Veca + Milford Boat Yard Saved

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VECA
Today’s woody the rather elegant Sounds launch – Veca. The photos of her were sent to me by John Mansell and were taken in Omaha Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound.
All we know about Veca is that she is 29’ and built by Charlie Sang at the Hutt River mouth in 1929 for the Harvey family who still own her. John is not sure if Sang was the designer.
In the photos she does look longer than 29′, maybe she has had the ‘Kim Kardashian’ treatment e.g. bum implants 🙂
Anyone able to comment and enlighten us further on this launch. There are a few mixes of styles going on, but overall its working for me.
Input below from Mark McLaughlin
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Family Boat Restored To Former Glory (ex Nelson Weekly – Dec 17 , 2014)

A launch that was built in Wellington in 1929 and has been in the same family for four, going on five, generations, has just been re-launched in Nelson after its latest refit. Judith Glue’s grandfather, Roy Harvey, and his brother-in-law, Sam Weine, started building the 35 foot kauri launch on a steep section behind Sam’s house in Kilbirnie in 1927. Veca was launched in 1929 and remained in Roy’s family for 58 of the next 85 years with Judith and her husband Pete, of Richmond, completing the latest refit in Nelson earlier this month. Pete says Veca, which was named after Roy and Sam’s wives, Vera and Caroline, has a fascinating history with her framing being constructed out of an “old man rata tree” Roy and Sam cut down in Akatarawa Forest, near Wellington. They also had to build a ramp over the top of Sam’s house to get Veca out of the section and down a steep road to Evans Bay where she was launched. “They had to use two old Wellington coal trucks to get her down the road,” Pete says. “It was so steep they put anchors into the road to stop the trucks and boat taking off down the hill.”

Sadly, Roy had to sell Veca in 1941 because fuel prices had skyrocketed during World War II. However, Judith’s father, Bruce Harvey, brought her back in 1968 when he saw her “tied to a mooring a forlorn state in Evans Bay” and she has stayed in the family ever since. “Roy spent most of his retirement restoring Veca for Bruce and then we acquired her as an inheritance. We pulled her out of the water again in 1985 and transported her to Bill Gibbons’ old shingle plant in Lower Queen St for her second refit. “We took out every screw in the hull and refastened and recaulked her, and fibreglassed the topside, and then we relaunched her on Christmas Eve in 1987. I remember that because the Ministry of Transport wouldn’t give us a permit to take an oversized load through town, but we went anyway. “It was a bit of a nightmare because the transporter got a flat tyre in the middle of Stoke. There was traffic everywhere and I said to the guys, ‘bugger the tyre, keep driving’.”

The latest refit involved reconstructing the wheelhouse and Pete says he was a little concerned about the boat being out of the water for about five weeks. Although Veca took on some water when she was relaunched, the wooden hull soon closed up and became watertight. Pete says she’s now “ready for the next generation to take care of her”. Pete says Veca gets plenty of use with their children and grandchildren always joining them for their annual Christmas boating holiday to the Marlborough Sounds. “It gets a bit crowded with everyone aboard and the cabin’s a bit low, especially when you have sons who are six foot five and six foot four,” he joked. “But she’s a lovely boat to sail and she’s very economical to run – we spend more money on our rum than we do on our diesel.”

Input from Harold Kidd – VECA was launched in November 1929, built by Weine and Peter Harvey under the supervision of Arthur Sang who designed her. Bob Gibbons bought her after Harvey’s death in 1937 and ran her during WW2 in NAPS. He sold her in 1962.

19-02-2019 Input ex Mark Jarvis – the photo below of Veca in Cocle Cove, Queen Charlotte Sound, was most likely taken on the first crossing to the Sounds after we picked the boat up in Wellington. Somebody else has commented that the Gibbons sold their boat in 1962. If thats correct then we must have bought it in that year. So its gonna be close enough to say that pic is from c.1962.
Veca Cocle Cove
NEWSFLASH – Milford Boat Yard Saved
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I can now confirm the best / worst kept dockside secret – Geoff Bagnell’s Milford yard will continue as a working boatyard under the name ’The Slipway Milford’ – and will be run by non-other than classic woody Jason Prew.
More details soon, but it is great news that one of Aucklands few remaining railway slips will continue to be fully operational ♥♥♥
Waiheke Island At Its Best
A mate wakes up to the view below everyday – Sandy Bay. And if you needed proof why you should upgrade your phone – this photo was shot on a mobile phone, or as my mate says – “I have a camera that’s also a phone” 🙂
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8 thoughts on “Veca + Milford Boat Yard Saved

  1. VECA was launched in November 1929, built by Weine and Peter Harvey under the supervision of Arthur Sang who designed her. Bob Gibbons bought her after Harvey’s death in 1937 and ran her during WW2 in NAPS. He sold her in 1962.

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  2. The Veca was our family boat for a few years in the late 50s. We bought it from the original owners the prominent Hope Gibbons family of Wellington when their new boat the Wyandra built by Ray Steadman was ready for them. She is well over 29 ft… prob 35. The boat as you see it today is always immaculate and used year round and is largely original except for a slightly raised dog house and general equipment upgrades. The engine was a Greymarine petrol with a Ford 10 wing motor to port.The name comes from the 2 daughters Vera & Catherine.
    I have a good photo of her anchored in Cockle Cove QC sound with the stern tied to a tree.
    How do I get that picture to WW.?

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  3. HOORAH !!!!! for Jason Prew — Good on you Jason — wonderful news — Couldn’t be more happy — KEN R

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