CHAMPION / Iona
This Wellington woody, is a little the worse for wear – 2 options – bite the bullet & bring her back to life, there is a pretty workboat hull there & she looks like she wouldn’t be afraid of the open sea. 2nd option – as a donor for someone looking for 40hp Gardner L3W to restore.
She started life helping to build flood gates in Taupo for a power station.
I have had 4 people bring her trademe list to my attention, so there is some interest already. Asking price is $2k.
Her 32’8” hull is kauri & its claimed she is around 100 years old. Not 100% sure her name is Champion, anyone able to confirm?
So woodys – project or donor ?
Input ex Tony Brown – I bought the boat as a wreck in 1985 and re-ribbed it and replaced about a third of the planks. Also fitted the 3LW engine. I shifted to Kapiti on 2003 and sold the boat to John Luke. Before Taupo, the boat was at Napier and got stranded on the flats in the 1929 earthquake (where the airport is now) and then got taken to Taupo. There is info in both Napier and Taupo museums.
John, the present owner has all the historic info as I gave it to him.
I have a spare 3LW and 2UC g/box if any one is interested.. never used in the boat as the installed one was too reliable.
Input from Paul Drake – Built as IONA by Bailey and Lowe for J A McFarlane of Napier (year not known). Named after the island off the West Coast of Scotland where his family came from. Relocated to Taupo after the 1931 Napier earthquake. Name changed to CHAMPION in 1944 when bought by Jack Taylor and put into survey. Left Taupo in late 1950’s. At Porirua harbour in 1970’s and re modeled over a long period of time to her current configuration. Located at Even’s Bay Wellington for some time. Re-named but pleased to see she has reverted to CHAMPION. Unrecognizable now from early days.
Update2 from Paul Drake – photos below of CHAMPION ex IONA. The1st one (b/w) shows her as a charter boat at Taupo under Jack Taylor’s ownership. She was of course built as a flush decker, Paul thinks about 1912, when the raised focsle was becoming the thing. Jack raised the cabin. Later, a wheelhouse was added.
The 2 colour photos show her at the early stage of her long 1980’s transformation when owned by Tony Brown.
Paul also commented that the Taupo Museum has a great photo of IONA being launched at Taupo c.1935, as evidenced by the steamer shed on he Government Wharf in the background of the photo. This shed was replaced by the present wharf offices in 1937. IONA sported the large letter ‘I’ on each side of the bow and a quirky and distinctive gable roofed ‘conning tower’ for the helmsman, which could have passed for a fish safe.
Harold Kidd Input – Macfarlane bought her from H H Tocker of Napier and had her trucked to Taupo in April 1935. He changed her name to IONA. The photo below is of IONA on the truck from the NZ Herald on 16/4/1935. She certainly looks very Bailey & Lowe of the period 1912. They built a couple of launches for Napier around this time, one for Davis & Boyd of Hastings in April 1911 and a 30 footer for an unknown owner which was in frame in July 1912.
Most of the Hawkes Bay newspapers’ archives perished in the 1931 earthquake so you have to rely on secondary sources for the period before that. Makes it hard.