Mystery Bridgedecker – LADY ELLISON

Mystery Bridgedecker – LADY ELLISON

No name on this old girl but her tme listing (thanks Ian McDonald) tells us she was built by Sam Ford in 1950, measures 36’ x 9’10” x 2’9”.

Built of kauri and powered by a Ford D360 diesel engine, that gets her along at 10 knots max. Other than calling Nelson home, that is about all we know about her. Can anyone put a name to her and tell us about her past?



The story goes that she was designed by Colin Wild and built by John Salthouse. Can anyone tells us more details about this yacht.

Update – photos below ex John Newsham

9 thoughts on “Mystery Bridgedecker – LADY ELLISON

  1. Anyone asking a question like that about Kitenui should really have a copy of the K class book that Peter Refers to. And it is more than good value for the asking price!


  2. I had the opportunity to do a Xmas cruise on ‘Kitenui’ to the Bay of Islands about 1970 with Harris (Cove) Littler and Alan Doull. (Cove was co-owner with Arthur Angell. Both of them also owned ‘Ariki’ at the time.) A better balanced and more comfortable yacht would be hard find. Just look at the tiller under the helm of Richie Ross. No weather nor lee helm. Sister ship ‘Dolita’ was owned and sailed by Air Marshall Sir Keith Park on his return to NZ after WWII. She was later wrecked in the US. We were almost wrecked in Mansion House Bay on our return trip when a cyclone arrived and couldn’t start the engine. Cove had left the ignition on and burnt out the points. Andy Donovan towed us to safety in his Chris Craft V8 powered ‘Winsome II’. A few drinks followed.


  3. That is Richard Ross on the helm of Kitenui in that well published picture, she came ashore in the early eighties at Hobson Bay -lived at Snells Beach for a long time then was sold to Whangarei where I last saw her stripped right down…


  4. LADY ELLISON & LADY LUCK, cruised very frequently, when owned by Bert Hammer, with Fred Hildich, when he owned GULF STAR & VARLENE between c1960 & the1980s– KEN R


  5. Kitenui is a K Class and was sister ship to Dolita. Built for Richard Ross she is one of the larger Ks.
    She is well covered in the K Class book


  6. Kitenui is a K-class (K 5) designed AND built by Col. Wild in 1950. A few years ago she was here in Hobsonville Marina owned by John Rawson.


  7. The-Bridgedecker is LADY ELLISON, one of the last boats I would think, to be built by Sam Ford, about 1952. She was built for Bert Hammer whom I knew well, who lived in Epsom and had a second hand furniture business in Newmarket.
    She had a Ford Diesel, when I knew her & Bert, who also worked on her himself, being involved with the coamings & interior mostly.
    He made the bridgedeck very high, because he was a very tall slim chap, – well over 6 feet.
    He also owned at one time hard chine Vindex style, (but not a Vindex), sedan topper, about 38 feet. for a number of years, which from memory was called LADY LUCK. (edited)


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