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In the above 1963 photo we see the launch Valerie towing an ex Whangarei Harbour Board shed to Port Whangarei, at the time river transport was judged to be the best option.

Input from Robin Elliott and Harold Kidd (previous WW story) – Valerie was designed and built by the  Lane Motor Boat Co. in 1929. She is 35’ in length with a 9’ beam. For many years she was owned by the Reynolds family, close friends of the Pickmeres, who owned her up until the late 1960’s. Apart from a short period in Auckland during the 1960’s she has spent almost all her life in Whangarei and the far North. It is believed Valerie was sometimes used by H. Pickmere when he was charting the far north.
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Launch day 29 August 1929 & Whangaroa 2013

I spotted her in December 2019 hauled out at the Opua marina getting a serious refit that included being re-powered with a Yanmar 115hp. Read / see more here
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6 thoughts on “Valerie

  1. It would be interesting to learn the name of the launch in pic 2. Can Janet help with this?


  2. Wasn’t Valerie also owned by Mr King, of Timewell and King who were a very successful butchery business, with several shops in the town?


  3. No! It is not Winsome. The small “Bus top”/Skylight and dodger windows on this boat are distinctive


  4. The picture above labled Valerie 1920 is not the Valerie. In the early 1960’s there was a row of boat sheds behind the Whangarei Engineering Co in Walton Street on the banks of Doctor’s Creek. Plans for the development of down town Whangarei included the filling of the creek and all the area down harbour from the town Basin that I knew as mangroves and waterways is now businesses and industries. With the planning meant the removal of the boat sheds where Valerie, Isa Lei & several other boats lived. These sheds were towed as pictured and relocated on Pohes Island, which was then the rubbish dump amongst more mangroves, located just below Orams Marina and slipway. Valerie lived in this relocated shed for several years while Isa Lei moved to a new boat shed up the Waipu River beside the Somners property. Valerie was not used during the years of charting but we on Winsome often cruised together first with Jack Reynolds and his family and then with Bill Reynolds & family.


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