Mystery Napier Launch Bay of Islands woody – Dean Wright, recently escaped the winter-less north and has been mooching around the Napier marina. Dean spotted the very streamlined looking launch above, can anyone tell us about the boat?
Dean also snapped the photo below of the Napier Sailing Club’s patrol boat – someone has a very good idea for fitting a boat out , well done, she is a looker.
Input from Michael O’Dwyer – The Watchman was built in Dunedin around 1955 especially for the Napier Sailing Club. She has conducted patrol duties ever since. A club stalwart, she received a well earned makeover a couple of years ago.
Todays launch is named Phoebe & is currently hauled out in Napier getting some TLC. She has been in Napier for approx. 12 years. Prior to this its believed she was based in Auckland.
According to a name plate on board she was originally called Imp & built by Collings and Bell in 1952. Her length is 24′.
Her current owner is Stan Escourt (Napier) & he told Mike that the cabin top was added by Lanes and built over the original canvas covering the fore cabin. It’s still in place inside but hidden by synthetic carpet.
Phoebe is powered by a Ford 2711 E 4.15L motor.
So woodys do we know anymore about Phoebe/Imp?
Harold Kidd input
Collings & Bell built an earlier IMP for Frank Pidgeon of the Ace Tyre Company in September 1937. She was a 17ft runabout with a 40hp 4 cyl Lycoming which gave her 28 mph, pretty fast for the time. That IMP replaced (or complemented) an earlier IMP, a 14ft single-step hydroplane “built on anti-trip principles” which Sam Ford built for Frank in November 1936, also with a Lycoming. He raced both boats enthusiastically. In 1952 Frank Pidgeon would have been only 50 so it’s reasonable to think that he may have commissioned this one too.