Miss Vauxhall


Miss Vauxhall

MISS VAUXHALL
photo ex Robin Elliott

Todays photo of the woody runabout, Miss Vauxhall, is from Robin’s collection of photos from the Whangarei Cruising Club Collection, as far as Robin knows, all are from the 1940’s early 1950’s & and were taken by Palmer Photography in Whangarei (1910-1999). Most by the late Graeme Palmer and possibly some older ones by his father.

While the boy at the helm is deep in concentration he no doubt is having the time of his life. Can any woodys ID the design of the boat & even better whose the skipper ?

16-01-2017 Harold Kidd Input

I’ve just come across an article in Sea Spray  (below) on Dick Hartley in which he discusses, most lucidly, the evolution of his designs. There is the same pic of MISS VAUXHALL as well as her sections, pointing out that he could just as well built her in ply in 1947.

16 thoughts on “Miss Vauxhall

  1. I’ve just come across an article in Sea Spray on Dick Hartley in which he discusses, most lucidly, the evolution of his designs. There is the same pic of MISS VAUXHALL as well as her sections, pointing out that he could just as well built her in ply in 1947.

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  2. Harold. The Manager for Paine Bros in Whangarei at that time would have been JR (Jack) Morgan. The boy driving may have been one of his sons, Roger Morgan. His brother Peter Morgan later became a designer (and builder and builder I think) of fibreglass runabouts. They were not related to me by the way.

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  3. Re Miss Vauxhall, I am surprised no one has mentioned Alan Orams and Bert? Baxter. They were both very competent boatbuilders/designers in Whangarei around this time. My pick is Orams.

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  4. My “Seagull” was a hypothetical small outboard of the time. Insert “Johnson” or Evinrude” if you will, Why shouldn’t it be an inboard with provision for an outboard? Why shouldn’t Dick Hartley have built whatever the owner wanted?
    Perhaps it was inspired by plans in Popular Mechanics etc?

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  5. The steering wheel has indentations as a steering wheel would for the finger holds.
    There is a distinct chine line running forward to the bow and one can see where the water is being deflected on it at the water line level. I’m working off an eye pad that enlarges things nicely for me.
    I would have thought this all a bit previous to R Hartley also but I wouldn’t realy know, I’m just stimulating conversation as a starting point. I even wondered if the timber effect on her hull has actually cleverly been combed with paint.

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  6. I’ll also stick my neck out and my two bob’s worth in.:-D
    1. Nice looking little boat, but doesn’t look like any Hartley OR Augustin design I’ve ever seen. maybe we should be looking somewhere altogether different for her origins?
    2. The tumble-home at the stern isn’t at all pronounced, and certainly doesn’t suggest Augustin.
    3. The bow looks to be a conventional round bow of the time. Again, I can’t see anything to suggest either Hartley or Augustin as the designer. Hartley’s trailer-sailERs were multi-chine boats and quite different shapes in the bows. (A sailOR is a person.)
    4. For some reason I don’t really feel the round thing sticking up from behind the breakwater is a wheel, but I’m b******d if I can think what else it could be!
    5. I’ve looked long and hard at the pic, and still can’t decide if she’s an outboard or an inboard. The “helmsboy’s” left hand looks too low and too far forward to be on the tiller of an outboard – unless the outboard has been fitted with a tiller extension. Maybe an inboard rudder and tiller? Wheel forward and tiller aft wasn’t all that uncommon back in the day. But then there’s that whatever-it-is under the lad’s armpit!
    6. Given the little boat’s attitude and (apparent) speed, if she is outboard powered, I doubt very much if that outboard is a Seagull.

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  7. Interesting Pam. I had a look at the Hartley’s website and this boat does have a similar view to the Sportwin (inboard hull) and the Starflite. I agree both these boats have tumblehome, so he did design boats with it.
    http://www.hartley-boats.com/vintage%20hartley.html
    But I think this hull is an earlier hull to a Hartley design.
    I agree it is definitely and outboard.

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  8. It looks like a planked version of Hartley’s “Starlite” plywood Outboard Runabout. 14′
    Yes Hartley put tumble home in his craft, often with clipper bows but how many planked boats did he build?
    The bow of this runabout, Robins image, looks similar to Hartley’s trailer sailors.
    Goodness, how would one ever know?

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  9. That’s pretty persuasive, Don.
    But I had figured that she was being helmed aft with an outboard, and saw the circular thing forward as a wheel, in the position where an inboard would be steered. Looking at it again, it may not be a wheel; but what is it?
    I sent Alan a newspaper image which shows three similar inboard speedboats, one the first MISS VAUXHALL, with a very similar configuration and a forward steering position, with a similarly-sized wheel.
    Maybe, just maybe, the young chap at the helm wasn’t trusted to unleash the massive power of the Vauxhall engine but was given a Seagull?
    Maybe this was a trial run before the mighty Vauxhall was fitted?
    Maybe there was never a Vauxhall? If not, why not, after all the fuss?
    Can’t argue about the Augustin thing, but surely Dick would have been able to build an Augustin-type hull?
    We need a time machine again!

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  10. I am going to stick my neck out on this one Harold.
    Firstly to much tumblehome aft, which was not a characteristic of Hartley’s open boat designs.
    Secondly – a close examination of the picture suggests the helmsman may in fact be holding the tiller of an outboard – look under his left arm pit, a distinctive shadow (not his jersey) suggests an outboard, his arm is not holding a rudder tiller as that would be central to the transom and the transom is cut down to fit the draft of an outboard, see close to his body on his right.
    So my conclusions are outboard not inboard powered and most probably a Carl Augustin design.

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  11. Second bite at the cherry; Paine Bros (North Auckland) Ltd were the Vauxhall agents in Whangarei at the time so she was built for whoever ran that branch I would guess. They’ve gone to the trouble of using the pre-LIP Vauxhall script and the DX radiator symbol on the side of the boat. That’s surely product advertising?

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  12. I don’t think there could be any doubt about the designer, Richard Hartley, or the engine, some sort of Vauxhall, possibly a 1781cc,14hp 6 cylinder DX from the date. As for the owner, possibly whoever was the GM agent in Whangarei at the time?
    Reg Tappenden of Auckland’s Tappenden Motors, GM agents, also had a MISS VAUXHALL inboard racer in the period 1937 to 1939, almost certainly with a DX engine.
    If any 12hp Vauxhall 6s turn up, the 1531c DY model, they were imported from England, second hand, around 1938, by my father’s firm, later bought by Percy Coutts.

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  13. It’s a Richard Hartley build, as per that advert posted for Lovely Lady, the Mystery boat from the 24th March, but we still do not know designers or owners.

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