Just prior to Christmas the owners of Alibi, a rather elegant Mason Clipper, quietly slipped her into Greg Lees shed at Sandspit. I understand that she’s in for a minimum of 3 months for a ‘makeover’ – we have seen some stunning makeovers from the shed in recent times. – Trinidad, Mahanui, Arohanui – so we look forward to following with interest – nudge nudge Greg Lees, photos please 🙂
(Photos ex Mason Marine Clippers fb)
Photo below Oct 1979 – Sea Trial on the Waitemata Harbour ex fb via K Ricketts
INPUT EX ALAN SEXTON – Copy of original Sea Spray article below + more photos from her recent haul out at the Sandspit yard.
You will note the she still has her original engines twin straight 6 Chrysler Mitsubishis.
There has been chat recently as to the status of the launch Kitty Vane – so todays story is a shout out for an update on the project.
Firstly a summary of what we know ( thank you Harold Kidd, Brian Worthington & Val Monk ) – Kitty Vane was launched in 1956, designed and built by T.C. (Ces) Watson, Laurie Going (father of Hugh Going) worked on her as well. She is named after Katherine (Kitty) Airini Vane, a famous artist from Northland.
She was based at Whangarei Deep Sea Anglers Club at Tutukaka for many years and was still under charter there in 1991. She went to the aid of the crew of Stella wrecked on Wide Berth Island in 1963.
Later ownership moved to John Going who changed the cabin style, he continued to operate her out of Tutukaka. John also ventured down the west coast game fishing and also sailed Kitty Vane up to Tonga game fishing.
In the top two b/w photos dated 1961 we see Hugh and Rona Going fishing off Tutukaka, a fine looking woody.
Back in January 2015 I spotted Kitty Vane hauled out at Te Atatu Boating Club, Auckland, colour photos above, where she was getting some TCL. According to her transom home is / was Tutukaka.
Boat yard chat is that in 2019 she ‘returned’ to Northland.
Do not know if it was on a truck or under her own steam. Anyone able to enlighten us on her?
13-06-2020 Update – LINE DRAWINGS – Peter Watson, sent in the below original drawing of Kitty-Vane done by his father – T.C. (Yes) Watson
The Slippery Slope
From the ceiling signs at the 1968 Boat and Caravan Show, held at the Epsom Showgrounds – the writing was on the wall (poor pun) for the demise of the wooden boat building industry. Great to see Clipper / Mason Marine tucked away in top left corner 🙂
In recent years there has been a resurgence in the restoration of the Mason Marine motor boats. Aside from being very smart craft, the ability to pop them on a trailer & take them home, cuts out the savage marina costs. Her owner has had her since 1993, in later years she was always a project to be completed but life got in the way.
Todays deep vee Clipper 26, Argo, & is for sale on trademe, she looks a little tired after sitting out in the weather for years but the bones are their. Her looks are deceiving. Her hull has been tapped her out and she sounds good. Internal wood work needs a lot of attention.
Although the Clippers originally never had a flying bridge, one was added with hydraulic steering top and bottom.
This boat comes with a 6.4 GMC Diesel motor (not converted) Volvo stern leg plus the standard bits and pieces that were on her originally.
The photos of her in her original glory are from Pete Miller’s web site. Got to love the photo from the “old times” checking for fuel leaks whilst the character n the background has his smoke.
Argo had a wide beam of 9’6” & interesting construction of strip plank cedar glassed on the exterior and ribs on the interior. Fuel consumption must have been fierce with twin 283cu inboards originally, later replaced by a 440cu Magnum 4bbl and she had a third with a 440 cu Magnum with a 6 BBL carb. But then fuel was dirt cheap in those days.
Received an email the other day from Paul Clarke who purchased in December 2016 the very original 35′ Mason Clipper Korari II. She came from Picton, where she had spent many years, her last owner was a Jeremy Daley. Korari II came north to Auckland in February 2017. Her zoom zoom comes from twin 135hp Perkins.
Paul would love to know more details on her build & past.
Today’s post breaks one of the fundamental ww rules, it has to be wood………….. but sometimes rules need to be broken (not too often).
Capri IV is a Mason Marine Clipper 24 built in the early 1970’s & if you believed the company hype back in those days “the finest powerboat in the world”.
In recent weeks I have had the pleasure of sharing some time with the her present owner, Michael Fann & her previous owner, Tim Evill. Both gents are wonderful, passionate classic boaties but I understand that it was the owner prior to Tim, a Taupo resident who painstakingly restored her.
Capri IV is 24′ long with a beam of 8′, these days she is powered by a Volvo Penta 5.7L V8 that has her comfortably cruising at 22>24 knots & topping out at 32>34 knots -thats quick for a boat of her size. I imagine that Michael is on first name terms with the the fuel jetty jockey 🙂
I have dropped a copy of the May 1971 boat test from Sea Spray magazine into a slide show for viewing, see below. Click to pause & enlarge.
When launched the Clipper 24′ had a quite a revolutionary launching set-up with a sliding cradle trailer (see photo), further proof of the build skills of the team at Mason Marine, Capri IV is still using the same trailer today – thats over 40 years later.
Some of the sales advertisements make amusing reading, as do the features on Tony Mason.
Siren is a 19ft Marlin launched at Onehunga just prior to Labour weekend 1958, it is believed she was one of the first if not the first 19ft version built by Sutton & Mason in Mt Roskill before Tony Mason set up Mason Marine. Siren was powered by 1958 35 HP Johnson and managed about 20MPH light and struggled to plane with a load. She was later repowered with firstly a 1960 40hp Johnson, and later by an early V4 50HP followed lastly by a 75HP Johnson. Stuart says that she was always a pretty vessel and with the bigger motors a joy to pilot, although launching off the beach at Stanmore Bay could be a mission, getting such a vessel through the soft sand, in the days before proper ramps were built.
Photos above show her new – being launched at Onehunga, cruising off Stanmore Bay and Stuart’s Dad “hooning” at the same location. Stuart is not sure who’s who of the builders beside the boat but his Dad is the guy inside.
The big question – has she survived & if so where is she now?