ANDROMEDA – Sailing Sunday



ANDROMEDA – Sailing Sunday

Todays’s post is a tad different – it not often (these days) that we see a yacht being converted to a motor boat. Ken Rickett’s emailed in these photos of the Townson 26′ Serene -Andromedia that he spotted while on a visit to Colin Brown’s yard in Omaha. She was built in 1960 of 2 skins of kauri on opposite diagonals & is now owned by Dave Walker, of Warkworth, who recently bought her off Dave Jackson. She had been keep out in the weather, in DJ’s garden, in a semi derelict state, for about 3 years, with her coamings completely past their use by date.  Reports are that she was in a very sad state in general, but with a sound hull.

Dave Walker decided to remove all her interior & coamings & start again & convert her to a displacement launch, to be powered by a smallish diesel. You will see in the photos he has already fitted a deadwood with shaft log.

The work is being undertaken in a shed at Omaha, as per the photos. Dave anticipates having her in the water within approx. 18 months.

Ken was told she had been moored on a pile mooring at Westhaven originally, for many years, & was virtually unused, with someone just going aboard to pump her out, every now & again.

So woodys can we shed some light on Serena’s yachting past

Work-in-progress photos – April 2018 ex Ken Rickett’s



8 thoughts on “ANDROMEDA – Sailing Sunday

  1. Saw ANDROMEDA yesterday & she’s really starting to take shape as a launch now.
    Dave Walker has acquired a lovely little 3 cyl, Yanmar Diesel which was retrieved from the imported American yacht TYPHOON, which sadly had to be destroyed a little while back, as it proved to be, she was beyond saving, after many, many, years, of slowly rotting away, on a mooring at North Harbour Kawau.
    Because of her hull construction style ANDROMEDA should go beautifully with her dainty little engine. – KEN R


  2. Yes for as long as I can remember she was Andromeda, sat for many years off Devonport, A serene class (Townson 26) however with a flatter cabin top.


  3. Mike Austin is a Professor at AUT’s School of Architecture. Must have been a later owner who neglected her as Mike is a fastidious yachtsman from way back. I went to school with him and we and John Chapple briefly owned a Jim Young (or was it a Piver) catamaran which unfortunately came ashore at Waiake and broke up in a big easterly c1965. A great Bayswater yachtsman from his P Class days.
    Suggest the present owner contacts Mike for more of the boat’s history.


  4. She was registered as E-232 in 1966 as designed by Des Townson and bult by her owners J.S.& J.B. Lott. This indicates a home build and a probable launch date some time later.

    Her first appearance in print was in Sea Spray Feb 1970 when she was an entrant in the RNZYS Auckland to Russell Race, skipper J.B. Lott.
    Known Owners:
    J.S.& J.B. Lott 1966/70+?; H. Levi 1971?/73; Ms Janke & McDonald 1973/76+?; M.J.G.& B.W. Van Zon 1978+? (still shows as owner in 1984 NZYF); L.&L Urquart 1987/+? (still shows as owner in 1992 NZYF); M.R. Austin 1999+?


  5. She is one of a number of Des Townson designed 26 footers from the early 60’s the first of which was called Serene and was a giant slayer in Des’s hands.It was probably Des’s first delving into very successful keelboat career the rest of which is history.When you look at these boats in the water they have an uncanny resemblance to an enlarged Zepher design, another of his boats. This particular boat is Andromeda and had been for owned some time by Mike Austin. She did sit on mooring until Dave Jackson took pity on her and gave her a home. Her rig and possibly her rudder were sold to the owners of Serene after that vessel broke her moorings and was repaired.


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