Lake Rotoiti Barn Find Restoration


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Lake Rotoiti Barn Find Restoration

Alan Craig the Lake Rotoiti boat builder (Craig Marine) dropped me a note the other day to say that he was restoring the about boat. She would have to win the WW barn find prize 🙂 Her story goes like this – has be in a shed on a farm in Rotoma for the last ten odd years. Built in 1928, 24′ in length, appears to be to a USA Hacker Craft design or most likely copied, she is in fact not to dissimilar to Malolo.
It has been owned by Peter Davies and was his Fathers boat from near new. Details Alan has been told about her history: Built in Picton by Vic & Clarrie Olson? (Scandinavian or Swiss?). Built for a Mr Stocker then brought by Mr Davies in 1930, it was sold a while later and brought back again by Mr Davies once the wool price lifted and in 1950 an old, but still new, 1938 Osco marine flathead V8 went in it and is still there now. Alan thinks it was sold once again then found by Peter and brought back to Rotoma.

There is a Hacker Craft step pad fitted to her (the only reference to Hacker Craft) but this could easily have been a later addition. The plans are to rebuild the engine and try get a bit more than the supposed 90hp out of it. Apparently they didn’t get much speed out of it but looks like pretty small prop set up.

This will be a great project to follow – Alan is keen confirm / learn more about her past so if any woodys can help, please comment.

Now Alan’s not a man to run things up the flag pole, chatting on-line he says ” speaking of projects, should probably show you the Chris Craft we just finished” – totally blew we away – amazing project. I’ll run a story on her soon.

Update ex Alan Craig – Alan found the below under the fore-deck – D Jennings?

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14 thoughts on “Lake Rotoiti Barn Find Restoration

  1. There are still a lot of good classic boats both pleasure style and commercial style tucked away in sheds and the compulsory nz lean too that have been hiding for years.
    It’s just a matter of sniffing them out and maybe even counting out the “pictures of the queen” to purchase.

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  2. A neat find. There was a similar boat over at Rotoiti. It was a Chris Craft design about 26ft with a ChrisCraft motor . White bottom red topsides and varnished deck and named Janet. It disappeared supposedly to Waikeremoana late 60s early 70s I have always been keen to know what happened to it, maybe it is a barn some place

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  3. The D Jennings referred to I believe could well Don Jennings of the Jennings family that owned the GLENIFFER for many years from 1937 to about 1960, — (refer post of 11.4.13) — & were really dedicated & practical boaties, who lived in the Paeroa, & the surrounding Waikato area, for many years, & they had a really outstanding engineering bent, & ability.
    The owner of GLENIFFER was actually Percy Jennings, – a really close family friend, but one of his sons was called Don, — I remember him well, from when I was a kid of about 12 onwards, & I feel really confident he would be the “D Jennings,” as above. — KEN R

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  4. Oscar Smith & Co of Philadelphia (OSCO) were marketing 82hp Ford V8 marine conversions from 1937. I can’t see why this engine isn’t 1938. A pair of Offenhauser heads would be period.

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  5. Apparently there were plenty of them brought over to repower craft in the war then got left behind. Not worth taking home I guess.
    It didn’t have much power when last used, but suspect mainly due to prop size, so hopefully we can get more power out of it and it will survive with the boat.

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  6. That Osco looks absolutely original; — even the colour — the top centre outlet on the exhaust manifold riser form both banks of cylinders, was a real trademark, & was still being used exactly the same, & the engine was still the same colour metallic blue, on the engine, when Cyril Bertrand had Alan Williams build the JUANITA in 1951 — refer post 7.5.14 — I wonder if in fact it, is a 1950s vintage engine, not 1930s as stated above, because recall is, that Osco bought a lot of WWII war assets engines, & converted them exactly as the one in this boat, in every detail. — Great project & lovely boat — KEN R

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  7. Really great news. There are still barn finds out there.
    She will look really smart at Rotoiti next year.

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  8. I’m extremely jealous, maybe my next project can be the same as this. I’m very interest to hear more about this, could it be linked to my Comet in some way, it looks very similar.

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  9. There was a John Stocker in Blenheim, a dentist. They had a bach – a whole cove in fact – in Grove Arm, Queen Charlotte Sound. He wouldn’t have been old enough to order a boat in 1928, but maybe his father?
    I think Clarrie Olsen was (some kind of) Scandinavian.

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