Balsona + Classic Launch Parade

Hobsonville Marina based woody – John Wicks sent in the above photo of the Oliver & Gilpin built launch – Balsona that has been undergoing a gradual rolling restoration for some years. John commented that before the Chain(saw) Gang take umbrage, in his eyes the under-construction flying bridge is going to look more fitting than the previous excrescence, when it’s finished. She is a big old woody and we would love to learn more about her.


Each year the Saturday morning classic launch parade at the Mahurangi Regatta gets bigger and better, the format is simple  – we meet off Scotts Landing at 10am and then head off in single file (alpha order) following CYA Launch Captain – Jason Prew’s launch – MY GIRL to Sullivans Bay to do two laps of a pre-laid (buoys) course, that sees us weaving between the anchored boats and the shore line. 

This year again we will have Grant Cossey, a woody friendly shore based commentator that welcomes and backgrounds each boat as they motor past. This broadcast is heard both on-shore and across the bay. 
Now woodys entry to the parade is free, but it would really make things a lot easier and slicker if you helped out by letting Joyce at the CYA know some details on your boat eg Boat Name, Designer, Builder, Year Launch ,Owner (eg John Smith or Smith family) + any special items of interest about the boat (eg totally rebuilt in 1986) Send the above in a simple email to AND DO IT TODAY PLEASE.

If you have any flags or bunting  on-board – hoist them up. AND remember to wave when you go past RAINDANCE, I’ll be taking photos 🙂

8 thoughts on “Balsona + Classic Launch Parade

  1. Regards Balsona she was built in Tauranga By Willie Oliver and he built it himself and was the biggest one he built at 49′. It was Never built with Gilpin They only built one together Sapphire at 46′. the Balsona was built for Jack Stevens and I bought it off him so please get the story right as I took it to the Bay Of Island and caught a lot of fish.There is a great story behind this boat and I would like to know were she is now as I’m 84 and the only one left that knows the early history .Lindsay Hill. 0274985430


  2. I have fond memories of the Balsona —-I owned her for my personal game fishing in the mid 80’s in the Bay of Islands then she went to Tutukaka—- love to see the old girl again . O & G certainly knew how to build boats —-Willie O ( the man not the boat ) was a real craftsman.


  3. Was in built in and owned by a Tauranga gentleman for many years prior going to Bay of Islands and then Tutukaka.


  4. Lady Dorothy was in Lyttleton when the marina broke up and was badly damaged. Was repaired in Dunedin and went back to Lyttleton and last seen there some years ago Cheers


  5. Balsona was for many years in Tutukaka doing game fish charters. She was owned by Murray and Jenny Paisley. All her records would probably still be at the Whangarei deep sea anglers club in Tutukaka.


  6. What ever happened to the Oliver and gilpin lady Dorothy was a charter boat at one point owned by Wayne Mcwatt of Auckland?


  7. Should have mentioned that for several years “Balsona” has been owned by Alan & Bronny Dempsey


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