Margaret Anne

Photo below as purchased in 2013


Todays post I think is rather neat on several fronts:

1. The owner of Margaret Anne took a very deep breath & made a decision to return Margaret Anne to her original configuration. That takes guts & deep pockets.
2. It amazes me that there are restorations taking place that are happening away from the eyes of the classic wooden boating community. We think we are well connected & then you open your email & up pops a Margaret Anne. Thats cool.
3. I know it sexist to point this out but what the hell – Margaret Anne is owned by a lady & she has done most of the work herself. Helena has a plan, she bought Margaret Anne in 2013 & what you see in the photos above was the 2014 part of the plan. Its what we call a rolling restoration – next step will be the interior & a re-wire.

Now some details – Margaret Anne was designed / built by Billy Rogers.  Helena spoke with Billy’s son Jeff who said he built her with his Dad Billy in 1956. She is a sister ship to Lady Diana & while not as high spec she is still made of top quality materials. Helena thinks she is the fourth owner, the last one, recently passed away & had owned her for 40 years. Margaret Anne is a wonderfully comfortable boat to cruise in – very roomy in the layout and with the galley aft, she does not suffer from the common launch fault – saloon cooking odors.

Any woodys able to add to the history of Margaret Anne ?

Lady Diana


photos & details ex Ken Ricketts

Phil Seabrook had Billy Rogers design and build the 36 foot Lady Diana for him in 1950 and fitted her with an Austin Skipper 100 from new, replacing it with a 155hp Nordberg sleeve-valve engine in 1956 shortly before he sold Lady Diana to Monte Winter. She performed better with the Nordberg than she did with the Austin.

Ken was aboard Lady Diana several times at Kawau Island during Christmas 1950.

She is still around today & still fairly unspoiled, as per the above photos, except for the lovely original varnish work, on the combings, which unfortunately has long since gone.

She also has an almost identical sister ship called Margaret Anne (photo below), which apart from a flybridge & varnish, is also fairly original, as per the photo.


Lady Ethel


Built in 1963 by Brin Wilson.Designed by Billy Rodgers and is what the owner calls a classic ‘Sounds’ launch.
At 34ft and built of triple diagonal kauri planked.
Powered by a 72 hp Mercedes 4 cylinder diesel engine, she will cruise at a comfortable 7-8 knots.
Currently residing in Motueka and for sale on trademe.

Anyone know how she ended up in the South Island & what of her life in between?

06-11-2015 Chris McMullen Input edited by Alan H

Morrie Palmer of Devonport built the hull and Mr Neil Wilson finished her off. Not Brin Wilson.
Mr Neil Wilson (I believe an ex Joiner) was the owner and manager of the Auckland University Maintenance Department. He wanted no Butt blocks in his new boat and scarfed the planks himself while we built the boat.   She may have been 34 Feet but was not triple diagonal planked. (That was later corrected.)
I started my apprenticeship with Morrie 16th of January 1961 and transferred to M C Carter Ltd  30th of August 1963. I worked for Morrie two years seven months.
When I started he was working in his backyard at Point Chevalier. He was finishing Basl Kelly’s raised deck Stewart 34 Pania. I recall a huge launch hull on his section painted with red lead. I am not sure but it may have become the “Lady Argyle”. I never worked on her.
Soon after, Morrie moved to #15 Clarence St Devonport. (see the Cara Mia site for more )  Cal Crooks joined us. Morrie and Cal had both worked for Colling’s and Bell and were very competent workers. I was only the apprentice boy. It was high productivity and had to be as boatbuilding was a competitive cut throat business. At Devonport at least five major builds took place Cara Mia, Lady Ethel, Venture, Oranoa and the Stewart 34 Phoenician. All that, along with repair and insurance work all done, by three people (average) in just over two and a half years. Sure they were hull only or hull, decks and super structure. Mostly the owners finished the job. “Oranoa” was the exception and largely complete and later launched from Devonport wharf
Morrie had very little machinery. It was measure and cut once boatbuilding, nothing fancy just get the job out.  His call at the end of lunch break was. “This won’t Grace the Harbour”  Lets get on with it.
Morrie owned and cruised with his Family the twenty Six Foot Mullet Boat “Omatere” previously owned by Basil Kelly. It may have been a trade in on the Pania.
Morrie was very keen on Mullet boats and encouraged me to build one. She was the last planked Mullet Boat. The 22 Foot “Tamatea”. I built her while I worked for him. I bet he later regretted his action. I was building the boat after hours in my parents back yard and it must have affected my work.



A classic displacement sedan launch, designed and built by Billy Rogers & launched in 1963. She was named after one of his daughters, as were a lot of Billy’s boats.

Kauri carvel construction, powered by 6 cylinder 120hp Ford diesel.

34’Length, 10’ 9” beam & 3’ 3” draft. 5’ 10” headroom, she sleeps 5 in single berths.

Currently for sale on trademe.

Harold Kidd Update

As I understand it, Billy Rogers built LOLENE for himself around 1963. Certainly she was first registered in his name with APYMBA at his then Wiilliamson Ave., Grey Lynn address. Billy had owned the 28ft keel yacht LOLOMA as a young man and was deeply fond of her. As a result some of his boats and children had the letters LO and LOMA in their names eg LADY LOMA in 1949.
Close sister ships were IOWANA (I1966) built for Dr. Kreichbaum and still in the hands of the Shorty Sefton/Pollard family and LADY FLORENCE (1966) built for Hedley Kendall. Andrew Pollard is a mine of information on these lovely sedans.
Subsequent owners of LOLENE have included K.D. Orell, Takapuna (1973), John Cossar 1989-95), Gary Hogg (1995) and Ken and Rhonda Blakie (2001).

Florence Rose


Florence Rose

Florence Rose

Designed by Billy Rogers & built in1966 by Chas Bailey. Current owners B & G Diggle.
photo taken in Station Bay, Motutapu Island. 26/10/13

Anyone able to supply more info on her past?

Harold Kidd Update #1

I always thought that FLORENCE ROSE, like her sisterships IOWANA and LOLENE was designed and built by Billy Rogers. Charles Bailey Jr was of course long dead in 1966 but the remnants of the company he founded was staggering on under Winstones, then Dromgool’s ownership. But was that company into building new stuff, to other people’s designs in 1966? 

Andrew Pollard will know.

Is this yet another launch myth?

# 2 

Andrew was as surprised as I was with the suggestion that FLORENCE ROSE was built by Baileys. I’ll get hold of Geoff Rogers and ask him.