Bay of Islands Big Game Fishing Boats Today’s great photos from the 1960’s, come to us from Hylton Edmonds and show Miss Helen (1930 Colin Wild) and Leilani at ‘work’ in the BOI.
Hylton commented that Leilani was owned at the time by George Wooler of Waihi Akrad Radio fame – later PYE Radio (NZ) and had the legendary skipper Jimmy Whitelaw at the wheel. Leilani was later sold to Bill Hall. Miss Helen was predominantly skippered at the time by Neville Fuller – Norman’s brother.
In the background of the Leilani photo, Hylton thinks the launch could be George Warne’s – Rosemary.
I recently received the above b/w photo of the launch Leilani, sent in by Graeme Varcoe. This photo was taken during the period of ownership by Alfred Sibun. Graeme comment that Sibum was so taken with the Leilani that he sold her and built a launch in the same style. This boat was the Centaurus and was one of the last to be built at the Baileys shipyard. The second photo above is of the Centaurus.
Harold Kidd has perviously supplied the following provenance on Leilani – she was built as FLORAE (Latin for “flowers”), but at times her name has appeared as Floray . Harold is of the belief that Lidgard’s built the hull and Major George Bailey finished her at his Wheturangi Road home. Percy Coutts owned her until he died in 1960. He bought Harold’s father’s business and renamed it Coutts Motors and was very successful importing fine cars, now part of the Giltrap empire on the same site in Great North Road.
As LEILANI she had numerous owners after Percy Coutts, including A.G. Sibun of Bleakhouse Road, Ken Archer who was active in Coastguard with her, followed by B.J. Craies, and finally a spell in Coromandel c.1999.
The photo below (ex Ken Ricketts) was taken of Leilani c.2016 looking very sad in Thames, owned at the time by Jason Lockwood – can anyone update us on the current situation / status of the vessel ?
You can read more on her at the WW link below – check out the comments section – good banter around her name 🙂
First part of the xmas holiday was a road trip to Kerikeri > Te Ngaere Bay > Whangaroa > Mangonui > Karikari Peninsula.
I had never been to Te Ngaere Bay before, its one of those off the main highway, not sign posted places. Simply stunning spot, I’ll bore you with a few photos below. Popped over to Whangaroa & snapped a few of the classics at the marina – most have been on ww before but they deserve to be seen again 🙂
The ‘headlights’ on Leilani are an unusual feature…….. , even snapped a couple of yachts.
Leilani was built by building contractor & service station proprietor, Major Bailey, a friend of Ken Rickett’s family, on the Cnr. of Wheturangi & Green Lane Rds., & launched in 1949.
Currently owned by Jason Lockwood for the last 5 years. The previous owner had kept the boat at Coromandel for many years & eventually took her to Thames with a view to removing rot from the upper sections of the bow.
It was while at Thames that Jason saw her & bought her, then moved her to Kopu (photo above) – where she was for approx. 3 years. Jason moved her to his property at Thames town around 2 years ago.
When purchased she had a 6cyl. Ford diesel & was fitted with a shoe rudder prop & shaft, however whilst at Kopu these ‘disappeared’.
Jason had removed her paint & started a re-caulking process as part of a major refit / repair & refurbish, looking at the photo, taken by Ken (April 2016), this appears to have stalled & the coamings have reached the stage of disrepair, to the point where they will have to be demolished as they are semi collapsed.
Can we expand more on her history – design, past owners etc. Ken recalls that she was a late 1940’s build.
13-08-2016 Harold Kidd Input
She was built as FLORAE (Latin for “flowers”) not FLORAY. I think Lidgards built the hull and Major George Bailey finished her at his Wheturangi Road home. It was PERCY Coutts who owned her until he died in 1960. He bought my father’s business and renamed it Coutts Motors and was very successful importing fine cars, now part of the Giltrap empire on the same site in Great North Road. As LEILANI she had numerous owners after Percy Coutts, including A.G. Sibun of Bleakhouse Road, Ken Archer who was active in Coastguard with her, followed by B.J. Craies, and finally a spell in Coromandel where I photographed her in 1999. She’s not the game boat LEILANI that was at Mangonui, run by Don Lightband of course. In fact I can’t vouch for the fact that the LEILANI owned by Sibun and Archer is this one and may well be the game boat. No doubt WW spotters will pick that up and put me right with relish!
Mooching Around Whangaroa photos ex Nathan Herbert
Last weekend Nathan took a break (based on the weather forecast) from working on Lucinda & headed north to Whangaroa for some R&R. He reports the fishing was good.
This collection of photos show some of the woodys Nathan spied in the harbour (Totara North) while aboard Korara.
Retired commercial fisherman, Brian Candy told ww that his friend, Michael Hayes, who owns ‘Leilani’, which was Bill Hall’s first game fishing boat, has been trying to find out more on the history of her. They believe that Leilani was built by Tabbet and Cardot but that is all Michael has been able to find out.
Michael has spent a lot of money on her over the last ten years rebuilding and upgrading her to her former glory. Michael uses her for big game fishing and cruising & she is based at Whangaroa.
If any woodys can come up with some history on her, both Brian & Michael would be very grateful.