Doris Boat Refit 2014 Oct Nov 050

Baden Pascoe sent in the above photo of the Collings & Bell designed / built launch – Dorris. Once owned by Jack Allan (Allen?).
Baden commented that she was one of several motor boats was taken over by the RNZAF and used at Lauthala Bay, Fiji during WW2.
Can any of the woodys tell us more about Dorris?
Yesterdays story on the boats ‘resting’ up the Tamaki River blew me away in terms of viewing numbers e.g. 25% more than the coverage of the Mahurangi Regatta and almost neck-‘n-neck with the recent Hobart Wooden Boat Festival. Again many thanks John Bullivant 🙂

14 thoughts on “Dorris

    According to RNZAF records WANDERER II was disposed of in Suva 22/12/1944. Like THERESA MAY she may never have made it back to NZ. Her Ailsa Craig was reported as in bad order on 6/12/1943. Hopefully she got a USN-sourced Chrysler of Gray in the meantime.


  2. Re Wanderer and fishing in Fiji, ‘disappointed,’ what was he using for bait,- Bananas, trolling with carrots !!? (locals weren’t telling him the good spots !) When I was there they sold Swordfish, Walu, etc from the Walu Bay fishing wharf like we do schnapper. Once saw some guys manhandling a huge object out of a 20ft longboat near the ramp in Laucala Bay, thought it was a generator from one of the island resorts. Turned out on closer inspection to be a ‘Kavu’ (a massive cod ) took 6 guys to lift it onto the back of a truck. An Indian guy also caught one similar in the Rewa River from a 12ft dinghy,- took him hours on a hand line and had to tow it to shore, Was in the Fiji Times.


  3. I’ve checked out all the launches impressed by RNZAF for towing during the construction of the flying boat base at LauCala Bay during WW2. The only one that might have been built by Collings & Bell was WANDERER II owned by Stan Holder who had operated her as a gamefishing boat from Whangaroa. It’s pretty clear too that Holder changed her name when he bought her in 1933 to WANDERER II after his earlier WANDERER (which one of the many I don’t know).
    There’s no definite connection to Collings & Bell as builders but there’s a good Press photograph of her in 1933 when Holder took her to Fiji at the invitation of the Fiji Government to establish the potential for gamefishing and tourism. He brought her back after 4 months. When she was impressed by the Air Force (as W64) she had been owned by Myles Anderson of Whangaroa since 1937.
    Her pics look Collings & Bell.


  4. Harold, not sure where the newspaper thing came from but how then would you pronounce the Fijian rugby player Joe Rokocokos’ name ? just a thought.
    There is actually no H in the anglicized Fijian, it is written as a C which has a TH sound, as in – that. Another examples are- Nadi, the d being nd Sigatoka, the g being ng Ba, the b being mb and so on.
    And in answer to your question on things to do on Fridays, sometimes no, but I do love a friendly discussion. And just so it’s about wooden boats, I have sailed on the ‘Sea Spray’ (TV fame, ex Fitheach Ban ex NZ) in Fiji while living there and done numerous trips to the Laucala Bay boat ramp.


  5. John, just being picky too, Lauthala isn’t an issue of SPELLING but an issue of ORTHOGRAPHY.
    It’s just downstream of the fact that the Fiji Times’ printers (or someone like that) ran out of the letter H around 1860.
    Thinks…haven’t we all got better things to do on a Friday afternoon?


  6. Just a pc comment, the correct spelling is Laucala bay (the c being a th in fijian) I hope no one calls our city orcklind, just ‘Kidding’ Ni sa bula vinaka.


  7. Doris was owned by Jim Kate’s for many years. Has a 4lw gardner.
    She was kept in Milford.
    I remember some talk when I was a lot younger and smaller that Bill Telford fitted a new and much larger backbone to her when she was purchased from the navy or one of the harbourboards. Possibly when the gardner was fitted.


  8. Wally Findlater had a game and party boat fishing out of Wangamata in the 1950’s early 60’s by the name of “Doris” she was about 36ft. Could that be her??


  9. Bit puzzled here. Is this the ex-Fullers DORIS/MISS DORIS (one R not 2)? That was the launch that RNZAF took to Lauthala Bay for towing in 1942 as W66. She was built for Fullers by T.M. Lane & Sons at Mechanics Bay in December 1910.
    Can’t find a DORRIS.


  10. Hi am trying to find out some info on my girl victory. Have been told that she was built up in Silverdale by Jim youngs apprentice. Also it use to have varnished comings outside as comings are solid mahogany as well as the inside. Been told she was built in 1968 but would love more info

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.


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