Over the last few years the name Almaray has popped up on WW, mainly in reference to being built alongside the Lidgard launch Monterey. The shed photos below c.1946-8 shows Monterey, Almaray and possibly Tangaroa. All three were fitted with 30hp Lister engines when launched. Almaray was built by Lidgard for Stanley Bell-Booth, whose son Nick Davenport recently contacted me last week after uncovering the photos above in an old family photo album.
Harold Kidd commented on a WW story last week on the launch Jean – that the Bell-Booth family name was linked to BERNICE (1922) Stan’s father perhaps?, ATAROA (ex SPEEDWELL II) 1930-34,LADY PATRICIA (1943-48) and ALMARAY (1946 onwards). Nick has commented that his father also owned the launch Jean, somewhere in this mix. 

Nick would like to know what became of Almaray post his fathers stewardship.


I think I must have sun stroke –  I’m writing about a 1980 Vindex………. But despite what a certain debarred lawyer thinks, I’m actually a nice guy. So here goes – I have been contacted by 21 year old apprentice boat builder, Connor Sanderson, who has taken on a project – I’ll let Connor tell you the story”Late last year I was presented with an irresistible opportunity to purchase a very tired and rundown wooden vindex named “Vin Maree” The only information the seller was about to provide was a build year of 1980 and that it had been from Gulf Harbour prior to them moving it down to Whangamata. It is double diagonal kauri planked, resorcinol glued and coated with ample red lead. It is powered by a inline 6cyl ford I believe to be a “Dover” and had Lees marine manifolds, gearbox and V-drive. I have not yet seen another vindex in V-Drive configuration but I’m familiar with it and hope to retain the use of one. I’m eager to know more about this boat.”

6 thoughts on “Almaray

  1. I have thought more re my comments above overnight, & have now cross-referenced the above image from a photo album, with a colour image I took myself in Smelting House Bay Kawau during our Christmas cruise on my parents boat GAY DAWN in 1968, which is featured in the woodys post of 24.4.2013 & is immediately in front of ALOFA, & I know it is her, because I took the image.

    Further to this, there is no doubt, that that is the same boat, as in the album — as the davits overhanging the tuck in both images, are a dead giveaway, that that boat is definitely the ALOFA.

    She had her name in small block capital letters, in gold leaf, for many years above the bridgedeck windows, but for a period after the white paint replaced the original varnish, it was on the flare in “scrolly” type black lettering & also on the tuck in the same style.

    However, I think it unlikely that the name ALMARAY, as in the album image, just happened in error, & by chance, & it is my thought, that it is very likely Stan B-B., bought the ALMARAY after the ALOFA, & the person who compiled the album, just got the names confused, & the wrong way around.

    Hopefully someone else may be able to add to the above — KEN R


  2. I stand to be corrected but in the bootom photo of the Lidgard shed in nthe front is Awarua she was built the same time as Monterey


  3. Hi Alan,
    If your Vindex owner can track down Alan Young, he might be able to throw some light on Vin Maree.
    She looks like a 30′ Vindex which would explain the vee drive.
    Alan S


  4. As Scott says one of the Castaway group was called definitely called ALOFA, I saw her ,many times in her early days, & was by appearance, a littler shorter than her other sister ships.

    She is referred to as ALOFA, in posts dated 24.4.13 & 3.5.13, with comment by Harold K., supporting this name

    I have images of this boat as shown in todays post, I have had for years, with ALOFA as her name, which fits the bill for my recall exactly, & also there is no doubt, that one of the 3 boats in the Lidgard’s shed image, was called ALMARAY, so was today’s boat given a rename, or is it yet another of the Castaway group, or is the name as noted in the photo album incorrect? — A really confusing conundrum to me.
    Also as I have said fairly recent in a comment I put on a recent post I was certain that S. Bell- Booth owned one of the Castaway group boats post WWII. I remember that so well.

    At the end of the day I think the boat in today’s post is probably the right boat, but the name as noted in the phot album, may be wrong. — KEN R

    Now here’s a thought – the other historical references / photos of Alofa on WW were all made/supplied by Ken Ricketts. Maybe KR was wrong all along?
    I would tend to believe an owners photo album, the tag “ Almaray with new c….” would tend to indicate the writer knew what they were writing about” Alan H


  5. Hi Alan, can’t help but notice that the bottom picture of Almaray looks almost identical to a picture of Alofa which appears on the site.


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