Today’s story has come about by 4 people digging me in the ribs – started off with Chris Manning letting me know that he had purchased Fleetwing, but not really for future ownership – more to protect her from future neglect & to secure a new owner that has the vision & passion to bring her back to the condition a vessel with her provenance deserves.
Next Nathan Herbert gives we a nudge, then Ian McDonald, then Cameron Pollard emails me, now if you know Cameron he is a man of few words (in emails) his message was “some woody needs to buy this”. And someone does.
Fleetwing is a 32′ kauri carvel planked hull, built at St Mary’s Bay, Auckland at the Collings & Bell yard, launched September 1920. She has spent the majority of her life in the Marlborough Sounds as a commuter and work launch.

No engine, no propeller, other running gear in place. No ancillaries/tanks. Hull appears sound and appears to have had significant refastening work done in the recent past. The deckhouse would benefit from the use of a chainsaw.

Currently lying on a mooring in Paremata. Can be shifted to Mana Marina Travel-lift if required.

Above are a couple of historic photos . The photos of her with the Aramoana green hull are as current.

So woodys if you are seriously seeking a historic New Zealand launch for refit or restoration then Fleetwing could be for you.

You can read more about her at the ww link below. You’ll find her list on trademe at $900 ono – yeap – $900.


12-11-2016 update ex Gavin Pascoe – In the colour photos the launch in the background is  another Collings and Bell, named Surprise. Built for Cook Strait whaling again on the concave convex principle.

19 thoughts on “Fleetwing

  1. Hi Nath and JasonPrew.
    At this stage no facebook page of blog, but will post various stages on personal FB here:

    Re plan of attach Nath, the hull and deck are in good nick, internal is basically gutted. Will leave it’s shape as is at this stage and concentrate on the inside. Any ideas and history from anyone would be appreciated as all the info I have so far is from this site, my email address is tedcharlton@gmx.com


  2. Great, what is the plan of attack? Strip down and remove decks etc? Strip interior and rebuild as well? No doubt she like mine was, is filled with years of bad modifications ready for the bin.


  3. The boat identified as SURPRISE in the background by Gavin Pascoe is not SURPRISE, although she does occupy a mooring near by. It is in fact the Bailey and Lowe IONA. She has a different name now and was CHAMPION for a long time. She was a Taupo boat for many years, arriving at Taupo after the 1931 Napier earthquake. She is unrecognizable now, having been cut down to the belting line. As built, she was flush decker.


  4. Im pretty sure this was the boat that came up to the Bay of Islands pre WWII and trounced the local boats including our 1929 ‘Malolo’ 20′ ‘fast launch’ or the 1930s equivalent of a fizz boat. Fleetwing was much larger and seriously powered (Harold Kidd knows the story here) but in those days it seemed to be unlimited racing. We have just finished a four year restoration of ‘Malolo’ (well the The Wood Shed in Whangarei did it with a wee bit of my help!) and I will put a yarn together for Waitemata Woodies one day! She hasn’t been wet since 1946 and there will be something to celebrate when she goes in next year. Max

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Would you be so kind as to resend the item on electrolysis which I deleted in error.

    Thank you

    On 9 November 2016 at 01:04, waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden bo


  6. Her original engine was a 4 cylinder 40-55hp Van Blerck with 3 plugs per cylinder and 24v electric start. Swept volume was 570 cu in (just over 9 litres) and torque would have been eye-watering. You could only match that with a lot of modern horsepower.
    The engine cost $US1500, the price of 5 Model T Ford tourers.
    By the way she was dark green, not black, as you assume from her b&w pics.


  7. I completely agree. I won’t let her die, if necessary she can come and live in the hayshed until we get some time to give her a birthday. She’s being lifted from the water on Saturday so will post some more photos then.

    150hp would be nice, I was thinking about a nice quiet gentle 6v-53t detroit…


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