Kauri Clinker

The Bloody Boat 011

The Bloody Boat 070

16′ Kauri Clinker Work Boat
photos & details ex Arthur Neely

Arthur contacted ww as he has recently started the restoration of the beautiful little clinker work boat featured above and is trying to get some ideas as to her heritage, age, designer, builder etc. He is also keen learn if there is she any historical significance associated to the vessel.

What we know is that she is kauri clinker, 16′ long with a 5’6″ beam and Arthur reports in excellent condition, given her age. She has been in a shed in Hamilton for the past 45 yrs owned by 3 generations of the one extended family. However as is often the case Arthur hasn’t been able to get much of an idea of her lineage before that.

She had a Sea-Mite 4cylinder 20hp petrol engine in her with a shaft drive to a 3 blade fixed prop. Arthur doesn’t think it was the original engine as there are 2 sets of engine mounts visible.
She also had wheel steering installed at some stage, made up of what looks like old tractor parts, but appears to originally had inboard tiller steering.
From old photos Arthur has seen she looks very similar to designs by Logan Bros or Lanes, but he doesn’t know enough to know.
The canvas cover that you see in the photos, Arthur thinks is original.

The only real damage is she doesn’t have a rudder and from what Arthur gleaned from the previous owners, the rudder was damaged and the boat was put in the Hamilton shed for repairs, and that is where she stayed for the past 45 years. The boat is currently in a shed at Dairy Flat, Auckland.

If there are woodys that might be able to help Arthur understand this project better, he would appreciated hearing from you.

Harold Kidd Input

For a start, forget Logan Bros. The last dinghy they built was in 1911 and this boat is 40 years later than that at least. However Arch Logan’s son, Jack Logan, did build many similar launches post WW2 at Stanley Bay. But then, she could have been built by a dozen other very good boatbuilders at that time. Most put their plates on them unless they were retailed by Wisemans for example, when they were usually anonymous.
I think you can forget Lanes too. They had bigger boats to build.

Update from Arthur Neely
The boat was bought by Jock and Edith Graham in 1950 and homed on their property at Graham Rd Puketaha, I understand that is near Hamilton. When Jock died he left the boat to his son John and he has recently gifted the boat to his daughter Vanessa.
The boat was mainly used as a pleasure boat and for fishing on both Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti. Jock bought the boat as he believed that she had been “professional built”. There is some suggestion that the boat had been built in Tauranga but I think this might just be speculation.
To my eye though, there is no doubt that she was built by skilled craftsmen.
I am trying to find out who Jock bought the boat off in 1950 but I think this might be a long-shot, everyone who would know has since died.
There is no evidence of the boat having a name, feedback from the family shows a consistent view that the boat was always called “the bloody boat”.

9 thoughts on “Kauri Clinker

  1. Hi Alan,
    The offer of a period rudder is still on, but have not
    heard from the parties concerned. Happy to forward
    details if I can make contact with them.
    Regards.

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  2. I would like to hazard a guess that she originally had an engine like a “Norman” aircooled flat twin installed to account for the excessive height of beds and steep rake to the prop shaft. They had the flywheel fan on the aft end. Another quite forgettable engine of the day.
    “Sandy” Sands of “Seacraft” was quite capable and did part build those small inboard launches, I know of at least two of them at 16ft. that came to Mercer and were finished off by the owners. One was powered by a Villiers and the other by an Austin Seven marinised by Carl Augustin.

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  3. Will you be reinstalling the little Sea Mite? – I personally think that would be really great, if it still runs, as she would retain her provenance, as far as we know it, & it seems to me an ideal engine at its size for her , & it shouldn’t cost much to run, even for a petrol engine. — KEN R

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  4. I have an old transom hung rudder and tiller which Arthur is welcome to have. It was originally on my 16 foot carvel planked day launch, so just needs some period pintles to fit.

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  5. For a start, forget Logan Bros. The last dinghy they built was in 1911 and this boat is 40 years later than that at least. However Arch Logan’s son, Jack Logan, did build many similar launches post WW2 at Stanley Bay. But then, she could have been built by a dozen other very good boatbuilders at that time. Most put their plates on them unless they were retailed by Wisemans for example, when they were usually anonymous.
    I think you can forget Lanes too. They had bigger boats to build.

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  6. I have discovered her “Arnolt Sea Mite,” is a marine conversion of the Waukesha ICK series engine & unusually for an American petrol marine engine of its era, has the flywheel on the back end. – Redwing also did a conversion of this engine, but as was more usual, put the flywheel on the front end. There has been the odd one also available in reverse rotation, ( RH rather than normal LH). — KEN R

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