MV CLEMATIS – An ideal floating bach


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MV CLEMATIS – An ideal floating bach

WW readers will be familiar with my views on how compared to the price of waterfront property these days, you can buy a classic wooden vessel for a fraction of the cost, that offers the same benefits + more.

Clematis at 45’ is one such vessel, launched in 1939 & built of kauri by Miller and Tonnage Ship Builders in Port Chalmers for J. Falconer & Sons of Timaru.

Her past has seen her serve with the New Zealand Maritime Department, initially in the NZ Navy during WWII & with the various other ad hoc parties until 1995. She was the only vessel still attached to the navy, serving from WWII until c.1995. She was seconded to the US Navy during WWII & during this period she was refitted on three occasions and even given a copper bottom by the Americans for her use in the Pacific Islands. She was later a training boat for the Maritime Department and Ministry of Fisheries.

She was eventually sold to Christchurch businessman, Bryan Mullaly, in 1995, who based her in Picton. Later use saw her working for a time in Lyttleton as a whale watch boat. Back then (c.1995) she was powered by an Isuzu truck / bus engine, converted to marine use, this replaced a Gardner diesel.

Mullaly sold her to her present owner, Pam Holt in 2003 & Pam brought her up to Coromandel & Gt. Barrier, where Clematis became her floating home. Her large saloon, galley, 2 cabins and spacious covered deck made her ideal for enjoying the spectacular scenery and sea life.

With lots of blue ocean miles under her belt, Clematis is a proven seaworthy boat. Having been in MSA survey (expired) for 18 passengers, 10 to Great Barrier Island.

Pam’s days afloat are over & she is looking for a new custodian for Clematis, whether as a floating bach or a fabulous event venue or for sightseeing cruises.

You will see in the photos that she has recently had a lot of TCL applied & is now offered for sale. Interested parties can contact Pam direct at pamclem@hotmail.com

B/W photos below from launch day.

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Input from Russell Ward

Below are two photos, the colour one is a shot of her on Otago Harbour set to Russell by Ian Mclean –she spent a lot of time in Dunedin –Sea Cadets boat.

The b/w photo shows Clematis on the right in working rig. To her starboard is Aorangi’s bow, Shenendoah and over astern a smattering of the pride of the Auckland fleet. Centre stage, wearing her original funnel in pride is Melodeon.

This pic would be in the ’50s or early ‘60s. A view of the viaduct before it became a eating and watering and posh boat hole 🙂

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Input from Peter Marshall

Actually, Brian Mullaly sold CLEMATIS to me around ’95 and I took her to Lyttelton. She was put into survey as a commercial boat in 2001 but was almost immediately involved in the destruction of the marina at Magazine Bay and was out for the 2001-2002 summer season.
Expertly and comprehensively repaired by Stark Bros., CLEMATIS then operated as Godley Head Dolphin Company watch out of Dampier Bay and around the Banks Peninsula until ’95 when I gave up the cause of making Lyttelton a reasonable environment for chartering and she was bought by a young woodworker from Auckland.
As an added note, she was lent to the Yanks during WW II, who took her up into the Pacific and clad her hull in copper to protect her from worm and used her as shallow water picket duty. The Navy League had her on Otago Harbour for around 30 years, and scads of harbour-dwellers knew the sound of her old Gardner.

9 thoughts on “MV CLEMATIS – An ideal floating bach

  1. CLEMATIS was built as a fishing boat in January 1939 (not 1932) by Miller & Tunnage of Port Chalmers for J Falconer & Son of Timaru. Her registration number, TU123, is on her bows in the launching pics. She had a 41hp Gardner. She was approved for war purposes in 1940 and was seconded to the US Army as a tug.

    (thanks Harold – I have updated the story. AH)

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  2. Actually, Brian Mullaly sold CLEMATIS to me around ’95 and I took her to Lyttelton. She was put into survey as a commercial boat in 2001 but was almost immediately involved in the destruction of the marina at Magazine Bay and was out for the 2001-2002 summer season.

    Expertly and comprehensively repaired by Stark Bros., CLEMATIS then operated as Godley Head Dolphin Company watch out of Dampier Bay and around the Banks Peninsula until ’95 when I gave up the cause of making Lyttelton a reasonable environment for chartering and she was bought by a young woodworker from Auckland.

    As an added note, she was lent to the Yanks during WW II, who took her up into the Pacific and clad her hull in copper to protect her from worm and used her as shallow water picket duty. The NAvy League had her on Otago Harbour for around 30 years, and scads of harbour-dwellers knew the sound of her old Gardner.

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  3. Barney Soljak said that Meola was modelled on Clematis -look at the engine exhaust in front of the wheelhouse…. Yep, she really was a looker. A lot more fun and use as a decent all weather boat than as a bach. Boats out of the water are just a funny awkward shaped building. But yep a good waterfront property….

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