34’ SWANSON LAUNCH
34’ SWANSON LAUNCH
21-08-2019 Input from Graham Taylor – “Graham Wilkinson had many skills, one of which was an expert prop tuner. He made many a fast prop for us when we were racing speedboats and chasing NZ speed records. One particular propeller did set a new record for its engine class with a two way run over the measured mile. On that occasion the slip factor was just 6.7%, amazing when the “norm” is often around 33% !
We even flew to Australia when he lived there to collect a new prop and carry it home carefully so it would not get dinged when freighted normally.”
In the last week my spies have sighted Silver Dollar at Great Barrier & Kawau so as my mother used to say “she gets around”. All I know is her stern says Scotts Landing, Mahurangi & was built in 1958. Keen to learn more about this launch with an unusual cabin.
Update from JohnWicks
he and her sister-ships were built by Bob Swanson at Blackwood Bay in Queen Charlotte Sound in the 50s. Bob later moved his boatbuilding operation to Picton, at what had previously been Ernie Lane’s yard. As a small boy I was at either her launching or that of “Maritza”, one of her sisters.- memory not wot it wuz
She hasn’t been lengthened, though that dodger over the cockpit is a later modification.
Neat that she still has her original 2 cylinder “Jimmy” shoving her along. Those hulls are easily driven, and don’t need a lot of power.
I’ve always thought those boats were very handsome; my admiration is tempered by the difficulty of getting from the helm station at the forward end of the house to the foredeck. My father had the slightly smaller “Palomino” which had a more conventional sedan layout and was easier to work single-handed..
Updated Photos (20/03/2014) from Paul Stichbury (ex Ken Ricketts)
The b/w photo was taken c1958 at the launch at Blackwood Bay, Picton. According to John Wicks (who was there with his father, but not in photo) the gent centre stage with the braces & hands in pockets is Bob Swanson . The photos also show her original (& still there) engine at the time of being reconditioned in 2011, all that was required was new sleeves, pistons & bearings (there was no wear on the crankshaft).