SUNQUEST – Sailing Sunday
Last week I was contacted by Phil Vining re the 2nd Feb WW story ‘Wellington Woodys’ in it the lead photo showed several launches on the hard at Evans Bay, Wellington. In the background was a motorsailer that John “twodogs’ commented was either – Sunquest or another built to that Alden design. Phil confirmed it was indeed Sunquest and dived into the WW archives – and found nothing, so felt maybe it was time there was – I’ll let Phil tell the story 🙂
“Sunquest is a beautiful motorsailer that is much admired in this area. She was built by Wally Steer in Nelson and launched in 1959. I remember our family joining others on a Vining & Scott Christmas outing to Kaiteriteri with Wally during the early 1960’s – probably my first outing on a keeler out on the open sea. In those days she was a real looker with light blue hull and the proud timber rope work around the stern painted in a gold colour…still a great looking motorsailer with lovely Alden lines. A shame there were not more built in NZ to this design as they would have been very popular I think. After Wally sold her she went to Mana .. not sure of the various owners but hopefully someone will fill in the gaps and provide some history on this lovely vessel.
After checking through the archives in the Vining Marine Office Phil came up with a listing from 2009 when they sold her for Paul Robinson to John Mansell. The 2020 listing is from when John listed her (refer below) .. he went on to sell her and now owns the well known Auckland yacht Trojan Eagle. You will see from the listings that she originally had wheel steering inside & out .. the outer wheel was removed at some stage.”
Phil commented that it would be great if someone can add a photo of Sunquest in her early days with light blue hull and gold scrolling around the stern – evidently she really was a picture.
Phil mentioned that there is probably a good WW story around Wally Steer as well. Phil believes he built Sunquest at his home at Monaco, Nelson. After selling her he built a 60-70’ Herreshoff ketch which he called Sunquest II. This was another magnificent timber yacht and Phil had the pleasure of sailing on her with a subsequent owner. Following Sunquest II he had Malcolm Dickson design and build Sunquest III which Phil saw in Westhaven last year – Wally also put a lot into this build as well. A remarkable man. Fingers crossed Phil is motivated to write the Wally Steer story 😉
The photos above are supplied by the Vinings Office (as always click photos to enlarge)