The Sinking of Lady Sandra


The Sinking of Lady Sandra

Lady Sandra was built by the Lane Motor Boat Co in 1947, details on her past can be viewed at the link below. In previous ww posts Ken Ricketts was of the belief that Lady Sandra sank off Devonport but recent photos ex Ken Jones that have surfaced have revealed that the location was in fact Birkenhead, c.1948-49.

The tale goes something like this –  Lady Sandra had stopped to tow a grounded yacht on Auckland Anniversary Day & in the process managed to get the tow line around both of her propellers & pull them towards each other, thus pulling the propeller struts out of the bottom of the boat. They quickly managed to beach her, as the above photos show.

Interested to hear more details on the yacht rescue & subsequent sinking of LS, as there is still uncertainly around what happened.

Post the sinking & refit (mid 1950s) she was sold to Ken Woodhead, an Auckland businessman, who sold her late 1950’s > early 1960’s, to a Eddie McGoram, now aged 88 & living in Vancouver. In discussions with Ken Ricketts, McGoram confirmed that when he  purchased her, the original 2 Scripps flathead 6’s had been replaced with 2 x 120 hp Hercules 6 cyl flathead petrol engines.  Most likely the Scripps were replaced post sinking after she sank. McGoram only kept her for approx. a year & during this time replaced the Hercules engines with 2 x 4 cyl Ford diesels. He sold her to Owen & Margaret Cleave in the early 1960s & they kept her until well into the 1960’s.

The Cleaves did substantial remodelling of her coamings c.1966 & interior layout. At some stage she was lengthened & her engines were moved back to the new tuck position.  During the Cleaves ownership c.1964,  LS ended up on the rocks at Pakatoa Island & had to wait for the tide to re-float, other than bruised egos, there was no major damage.

Lady Sandra was  sold to a friend of KR’s (John Richards) c.1966-67. Richards also modified the previously modified coamings. According to Richards son, Ian,  John sold her to an overseas (Vanuatu) owner in the late 1960’s. Sadly she was wrecked on a reef in a storm – some would say that given her past dices with death, it was a only a matter of time 😦

Below are a selection of Lady Sandra photos that show various moderations undertaken by her owners.


Peckham ownership



As Built


Richard ownership


McGoram ownership

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