LAUGHING LADY – 1949 33’ USA LUDERS COMMUTER / SPORT MOTOR BOAT REFURBISHED IN NEW ZEALAND
Yesterday, I was privileged to join a small group of friends of the extended Dreyer family at Omaha wharf to celebrate the re-launching of Laughing Lady, owned by brothers James & Michael.
It’s hard to believe it was over 4 years ago that I first talked to James about the purchase of Laughing Lady in the USA & where would be a good home for her during her restoration. Given James overseas work schedule & desire to be hands on with the project, there really was only one option – the Whangateau boat yard, so that was where she went, just under 4 years ago.
With projects of this size & standard – the end result is always a reflection of the number & calibre of people that have ‘rubbed-up-against’ the vessel, in LL’s case there have been a lot – from Pam, George, James & an army of friends & family. As time ticked on & a re-launch date was set, more wooden boat artisans were roped in. Having seen LL in the flesh, the photos above do not do justice to the work that has been done on her, everyone should take a well deserved a bow.
I was very pleased to see that the project has been a restoration, not a rebuild, James & Michael have kept most things as close to ‘as-launched’ as possible – sure there is modern material & technology in play but its tucked away out of view – the GPS / nav unit is a perfect example, when not needed, it drops down out of sight – very James Bond.
Stunning boat, but the big question, where to keep her – anyone got a vacant boat shed for hire?
I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I did taking them.
The old lady has had a lot of air time on WW – click the clinks below to view the process (top > bottom) – enjoy
This link will show you photos of her being re – floated https://www.facebook.com/287523138699/photos/rpp.287523138699/10155947222558700/?type=3&theater
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Just amazing well done James. Good work on following a long and also geographically distant project to completion!
Well she does have her own trailer…..
And Ken, the shifters is something I am totally comfortable with. I have driven a lot of twin jet drives with this arrangement, and when I teach my crew to dock beautiful tenders alongside the stern of big yachts, the golden rule is that you shouldn’t need anything more than idle ahead or astern 90% of the time. And it was original so it’s staying. Point of difference.
Sensational looking boat guys. Amazing attention to detail. Bring it down to Lake Rotoiti, fresh water will be much kinder to her ; )
Congrats James et all. She looks amazing!! Well done on a solid effort!
Just one thing, she has 4 single leaver engine controls, with 2 each side of the steering console, which perhaps may be authentic, (although I don’t think hydraulic gearboxes were available when she was built, to allow for just small reverse levers,) & anyone who has ever operated twin screw vessels with both separate 4 lever controls & single levers on a single twin unit system, knows it is hugely easier & the boat is much more controllable with a twin single lever control unit. Am a little surprised they did not use this arrangement. — KEN R
The long awaited has come at last — ABSOLUTLEY INCREDIBLE!!!, — STUNNING!!! – WHAT MORE CAN ONE SAY????? – ken r