Primadonna

Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 8.27.30 AM

PRIMADONNA

Primadonna is a 36′, 1905 whale chaser built by Lanes for a family with a farm in Tory Channel. Was used as a whale chaser until the end of the whaling era and then became a farm transportation boat for the same family who owned her till her current owner bought her.

She is built out of double diagonal kauri and powered with a 72hp Ford. Cruises at about 8 0r 9 knots at 1500 revs. She has accommodation for 2 and a small wheel house which you can steer from inside of the weather goes bad. Currently 4sale on trademe- thanks to Ian McDonald for the heads up.

Harold Kidd Input
There’s a bit of manufactured history here. Ernie Lane didn’t come to Picton until 1907 and doesn’t appear to have built PRIMA DONNA. Most authorities say she was built by Alf Baldick between 1910 and 1915 for himself and Derbyshire as a whalechaser to compete with the Peranos. She remained in the ownership of the Baldick family until at least 2001.
She’s been on WW before; see https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/02/27/welly-woodys/

PS the “second generation” of whalechasers used by the Baldicks were SUSSEX and PEERLESS, in competition with the Peranos’ CRESCENT, BALAENA and CACHALOT. Ernie Lane built SUSSEX and PEERLESS for the Baldicks in 1916. Lane built the Peranos’ CRESCENT and BALAENA but CACHALOT was built in 1916 to a design by Chas. Collings by Kensitt at Picton. She was the THIRD generation of whalechaser and had a 130/150 hp Van Blerck, typical Collings’ concave-convex hard chine planing hull.

7 thoughts on “Primadonna

  1. Dreadnought! That’s the one, Dick!
    Quite surprised that Prima Donna is the original name of the boat in the pic, though, and that she was indeed a chaser. Before my time, perhaps? 🙂
    However, she wasn’t whaling at the “end of the whaling era” – that was in the 1960s.

    Like

  2. Harold is correct with his Prima Donna history. She was built by Baldicks and that is her original name.
    The Guard vessel John is referring to is Dreadnought

    Like

  3. PS the “second generation” of whalechasers used by the Baldicks were SUSSEX and PEERLESS, in competition with the Peranos’ CRESCENT, BALAENA and CACHALOT. Ernie Lane built SUSSEX and PEERLESS for the Baldicks in 1916. Lane built the Peranos’ CRESCENT and BALAENA but CACHALOT was built in 1916 to a design by Chas. Collings by Kensitt at Picton. She was the THIRD generation of whalechaser and had a 130/150 hp Van Blerck, typical Collings’ concave-convex hard chine planing hull.

    Like

  4. There’s a bit of manufactured history here. Ernie Lane didn’t come to Picton until 1907 and doesn’t appear to have built PRIMA DONNA. Most authorities say she was built by Alf Baldick between 1910 and 1915 for himself and Derbyshire as a whalechaser to compete with the Peranos. She remained in the ownership of the Baldick family until at least 2001.
    She’s been on WW before; see https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/02/27/welly-woodys/

    Like

  5. Further thoughts;
    1. The posts about Rorqual show what chasers looked like at ‘the end of the whaling era”.
    2. Cannot remember the name of the boat (Prima donna is certainly not the original name) but the Guard family ran a similar boat as a “Commuter boat” from Port Underwood to blenheim via the Wairau Bar and Opawa River. I think she was later used as a fishing boat before becoming a private vessel.

    Like

  6. She looks vaguely familiar, but was certainly NOT used as a whalechaser until “the end of the whaling era”. By then all the chasers actually working were of the Ernie Lane/Jack Morgan model.
    I think what we have here is an example of “hearsay history”. The shot of the early Balaena in Havelock shows what the earlier chasers looked like.
    Like the pic of the hairy little watchkeeper though!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s