RESTORATION OF ALMA G II BEGINS
WW was contacted by the Opua based boatbuilders – CMC Design with a heads up that the 1927 ex game boat Alma G II had arrived at their yard where Craig McInnes and his team will undertake the work. Projects of this magnitude are the norm for the team – the woodys Lady Crossley and Otehei being two examples.
Sian Steward at CMC Design supplied some wonderful insights into Alma G II’s provenance and the people that rubbed up against her – I’ll let Sian tell the story:
“The Alma G II was commissioned by E C Arlidge in 1927 to be built by Collings & Bell of St Marys Bay. Timed for Zane Grey’s second trip to New Zealand, Grey asked if the boat could be named after him. A familiar sight in the game fishing era alongside other classics such as the Alma G (another E C Arlidge boat, built in 1922), Manaaki (also owned by EC Arlidge for a period, later sold by the Arlidge Bros to Eric Sanderson of Whangaroa/ Totara North in 1932 for 172 pounds), Otehei and Lorna Doone. The sons of Ernest, Francis and Mervyn, known as ‘Arlidge Bros’ took to the family boating business around age 19 and were the original skippers of the Alma G and Alma G II respectively. Advertising them as the most ‘up-to-date boats in the Bay’ ‘being speedy and comfortable’ with all the latest fishing tackle and swivel chairs for deep sea fishing and available for ‘picnic parties’.
The boat was originally launched as the Zane Grey. Subsequently, rumour has it that Zane Grey and the Arlidges had a falling out, and the boat was renamed Alma G II around 1931.
The boat stayed in the Arlidge family for many decades until it was reluctantly let go around 1975. Dave Smith fully restored her, and she was relaunched in 1977as the Zane Grey. Most recently she was left to settle down the line in a paddock awaiting the moment where the new owner could tackle a large restoration project.
Tugging at the family history heartstrings, the Arlidge family had kept an eye on the happenings of the boat over the years and approached the recent owner to purchase her back into the family fold. They are now embarking on a restoration project with CMC Design to relive many childhood memories and get this family legacy ready to be enjoyed again by many more generations of the family.
The Arlidge family have kindly shared some of the classic photos of the Alma G II in the Bay of Islands. The Short Sunderland flying boat is dropping off some prestigious game fishing guests (many of whom were Arlidge Bros patrons over the years including Lady Ashley Dodd, the French flying ace Pierre Closterman, Zane Grey of course, his brother RC, and Carrie-Fin and Ham Guild as a few examples of the era).The story as far as we know for this photo is that it was the Admiral Earl and Lady Mountbatten on their visit in April 1956. In the photo with the black marlin is a young Mervyn Arlidge.”
We will follow this project and keep you updated.
Photos below are from previous WW stories where Alma G II has featured.
New photo added. Alan H
Would love to now about some of her engines through the years. — KEN R
ALMA G II in the photo with ALMA G was definitely ALMA G in 1945 When did she change her name to ALMA G II? ALMA in the photo of the two was the ZANE GREY. As ALMA in April 1945 she took Lord Louis Mountbatten game fishing and after a very rough day and no fish he described her as “No battleship.”