The photos above of Duchess, appeared back in 2013, by mistake on a previous WW story on the Joe Slattery launch – Raiona. I have updated the Raiona story & included below details ex Harold Kidd & Nathan Herbert (who ID’ed the mix-up)

 DUCHESS and RAIONA were remarkably similar, or rather MOLLIE/ALCESTIS/RAIONA was lengthened to 44ft and altered to look like remarkably like DUCHESS by Colin Wild in 1928.
The 40 footer DUCHESS was built in late 1920 by Bailey & Lowe for R.L. Stewart Sr.
The pic above shows DUCHESS on Eel Rock off Cowes Bay on 1st January 1934.  She ran on the rock just after high tide and was refloated the next day with slight damage (2 planks stove in).
Stewart sold her to the Government in August 1935 as a tourist launch. In the Auckland Star of 10th August 1935 there’s a full description of her in the photos below, confirms her configuration is very close to RAIONA’s. She had a 3cylinder heavy duty Twigg engine.
I’m not terribly sure what happened to her after the Crown/PWD bought her.



2 thoughts on “Duchess

  1. In the early 60’s while at Kawau Mr Stevens had a terrible day, just like the photo her at Cowes Bay she sat on Martello Rock high and dry. Just to make things worse his house was badly damaged by fire on the same day. I believe that after her time at kawau she fished out of Liegh, later she suffered major structural damage with bottom stove in, her deadwood bent to 90 degrees and back broken she sat at Robertsons boat yard until burnt and is no more, sadly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A quote below from the memoirs of Bob Edwards a very experienced, colourful Kawau Island skipper from the 1930s to 1963, from an earlier post on WW.
    “Snow Stevens had a launch, the Duchess. he did private trips as well.” this appears to have been in the1940s 50s.” — KEN R


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