Leilani and Centaurus

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LEILANI & CENTAURUS

I recently received the above b/w photo of the launch Leilani, sent in by Graeme Varcoe. This photo was taken during the period of ownership by Alfred Sibun. Graeme comment that Sibum was so taken with the Leilani that he sold her and built a launch in the same style. This boat was the Centaurus and was one of the last to be built at the Baileys shipyard. The second photo above is of the Centaurus.
Harold Kidd has perviously supplied the following provenance on Leilani – she was built as FLORAE (Latin for “flowers”), but at times her name has appeared as Floray . Harold is of the belief that Lidgard’s built the hull and Major George Bailey finished her at his Wheturangi Road home. Percy Coutts owned her until he died in 1960. He bought Harold’s father’s business and renamed it Coutts Motors and was very successful importing fine cars, now part of the Giltrap empire on the same site in Great North Road.
As LEILANI she had numerous owners after Percy Coutts, including A.G. Sibun of Bleakhouse Road, Ken Archer who was active in Coastguard with her, followed by B.J. Craies, and finally a spell in Coromandel c.1999. 
 
The photo below (ex Ken Ricketts) was taken of Leilani c.2016 looking very sad in Thames, owned at the time by Jason Lockwood – can anyone update us on the current situation / status of the vessel ?
You can read more on her at the WW link below – check out the comments section – good banter around her name 🙂
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Leilani (Florae / Floray)

LEILANI (FLORAY)

LEILANI (FLORAE / FLORAY)

Leilani was built by building contractor & service station proprietor, Major Bailey, a friend of Ken Rickett’s family, on the Cnr. of Wheturangi & Green Lane Rds., & launched in 1949.
Currently owned by Jason Lockwood for the last 5 years. The previous owner had kept the boat at Coromandel for many years & eventually took her to Thames with a view to removing rot from the upper sections of the bow.
It was while at Thames that Jason saw her & bought her, then moved her to Kopu (photo above) – where she was for approx. 3 years. Jason moved her to his property at Thames town around  2 years ago.

When purchased she had a 6cyl. Ford diesel & was fitted with a shoe rudder prop & shaft, however whilst at Kopu these ‘disappeared’.
Jason had removed her paint & started a re-caulking process as part of a major refit / repair & refurbish, looking at the photo, taken by Ken (April 2016), this appears to have stalled & the coamings have reached the stage of disrepair, to the point where they will have to be demolished as they are semi collapsed.

Can we expand more on her history – design, past owners etc. Ken recalls that she was a late 1940’s build.

13-08-2016 Harold Kidd Input

She was built as FLORAE (Latin for “flowers”) not FLORAY. I think Lidgards built the hull and Major George Bailey finished her at his Wheturangi Road home. It was PERCY Coutts who owned her until he died in 1960. He bought my father’s business and renamed it Coutts Motors and was very successful importing fine cars, now part of the Giltrap empire on the same site in Great North Road.
As LEILANI she had numerous owners after Percy Coutts, including A.G. Sibun of Bleakhouse Road, Ken Archer who was active in Coastguard with her, followed by B.J. Craies,  and finally a spell in Coromandel where I photographed her in 1999. She’s not the game boat LEILANI that was at Mangonui, run by Don Lightband of course. In fact I can’t vouch for the fact that the LEILANI owned by Sibun and Archer is this one and may well be the game boat.
No doubt WW spotters will pick that up and put me right with relish!