Dawn – A Peek Down Below

DAWN – A Peek Down Below

We last saw the Coulthard built launch – Dawn on WW back in June 2019, link below. In summary she was built in 1936 and is approx. 28’ in length, with a very shallow draft of just over 2’, probably to suit the shallow harbours on Aucklands West Coast, where she was built.

A Ford 80hp Lees 4.2L diesel provides the forward motion. Thanks to a tme listing (c/o Ian MacDonald) we get to have a look down below.


TAUFALE – A Peek Down Below

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TAUFALE – A Peek Down Below

The 32’ Les Coulthard built (c.1933) launch Taufale has featured before on WW, see link below, and appears in numerous layout / styles. Now thanks to her trademe (ex Ian McDonald) listing we get to have a peek down below. 

Taufale is powered by a 1965 Ford Lees 70hp diesel. Her tme listing states she has 2x 300L fuel tanks – if thats the case she should be able to lap NZ without a bowser stop 🙂
Make sure you read the WW comments section – there is lots of chat on her. Video viewing also, below

Mystery Launch 08-12-2017



Mystery Launch 08-12-2017

Today’s mystery launch started life as a Coulthard sedan launch, the photos above show her in the mud at Whangarei a couple years ago. The photos came from Nathan Herbert, who commented that while working on Lucinda a while back he met a man who mentioned his family had a long ownership of this boat.

So woodys – can we name her & dig up some history on her past life?

09-12-2017 – More photos ex Jason Prew (name plate photographed from a distance)




Echo – A Peek Down Below

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ECHO – A Peek Down Below

I have rowed past Echo numerous times at Mahurangi Regatta weekends & admired her. She is a very smart classic woody & the workmanship on her is 2nd to none.

She has appeared on WW before but yesterday she popped up on trademe, so we can enjoy a peek down below.

Echo is a kauri carvel launch built by Les Coulthard in 1935 at Onehunga. She measures 31.81’ & is powered by a Perkins 75hp diesel engine, this allows her to cruise along at approx 7.5 knots.
For the last 17 years Echo has been owned & maintained by a professional boat builder. During this time, she has been recaulked below the waterline & had her topsides kauri splined, the cockpit area has been rebuilt &the bow re-worked to give her a proper anchor bowsprit.
You will see from the photos that Echo is beautifully maintained & presented –  Echo is an amazing buy & would see you cruising in a classic woody this summer.

Someone needs to buy her & quick J

14-11-2017 Update: Someone did buy her – a gent named Mark Dixon

11-01-2018 Update Photos below taken by Angus Rogers of Echo at Parekura Bay, Xmas 2017/18



Unknown Launch (15/09/2013) Almost Known

Unknown Launch (15/09/2013) Almost Known

Last year (15/09/2013) Ken Ricketts asked about a launch that he had photographed c1948-9. He commented that at the time he took the photo she was seen regularly around the Kawau Island area.
We had no joy in ID-ing her but it now appears that the ‘powers’ of ww have worked.  At the weekend Nathan Herbert was out & about nosing around the Whau Creek when he spied the launch above, a little digging into the Papers Past archive reveals that this is most likely Kens mystery boat. A 28 foot, 1939 Coulthard built in Onehunga for a Mr E. G. Webb. As the Papers Past photo (excuse the quality) shows she was trucked across from Onehunga & launched at Auckland.

Still do not know her name but getting closer – anyone know the boats current owner or more details?

Photos below of Dawn as discussed in the RECENT COMMENTS section – click to enlarge



Lucinda sat unused off Devonport Yacht Club for a number of years & being a DYC  member I have had more calls about her than any other boat. Normal stuff – “who owns her”, “is she for sale”, “has she been abandoned” etc. This was all because she is a very pretty little ship & would be a perfect restoration project. Its rare to find a sub 30’ launch that looks ‘right’ i.e. in proportion.

Well people – nows your chance, a CYA friend has tracked the owner down (overseas), purchased the boat, hauled her out, scrapped a few wheel barrow loads of weed & mussels off her & now circumstances have changed & she is on the market,  ready for someone to take on the project. At $4,500 ono they do not come better priced than this.

Some Info:

1930 hard chine Coulthard bridgedeck launch –  28ft.

The hull is sound and the boat does not appear to have rot in it, but needs a full re-paint & engine overhaul.

Engine is a 1987, Perkins 50hp which was apparently rebuilt before the boat was left on mooring, and now does not turn over so will want taking apart again.

She has new navy blue upholstery, various electrical spares, spare bronze nails, GPS chart plotter, fish finder, VHF

Has engine compressor driven refrigeration but unkown if it works still.

Stove/ oven in good visual condition but have not tried to start as there are other priorities with such a vessel.

View here http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=705353146&ed=true



details & hauled out photos ex Ken Ricketts, editing & on the water photos ex Alan H

Echo was built in 1935 in Onehunga by Coulthard & is an excellent example of an almost totally unspoiled original 32′ classic tram topper of the early to middle 1930s era.

Her present owner, John Rea, a retired boatbuilder himself, has had Echo for approx. 10 years & keeps her in the Wade River. She is powered by a 4236 Perkins Diesel, which was fitted in the 1970s.

During his stewardship, he has put a lot of time & effort in splining the entire hull, hence the permanent eggshell finish, a job, of which, she is well worthy.

John told Ken he bought her in Totara North, Whangaroa, where the previous owner, Graham Armstrong, had kept her for a good number of years (at least 10 he feels). Armstrong owned or leased a small shop on the foreshore by the boat ramp. Previous to this she belonged to the Ashby’s, a boatbuilding family in the Bay of Island, they upgraded the original dodger, which was lower & ‘squarer’ than the present raised version, which is a very practical modification & in Ken’s view, is still aesthetically balanced & acceptable.

John believes at one stage she was owned by a man of the cloth – a Reverend (name unknown) & that she was possibly on the Kaipara Harbour for a while. This possiblility is backed up by the fact she still has the same marine grade high quality carpet from way back & when vacuuming John is still getting black sand in reasonable quantities out of the carpet, which he thinks is West Coast sand.

A lovely boat, which must have an interesting history, so hopefully there will be some additions to this story from others to fill us in on the original owner & confirm the build date  & maybe even ID the ‘Reverend’ 🙂

Harold Kidd Update

This launch was advertised for sale by Serena Armstrong of Totara North in 1999 as being built by Les Coulthard in 1935. I had serious doubts about that at the time because she’s clearly much older than 1935. I cannot imagine Les building such a launch in 1935 as his launches of that period were much more up to date eg LUCINDA.
I can track an ECHO on the Manukau from early 1912, a flushdecker, which Les could have built because he was living at Mairere Road, Onehunga at the time but was only 23. That ECHO was built for Stan Vause who was killed in WW1.
My pennyworth.