Now if the above launch looks a little familiar thats because she has appeared here before under the name some ‘Sea Devil’.

Owner Greg Billington purchased Sea Devil from Brent Gribble, who, with his father Peter, owned her this past 8 or so years. Sadly Peter has passed away and Brent was ready to return to his passion, which is sailing. Now the name Sea Devil we are told is the English for ‘Dea De’il,’ which is Gaelic for Sea Devil – as she was named by the original owner in 1918. Vern Tonks of Whangarei named her for the English name when he began her refurbishment around 2000. Refer link below to view her during the 2000 restoration & read more expanded details about her.

Over the past month (August 2016) Skipjack has been given a further refit which has involved a new muffler, dry riser and fuel tank sight glasses by Moon Engines; new propeller by Bri-ski and shaft extension by Kevin Bradley to ensure a good match with the engine and transmission; removal of the radar mast, and electrics overhauled by Roger Crabtree; hull and hull fittings, engine box insulation, new stove etc restored or replaced and bilge keels fared by Glenn Burnnand, Eberspacher heater fitted by Blair Hannay, and new steering fitted by Grant Henry.

I have to say the loss of the radar mast has been a big improvement to her looks. Now if the photo of the bilge keel is post faring, they must have been very agricultural before this 🙂 I would question the size & positioning of her bilge keels, I have studied & spoken to numerous boat builders about them & these ones appear to be very short & mounted high to the water line. I am seriously considering removing the ones fitted to my launch, Raindance – its a double edged sword, they will have a negative effect on boat speed but is that offset by their ability to reduce roll – I suppose there is only one way to find out…………

In the above photos we see her in the Burnnand boat shed at Ngapipi Rd, on Orakei Marina and in Circular Bay.

6 thoughts on “Skipjack

  1. Pingback: Skipjack (Sea Devil) | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

  2. Looks quite cute in her current guise, doesn’t she?
    There’s a considerable difference between “faring” and “fairing” – I think it’s the second one that applies to the above.
    Before you take too much notice of old wives – Oops! I mean old boat builders’ tales and crawl under “Raindance” with the chainsaw, Alan, remember that she and her sisters were built when there were only miniscule power plants available, so they had to be easily driven. The upside of that was elegantly and beautifully shaped hulls. The down side was that those hulls were rollers. I’ve seen “Raindance” stepping along nicely, so she’s obviously got the power to overcome any drag those bilge keels create. They may not be the best designed built or faired bilge keels for windward work 🙂 but then you do have the most efficient rig for windward work – diesel.
    IMO the keels are worth it for the roll-damping, comfort factor.


  3. Almost certainly something big enough to make the drag of the bilge keels pretty much irrelevant. My first guess (and it would be a guess) would be a 4 cyl Ford of around (what used to be called) 80 h.p. Second guess (Same caveat) a similar sized Perkins. If there’s been a relatively recent re-powering, it’s probably one of the equivalent Japanese diesels. It’s pretty irrelevant really; what would be more interesting to know is; what was her original power plant?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s