Westport Work Boat Wednesday
Awarua – Gets A Make Over
Last year we featured the 1947, 36’ Roy Lidgard launch Awarua twice on WW, with photos of her afloat & even a ‘peek down below’(WW links below)
In recent chats with owner Ross Mason, he mentioned that he had hauled out at Pine Harbour & put her in the Harkins Boat Builders shed, where Jared Kirby & team were painting her topsides. A Altex alkyd 7 coat (roller & brush) system was used that consisted of – x2 coats primer, x3 undercoats & x2 gloss coats. Prior to this the hull was sanded back to bare wood in places.
You will see in the above photos that her kauri hull was in excellent condition, a great testament to the kauri timber used & the skills of her original builders. Ross understands that the kauri used originated from the Naval Dockyards.
I’m (as is Ross) very impressed with the end results, she was always a very smart ship, now she is up there with the finest in our woody fleet. Well done to everyone involved & Ross for the biting the bullet & commissioning the work.
Launch day video ex Ross , via Ken Ricketts
AWARUA – A PEEP DOWN BELOW
Awarua the 1947, Roy Lidgard built, 37′ launch, has appeared on ww before (link below) but now as a result of Ken Ricketts recent visit to Pine Harbour Marina & catching up with Awarua’s owner – Ross Mason, we now get to see below decks.
When Ross bought her 20 years ago from a live aboard owner in Picton & had her trucked to Auckland from Mana in Wellington, she was in a very run down state inside. Ross has over the years done a rolling refit, with the removal of old paint, which was hugely a labour intensive job, & fitted new squabs (made by himself) + made & fitted the wall cabinets. Fitted the flying bridge, lined the inner sides of the hull with varnished kauri battens, again all his own handy work.
Her present engine is as purchased & is an early series NZ marinised 6 cyl. Ford diesel, which Ross thinks may have been marinised by Chatfield Engineering in the South Island. Ken thinks it is probably the engine which replaced the Waukesha Hesselman diesel (second engine she had in her early life) as it is such an old version of the Ford engine.
Also include below is an inspection report done on her, in December 1972 by previous owner Ted Cooper, eldest son, the late John Cooper, who became a master boat builder & surveyor, & like his father before him, was a perfectionist in all he did. He owned the Lady Crossley in his later years, before he sadly passed away, at a much too young an age. He was the ultimate person to do this survey, as he had helped his dad significantly for his age, in her construction, & knew every part of her so well, as one can see in the report. As a result of this report, we know she belonged to a Mr. R Lilburne of 100 North St Morrinsville from Dec. 1972, for a period & she was moored at Bayswater when he bought her.
Awarua has made several ‘cameo’ appearances on ww & been mentioned in other stories but due to the fact that her owner (for the last 20 years) keeps her moored at Clevedon we do not see her at CYA events or this end of the Waitemata Harbour. Thanks to the CYA launch captain, Angus Rogers, we now have some great photos of her.
Awarua is 37′, a Roy Lidgard, all kauri launch, built in 1947. Angus was aboard her this week & commented to me that Awarua is kept in wonderful condition with no shortage of TLC. In the 2nd photo above, you can see Angus’s launch Manhanui anchored behind Awarua.
Click this link to view a c1947 photo of Awarua, taken not long after she was launched
MANSION HOUSE BAY c.1947
photo ex Ken Ricketts ex Allan/Coggan family
From left to right we have Tiromoana, Awarua & most likely Movarie. All 3 have been on ww before so use the search box to see more on each launch.
Not wanting to get start a lengthy debate, but in a discussion with Russell Ward the other day he commented how a varnished wheelhouse isn’t as obtrusive as a white painted one, he is right (he normally is), they just look so much better & show off the designers lines. I understand the pro’s & cons, I myself have a painted lady, but with some of the advances in bright finishes on the market these days, hopefully we will see more of the ‘as built’ 😉
Seafever (Bob Salthouse 1959) & Awarua (designed by Roy Lidgard 1946) at anchor in Shark Bay, Ponui Island, Easter 2013