Owen Woolley 45’ Launch – Aries

Owen Woolley 45’ Launch – Aries
This Owen Woolley is currently on trademe but given the lack of photos of the exterior, you would have to wonder how serious the broker is in selling her 🙂
What we know is that she was built in 1957, is 45’ in length, with a beam of 14’ and draws 3’3”. The propulsion comes from twin Ford 120hp diesels, pushing her along at 8>10 knots.
Her 14’ beam makes her a very roomy old girl, so with some TLC you could have a very liveable woody to enjoy. But as always – best to get a survey. Broker comments she would make an excellent live aboard, which she would.
So woodys who can put  name to her? Thanks to Mark McLaughlin we now know she is called Aries
Input from Harold Kidd – ARIES was built by Owen Woolley in 1957 for E.C. Carter and was originally fitted with twin Commer diesels of 105hp. By 1959 she was owned by W.A. (Max) Burnett of Arney Road, and by 1964 had twin 100hp 6 cylinder Chrysler Crowns of 1943 vintage.


Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 3.47.39 PM


Aries is a 26’ Roy Parris launch, launched in 1962. She has a kauri hull & mahogany topsides.

Her zoom zoom comes via a Perkins 4-108 diesel.
She is listed on trademe (thanks Ian McDonald) & while she has recently had some TCL to the cabin sides she stills require finishing off.
Her reserve (starting bid) is $500, so there could be a bargain entry level woody to be had here 🙂


Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 3.13.01 pm

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 3.12.50 pm


Aries was built by Owen Woolley in 1957 for Max Burrett. Peter Walsh, who owned her for 2>3 years c.1982, watched Woolley building her. Her original engines were twin ex-USN 6 cylinder Chrysler Crowns of 1943 vintage. These were later replaced, with twin Commer diesels, when Ed Carter bought her c.1967.

The photos above were taken during Peter Walsh’s ownership c.1982. The photos were sent to me by Allan Keane who commented that Aries was in a sorry state when Peter Walsh purchased her, she had a leaky Commer 105hp engine and very bad bilges.

Peter did a substantial refit at his yard in Onehunga & repowered with twin 135hp Commers, which gave her an impressive 14-15 knots.

Peter sold her to a farmer up in the Bay of Islands and says he shed a tear when she sold – he really loved and admired her.

The photos are at Connells Bay wharf, McMullen and Wings marina, and at Peter Walsh’s yard Onehunga.

Thanks to Harold Kidd & Russell Ward for details on her past ownership & means of propulsion.

Any woodys able to supply more info on her past?

View 2015 photo of Aries in previous WW post   https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/08/25/aries/




ARIES - 11.1.15 -2


Today’s post features Aries, seen above off Gulf Harbour Marina back in Jan 2015. Photo ex Ken Ricketts, sorry the photo is a little blurry – KR has upgraded the camera since then:-)

Aries is a stranger to me – anyone able to shed some light on her provenance?

Input from Harold Kidd

Owen Woolley built her in 1957 for Max Burrett. Her original engines were twin ex-USN 6 cylinder Chrysler Crowns of 1943 vintage, later replaced, as Russell so accurately remembers, with twin Commer diesels when Ed Carter bought her c.1967. She was a Registered British Ship and in Lloyd’s Yacht Register so tracking her details is easy.

The Commers were flat 3 or 4 cylinder 2 stroke diesels originally developed by Tilling Stevens which Rootes Group bought out post-war, hence the type “TS”. Aren’t they inspired at least by Continental practice, Sulzer? Hispano-Suiza?
One of my uncles (ex-Ray Vincent) ran TS3 Commers and swore by them for power and economy. I always liked the tearing calico sound they produced.