Enter the name – Kotare (Kingfisher the bird) into the WW search box and a lot of boats will come up, seems back in the day it was a very popular name for boats.
The 25’ woody above has a genuine claim to the name as she was built by Kingfisher Boats in 1951. Fast forward to 2015 and she underwent a full refit – work included new wiring, new galley, new fuel tanks motor, new head and her engine a Nissan AL20 – 60hp diesel was rebuilt and has only done 620 hours since. Also undertaken was fully glassing her kauri hull, that included 5 coats of resin on the inside, this may get a few frowns from some quarters but you can see from the photos it saved Kotare from a beehive restoration.
At 25’ LOA, the 60hp engine gives Kotare a top speed of 13 knots (cruising at 8). I can vouch for her being a very good sea boat because her owner does the miles in her – frequently over at Great Barrier Island. With a beam of just under 6’, putting her on a trailer is an option.
I spotted Kotare recently hauled out at the Slipway Milford getting some TLC and discovered that her owner was looking for a new owner – so woodys, if you are after a very cute, easily managed and maintained boat – Kotare could be yours for +/- $25k. I know I sound like a broken record, but……….. lake boat? For more details – email firstname.lastname@example.org
Not 100% sure of the boat name / spelling, but this very salty speed boat just popped up on Rob Thomson’s fb. Rob commented that she was built c.1958 by his father and was named after his mother and middle sister.
Powered by a Mercury Ford V8, she must have had a good turn of speed. Does anyone know what became of the boat?
MY GIRL – Scale Model
Seems Jason Prew’s very quick launch – My Girl, is a popular woody with the model makers. We have already seen one radio controlled My Girl on WW (link below) and last week a very kind gent dropped a very accurate model in at the Slipway Milford for Jason. Jason slapped some undercoat on her and popped in a RC unit and next thing sea trials are under way 🙂
Bay of Islands resident Greg Philpott has a passion and its tracking down and recording the fate of what he has tagged ‘Boats of the Bay’ (of Islands). Greg contacted me recently re the vessel named Comet III (later changed to Xharisma), he had hit a brick wall and was trying to contact the last known owner – one Morton Brown. Now via the WW site I was able to make contact with Morton’s son Jeremy Brown and the flood gates opened. So today we share with you Greg and Jeremy’s stories / photos. It’s a cracker read, I’ll let Greg tell it 🙂
So woodys the challenge is can anyone enlighten us on what became of Xharisma (Comet III) post 1986.
Comet lll was designed by A J Collings of the famed boat-building business, Collings & Bell and may have been one of Collings last designs as he died on 8th November 1967.
The boat was built for Lionel Bulcraig’s Bay of Islands operation, Hi Speed Comet Cruises. That business was already operating Comet ll (ex Queenstown’s Meteor ll) also an A J Collings design. Construction of Comet lll was undertaken by John Guzzwell at Deeming’s Boatyard at Opua. Guzzwell was a world renowned sailor and boat builder. His reputation was established when he built his own boat, Trekka, and during the late 1950’s completed a circumnavigation of the world in her, then the smallest boat to ever do so.
The original design and intention was to engine the boat with lightweight twin V8 Chrysler marine petrol engines; heavier diesel engines would have added to the displacement thus severely limiting the “fast” aspect of the boat. The Marine Department’s regulations specifically excluded petrol engines in commercial launches which could carry more than 12 passengers. This resulted in a stand-off for a number of years. As a result of the inactivity it is understood that Comet lll sat at Bulcraig’s car yard in Kawakawa.
A valuation undertaken by Ted Leeds in March 1971 stated; ”Comet lll is 44ft. overall and was constructed in 1967, but has never been used. It has not been fitted with engines or seating accommodation. There is some equipment on hand for it including rudders and hydraulic steering gear etc. It is very strongly built to Marine Department survey standards with a hull of two-skin glued kauri planking on multiple stringers and closely spaced frames further reinforced with strongbacks. The entire hull, deck and cabin have been sheathed with Dynel.”
Comet lll was 44ft long, 14ft wide with a full flare, 10 degree deep V and planning chine; a hull similar to a torpedo boat.
Purchased by Stephen A. Bell around 1973 /1974, she was moved to the premises of A & G Price at Beaumont Street in Auckland for the purpose of refit and installation of engines. The concept was “to fit the boat out for passenger service in extended river limits”. It was intended to “fit twin 8V71 GM Diesels driving through Walter Vee boxes; such a set up anticipating a speed approaching 25 knots in favourable conditions normally loaded”.
A Ministry Of Transport ship survey preliminary inspection in 1974 “revealed hull in good order and well constructed. Some considerable deterioration of super structure (coamings and canopy) evident although extent not apparent due to linings”. By March 1975, A & G Price stated that “the owner no longer wished to proceed with the project”.
On 5th March 1980, Comet lll was purchased by Morton Brown, a roading supplies and contractor of Green Lane. At the time the boat was sitting in a yard at Glenfield; it was in a fairly sorry state, cabin top wise, but the hull was in exceptional condition.
Brown had Comet lll transported across the Auckland harbour bridge to a yard in Onehunga, where he employed a Dutch boat builder (John) to bring the boat up to pleasure boat standard. The boat was moved twice from Onehunga, firstly to Penrose and then to Mt Wellington, where it was finished before going into the water at McMullen and Wing’s yard, on the Tamaki River. The cabin top was completely rebuilt and a flying bridge added. The design of the remodelling was not considered great but never the less it had plenty of room and was very comfortable.
The engine was a UD/Nissan 2 Stroke V8 9.5L (this engine being a direct copy of the Detroit 8v71). The engine was positioned mid ships, which was not ideal as it took up a huge amount of room. The stern was quite broad in design which would have been better suited for the engine position, with a vee drive.
The boat, now renamed Xharisma was finally re-launched in February 1986. Unfortunately Brown suffered a major heart attack and consequently sold the boat about a year or so later.
The new owner modified the cabin extensively and installed a smaller engine. The new owner and current location Comet lll / Xharisma are unknown.
MANUKURA In recent years I have been spending time in Thames, catching up with family – when I need to ‘escape’, I drive down to the Thames marina and have a mooch around. Depending on the tide it either looks like a normal marina or as if someone has pulled the plug out and most of the boats are sitting high and dry in their mud berths (see below photo). The launch Manukura had always been hauled out and looking like a Beehive restoration was around the corner – the top photo is from a February 2020. Ken Ricketts has pulled together the below insight into Manukura’s past and current situation (edited a lot by AH)
Manukura is approx. 50′ long and was built in late 1950 > early 1960’s by Shipbuilders and is one of 3 more or less sister ships, which include Corinthia and Romany II. which were a development on the 1946 built Mahara. Manukura is presently owned by Allen Watson. He bought her fairly recently, in a very sorry state, on the hard at Thames off a lady owner, who had only had her for a short time. She bought her off a gentleman called Paul, who had taken her to the Thames area 3 & ½ years earlier, & who had bought her off the elderly gentleman as referred to below.
Allen is a well experienced boat builder / painter, and has commented he is intending to restore her to her original former glory. As visible in some photos above, Allen has commenced work on her on the outside – focusing on re-calking, painting and repairing hull timber work at Thames marina. The interior is in a completely stripped out and the intention is totally rebuild it, with some changes to the interior layout, without alteration to the exterior. The stainless steel work at the flying bridge will shortly be removed 🙂
Allen commented that interior was ruined as a result of her almost sinking on a return trip to Auckland from Great Barrier Island about 14>15 years ago when the then elderly owner of the day, was encountering big seas and did not notice that a forward hatch had opened and she was taking in large quantities of water, through this hatch, which reached a point, where one engine sucked in water and stopped. She was also getting very low in the water. They towed her back to Gt. Barrier, pumped out and brought her back to Auckland but everything inside including all wiring, furniture, etc., along with the engines, had to go. Sadly she was not insured and was eventually sold by the elderly gentleman (as-is-where-is), who had kept her for 10 years in a shed In West Auckland. The new owner (Paul) took her to the Thames marina where he kept her for 3 & ½ years. Then the ownership chain, mentioned above took place.
Current owner Allen moved the boat on 26-2-21, to Whangamata for a week or 2 on the hardstand for a little exterior finishing and then be put in the water. Allen intends to live aboard, on a swing mooring while rebuilding the interior.
Manukura had a pair of 120hp 6 cyl. Ford diesels fitted during her 13 & ½ years on the hard, which replaced 2 previous Fords.
The b/w photo below ex Harold Kidd show the launch c.2012
Update – current photo by Allen Watson via Ken Ricketts