The 1940’s photos above ex the Tudor Collins collection at the Auckland Museum show the Bob Stewart designed 31′ launch Betty. She was built in 1939 by Collings & Bell for Bob’s father-in-law. Betty has had several name changes, refer the two blue links below to view & read about her over the years, home these days is Lake Rotoiti. The photos were emailed to me by numerous woodys (including Ken Ricketts).
These photos show her as US Army J301, when she was ‘on-loan’ to the US Army but obviously on R&R duties here – can anyone ID any of the people?
Also whats the name of the anchored launch numbered #17 in the top photo?
ACHINAR > Achernar > Betty photos & details ex William Horne
Yesterdays post on Betty uncovered the impressive collection of photos above. I could have just added them to yesterdays post but they deserve their own post.
The photos are from William Horne & from the 1970’s when his father Rod, owned Achinar. If you have read the previous posts you will be aware there has been a degree of name rotation in her past – the link below explains this. It would be nice if at some stage she reverted to Betty again 🙂
William commented that you can see from the photos that she had the Achinar spelling back then so it appears it was spelt that way for a long time. Rod Horne purchased the launch from Dr. Gilbert in Tauranga and the photos show her as first seen by him up the Wairoa River & then later in black & white at her mooring.
William’s family had many holidays on her, in fact William was on the boat before he could walk and it was the first vessel he helmed so his father must have owned her for a few years.
BETTY (Achernar) photo & details ex Betty Black (Stewart)
Today’s post is an example of what makes ww so special & motivates me to keep doing it. I received the email below last week.
“Dear Alan My son in Sydney was browsing on the internet presumably looking up about his grandfather Bob Stewart, when he came across your blog about Achernar. I was most interested to read this as I had no idea what had become of the launch “Betty”. It was requisitioned by the Americans during the war. My grandfather died in 1943 and my father became the owner. He got it back after the war in an appalling condition. I remember him saying there was oil all through the bilge. We had a number of family holidays on it until the yacht Helen* was built. The photo was taken by me in 1947 (on a Box Brownie camera). Kind regards Betty Black (Stewart)”
Todays post is another boat from the 2014 Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade, Achernar is rather special, being the only launch designed by R L (Bob) Stewart & built by Collings & Bell for Bob’s father. You can read more about her past by entering her name in the ww search box.
I post her for another reason, her owner Don Atkinson is a star in my world, when he purchased Achernar in 2008 he removed the flybridge – give that man a cigar 🙂
VIDEO ONE – Don Brooke speaking at the 2013 CYA Classic Yacht & Launch Exhibition, hosted by the Tino Rawa Trust, which showcased the acclaimed designers Jack Brooke & Bob Stewart. Both Don & Robert Brooke spoke briefly at the launch ‘morning tea’ about their father Jack & fellow yacht designer Bob Stewart. Also view VIDEO TWO (below) which features of Don’s brother Robert, speaking on the same topic.
VIDEO TWO – Robert Brooke speaking at the 2013 CYA Classic Yacht & Launch Exhibition, hosted by the Tino Rawa Trust, which showcased the acclaimed designers Jack Brooke & Bob Stewart. Both Robert & Don Brooke spoke briefly at the launch ‘morning tea’ about their father Jack & fellow yacht designer Bob Stewart. Also view VIDEO ONE (above) which features of Roberts brother Don, speaking on the same topic
Designed by well known yacht designer R.L. (Bob) Stewart and believed to be the only launch that Bob Stewart designed. 31ft in length, she was built by Collings & Bell in September 1939 for Bob Stewart’s father as BETTY. R L Stewart Senior owned her continuously until 1948-50 as BETTY. She was renamed ACHERNAR (not ACHINAR) when he sold her.
When purchased in 1984, the nameplates installed on the boat had the spelling as “Achinar”, and that is how they knew her during their long period of ownership. The current owners since 2008 have changed it (back?) to Achernar. So any mis-spelling of the name would appear to have occurred between the 1950’s and early 1980’s.
1984 saw a major refit and a flying bridge added at the Lane Motor Boat Co. on the Tamaki River and she was cruised extensively around the Hauraki Gulf and further afield for the next 20 years.
In 1993 the BMC diesel was replaced with a 6 cyl. Nissan diesel.
In 2008 Achernar was sold from Auckland to Lake Rotoiti (North Island). Another professional refit was undertaken for the new owners, including removal of the flying bridge. Achernar is now a regular participant in the annual Lake Rotoiti Parade of Classic and Wooden Boats (the photograph taken on the lake is courtesy of their website.)”
Note: There is dockside talk that the vessel may have been linked to US Navy Admiral William ‘Bull’ Halsey during his WWII R&R in Auckland.