Today’s photo is a kosher woody – built from kauri planks, she measures 16’x7’, flat bottomed, and powered by a 4 cyl. Cirrus-Hermes aero petrol engine. She had a top speed of 45mph, consuming 4 gallons per hour. I suspect after one hour you would have been deaf for the rest of the day. And woodys – she was built by one of our boating building royalty – none other than – Percy Vos. (photo ex Andrew Donovan collection)
SEA SPRAY MAGAZINE – Volume 1 – No.1 December 1945
I was ‘flicking’ thru my much treasured copy of the above (thank you Dave Giddens) and my eye stopped on page 23, titled ‘Jottings Of The Month’ which talked about the decommissioning of Auckland’s yachting fleet that had been laid up during WWII.
Page reproduced below – mentioned are – Ariki, Tawera, Little Jim, Rainbow, Tamatea,Ranger, Iorangi, Ngatoa, Prise, Rawene and Aramoana. Also covered in the article is the sad loss of life of the skipper (W. E. Lawrence) of the 1913, Les Coulthard built 22′ launch – Minx. Lawrence drowned in Patiki Bay, Waiheke Island trying to retrieve Minx’s tender that had come adrift while at anchor. See & read more on Minx here https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/06/27/minx/
Melodeon was built in 1934 by Chas Bailey & Sons in Auckland. She has spent most of her life fishing all around NZ, except when she saw service in the Pacific during WWII with the US Navy.
When Dick bought Melodeon she was powered by a T8 Kelvin that is only her 2nd engine, which has seen 100,000 hours. The engine was in remarkable condition and is also getting a ‘holiday’.The ship measures – 57’ length x 15’6” beam x 7’ draft. The scale of the project is immense but that is what spins Dick’s wheels. The photos above are from June 2021, so no doubt things have moved along even further – Enjoy 🙂
Input Below From Robert Nola
"I have often wondered what became of the Melodeon on which I spent much of my boyhood. It was owned by my father Bob (Boze) Nola and his partner was Jack Raos (who did not fish) from 1950s to early 1970s…In those years they fished for Pearl Fisheries in Auckland. Now I see that it has been fully renovated. But then It used to be very different when we owned it. The wheelhouse was much narrower and the bunk area was in the bow. It was very stylish then. It anyone would like to get in touch with me I would be glad to hear. The Melodeon was very much part of my youth. Glad it still survives. And is being looked after. It cannot be the same Kelvin engine my father installed?"
We have had examples of ’small’ boat builder John Bullivant’s work on WW before, I use the term small because to tag John a model maker would be very inappropriate – the man is very talented.
Today’s boat – Flareline was built by John over a 12 month period, based on his memories and photos of a full size sister ship that he owned a number of years ago. She measures 31’ LOA and is powered by a jet propulsion unit, check out the electronics.
Part of her set up sees her emitting engine smoke and water from the stern drive + she is wired for sound – engine starting & running noise. There is full interior lighting, working nav lights and even illuminated instrument dials on the dash.
Check out the link below to view a pre launching video of her being towed by an SUV https://youtu.be/hs6-DmBKRHM (photos, video and details ex John Bullivant and Ken Ricketts)
Steamboats at Hipango Park Back in February Russell Ward was twisting my arm to join him and a group of steamboat enthusiasts on a trip on the Wanganui River for a meet up at Hipango Park. The park is only accessible by boat, and is a tranquil rest point for kayakers and people making a day trip in a boat up the Wanganui River. I can’t remember my excuse but I missed a great weekend in early March.
In the 2nd photo above we see three steamboats rafted up at the upper part just below the steamer Dancer, They are Romany, Janice and Gypsy –all 3 boats once owned or owned by Russell. Russell reports that Janice and Gypsy are now in the hands of devoted owners who obviously enjoy polishing brass and copper. Gypsy has infected more people with steam enginitas (as Pete Culler said “don’t go near it or you’re hooked” than any other boat 🙂
Russell had promised to pen some copy around the weekend, but life got in the way – so today is a photo essay. Photos ex: Russell Ward, Phil Pollero and Chris Rabey