Mystery Launch + Competition

Mystery Launch + Competition (Posiedon > Bontia)

Yesterday I was contacted by Brian Peet regarding the above photo. I’ll let Brian tell the story-

“My late father’s cousin Graham Hamblin gave me a photo of a launch owned by another long departed family member, Percy Hewitt. We don’t have a name or any other details for the boat, but to my untrained eye, it looks under 30ft long, 1950s with possibly American influences. The bow looks most unusual and not a styling that got picked up by NZ designers to any extent. Percy lived at Bucklands Beach and apparently raced the launch a few times in the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta”. 

INPUT EX KEN RICKETTS – well that was easier than expected, KR advised the boat was named Posiedon, later changed to Bonita – details here in her 2013 WW story

 So woodys has anyone ever seen this launch before? Might be hard to confirm the accuracy of suggestions, so how does this sound – the most believable / entertaining suggestion will get a WW t-shirt and Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat calendar. Suggestions in the WW comments section please. Closes off midnight 21/01/23.

4 thoughts on “Mystery Launch + Competition

  1. Hi,

    Is it possible that the mystery launch is of a German design ? The boat has quite similar lines to some of Arthur Tillers designs from the 1950s. Please see the attached plan for a 10m motorboat. It’s not the same boat, but the distinct bow and stern are quite similar and Tiller designed several other boats of similar lines.

    Best regards Anders Johnsen

    fre. 20. jan. 2023 kl. 12:36 skrev #1 for classic


  2. That Boat was originally called the POSIEDON & in brackets underneath this name were the words “Queen Of the Seas,” by it’s original owner, Percy Hamblin of Tawawera Tce., St Heliers Bay, he later changed it after a year or 2, to BONITA, as some boaties took delight in purposely mispronouncing it, & calling her the “POSIDON.”
    The name was on a large board in very large letters screwed on, across the tuck.

    She was originally powered by an iridescent dark blue Osco converted Ford V8 in the cockpit facing forward with a V drive with a built in reduction gear in the V drive. with twin exhausts out the tuck.

    From recall she was a shade under 30feet long & very beamy, with lots of interior room for her size, that era, made larger by the engine being in the cockpit

    Percy H & his wife owned her until the later 1950s when they gave up boating.

    They, as above, had her from around 1950. They also, at the time she was built, lived almost next door to, & knew very well, Bill Waters who was building the GAY DAWN at St Heliers at the same time.

    I Understand she is based on an American design

    I took the above photo at Christmas c1950 or 1951 in Schoolhouse Bay Kawau Island. — KEN R


  3. Don’t know the boat, but her designer (if not Lindsay Lord himself) looks to have read Lord’s “Naval Architecture Of Planing Hulls”. There used to be a (very) small fleet of similar sized and similar looking water taxis in Picton, which were reputed to be from Lindsay Lord’s board.


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