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.




Daryl Patterson’s email to me started out like a lot of the correspondence WW gets – “This is a very long shot but I’m looking for any information on my great grandfather’s boat, a 30 footer he built himself”
It turns out that Daryl’s GGFather –  William Skinner, was a member of the Whangarei Cruising Club and built Dawn in 1926, there is a good article from the Northern Advocate recording its construction below. The photos above are of Dawn on Whangarei Harbour between 1926 and 1931. Daryl’s family records has the boat being sold in 1934 to another WCC member – Percy J Basley. She disappears from the WCC records a short while later and Basley retired to Waiheke island. 

Daryl would greatly appreciated any intel on the boat from over the last 95 years.





I was recently in Thames and snapped the colour photos above of the launch Dawn. Then last week while looking thru Andy Donovan’s old brokering photos, I came across the b/w photo of Dawn – do we think its the same boat? The b/w photo does appear to be on a lake.
Health & Safety – yeah right
Also in the Donovan photos was the photo below of the Cape Brett lighthouse, check out the guy hanging off the aerial on the top of the dome…………..
Cape Reinga Light House

Far North Woody Road Trip








Far North Woody Road Trip

First part of the xmas holiday was a road trip to Kerikeri > Te Ngaere Bay > Whangaroa > Mangonui > Karikari Peninsula.
I had never been to Te Ngaere Bay before, its one of those off the main highway, not sign posted places. Simply stunning spot, I’ll bore you with a few photos below. Popped over to Whangaroa & snapped a few of the classics at the marina – most have been on ww before but they deserve to be seen again 🙂
The ‘headlights’ on Leilani are an unusual feature…….. , even snapped a couple of yachts.







Dawn 2016

photos & details ex Steve Archer & Darren Arthur

I was contacted by Steve Archer who owns the launch ‘Dawn’, Steve believes Dawn may possibly be the L C Coultard design/built launch ‘Doraine’.
According to Steve, Dawn (Doraine) was built by Coultard in Onehunga for a flounder fisherman on the Kaipara in 1936. She is 28ft long and was owned for 24yrs by the Arthur family who kept her moored in the Tamaki River. Darren Arthur sent Steve a collection of photos from Dawns past, he was 11 years old when on the foredeck in one of the photos.
Steve has owned Dawn for 6 years after trucking her down from the Hokianga. During the 6 years she has been kept at Bucklands Beach Marina, then on a pole mooring at Panmure, on a berth at Pine Harbour and currently on a swing mooring at Wyuna Bay Coromandel.

So woodys – is Dawn actually Doraine?  And woodys I can help the discussion – last night Rosemary Robinson emailed my a photo of her grandfather L C Coultard’s drawings of Doraine below, also I have included a photo of Doraine. (Harold Kidd once commented on ww in regard to the number of launches named Dawn – “TOO MANY DAWNS” 🙂

29-06-2016 Update ex Rosemary Robinson

“The plans say 24’ V bottom Cruiser drawn by LC Coulthard 23/5/58 – so NOT the plans of the Doraine despite the cardboard roll they were stored in, being labelled “Plans for the pleasure craft Doraine”.  The other drawings are of random boats and are very indistinct.  Sorry about that!
I’m not sure the Dawn is actually the Doraine because she seems to have been kept in the family until at least 1943 and my mother distinctly remembers her being in Taupo but cannot remember who she was sold to.  It would be amazing to think she still exist and looks that good after 80 years.”

Doraine (a)

Doraine plans

ps the Auckland Motor Yacht Club burgee looks even better flying 😉




photo ex Paul Drake ex ‘Boats of Taupo’

The above photo shows Dawn on Lake Taupo, seems they were a little care free in the old days in terms of safety & life jackets, at my count there are 19 people on board 🙂
If you are afloat today/night (New Years eve) you be careful out there.


photo ex Steve Forsman

Yesterday on ww there was some chat in the comments section about the launch Dawn. Steve Forsman commented on an existing ww post that his grandfather c.1960 had owned a small, approx. 26′, launch named Dawn, that was moored in Tauranga Harbour.

Harold Kidd commented that this was most likely yet another Dawn built by Arch Logan (allegedly) for J C Spedding c.1922 but bought by Dr. Stenhouse for game fishing at Mayor Island in 1932. She was a fast boat with a 40hp Scripps.

Steve sent me the photo above last night & speaking with Harold he commented that the reference to Arch Logan building her is from a 1932 Auckland Star piece when Spedding sold her to Dr. Stenhouse of Katikati. Bill Couldrey fitted her out for game-fishing (obviously recommended by Arch) and his uncle(?) Capt. Couldrey delivered her to Tauranga for Stenhouse.

Harold feels it’s equally likely that she was built by Logan Bros under a different name but without any photo reference has been unable to ‘squirrel’ out the detail as yet. He said that you can see a resemblance to Coquette/Logan 33 if you squint a bit. One fact nags Harold – the fact she had a Scripps engine in 1932 because Lanes were Scripps agents.
To quote Harold “too many DAWNs!”

Steve would love to hear what happened to his grandfathers boat, so if anyone can add to the above – please do.

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