Aquarius Is Back


The 1955, 38’ Supreme Craft built, ex game fishing classic launch Aquarius first appeared on WW back in Sept 2018, at the time she was hauled out on Waiheke Island and in a very sad state and we were reaching out to find a passionate woody that would take her under their wing – see that story here In April 2019 we reported that someone had stepped up to the mark and Aquarius was being transported back to the mainland and hopefully restored – see that story here Then in June 2020 we got to have a gander at the scope of the project, lots of photos here

Now thanks to a tme listing we get a peek at the almost finished job, the listing tells us the interior need finishing and a final coat of paint to the exterior. I understand a lot of work has gone into the project – could be an easy entry into woody boating for someone prepared to roll their sleeves up.Her forward motion is via twin Ford 85hp diesel engines.  Below is a peek at her journey 🙂

UPDATE 22-12-21 – photos below from the past sent in by Shamus

RESULTS OF YESTERDAYS CYA HERITAGE BASIN POLL – 85% BACKING FOR OPEN TO ALL CYA VESSELS – Over 1000 votes cast. Very high number of individual people visiting the site yesterday, 2nd only to a Mahurangi Regatta weekend story. Thanks also to all the emails and calls – I understand peoples hesitancy to comment ‘publicly’ on the site 😉

I had an email from a long term CYA launch owner “Greetings Alan, In my anger I voted thumb down when I wanted to vote for all wooden boats in the marina. Anyway to change it?”

Aquarius – Restoration Update






I have done two previous WW stories on the 38’ Supreme Craft, 1955 built launch Aquarius. In September 2018 it was an SOS reaching out for someone to save her and bring her back from Waiheke Island where she had been hauled out for approx. 6 years. Then in April 2019 we reported that she was being trucked / ferried back to the mainland. WW links to those stories below.

Today I’m rapt to share the above work-in-progress photos ex Dave Brown and John Wright, who are restoring Aquarius. These boys are light on chat, they just get on with the work, which is impressive – we will continue to follow this project with great interest – well done guys 🙂
Photos below – first one is from 2018 and the bottom two are from the island ‘extraction’ in 2019.
Screen Shot 2020-06-09 at 7.44.00 PM

Aquarius – Saved?




Back in Sept 2018, I reported on the launch Aquarius that was wasting away on Waiheke Island, awaiting someone to save her from an appointment with a back-hoe.

Well I can report that the first step towards saving her has been achieved – last week Aquarius came back to the mainland, not under her own steam – on the back of a transporter / barge.
You can see / read more on her here
I’m unaware as to who owns her now and what the plans are for her. A WW reader named Johanne, commented on WW on Saturday that Aquarius is now on the hard at Half Moon Bay marina.
Thanks to David Browne for the above photos.
Can anyone update us on what’s happening with this 38′, c.1955 Supreme Craft  built ex Bay of Island game-fisher  launch?

Aquarius – SOS


Aquarius has been mentioned on WW before – link below . To remind you she is a 38′ ex big game fishing boat built / designed by McGeady/Supreme Craft and she was the first boat worked on by Ben Hipkins when he started his apprenticeship in 1955.
This time she appears as an SOS. I have been contacted by Murray Smith who has been looking for a project boat for some time and came across Aquqrius advertised on trademe. Murray has viewed the boat but she is a bit small for him, so on behalf of her current owner Phil Tarr, he has asked that we do a shout out on WW to find someone to take her over.
Currently she is sitting up on the hard in a storage yard on Waiheke. Phil pulled her out to renovate her (2012?) and has lots of the interior cabinetry safe n dry under his house. He has brand new fuel tanks ready to go back in then everything else should slot in. Sounds easy but this gives the new owner the chance to build the interior how they want. The engines have not been started for a few years and condition is honestly described as seized, more likely just reluctant to turn over, as Phil has had them overhauled prior to loosing focus. Sadly she is showing the signs of neglect one would expect, but her heart is sound.
A little history – she had been built for and was working in the B.O.I. and has been owned by many big names including Lofty Blomfield and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s mum.
I’m told the trademe photos are very poor & do not do her justice , also that the owner is very negotiable on price.