The Boats Of Neville Robinson

The Boats Of Neville Robinson

Late August we ran a story on Neville Robinson Boats (link below) – his daughter Marie Breden came onto the WW site and …. Today thanks to Marie’s generosity we get to see a gallery of the boats that Neville whether built or altered (Marie’s words). The 6 she recalls are – I’ll let Marie tell the story:

My first memory of Dad’s boat building was when he built a speedboat in our garage. He named it Cee Bee II and was very successful in his racing days.The first boat Dad built was “Marco Polo”, built in our backyard for some local fishermen. Next was Music, built from scratch, as a family we spent many hours in the boat shed building her. Unfortunately she caught fire and burnt to the waterline. Dad managed to get his hands on some of the burnt timber and made a scale model incorporating the timber into the finished piece. After Music, and I think I’ve got the order correct, was Harmony, Souza, Largo and finally Coda. Jim Carey, previously from Picton, built the hull for Harmony and it was sailed across and finished in Wellington by Dad, and possibly another but I can’t remember sorry. Coda was purchased in Picton, the wheelhouse was removed and rebuilt by Dad, giving it his look and practicality.

Link to August story below – includes wonderful input from Paul Drake and Marie (as above)

Friday and Saturday on WW we will have a more detailed look at the launches- Coda and Music.

Neville Robinson Launches

Harmony
Largo

NEVILLE ROBINSON LAUNCHES

I was recently contacted by Neil Mosley regarding the two photos above of launches built by Neville Robinson – top photo is Harmony and bottom is Largo. Neil commented that he didn’t know much about the man but he was quite well known at some stage. The bigger boat – Harmony is owned by John Gow and spends most of summer moored at the bottom end of Waiheke. The smaller boat is – Largo and owned by Neil and kept at Havelock.

Anyone able to tell us more about the builder – Neville Robinson and what other craft he built.

INPUT FROM PAUL DRAKE“Neville Robinson was foreman mechanic (or similar) with the old Wellington Harbour Board for a very long time. May have served his time there I think. He built at least one other boat apart from LARGO and MELODY. Can’t recall her name but she became a crayfish boat out of Ngawi. He was a meticulous boat builder and his boats were very well engineered. He had a hand in re engineing TUNA (of WW fame) when she was in service with the Wellington Harbour Board (later CentrePort Wellington). He was a quietly spoken, gentlemanly sort of guy. His brother was a tug master on Wellington Harbour for many years, having previously been master of the police launch LADY ELIZABETH 2.”

01-10-2022 INPUT FROM MARIE BREDEN “Hi, I’m Neville Robinson’s daughter, Marie. A friend of Dad’s shared this post with me and so I’ve been searching my memory banks trying to remember all of Dad’s launches.
Paul is correct, Dad worked for Wellington Harbour Board all his working life, he was a motor mechanic but his passion was wood work.
My first memory of Dad’s boat building was when he built a speedboat in our garage.
He named it Cee Bee II and was very successful in his racing days.
He built/altered 6 launches that I can recall. The first boat he built was “Marco Polo”, built in our backyard for some local fishermen. Next was Music, built from scratch, as a family we spent many hours in the boat shed building her. Unfortunately she caught fire and burnt to the waterline. Dad managed to get his hands on some of the burnt timber and made a scale model incorporating the timber into the finished piece. After Music, and I think I’ve got the order correct, was Harmony, Souza, Largo and finally Coda. Jim Carey, previously from Picton, built the hull for Harmony and it was sailed across and finished in Wellington by Dad, and possibly another but I can’t remember sorry. Coda was purchased in Picton, the wheelhouse was removed and rebuilt by Dad, giving it his look and practicality.
Dad passed away in 2018 but he’d be chuffed to think he was still getting the odd mention for his boats.”

YESTERDAYS WOODY QUIZ WINNER – the winner is K Ricketts.

The correct answers were #A Rehutai #B Movaire – as to the identity of #C , that folks remains a mystery 🙂 Had a great number of entries but most unfortunately were way off the mark.

As always I’m indebted to the mind of Nathan Herbert for helping confirm the launch names.

Gil Littler emailed in the observations and photo below

“I believe the photo is 1980, or maybe late-1970s. I say this because the wooden dividing fence between Shipbuilders (from where the photo was taken) and Baileys has already been demolished to make way for what became Orams hardstand. See the photo below taken c.1981 with the old ferries (Toroa and Peregrine) about to be buried in the Z Pier reclamation. The fishing boat Baileys converted to a  pleasure boat is in both photos.”

Harmony

 

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HARMONY

Harmony ticks an awful lot of boxes for anyone looking for a ‘spirit of tradition’ woody. First – she was designed & built by Robert Brooke, that alone makes her very special. Robert launched her in 2014 & as you would expect only the best materials were used in the build – with the hull being 9mm ply, epoxy glued.

Harmony measures approx. 15’ & is powered by a 20hp Honda o/b & comes on a customized galvanized trailer.

Harmony has only been in the water around 7 times & while she performs beautifully, the Honda has never been up to full speed.

Robert built Harmony for his own use but circumstances have changed & now she is reluctantly offered for sale.

Any woodys looking for a lake boat for Xmas? If so I would move quick, as Harmony will not be on the market for long

(thanks to Ian McDonald for the listing heads-up)

A Woody Cruise

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monterey

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A Woody Cruise

Family commitments & the weather meant that this years Xmas / NY cruise was a tad short this year e.g. 7 days & the location was a lap of Waiheke Island. A lot of classics were in the same boat (pun) with the weather so we tended to be in the same spot at the same time – good for photos 🙂

I’m sure I missed a few so I apologize upfront, I have also saved a few for separate ww posts.
Enjoy the gallery of classics, most I have been able to name (scroll over image) & you can enlarge photos by clicking on them 😉

I can’t wait for the Mahurangi Regatta weekend……………………