LEILANI (FLORAE / FLORAY)
Leilani was built by building contractor & service station proprietor, Major Bailey, a friend of Ken Rickett’s family, on the Cnr. of Wheturangi & Green Lane Rds., & launched in 1949.
Currently owned by Jason Lockwood for the last 5 years. The previous owner had kept the boat at Coromandel for many years & eventually took her to Thames with a view to removing rot from the upper sections of the bow.
It was while at Thames that Jason saw her & bought her, then moved her to Kopu (photo above) – where she was for approx. 3 years. Jason moved her to his property at Thames town around 2 years ago.
When purchased she had a 6cyl. Ford diesel & was fitted with a shoe rudder prop & shaft, however whilst at Kopu these ‘disappeared’.
Jason had removed her paint & started a re-caulking process as part of a major refit / repair & refurbish, looking at the photo, taken by Ken (April 2016), this appears to have stalled & the coamings have reached the stage of disrepair, to the point where they will have to be demolished as they are semi collapsed.
Can we expand more on her history – design, past owners etc. Ken recalls that she was a late 1940’s build.
13-08-2016 Harold Kidd Input
She was built as FLORAE (Latin for “flowers”) not FLORAY. I think Lidgards built the hull and Major George Bailey finished her at his Wheturangi Road home. It was PERCY Coutts who owned her until he died in 1960. He bought my father’s business and renamed it Coutts Motors and was very successful importing fine cars, now part of the Giltrap empire on the same site in Great North Road.
As LEILANI she had numerous owners after Percy Coutts, including A.G. Sibun of Bleakhouse Road, Ken Archer who was active in Coastguard with her, followed by B.J. Craies, and finally a spell in Coromandel where I photographed her in 1999. She’s not the game boat LEILANI that was at Mangonui, run by Don Lightband of course. In fact I can’t vouch for the fact that the LEILANI owned by Sibun and Archer is this one and may well be the game boat.
No doubt WW spotters will pick that up and put me right with relish!