Sister Dora



Just when you think you have heard of all the classic woodys – one drops out of cyber space. Sister Dora is a newbie to me, I discovered her on Lew Redwood’s FB page (ex Akl Museum – Winkelman).

At this stage all I know is that the above photo was dated 7th March 1914 & was taken during a NZPBA race to Cowes Bay, Waiheke Island.

So woodys – the questions of the day – who built her, owned her & where is she today? A Google search only tells me about an Anglican nun 🙂

Input from Harold Kidd – I’ve done a bit more research on this boat since making (slightly erroneous) comments on Lew Redwood’s site.
There were actually four SISTER DORAs, all built for A.H. Bentley, Rear Commodore of the NZ Power Boat Ass around this time. #1 a 26 footer was built in 1909 (probably by Tom Le Huquet) as HALMAX with a HALMAX engine. That must have proved so unsatisfactory that it was pulled out and replaced with a Holliday 10hp 6 months later and the launch’s name changed to SISTER DORA.
#2 was a 32 footer built by Tom Le Huquet for J. Gillett to replace his current ZEALANDIA, and fitted with the Holliday out of HALMAX/SISTER DORA(1). Obviously Bentley didn’t want the Hoiland & Gillett-built Zealandia engine.
#3 was this boat, built by Tom Le Huquet in November 1913 and fitted with a 2 cylinder 8hp Westman engine for which W R Twigg was the agent. Bentley sold her in late 1916 to the Piman brothers of Whangarei. She now had a 12hp Morton engine. They renamed her WILDTHYME.
#4 was built by Collings & Bell in 1916, a 32 footer with (probably) a Doman engine. Bentley sold her to Alan Donald who was badly injured fighting a fire aboard in November 1919 when she was totally destroyed.
#3 soldiered on as WILDTHYME for many years in Whangarei. Selwyn Blake owned her for a while.
I saw the hull of a WILDTHYME at Te Atatu some years ago, but it may have been the 1921 WILDTHYME built by Joe Slattery for the Schneidemann brothers.
What a tangled web we weave……………..

SISTER DORA #4 had a 14hp Westman engine. Bentley and Twigg must have been good mates.