THE WELLINGTON SCENE
photos & details ex Harold Kidd & Gavin Pascoe
Some Wellington launches for a change.
Harold recently bought a postcard of a “launch on Auckland Harbour” which was clearly Wellington. Harold keeps in touch with Gavin Pascoe of the Wellington Classic Yacht Trust on anything Wellington so sent him off a copy. Between the two of them they identified her as Phyllis but in passing discussed images of two other similar craft, Doris and Wai-iti.
You can see that they all have a modest ketch rig and similar configurations.
Phyllis was a 21 footer built at Kilbirnie to a Rudder Mag design by G. Dennis, starting in December 1910 and launching in August 1912. She was still around in early 1916.
Doris was built in Auckland as the 28ft mullet boat Dorothy but was sold to Charlie Moore in Wellington in 1912. He converted her to a deadwood keeler with an auxiliary but she became solely a power boat pretty soon. She was still around in 1929.
Wai-iti was built by Simmonds and Hutson of Wellington in late 1924 and they also built her semi-diesel engine. She was 28ft x 9ft. She lasted until at least WW2.
Harold Kidd Update
PHYLLIS certainly is very pretty, but you’d expect that of a Rudder design.
DOROTHY/DORIS’s cabintop is a bit lumpy, but it was put on in Wellington after she had been converted to a Cook Strait-capable launch from a very basic Auckland-built 28ft fishing mullet boat and form follows function most adequately.
WAI-ITI’s hull form is very sweet but I still can’t get my head around the way her cabin ports are placed, equidistant from the top of the coaming rather than in the middle between the top of the coaming and its bottom (sheer) as is the case in most boats of the time. To me, that’s a little awkward and unsympathetic. This has been commented on before in WW in relation to a possibly amateur-built Wellington launch.