photos & details ex Alan Craig. edited by Alan H.
Alan owns this Sea Craft 19′ in Rotorua named ‘Queen Mary’. The Queen Mary is a very lucky boat because Alan is a boat builder at Tony Mitchell’s yard in Otaramarae at Lake Rotoiti.
When Alan caught the ‘wooden boat bug’ he started looking for a project and found the Queen Mary on trademe in Rotorua.
Rumour has it that it was built as one of three to take the Queen Mother trout fishing on Lake Taupo for her visit in 1966. Alan has been told her visit was proposed in 1964 as she fell ill. She came in 1966 but there was no time for fishing apparently.
The build date of the boat is unknown but the below Sea Spray article from April 1964 talks about the 17 footer and smaller ones built, but no mention of the 19′. It may have been the ‘privately owned’ boat mentioned? Alan guessed that there would have been a certain amount of secrecy around them. Alan has dated the engines (1500 Ford Cortina) at 1963 via the serial numbers.
The Queen Mary was a deviation by Sea Craft from the production boats at the time and was right up there with style also. Her hull is beautifully built double skin kauri, being diagonal inside and longitudinal outside (varnished)
It was owned by Internal Affairs and it was only put up for sale in the 1980’s. To who, we don’t know?
Alan is slowly bringing her back to life after having been left outside to rot away for the last few (10?) years. The photos are as found and progress through the rebuilding of side decks to recently painted deck and a bit of varnish inside. The side and aft deck were worst affected and parts of the cabin sides, but the hull remains in very good nick. She sits on the original trailer.
Alan’s not sure about ‘Queen Mary’ being her original name and is very interested to know about the yellow registration sticker for the Port of Tauranga that is in the window?
Someone else must have seen her around somewhere, perhaps Taupo? Of particular interest would be clarification of the royal link.
Included below are photos of two boats, Arohanui (x2 being launched) which was once owned by Nathen Herbet’s father and the one with the three blokes that was sent to Alan by Lionel Sands from when they had one at Waihaha Lake Taupo in the early 1960’s. None of these can be Alan’s as they both have painted hulls.
More photos of Arohanui (ex Nathan Herbert)