The History of Invader



DCF 1.0Ricoh Company Ltd.


The launch Invader appeared on ww in early Sept 2016, looking a tad sad, being partially submerged (link below). This story prompted her owner for the last 30 years, (sadly the late) Morrie Dunwoodie to contact ww. Morrie’s uncle bought the boat in 1966. Morrie included the above photos & well documented details on her past. Ken Ricketts & myself have edited this into the story below.
Sunken Invader Link

The History of Invader (as told by Morrie Dunwoodie)
Invader measures 36′ with a 10′ 2″ beam & is a single skin hard chine, kauri hull & originally had a 6 or 8 cyl petrol engine, with an auxiliary wing motor, with a port side shaft. The wing motor was removed some time before the present owner bought her.
 She had been bought by Peter Harrison, in 1957, who owned her until 1959, at which time he sold her, because she as too slow, & had a 40′,  22 knotter built, to replace her, by Owen Woolley.
Between the Laidlaw & Harrison ownership (later 1940s &/or early 1950s) she belonged to the Townsend family. It was during their ownership that she sank, as seen in the perivous ww story. 

She was bought in 1959, by Jim Ansell of Hamilton & moved to Whangamata. He owned her until 1966. During his stewardship he repowered her with  75 Hp TS3 Commer diesel.
In 1966 she passed to George H Morrison & remained moored at Whangamata Harbour. He did some upgrading adding sponsons, ‘Tauranga’ deck & new rails.
George M. sold her in 1986 to Morrie J Dunwoodie of Thames, the boat is kept at Whangamata. He has replaced the 75hp Commer TS3 with a newer larger 117 hp TS3.
In 1988 she underwent a refit with new windows, stainless rails, re-glassing of cabin tops. Then in 1995  replaced decks with ply, & glassed them. She was extended at the stern in 1998,  by .9 of a metre to 42 feet. In 2004 Morrie added 3′ to her stern & a 3′ duck board. 2008 saw her get a major out of boat, engine overhaul.

Interested to uncover details on her builder & launch year?

7 thoughts on “The History of Invader

  1. I think that all make great sense Harold & Concur completely, — I had been surprised at the 1930s bit myself, when Morrie told me, & must say, had not bothered to seize myself, of the time frame of Laidlaw’s life.
    As a result of your input, it seems she was damaged twice –Whangaparaoa & Freemans Bay. What happened at Freemans Bay?


  2. As for build date, George Townshend registered her first with APYMBA in 1949. He was a stickler for protocol so I imagine she was built 1948-9 which is borne out by her appearance. She sure looked a treat with varnished coamings. Even a contrasting dark paint on them would lift her appearance (and a bit of aft rake on the dodger supports).


  3. I think Lanes is likely. Townshend had owned the flagship Lanes DEFENDER, ex-SCRIPPS III for some years and sold her to Sam Leyland about 1946 after skippering her in NAPS during WW2. Very likely he went to Lanes for her postwar replacement and called her INVADER. I see Lincoln Laidlaw still lingers as an earlier owner in the heading. That’s just myth but de mortuis nil nisi bonum.
    Nathan’s view on this will be worth listening to. He has studied DEFENDER very closely.


  4. I rang Morrie D. today, to have the latest of the on-going chats we have had over the last few weeks, about INVADER, in which we had developed a really great rapport, & “boating telephone friendship,” to discuss the latest info., as at today, on his lovely boat, only to be told by his youngest daughter Erica, who answered the phone, that her dad had passed away on Monday this week (31.10.16), having contracted a deadly virus at the end of last week. I did not know, but he had had a low immunity to viruses– He had been playing golf & tennis earlier in that week. To say I have been deeply shocked & saddened, is a gross understatement. —

    He was the most lovely, gentlemanly person, & even though we had never met personally, I felt I knew him really well, & we were new, but firm friends.

    My life now has a gap that he had filled so delightfully.

    He was 74, & is survived by a very loving close knit family, consisting of his wife of 49 years, Geraldine, & Linda his youngest daughter, with whom I spoke, as above , who has an older brother & sister.

    There is no doubt he will be greatly missed, not only by his family, but also by a great many people in many walks of life.


    MAY HE REST IN PEACE — ken r


  5. Something’s a bit odd here. When George Townshend stranded her in heavy seas off Whangaparaoa in January 1951 the Herald indicated that he was the first owner and she was nearly new. She was salvaged. The (later?) sinking incident occurred in Freeman’s Bay.
    In addition I can find no contemporary reference for Lanes building her in 1936 for Lincoln Laidlaw or anyone else, for that matter. On top of that Lincoln Laidlaw was only 15 in 1936, a bit young to buy a bridgedecker?


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