Bill Couldrey And His Boats – Help Wanted


Book author and publisher – Jenni Mence (she will hate me using that intro, but its true) whose last book was the uber cool – ‘K CLASS – The Hauraki Gulf’s Iconic Racer Cruiser’, has committed to another mammoth publication. This time focusing on the Arnold Francis (Bill) Couldrey design and boat building bloodline.

Currently in the final research phase, Jenni has called out to WW readers for help identifying the boats and discovering / confirming things like –  the boats built and when, the current owner and/or anyone (owner or otherwise) who has a story to tell about the boat. Jenni would also love to talk to anyone who has memories of Bill himself.One has to assume many of the boats won’t have lasted the distance, however there may still be stories or family photos hanging around of them.
To help keep things semi organised we have broken it into loose categories


# Athena # Shamrock # Hawke # Limerick # Mamaru # Surprise 

# Desdemona # Lanai # Freedom # Nancye # Sonoma # Salome 

# Tamarus # Gay # Maui # Nudger # Kea # Mawera. 


# Gayleen # Awatere # Tarawai # Ocean Phoenix


# Pirimanu # Kereru # Cleone # Manunui # Reremoana # Tirimoana # Lisa Ann

# Rag Doll # Natalie # Cabaletta (may have previously been called Latitude) # Deborah Ann

Any further information anyone has on any of these boats – or other Couldrey boats we may not yet have identified would be really appreciated. 

As a reward for your input, everyone that helps out will go into the draw for a copy of Jenni’s K CLASS book + the best photograph submitted (judged by Alan H) also goes into a draw for a another copy of the book. Thats 2 Copies To Be Won. Draw Close off date is August 1st – just in time for Father’s Day

Initial Contact To Jenni Mence at

Shamrock (Shamrock Leaf)


Shamrock (originally Shamrock Leaf) was built by Bailey and Lowe and launched in 1915.   She started life powered by a 25hp Sterling petrol engine and could reach speeds of 10 knots. She was converted to diesel in 1936. Built for Arch McCarthy who ran the ferry service from Waitakaruru to Thames until the Kopu Bridge was opened.

Arch sold her to John Faulkner in 1925 where she worked as a ferry and tug in Tauranga harbour towing barges from Motiti Island and Mayor Island. She was sold in 1980 and went to Kawau Island where she did tug work towing log rafts and barges during the building of many of the wharfs at Kawau. With the tides permitting she would take the locals to Warkworth to do shopping etc. She was then on sold and was charter fishing from Leigh to Great and Little Barrier Islands.

In 2000 she was purchased by Rod Bridge from Shamrock Charters and sailed to the Kaipara Harbour where she would spend the next six years doing charter fishing in the harbour and over the Kaipara bar. It was 2000 when she was deregistered as a passenger ship and dropped the Leaf to become just Shamrock.   She holds the record for being the oldest vessel in continuous commercial survey in NZ.

Her current owners, Trish & Martin Beeby purchased her in 2006 from Rod Bridge and sailed her back to Auckland where she now resides at Te Atatu. She has competed in 3 Auckland Anniversary day Tug Boat Races and has not disgraced herself. Now powered by a 150hp Ford Dover her 4th engine after she had a Isuzu and a GM 4 /71.   2014 is her 99th year & she just passed another survey for insurance purposes and she is still doing well.

Trish has done a lot of work tracing her past but if anyone has any information or photos email them to

Photo below ex Zach Matich of Shamrock while she was chartering on the Kaipara out of Helensvillle


Photo below ex classicboatsnz showing Shamrock Leaf out at  Bailey & Lowe

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Update 09-10-2020 Unshore of the date but looking a tad more ‘pleasure’ craft.