Woody Dean Wright sent in the above photo of the launch – Otehei. Dean ‘found’ the photo when having a clean out – its tagged on the back ‘Ian Spedding, Otehei, 1926 vintage’.
Dean’s thoughts are that it may have been taken by Ian Spedding and maybe lated from the late 1970’s. The location of the photos is probably off the old Fullers slipway at Russell.
Back in a 2013 WW story on Otehai – Harold Kidd wrote – OTEHEI was a sister-ship to the Collings & Bell-built hard chine launches built for various operators in the Bay of Islands in 1926-7 to service the game-fishing sport which had grown rapidly after an exploratory trip north by Colonel W.H. Hazard in his VIRGINIA in 1918. The other 3 launches to the same pattern were LORNA DOONE, ZANE GREY (later ALMA G II) and MANAAKI. These launches were all equipped with Redwing engines and were capable of 16 knots. OTEHEI was built for Frank Elliott who painted her red. Like the others, and the later AVALON, she was based at Zane Grey’s camp at Otehei on Urupukapuka Island.
The photo below is from Gavin’s collection of Otehei and shows her being relaunched at Fuller’s in 1977 post her first big restoration after returning to BOI after 40 odd years on Lake Taupo. Gavin believes it was taken on the same day as the photo above.
The launch Meteor / Comet II was built by Collings and Bell and is reputed to by at the time the fastest commerical launch in New Zealand, with a top speed of 36 knots, carrying 12 passengers. She plied her trade as a tourism launch on Lake Wakatipu, Oueenston, but also has been based out of the Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Picton and the Marlborough Sounds.
Just popped up on tme as a work-in-progress and sadly a long way off her original configuration.
33’ in length, these days she is powered by a Ford 180hp diesel engine – would be interested to hear what powered her in the zoom zoom days.
Classic Launch Kokoru Damaged In Pine Harbour Marina fire yesterday – refer the NZ Herald for details, its still a little to raw to go into details – more later. But I’m sure you’ll all be thinking of the owners.
Now if you are not afloat today and your feeling sheepish about the the numerous classic launches that you thought about buying in lock-down and never did – and you have just missed out on another Mahurangi Regatta – today is your day 🙂
Built c.1928, rumoured to be by Collings & Bell, Lady Ngaio is 28’ in length with a 7’4” beam. Back in 2000 Moon Engines re-powered her with a 90hp Ford Diesel engine, so she should have good turn of speed. The launch has been very lucky to have remained in the same family for the last 30 years, this constant ownership is reflected in her presentation.