Kathleen M

photos & details ex Paul Drake, edited by Alan H

Paul writes so well, I’ll let him tell this tale. Enjoy. AH

“I had an association with this boat in the 1970’s and I’m sure the photos above will be of interest to WW followers.

In 1971, KATHLEEN M was operating as a long-liner out of the Viaduct Basin, in the days when that basin was full of interesting working boats of all types. She was AK444, as is evidenced in one of the above photos. She was purchased that year by the woodwork teacher from Taupo Nui-a-Tia College and taken to Taupo. My brothers and I were involved in getting her from the Viaduct to Westhaven and onto a trailer.

At Taupo the Rugby engine was replaced with a Universal Cruiser Six – a magnificent engine, rather bigger than necessary, but which gave a very satisfactory turn of speed at lowish revs. The addition of a mast and simple but stylish foredeck rails and toe rails made her into a useful and attractive small launch – 22 feet I believe she is.

Some years later she was sold to the Lake Taupo Yacht Club who of course threw out the Universal in favour of a small Buhk diesel. She served the club well for many years, under the name P3.

She was sold into private ownership again and was last noticed offered on trademe as a freebie, probably about 15 years ago. I have a feeling she may have had some rot issues. Her hull had been sheathed in GRP a long time ago – in the 1960’s. Perhaps this had eventually led to problems.

It is interesting to see that she has ‘turned up’ at Pam Cundy’s Whangateau Traditional Boatyard, a good home for her and I will follow with interest to see what happens to her there.”

Pam at Whangateau Tradtional Boatyard Input
“I spotted Kathleen M on trademe whilst we were at Whangaroa on our Christmas cruise & I think it had a buy now on it, so I did. We could only see the bow in the photos and I remember thinking what ever came aft of the bow was going to be sweet and she is. She’s going to be such an easy restoration but I can’t get to her yet. We have the cabin top and the small upper set of windows and other parts of the puzzle to restore her to, we shall go with the lower wheel house though. The fiberglass has not hindered her in any way. It’s a shame it was done but then she may not have been around today…The rot is isolated, well when I last looked her over. One section of a plank has gone, I think it was probably just a bit of sap not heart kauri that’s all. The chop strand is extremely thick and heavy, her hull shall be around forever.”

I thought I had photographed everything that existed at WTB but I can not find a photo of Kathleen M in residence so Pam will have to send one in 😉  AH

Photo # 1 – Haul out time at Westhaven

Photo # 2 – Trial run with fisherman owner doing the splits. Yours truly on the bow fending off.

Photo # 3 – Hauling out at Westhaven – yours truly on the deck, brother Roger at the bow, new owner Laurie in the water.

Photo # 4 – Many hands make light work – scrubbing off at Westhaven. Various members of the Drake family lending a hand, including our mother Marjorie.

Photo # 5 – On the slip at Taupo being worked on shortly after purchase by owner Laurie Tyler.

Photo # 6 – As found in her berth at the Viaduct Basin, surrounded by other beauties of the past.

Photo # 7 – Looking good and in use at Taupo, inside the Waihaha River mouth.

Photo # 8 – AK444 about to leave Auckland for Taupo early one Sunday morning. For various reasons, this trip took 12 hours.

One thought on “Kathleen M

  1. Hi Alan,
    Ta for this. Kathleen has a cover pitched over her so only some of her hull is in view. Geoff snuck a photo of her in – Whangateau Traditional Boat Yard – A Different View. We have a couple of small launches to restore here and I really was not going to say too much about them until they were well under way, I broke my own code. Restoration projects can sit for long periods between times but need some attention to ensure the don’t twist or sag and the deadly fresh water is kept out.
    I just had a count up and we have fifty wooden boats out on the narrow spit here, most of them are all go.
    George is presently working in the lean-to restoring Vagrant a frost bite we bought that had some rotten planking and broken ribs and also a silver fern. We recently visited Ron Copland and he inspired us so much to get a wriggle on with these two projects.
    Laughing Lady is back on track again after a short break away and is looking very dainty with her beltings and trim going on.
    The doors are open, well one of them, the sheltered sunny side, so if folk can brave the cool fresh sea breeze do come and have a look around. The steam box is often fired up – you can warm yourself next to that.
    Shall get you some more photos of Kathleen, Alan.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s