As I said on yesterdays post one of the highlights for me personally of attending the 2015 Mahurangi Regatta was getting to see Pauline & Harold Kidd’s 1919 Bailey & Lowe launch Romance II post her restoration under the hands of Marco Scuderi. If you asked Marco he would tell you that Harold was VERY clear in the project brief, in fact I would suspect there has not been a launch that has been so thoroughly researched & documented 😉 The brains trust of classic wooden boats were all over this project, Harold even had Robert Brooke swinging the caulking mallet.
There are still a few projects to be completed but visually the team have nailed it.
Unfortunately I did not manage to get a photo of her at speed, she was just to quick for Raindance. She did look very smart leaving the harbour on Sunday morning at ‘full chat’ (a HDK term).
We took about half a ton of modern excrescences out of her, sink bench, stove/oven and that huge hideous dodger, leaving only coms, stereo, deep freeze and head. Marco repositioned the Morse control so that we can now get full revs (probably 3500) out of the lusty Moon Engines-set up Hino diesel.
Walter Bailey designed her for 17 knots with a 100/150hp Sterling so she has the lines but is much lighter without the Yankee benzine-gobbler.
She now gets up on what passes for a plane earlier than before but we carried out no full power trials and didn’t get anywhere near “full chat” at Mahurangi, just hurried along to catch up with and photograph the lovely JESSIE LOGAN and WAIRIKI heading home on Sunday morning. I reckon she’ll nudge 20 knots when we summon up the courage.
On the other hand, she handled the nasty easterly jobble coming home from Bon Accord early on Monday morning well, ticking over at 1200 rpm and making 8 knots (plus flood tide).
When the Navy did a survey of launches available for patrol purposes in 1927 she had a 100hp Stearns, the “hot” engine of the time. The comment was “good seaboat”. We confirm that.
The Mills family of Devonport, who commissioned her from Bailey & Lowe in 1919, lived in Huia Street where I lived for many years, so there are multiple resonances for us.