SS Alice SOS




Yesterday I was contacted by Paul Drake in regard to the 26′ steam ship Alice. Alice has been sitting on trademe for over a year, crying out for a buying.
She appeared on WW back in Feb 2019 –  
Paul told me their local paper – the Taupo Times yesterday ran a feature on the boat and the owners desire to find a good home for her.
Alice is from the Kaipara and was completely and very thoroughly rebuilt by a partnership at Taupo in the 1990’s. Paul’s brother Michael was one of the partners. 

Paul commented that she is a remarkably successful boat of her type but needs TLC to get her going again.

Remarkably she carries no ballast – the heavy boiler sits in just the right place
longitudinally and sits her down to her marks perfectly.
She is beamier than many of her ilk which makes her a very good load carrier and very stable.
The owner is currently in Taupo (from UK) for not much more than a week, and intends to see her off before he leaves. So woodys – sounds like a bargain.
Would be a perfect candidate for a berth at the CYA’s Heritage Landing – but my spies tell me that venue may / will be lost to the waterfront redevelopments.

SS Alice

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Steamboat Alice

If we believe her trade listing (thanks Ian McDonald) the 26’ steamboat Alice was built in 1879.  Between 1991 and 2000 she underwent a total rebuild in Taupo, where she still resides.

In private use now, she once was in survey, doing tours of Lake Taupo.

Her current zoom zoom is via ‘hybrid’ set-up i.e. a combination of steam (25hp) and electric. The boiler is wood fired and I can just imagine the wonderful smell of ti tree burning as you cruised the lake – in my eyes a low cost floating bach at the lake 🙂









photo ex classic launch nz

Seen here on her trials at Auckland : The new launch, Alice, which was built for the use of the Inspector of Fisheries in the Bay of Islands.

Interested in any more info – designer, builder, year etc + what happened to her.

Harold Kidd Update

Looking at her you can tell

1. she was built as a commercial vessel because of her dee front cabin; no fancy raised foredeck for workboats at this point

2. from the background buildings she was built in Auckland

3. she was built post 1920 because of the dodger

4. she looks like a Chas Bailey Jr workboat and the name ALICE was a favourite of his for yachts and launches he built.

In fact she WAS built by Chas Bailey Jr. and launched on 20th September 1921 for the Inspector of northern fisheries, Flynn. She was 36ft oa and had an Auckland-built 30hp 3 cylinder Twigg engine.

I don’t know what happened to her afterwards, but what a cracker!

Update #2

I had another look at my database. She was superseded in fisheries work by COLLEEN but continued to be used by the Government in the Bay of Islands for servicing Cape Brett lighthouse etc until August 1942 when she came ashore at Russell in an an extremely heavy easterly gale and may have been a total loss then. Not sure of that….wartime news censorship and all that.