Siesta – Part 1




Siesta was launched in 1949, built by the owner A.H.L. (Harry) Maddaford (a saw miller) with the help of a professional boat builder & his staff (see below for detail), at his Penrose factory. She measured 40’.

Below is an account from Maddaford’s daughter Valerie Holbrook, on the building & launch of Siesta.

“Dad had always wanted a good-sized new launch so he had Kitson (one of his staff at his sawmill) pull two kauris out of Ness Valley bush, one green one and one old and dry with the sap rotted off but the solid heart left and the other one was forty-five feet long, there was at least fifteen feet hanging out behind the GMC trailer.  The idea being the planks, at least up to the waterline would be in one length.  The logs were milled and stacked out to air dry for 12 to eighteen months with dad hosing the timber most nights to wash the sap out.

Charlie Hardman laid the boat out as he had been a boat builder and Reg, my brother-in-law who worked for him assisted   Charlie soon went back to his house building but Reg stayed on to work for Jack Taylor, a boat builder. We all assisted at times including Rex.

Dad put the engine in and other mechanical bits and pieces.   A friend of Bill Blacklock did some French polishing, and a builder friend of dad’s made the helmsman’s seat, with a liquor cabinet in the back.

It was eventually finished and loaded on a low solid-tyred trailer that dad had borrowed.   At five o’clock one morning I slowly towed it to Panmure wharf with the GMC, and dad followed close in his car to see that nothing moved. We put it beside the wharf to float off as the tide came in.

That was the forty-foot Siesta, launched close to Christmas 1949″.

Input from Ken Ricketts below (edited by Alan H)

By 1960 she belonged to Ewen Marmont. Ken was aboard over the Christmas 1960 period; she had painted coamings & had acquired a dodger by then & Ken recalls she had the Perkins diesel at that time. Marmont had her for a number of years.

Subsequent history is hard to unravel because of the existence of two/three boats with the same name, but it’s possible that her owner in 1973 was H.V. Woodcock of Murray’s Bay, Auckland.

The present owners have been in contact with a Brian Sinclair of Whangarei, who advised that he owned her for a number of years in the c.1970s & he most likely bought her off the Woodcocks.

Stephen Smith a boat broker of Whangarei & Grant Cardno owned her for several years from c.1991 > 1994, they bought from Eric Burger, a friend of Kens. It is believed the Burger only owned her for a short period, during which he upgraded the interior.

Smith & Cardo kept her at Gulf Harbour. They sold her c.1994/95 to Barry Galbraith in Kerikeri & he kept her at Dove Bay, B.O.I. for the next 20 years.

Galbraith told Ken that when he was away cruising on one occasion, a gentleman in another boat came up alongside, & told him he used to own Siesta & his name was Brian Sinclair, (as referred to above,) & he told Galbraith that she had had a trip to Fiji, to act as mark boat, for the Auckland to Fiji race, on one occasion (this is not corroborated at his stage, so can only be anecdotal)

She is presently moored at Kissing Point in Whangarei, owned by Laurie & Jill White. She was still moored at Doves Bay B.O.I. when they bought her approx. 2 ½ years ago.

Ken understands that she is in quite good condition & still looking very original. Her original engine was a 6 cyl. Hercules petrol WWII war surplus tank engine & fairly shortly after, this was replaced with a slanting 6-354 Perkins diesel, (so it would go under the floor), which she still has today.

(photos ex Valerie Holbrook, Dean Wright, Laurie & Jill White & Brian Galbraith)



7 thoughts on “Siesta – Part 1

  1. sorry Ken, no Hercules engines went into tanks, they were either continental radial,5bank Chrysler, 3bank Cadillac or 9cylinder wright cyclone radial. I wont include the diesels. the herc would have had a thirst like a tank though.


  2. Charlie Hardman was a good North Shore boatbuilder and designer pre-WW2. He built the 18 footer MANUTERE to a design by Ralph Goodwin and followed her with the 18 footers VA’ALELE and VINDEX and the 14 footer TEMPEST.


  3. It was Ewen Berger who owned her, not as printed above as Eric Burger — Ewen B also owned the R Lidgard TAWHIRI II for a period in the 60s/70s & replaced the original 4 cyl Lister with a 6 cyl Ford diesel, which lifted her several inches out of the water at the front end, (done by Tim Lees at Sandspit, as I recall.)


  4. Nice to get the story. I remember her when Marmonts had her. She was different in that she had venetian blinds I seem to recall. Reasonable looker – the look of the times.


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