Can any one tell us about Istalena and what became of her?

Ken Rickett’s believes she may have been around 30’ in length and possibly a Carl Augustin design, possibly built in the late 1940’s > early 1950’s. And he recalls when he knew the boat it was powered by a Perkins Diesel. I know thats a lot of possibles & maybes – but thats how Ken rolls.
Below are Ken’s memories of Istalena from the 1950’s > !970’s  (edited a lot by AH) 
During this period, Istalena was owned by Gloria and Gordon Spencer, who lived aboard her much of the time in this period at Gt., Barrier Island.
They were very dedicated game fishing people and caught many game fish. Gloria had some record catches through the years.
Sadly Gordon passed away but she remained living on the boat. During this period she met Johnny Wray, who was living on his boat  the Waihape and they used to cruise in company in their respective boats.
The Spencer’s owned a Burmese cat that lived aboard and loved swimming and would jump into the water to try and catch sprats when a light was put over the side in the evening. They had a sugar sack hanging permanently over the stern of the boat, touching the water and the cat would simply jump in climb and out on the sack as it saw fit, and if they dared to go visiting on another boat without the cat, it would simply swim over. NOTE FOR RICK McCAY – you need this 😉
Apologises for the crappy photo – I suspect its a transfer from old movie footage.

10 thoughts on “Istalena

  1. My father, Carl Ryan owned her in the mid 60s. We lived in Sunny Hills, Pakuranga. He bought her from Brian Waldron at Eastern marina. I thought Brian was selling her on behalf of Gloria Spencer. Our family spent quite a few years enjoying her at the Barrier and Kawau. She was moored on the pile moorings up near Panmure – we were able to row from our place in Fisher Parade to her.


  2. I am almost certain that Istalena was Carls own boat. Carl and his family lived in Point Chevalier not far from us. My father Stan new him quite well and during WW 2 Istalena was moored on our mooring in the Meola creek estuary close to our home. Carl was a speedboat enthusiast and also owned one of the fastest in the country. I can clearly remember him doing test runs in the upper harbour. It was called Supersonic.


  3. saw her tied to the wharf at the Panmure Yacht Club last summer,spoke to the owner who had just removed the 6 cylinder Ford.looked to be double diagonal planking above and below waterline.Owner said she was built by ShipBuilders


  4. Louis Spencer (Gordon’s son) told me that ISTALENA was designed and built by Carl Augustin in 1940 (a tad early I think) and had a Buick 8 originally with a very successful vee-drive with Reynolds chain. The Buick was later replaced by a Ford V8.
    On the APYMBA records her ownership was Arthur R Stansell, Henderson, 1949-1957, Gordon Spencer 1957-1967, E.L. Holmes, Mt Albert 1973.


  5. i remember back in the 60’s . Istalena and Banshee ( allen and Jess Williams) milford Boatbuilder,used to frequently catch up via the old valve Marlin DSB radio. and game fish together at the Barrier. The last time I saw istalena was in the late 60’s in Milford creek for a bit of maintainance..


  6. She was owned for many years by Auckland mechanic Alan Chapman and his wife Val, lovely social people. For a time Alan and istalina were a coastguard search and rescue boat. She was definitely a Carl Augustin design. Sadly both Alan and Val are deceased.


  7. It was on N Pier at Westhaven until about a year ago -maybe they can help.

    Sent from my iPhone



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