Royal Falcon Restoration



Some news on the 38’ Cox & Filmer 1934 built bridge decker – Royal Falcon from her owners Steve & Colette Pople.

Having languished on the Waipuna River for the last 10 years and now 20 – 25 years behind in maintenance its owners have moved her into a shed at Waipuna.

They have a long road ahead of them, as they plan to almost completely rebuild from the deck up plus some hull work. I’m very pleased to say they have already removed the flying bridge, due to rot, and intend to return the exterior to its 1940 shape as per the WW photo at Mansion House Bay Kawau Island (see below).

RF’s engine, a Commer TS3 has already had extensive work done it but is being further worked on by TS3 specialist Mark Erskine and will be good for another 20 years.

WW will follow this project & keep to updated.

You can read more on her here, make sure you read the comments section – lots there

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 9.27.20 am

15-07-2018 Update ex Steve Pople – photos below

The stern tube has been rebored to remove the 20 mm whip in the shaft, apparently from when the cockpit extension went on.

She has had 47 broken ribs replaced with new spotted gum steamed in ribs, and we have nearly finished replacing 1800 copper nails and roves !!

Engine beds have been replaced, and a new anchor locker and bulkheads are about to me made.


And a couple of photos ex the NZ Herald , as she was launched – very smart looking launch.

Royal Falcon 1934 Martin boat 1

Royal Falcon 1934 martin boat 2

Yard Visit Update – 27-06-2019

I dropped into the Leader Boat Yard today to see how RF was coming along – boatbuilder Dave and owner Steve, gave me a ‘guided’ tour. The boat has been completely gutted and her cabin top removed. Lots of new ribs and almost 100% re-rivated, then the hull has been splined and glassed. New decking and beltings are complete and you will see from the photos below the new bulkheads – don’t panic about the height, once the engine is reinstalled these will be trimmed to size. The yard / boat shed is situated on the Panmure River waterfront.

We will be following this project – its estimated to be approx. 2 years before splash date.

If she looks longer than in so of the b/w photos above, thats because 6′ was added to her stern – many years ago.

Royal Falcon is a very lucky boat – not just in having Steve Pople as an owner – she was once owned (briefly) by ‘Tom The Torch’, so that was a lucky escape 😉




Update 24-07-2019 – reconditioned engine (& box) ready & waiting

Royal Falcon engine

Update 21-09-2020 Photos below ex owner Steve Pople , as found in the vessel’s log + one from the Andy Donovan collection

12 thoughts on “Royal Falcon Restoration

  1. Pingback: Royal Falcon Restoration – 2021 Update | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news – updated daily

  2. Pingback: Royal Falcon Restoration – Update June 2020 | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news – updated daily

  3. Hi. I have recently stumbled across this site and am very much enjoying the old photographs and stories. Charlie Filmer of Cox & Filmer was my grandfather, it’s very cool to see him talked about still 🙂 If there are any old photos of C&F boats, particularly around Kawau, I would love to see them – I will trawl your site!!


  4. At the time I took the image in Mansion House Bay in 1948 she still had her original Studebaker flat head 6 cyl converted car engine, which was shortly after, replaced, & he sold the Studebaker to Bill Waters, who started to build the GAY DAWN c1959 & fitted it to the GAY DAWN, which he launched in 1953, & sold to my father, Ralph Ricketts in 1956, & which my dad then removed, & replaced with 2 x 6 cyl Leyland diesels in 1958,
    I do not recall exactly what happened to the engine after that, by have a feeling it was put in to a runabout — KEN R


  5. The Royal Falcon was owned by Jack Wrightson in the 1950’s and I helmed her at age 8 – I am now 75 and still getting on the water when I can. John Newsham


  6. keep up the momentum 🙂 hopefully not too much to fix from the previous bodge artist! great to see another one being done properly.


  7. I took the b/w photo in Christmas 1948. I’m so thrilled that she will be coming back to be her beautiful classic old self, as she was, in 1948. — Great work & more power to your elbows, Steve & Collette – KEN R


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