went to the Sounds and Nelson and is now owned in Nelson where SEABIRD also lives.
Her then owner had her for sale on Trade Me in 2011 as a “1963 Lanes bridgedecker”. The 1963 bit would relate to the Hayman rebuild at Lanes. Her owner was quite shocked to find her true provenance but took it on the chin very well.