details ex ken Ricketts, edited by Alan H. photos ex B Worthington
The story of how Esperanza II, an American Chris Craft arrived in NZ started in about 1948 when the Fuller family of the Bay of Islands had an American couple, fly over here, to go game fishing on one of their charter boats.
They (probably Snooks Fuller) met the couple personally & instantly hit it off & became instant friends. As a result of this, the extremely wealthily Americans invited them back to America, to stay as their guests, at their waterfront mansion. They accepted & in due course fulfilled the invitation & were amazed at everything the saw. Their hosts had numerous cars, mostly Cadillacs & several boats, one of which was a fabulous virtually brand new 36 foot Chris Craft launch, which was tied up at the bottom of their garden.
They went out & about in the hosts cars & one day the hosts asked the Fullers if they liked the car they were in that day & of course they said they did & their hosts said words to the effect, “well you better take it home with you.” The Fullers naturally thought the hosts were just joking & passed it over.
In the next day or two they went out in the Chris Craft & of course that was out of this world for them, the like of which they probably had never seen in NZ. Once again they were asked if they liked it & of course they said – they loved it, so once again, the hosts said to the effect, “well you better take it home with you.”
Very shortly after they returned home, they got official documents telling them that the car & the boat were on their way to NZ. The Fullers must have been blown away with the Americans generosity.
Esperanza II became the ultimate luxury game boat of her era in “The Bay,” with many dignitaries & prominent guests aboard. She was originally a fairly fast boat, powered by 2 very large Chris Craft V8 petrol engines, when she arrived, these were eventually replaced with Ford diesels.
From the photos above, taken over the years, it appears that she is still alive & well & Ken understands she was in Whangamata fairly recently for a period & is possibly in Auckland these days.
The details of the above ‘story’ were told to Kens family in the 1950’s by friends of the Fullers. Can any one confirm & add more details from her past?