Another story ex the CV-19 lock-down. This time Kerry Alexander was having a cleaning out of old photos and came across the above ones of Duchess, the 1920 Bailey & Lowe built launch.
Location of the top two photos is Browns Bay beach and we see Duchess being hauled out. Kerry commented that he recalls that the photos are from the late 1960’s, when you were allowed to launch and haul out from the beach. Can you imagine the fuss if you tried doing that these days.
At the time Duchess was owned by Kerry’s boss, boatbuilder Keith Atikinson, Kerry can not recall how Keith ‘acquired’ her.
The haulage was being done by Alan Reid but the Atikinson yard used to use Ron Hogan and sometimes Winstones.
In the bottom photo Duchess is sitting outside the Atikinson shed at 25 Bute Road, Browns Bay, Auckland – she later moved into the shed.
In the photo below from a WW post back in June 2016 (link below), we see Duchess when owned by Graham (Snow) Steven – the photo was sent in by Graham’s nephew – Geoff Steven, who took the photo.
So woodys – is Geoff Steven’s photo pre or post Kerry’s?
Screen Shot 2020-05-12 at 8.50.22 PM

7 thoughts on “Duchess

  1. I’ll have to concede one point, Martin. If you enlarge the early pic of her at the crazy angle off Cowes and the pic of her with the waves lapping round at Browns Bay (Rangi in the background) you much be able to imagine some carved scrollwork above the belting up fwd. The Duchess at Robertsons had carvings. Only one point at this stage, tho! What was she like when Keith had finished her? Modernised? Wheelhouse up fwd?


  2. Yep. Joe Wheeler was building a 17′ motorboat (Millie ll) for the old man in ’59. Joe was in his house having relinquished the yard over the other side. I remember Lidgards at work at the wharf and used to bimble down to have a look when we were calling on Joe. I remember the Macuata (later Pirimar) alongside and seemed to have a lot of people living on board.
    When do you reckon Duchess up working at Kawau, Garry. I remember her when we took Millie up there. Lovely boat, still remember her burying her stern and scorching off out of Schoolhouse with that growly engine -I’m sure she is around somewhere probably with major mods. There was certainly another derelict Duchess in the grass at Robertsons up the Mahurangi but she had a cut away deadwood which was bent up underneath and was a chunky boat (not 40′ by any means) with scroll carvings up forward. Had a wheelhouse up fwd I seem to recall. None of that was on this Duchess. Yeah yeah, I know it could have been added and bits subtracted but not that deadwood I shouldn’t have thought. I adore the real Duchess, believe me, I looked at more than the name daubed on that boat to check if it was her, wasn’t. I’m certain.


  3. She was owned by Jack Lidgard, younger brother of Roy early 1960’s and used to berth alongside Bayswater wharf (when it existed and was part of the family yard) as young teenagers we spent some time aboard. Snow and Del Stevens had her shortly after this and used her on the passenger run Sandspit to Kawau and I guess she was surveyed at that time. I know Jack told me he spent many years eyeing this boat till he finally owned her, a serial boat trader extraordinaire was uncle Jack.


  4. She’s being hauled on the trailer for TLC (stained topsides.) And the one of her beached with Rangi is post TLC. But is it that particular TLC though? That is lovely dinghy and they were getting rare then. The pic alongside the shed is during TLC and dodger repair -the dodger bits are in front and there is sanding gone on. Check out that liferaft -it may be significant. It is on the dodger in the Kawau pic when she was working. And not on her when she is being slipped. But it is back when she is waiting for the tide. I wonder if that is the earliest pic of the lot.The pic of her afloat with the crew has the railing fwd -when did that go? How much altered was she at Keith Atkinson’s? So where is she now? She wasn’t at Blowswater -that was Countess or was she demoted. No just joking different boat.


  5. That pic of her with the crew in matching pants is ’60s I reckon and at Kawau when I used to admire her. That is the KYC burgee isn’t it? The boat wrecked at Robertsons was a lot shorter and bluffer in the bow and had a lot of carving to the bow. Wish I’d taken a pic of her -was not that long ago.


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