Lady Eva

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or the continuing saga of ODIN / OVODIN

In yesterdays post there was considerable debate around the name of the stranded motor boat. Woody, Baden Pascoe strongly debated the case that the vessel was Odin. He commented
“It is easy to see many features of Odin that mirror those of Lady Eva (both built at Whangarei) e.g. side deck rails, shear chocks, towing hook mast mounted, wheel house. Why would you not copy the greatest towing launch of her time? I would. When Lady Eva was launched in 1913, she was the talk of New Zealand, she had a modern 120 English diesel of 120 h.p and many good features of towing launches of the time. The towing hook mounted on the missen mast was what they did in those days, but having a towing point so high is a lethal thing – great way to “gurt” a tug (tow comes along side, pulls and over goes the tug).”

In the above photo we see a scale model of the Lady Eva, built by the hands of master craftsman Bruce Tantrum (love the calendar in the background Bruce 😉 )- to view more of Bruce’s work here  and here
For comparison I have included below (again) a Odin/Ovodin photo. What do we think woodys? , scroll down to yesterdays posts, read the comments & tell us your thoughts.


10 thoughts on “Lady Eva

  1. The Lady Eva was bought by Bob Alexander and cruised around to the Kaipara,she lay on a berth at Helensville for some years,she was slipped a few years ago and Bob removed her two Gardners sold them and then sold the Hull


  2. Ha. We have played around with gardners also for many years.. And the “messing around” sometimes involved fixing them after the tosspot self proclaimed and self trained washing machine mechanics did just that and popped the fuel trigger up.
    Probly made them feel 6ft 2 inches tall and they could puff their chests out like bantam roosters as they watch the smoke out the stack. Those guys shld be given medals as it’s good for our business and keeps us in the lifestyle we are used to. Cheers all.

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  3. I have messed with a few Gardner’s of all models, LK-LW-L2-L3 and several older 2strokes as well and for more speed you just trip the cold start tit, a dead give-away is the coal black smoke they belch.
    Wainui went into the water under the flag of “Alert Towing Co.” and her first charter was a group of scientists to the Poor Knights under the great Dr. Falla.doing a research of flora and fauna and counting tuatara.
    Gordon Thompson had his foot crushed when transferring to the barge “Waimarie” outside Warekawa one morning.He was in Thames hospital within the hour.
    Roose Shipping had the tug Manuwai, designed by Hubert Levey around a K6 Kelvin which destroyed gearboxes but the last straw was when she broke the crankshaft. Next engine was a 6-71 GM which ran forever.


  4. LADY EVA was owned in the later 1940 & 50s by Claude Miller, who was a well known tow boat owner in Auckland ) Later replacing her with the steel tug WAINUI from new, ( I was at WAINUI’S launching, — also with 2 x 8L3s), until he emigrated to the Pacific Islands, & he & his wife Cath., were close family friends of my family, who lived in Reihana St Orakei for many years .
    When he owned the LADY EVA she had a matched handed pair of 8L3 Gardners in her, & every New Years day, for a number of years he, & Harry Julian, raced each other, in the Kawau Island Yacht Club launch race, & 2 or 3 of us 13-14 year olds, were sent down to the engine room, in the LADY EVA, to hold The governors open, on the Gardners. —
    This was a huge friendly rivalry between LADY EVA & either ODIN in the earlier days, & later the BARBARA W, skippered by Harry J.
    I have some 8 mm colour movie footage of this. — great fun!! – KEN R


  5. Big Tree was built for Eva to tow and even with her 2nd engine a K3 Kelvin of 66 hp that was more than enough. Harold commented on the Beardmore fitted to Lady Eva from new. It was a very reliable machine but the problem was it was designed for a crewed engine room. Often Sipper Patterson and his son Robert crewed the boat by them selves and the skipper had to be the deck hand as well. She was more suited to three or more crew with this engine. When she was sold to the Reynolds family and skipperd by Jack Carey she took on more work like log tows from Mercury Bay, Tairua and Northland. Barney & Laurie Soljak were young men learning the trade on this boat under Jack. With all the work she did the big Beardmore gave no trouble. Her second engine was a K 6 Kelvin, a lovely machine, but this engine broke two cranks before it was replaced. The K 4’s were bullet proof but the 6 cylinder model was discontinued due to this fault.
    I have known Lady Eva since I was about 6 years old and always payed her a visit when she came to Whitianga with Don McBeth as skipper and Paddy Donaldson as engineer and Gordon Thompson (who had a wooden leg) as deckie and NCK driver.Hope the new owner restores her as she looked when new .


  6. That’s right. It was described as a Beardmore 120/130hp 4 cylinder “crude oil” engine or as a “semi-diesel”. I don’t think it was a raving success.


  7. That is a beautiful model, as to the towing hook mounted on the mizzen mast so high, The “EVA” had similar but there was a span going forward to the fore mast just above head hight , and down to the stemhead to transfer some of the load. Wasn’t it Lady Eva who started life with a “Beardmore” diesel engine.


  8. Slight correction here Alan, Lady Eva was built at Northcote point by Bailey & Low and was based in Whangarei. My mistake


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