Over the last few years the name Almaray has popped up on WW, mainly in reference to being built alongside the Lidgard launch Monterey. The shed photos below c.1946-8 shows Monterey, Almaray and possibly Tangaroa. All three were fitted with 30hp Lister engines when launched. Almaray was built by Lidgard for Stanley Bell-Booth, whose son Nick Davenport recently contacted me last week after uncovering the photos above in an old family photo album.
Harold Kidd commented on a WW story last week on the launch Jean – that the Bell-Booth family name was linked to BERNICE (1922) Stan’s father perhaps?, ATAROA (ex SPEEDWELL II) 1930-34,LADY PATRICIA (1943-48) and ALMARAY (1946 onwards). Nick has commented that his father also owned the launch Jean, somewhere in this mix. 

Nick would like to know what became of Almaray post his fathers stewardship.


I think I must have sun stroke –  I’m writing about a 1980 Vindex………. But despite what a certain debarred lawyer thinks, I’m actually a nice guy. So here goes – I have been contacted by 21 year old apprentice boat builder, Connor Sanderson, who has taken on a project – I’ll let Connor tell you the story”Late last year I was presented with an irresistible opportunity to purchase a very tired and rundown wooden vindex named “Vin Maree” The only information the seller was about to provide was a build year of 1980 and that it had been from Gulf Harbour prior to them moving it down to Whangamata. It is double diagonal kauri planked, resorcinol glued and coated with ample red lead. It is powered by a inline 6cyl ford I believe to be a “Dover” and had Lees marine manifolds, gearbox and V-drive. I have not yet seen another vindex in V-Drive configuration but I’m familiar with it and hope to retain the use of one. I’m eager to know more about this boat.”


Today’s photo is of the launch Jean, sent in by Nick Davenport, whose grandfather – Stanley Bell-Booth owned her. Nick knowns little of her history and would love to learn more as to her past and what became of her. In my eye, there is a lot of Romance II to her – possibly a Bailey & Lowe?

Stanley Bell-Booth went on to own the Lidgard built launch Almaray, we will feature her in another WW story.
So woodys can we help Nick out?

Input from Harold Kidd – I didn’t know that Stan Bell-Booth owned this JEAN. Other launches he owned were BERNICE (1922) his father perhaps?, ATAROA (ex SPEEDWELL II) 1930-34,LADY PATRICIA (1943-48) and ALMARAY of course (1946 onwards).
There were many JEANs. I think this one was owned originally by S.H. Leyland and built for him by T M Lane & Sons in 1919, but there were so many it’s a jungle.

Jean 7314



JEAN 7314

Jean started life as a Jack Guard fishing trawler, launched c1953. She was converted at Havelock in 2005 for pleasure use. She measures 45′ & is powered by a rebuilt 125hp Gardner 6LX that sees her cruise at around 8 knts. 4sale on trademe, she has the makings of a nice live aboard. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the heads up.

Do we know any more about her past?

And at the risk of boring everyone – REMEMBER the Classic Launch Parade & Riverhead Hotel lunch cruise on Sunday 😉

09-02-2020 Input from Paddy GerardBuilt by Jack Guard in Pukatea Bay, French Pass for Merle Rayner of Kaikoura. Jean is presumably named after Merle’s late niece Jean Brooks (daughter of Keith and Wikitoria Rayner), who passed away in 1942 in her mid twenties. Merle died in 1959 and his son, Russell, took Jean to Timaru and continued fishing until he sold Jean in 1978. I understand she later worked out of Lyttleton, Oamaru and Bluff. Vince Armstong from Havelock bought her in about 2007/2008 and spent 18 months stripping her out- new ribs, new deck beams, engine overhaul, recaulking, and a brand new wheelhouse fitted. I coincidentally bumped into the chap who did the caulking a few months back – he mentioned that when they pulled the Gardner out they found the bilge had been filled with concrete! I think Vince sold Jean in about 2012 and she has had four owners since then. One of those owners tragically lost his life in the Platino yacht accident in 2016. I am now living on her in Wellington and look forward to giving her plenty of TLC and learning more about her past.

Rosemary M – A peek down below



Rosemary M – A peak down below

Rosemary M has appeared numerous times on ww in various ‘states’, in todays photos she is looking very smart, possibly the best she has in her 102 year life.
She was built in 1915 by Lanes & named Rothesay, which became Maude T, that became Speedwell, that became Jean, that became Rosemary M. No wonder we get confused on the provenance of these classic motor boats 🙂

As a result of her trademe listing we get to have a peek down below, again very impressive.  Enjoy the tour 🙂

If the weekend has gone to plan, tomorrow there will be coverage from the Mahurangi Regatta – the biggest on-the-water classic boating event in NZ.
I promise lots & lots of photos.

If anyone has photos from either Mahurangi or yesterdays Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta – email in to

New photos added 16-11-2017

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