Launch Day – 1957
Late 1950’s > early 1980’s
January 2015 at Great Barrier Is.
2015 – Sandspit
MERA – 1956>2015
Photos ex Jack Algie. Details ex Jack Algie, Brian Algie & Mat Tickle – via Ken Ricketts. Edited a lot by Alan H
Mera was built on the Algie family farm, adjacent to the waters edge at Algies Bay (their own bay) by Steve & Merv Algie over a 2 year period & was launched Labour weekend Saturday, 1957. Quite a feat for two farmers who had not been trained as boat builders, to create this 36’ loa, 10’6″ beam, 2’9″ draught launch that features a superb (Kens eyes) flare in the bow & lovely shear aft. A difficult task to achieve, even for the professionals. My design origins are unknown but both Jack & Mat make mention of Colin Wilde & Bill Couldrey having been influences (I suspect vicariously. AH). The name Mera is an acronym ex ‘Mary Elizabeth Roose Algie’.
She was originally powered by a 4 cyl. 60hp. Ford diesel up until she was slipped for a major refurbish & overhaul c.1998, which took about 15 years to complete, after a number of gaps in progress. The original engine was replaced with a 6 cyl. Ford diesel during this lay-up.
Mera is currently hauled out at the Sandspit Yacht Club hardstand & Ken reports that Mat has done a magnificent job of splining & glassing her & she looks simply stunning. Unfortunately the original varnished coamings went many years ago, this aside she is virtually exactly as she was built & still in the same family, another rarity for her age.
Ken would like to acknowledge the input & support of Jack Algie (nephew & son of the builder/s of Mera), Brian Algie & Mat Tickle. Special thanks also to Jack for sharing his photo collection, which starts in 1956 (half way through construction) up to the present era.
Note: Ken commented that he has had various associations with the Algie family since 1944-45 & has been aware of Mera since new. He & a great many boaties who frequented Bon Accord Harbour, Kawau Island, around New Years Day, for the KYC regatta & the New Years night prize giving / dance, from 1957 onwards, will recall Mera arriving day & night, loaded to the gunnels, with musicians, onlookers, stores, ballroom dancing enthusiasts & of course the Algie’s own families.
Sunburst Dinghy – In the photo below , taken c.1957/58 there is a “Sunburst” sailing dinghy visible at the stern of Mera. This Jack A. advises is the very first Sunburst ever built by Don Brookes & designed by Jack Brookes & she was being sailed that day by Don Scotts.