Nor West



Nor West
photos & details ex Peter Crane

Peter has just taken possession of ‘Nor West’ & is a little frustrated with the lack of known info on. Obviously from the builders plate she is a Lane, designed & built in 1951 by the Lane Motor Boat Co. in Panmure, Auckland.
There is lots of data on ww about the other ‘Nor West’ built by Lanes  but zip on this one.

Can anyone help Peter out?

Update from Don Rae via Ken Ricketts, edited by Alan H. photos ex KR

Don Rae bought her  in July 2007 off  Cam Wilson. She was at Milford at that time. He in turn, had bought her from Peter Anderson, in July 2001 according to Don.

She has been everywhere from the top of North island right down to Tauranga and everywhere in between for the Raes.  They spent a lot of time in the Mahurangi area Don said.

Unfortunately Don didn’t have time to use her, at a time in his life when he feels he should be able to, hence she he put her up for sale.

Don had a love of launches from an early age as his father (Monty) had a Roy Parris boat built in 1954, the 33′ Pleasure Lady, which he is happy to say, is back in his family and fully restored & in beautiful condition. She is owned by his nephew Tony Rae. Previously featured on ww.

Nor West is a  wonderfully well built boat according to Don, and must have been very expensive in her day he says.

Powered by a petrol engine early on and now has a 6 cylinder 120hp Ford.

She was described as 32ft in sales jargon, when he bought her, but he measured her at 33′, with a beam of 10′ drawing 3’6″ .

Don feels the fly bridge was added  probably about the seventies, when they were all the go. She is built of heart kauri.

Below a two early days photos of Nor West sent in by owner Peter Crane, who received them from Warren Fleming.



09-04-2016 – photos below (ex Ken Ricketts) of Nor West hauled out  at Gulf Harbour Nov 2015

30-05-2017 Additional photos

30 thoughts on “Nor West

  1. I remember when she was moored at Hobson Bay around 1955. I think at that time she had 2 Austin petrol engines under both bunks in the main saloon


  2. Sounds exciting & interesting Peter — please keep me informed with your exploration as it develops, — it adds fuel to my thoughts on her, so will continue to wrack my brains, ( if any!!). — I have a way back recall in the back of my mind on a boat like her that I knew had 2 engines, so will think back through time & keep in touch.


  3. There are even cutouts to the ribs both sides that have been professionally braced a long time ago along with a square block/patch, these are in line with current shaft exit. Hard to see with stainless fuel and water tanks now fitted but I will investigate further for remains of bearers.


  4. Thanks Warren, great to hear from you. We’ve been enjoying using ‘Nor West’ in the 3 weeks that we have owned her, also starting the job of tidying her up. Must admit that we did want a classic sedan but Nor West was the boat we fell in love with (in our budget), but the flybridge is so well built, fits the boat and it’s very nice driving up top in silence with a big view. Don’t suppose you have any photos of her pre flybridge?
    Thanks again, Pete and Hollie


  5. Hi Peter. Congratulations on your purchase of “Nor West”.
    I owned her from around 1984 to around 1990. She was berthed at Half Moon Bay marina. I took her to the Barrier and the Bay of Islands, cruising. I took her back up the river to Lanes where she was built, and had the top fitted, also did renovations to the interior. I have no recall of any nameplate on her anywhere, but I think you might still find the odd bottle of bourbon hidden away!!
    She is a GREAT SHIP. Have fun with her.
    Warren Fleming ( ex Auckland, now in Fiji)


  6. That’s my thought too, Murray. I wonder if it was the result of some deal between Higgins and Wilkins who might have been miffed that Lanes had turned out a replica of his SOU EAST?
    Odd too that the word “Ltd” was omitted. I would have thought Lanes would have made sure that went in if they had authorised the plate.


  7. Of course!!!!!
    A quite masterly analysis!
    The apostrophe makes all the difference.
    Now why didn’t I think of that!


  8. I have studied the plates carefully, on both boats, & come to the conclusion, that they were
    indeed, both built by Lane Motor Boat Co.
    Firstly they have both had sufficient “weathering,” to be that old, & the screws in both plates indicate they have not been disturbed for many years, but most of all, the Wilkins boat plate says it was “designed” by Wilkins, & “built” by Lanes, the other says that boat was, “Designed,” “Built,” & “Equipped,” all by Lanes. The claims made on both boats plates are very different, in respect of design, build, & equipment, although there is no doubt in my mind, the plates were made by the same person, or manufacturer, by the similarities of the type set, & plate styling, & that would not almost certainly not be the case, if one boat had been built by another builder. — I rest my case. KEN R


  9. I think there is a good history out there, I’m not phased about who built it, seems to be a well built boat, I have my doubts about the double up in “nor wests” too. I think it also has similarities to “westering”. Peter


  10. That’s what I was hinting at, without wanting to be too rude about it. Maybe the real 1951 Lanes NOR WEST, now in Picton, possibly during the period she was gamefishing out of Tauranga, had an alteration during which her builder’s plate went adrift and finished up on the above boat? Maybe there was a poker game in which the plate was the stake? Or maybe there was a dose of owner-mythology way back, and this plate was commissioned by the then owner of the above boat.
    Someone will know, but uninformed guesswork won’t get us there………..


  11. Could it possibly be, as an alternative answer, to the 2 boats, by the same builder, the same year, with the same name, that the name plate was acquired or created somewhere along the way, after she was built, & whilst she could be, by the coamings styling, very Lane Motor Boat, when one compares the WANDA II CONNIE V group, of that era, she could also be very much McGeady, of the same era, as he built many examples of his sedan toppers of the era, which also had very, very, similar cabin top & windows styling. — Perhaps we will never really know for certain!! – KEN R


  12. There is something quite attractive about her in an unpretentious way with the almost plumb bow, she just needs the Herbert touch with sandpaper and paint.


  13. There’s something very odd here. Lane Motor Boat Co (NOT Garth Lane personally, of course, that’s just a continuous fatuous Kennism) built the smart 37ft launch called NOR WEST now at the marina at Picton. I saw her there very recently.
    According to RNZYS records she was built in 1951 for N. B. Higgins of Wellington and had twin Osco Ford V8s. She had her maiden cruise to the Sounds in December 1951 (Sea Spray of that month). In 1959 Higgins refitted her with twin BMC Commodore diesels and owned her until at least 1962. In 2011 she was for sale on TradeMe by a Blenheim owner and now fitted with twin Ford 90hp diesels.
    The launch pictured above is not that NOR WEST. I suspect the only commonality is the builder’s plate, but how that happened is anyone’s guess!


  14. Thanks for the replies, we’re wrapped with our purchase, we’re out cruising this weekend. Don told us lots about the history he knows, was hoping to find out some early days history and hopefully an old photo. Looking forward to mucking in and over time bringing her back to her former glory.


  15. I find it extraordinary that Garth Lane would have built, as he did, 2 boats with exactly the same name, only about 5 years apart without even a suffix “(II)” — ridiculous!!!


  16. That is surprising, she surely doesn’t have that many mysteries given her originality? What lines of enquiry havery been checked/ researched?


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