Awarua – A Peek Down Below

AWARUA - 22.3.17 - 1



Awarua the 1947, Roy Lidgard built, 37′ launch, has appeared on ww before (link below) but now as a result of Ken Ricketts recent visit to Pine Harbour Marina & catching up with Awarua’s owner – Ross Mason, we now get to see below decks.

When Ross bought her 20 years ago from a live aboard owner in Picton & had her trucked to Auckland from Mana in Wellington, she was in a very run down state inside. Ross has over the years done a rolling refit, with the removal of old paint, which was hugely a labour intensive job, & fitted new squabs (made by himself) + made & fitted the wall cabinets. Fitted the flying bridge, lined the inner sides of the hull with varnished kauri battens, again all his own handy work.
Her present engine is as purchased & is an early series NZ marinised 6 cyl. Ford diesel, which Ross thinks may have been marinised by Chatfield Engineering in the South Island. Ken thinks it is probably the engine which replaced the Waukesha Hesselman diesel (second engine she had in her early life) as it is such an old version of the Ford engine.
Also include below is an inspection report done on her, in December 1972 by previous owner Ted Cooper, eldest son, the late John Cooper, who became a master boat builder & surveyor, & like his father before him, was a perfectionist in all he did. He owned the Lady Crossley in his later years, before he sadly passed away, at a much too young an age. He was the ultimate person to do this survey, as he had helped his dad significantly for his age, in her construction, & knew every part of her so well, as one can see in the report. As a result of this report, we know she belonged to a Mr. R Lilburne of 100 North St Morrinsville from Dec. 1972, for a period & she was moored at Bayswater when he bought her.

AWARUA -22.3.17 - 22

15 thoughts on “Awarua – A Peek Down Below

  1. Pingback: Awarua Relaunches | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news – updated daily

  2. Pingback: ECHO + Woody Beauty Parlour  | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news – updated daily

  3. Pingback: Awarua – Gets  A Make Over | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

  4. Awarua was a regular member of the haulage group base at Bayswater (below the cliff face on now Sir Peter Blake Parade) a part of the Takapuna Boating Club,then based at Shoal Bay. My dad Jack Speight also hauled his lauches Waikaia and Awana there .Awarua was owned by Ron Grant and family. The crew was his daughter Ruve and her girl friends all very glamous business women. The Grants lived in Takapuna ,somewhere between Hauraki and Esmonde Road.,I think.The haulage area was closed down in 1996 when the Bayswater marina was built.I was TBC Club secretary from 1969 to 2001. Janet Warnock.


  5. AWARUA was actually designed & built by Ted Cooper in Lidgards Auckland shed. He worked on her full time during her construction, with input & support, form the Lidgard team, His frames where later borrowed by Bill waters, for building the GAY DAWN, at St Heliers Bay, which he shortened to 34 feet, because he could not get 37 foot planks from his log, for her bottom. Whilst because of her being shorter, she looked different side on, at the tuck, both boats are virtually identical– KEN R


  6. That was a fancy font you could get for your typewriter and this is an example.


  7. I wish I had hand writing like John Cooper. This is art and a pleasure to read.
    The construction of this boat is test book stuff


  8. Murray I probly wld still have those monogrammed overalls but I appear to have got a bit more beamier around my beltings as i have got older. Or maybe my timbers have soaked up some more liquid recently ? Maybe both.
    Overalls are definatly handy in some of the “fur coat and no pants” vessels that are thundering around our harbours. Their proud owners buzy polishing the binnacles and making sure the lid on the tin of goldspar is back on firmly. Meanwhile the poor old “cast iron spinnaker” is buried under the wheelhouse floor in the darkness, gasping for air while trying to tear itself free from its cage and surely but slowly leaking it’s fluids into the s/s engine tray that was recently fitted instead of having said leak fixed. Blah blah.
    Finger is starting to hurt again so I will stop. C

    Liked by 3 people

  9. My typing finger is bit sore today.
    We have gone very well bred workboat style this year so cant comment on the posh and poofy .

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Now there’s an excellent invitation for Cameron Pollard to come in, if ever I saw one……………..


  11. Only partially visible in the images as displayed, but she has beautiful monogrammed blue heavy quality towels, with the monograms in gold. — Lovely– very posh!! . — KEN R


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