Bill Couldrey And His Boats – Help Wanted


Book author and publisher – Jenni Mence (she will hate me using that intro, but its true) whose last book was the uber cool – ‘K CLASS – The Hauraki Gulf’s Iconic Racer Cruiser’, has committed to another mammoth publication. This time focusing on the Arnold Francis (Bill) Couldrey design and boat building bloodline.

Currently in the final research phase, Jenni has called out to WW readers for help identifying the boats and discovering / confirming things like –  the boats built and when, the current owner and/or anyone (owner or otherwise) who has a story to tell about the boat. Jenni would also love to talk to anyone who has memories of Bill himself.One has to assume many of the boats won’t have lasted the distance, however there may still be stories or family photos hanging around of them.
To help keep things semi organised we have broken it into loose categories


# Athena # Shamrock # Hawke # Limerick # Mamaru # Surprise 

# Desdemona # Lanai # Freedom # Nancye # Sonoma # Salome 

# Tamarus # Gay # Maui # Nudger # Kea # Mawera. 


# Gayleen # Awatere # Tarawai # Ocean Phoenix


# Pirimanu # Kereru # Cleone # Manunui # Reremoana # Tirimoana # Lisa Ann

# Rag Doll # Natalie # Cabaletta (may have previously been called Latitude) # Deborah Ann

Any further information anyone has on any of these boats – or other Couldrey boats we may not yet have identified would be really appreciated. 

As a reward for your input, everyone that helps out will go into the draw for a copy of Jenni’s K CLASS book + the best photograph submitted (judged by Alan H) also goes into a draw for a another copy of the book. Thats 2 Copies To Be Won. Draw Close off date is August 1st – just in time for Father’s Day

Initial Contact To Jenni Mence at


Back in early December 2021 Dean Wright spotted the 1949, Lanes built launch – Lanai hauled out at Rangitane, where she she had been for a little while, getting some love.Lanai first appeared on WW back in July 2014 and that story was updated in Sept 2016 with new photos  – link here to the story Lots of photos and debate to ingest.

I have to say she looks very kosher without the hothouse 😉



photos & details from trademe

LANAI was built by Lanes for Frank Pidgeon of the Ace Tyre Company in 1949. Frank was shifted from Christchurch to run their Auckland operation in the late 1920s and had a succession of great launches. Frank owned her until 1953 when Vic Bedford bought her. In 1965 R E Thomas and J S Menzies owned her. She was first registered with the APYMBA with a single 106hp Graymarine and with dimensions 32’6″x 31’6″x10’6″x2’9″.

She originally had 2 x 6 cyl. Graymarine petrol engines, but is now re-powered with 2 x 4 cyl. Leyland diesels.
She is  presently berthed in Tauranga, owned by a Mr Neil, previous owners include Owen Johnson, who had her for many years & kept her at Coromandel & sometimes at Ngatea, where he was a panel beater. Owen Johnson sold her to  Rotorua owner, who sold her to Mr Neil.

In her original form, there was no fly bridge & the coamings were a fairly light coloured varnish. Another great example of the Lane craftsmanship

12-09-2016 – Updated photos