GEOFF & WARRICK BAGNALL’s ACHILLES RELAUNCHED
Saturday was a very special day for the Auckland woody community – we got to celebrate with Milford boatbuilder Geoff Bagnall as he re-launched the 31’ 1973 Roy Parris designed and built launch – Achilles.
Geoff has built and restored a lot of very fine craft in his 19 years at the Milford yard, but the refit of Achilles is extra special because she used to be his fathers boat. Amazingly Warrick was there to witness the launching and he looked very happy, on two fronts – seeing Achilles back family ownership and it was also his 90th birthday, a cake appeared and a bloke’ish version of happy birthday was sung 🙂
Geoff also served his apprenticeship under Roy Parris so the bond with the launch is deep.
Achilles will most likely be Geoff’s last big project – in a few days he will close the shed for the last time – that is a very sad day for us woody owners but this story is all about Warrick, Geoff and Achilles, more on the future of the shed later. Today we had 4 generations of the Bagnall family coming together for the party.
Over the last 18 months I have watched Geoff crafting over the refit and the standard of workmanship and design smarts is second to none, the man has a very good eye for size, proportion and just what looks right when it comes to boats. I have had the pleasure to have Geoff work on Raindance for over 10 years and she is now twice the boat she was when I bought her in terms of practicality and looks, as a result of Geoff’s input and craft.
Some details on the ’new’ Achilles – she now measures 31’ in length, is powered by a new Yanmar 200hp turbo that will she her dancing along very nicely. That stunning finish comes from being glassed (I quote Geoff- “I don’t want to be bloody working on her again in my life-time”) and she has all the latest features to make life aboard very comfortable. There are still a few wee jobs to complete but I think you’ll agree from the photos above and video below, Achilles is an impressive sight and a wonderful example of Geoff’s skills.
Below is a selection of photos taken ‘in-the-shed’ during the refit.
As always – click on photos to enlarge 😉
To view a selection of launches built by Roy Parris – click this link https://waitematawoodys.com/tag/roy-parris/page/1/