Black Watch Sinks off Bayswater this morning

Just received the photo below of the 72′ HDML sinking of Bayswater marine, early this morning. She has been moored there for the last 10+ years. Will not be an easy salvage, & sadly I suspect this will be the end of her. (photo ex T Foh)

Earlier (2014) photo included.

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This HDML is about to go under the axe tomorrow at the hands of the Auckland Council. This was recently confirmed by the Harbour Master.
This sort of destruction of maritime heritage has to stop. The loss of HDMLs is becoming exponential.
Please get in touch with the Harbour Master, email address below, to at least delay this wanton act while we can at least try to do something.
Harbour Master
She was named Black Watch when the City Missioner had her in the ‘50s and the name was resurrected when she was finally sold out.
Bob McDougall has all the details in “NZ Naval Vessels”
As noted on WW she sank on her moorings off Bayswater Marina – dockside chat is that she was evidently sunk deliberately because she apparently needed no further pumping once re-floated – see video attached.
Russell Ward saw her on the Saturday a day before she sank and she was apparently OK then.
She is hauled out & will be vandalised pretty quick where she is by the looks.


22-08-2018 Update – Donna Lewis sent in the 2 photos below of Blackwatch. She took the photos of Blackwatch from our then home when her home was also Schoolhouse Bay, Kawau Island and she was in immaculate condition from a very attentive owner.

They are photos of photos so excuse the quality.
The photo bow in is taken in 1997 and photo bow out is taken in year 2000.

The Cole Boats – Black Watch, Wanda II (Lady Norma), Colmana

Gordon Cole & His Boats

photos & info from Ken Rickets with input from Adrienne & Malcolm Cole. Edited by Alan H

During his boating era Gordon Cole was a very successful furniture retailer (Coles Furnishers, Otahuhu) & the Cole family were dedicated launchies of the very highest order, owning at least 3 boats – Black Watch & Wanda II (note: Cole changed both boats names to Lady Norma & to confuse matters more, when Cole sold Black Watch she became either Lady Ailsa or Lady Alisa. Wanda II / Lady Norma’s name was later changed back to Wanda by subsequent owners) & later a 3rd one, Colmana.

Black Watch

Black Watch was painted completely black when Cole purchased her off the estate of the late Rev. Jasper Calder c.1952-53. When purchased she was moored in the Tamaki River & in a very neglected, unused state. The Cole family had to do a lot of bilge pumping until they hauled her out of the water, which they did almost immediately, at the Lane Motor Boat Co. slip. The entire Cole family, Gordon, his late wife Norma & older children, Malcolm & Adrienne all worked very hard along with some of the Lane staff, for many months, to convert Black Watch into Lady Norma as she is in the photo. Lane’s fitted the flying bridge at the same time as the general overhaul & upgrade. Cole later replaced the original engines ( Ford petrol V8 & the Perkins Diesel) with two x 6 cyl. Ford diesels, which son Malcolm Cole recalls, were painted blue.

They owned her from c.1952-53 until c.1958-59.

Wanda II

Had two sets of engines & while Ken Ricketts is not sure when the two 4 cyl. BMCs were fitted, he recalls that while out on her one day over Christmas 1960, she definitely still had her original Scripps 6 cyl. 90hp petrol engines at that time & by the look of the vapor at the stern in the B/W photo of her under way, she had them when that photo was taken. Gordon Cole can be seen clearly with his head through the hatch, naturally very proudly, at the helm.


Was the last of their boats & built for them in Tauranga by Donald Brothers & launched in 1974.

‘Black Watch’ & The Rev. Jasper Calder

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 Black Watch & The Rev. Jasper Calder

photos & info ex Ken Ricketts. Edited by Alan H

Black Watch was either built for, or bought new, by the late Rev. Jasper Calder an Anglican sea loving vicar.

Ken Ricketts first saw Black Watch under construction in c.1947-48 on the port side of the creek, in the right hand corner of Leigh Harbour. She was at the stage of completed hull & combings, with no or little paint, her hull was built of very narrow Kahikatea planking & from memory kauri combings. She was as she appears in the photo except that she was initially painted completely black.

Black Watch was actually Calder’s second boat, the first being a 1925-30 vintage bridge decker, approx. 38 ft., called Crusader, that he owned in the 1930s. Ken recalls his father, Ralph Ricketts, when he was cruising on the Glennifer with the late Trevor Davis, attending impromptu church services on board Crusader along with many other boaties of the day. The crews would all tie their dinghies to the stern of the Crusader for the ‘church’ service most Sunday mornings in Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island over the warm summer months. You can see Crusader marked in Ken’s photo, taken Xmas 1948, of Mansion House Bay.

Ken commented that Calder did not have a lot of money to spend on his boats & love of the sea & Black Watch’s original engines were one 6 cyl Perkins diesel & one Ford V8 (probably both second hand.)

Black Watch was bought by Gordon Cole from Calder’s estate in c.1952-53. Cole owned Black Watch until c.1958-9, when he purchased Wanda II. Cole changed both Black Watch & Wanda II’s names to Lady Norma. (Black Watch/Lady Norma possibly later became Lady Alisa).

Note: Calder towards the end of his life, acquired an interest in an unfinished 75 foot H.D.M.L. naval vessel, which was the only one the navy disposed of for many years, which Ken believes was still under construction when WWII ended, so the Navy sold her possibly unfinished. Calder named her Black Watch as well.

Ken sighted the Calder’s H.D.M.L. recently at Bayswater on a swing mooring, in an extremely neglected state. Previous to this Ken had seen her in the 1980s, tied to a wharf in Schoolhouse Bay, Kawau Island, where see remained most of the time, for a number of years. She had then & possibly still has, twin 6 cyl Perkins diesels. She was modified many years ago in the 1970/80s to a type of semi motor sailer with 2 masts & a semi clipper bow.

Harold Kidd Update

CRUSADER was built for Rev. Jasper Calder and Charlie Goldsboro by Collings & Bell in the winter of 1929, originally without her later bridgedeck. She replaced Calder’s 20ft mullet boat NGARO.

I wonder who built the first BLACK WATCH for him?

Calder had two HDMLs, both called BLACK WATCH. The first, Q1349, was returned to Navy in July 1952 and has since reverted to BLACK WATCH. All RNZN HDMLs were built in North America, none were “under construction when WW2 ended”.

Jasper Calder died in 1956.

Bayswater Dec 2014