Friendship was built on 1936 by Ernie Lane in Picton, South Island, for Tracy Gough, founder of Gough Gough and Hamer.
She is 50’ in length from kauri. Has been re-powered with a 471 Detroit. As built had an unknown 40 hp engine.
We are told that once she had masts and sails and plainly, obviously before all the ‘fruit’ was added on the top of the wheel house.
Current home port is Napier. Thanks to woody Andrew Christie for the heads up and researching the item and photos.
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Email any stories and photos to me at the address below and I will do a story on Bonita.
Kind Regards Alan Houghton
My father (Bill Bunt) also owned an Ernie Lane launch built in Picton. it was called the “Bonita” and I have done research on the ownership and sea stories of her. She is now (in modified form) moored in Ngakuta Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound. B. Gordon
As can be seen in the photos, she was always a single screw boat, so I’m guessing the noise Mark Jarvis heard was that 4-71 “screaming jimmy” living up to its name. Can’t understand only doing 6 knots on the way north; her service speed round QC Sound was in the vicinity of 10 knots, and she usually came far too close in (inside the moorings in certain bays) with her load of tourists, putting up a big wake that would swamp dinghies beached at the water’s edge. In one bay a group of half-a-dozen young hooligans (who shall remain unnamed 🙂 ] would row out in a large dinghy and the one in the bow would attempt to slap Friendship’s side. They would then swim the swamped dinghy ashore. Complaints about this were occasionally made to the Picton Harbourmaster; these would be countered by complaints about the launch going too fast too close.
I also have vague memories of an engine on the Te Mahia wharf. Thanks to Dick Hall I now know what it was and where it came from.
Yes I have very fond childhood memories of the Freindship in the 60s in Queen Charlotte Sound. She was the star of the sounds ferries. The sound of her twin engines exhaust note still lingers in my memory. They would reverberate wildly as she pulled away from the jetty out into the glassy waters of Picton harbour.
I can still remember doing a passage on Friendship 20 something years ago from Auckland to Paihia when she was owned by Brian & Lulu Craies. Brian had a friendly surveyor up north. Ian (Scungy) Dunn was the engineer. It was the slowest, noisiest trip I have ever done with the Detroit screaming to push us at about 6 knots. Fortunately, it was flat calm for the 2 days it took to go north, with the night spent in the Tutukaka Gamefish Club. Slightly worse for wear the next day we were treated to the sight of a large pod of orcas on the surface of the glassy water off Whangamumu. The males were huge, with dorsal fins the height of our topsides. It made the trip worthwhile.
Friendship was originally powered with a 4 cylinder Thornycroft that sat on the wharf at Te Mahia, Kenepuru Sound for years after it was removed
Great to see she is still around can remember here back in 60s rowing out to meet her in a 12ft clinker to collect our supplies down the Grove Arm
lovely ship well know in the sounds
I am pretty sure she was named CLASSICO at one stage..
For many years Friendship was a “mail launch” in Queen Charlotte Sound, under Friendship Launches whose owner and Friendship’s skipper was Les Kenny, one [obviously 🙂 ] of the Kenny family prominent in commercial launches and whaling in the area. Like most of the “mail launches” she also carried passengers (mostly tourists) and did the occasional private charter.
When I were a yoof she was a familiar, not quite daily, sight in Queen Charlotte Sound’s Grove arm.
A few years ago she was briefly here in Hobsonville Marina. Her owner at the time was cutting rot out of her sternpost.
She was briefly renamed (something-or-other) and did service as a Greenpeace protest boat round the coast.
Nice to see her again, and I hope that sternpost has now been properly attended to.