Today’s woody story features the launch Nautilus, and the above photo of her on the Avon- Heath Estuary and details come to us via Lew Redwood.  She was built in Auckland c.1912 for Frederick  Horace  Edwin Chester. It is alleged the boat was involved in war work  during WW1 and then sold to a Harry Nelson Hawker who established a passenger service from the Seaview Road Bridge to Pleasant Point, Canterbury, which lasted 10 years.

There is a large void in her history from the late 1920’s until she was acquired by Allan Williams in 1994 and under went a rolling restoration over 17 years before being donated to Auckland’s maritime museum in 2011, where she now earns her keep doing inner harbour tourist cruises, photo below. 


Read more here

4 thoughts on “Nautilus

  1. That was the Avon River and Heathcote River Estuary. The Seaview Rd Bridge is on the main route to Brighton from inland. The road changes from Pages Rd to Seaview Rd at the bridge. Pleasant point was the site of the Pleasant point Yacht club – since permanently flooded by the earthquakes- at the entrance to the estuary on the avon river.


  2. Perhaps to fill the “void”, from Chester, Papps & Hulston 1932; E E Coombes 1937, Dr M Robertson 1953, R G Bell 1973 all of Lyttelton.


  3. Dunno that she was ever “acquitted” by Alan Williams but I’d bow to better knowledge. I’m sure I saw here at Havelock long back. She was on hospital ship Marama in WW1 hence the red crosses apparently. Missed Gallipoli but did a lot of work with wounded from the Somme? You’d have to check on this in NZ History which has a lot on the Marama and Maheno


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