What Price Provenance – 100 Year Old Game Fishing Wooden Launch

What Price Provenance – 100 Year Old Game Fishing Wooden Launch

The legendary sport game fishing launch Alma G has just popped up on tme (thanks Ian McDonald) , without doubt one of the world’s best known and successful game boats.
Presented in better than new condition, with a 270hp Hyundai engine that sees the 36’ hull topping out at 20 knots. 

Built in 1922 by Collings and Bell, there is a big birthday coming up and she has already had the face lift in anticipation.

So woodys, I guess at a reserve of $275k your not just buying a classic woody boat but a 100 year old business / brand (she is still in survey). 
Photo below c.1950’s, shows Alma G on the left in the photo + link below to previous WW story / details https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/11/05/alma-g-alma-g-ii/

Harold Kidd Input – ALMA G was launched in October/November 1922 and took part in the Russell Regatta in December 1922 (see Auckland Star 28/12/1922)

Bay of Islands Woodys






Bay of Island Woodys

Dean Wright has just sent in a few more photos from the BOI, as always stunning photography.
We have Alma G and Winsome fishing off Onewhero and Tapui coming through Kent Passage.
Hopefully I’ll be afloat this weekend and in case it slipped you by – next weekend is the BIGGIE – Mahurangi Regatta, the biggest woody event in NZ.
If you believe the MCC website – there is a classic launch parade, I understand the CYA are behind it, but details are a ‘little’ light’ 😦
I have cut and pasted below what appears on the MCC website and marked the parade assembly area / time i.e. 10.15am at Scotts Landing.
As per previous years, entry is a formality that a lot turn a blind eye to, you can just rock up on the day – as long as you are a classic and made of wood 🙂
Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 1.10.12 PM
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Remember to slip $20 cash into your pocket to pick up a copy of the Mahurangi Cruising Club year book – its a cracker
MCC YB 2020 Cover

Evening Star & Alma G



The above photo of Evening Star was sent to me by Simon Manning, and was taken near Port Fitzroy in late December. She looks stunning, what a magnificent ship, Simon commented that she appeared to have had a major renovation recently.
So Woodys, what do we know about her?
Simon mentioned that they had an Evening Star fishing in and around the Sounds when he was a kid but doesn’t believe it’s the same boat.  This one looks bigger.   There must be more than one around by that name.
The photo below of Alma G about to weigh in her catch at Russell, is another from Snooks Fuller’s brilliant collection, sent in by Dean Wright.
28-01-2019 Photo below of Evening Star in Sheep Bay, Gt Mercury Island, ex Greg Fenwick
evenung star gt barrier 2019

Lorne Doone



The game fishing boat Lorna Doone has been mentioned in numerous WW stories but I have never had a photo – thanks to Lew Redwood we now do.

She is pictured above at the Black Rocks, Bay of Islands. The photo was taken by Tudor Collins.

Lorna Doone is a sister ship to Otehei, Alma G (the first of the Collings & Bell clones) & Manaaki. All were powered by Redwing engines & were capable of 16 knots.

For comparison below is a photo of Alma G, off Cape Brett.


Input from Martin Howson – In the late 50’s both Lorna Doone and Matareka 11 were moored in the Tamaki River at Bucklands Beach L D was owned and operated by a Des Shimanski and M was owned and operated by Rex Sly both vessels were long lining at that time, great to see that both remain both , Des’s son Brian went on produce Briski propellors .On one occasion Lorna Doone came ashore on Hooks Bay on Waiheke with a big easterly blowing and Bert Surbritski with Romo would not tow her home because he knew that he would lose her on the way home with her riding up on the tow and dropping back with a heavy shock load. It was always rumoured that LD had the end of a sword fish bill through her bottom planking beneath the cockpit sole, I never saw it myself.

Some Advice Sought

I have been approached by Graeme Finch the owner of Te Arahi looking for some advice on his name boards (see below). They have a paint effect that appears to have been done to look like a varnish finish. The name / letters are done in gold – which Graeme believes is gold leaf given how well they have weathered.

Graeme is intending to paint the edges white, and would like to find someone who understands the “brown paint that looks like varnish aspect” to touch up the front surface – it’s not too bad at present, but he wants to attend to it before it becomes a major.

So in summary he is trying to preserve the gold leaf lettering so hoping to leave the lettering in place and work around it touching up those small areas, which have started to deteriorate – rather than removing everything and starting again.

So woodys anyone know the paint/varnish effect & who might do a small job like this?

My initial thought was it might be aged Cetol? A horrible product.


Alma G & Alma G II


photos & detail ex Harold Kidd

Here is the first of a series of game fishing images taken by Tudor Collins at the Bay of Islands, which Harold would guess to be from the period around 1950-55 . The images were bought at a flea-market by Sharon Knight who has made them available via Harold for all of ww followers to relish.
This first one (today) shows ALMA G on the left and ALMA G II on the right.
ALMA G was built by Collings & Bell for E.C. Arlidge in 1922, the first of a series of splendid 35-36ft game-fishing launches built to Charles Collings’ renowned concave-convex planing hull design for the Bay of Islands. Her original configuration was the same as ALMA G II alongside her in this pic. ALMA G II was built as ZANE GREY for Mervyn Arlidge (for use by Zane Grey) in 1927. Other similar launches were MANAAKI and OTEHEI for F. Elliott (1927), LORNA DOONE for A. A. Holmes (1927) and AVALON for Peter Williams (1927). All were fitted with 6 cylinder Redwing 85-100hp marine engines.
Zane Grey’s visits to New Zealand with his mates caused an explosion of interest in game-fishing and added lots of US dollars to the NZ economy, culminating in the Collings & Bell’s commission from Zane Grey to build the 46 footer FRANGIPANI for fishing in Tahiti, launched in 1932.
ALMA G appears to have had a recent modernisation. Does anyone know when this done and who was the builder?

Photo below of ALMA G in her original configuration c1950, before the alterations.

Update ex Bruce Overhill
Bruce spent many hours on the refurbished Alma G in 2004 chasing Marlin. He commented that she can still catch them and was holding her own against all the big boats in the Bayleys fishing competition out of Whangaroa Harbor.

Below are a couple of photo to show the changes that she has had done.

28-04-2016 photo below of Alma G II ex Hylton Edmonds via Ken Ricketts

ALMA G II - H Edmonds