The above photos were sent to me by Ross Ashby in response to a comment on WW about Southern Isles. These days she is based in Clevedon, Auckland & from the photos appears to be being very well looked after.
Ross commented that originally he understands she was fitted with a Lister engine but now has a Gardner 6LX ( a bit overpowered) & the original wheel house was added to, but not by Ross
What more do we know about Southern Isles?
Input from John Wicks:
“Ah! My teenage (and later) “sweetheart”.! Built by and for Tom Wells at Wakatahuri in Forsyth Bay, just outside Pelorus Sound.. Typical Wells shape and construction. Original (main) engine was a JP3, Lister which was hand started and fed from a 10 gallon tank abo ve it. The tank was topped up from the main fuel tanks by a semi-rotary hand pump – not much to go wrong there!
Originally she had a 2-cylinder Lister wing engine to port. Not many boats her size had a stand-up-and-around-in engine room.
Her original smaller wheelhouse had a swivel helm seat which came (IIRC) from the old Wellington-Nelson ferry “Matangi” which was wrecked at wakatahuri by the Wells’ Sounds Wrecking Company. The helmsman’s knees went under a horizontal tram-style wheel. Avery comfortable place to steer from.
Accommodation was under the raised foredeck, and was a step or two up from your usual fisherman’s “2-berth coffin” 🙂 with a small but well thought out galley (with one of those green and cream small gas ranges that used to be common) two settees and a table. The backs of the settees were pipe-cots which could swing up to make two more berths. I’d reckon it’d be a bit cramped with 4 aboard though.
There was a hold for gear under the aft deck, and the toilet was partially bulkheaded off in the port aft corner of the engine room.
Just about all the above has been changed over the years – sadly IMO.
Like most of the Wells family’s boats, Southern Isles was used for numerous commercial and pleasure purposes. Tom Wells took her on a cruise right around the South Island in (I think) the 1950s
As is probably obvious from the above screed, at the time she was my idea of what a launch should be!”
AND A REMINDER NUDGE – CYA XMAS PARTY TOMORROW AT PATIO BAY.
If you have not experienced the weekend before, you must, its hands down after Mahurangi weekend the biggest gathering of classic wooden boats in NZ & the Saturday BYO BBQ ashore is legendary. See you there. Photos below from last year in the bay + see more here https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/12/05/a-woody-weekend-cya-patio-bay-invasion/