Westshore 1931 Regatta

Westshore 1931 Regatta

Now I might be losing my marbles, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t run this story before.

Back in early 2019 an old friend – Greg Fenwick, sent me the above photo of the motor boat – Heather, participating in the Westshore Regatta in Napier on Jan 31st 1931.

In the photo Greg’s dad John, is on the helm, aged 12 years at the time.

Four days later the Napier Earthquake hit and the waterway in the photo was no more. The location is now close to the site of the current Napier Airport. The houses still exist and are next to the main highway north in to Napier. 

Any info on what became of Heather would be most welcome.

Job Opportunity At Auckland Boat Yard

Todays a shout out to anyone that is this person or knows someone that is – looking for a work-life change. If you have a CV you’re probably not who we are looking for 🙂

In no particular order does this sound like you –

• Good practical hands on general skills

• Not afraid to roll your sleeves up and just get the job done

• Sense of humour

• Looking for full time / part time / flexible hours

• Age open – young > old, its all about attitude

We offer – 

• Small passionate team

• Central Auckland location

• Working railway slip – one of few left in Auckland

• Wide variety of work

• Plenty of parking

INTERESTED? In the first instance email cam@slipway.co.nz



The 40’ carvel planked – Heather was built in 1965 by Doug Robb and spent her first 35 years as a commercial fishing boat. In 2000 Miller & Tunnage converted Heather to pleasure boat and installed the 1996 Gardner 6LXB, which was brand new at the time. Like all good Gardners she is very efficient e.g. at 5.5 knots, running at 800rpm, she sips 1L pnm. Normal cruise speed is 7.5 knots, but can be taken up to 9.5 knots max.

To use the old car dealer term – Heather comes with all the fruit, incredibly spec’ed and all set for some serious cruising.

Thanks to Ian McDonald for the tme heads up

04-10-2022 INPUT FROM Philip Trow

“Hi, Philip here….the present owner of Heather (2022). It is great to see a correct and largely accurate report on Heather. A couple of things to add: MV Heather was originally built by the Heberley family of the Marlborough sounds. She is named Heather after Heather Heberley (NZ author of some note). 

Heather has been a particularly reliable and forgiving vessel for myself and previous owners. I have taken her around most of the South Is and I know previous owners have also used her for some great trips around the North is. She is very economical to run (1l/nm @ 800rpm/5.8kts exactly and circa  9l/hour at 1050rpm/ 7kts average.) Large 1200l+ tanks give her a very usable range. She also has a 6kw gen set and 800watt+ solar panels to handle long periods at mooring or unattended. As of writing she has less than 3600 hours from new on the Gardner 6lxb. That is very few hours on a Gardner.

Heather was rebuilt around 2000 and a great deal of heavy duty good quality equipment was installed. All of the fittings and equipment are much more robust than you would typically find on a pleasure vessel.

MV Heather has benefited from myself and previous owners who have maintained her to a good standard and also spent significant amounts keeping her up to date with features like AIS, drip free shaft seal and Blackwater.

I have retired from aviation, and now have a larger “Bluewater boat”, hence Heather is somewhat regrettably on the market.”