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Kotuku was designed and built by Milford boat builder Alan Williams in 1960. She measures 32’ with a 9’ beam. Power is from a BMC Commodore diesel that was new when launched.
The bridge decker is kauri carvel built and has recently changed hands after a lengthy period on trademe. New owner’s Todd and Catherine sent in the photos above of her recent TLC.
Can anyone tell us more about Kotuku’s history.

Input from Mark Erskine‘Reviewing the above photos, in particular the ‘work in progress’ one, I see a note on the engine photo that the owner has used 5W 30 synthetic oil in the engine and gearbox.

Generally, older diesel engines have larger internal clearances than modern engines and (generally), a 5W 30 synthetic engine oil is used in a modern, close tolerance, high revving petrol engine. 

Older diesel engines have piston ring, cylinder liner and bearing materials that require a basic, heavier viscosity, mineral oil, such as a heavy duty, high detergent / dispersant / SAE30, SAE40, 15W 40 or 20W 50 grade.

I recommend the owner contacts either Castrol or Shell technical services for their lubricant recommendation for that particular engine and the gearbox.Tthere are a lot of old diesel and petrol engines in older boats and using the wrong oil can damage the engine.’







Lara was built in 1977 by Alan Williams & measures 28’6″.  She is a Banshee displacement design , kauri carvel construction. Zoom zoom comes from a 72hp Ford with a Lees Marine Paragon 2/1 transmission, this sees her cruising at 7-8 knots on 4 litres per hour.

Any woodies able to tell us more about her?

Silver Sea


details ex John Ellis & Ken Ricketts, photos KR.
(edited by AH)

Silver Sea is according to her present owner, John Ellis, a  36′ Alan Williams launch built in 1960. Powered by a 120 hp Lees marinised Ford diesel, driven by a vee drive, integrated into the gearbox & 2 to 1 reduction gear. Home has been Gulf Harbour for a number of years as John bought her off a Frank Steed 4 years ago, who also kept her at GH.

Given that she sports a chart of the Whangarei cruising area mounted in her cabin, it is highly probably that at some stage she spent time in the Northern region.
Its rumoured that she featured in a 1963 issue of Sea Spray magazine –  if anyone can find the article & scan, please email to waitematawoodys@gmail.com 🙂

During Jan 2016, Silver Sea was in Brin Wilson’s Gulf Harbour shed having some routine TLC, including tightening up the caulking & re-puttying, painting etc. Now ready for re-launching.

Silver Sea pre relaunch

Harold Kidd Input

I always thought that she was designed and built by E Buckland in the North around 1946. She was in Whangarei for many years owned by Buckland, then Richard Ahlers then came to Auckland when bought by Frank Stead in November 2001, but perhaps that 36 footer SILVER SEA(S) was another boat of the same name?

21-01-2016 Food For Thought

Chatting with Harold K on how she could possibly have been mistaken for an Allen Williams launch & Harold suggested that its likely that someone has seen the BANSHEE article in Sea Spray magazine (March 1963, see below) & jumped to the conclusion that SILVER SEA was a Williams.
Williams took several whole back page ads in SEA SPRAY later in 1963 showing BANSHEE so it was a well-known image at the time.
Anyone else able to expand on this supposition? May Ian Mason ?


10-07-2016 Hauled Out At Milford Cruising Club




photo & details ex Harold Kidd

Selena  was built in 1963 by Alan Williams at Milford for Stan Blundell of Fisher & Blundell. She was a Williams Banshee design but Stan wanted her no longer than 30ft oa so she finished up at 30’x27’x9’6”x2’9”.
She had a 4 cylinder 60hp Ford diesel. Stan’s son John thinks they probably fitted a Parsons marinisation and marine gearbox as they were the importers, to the annoyance of Lees Marine.
Stan didn’t keep her long, swapping her with F.J.H. Leighton for a bach at Maraetai around 1965.
So where is she now?

It is  very hard to design / build a  sub 30′ motor launch that proportionally looks ‘right’. Over the next week I’ll be posting on some smaller launches that tick all the right boxes.

Input from John Blundell ex Harold Kidd

Hi Harold,

The picture of Selena on the WW website today looked great.Re your comments on Lees Marine,they probably didn’t mean much to most viewers. The import restrictions in those days meant that you could not import marine engines unless you had a “special” license or overseas funds.
F&B managed to import a few on these terms but Ted Lees took it up with the Customs Dept and Ford Motor Co and got “protection”. However F&B continued to import gearboxes and other conversion parts from Parsons which were then sold on to local Ford dealers.
Keep up the good work!
John Blundell