Paul Newell sent me the above photo of a small 20ft launch, named Carolyn,  he owned for about 20 years. Paul purchased her in the late 70s from Don Garner of Onehunga who had purchased the launch Little Tasman and was in the early stages of restoring her when he became ill and passed away. 

Carolyn was powered by a Ford Consul petrol engine which Paul removed and fitted a BMC Captain diesel. There was a log book on board which said she was built by Lanes of Panmure for a Mr Wells, a City Councillor of Panmure. 

Paul sold Carolyn in the late 1990’s when he purchased the McGeady built launch Arohanui. Paul saw Carolyn a few years later in very run down condition.

Other than sharing the photo with us, Paul’s primary reason for contacting WW is to enquire if she is still around today? 

Any woodys able to help out with intel?


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Primadonna is a 36′, 1905 whale chaser built by Lanes for a family with a farm in Tory Channel. Was used as a whale chaser until the end of the whaling era and then became a farm transportation boat for the same family who owned her till her current owner bought her.

She is built out of double diagonal kauri and powered with a 72hp Ford. Cruises at about 8 0r 9 knots at 1500 revs. She has accommodation for 2 and a small wheel house which you can steer from inside of the weather goes bad. Currently 4sale on trademe- thanks to Ian McDonald for the heads up.

Harold Kidd Input
There’s a bit of manufactured history here. Ernie Lane didn’t come to Picton until 1907 and doesn’t appear to have built PRIMA DONNA. Most authorities say she was built by Alf Baldick between 1910 and 1915 for himself and Derbyshire as a whalechaser to compete with the Peranos. She remained in the ownership of the Baldick family until at least 2001.
She’s been on WW before; see

PS the “second generation” of whalechasers used by the Baldicks were SUSSEX and PEERLESS, in competition with the Peranos’ CRESCENT, BALAENA and CACHALOT. Ernie Lane built SUSSEX and PEERLESS for the Baldicks in 1916. Lane built the Peranos’ CRESCENT and BALAENA but CACHALOT was built in 1916 to a design by Chas. Collings by Kensitt at Picton. She was the THIRD generation of whalechaser and had a 130/150 hp Van Blerck, typical Collings’ concave-convex hard chine planing hull.




photos ex trademe

Sou’East was built by Lanes in 1947, solid kauri carvel planked. She measure 39’3” & is powered by twin 90 hp Ford diesels on V drives.  Underneath all the additions there is a very smart classic , see photo below.

Currently for sale.

She has younger sister – Nor’West that was built in 1951, also by Lanes. View here


Ken Ricketts took the above photo of Sou’East in Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island, Christmas 1949


details & photos ex Judith Wallath

Stella was built by Lanes of Totara North in the mid 1950s.  Benjamin (Ben) Le Clerc, farmer of Otara, Helena Bay, bought her from Lanes.  Stella was 32 ft, built of kauri, with a petrol motor and set up as a game boat.  Later, while moored at Helena Bay, a petrol explosion occurred which blew out the forward hatch.  She sat on the beach for three months while having a 40 h,p, diesel motor installed.
Disaster struck again on the 21st April 1963 when Ben was returning from a fishing trip with eight men on board, and a catch of 13 hapuka.  The boat hit a rock off the Wide Berth (Limerick, Rimiriki) Islands.  A mayday signal was sent which was picked up at Russell and Port Charles.  In the meantime the boat broke up and the men clambered onto a rock.  The first to answer the mayday call were Jack Foote of Footes Bay and Mr J.D Prestney, manager of Mimiwhangata.  A runabout was sent out, which laboured to the mainland with 11 people on board.  Mr Prestney was off-loaded at Mimiwhangata.  He raced to his Landrover and flashed his headlights to attract the attention of the Kitty Vane which was approaching from Tutukaka.
Meanwhile the other ten proceeded towards Helena Bay where disaster struck again. The runabout struck a submerged reef and began to sink.  All had to abandon ship once again and cling to a small dinghy which was being towed.  It was 3 a.m. before they reached the mainland again.  21 year old Glenys Foote was the heroine of the event.  She rowed the dinghy that transferred the men from the rocks to the runabout, and then later rowed the 8 men to shore while Ben swam.

So woodys can anyone add to the history of Stella. Was she salvaged or slipped away to Davey Jones locker? There is some confusion as to her length some say 32′ others 38′, can anyone confirm?

Harold Kidd Input

STELLA apparently WAS a total loss when she went aground on the Limericks, Wide Berth Island, on 21/4/1963, that is according to Madge Malcolm’s book “Where it all began”, but the wreck doesn’t appear in “Shipwrecks of NZ”. She was then owned by B.C. Le Clerc of Helena Bay and was a 38ft bridgedecker. I think she was probably supplied by Lanes at Totara North but was undoubtedly built by Lanes at Auckland, despite the Sam Ford-type waist windows.



The listing on trademe says this 27’9″ kauri launch was built in 1924 by Lanes.Powered by a new 40h.p. Isuzu diesel.
She has the potential to be a a very nice classic – I love the out riggers 🙂

Keen to know more about her, at her asking prize of $20k, it appears to be a lot of boat.

05-01-2016 Updated photos of Ngawini moored at Tryphena ex Rod Marler




Built by Lanes in 1948 Nautilus, 8.5m, is currently a lake boat on Lake Rotoiti, pictured above at the 2014 Lake Rotoiti Classic & Wooden Boat Parade. She came to the lake in 1996 having been previously based at Tauranga.

Anyone able to expand on her life ?

Glyn Bird


photos from Russell Ward, Dean Wright,Baden Pascoe,trademe

details from Russell Ward,Baden Pascoe,Ken Ricketts

Built 1909 by Ernie Lane, 54ft long.

Was owned by Parry Bros the tug & scoria people for many years, from the 1930s through till at least the 1972-73.

She is most likely still powered by a 1956, 150h.p., 8 cyl in line, 8L3 Gardner diesel.

She was originally used for a good number of years as the “rubbish boat” by Parrys, collecting & disposing at sea of rubbish from visiting overseas & coastal ships to the Port of Auckland. She was later converted to a tug in the 1950s & used extensively for towing shingle barges from Kaiawa to Auckland, ferrying shingle from the quarry there.

She was converted to a tug by R Lidgard,  who also replaced the original little wheelhouse with a larger replacement in the 1950s, now missing (refer below).

She was eventually laid up at Herald Island for quite a period & eventually sold by Parrys, & was sold either by them, or by others in-between, to Russell Ward, who used her for pleasure use.

In Russell’s words “I salvaged her from Herald Island on a stormy night and got her to Westpark where she was slipped and major hull repairs done. I then did a walking refurbishment over about 8 years but it was not a restoration”. Russell had a long love affair with her that ended about three years ago  (2010) when he sold her to a Nelson fisherman. During this period she caught fire (wheelhouse) on the hard at Tarakohe.

Glyn Bird has now ended up in the B.O.I. & is for sale on trademe.