Le Cygne

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LE CYGNE

Today’s story comes to us via Ray Morey’s fb. Ray tells us Le Cygne was built in Auckland for a Whangarei doctor post 1918. Next owner was Enoch Doel, who had a grocery store in Kawakawa. He used her for deliveries around the upper reaches of the Bay of Islands / Waikare inlet.
Ray’s father bought the launch c.1930 from Enoch Doel. Back then power was a single cylinder ‘Buffalo’ engine. Back in those days the boat was commonly called ‘Latrine’. They sold her to a guard on the railways, and he relocated her to the Clevedon River.
Anyone know what happened to her?

Which is a good juxtaposition to remind you that the Woody Classics Weekend to the Clevedon Cruising Club is almost closed off, so many boats and limited space – it will be a monty of a trip, a great mix of boats and people have RSVP’ed. Do not delay, I will not be posting again on this event, driving attendance – RSVP to waitematawoodys@gmail.com. just need both yours and the boats name. Actually the boats specs i.e. LOL ,beam, draft will also be a big help.

Harold Kidd Input – LE CYGNE (the SWAN) was built for Dr Frazerhurst of Whangarei possibly by David Reid with a Buffalo engine (agent) immediately before the Great War. Dr Frazerhurst was badly wounded and spent the war in captivity. No clues what happened to her after she was part of the fleet to greet Lord Jellicoe off Reotahi in April 1921.

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8 thoughts on “Le Cygne

  1. Some years ago I plumped for the launch built for Sutton and Balfour of Napier in December 1916 as being FAIRY.
    Unfortunately the Hawkes Bay papers were pretty much uninterested in pleasure launches …unless there was an accident. Then there was the lack of interest in Auckland too with a bloody war going on.
    It would be nice to get FAIRY from Sutton and Balfour to Bishop but I think we might need a time portal for that?

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  2. Thanks Harold. We have it that C (Charlie) E Small bought FAIRY from one Bert Bishop, when Bert upgraded to ROMANCE and brought her to Napier in 1923. The only thing about the Dunning connection is that SIR FRANCIS (ex FAIRY) is definitely 22 feet and not 20. The 1916 build date we quote for SIR FRANCIS is as per your advice from some years ago. As a matter of interest, SIR FRANCIS has two old engine exhaust holes (well plugged) on her starboard side. Since being fitted with a Universal in 1937, the exhaust is on the port side.

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  3. If Collings & Bell, then probably a Doman single although the landmark C&B 20footer C&B JUNIOR had a 10hp Eagle (also C&B agents). The first confirmed trace I have of SIR FRANCIS is in Napier as FAIRY is in 1923 owned by C E Small. However there was a 20ft FAIRY owned in Auckland by J Dunning of Lucerne Road in February 1916 which took part in Ponsonby Cruising Club events until November 1917. My guess is that she was was Dunnings’s boat, built just pre WW1 by C&B for him on the lines of C&B JUNIOR of which there were several clones.

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  4. Very interesting thanks Harold. What engine do you think C&B would have put in SIR FRANCIS when new in 1916?

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  5. David Reid was an extremely advanced boatbulder who left Auckland early in World War I for Australia in an attempt to cure his chronic asthma. He had built up a client base in Whangarei in particular, mainly in small low-horsepower launches mainly North-Western engined. He was also the Buffalo engine agent in Auckland, possibly in NZ, a more powerful and heavy duty engine. Anything Buffalo is David Reid unless it was a secondhand engine fitted later. Most
    St Mary’s Bay/ Freemans Bay builders like David Reid and Collings & Bell shared similar design characteristics.

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  6. Could LE CYGNE be a Collings and Bell? Very reminiscent of our C&B SIR FRANCIS, although probably larger.

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  7. LE CYGNE (the SWAN) was built for Dr Frazerhurst of Whangarei possibly by David Reid with a Buffalo engine (agent) immediately before the Great War. Dr Frazerhurst was badly wounded and spent the war in captivity. No clues what happened to her after she was part of the fleet to greet Lord Jellicoe off Reotahi in April 1921.

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