A Mystery Launch – Arcturus
A Mystery Launch – Arcturus
ANTARES + WIN More Tickets To The Auckland On The Water Boat Show
I was contacted recently by Bryce Strong who had just discovered the WW site & it spurred him on to have a dig in the old photo album for some woody photos.
The photos above of the 34’ Supreme Craft ‘Antares’ show her back in Feb 2005, when owned by Bryce’s brother-in-law Ron Philips.
Two More Boat Show tickets to give away – today’s question below. All entries via email to email@example.com by 6pm 28-09-2017.
To save your fingers, the people who entered yesterday but were unsuccessful, will go into today’s draw.
Q: Name one of the 5 Auckland On-the-water Boat Show sponsors
Ps yesterday’s winner was – Graeme Finch – owner of the launch – ‘Te Arahi’
White Cloud Movie – Leaving The Shed + Launch Day
Today’s post is based around a movie of the launch White Cloud, being shoe-horned out of the Supreme Craft shed at 1a Summer St., Ponsonby & making its way to Fodenway Motors, Penrose for engine fit out. And then the final leg to launching at Panmure in June 1965. The movie was filmed by her original owner, Len Buckby & shared with ww by his daughter Pam Mare via Ken Ricketts.
You can see & read more about White Cloud here
The Building & Launching of White Cloud + A Peep Inside 1A Summer Street
1A Summer St, Ponsonby was an unlikely location for boatbuilding, particularly for large launches. The building was built on to the rear of a retail shop, on the corner of Ponsonby Rd & Summer St., Auckland. Summer St was & still is an incredibly narrow side street, dating back to the late 1800’s.
To date on ww we have never seen good photos of the interior of the yard/shed, now thanks to the generosity of Pam Mare, we have access to the above photos. Pam is part of the Buckby family, that had White Cloud built at the yard by Ben Hipkins, to a McGeady design. Ben bought the Supreme Craft, off Mac Mcgeady. Other craftsman at the yard were boat builder Garry Wheeler & Tracey Nelson, a marine & refrigeration engineer, who did the vast majority of the engine & machinery installations, in the Supreme Craft vessels, — along with looking after all the Ponui Island mechanical work, from all the farm tractors, power generators, to George Chamberlain’s Lane built, tram topper, Falcon.
Such was the shortage of space at the building, that every boat that emerged, meant ,the picket fence of the house opposite in Summer St, to have to be removed & later replaced, to facilitate the exit from the building on to the transporter.
White Cloud left the shed in June 1965, to go to Fodenway Motors, Penrose, for engine installation & finishing. The photos below show her leaving the shed & later, on route to launching. Sorry for the poor photo quality, stills photos taken from old ‘home’ movie footage, recorded by Len Buckby or his wife & made available to us by his daughter Pam Mare.
Special thanks to Ken Ricketts for pulling the individual pieces together.
1945 – 32′ Classic Kauri Launch
Now this launch is for sale & if you had a peek inside you would be very impressed & at the asking price of $78k you might think its a great buy. Well it is a great buy, but I do not think there will be a queue of classic woody buyers lining up – why? because someone has stolen its mojo – the thing that makes a boat special. Her name is Ranui & in another life was called El Alamein, you can read about her here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/08/03/el-alamein-ranui/
The Readers Digest version of her history is that she was launched in January 1945, specifically for use on Lake Rotoiti to help convalescing returned servicemen from World War II, many in wheelchairs, ease back into civilian life.
Now I have another life outside of being a wooden boat blogger & that is in the world of consumer & B2B marketing – mostly via the digital channels these days – so I can hear you asking yourself whats the relevance of this to today’s story? Well Ranui is in charter & these days calls Lake Taupo home – So wearing my marketing hat, if I owned a boat with the provenance that Ranui / El Alamein has I would be doing two things:-
1. leveraging every inch / ounce of her life story to make a trip on her something special, hell I’d even by donating $xx dollars from every ticket to the local RSA etc etc.
2. The other thing I would be doing was making her look as classic as possible – that’s her X-factor – the tourist’s would be telling people “I went for a very laid back lake cruise on this amazing 1945 wooden boat that used to help with the rehabilitation a returning WWII solders etc etc.
So what has someone done? bought a few sheets of plywood & put a top hamper on her. Well it is their boat & they can do what they like (see Cameron P – I’m softening) – I’m sure the attraction of getting a few more paying passengers aboard won them over. But in my eyes they have knocked $25+k off her sale price & halved the visual / emotive appeal of the charter business.
If I was a few years older I’d buy her & borrow Mr Prew’s tungsten tipped chainsaw 😉 & go make a few bob on the Lake. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the heads up on the boat.
Have a look below at the photo of her back in the 1940’s, what she looked like in 2015 & as she appears today on treadme. As they say “different strokes for different blokes” – Its still a good buy for a 32′ motor launch – But not me.