Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 4.09.23 PM


Melody was built by the legendary John Lidgard in the 1950’s on Kawau Island & used as a Govt service vessel. She measures 11.5m & is powered by a 100hp Ford.

Despite the hull being in excellent condition, the 1930’s plywood that was used on her superstructure, de-laminated due to bonding failure.  Approx. 20>30 years ago she was completely stripped (decks and superstructure) to a her heart kauri bare hull and stored in a dry shed under cover. Recently the property where she was stored was sold to developers and contractors needed to clear the site. On inspection, despite being covered in litter, the hull proved to be perfectly sound and true. No doubt due to efficient storage preserving the quality of materials and excellence of design and construction.
Following negotiations, the vessel was offered, generously, to the Kerikeri Steam Trust and duly accepted by the Trustees.

The Trust shifted her to the TSS Minerva’s restoration site in the centre of Kerikeri, the hull was stripped, steam-cleaned and covered. Machinery and fitments were removed, ready for detailed inspection and refurbishment.
It is anticipated that all proceeds from the sale of Melody will go to the continued restoration of the engineering requirements for TSS The Minerva.

So woodys – anyone looking for a project or a quick start on a build should consider her.

03-05-2020 Update ex Nathan Herbert – Nathan sent in the press clipping below that show Melody, it that  popped up on the Kerikeri fb page. The date  of ’The Kerikeri Chronicle’ – Vol 8, No.2 is 30 May, 1981


13 thoughts on “MELODY – A CLASSIC PROJECT

  1. Definitely by my grandfather Roy, I remember him leaving us in control on this boat while he had a snooze, (standard position, usually his roll your own burned down and woke him) a group of 7 or 8 year old’s squabbling over who got to steer had us headed for disaster but also woke him and he came up and took over, never said a word just a grumpy look.


  2. Ken is right. She wasn’t built by John Lidgard but by Roy Lidgard for himself. I’ll look up the early 1955 Sea Sprays to date that article, which looks like their font. In 1973 she was owned by W.M. Moyes of Auckland.


  3. I sent you the newspaper/magazine clipping of her when she was brand new which is absolute proof of what I’ve said is correct. — KEN R


  4. The image I have, was taken from my 8 mm movies & was New Years Day 1955.
    She was tied to Roy Lidgard’s wharf at Smelting House Bay Kawau. — KEN R


  5. I have sent images & write up from a boating magazine, of the MELODY, to the Trust, that owns her at the moment & Alan, &unfortunately the above is wrong.
    She was built by Roy Lidgard at Kawau in 1954 & was taken to Auckland for finishing & engine installation, which was a 60 HP Morris Diesel (probably 4 cyl) originally & he built her for himself to game fish with, & when built, she had 1 game fishing chair fitted ,but there was room for 2 chairs. She was launched in December 1954. My family knew Roy R & his wife Irene very well, as I’ve said before, & I also knew the MELODY very well, at that time.
    Have wondered through the years very often what had happened to her.
    Her coamings must have been replaced somewhere along the way, because originally she had planked teak or mahogany coamings partially varnished. — KEN R


  6. Ah! Another dishy Lidgard helping! The dear old “Lance Bombardier” run by the Army Dept 1955 – 61 -knew her well, my old man was Army then. Badly damaged in a storm Nov 58 -yep we had them then too. Their HDML “Bombardier” was also damaged and eventually became HMNZS “Manga”. After lengthy repairs, “Lance Bombardier” was transferred to the Army Engineer Corp and renamed “Sapper”. Surplus to needs and sold to F E Jones New Lynn June 1961. Any pix of her as she was then? She had a nice well proportioned upper works (as you’d expect).


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 )

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