Todays woody is the Bailey & Lowe 1915 built launch – Lapwing. Her specs are 26’ x 6’6” and in the above b/w photo she was powered by a 17-25hp Sterling engine that gave her a very impressive speed of 12 knots. Her original owner was Capt. J Davies and the photo comes to us from a supplement to The NZ Yachtsman – May 22, 1915 via Lew Redwood’s fb.
Lapwood is my marina ’neibour’ and I took the bottom photo on Sunday, sadly she very rarely leaves her berth.
Below is a link to a WW story on her from March 2013.
INPUT EX PAUL DRAKE – LAPWING was a Taupo ‘hire’ boat for a number of years from1929. She was brought to the lake from Rotorua by Englishman Donald Hunt, who had arrived in Taupo in the early 1920’s. He was a mechanic who also had dinghies for hire, and who became the agent for Johnson outboards – he supplied a Johnson Sea Horse to our grandfather in 1928, an outboard which we still have and which is still operational. Later he was also the agent for Gray Marine and supplied the engines for PIRI PONO when she was returned to Taupo with a damaged engine after WW2, when she saw service with the RNZAF at Hobsonville, Auckland. LAPWING was renamed PANDORA after an incident which left her reputation a little tarnished. With bow pushed up on a beach in typical Taupo style, a number of passengers proceeded to move towards the bow on the same side, whereupon LAPWING took a severe list and deposited said passengers overboard. Reputation being everything, LAPWING was no more, but PANDORA went on to be a popular hire boat! Donald Hunt eventually progressed to SUNBEAM (now in Tauranga as SEA BREEZE). PANDORA continued at Taupo for some years as a private boat, before disappearing from view.