Help Needed Identifying This Launch


Recently WW received an email from Colin Davies in regard to the launch featured above. I’ll let Colin tell the story :- 

“Back in the 1930’s my late father Laurie Davies of Miramar, Wellington owned the above launch. Photo taken in Marlborough Sounds. Except for the photo I knew nothing and I have been trying to piece together the puzzle.
Based on the design of the wheelhouse, rectangular windows, stem and stern – I think Joe Jukes designed her and possibly built her, or Rex Rix built her. Similar but smaller than the ex work boat – Wild Duck. On WW there is a photo of Wild Duck attending the Flying Boat with a smaller sister ship (refer #1 below).

I also found several photos on the National Library website taken by Whites Aviation.  The key photo is the one looking south, Kilbirnie hills in the right background. The flying boat in the lower right, centre Wild Duck stern on and another launch on starboard side tied up alongside (refer #2 below). There is also a  bow on photo of Wild Duck on the left showing the side of another launch on the very left edge of the photo (refer #3 below). I am interested to know the name and whereabouts of the second launch and if it is still afloat. Based on all these photos I think it is my late fathers launch.

I estimate the length at 38 feet,  almost the same as Saint Antonio 40 feet, again similar above waterline hull shape. (refer #4 & 5 below) of St Antonio)”. 

Can we help Colin with his search to ID the launch and possibly uncover what became of her ?


7 thoughts on “Help Needed Identifying This Launch

  1. Hi James Thanks for your comments. I have not been able to locate photos of the Sounds Launches- Peerless, Sussex or Daphnee. -I have spoken to Peter Beech, Linsey Baldick and Edward Guard, they have been helpful in sharing their knowledge and leads, some I still have to follow up. . I am open minded, but tending to think built in the Sounds by the Baldick family or Ernie Lane in Picton. Dad owned his launch in the mid to late 1930’s so that counts out Primadonna that was first sold out of the Baldick family in 1956 c and later brought back
    then resold again 2001c. . I would like to discuss further with you,could you please phone me
    06 3643126 or


  2. Hey Colin, i’m pretty positive thats Primadonna ,( if its not it could be peerless or sussex but I’m pretty sure ) we’re the current caretakers for Primadonna, its a really great photo , I’ve never seen a side on with the 18hp exhaust position so really cool to see , any other shots in the family album ? or could see a higher res photo of that shot then I could be sure


  3. Thankyou Michael .Interesting to read of Presto. I am tending towards Baldicks family launches of the Marlborough Sounds. Perhaps a sister ship of Primadonna as that was owned by the Baldick family untuil at least 2001. ( As Harold Kidd has written) . Dad lived in Miramar Wellington and boated around the wider Wellington Coast and the Sounds. The Flying boat refueling photos were taken Jan 1938, Dad on the launch pre his service in WW2.


  4. Mmmmm, take a look at pictures and story of my old launch on this (WW) site
    M.V.PRESTO, built in the early 1890’s, in Auckland by Charles Bailey.
    Very similar design, although PRESTO would have an extra few feet in length.
    I have PRESTO moored on a swing mooring TAA2 in front of The Strand in Tauranga.
    I lay claim to PRESTO being the oldest floating and going launch in New Zealand.
    Everything is for sale as the saying goes.
    I have owned PRESTO for nearly 40 years on the same mooring.

    Maybe Charles Bailey built the launch that you are researching??


  5. Lindsay and Ken. Thanks for your comments .Plenty of information for me to study up on . Colin Davies


  6. Primadonna (1905 Lanes) currently on a mooring near the boat sheds at Whakatakataka Bay.


  7. That Image of SAN ANTONIO I am certain was taken on the hard stand at Mahurangi Marina around 2015-16 & was being worked on at that time by one of the regular woodys contributors. — It may have been Russell Ward. She was almost next door to my old boat TIARRI, & one day when I went up to have a look at TIARRI, I had a chat with Russell (or whoever it was) who was working on her. — KEN R


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