Back in October 2017 I was contacted by Nelson boat builder / restorer Peter Murton seeking info on a launch named Lady Carole (colour photos above) that he had in his shed for some TLC. At the time Nathan Herbert commented that at one stage Lady Carole was owned by his father’s uncle (Pat Smith) & was based at Whangaroa.
Fast forward 2-1/2 years and I’m contacted by Jean Martinovich whose father, Gordon Thompson, owned a boat called Lady Carole in the 1950’s/60’s.
Jean mentioned that she had a photo (b/w above) of the boat with her Dad at the helm and others on board in the Bay of Islands where they spent many days, weeks and years deep sea fishing. The boat was moored at Tutukaka.
Jean’s brother, Colin Thompson, has told her that their father purchased Lady Carole for 2,760 pounds from Ivan Watkins who at the time owned Whangarei Tractor Company. Colin believes the boat was built by Demmings.
In my eyes the boats are one. But the man with the best eye on WW – Nathan Herbert can confirm that for us 🙂
Jean was born in 1945 and remembers the wonderful times they spent as a family in the Bay of Islands on Lady Carole and during the summer months at Tinopai a small beach place on the Kaipara Harbour. Jean’s grandparents retired there as her poppa had a love of fishing and boating.
Gordon used to transport Lady Carole overland on a large transporter truck and trailer to the Kaipara Harbour for the summer. At that time the boat was kept on a jetty at a small place called Raupo on the Northern Wairoa River as the family home was in Ruawai where Gordon was a butcher.
At some stage Gordon sold the boat and Jean later learned the boat got jammed under the Waitangi Bridge where she was damaged. She was sold to Gordon Campbell (date unknown) but he redecorated her and then sold her on. Brother Colin caught his first marlin on Lady Carole when he was 14 years old, he will be 79 this year.
06-12-2022 UPDATE ex Di Maxwell – I can confirm that this boat was owned by my Dad, Pat Smith. My Grandfather, Albert Cyril (Chappie) Baldwin, owned it before Dad, and left it to Dad in his will to remain in the family. Sadly my brother sold it some time after my Dad died in 1984.
I don’t know when my grandfather purchased it but I do remember family holidays on it when I was a child, from sometime in the 1960s. Pop (Chappie) moored it at Waipapa Landing, and I do recall during one flood that it was underwater, I think from the mooring ropes not sliding on the poles. It did have a Grey Marine Petrol motor at that stage. In 1972 or 73 when Pop died and left it to Dad, he took it to Whangaroa where it was moored. I remember one occasion when Dad was filling the boat at the end of the jetty in front of the Marlin Hotel, the fumes from the petrol wafted into the cabin and were ignited by the pilot light on the fridge. Dad’s legs were badly burned in that incident. The motor was replaced at some stage later with a diesel but it was never the same. I was under the impression that it was built by Lanes but I may well be wrong. Many many happy family memories involved with this boat, and if it were ever for sale, I would love to know.
Below Is A Link To Another WoodenBoat Magazine Video Chat
This week WB editor Matt Murphy chats to WB founder Jon Wilson – click to hear the back story to the magazine and business that introduced most of us to our addiction – Enjoy 🙂