100 Year Old Wooden Fishing Boat Saved
Ok I’m getting older and boring but when out and about (driving) I normally listen to Radio NZ – Nine to Noon show, but with CV-19 lock-down I missed Wednesdays show. And woodys I missed a goodie, but Charles Rogers via Angus (Centaurus) Rogers pointed me to the RNZ website for the story.
That story involves the 27’ 1915
Milner & Milner ex workboat – Elsie and how Brian Railton the commodore of the Dunedin classic boat club, came to own her. There is a link below to the full on-line interview between Brian and Kathryn Ryan (RNZ), but a quick overview looks like this.
Elsie started life as a hand lining fishing boat on the Otago Harbour, she remained as a commercial fishing boat until the early 2000’s when she was retired. Like a lot of oldies Elsie didn’t like retirement and escaped i.e. broke her mooring and took herself on a tour of the Dunedin waterfront, eventually ending up on a rock seawall. Repaired but then she suffered damage on a sandbar. Luckily for Elsie the boat was spotted by Brian who acquired her and transported the boat from Carey’s Bay near Port Chalmers to his home in Wyndham in eastern Southland where Brian and a retired boat builder friend, are undertaking a rolling restoration. Most importantly – they intend to use her for what she was designed for i.e. fishing. In the photo above, taken by Brian, the pumps are working overtime to keep her a float.
Click below to hear the full interview
Harold Kidd Input – ELSIE was built by the MILLER brothers.
Elsie belonged to my relative Stuart Macdonald who fished at Karitane many years ago and my brother and myself are both anglers but it is not surprising with the amount of commercial and recreational fishers in the family. Andrew Lothian Macdonald was Stuart’s older brother.
There were four generations of Lothian Macdonald. Two were born in Scotland and two were born in Dunedin.
The Elsie in the article does not appear among the half dozen or so double enders fishing out of Karitane or Moeraki in the late 1950s. These craft had long low cabins with a single porthole above the engine room , a raised portion as shelter for the helmsman, and significantly longer hulls. Same kind of proven lines though.
Elsie was the name of a well known cray fishing boat working out of Karitane during the mid 1950s. I will be checking my old 8mm home movies for the double ender which looks very similar.
ELSIE was built by the MILLER brothers.