Royal Falcon Restoration Update June 2020
Royal Falcon Restoration Update June 2020
Mystery Woodys at Kawau Island
NOT Mullet boats but 18-foot V-class. See endless posts and publications over the last 20 years (puts hobby horse back in stable)
From what I can make of the name on her transom, the light coloured hull looks to be Vaalele, V-78, built by Charlie Hardman to a Ralph Goodwin design in 1936.She was one of the four Auckland 18-footers that travelled to Sydney for the first World’s 18-footer championship in 1938. Charlie Hardman kept Vaalele until 1939 when he sold her to S.H. Bailey.
The darker boat is a bit later and looks to be quite new. She’s marconi rigged and could possibly be another Charlie Hardman / Ralph Goodwin boat, Vindex, V-35 built in 1939. Marconi rigs were not common in the V-class but by 1939 the more competitive yachtsmen were moving away from gaff.
From other photos I have seen, she was painted a dark colour, either black or royal blue and was marconi rigged. Vindex was laid up in 1940 and In 1944 he sold Vindex to Keith Atkinson who was working at Lidgards with Hardman.
If this is the case then that would date the photo to the summer of 1939/40, with the two Hardman boats cruising in company, and also explain the patriotic display of the Union Jack from the wharf,
15-07-2018 Update from Steve Pople (current owner)
Steve sent me the 2 b/w photos below (ex NZ Herald) of RF as launched – what a stunner, just about perfect from any angle. Steve confirmed Ken Rickets comments re being lengthened (by 6′). RF is currently in the very capable hands of Dave Patterson of Leader Boats in Pakuranga undergoing a total refit. I will updated the restoration story with new photos.
ROYAL FALCON RESTORATION
Some news on the 38’ Cox & Filmer 1934 built bridge decker – Royal Falcon from her owners Steve & Colette Pople.
Having languished on the Waipuna River for the last 10 years and now 20 – 25 years behind in maintenance its owners have moved her into a shed at Waipuna.
They have a long road ahead of them, as they plan to almost completely rebuild from the deck up plus some hull work. I’m very pleased to say they have already removed the flying bridge, due to rot, and intend to return the exterior to its 1940 shape as per the WW photo at Mansion House Bay Kawau Island (see below).
RF’s engine, a Commer TS3 has already had extensive work done it but is being further worked on by TS3 specialist Mark Erskine and will be good for another 20 years.
WW will follow this project & keep to updated.
You can read more on her here, make sure you read the comments section – lots there https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/04/22/royal-falcon/
15-07-2018 Update ex Steve Pople – photos below
The stern tube has been rebored to remove the 20 mm whip in the shaft, apparently from when the cockpit extension went on.
She has had 47 broken ribs replaced with new spotted gum steamed in ribs, and we have nearly finished replacing 1800 copper nails and roves !!
Engine beds have been replaced, and a new anchor locker and bulkheads are about to me made.
And a couple of photos ex the NZ Herald , as she was launched – very smart looking launch.
Yard Visit Update – 27-06-2019
I dropped into the Leader Boat Yard today to see how RF was coming along – boatbuilder Dave and owner Steve, gave me a ‘guided’ tour. The boat has been completely gutted and her cabin top removed. Lots of new ribs and almost 100% re-rivated, then the hull has been splined and glassed. New decking and beltings are complete and you will see from the photos below the new bulkheads – don’t panic about the height, once the engine is reinstalled these will be trimmed to size. The yard / boat shed is situated on the Panmure River waterfront.
We will be following this project – its estimated to be approx. 2 years before splash date.
If she looks longer than in so of the b/w photos above, thats because 6′ was added to her stern – many years ago.
Royal Falcon is a very lucky boat – not just in having Steve Pople as an owner – she was once owned (briefly) by ‘Tom The Torch’, so that was a lucky escape 😉
Update 24-07-2019 – reconditioned engine (& box) ready & waiting
Update 21-09-2020 Photos below ex owner Steve Pople , as found in the vessel’s log + one from the Andy Donovan collection
Built by the Lane Motor Company for Len Peckham in 1947, powered with 2 x 6 cyl Scripps petrol engines. One of the glamour boats in her day but misfortune followed her around – she once picked up a tow line from a boat being towed, off Devonport wharf & got the tow rope around both propellers & pulled the propeller struts out of the hull & sank, just as they got her to the nearby beach. Later on in life she went to Fiji where she was wrecked in a storm in the 1980’s. In the photos above the photo of the boys & man on the wharf, – the man is Alan Horsefall who owned Mansion House at that time.
The photos of her tied to the right hand side of the Mansion House wharf have the Nancibel & Korora inside her. The bridgedecker, we can see a little of the dodger of in one photo, is most likely Royal Falcon. Also the boat in the Alan Horsefall photo is almost certainly Valsan.
Today’s photos are from Ken Jones & were emailed to me along with comments by Ken Ricketts. You can read more of Ken’s recollection of Lady Sandra here https://wordpress.com/post/waitematawoodys.com/1166
I’m loving the A.M.Y.C. life buoy in the bottom photo 🙂