(The) Colleen

photo & details from Janine Leighton

The above photos were sent to me by Janine Leighton, the granddaughter of Charles Aspden who built (or co-built) the launch (The) Colleen in the 1930’s. Charles was living at Northcote Point then. Notes on the back of the photos record that the vessel was apparently sold in c.1939 to Charles Shelley (sp?), an Auckland furrier.

Janine & ww would like to know what happened to her post this & does she still exist?

06-03-2021 Harold Kidd Input – Designed and built by Arnold (Bill) Couldrey for Charles Aspden.

14 thoughts on “(The) Colleen

  1. Charlie Shelley lived in Northcote near Charlie Aspden and Bill Couldrey. George Shelley his son might have further details about the Colleen. His other son the late John Shelley was a well recognised yacht designer.


  2. Pingback: Colleen | waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

  3. Gosh, you may have picked something. Charles built her at his home in Alfred St and he did have a boatbuilder help with some of the work, I think this was possibly Bill Couldrey.


  4. Thank you (everybody) for your comments and input. You are correct, Charles built the Colleen at his home in Alfred Street, his daughter remembers him steaming and shaping the timber and she remembers a beautiful shape to the bow from front on. He was very skilled at carpentry and joinery and of course was a sailor. A boat builder did assist and I believe it may have been Bill Couldrey. It would be great if other photos existed.


  5. She has the pretty lines/ sheer that Polaris ought to be restored to. I like her cabin and in fact I’m surprised to see the front laying back and not plumb, shes not as old as the photos seemingly dictate.
    I agree with Harold she’s a very sweet little thing.


  6. What a lovely launch! The Aspdens are a well-known Northcote maritime family, many involved in the Aspden Shipping Co. COLLEEN was an entrant in the Northcote-Birkenhead Annual Regatta of 1935 in the local launch race and again in 1939. Charles probably built her at his home in Alfred Street, just above Sulphur Beach, Northcote and close to the yard of Bill Couldrey.


  7. Very jaunty sheer, there aren’t many left that haven’t sagged badly- would be great if she has survived.


  8. Now, she’s right pretty ain’t she!. The builder has it all together and working well to give a good, timeless wee ship. Sheer, raised foredeck, the line of the rubbing strake, the mast and, above all, the builder was not tempted to place any ports/scuttles fwd which might have rested uneasily. Is it conceivable that the hull and coamings were done by different people? Coamings aren’t bad but a litle angular and little details might have added to the effect.


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