Bay of Islands woody – Marcus Petraska snapped the top photo of the Jorgensen built ex workboat – Liberator tied up last week at the Russel wharf, one of the smartest ex workboat conversions afloat. Possibly still owned by Grant and Semmens.

The second photo was taken by Dean Wright, also in the BOI’s over the 2019/20 summer cruising period.

Can anyone tell us more about Liberator?

A CALL FOR HELP – Where Can You Buy Pitch

I have been contacted by boat builder, Ron Hackett in regard to sourcing pitch, Ron used to get it from the Shell Co in Whangerei. He has tried Z, Marsden Refinery, and a company that re-uses old tarseal, but no joy. Does anyone know if you can still buy it and if so where. Also can tar be substituted for pitch? Ron wants to put some in the bottom of an older wooden boat. 

12 thoughts on “Liberator

  1. Thanks for comments about pitch…yep, Foster’s have the 12.5 kg tubs. Just trying asphalt places in Whangarei. Liberator’s owners are still Grant and Jean Semmens, Kaeo, Northland. I think their son Ben is running the vessel.


  2. Liberator was built by Jorgensens in Waikawa Bay, Picton. I was at the launching and have a photo of her on the slipway around somewhere. At least one near sistership.


  3. Try someone like fulton hogan for asphalt. They put it on the roads so may be able to help. The asphalt they have has been ‘cut back’ with gasoil (diesel) to soften it a bit. Straight run asphalt is too hard at room temp and shatters like glass. Roading grade asphalt needs to be able to flex so would be better for boat building.


  4. I just bought a box of pitch (Jeffrey’s #2 Black Marine glue) from Harken Ak (Fosters). There was only 2 boxes left when I picked it up a couple of months back. Have just poured some into the bilge of Ngatira. $200 something so not cheap but there 12 kilos of it in a cardboard box.


  5. Pitch is a name for a blend of long chain chemicals left behind from crude oil after the other lighter fractions such as petrol and diesel have been boiled off. Tar or asphalt are alternative names for pitch or to give it it’s full name Pitch Oil. So any roading company ie Fulton Hogan may supply some. Also try Kemira in Mt Maunganui for Tall Oil or Pine Rosin or Pine Pitch extracted from pine trees rather than crude oil. GOOD luck.


  6. Liberator was based in Westhaven Marina owned by Graham Atcheson at the time who had previously owned the workboat Rangimarie.Graham purchased her in the South Island and had the conversion from fishing boat done there later steaming her to Auckland.powered by a 6l3 Gardner with a great bark from the exhaust!


  7. I’d be inclined to try Fulton Hogan – they use tar based products, and someone who’s been around for a while might know where to get pitch.


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