Kaikoura – A Flashback

Feb 2021 Islington Bay
As launched
Graham Gibson at helm
1988- Owner Stewart Bridgford,- center

KAIKOURI – A Flashback

The 40’ Kaikoura was built in 1951 by P Vos. It is believed she was built for the owner of Kaikoura Island at the mouth of Fitzroy Harbour, Great Barrier Island, as transport between the island and Auckland.

She has always been a zoom zoomer – when launched she had twin165 engines that gave her a top speed of 25 knots. These days she is a regular compeditor (& winner) at CYA race events.
The flybridge was added in 1988, by then owner Stewart Bridgford,

20-06-2021 – Input on Kaikours’s  twin Perkins 510, 8.36 liter, V8 4-stoke diesels from Mark Erskine
The 510 (cubic inch) V8 was the first V8 model manufactured by Perkins, UK in 1965 and were rated at 170 HP at 2,800 rpm and were used predominantly in trucks and a few bus models.

The 510 was followed by the more reliable, longer stroke 540 cubic inch V8 Perkins at 8.84 liters and 170 HP at 2,600 rpm.

Other than their considerable size and weight for a modest power output, the 510 (and 540) proved reliable enough in commercial vehicle operation, so would make good, reliable marine engines when run at constant lower revs and moderate loads.

“Kaikoura’s” previous Kermath inline 6-cylinder engines were side-valve (or “flat-head”) design and all side-valve engines have a lower crank center line to top of engine measurements than overhead valve and overhead cam inline design engines.

The lower engine height above crank shaft center line helps boat builders retain flat cabin floors in larger boat designs.

Most V8 design engines (including overhead valve) also have lower crankshaft center line to top of engine measurements because the cylinders and cylinder heads are inclined in “V” shape out either side of the crank shaft center line.

So although the 510 (and 540) Perkins V8 diesel engines are considerably larger and considerably heavier than the previous Kermath inline 6-cylinder engines for similar power output, the top of the Perkins V8 engine wouldn’t have been much higher than the top of the inline 6-cylinder Kermath side-valve, which means “Kaikoura” would have likely retained her same flat cabin flooring over the Perkins engines – a nice feature in all boats.


8 thoughts on “Kaikoura – A Flashback

  1. If the ‘as launched’ photo was in the early 1950’s (when she was built) then it can’t be AKARANA or WAITEMATA off the port bow since AKARANA was built in the 1960’s and WAITEMATA re-built in her present configuration during the same decade.


  2. Hi Vintage Steamer I think the boat behind, in the as original picture was too low wooded at the stern for MATANUI, & also it appears to me that she also probably has has a cruiser stern, & is much more likely to be the WAITEMATA or AKARANA. — KEN R


  3. I knew her original owner Alf Crawford & been abroad her in 1958 & it’s so nice she has never been seriously fiddled with. — Only the flying bridge added & of course still looking stunning.
    Original engines were 2 x 165hp “Kerrnath Seamate Specials” flat head 6 cyl in line.

    The Instructions given to Vos by Crawford, were to build Crawford a boat, that would go to Gt Barrier in 2 hours from Auckland in any weather, as he owned Selwyn Island, at Port Fitzroy, where his wife & daughter lived permanently, whilst he & his son Cameron, lived in Auckland through the week, in that era, (1950s) & he wished to go to the Barrier every weekend to see his family.

    He eventually died on KAIKOURA, as a result of a heart attack, whilst pulling the anchor up, at Karaka Bay, at the Tamaki River Heads, which caused him to fall overboard & drown.
    The only other person aboard was an elderly gentleman, who was a very old friend of his, who had only 1 leg, & was unable to assist in any way. — KEN R


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