Phoebe (Imp)

PHOEBE (IMP)
photos & details ex Michael O’Dwyer

Todays launch is named Phoebe & is currently hauled out in Napier getting some TLC. She has been in Napier for approx. 12 years. Prior to this its believed she was based in Auckland.
According to a name plate on board she was originally called Imp & built by Collings and Bell in 1952. Her length is 24′.

Her current owner is Stan Escourt  (Napier) & he told Mike that the cabin top was added by Lanes and built over the original canvas covering the fore cabin. It’s still in place inside but hidden by synthetic carpet.

Phoebe is powered by a Ford 2711 E 4.15L motor.

So woodys do we know anymore about Phoebe/Imp?

Harold Kidd input

Collings & Bell built an earlier IMP for Frank Pidgeon of the Ace Tyre Company in September 1937. She was a 17ft runabout with a 40hp 4 cyl Lycoming which gave her 28 mph, pretty fast for the time. That IMP replaced (or complemented) an earlier IMP, a 14ft single-step hydroplane “built on anti-trip principles” which Sam Ford built for Frank in November 1936, also with a Lycoming. He raced both boats enthusiastically.
In 1952 Frank Pidgeon would have been only 50 so it’s reasonable to think that he may have commissioned this one too.

23-12-2015 Photos ex Michael O’Dwyer

 

14 thoughts on “Phoebe (Imp)

  1. I believe that this is the boat that Frank Pigeon had in the 50s — He used to moor her on his mooring in Sunny Bay Kawau, every Christmas, where he had a house with a little cottage, as I recall, & I think he may have sold it to the McKuewan (not certain of spelling now) Bros., who were food retailers at he bottom of Queen St in that era. — Am certain it’s her, I remember her well. — lovely little boat, & quite quick — KEN R

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  2. Am pretty sure she in an early 60’s video of Lake Taupo on the moorings. without the raised for’d cabin, and with a similar but completely other sedan cabin a tad lower but with larger windows.

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  3. I was contacted by Tim Langton in 2002 after he had seen the boat on a mooring in Napier. He said that he was the second owner and that the first owner was Ian M Pidgeon and the name IMP came from his initials, and Pidgeons Importers and Exporters was the family business.
    According to Tim the original engine was a large petrol engine and the boat could go pretty fast (16-18kn?) but not very far because of fuel the tanks limited size.

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  4. Talked to Stan yesterday and he told me that his son, who is currently living in the US, is not keen to see Phoebe leave the family.Watch this space.

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  5. Comment from David Glen
    “Stan Estcourt / Phoebe have been the mainstay of Napier Sailing Club race management for many years.
    Phoebe has been part of the NSC team that has hosted many dinghy championships over the years.
    It is a sad day that Stan has decided to retire (again) and Phoebe will be looking for another home.”

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  6. The windows have been recessed and are covered by a screw fastened 7/8×1/8 inch bronze strap.On top of the cabin is a practical athwartships sliding hatch.Though you cannot really see it, in the top photo there is also a slight tumblehome which finishes the lines off nicely.
    Photos added to main post. AH

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  7. Well, the hull was built by Collings & Bell in 1952. Chas Collings had died in 1946 so the design work would have been by Alex Collings or even Peter Peel perhaps. Dave Jackson will know. As for the later cabin top by Lanes, it would depend entirely on when that was carried out.

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  8. Fair enough.
    But just to add to that, possibly the windows are a tad big. I would think they have been over-laid and not recessed, making the mullions a tinny bit thin especially the aft and forward post.
    It has been carried off nicely however, as you say.
    Who’s drawing board did this come off I wonder?

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  9. Something really sweet about her. The added cabin top is just right, in the window radii, brow, and sweep of the lower edge. The three little trim details accent the air vent nicely. A lovely bit of 50s styling.

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  10. Collings & Bell built an earlier IMP for Frank Pidgeon of the Ace Tyre Company in September 1937. She was a 17ft runabout with a 40hp 4 cyl Lycoming which gave her 28 mph, pretty fast for the time. That IMP replaced (or complemented) an earlier IMP, a 14ft single-step hydroplane “built on anti-trip principles” which Sam Ford built for Frank in November 1936, also with a Lycoming. He raced both boats enthusiastically.
    In 1952 Frank Pidgeon would have been only 50 so it’s reasonable to think that he may have commissioned this one too.

    Like

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