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1988_12_31_ValsanKenepuruSound (2)


Recently on ww one of Valsan’s previous owners, Shirley Colthart reached out to her current owners Ian & Carol Nicholson & made a very generous offer to pass on a collection of blue blazers that had been custom made for Valsan’s crew (refer photo above)c1995/6. During the process Shirley mentioned that she had a collection of old photos from during their ownership, which  appear above. Below I have reproduced Shirley’s note (edited) to me that accompanied the photos. The collection is a wonderful snapshot into a period of Valsan’s history.  (As always click on any photos to enlarge) Enjoy.

“I have sorted through a few photos of when Valsan was in our care that may be of interest. When we sold to Hans Otto in 1998 we left a full history onboard including a home movie of her 1938 launch and letters between ourselves and the original owner’s daughter Valerie Harvey and it would be nice to know all was still intact for Ian when he took possession.

We added a dining table and elevated the seating area around the dining table so as to have a view out the windows as the original seating was very low, and due to our cooler climate in the south we also added the diesel burner.

We and our family loved Valsan and only sold to acquire a vessel with more accommodation once our daughters became older and wanted their friends to stay.
We purchased her in December 1988 from Jobe Hollander in Auckland and my husband and friends, with a professional skipper onboard, cruised her down to the Marlborough Sounds, quite a mission as they had to carry two 44 gallon drums of additional fuel in the cockpit and along the way encountered a couple of big storms where she well and truly proved herself to be a very seaworthy vessel indeed.

Early 1993, my husband, with a crew, brought her down from the Marlborough Sounds to Lyttelton where she was used as the after-function venue at the Banks Peninsula Cruising Club for our elder daughter Anna’s 21st celebration”.

Below are copies of Valsan’s Certificate of British Registry and the NAPS booklet from a 1943 Smoke Concert. For reference also below is the first page naming the NAPS ships.





Lady Sandra



Built by the Lane Motor Company for Len Peckham in 1947, powered with 2 x 6 cyl Scripps petrol engines. One of the glamour boats in her day but misfortune followed her around – she once picked up a tow line from a boat being towed, off Devonport wharf & got the tow rope around both propellers & pulled the propeller struts out of the hull & sank, just as they got her to the nearby beach. Later on in life  she went to Fiji where she was wrecked in a storm in the 1980’s. In the photos above the photo of the boys & man on the wharf, – the man is Alan Horsefall who owned Mansion House at that time.

The photos of her tied to the right hand side of the Mansion  House wharf have the Nancibel & Korora inside her. The bridgedecker, we can see a little of the dodger of in one photo, is most likely Royal Falcon. Also the boat in the Alan Horsefall photo is almost certainly Valsan.
Today’s photos are from Ken Jones & were emailed to me along with comments by Ken Ricketts. You can read more of Ken’s recollection of Lady Sandra here

I’m loving the A.M.Y.C. life buoy in the bottom photo 🙂

3 Ladies + Movie Premier Invite


Lady Sandra, Connie & ValSan

Photo above of three of our most elegant classic ladies – Lady Sandra, Connie & ValSan rafted up (photos ex Ken Jones, emailed to me by Ken Ricketts).
Also today I have news on a very cool film premier that will appeal to all woodys – see/read below.


Adrian Pawson & partner Nina Wells have produced a very cool movie called ‘Birds of a Feather’. Nina is the real star as its her film – she produced & directed it. The film is based on the annual Seagull outboard race on the Waikato River, over the last 18months I have seen numerous drafts & rough cuts, trust me it’s a goodie. See synopsis below & click on the link to view the trailer 😉

Adrian has asked if waitematawoodys could help promote the NZ premier of the film, the answer of course was yes. The screening is at The Vic Theater in Devonport & seats are very limited.

Tickets are only $10. I would encourage you to book online asap at  Its unlikely there will be door sales on the night.

Film Synopsis:
For the 30th consecutive year, a modest group of eccentrics assemble at the base of the Karapiro hydro dam, ready to embark on one the world’s longest and most challenging small boat races. The Great Waikato Seagull race draws contestants from all round New Zealand, all vying to conquer the mighty Waikato river but with an unlikely choice of hardware.

The British Seagull once touted as ‘The best outboard motor in the world’ is now famous for all the wrong reasons. With a reputation for being hopelessly unreliable, the British seagull is a relic of modern technology dating back to the second world war.

‘Birds of a Feather’ is the story of seagull racing on the Waikato where competitors from all walks of life, battle 141km downstream subjecting themselves to an arduous two day challenge that will test their patience, tempers and humour! They don’t have to be crazy, but it certainly helps!


6.30pm Sunday 25th September
Cinema – Theatre – Cafe – Gelateria
Ph: +64 9 446 0100
48-56 Victoria Rd, Devonport 0624, Auckland, New Zealand
Opportunity to get pre drinks etc and mingle from 6pm in the lounge bar
DVDs of the film will be available for purchase after the screening $25 Cash
POA Blu-ray DVDs are possibly available depending on numbers of requests
Book tickets :






Today’s photos, from the Tudor Collins collection, are of the 1938, 45′ Lidgard built bridgedecker Valsan. Harold Kidd commented previously on ww that Valsan was built for Alex Harvey Jr as a 38 footer with twin 90hp Grays. She was lengthened (as were so many of these big bridgedeckers) to 45ft by the time she went into NAPS as Z10 in 1942-3, possibly during the time she was being repaired after going up on the Castor Bay reef in February 1940. Peter Annan bought her when she was de-mobbed in 1944 and renamed her Lady Edith. Annan had been the long-term owner of the big Logan cutter Thelma. In 1948 Annan sold her to Arnold Baldwin who changed her name back to Valsan.

Lots of photos of Valsan on ww, just enter Valsan in the ww Search box to view.

Menai & Valsan & her Owners.

Menai & Valsan & her Owners.

details & b/w photos from Ken Ricketts. edited by Alan H 

In the late 1930s, earlier 1940s, Arnold D. Baldwin, a successful business man involved in the paper & printing industries purchased the 1936 (’37?) Sam Ford launch MENAI & used her regularly until 1948, when he bought VALSAN, off Peter Annan, who had renamed her LADY EDITH, which ADB changed back to VALSAN.

ADB sold MENAI to his factory manager, Horry Whimp who loved her, at least as much as ADB & continued to pour money into MENAI, as ADB had before him. HW owned MENAI well in to the 1950s. During this stage of her life MENAI had a flat head Ford V8.

Ken Ricketts met HW’s son, Barry Whimp, as a 3rd former at Auckland Grammar in 1950, they were in the same year & became good friends, & had many happy moments together whilst away on their parents boats, especially at Kawau, at Christmas.

(b/w photos taken by Ken Ricketts show Menai over Christmas 1948 /1949  just after the Whimps had bought her, & taken at Issy Bay & Kawau. The photo of Valsan in Schoolhouse Bay was taken during Christmas 1948 just after ADB had purchased her)

Menai Specs ex Alan H

Sam Ford, Ellerslie, designed and built Menai for Mr W T Reynolds of Whangarei and she was launched at Panmure Basin on 24th of December 1937.She immediately left Auckland on launching and arrived at Whangareri 25.12.1937.

She has a most interesting history, during WWII as a Navy patrol vessel she towed lifeboats from SS Niagara to safety.  She spent many years big game fishing both off Tutukaha and Tauranga and she is fine sea boat. In 1985 new owners did major renovations including the superb varnished interior. In 2007 she was purchased by the late Peter Smith who spent 3 years bringing her back to the wonderful condition she is today.

She is characteristic of the Ford design, a bridgedeck displacement launch, 10.97m (38 ft) length, beam 3.05m and draft 0.97m. Although there have been some substantial upgrades both the exterior lines and interior layout are original.

Construction: Single kauri skin (full length planking) over bolted and riveted frames and floors. The original upper works were built of kauri. In a 1985 major upgrade they were overlaid with 5/8 in teak and varnished.

Power: Lees-Marine 60hp Fordson diesel with 2:1 Lees-Marine hydraulic gearbox. Cruising speed is 7 – 7.5 knots.

Harold Kidd Update

A few minor things about the above. MENAI was originally fitted with an 8 cylinder Lycoming engine which was changed to an Osco Ford V8 marine conversion, possibly during her NAPS service. Arnold Baldwin bought MENAI in 1942 when he was skippering her with NAPS and registered her as a British Registered Ship in 1948. According to those records and to the contemporary APYMBA records, Whimp did not own her at all, but that may well have been because he didn’t want to carry on the BR. Certainly, however, the BR records and the RNZYS records show that MENAI was 100% owned by C.B. Menzies from 1950 onwards. How Whimp and Menzies fit together, I have no idea.

Valsan – an ageless classic


Valsan - an ageless classic

Valsan – an ageless classic

details & photo ex Ken Ricketts, edited by Alan H

One of our really magnificent ageless classics of all time & so wonderfully original & unspoiled. Ken commented that if you look at her you can see Couldrey, Ford & Lidgard all in her, the bridgedeck is classic later Ford, refer Lady Karita, the flair is very Couldrey — refer Tiromoana, the sheer line in the sweep in the deck could be all 3 & there are also resemblances in the shear & flair to Awarua, which of course was part Lidgard along with Ted Cooper.

Ken took the above photo of her Christmas 1948 in Schoolhouse Bay. She was launched as VALSAN, after the original owners two children – Valerie & Sandy. She was later sold to a publican, those surname was Annan & he renamed her Lady Edith, after his wife. When Arnold Baldwin bought her he returned her to her original name.

Her original engines were either Graymarine or Kermath, but Ken’s memory is leaning towards 6 cyl flathead 90 hp Graymarine’s. He remembers the instrument clusters & they had a polished metal backplate with the name in the middle at the top. These were replaced by 2 x Falcon 4.1L marinised petrol car engines in the 1970s.
Her present engines are 4 cyl. (100hp?) Mitsubishi diesels. In Ken’s opinion not becoming to a vessel of her stature. She has deep under hull exhausts now, amidships & bubbles away at the sides, used to be out the tuck just above the waterline, about 10 inches in from each side, when the petrol engines were fitted.

Harold Kidd Update

Ken is right with the engine brand this time (after having a bob each way). (Alan H called James Mobberley at Moon Engines & asked what the motors were) VALSAN was built by Lidgards for Alex Harvey Jr as a 38 footer with twin 90hp Grays. She was lengthened (as were so many of these big bridgedeckers) to 45ft by the time she went into NAPS as Z10 in 1942-3, possibly during the time she was being repaired after going up on the Castor Bay reef in February 1940. Peter Annan bought her when she was demobbed in 1944 and renamed her LADY EDITH. Annan had been the long-term owner of the big Logan cutter THELMA. In 1948 Annan sold her to Arnold Baldwin who changed her name back to VALSAN.

BTW Bill COULDREY’s surname is spelt COULDREY. (fixed. thx)

I think it’s just empty blather to “see  Couldrey, Ford and Lidgard” in her. The greatest influences of all were the styling themes seen in the US yachting magazines of the time, like RUDDER and MOTOR BOAT & YACHTING which influenced all local designers and owners a thousand times more than the Auckland designers and constructors influenced one another.

PS Peter Annan died in 1951 aged 82. He was a Master Mariner but had retired to the hotel trade when he bought VALSAN.


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Poped out after the fog cleared yesterday to give Raindance a run. Spotted the 1938 Lidgard built  Valsan leaving Orams yard (Westhaven) on-route to the CYA dock at Heritage Landing. Looking very smart after some enforced surgery due to another wee oops & what appeared to be new paint & varnish. I was impressed to see the CYA burgee flying. In one of the classic wooden boat clubs in the USA if you are not flying the burgee, no photo’s are reproduced of your boat.