I was sent the above photos Hubert Levey by Peter Kelly. In the photos she is moored at Weymouth. Peter understands that the Hubert Levey was purpose built for the Marine Department for use on the Manukau Harbour.
She was launched in Auckland and sailed around the North Cape to the Manukau.
What more do we know about the vessel & her working life?
Input from Harold Kidd – The correct name is HUBERT LEVEY (updated), named after the respected designer who carried out many of W.G Lowe & Sons commercial designs. He was a influential on other Auckland designers including Tim Windsor. Hubert was born in 1890 and died in 1955. He served his time with Bailey & Lowe. He set up as a boatbuilder in Gisborne in 1910 then in Devonport a couple of years later.
30-01-2018 Ian McDonald’s recollections from his ownership:
Hubert Levey was tendered in 1985 by the Government Stores Board and the successful tenderers were me, (Ian McDonald) & Rodger Edwards , from Tokoroa.
Hubert Levey was built/launched in 1957/58 by WG Lowe & Sons for the Ministry of Fisheries, and primarily spent much of her service on the Manukau harbour. She was specifically constructed with a shallow draft with a bilge keel each side to “take the ground” as she lived in Onehunga and was aground on the mud at low tides.
Power was a Gardner 4LW with a manual 2UC gear box. I can’t recall what ratio the gearbox was.
Subsequently she was trucked to the Waitemata, how long she spent there I don’t know but with her flush deck aft, and reasonable sized hold, we were told that she spent a bit of time around the gulf and in Coromandel waters being used around the then experimental mussel & oyster leases.
She then turned up in Tauranga (another harbour where shallow draft was necessary) and, in 1985 was put up for tender. We got her for around $26,000 from memory.
The hull/ cabin colours on the attached photo are as we bought her and, the additions of the canopy ( NZR tarp from memory) and dive ladder were added by me & Rodger. Later we added a 2’6” “Tauranga board” extension to the aft deck with seating all round and side-mounted the ladder. Accommodation was all up the sharp end with two built-in bunks & two pipe berths. The toilet was forárd of those again.
We were told that Hubert Levey (the man) worked for WG Lowe & sons and was the designer/ builder. He was reputedly from the North East coast of the USA and her Lines are reminiscent of lots of boats I’ve seen in that part of the world.
The last time I saw her was at the Barrier, circa 2003/2004 and the then owner (from Tairua) had committed the ultimate sacrilege and replaced the Gardner with a Ford; he told me the gearbox had blown up & he couldn’t afford to replace it. He’d obviously never heard of the Pollard boys (eh Cameron ?) Not only that, he’d added the most frightful wheelhouse on the aft deck which even Heath Robinson couldn’t have dreamed up.
In 1988 we sold her (in Auckland through Ian Walker who was the Panmure Launch & Yacht sales) as we had successfully tendered for the “Tokatea” also built by WG Lowe & sons ( very similar lines). Hubert also had a hand in the design of Tokatea and the boat Hubert was named after him, as he died either just before or, just after she was launched.