Bel Air

BEL AIR

Today we have another mystery launch from the Tauranga City library collection, coming to us via Nathan Herbert.Total blank on the vessel , so very keen to learn anything about her and where she is today.

INPUT FROM KEITH NICHOLSON AND HEATHER REEVE – the photos below show Bel Air back in 2010 – before and after a refurbishment (prior to sale) N&H are previous owners of ML Paea and have advised that the vessel alongside Bel Air in the top photo is not a ML.

22-07-2022 INPUT ex Ray Morey – The unknown boat alongside “Bel Aire” is “Hamutana” built in Hamilton by the electric fence inventor, Bill Gallagher, 90 ft steel with a pair of cummins engines.The cabin and other works came from an HDML (404???) which he took around to Raglan and scrapped for the parts. She later grew a pair of masts and was mother-ship on a trans-Tasman race, sold up to Tonga and wrecked up there shortly after. His first boat built in Hamilton was “Seddon Park”. Twin screw, 1 cummins and 1 5LW Gardner.

Looking to give your woody that old salty game boat look?

A WW reader has alerted me to the teak game poles below – most likely from the 1940>50’s period. Note: photo of boat is an example only – not the actual poles. Drop us an email if you are interested.

12 thoughts on “Bel Air

  1. The unknown boat alongside “Bel Aire” is “Hamutana” built in Hamilton by the electric fence inventor, Bill Gallagher, 90 ft steel with a pair of cummins engines.The cabin and other works came from an HDML (404???) which he took around to Raglan and scrapped for the parts. She later grew a pair of masts and was mother-ship on a trans-Tasman race, sold up to Tonga and wrecked up there shortly after. His first boat built in Hamilton was “Seddon Park”. Twin screw, 1 cummins and 1 5LW Gardner.

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  2. Keith did say that he thought it had a role in the Airforce in transferring people to the Sunderlands and doing airforce stuff so your comments sounds right.

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  3. I have a vague recall that the BEL AIR may have had a name change many years ago, & may at one time have been called SUNBEAM, back in the 40s, era when I first saw her. — KEN R

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  4. Keith was the owner of Belair for a number of years powered by Mk 1 Ford Trader. We sold her in about 2010 to Steve who has her at Westpark and still actively uses her all the time. Have pix I can send to Alan to post if he would like.

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  5. I don’t think the boat next to BEL AIR is an HDML, because there is not enough rake on the stem, also the stem “flattens” at the top, & further to this she, has a keel or deadwood that comes right forward to the foot of stem, & looks also as if she may possibly have a hard chine or perhaps that may be a trick created by the way she is being painted.

    I have cross compared her to the KUPARU of which I have an image on the hard & there is simply no=comparison in the to boats at the front section — KEN R

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  6. The BEL AIR was moored at Okahu Bay, in the later 40s & early 50s, just off the end of the fuel jetty looking out to sea, to the left hand side,& right in front, & quite close in, to where the Royal Akarana Yacht Club Building now stands. — (it was not built then). –She had fawn/cream painted coamings at that time, but otherwise is more or less as I remember her,

    I remember her so very well, because she is the only boat I ever saw, with an internal combustion engine, that steamed out of the exhaust when it went through a funnel, & I saw this the one & only time I ever saw her leave her moorings, — (she was very rarely used), — & I can only conclude, she had a petrol engine, & the stream was from condensation of the exhaust gasses, on the relatively cold exhaust funnel, as with a car’s exhaust, when the engine is newly started from cold. — KEN R

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  7. The boat with the outriggers is one of 2 sisterships ,& is either the SOU EAST or NOR WEST

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