Vagrant – Sailing Sunday

VAGRANT – Sailing Sunday
photos from Duncan Elliot, details from Harold Kidd & Robin Elliott. (edited by Alan H)

I was contacted recently by Duncan advising that he had purchased Vagrant off trademe last year & was looking for details on her history.
She had sunk due to a 100mm x 60mm hole in the transom below the bolt on the drop keel box . When Duncan started the repair he a little surprised to find that someone had filled the area with  epoxy from a tube and no fibre. Subsequently this failed & popped out resulting in the trip to Davey Jones locker. Duncan did a temporary repair on the hole
& later cut out the old hole and scarfed a piece in and built a box around the existing box as this was too short i.e. does not go all the way down to the keel and deadwood.
Vagrant she is now back in the water and drawing about 5 litres a water a day. Duncan intends to take her out in a couple of months to do a total re-fit, doing the work myself as he is joiner by trade.

I contacted Harold Kidd & Robin Elliott and asked if they could provide some details on Vagrant for Duncan & true to form, they delivered 🙂
VAGRANT was built by Jack Greenhalgh in 1924 according to MBQ (pretty unreliable). My first hit on the boat is a shade before the 1926 AAR (which was certainly her first race).
She’s in the  list of N’s in NZA of 18/11/25 (as N7).
My guess is built by John/Jack Greenhalgh of Richmond Rd about late 1925 and owned probably with his brother Albert.

I first trip over Vagrant registered as N-7  in the 1926 Anniversary Regatta.
Owners details:
• A. Greenhalgh 1925?/26+?; P. Churton 1932/+?
• On Manukau 1928, registered as number`19′ with Manukau Y & MB Club
• Pennant? 6/10/32: Purchased by Churton who intends to use her for cruising only.
• Re-appears post-war registered as N-17 c1945
• Owner Cyril Hill early 40’s? E.L. (Ernie) Beaver 1945+? D.A.K. Taylor 1949+?; Dick Still 1962?; D.J. Mason 1964/65+?
• Dimensions 1949: 20’x 20’x 9’x 2’10”, 330 sqft gaff rigged, 1ton ballast
• Listed as ‘Unregistered’ 1970
• 1990 on beach, North Harbour Kawau.?
There is one photo of her in the Auckland Museum Bond Collection, negative number PH-NEG-C37485 dated 1st February 1947.

Robin helped paint her in 1963 when Dick Still owned her and she was still in gaff at that stage (Or was she?). Dick Still lives in Pakuranga and may have some photos of her from that time.  If anyone knows Dick, give him a nudge re any photos 09-5348158

LOOK OUT for Mondays post  – its on the Lake Rotoiti (Sth Island) antique & classic wooden boat festival, lots of cool boats 😉

4 thoughts on “Vagrant – Sailing Sunday

  1. I am the grandson of Jack Greenhalgh and can confirm he was the builder of Vagrant. I am pretty sure I have some photos of her under construction in Kingsley St Grey Lynn and some of her sailing soon after. I am happy to be contacted at to share what info and family anecdotes I have.


  2. The 20ft mullet boats were the smallest of the length classes governed by the Ponsonby Regatta Committee in 1903 when Restrictions were issued to preserve the indigenous mullet-netting origins of the type, a move that resulted in the 4 authorised classes, 20/22/24/26 footers, becoming the closest thing we had to class racing at the time and for many years afterwards.
    Of course the 22 footers are the last to survive in numbers, thanks to the magnificent Lipton Cup allocated to them by Ponsonby Cruising Club in 1922.
    By the way, since it’s SAILING SUNDAY, heartiest congratulations to SNATCHER in winning the 2016 Lipton Cup yesterday! It’s about time SNATCHER took it again, the mighty little Bo Birdsall boat!
    By chance, Ron Copeland and I, who were her co-owners many years ago, were interviewing Peter Willetts together today. Ron’s son was on SNATCHER as for’ard hand yesterday.


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