Woody Baden Pascoe recently sent in the above photos of Marlin seen here in the top photo at Whitianga c.1968 after being re-powered with a Caterpillar 320.
At this time she was owned by Alf Clow (photos are courtesy of the Clow family). Alf bought Marlin off Rolly Smith who used her for game fishing. It is believed that prior to Rolly Smith she was owned by the Thames Harbour Board (who went bust).
The thinking is Marlin was build by Sam Ford, but there is know knowledge as to the launching date.
The second photo shows the new Cat 320 being lowered into Marlin, seems a rather large donk for the size of the boat. Thence the last photo of her flying along with Clow family on board.
The dinghy on the stern is from the hands of Howard Pascoe 🙂
Any woodys able to shed more light on the history of Marlin?
Input from Barbara Cooke – Rolly Smith was my uncle. He purchased Marlin during the early years of WW11 for the purpose of deep sea fishing but due to government fuel restrictions this wasn’t permitted. He and his young family farmed at Fletchers Bay, top of Coromandel. After the war they returned to Whitianga where Rolly operated Marlin for chartering and game fishing. In later years his son Bruce skippered Tuatea, another game fishing vessel in Whitianga.
Input from Ross Dawson – Papers Past, Thames Star 11.3.1926 tells us…”the Harbour Board’s new launch Marlin, was brought down from Auckland on Tuesday by the Dredgemaster,..Mr Roche” and in the same newspaper 31 March 1926 says…”…the launch passed government inspection on 10.3.1926….fit to ply with 8 passengers within extended river limits when not towing and with suitable canvas over the cockpit, or with 16 passengers within river limits proper….length 31.75 feet, breadth 8.25 feet, depth 2.87 feet, horsepower 30-35, crew 2. Registered as “Marlin” …” So, no builder but it shouldn’t be too hard to find a reference to the launching about Jan – Feb 1926, in the Auckland newspapers.
Input from Harold Kidd – Can’t say I was confident about my last posting. Did some more digging and found that the Thames Harbour Board commissioned this launch from Sam Ford as a towboat, largely used for their dredge. She was unnamed but was completed in early 1926. Her dimensions were 31’6″ loa, 8’3″ beam and 2’6″ draft and 2.87tons displ. Things can’t have worked out as she was up for tender in August 1928 (again unnamed). The Secretary of the Harbour Board was later charged with embezzling a large sum from the Board and it folded shortly afterwards.
So the memories of all concerned were absolutely spot on!
Now we have to sort out what her name was before it was changed to MARLIN. Lovely boat! How nice it’s Sam Ford.
I’m just in the process of preparing a series of Boating NZ articles on him. This boat just shows the breadth of his skills at much the same time as WHAKAARI and before his Art Deco cruisers.
The photos above of the 36’ c.1952/53 possibly Sam Ford built – Lady Ellison were sent in by John Burland and show her at Nelson Marina.
The lady has made two appearances (July 2015 and May 2019) on WW, links below, from the photos above its obvious that she is now a well used, semi commercial vessel. Read the links and comments sections – lots of chat on her past.
Two photos below – b/w = as launched. Colour = 2015 (click to enlarge)
LADY KARITA – Restoration – A Very Late Update
Sometimes I’m bad ……. Looking for a photo in my rather large photo library last week, I stumbled across a group of photos I tool of Lady Karita almost a year ago while in Nelson. A quick check in the WW search box revealed that I had overlooked the photos, so apologies to owner Murray Shaw.
Hopefully today’s story will prompt Murray to send in an update, as I’m sure the restoration will have moved along considerably since early March 2019 🙂
The 43’ Lady Karita was built in1938 by Sam Ford and has made numerous appearances on WW, links below.
The photo below is an oldie but shows off the lady very well.
Avalon – Sam Ford Launch
A friend of mine was working last week on an Auckland property and spotted the above woody on a neighbouring property. Being a friendly chap he introduced himself to the property owner, who god bless her is well into her 80’s and lives alone. The boat has been in the family since the 1970’s and she and her late husband used to cruise the gulf in her. She even went solo after he passed away 🙂
What we know is that the owner is fairly certain the launch is a Sam Ford, 24’ in length but the husband added a few feet to the stern.
Prior to being hauled out she was kept on a swing mooring in the Beachhaven Wharf area. She may have been named Avalon.
Note the ‘eyebrow’ over both sets of forward facing windows – its an often over looked feature that really adds a salty look to the right vessel.
I’m interested in ID’ing the launch and also agreeing on the design / builder – I’ll be shot down in flames, but to my eye, she has a hint of Couldrey to her. Nathan H………….. help me 🙂
Now the interesting thing is, to the right buyer, she could possibly be acquired. Price tba but you wouldn’t need to see the bank manager for a loan 😉
I have kept names and boat location out of the story – the last thing the owner wants is a stampede of people knocking on her door.
Input from Cameron Pollard – She is a Sam Ford and named Avalon. 1954 launch day photo below.
MYSTERY LAUNCH 27-08-2019. Maristella
The above launch is seen here in the flotilla of pleasure craft welcoming the SS Gothic into Auckland in 1953.
As mentioned previously SS Gothic had very special cargo aboard – the Queen.
Can anyone ID the launch? Its been ID’ed as the 1936, Sam Ford built – Maristella. Details at the WW link below
Click Link to RSVP https://waitematawoodys.com/2019/08/08/how-often-do-you-use-your-classic-boat/