I was recently contacted by Anita Friedman in regard to the launch Roamer, which was owned by one of her father-in-law’s uncles, Frederick Louis Pierce Friedman, possibly from 1919 and to late in WW2.
In the photos above, the top one shows Roamer moored at Diamond Harbour, Lyttelton Harbour.
The hauled out photo, dated Labour Day 1940, was taken on the slipway at Lyttelton. At the time Roamer was still owned by Fred Friedman.
Anita’s understanding is that Fred Friedman entered ocean races, probably to Akaroa, in Roamer. (Refer the April 28, 1930 press clipping above). He also was a member of the New Brighton Powerboat Club and moored the Roamer there. He lived on Roamer.
When Fred died Roamer was passed to his nephew, Maurice Friedman. After Maurice was killed in WW2 the Roamer was sold.
Can any of the woodys enlighten us more on Roamer & what became of her?
Input ex Harold Kidd – George Andrews of Redcliffs built the 40 footer ROAMER in 1911-2, possibly at Millers in Corsair Bay. Andrews ran her commercially as a passenger launch until he went off on the Hospital Ship MAHENO in 1915 in charge of the two donated motorboats aboard. Lawrence Joyce took her over and passed her to F. L. Friedman by 1927. By 2003 she was still in Lyttelton owned by Noel Norris and in 2011was for sale on Trade Me. So she still soldiers on it seems..
10-09-2018 Update from Dennis Rule – Dennis was in Lyttleton on Sunday (09-09-2018) and spotted Roamer, a live & well & looking very sharp.
I was contacted by Bromley, Christchurch boat builder Davie Norris about his families 40′ launch ‘Roamer’ in the hope that we could uncover more about her past. The boat previously belonged to Davie’s uncles Noel and Ken Norris and before that by his grandfather Bert Norris. They have been told that she was possible built in Cass Bay, Lyttelton & launched in 1911.
A summary of her known past ownership is :-
• owned in 1914 by George Andrews & moored in Moncks Bay, Christchurch.
• owned by Mr Friedman in 1928
• owned c.1961 by Cliff Steinhouse.
During Steinhouse’s ownership there was an explosion onboard while the launch was being slipped in the estuary at Moncks Bay, as a result she burnt out & sunk. Davie is friends with Cliff Steinhouse’s son, Mike, who as a young boy watched the event from the shore.
So woodys can we help Davie out?
The photos below were prior to the addition last season of a new cabin top (as per the above photos)
Update from Davie Norris
The fire on board was around 55 years ago as Mike Steinhouse is now 60 ish and he can recall watching her burst into flames as she was motoring to the slipway in Redcliffs. She drifted onto a sand bank before the fire was put out. The cabin top suffered badly and was rebuilt then.
When my grandad purchased her some years later she was sunk on her mooring in Lyttelton. He re-powered the boat and moved the engine forward into the bunk room to give more space in the main saloon.
My uncles cut off the cabin top about 30 years ago and rebuilt it.
We cut that off last year and replaced it as it was rotten, you will see in the 2 photos below we raised it 150mm.
02-07-20176 Harold Kidd Input – photo below of Roamer in 1935, ex PapersPast ex Press (Christchurch) 14th Jan 1935)