Ex Naval Motor Launch

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Ex Naval Motor Launch

Today’s post features an ex Navy survey launch, its name is hard to read but appears to be Penguin. She was built in 1944, is approx. 34’6″ long & powered by a 6 cyl. 100hp Ford D-series diesel. As they say in the modelling game – she was rather nice bones, quite a looker & I expect with a bigger engine there would be rather more zoom zoom than the current max of 10knts 😉
As you would expect from a Navy build, its built like the proverbial brick s_ithouse i.e. Australian hardwood.

Any woodys served on her & or can enlighten us on her past?. Home these days is the Marborough Sounds, photos ex trademe.

03-09-2016 Input from Russell ward

Below is the provenance of Penguin, scanned from Bob McDougall’s fine reference NZ Naval Vessels.

The pic of her on Lachlan with the flurry of activity (and look at the size of those davits! In contrast with the wiry matelots) dates from 1950 and is a well known RNZN picture.

The radial davits were replaced by Whelan type that swing out at the turn of an Admiralty Patt over engineered bronze caused switch. Luxury!

In passing, look at that cut out in the skeg. She’d turn on a dime in confined waters with a kick ahead as did Sam Ford’s bridge deckers that were similarly done. Many boats of the time were like that.
Penguin i001

Penguin i002

3 thoughts on “Ex Naval Motor Launch

  1. Pingback: Penguin | waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

  2. Yes remember them both from the naval base. Both fine vessels. The latter (Penguin II) was more recently owned by DYC member Paul Burton, and was slipped on a couple of occasions.


  3. Penguin she is! Born on the survey ship Lachlan in the ’50s and come across from Oz with her. Strewth she’s a strine boat! Hence the abundance of hardwood. There were two Penguins (i and ii) on Lachlan the second one (quite different) built at the dockyard when Penguin i was used with cabin removed (according to NZ Naval Vessels) as sailing safety boat for Tamaki from about 1963. A fine ship.


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