Markson > Pacific Sunrise > Last Vintage

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Markson > Pacific Sunrise > Last Vintage
I have been contacted by Samuel Wayne who has been working under a shipwright in Tasmania. They recently did many months work on the 110 ft ‘Last Vintage’ which has been renamed twice; originally it was ‘Markson’ & before that ‘Pacific Sunrise’. The reason Sam emailed ww was because this ship was purchased by the New Zealand Government and refitted circa the year ~2000 & Sam was wondering if ww knew any information as to where and who did the work.
While working on Last Vintage they replaced some planks, refastened the hull and rebuilt the rear living area / saloon walls (frame + exterior) to provide solid anchor points for the mizzen mast.
More information on the work done and many photos can be found at
Sam will be flying in to Auckland next week and driving around the northern island with his girlfriend and would appreciate the chance to look around and meet some of the people doing similar work on wooden boats or people that worked on the ‘Last Vintage’  while he is in the country. Contact is

15 thoughts on “Markson > Pacific Sunrise > Last Vintage

  1. Harold I read Athol’s “Rascals of the South Pacific”. It was a great read but from memory he failed/declined to mention this last creation Markson. Probably right to do so. Athol was a real character. I remember when he has just launched “Paulmarkson” and had her tied up at Westhaven marina next to our Col Wild “Lady Margaret”.
    Athol was an acquaintance of my father who was the consultant surgeon for the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) and the stories both of them told would bring tears to your eyes. They were so outrageous but true. New Hebrides was the Wild West of the South Pacific and most schemes, plans and skullduggery were hatched at the Rossi Hotel in Vila. One day, a chap who may or may not have had a beef with Athol, swam out to one of Athol’s vessels anchored in Vila harbour and stole the ship’s wheel. When Athol found out he was rightly furious and had the scoundrel arrested. Said scoundrel was sentenced to a stay at the Vila Hilton (the local prison) but was allowed out on weekends to attend sundowners at the Rossi!

    Markson was used by the NZ government to survey the Alderman’s if my memory serves me correctly?


  2. Hi Joseph,remember me I sailed on the Markson from Auckland to Suva with Athol.Yes you do have a good history of the Markson, if you read this contact me on face book…


  3. Hi my name is Joseph Wong, I worked on the building of the Markson prior to it being launched by Whippys Shipyard in Suva Fiji. It was originally built for Athol Rusden. It was first used as a cargo vessel carrying timber from Fiji to Auckland. After about 2 years it was sold to a New Zealander; John Gisby from Taupo and he converted it into a fishing boat for about a year. It was then sailed to San Francisco to be put on the market, then on to San Diego where is was purchased by Bill and Natalie Reed who converted it into a luxury yacht. They sailed it around Alaska, Canada, Gulf of Mexico for approximately 6 year or so. It was then sold in San Diego to an American called Jack Scanlan who registered it in Vanuatu to continue sailing it around the Pacific. I was continuously working on this yacht from the time it was built, and transferred with it from owner to owner. I left the Markson in 1993 to relocate to Australia. I am still in possession of original photos from the commencement of it’s building to it’s completion. The designer of the Markson was Brian Donovan from Auckland.


  4. Used to own this boat when it was the being chartered out of the Whitsunday. We did most of the major work on the boat both in no then finished in Aus if you want more pictures info then make contact and I can give some info


  5. I refitted markson in the late 90s not the nz government…. and for any more information contact Victor Rutherford +6421886655 or … the photos shown are after my refit and the subsequent owner continued refit and modifications…


  6. Built of Fijian Kauri. Whilst serving time at Seagar engineering i had the pleasure/ terror/ nightmare of groveling in the bilge of this ship. Always had leaking issues around stern post and shaft log along with deck cabin tops etc etc.
    Variable pitch unit was stuck in full driving pitch at one stage so one of the local hero/engineers of the time overcame this by a brainstorm in his head. He permanently fixed the xcess fuel button so the Gardner it could overfuel itself to hell and manage to churn the overpitched prop just that bit quicker. Resulted in an engine room that felt like the middle of the Sahara, and xorst temperatures closer to that of the surface of the sun. Etc etc.
    All easily remedied with time and money and things returned back to normal in the noise compartment. C

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Re Enfield, remember the most popular English takeaway is Chicken tikka marsala 🙂
    And Croz has just been on the IOM waving the flag at the classic TT.


  8. Saw Graeme at the Bike Show a couple of weekends ago, looking lean and chirpy. I still lust after a pale green Kwaka W800 at Red Baron but my better half is more interested in a green Royal Enfield Continental GT cafe racer, even though it’s really a bogus British bike.


  9. It will all be in Athol’s autobiography, “Rascal of the South Pacific”. Can’t find my copy right now, but it’s a helluva read.


  10. Pretty lurid history, typical of Pacific craft. I saw her last at Port Vila when Athol was living there. She then went to the West Coast of the US. I really can’t see why or when the NZ Government bought her. Maybe she was seized?


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