Volantis – Joins our classic launch fleet

Volantis   a

Launch day at Kenepuru

Volantis 7

Launch day at Kenepuru

Volantis 3

Alongside wharf at Ulva Island

Volantis 6

While in charter – Halfmoon Bay, Stewart Island

VOLANTIS  – A new addition to the Auckland classic launch fleet
photos & details ex Michael O’Dwyer

Regular readers of ww will know that the CYA launch fleet are regular visitors to the 150+ year old waterfront Riverhead Hotel, in fact the upper harbour cruises are one of the highlights on the launch calendar.

What might not be well known is the publicans (good old fashioned word), Stephen and Paula Pepperell are very classic friendly, in fact before buying the hotel they built a 46′ Herreshoff mobjack ketch ‘Long White Cloud’ & cruised around the world for 6+ years.

On our most recent visit Paula & Stephen came aboard Barbara & David Cooke’s ‘Trinidad’ & I think this was the tipping point in their decision to buy a classic launch.
I can now confirm that they have purchased the 48′ launch ‘Volantis’ from the Marlbourgh Sounds.

Volantis was built in 1965 by Tom Brake at Kenepuru Sound, Marlbrough & has a semi displacement hull built from kauri & kahikatea. Power was a 6/71 GM diesel. From day one she was in charter, fishing in the Sounds. She started life at 42′ but c.1985 Miller & Tunnage at Port Chalmers lengthened her to 48′ & extended the wheel-house.

In 1985 she was sold to Phillip & Dianne Smith & based at Halfmoon Bay, Stewart Island again in charter work. In August 2003 she was sold & relocated to Picton.

Volantis is powered by a 180 hp Detroit 2 stroke diesel & the Pepperell’s are currently on-route on the delivery voyage from the Sounds to Auckland, last weekend they stopped in at Napier, with the plan being to head north again this week.

Stephen commented to Michael that he already has plans to give her a more classic look without losing it’s work boat aesthetic. Given the presentation on ‘Long White Cloud’ & the hotel renovation – Volantis will be a fine addition to our Auckland fleet. I’m impressed with the expresso machine on board 🙂

Can any woodys supply more details on her past life?

Hopefully she will be heading up the creek to Riverhead & we will be able to have a peek during the CYA Launch Riverhead Hotel lunch cruise on Saturday 30th April. Should be a big day out – they always are 🙂  CANCELLED

12-01-2017 – Update from Barry Davis
Photo below of Volantis during her refurbishment, the mast is lying on the cabin top, some of the comings are under repair and there was masking tape around the cabin windows.


3 thoughts on “Volantis – Joins our classic launch fleet

  1. Pingback: Woodys Cruise To Riverhead Hotel | waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

  2. The questioned location of ‘Volaris’ is in Half Moon Bay at Stewart Island, close in by the Oban Hotel.


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