Evening Star


photos & details ex Jake Hewitt. edited by Alan H

Today’s post features the 30′ Shipbuilders launch, Evening Star. Jake’s father & uncle purchased Evening Star from Half Moon Bay, Auckland c.1987 & paid $10,000 for her. At the time Jake was 10 years old. She was motored immediately to her new mooring at Whangamata. At the time of purchase she was owned by an elderly gent & had been part of the volunteer coast guard fleet in Auckland.
I’ll let Jake tell the story of his experiences of Evening Star. Enjoy 🙂

Within a few months Dad & Uncle Ray dry docked her at Whangamata and straight away set about transforming her tired state. She had an traditional Shipbuilders full length cabin, that was quickly shortened so we could enjoy her transom/aft area for fishing. For some reason the previous owner had 3 house size kitchen benches placed around the interior as well as many pieces of furniture. I do recall she had a majestic formica style table with an map of the entire Hauraki Gulf detailed onto the formica surface. Within 2 weeks she had received a face lift and lost alot of weight with of her overladen interior accessories now removed.
When we first took her out after the refit … she glided along ever so majestically, the 72hp Ford (marinised by Lees Group) now purring rather than previously labouring with all the extra weight aboard.Her triple skin kauri hull now glowed with fresh paint & was alive.

We enjoyed her for 3 seasons of family fishing, taking her too Mayor Island, the Aldermans & Slipper Island mainly. As time past her cabin structure began too rot & deteriorate. She once more returned too dry dock for a refit. Dad and uncle Ray decided too install aluminum windows and do away with plywood, other than fiber glassing plywood for the roof area & forard cabin structure. It functioned well yet I personally missed her classic bridge decker style cabin lines.

After the refit we continued too use her and enjoy her company … yet with a growing family she lay unused too often.

Unfortunately in 1992 her toilet waste hose split & burst & ultimately nearly fully sinking her on her mooring.  Blessed it be my uncle was a local in Whangamata and quickly organised her salvage too shallow water. Sadly our family wasn’t in the financial position too restore her & Dad sold her too a guy in Waihi for a song including her mooring. I was personally shattered,  as I had always visioned purchasing her from Dad in years too come. Naturally Dad was a silent n sore man as well.

I believe she didn’t last long with her new owner before the new owner burnt a valve, he then trolleyed her too waste away at a nearby local property in Whangamata. As Im so passionate about her, my uncle shared with me, that she had been sold too a new owner in Tahuna whom was going too restore her, I quickly went traveling around Tahuna and found her trolleyed on highway 27. I introduced myself too the new owner & cried as a flood of good memories hit me instantly. The new owner was a nice bloke an very educated in boat building … he explained his plans an we spent hours that afternoon talking about her. Sadly I learnt after he had completed the restoration and enjoyed her with a season,  he experienced a bitter divorce and sold Evening Star for a song too a guy in Auckland in 1996 or there abouts.

If any person has any information of where she is today … or any history of her, that would be hugely appreciated. Jake has received numerous potential sightings of her in the Auckland area recently, the places mentioned have been the Wade River, Bayswater Marina & even  Span Farm boat yard. But nothing confirmed.

8 thoughts on “Evening Star

  1. Information appreciated Nath, I recall My Father & Uncle puzzled why the outer skin was only glued.
    Was this is a common construction technique for hulls of this era? Relying more upon the clamping & joining of the diagonal planks for strength an durability? Quickly what was the expected time duration before resorcinol began too decompensate, I have read 3-5 years durability was expected, dependant upon heat/environmental conditions.

    Kind Regards – Jake.


  2. Yes Barb, the original Bridgdecker cabin shape, complemented her hull lines nicely.
    I too lay reserved regarding the sqaure revamp My Father & Uncle completed.
    Roy Hitchens (later skipper/owner) whom refurbished her in the middle photo, improved the cabin proportions with his efforts.

    Kind Regards – Jake.


  3. Information appreciated Alan. I believe Evening Star was triple skin kauri (diagonal) which was fiberglassed up too the water line. Roy Hitchens the previous owner whom refurbished her in aprox 2002, was a builder by trade. He gutted her internally then treated/sealed her inner ribbing/hull surface. At the time I spoke with him, he planned too strip her deteriorating outer skin and refurbish the hull with a new outer skin.From the other photos I have of Evening Star after he refurbish, he had restored her hull too its former glory* (unsure of materials/technique/wood used)
    An apology in advance, for the lack of terminology, Im very much a student, learning the soul/craftsmanship of these Classics.

    Kind Regards – Jake.


  4. Pity, a nice comfortable looking launch was spoiled by turning it into a square glass cage.


  5. Resorcinol looks to have been giving up in the red photos, unlikely to still be around surely? Mind you there are enough of those around still for sale with the same outer diagonal planks showing.

    How many times can ‘too’ be used incorrectly?


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