RESTORATION STAGE ONE
SEA BEE – Part 2
The launch See Bee recently appeared on WW & interest was expressed in her background & what had happened to her – link to the previous WW story is here https://wordpress.com/post/waitematawoodys.com/33451
I have broken the photos into 3 sections – As Found > Restoration Stage One – As She Is Today. The first two photo groups are from her current owner, Rick Coster & the current photos are ex Ken Ricketts. Ken also scanned a lot of the older images from prints.
Post the 1st ww story, boat builder Colin Brown alerted Ken to the fact that Sea Bee was alive & well on her owner’s property at Point Wells & in the final stages of a 8+ year restoration.
Rick Coster is by trade an engineer, just check out the engine / drive installation photos, & he bought Sea Bee off Phillip Waye approx. 10 years ago, Waye had her on a private property at Whangaparaoa, but only owned her for approx. 1 year. He had bought her from an unknown yard in Silverdale.
Ken commented that he recalls seeing her in the 1980’s or early 1990’s on the Te Atatu Boat Club hardstand, & believes she had sat there for a number of years & had also spent time on a pile mooring at TBC. Her owner had got too old to care for her any longer, but had loved fishing & used to go out very regularly, for many days at a time, & bring back lots of fish, in an extensive refrigeration system she had onboard. Ken also recalls Sea Bee from back to the very early 1950’s when he was mooching around the Kawau Island area, & believes she looked almost identical to how she looks today. She had 2 engines in that era, with stern exhausts, not the 2 top stacks with truck mufflers, seen in the above photos. She now has a new side exhaust out the starboard side.
The photos show that Rick has done an amazing amount of work on Sea Bee & while not following the traditional classic look with her new interior fit-out, she will be, when launched, a very practical woody.
A summary of the work – below:
- Removed the 2 x 4 cyl Mitsubishi diesels, & replaced them with 1 x 108hp 4 cyl, Moon converted, Nissan diesel.
- Completely replaced the rotten coamings, with almost identical looking new ones, & built a new interior layout.
- Also had the bottom partially re-planked including the garboard, & partially re-ribbed, by master craftsman boat builder Colin Brown & son in law Josh.
Given that she is kauri planked, with South Island beech ribs, & a pohutukawa stem, which Colin Brown scarfed a new section into, the suggestions in the original WW story that she was an imported Chris Craft cannot be correct – that does not rule out a kiwi knock off 🙂
04-05-2018 Update from Grant Renall
“It is great to find out more history about Grandad Redges boat Seabee and have talked to my father again about what happened to her after she blew up.the whole cabin top was blown off and sides off the hull were extensively damaged worst being the left hand side.when back on the hard at the garage he owned seabee was completely gutted,dad and uncle Don went to Awhitu and found a kauri partially cut up which was 30 ft long by 2 ft by 8 or 9 inches thick which he formed to make the runners, excuse my limited timber boat building jargon.then they found a piece of pohutakawa branch with the right bend to cut up to form the chines .to shape these right he recalls took a lot of work for an engineer /mechanic and riveted in?.all the ribs were replaced with kauri ones which he made a steam press for the task.Dad and Uncle Don got the job of fitting these after school.The cross beams were made from Tanekaha and fitted snuggly together Dad recallsHe had plenty of kauri which was used for the extension and rebuild.He said they painted arsenic all throughout the hull and can remember it stinging his hands and eyes,amazing he is still alive .he had a look at the new photos posted and likes the look of her now and would like to see her when finished as I would.Dad reckons he wagged school and cycled to john burns to buy the steering wheel and a hand basin amongst other things during the rebuild.Seabee was purchased from Easton products limited when a year or two old who told them she came in from the states as deck cargo the boat was a freighter perhaps taking troops back.Colin Brown reckons not but with all the rebuild who knows,I will try and find out more as Dad is moving soon and I will look at Grandads records if he still has them,thanks Grant Renall ps Colin was the youngest and moved to a farm in Waimauku with the family in reply to someones comment.”
Sad to report that the 1911, 39’ Lane Motor Boat Co. built – Mollie, sank off Stanmore Bay over the weekend, in the storm. Not sure if she was beached but I understand she has had 2 tides over her, so not good. Thanks to Nathan Herbert for the fb heads up.
You can view photos & read more on her past at the WW link below – make sure you read the comments section — https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/03/07/mollie/
Can anyone update us?
UPDATE at 2.00pm today (photos ex Ken Rickets)
I HOPE SOMEONE SAVED THIS
Update 2 – ex Ken Ricketts
Ken has just sent in the photos below of the remains of Mollie hauled out on the ramp at Stanmore Bay.
In discussion with her owner, Ken uncovered that:
- He had owned for about 4 years.
- He bought her from a Tauranga owner, & sailed her back to Stanmore Bay.
- Prior to this she had spent approx. 20 years in the Wade River.
She had a 120hp Perkins engine.
- She had not been used for quite little while, as she had had a leak in the manifold, & it needed to be repaired — refer photo of the propeller complete with much growth.
- She sustained some damage during a blow last Christmas.
- Her final demise, her owner says, was created by her popping the stern door in the tuck, & filling & sinking through the stern.
Update3 01-05-2018 ex Ken Ricketts –
Ken discovered that Mollie was completely copper sheathed below the waterline. The only good news is the owner has saved the section of her bow with the name on it & will restore as a memento.